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"Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile.”
Mark Twain

 

Iolo Williams speech to members of the Welsh Parliament Assembly: “The State of Nature"
Iolo Williams speech to members of the Welsh Parliament Assembly: 'The State of Nature' And your grand kids will turn to you and they’ll say:

‘Grandad, what was it like? What was it like walking through these hay meadows?
It must have been lovely to have skylarks all around you singing away.
Do you know, it must have been fantastic to walk through all of these damp fields and these funny birds with little caps on called ‘peewits' going all around you.


What was it like grandad ?

 

Ontario bee kills continue: OBA media release
Ontario bee kills continue: OBA media release A few good weeks of corn planting weather in May has turned out to be bad news for beekeepers. While Ontario grain farmers have been able to get on the field and get their crops planted, Ontario beekeepers are reporting bee kills and pesticide related problems with colony build-up in corn planting areas.
“We’re definitely hearing about more bee kills this year than in the past two years,” says OBA president Tibor Szabo. “What we are seeing is consistent with pesticide exposure.”

 

The Apicultural Coverup ... Begins In Your Backyard
The Apicultural Coverup ... Begins In Your Backyard I am surprised at the number of highly regarded and experienced beekeepers who blame the dramatically high honey bee colony losses being experienced these days on Varroa. I’m not saying that Varroa mites are not a major problem. They are, especially among the large number of beekeepers who do nothing to control mites in the hope that they are going to help the bees get stronger through the evolutionary process.

 

Did You Know Humans Have Relied on Bees for 9,000 Years?

 

Bears and Bees                  

 

Sticky fingers: The rise of the bee thieves
Sticky fingers: The rise of the bee thieves The bees crawled up the thief’s arms while he dragged their hive over a patch of grass and through a slit in the wire fence he had clipped minutes earlier. In the pitch dark, his face, which was not covered with a protective veil, hovered inches from the low hum of some 30,000 bees.

 

Insect Stings: Why Do They Ouch So Bad?
Insect Stings: Why Do They Ouch So Bad? Schmidt’s been stung by many, many, many bugs. Tiny, squishable things that leave temporary marks, but would probably have the most inked-up Hells Angel shaking in his chaps.
Because the pain of an insect sting is not normal. It’s like getting stabbed with a pencil point. Or like a single drop of hot oil. Hydrochloric acid on a paper cut. Walking on charcoal with a rusty nail in your heel. Hot oil spilling all over your hand. Schmidt is a connoisseur.

 

Unsafe at any Dose? Diagnosing Chemical Safety Failures, from DDT to BPA
Unsafe at any Dose? Diagnosing Chemical Safety Failures, from DDT to BPA Synopsis: Why do concentrations of harmful chemical pollutants continue to rise, in the environment and in our bodies, despite decades of campaigning against them? The chosen strategy of most environmental and public health advocates has been to focus on the elimination (banning) of specific toxic chemicals. Such campaigns are sometimes successful on their own terms, but the result is never a reduction in chemical usage. Instead, a new chemical replaces the old one. Even worse, the replacement is often also found to be toxic. Neonicotinoid pesticides, for example, are the fourth and latest iteration of 'safer' pesticides. Rather than presuming that the problem is one of chemical 'rotten apples', this article considers whether or not the evidence indicates a more profound failure of chemical risk assessment. Jonathan Latham examines whether the fault lies with the science underpinning chemical risk assessments or the regulatory institutions responsible for their implementation. The conclusion reached is that the institutions are broken while the science is unfixable. This understanding has many implications besides showing an urgent need for a profound rethinking of the strategies and goals of campaigners who wish to create a world free of toxic chemicals.
Please share this article if you enjoy it.

 

Results of Glyphosate Pee Test Are in ‘And It’s Not Good News’
Results of Glyphosate Pee Test Are in ‘And It’s Not Good News’ Last month, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) volunteered to take a urine test to see if glyphosate—the cancer-linked weedkiller—is in their system. Forty-eight MEPs from 13 different EU countries participated in the test, and now the results are in.
On average, the MEPs had 1.7 micrograms/liter of glyphosate in their urine, 17 times higher than the European drinking water norm (0.1 microgram/litre). This means that everyone we tested was way above the limit for residues of pesticides in drinking water.

