Thursday, May 21, 2009

The most probable Colony Collapse Disorder culprit yet

So that last post I made about a possible CCD agent is on pretty thin ice, it turns out. This pesticide, however (imidacloprid) looks very seriously like a possible cause. In this article, they present some pretty compelling information.

Bayer CropScience, the producer of both imidacloprid and another suspect pesticide clothianidin, doesn't want you to think this, however. They've got big money on the association between CCD and their products just going away.

Although I can't say that case connecting these pesticides and CCD is waterproof, it sure deserves a WHOLE LOT of attention.

Enjoy possibly finding the solution to a problem with one of our most important agricultural animals,


[image credit in linked article]


Kate said...

also known as Advantage, one of the better and more popular flea control treatments. Granted, in its flea control usage, the collateral damage is minimal. I think most bees getting that close to a cat or dog have bigger problems.

I hadn't realized it was also used for widespread pest control via spraying. Ugh.

Trappin' Pat said...

I use Advantage on my cat, I would be curious to find out if it gets into the environment through feces or urine.

Bpaul said...

To my mind there is a big difference between "getting into the environment" and "hazardous levels getting into the environment."

I doubt seriously that there's a problem with that particular vector.

A.Stock said...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately since my allergies have driven me to search for local honey as a remedy...and after half a dozen "natural foods" stores, I finally found local honey. Most honey I'm finding comes from friggin' India. WTF? really? Even the bees are outsourced now?

So, this got me thinking: do any readers of this blog have any commercial success with their bees? I'm looking for a possible do-over in life with a major career change, and I'd be curious to know if its a field I should look into or if the days are numbered for the small independent bee keeper. Surely, there must be enough demand for local honey to sustain a small home-grown business.

Bpaul said...

I'm positive there is demand for local honey, and I'm looking at heading this direction myself over time. The problem is on the supply end. If you keep bees organically, you can expect (to my knowledge) a 40 - 60% loss rate over each winter. At least in Portland, according to a few sources I have.

If you gather swarms you can get a lot of "free" bees to make up for these losses, but that's still a hell of a lot of loss.

I'll ask my bee mentor about the viability of being a honey seller in a small operation, as I'm interested in this as well.

I'll make a post about it for you.


Patrick Gracewood said...

Rachael Carson is just shaking her head- and cursing us for learning nothing in the years since she wrote Silent Spring.