[permaculture] [Fwd: [SANET-MG] CCD in Germany ?]

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at intrex.net
Wed May 14 23:11:46 EDT 2008



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [SANET-MG] CCD in Germany ?
Date: Wed, 14 May 2008 19:01:27 -0400
From: jcummins <jcummins at UWO.CA>
To: SANET-MG at LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU

The neonicotinoid insecticides insecticides  are know to act
synergystically with fungal parasites (and probably viruses as well) to
sicken bees and to impair their behaviour. Such pesticides should be banned.

May 13, 2008   The Daily Green
Has Colony Collapse Disorder Hit Germany?

"Bees in the German state of Baden-Württemburg are dying by the hundreds
of thousands. In some places more than half of hives have perished.
Government officials say the causes are unclear - but beekeepers are
blaming new pesticides."

So begins a report in Spiegel Online, the German newspaper.

The sudden die-off, the mystery behind the cause and the alarm at the
loss of an insect with unparalleled importance to agriculture all echo
the colony collapse disorder crisis in the United States. In the U.S., a
second year of the mysterious affliction has killed upwards of 30% of
the bees that died this winter. The bees just up and leave the hive,
leaving their keepers with little evidence, less honey and no income.

The German situation appears somewhat different, in that there are dead
bees to be analyzed. Many beekeepers are pointing the finger at Bayer
CropScience, which produces a pesticide called clothianidin, which
attacks the nervous system of insects.

"The chemical was used last year to fight an outbreak of corn rootworm,
and its success against the pest led to a much wider application this
spring up and down the Rhine," Spiegel Online reports. "But clothianidin
is not a particularly selective poison. According to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency's fact sheet on the pesticide:
'clothianidin is highly toxic to honey bees.' Seeds are treated with the
clothianidin in advance or sprayed with it while in the field, and the
insecticide can blow onto other crops as well. The chemical is often
sprayed on corn fields during the spring planting to create a sort of
protective film on cornfields. Beekeepers say it's no coincidence that
the bee die-off began at the beginning of May, right when corn planting
started."

Like honey bees in America (all native to Europe), bees in Germany,
France and other nations noting concern over the pesticide are also
suffering from other ills, like parasites, bad weather and perhaps
stress from being overworked pollinating crops. Whether there's any
connection between colony collapse disorder and the German situation
remains to be seen. But the increasingly fragile state of the world's
pollinators is something that is concerning to many scientists and
farmers. If it continues, it will also be of concern to anyone who, you
know, eats food.  By Dan Shapley

Spiegel Online, May 8, 2008:

In some parts of the region, hundreds of bees per hive have been dying
each day. "It's an absolute bee emergency," Manfred Hederer, president
of the German Professional Beekeeper's Association, told SPIEGEL ONLINE.
"Fifty to 60 percent of the bees have died on average, and some
beekeepers have lost all their hives."

Germany's beekeepers were pointing fingers at one of Germany's largest
companies, blaming a popular, recently-introduced pesticide called
clothianidin for the recent die-off. Produced by Monheim-based Bayer
CropScience, a subsidiary of German chemical giant Bayer AG,
clothianidin is sold in Europe under the trade name Poncho. It's
designed to attack the nervous systems of insects "like nerve gas," says
Hederer. The chemical was used last year to fight an outbreak of corn
rootworm, and its success against the pest led to a much wider
application this spring up and down the Rhine.

But clothianidin is not a particularly selective poison. According to
the US Environmental Protection Agency's fact sheet on the pesticide,
"clothianidin is highly toxic to honey bees." Seeds are treated with the
clothianidin in advance or sprayed with it while in the field, and the
insecticide can blow onto other crops as well. The chemical is often
sprayed on corn fields during the spring planting to create a sort of
protective film on cornfields. Beekeepers say it's no coincidence that
the bee die-off began at the beginning of May, right when corn planting
started. "It's the pesticides' fault, one hundred percent," Baden
Beekeeper Association chairman Ekkehard Hülsmann told the Bädische
Zeitung newspaper.

The circumstantial evidence is piling up. Beekeepers and agricultural
officials in Italy, France and Holland all noticed similar phenomena in
their fields when planting began a few weeks ago. French beekeepers
recently protested the use of clothianidin in the Alsace region, just
across the Rhine from Baden-Württemburg. Hederer said German officials
have been ignoring the damage pesticides do to bee populations for
years. "The people who work in government agencies are all in the
pockets of manufacturers," he said. Beekeepers are fed up, he says:
"We've decided that keeping bees is more important than keeping our
mouths shut."





More information about the permaculture mailing list