pollinating bugs dying
Dear Bugman,
I have been researching the bees dying and thought it would be a good idea for you to add this information on your site. Although beekeepers cannot name any products, I have been informed by beekeepers
that a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids was introduced 3 years ago by Bayer Crop Science. These neonicotinoids are, I believe, nicotine derived. I am told they cause loss of memory, loss of appetite, disorieinted behavior and weakened immune system in bugs. I called Bayer customer help and was told the names of the products they sell which contain neonicotinoids. These are Admire, Provado, Calyps
o, Poncho, Gaucho, and TriMax. Admire is promoted as a pesticide for flowers. Tell everyone there is a possibility that this product is killing the pollinators which obviously means the Sphinx moths. Three years ago where these products were introduced to the environment bees showed failure to eat and disoriented behavior and then days later abandoned the hive, queen and larvae, just disappearing. Logically I find that if there is even the smallest possibility that these 6 products are killing the bees, then it is imperative to immediately halt the use of these products. After all, what sane farmer would ever desire to kill off all the bees? Another frightening aspect is that it is not only the bees that are disappearing but also all other polllinators, wasps, hornets, hummingbirds and even bats that eat the bugs. We may be looking famine in the face in only 2 years if this is not stopped. 50% of the bees in California are gone. A bee keeper with 10,000 hives lost all 10,000 this year. For moe information there is a highly respected beekeeper you may contact, David Hackenberg of Hackenberg Apiaries in Pennsylvania. His cell number is 813-713-1239. Also the website Maarec has information. Bee Alert is another resource. So far I seem to be the only one who is crying out for sanity. How much time will pass getting testing and proof that it really is the neonicotinoids? I have talked to my senator’s office, my congressmens aides, my state representative and everyone I can think of to stop the use of these neonicotinoids while there is still time. Please contact your local agricultural college or university student union and let the students know what about this disaster.
Thank you,
Sharilyn Wood Stalling

Hi Sharilyn
ile we can neither confirm nor deny what you have stated, we are creating a special Pesticide page for your letter. We do not use pesticides in our garden and we have never endorsed extermination. The decline of bee populations can be traced to other problems as well, including hive mites. Thank you for championing this cause.

