[Market-farming] "What a scientist didn't tell the New York Times...

Richard Stewart rstewart at zoomtown.com
Mon Oct 11 09:31:27 EDT 2010

The Fortune article and its poor reprinting in the New York Magazine are completely inaccurate.  

I am on a beekeeping list similar to this, but its mainly research on just about anything related to pollinators.

What you are seeing is journalism at its lowest.   Bayer did not contribute to this research at all, the reporter was told and the article was printed.  Jerry has done work before for Bayer and he was instrumental in getting beekeepers and Bayer together in a discussion over pesticides LD50 issues and labeling uses.  I am not too sure why this would be held as a negative.

Jerry's work is extremely important and was done with 17 other co-authors and help with new technology from the US Army post-9/11 that many researchers do not have access to.  There is a whole lot of competition going on to find the cause of CCD because you get more research money and I think that considering how much cooperation Jerry got from other researchers and peers says a lot.

As I described in my comments on the magazine's website this akin to researching cancer, finding out what it is AND what causes it the two are completely independent of each other but together help us understand how to prevent it.

In the end we may find it is indeed pesticides that are the cause, or heavy levels of CO2 causing poor pollen quality in flowers, or commercial beekeepers management techniques, or mites...or ALL of them.

As the European die-offs as a result of pesticides, most were a result of off label use of pesticides (the Europeans use them along with herbicides and fungicides just Americans do) AND improper application of neonics to seed prior to planting which allowed the pesticides to become airborne and be carried by the wind into several commercial operations.  All if it bad and proof that misuse of pesticides directly or indirectly will have an even greater impact on our environment BUT it did nothing to prove CCD.

There are lots of other chemical studies going on though that work in parallel with this one.  LOTS.  Together I think they will find something that stresses the bees enough to allow these two pathogens to work together and POSSIBLY cause CCD.

I can reprint an almost line by line rebuttal if folks need it.  Safe to say that Forbes/CCN/Fortune dropped the ball big time by letting this get published.

Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855

(513) 967-1106
rstewart at zoomtown.com
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