 

In the Caucasus, a Bronze Age site hints at embalming with honey.
In the Caucasus, a Bronze Age site hints at embalming with honey. According to Li Shizhen, the 16th-century Chinese apothecary and author of the monumental Bengcao gangmu—a compendium of exotic cures that features decoctions of dragon bones and ground up human hair—mellification was a practice whereby certain altruistic volunteers, usually aged holy men from Arabia, sacrificed themselves by ingesting nothing but honey until they sweated honey, shat honey, bled honey: Until they died. Their sugar-crystallized bodies were then immersed in huge jars of honey for a century. The end result: human rock candy—“mellified man”—a miraculous remedy for broken bones.

 

Defra rejects NFU application to use neonicotinoids on OSR
Defra rejects NFU application to use neonicotinoids on OSR Defra has rejected an emergency application for growers to use banned neonicotinoid seed treatments on oilseed rape this autumn.
The decision, announced by Defra on Thursday (12 May), will be a major blow to growers in England who rely on neonics to establish OSR in “hotspot” areas – whose crops suffer cabbage stem flea beetle attacks.
See also: NFU applies for emergency neonics ban exemption

 

How pesticides are undermining the health of rural children                  

 

Beekeepers across the USA lost 44% of their honey bee colonies during the year April 2015 - 2016
Beekeepers across the USA lost 44% of their honey bee colonies during the year  April 2015 to April 2016 Summer losses rival winter losses for the second year running.
Beekeepers across the United States lost 44% of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016
The survey, which asks both commercial and small-scale beekeepers to track the health and survival rates of their honey bee colonies, is conducted each year by the Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Survey results for this year and all previous years are publicly available on the Bee Informed website.

 

Honeybees more likely to regulate hive's 'thermostat' during rapid temperature increases
Honeybees more likely to regulate hive's 'thermostat' during rapid temperature increases Honeybees use their wings to cool down their hives when temperatures rise, but new University of Colorado Boulder research shows that this intriguing behavior may be linked to both the rate of heating and the size of a honeybee group.
The findings, which were recently published in the journal Animal Behaviour, indicate that honeybees anticipate and react to rapid temperature increases sooner than they do when the increase is gradual -- but only when the bees are clustered in groups of 10.

 

The Indispensable Honey Bee
The Indispensable Honey Bee Thought provoking article about a report written in 1973, when USA was losing 500,000 hives a year to . . . pesticides - as compared with 2015, when they lost 1.5 million hives a year to . . . pesticides.    NOTHING has changed.?

 

2015 Pesticide contamination results for one Canadian beekeeper's operation
2015 Pesticide contamination results for one Canadian beekeeper's operation 2015 Pesticide contamination results for one beekeeper's operation in Canadian.
It is little wonder that he was having major problems keeping the bees alive. Especially with over 246 ppb of Thiamethoxam and 232 ppb of Imidacloprid in stored nectar collected from hive-comb the at the time of testing ... when acute lethal dose of Imidacloprid for bees is 10 ppb

 

Scientists develop bee model that will impact the development of aerial robotics
Scientists develop bee model that will impact the development of aerial robotics Scientists have built a computer model that shows how bees use vision to detect the movement of the world around them and avoid crashing. This research, published in PLOS Computational Biology, is an important step in understanding how the bee brain processes the visual world and will aid the development of robotics.

 

Insecticide toxic to bees promoted to kill Vancouver chafer beetles
Insecticide toxic to bees promoted to kill Vancouver chafer beetles The news story from Vancouver is about this Imidacloprid-based lawn grub killer.
Note that, by weight, it contains 0.25% Imidacloprid, which means that in this 2 kilogram jug there are 5 grams of imidacloprid.
That means the spray applied to the lawn will contain 2.5 parts per THOUSAND of imidacloprid - when acute lethal dose for bees is 10 parts per BILLION.
The dosage is a million times more toxic than bees would encounter in a treated crop, so if it migrates into garden flowers, probably very lethal.
Note that there are NO ecological implications on the advice label - apart from not spraying into water. This is presumably being applied to millions of lawns, with no warning whatever that bees and pollinators may be killed by it.