(04/24/2007) Re: Exact information on pesticides
Hi again Mr Bugman!
I am sending an article in text form written by a professor of entomology at Penn State. This is better than my words. Sharilyn Wood Stalling Protecting Honey Bees from Chemical Pesticides Maryann Frazier Senior Extension Associate Penn State Honey bees are vulnerable to many of the insecticides used to control damaging pest species by fruit, vegetable, nut, and seed growers. Growers dependent on honey bees for the pollination of their crop(s) must constantly maintain a delicate balance between protecting their crops from pests and pathogens, and protecting the insects that are necessary to
pollinate these crops. The recent dramatic die-off of tens-of-thousands of honey bee colonies has left many beekeepers devastated and possibly many growers without the quantity and quality of bees needed to pollinate crops this spring and summer. A research group, the Colony Collapse Disorder Working group (see MAAREC.org) is trying to determine what factors are responsible for these unprecedented colony losses. Chemical contamination is one of several possible contributing factors that are being investigated. These include chemicals being used within the hive for mite and disease control as well as chemicals pesticides used on crops that may inadvertently find their way into hives. Until we have more documented information, it is advisable to use pesticides with care, erring on the precautionary side. The neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that impact the central nervous system of insects. They act either as contact insecticides or applied to plants, they are translocated throughout the plant tissue, making all parts of the plant toxic to pests that feed on the plants. While imidacloprid registered in 1992, is the best-known insecticide in this class, there have been a number of new neonicotinoids introduced since then (clothianidin, acetamiprid, thiamethoxam, etc.). Their use has increased dramatically over the past few years and they are now the most widely used group of insecticides in the US. Their uses include: seed treatments for corn, cotton, canola and sunflowers; foliar sprays of fruit, nut and coffee crops; granular, and liquid drench applications in turf, ornamentals, fruit crops and in forests; and in California the number one use of imidacloprid is for the control of structural pests. There is conflicting information about the affects of neonicotinoids on honey bees, and different chemicals in this class are known to vary in their toxicity to bees, however the EPA identifies both imidacloprid and colthianidin as highly toxic to honey bees. For example: “Clothianidin is highly toxic to honey bees on an acute basis (LD50>0.0439 mg/bee). It has the potential for toxic chronic exposure to honey bees, as well as other non-target pollinators through the translocation of clothianidin resides in nectar and pollen. In honey bees, the affects of this toxic chronic exposure may include lethal and/or sub-lethal effects in the larvae and reproductive effects on the queen”. [EPA Fact Sheet on Clothianidin]. Documented sub-lethal affects of neonicotinoids include physiological affects that impact enzyme activity leading to impairment of olfaction memory. Behavioral affects are reported on motor activity that impact navigation and orientation and feeding behavior. Additional research has found that imidacloprid impairs the memory and brain metabolism of bees, particularly the area of the brain that is used for making new memories. Decourtye et al. (2004). Recent research done on imidacloprid looked at crops where imidacloprid was used as a seed treatment. The chemical was present, by systemic uptake, in corn and sunflowers in levels high enough to pose a threat to honey bees. Bonmatin et al. (2003 and 2005). In 2002 a broad survey for pesticide residues in pollen was conducted across France. Imidacloprid was the most frequently found insecticide and was found in 49% of the 81 samples. Chauzat et al. (2006). In addition, there is concern about the practice of combining certain insecticides and fungicides. A North Carolina University study found that some neonicotinoids in combination with certain fungicides, synergized to increase the toxicity of the neonicotinoid to honey bees over 1,000 fold in lab studies. Iwasa et al. (2004). Both the neonicotinoids and the fungicides (Terraguard and Procure) are widely used. This synergistic effect needs to be looked at more carefully. Below is a summary of the chemical and brand names of the commonly used neonicotinoids and their toxicities to honey bees. We are asking growers who are using these materials and who are dependent on honey bees for pollination, to use caution when selecting and applying these materials. Below are more specific recommendations for growers. Neonicotinoids’ Toxicity to honey bees Chemical Brand name Acute Contact Acute Oral thiamethoxam Actara, Platinum, Helix, Cruiser, Adage, Meridian, Centric, Flagship Highly toxic Highly toxic clothianidin Poncho, Titan, Clutch, Belay, Arena Highly toxic Highly toxic imidacloprid Confidor, Merit, Admire, Ledgend, Pravado, Encore, Goucho, Premise Highly Toxic Highly toxic acetamiprid Assail, Intruder, Adjust Toxic Toxic thiacloprid Calypso Toxic Toxic Recommendations for Growers <95> Know the pesticides you are using and their toxicity to bees (do not depend on third party to provide this information). <95> READ the LABEL AND FOLLOW THE LABEL DIRECTIONS <95> Never use a neonicotinoid pesticide on a blooming crop or on blooming weeds if honey bees are present. <95> The use of a neonicotinoid pesticide pre-bloom, just before bees are brought onto a crop is not recommended. If one of these materials MUST be used pre-bloom (for example at pink in apples), select a material that has a lower toxicity to bees (acetamiprid or thiacloprid) and apply only when bees are not foraging, preferably late evening. <95> Do not apply these materials post bloom (example petal fall) until after the bees have been removed from the crop.
<95> Blooming time varies depending on varieties. Bees pollinating one variety or crop may be at risk while another post-bloom crop or variety is being treated with insecticides. Also while crops may have completed blooming, bees may be visiting blooming weeds in and around crops. Be aware of these situations and avoid the application of pesticides on a non-blooming crop if there is risk of drift onto blooming crops and weeds if bees are present. If a spray must be applied, use the least toxic material and apply only when bees are not foraging. <95> Protect water sources from contamination by pesticides. If necessary, provide a clean source of water close to colony locations prior to their arrival in the orchard or crop. For more information on CCD visit the MAAREC website; MAAREC.org References EPA Fact Sheet on Clothianidin
Decourtye, A., C. Armengaud, M. Renou, J. Devillers, S. Cluzeau et al.(2004). Imidacloprid impairs memory and brain metabolism in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) Pestic. Biochem. Phys 78:83-92
Bonmatin, J. M., P. A. Marchand, R. Charvet, I. Moineau, E. R. Bengsch and M. E. Colin. 2005. Quantification of Imidacloprid Uptake in Maize Crops. J. Agric. Food Chem. 53, 5336-5341.

Bonmatin, J. M., I. Moineau, R. Charvet, M. E. Colin, C. Fleche, E. R. Bengsch. 2003. Fate of imidacloprid in fields and toxicity for honeybees. Environmental Chemistry.

Chauzat, M. P., J. P. Faucon, A. C. Martel, J. Lachaize, N. Cougoule and M. Aubert. (2006). Survey of Pesticide Residues in Pollen Loads Collected by Honey Bees in France. J. Econ. Entomol. 99 (2): 253-262

Iwasa, T. N. Motoyama, J. T. Ambrose and R. M. Roe. (2004). Mechanism for the differential toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides in the honey bee, Apis mellifera. Crop Protection 23, 371378

One Response to Dangerous Pesticides

  1. karenaso says:

    very important info here, in the state of CT, those applying to take a pesticide supervisory test (Ihave an arborist licesnse) are given a packet which now contains info about protecting bees. Hopefully all states will follow suit.

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