 

Great British Bee Count 2016
Great British Bee Count 2016 Join Britain's biggest bee survey from 19 May to 30 June 2016.
Our tiny bees make a huge difference to our lives. We can thank them for our food, garden plants, and crops. But our bees are under threat and they need our help.

 

Rescue WILD BEE COLONY by Nairn Beekeepers (Invernessshire) after a phone call from the local Police reporting that the bee tree was in danger of falling

 

Are bee harming insecticides hurting humans too ?
Are bee harming insecticides hurting humans too ? In a packed auditorium at York U, scientists from Europe, Asia, and North America have gathered to discuss the fallout from the world's most widely used insecticides.
A lot of attention is being paid to how controversial neonicotinoids are messing with pollinators like bees. But another question is buzzing among attendees around the edges of the April 19 symposium: what are neonic-laced foods doing to humans?

 

6 ways to help bees when you don't have a garden
6 ways to help bees when you don't have a garden Want to help bees but live in a concrete jungle?                  
Not enough space? No garden?
No problem, as these 6 projects show.

 

A potential new threat to bumblebees identified by researchers
A potential new threat to bumblebees identified by researchers A potential new threat to bumblebees has been identified by researchers at Liverpool John Moores University. Biological pest control products being sold to gardeners as a wildlife friendly pest control option can cause 80% of exposed bees to die within four days, according to this laboratory study.
Entomopathogenic nematodes are a type of parasitic worm which has evolved to kill insects, using bacteria released into the insect’s blood. These occur naturally in the wild but only at very low concentrations- but they are now sold for gardeners to apply at very high concentrations to control pest insects.

 

Industry lobbyists accused of scaremongering over ban on bee-harming pesticides
Industry lobbyists accused of scaremongering over ban on bee-harming pesticides Industry predictions of doomed crops resulting from a ban on a controversial pesticide have been dismissed as scaremongering, after official data revealed that yields have actually flourished since the ban.
Pesticide producers and the National Farmers Union (NFU) had warned that a ban on neonicotinoids, a substance linked with declining bee populations, would have a devastating impact on crop yields.
But government figures show that yields of oilseed rape have actually increased significantly since the ban came into force, leading campaigners to label the industry’s predictions as a “particularly bad example of scaremongering”.

 

Bees exposed to more pesticides from contaminated wildflowers nearby treated farms
Bees exposed to more pesticides from contaminated wildflowers nearby treated farms The research, discussed at a scientific briefing in London today (28 April 2016) organised by the Soil Association, showed a staggering 97% of the neonicotinoids brought back to honeybee hives in pollen could come from wildflowers - not oilseed rape.
The briefing looked at the latest scientific research and its implications for the environment and the future use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the UK.
The panel included three leading experts on the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinators - Professor Dave Goulson, Dr Lynn Dicks and Dr Penelope Whitehorn. Peter Campbell from Syngenta responded to the presentations from the three scientists

 

British journalists, politicians and farmers are being used as guinea pigs
British journalists, politicians and farmers are being used as guinea pigs Monsanto and the other agrochemical corporations have used the world as a private laboratory for testing man-made chemical weapons. The German Federal Institute for Pesticides Risk Assessment (BfR), the European Food Safety Authority, the European Commission, the British Government and the British Broadcasting Authority have been willing laboratory assistants, without realising that we are all being used as guinea pigs.

 

Bee Informed leaflet
Bee Informed leaflet A Bee Informed leaflet has been issued by the British Crop Protection Association ... and endorsed by the British Beekeeping Association (BBKA), the information given in this leaflet is 'mischievous' to say the least ...
(sic) "Some claims have also been made of a possible link between the decline in bee populations and the use of some insecticides. This has not been shown scientically but has been closely monitored by the regulators and the companies themselves."

 

Sudden bee swarm taught my son and me a lesson in respect for nature
Sudden bee swarm taught my son and me a lesson in respect for nature A swarm formed in 15 minutes at Lindsay Hanson Metcalf’s house
She wanted them gone, but not dead.
So she called a beekeeper, and he taught them about bees while smoking them out

 

The Case Against Imidacloprid
The Case Against Imidacloprid Ever since French beekeepers saw their bees dying as they collected pollen from treated sunflowers back in 1996, beekeepers have been concerned that their bees are being harmed the highly toxic neonicotinoid insecticides, with imidacloprid most widely used. The use of this class of insecticide has grown steadily ever since. Bee losses have become chronic as well. However, unlike the first case in France where bees were literally falling dead while gathering pollen, the widespread colony losses today are less explainable, often associated with outbreaks of a variety of diseases, and with very high winter colony mortality. So why blame the insecticides?

 

New map shows pesticide black spots in France
New map shows pesticide black spots in France An organisation aiming to raise awareness of the health problems caused by the use of pesticides in France has released a map showing exactly where the black spots are.
The map released by Générations Futures was published on Thursday and is based on where the victims of pesticides are in France.
The aim was to make sure “everyone understands the gravity of the situation” in France.
Numerous studies have linked pesticides to various health problems ranging from cancers, to birth defects and hormonal imbalances.

 

Ontario's highest court dismisses appeal by Grain Farmers of Ontario on restrictive new pesticide rules
Ontario's highest court dismisses appeal by Grain Farmers of Ontario on restrictive new pesticide rules Ontario grain farmers — fuming they’ve been unable to turn back Ontario’s move to severely restrict their use of a pesticide linked to bee deaths — have commissioned a study into what Ontario’s regulations on so-called neonics will cost them.
Ontario’s highest court Wednesday ruled the Grain Farmers of Ontario can’t use the courts to rewrite provincial legislation they disagree with, although the judges on the Ontario Court of Appeal agreed the Liberal government’s legislation “may have significant consequences” for the farmers.

 

Small but not Forgotten: New Ideas on Pollen’s Ecology and Evolution
Small but not Forgotten: New Ideas on Pollen’s Ecology and Evolution Pollen grains may be small but they have a big job. Delivering a sperm to an egg is a little more complicated when the parents don’t move around. For plants, pollen success means reaching a receptive stigma, germinating and growing a pollen tube into the ovary, locating an ovule, and only then entering and delivering a sperm to a receptive egg. Despite the importance of these events to plant reproduction, pollen performance is relatively understudied.

 

Bees slowly poisoned by pesticides, say scientists
Bees slowly poisoned by pesticides, say scientists Toxic pesticides in widespread use by farmers around the world are gradually killing neurons in the brains of bees and causing “slow death by poison”, scientists are warning.
The warning has prompted renewed calls by wildlife campaigners for the Scottish Government to impose a permanent ban on some pesticides. The pesticide industry, however, has insisted a ban would do “very little” to help bees.
Scientists from the University of Sydney in Australia and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research have investigated the dangers of neonicotinoid pesticides. They make up a quarter of the global insecticide market, and are used on potatoes, wheat, barley and oats in Scotland.

 

Parasitic mites that transmit a HoneyBee infecting virus may benefit from spreading the pathogen
Parasitic mites that transmit a HoneyBee infecting virus may benefit from spreading the pathogen A pair of factors that affect the health of honey bee colonies are the mite, Varroa destructorwhich parasitizes honey bee larvae—and the pathogenic deformed wing virus (DWV). Scientists have long tried to understand the details of the mite-virus-bee ecology. It was already known that DWV benefitted from its association with the mite, as the parasite helps the virus spread. But it had been less clear whether the mite gained anything from serving as a viral vector. It turns out that mites show more reproductive successes when parasitizing honey bees with active DWV infections, according to a study published today (March 7) in PNAS.

 

Rising CO2 levels reduce protein in crucial pollen source for Bees
Rising CO2 levels reduce protein in crucial pollen source for Bees Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have reduced protein in goldenrod pollen, a key late-season food source for North American bees, a Purdue University study shows.
Researchers found that the overall protein concentration of goldenrod pollen fell about one-third from the onset of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the 21st century

 

The Chairman of Cancer Research UK was founder of Syngenta and former Chair of CropLife International
The Chairman of Cancer Research UK was founder of Syngenta and former Chair of CropLife International Since November 2010 Michael Pragnell MA MBA has been the Chairman of Cancer Research UK (CRUK). He was the founder of Syngenta and CEO of Syngenta AG based in Switzerland (from its public listing in 2000 to the end of 2007). He was Chairman of CropLife International from 2002 to 2005.
He was obviously anxious to blame something other than pesticides for the epidemic of cancers !

 

Study Shows Leaf Fertilizers to Be Toxic to Stingless Bees
Study Shows Leaf Fertilizers to Be Toxic to Stingless Bees There’s been a lot of focus and scientific study on the population reductions of honey bees and other pollinators.
Now researchers may have found another possible cause: fertilizer. A new study from the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil is likely the first to find that copper sulfate, when used as a leaf fertilizer, is lethal to the native Brazilian bee known as Friesella schrottkyi. In addition, the study, which was published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, found that sublethal exposure also affected the bee’s behavior.

 

Neonicotinoids and the prevalence of parasites and disease in bees
Neonicotinoids and the prevalence of parasites and disease in bees After a decade of intense research on the problems affecting bees, we gain clarity over the once blurry picture of confounding factors that included parasites, pathogens, pesticides, lack of food, and others stressors. On the one hand is it obvious that all those factors contribute to the problems observed. On the other, it has become evident that neonicotinoids (and insecticides like fipronil and perhaps others not yet identified) play a crucial role as the promoters of pathogen and parasite infections that effectively drive colony losses. In other words, these systemic insecticides are the ultimate cause of this complex crisis of honey bee health.

 

Cheap Imports Hurting Canadian Honey Producers. Familiar Story In The U.S.
Cheap Imports Hurting Canadian Honey Producers. Familiar Story In The U.S. Canada’s largest honey packer, Billy Bee, and their international corporate parent McCormick have all but stopped buying Canadian honey. Instead they choose to import cheaper honey from countries like China and Argentina and blend them with just enough Canadian honey so that they can still say Canadian on the bottle simply to improve their bottom line. There is definitely no shortage of Canadian honey!

 

Banned EU pesticide affects learning of honeybees but not bumblebees
Banned EU pesticide affects learning of honeybees but not bumblebees A banned EU pesticide affects the learning of honeybees but not bumblebees, scientists have discovered. This has important implications for global regulatory assessments because they generally use honeybees as a model for all bees.

 

Extra Floral Honey From Rubber Trees In India Boiled, Watered Down And Then Exported
Extra Floral Honey From Rubber Trees In India Boiled, Watered Down And Then Exported Joseph’s processing unit makes use of steam instead of water where honey is boiled in optimal temperatures. A temperature recording instrument is attached to the machine, which allows farmers to keep track of the heat. It is processed in several boilers where the honey is finally extracted into a bottle.

 

MiteNot, the future-oriented solution !
MiteNot, the future-oriented solution ! As a bee-lover, an advocate of stigmergy, a professional in sustainability and circular economy this is the kind story that I could share over and over. The leading character of my story today is a woman and her name is Marla Spivak. If you don’t know Marla Spivak, then you should as her passion for bees, her determination to save them might also save humanity !

 

Open letter to the Director-General of the BBC and the former Defra Minister Lord de Mauley about Monsanto
Open letter to the Director-General of the BBC and the former Defra Minister Lord de Mauley about Monsanto Lord Hall & Lord de Mauley: Monsanto’s own long term studies in rats in 1990 showed an increased risk of cataracts following exposure to Roundup®: why are you protecting Monsanto?
Lord Hall: The BBC and the British Press know that the Science Media Centre is industry-financed but are quite untroubled by the knowledge: what does the BBC say about deceiving the public?
Lord de Mauley: Why did you conceal from the public ‘The Open letter from America’ hand delivered to the Prime Minister on 11/11/2014 warning the UK against GM crops and glyphosate? .... and more !

 

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