[permaculture] To Bee Organic or not to Bee

Gene Monaco efmonaco at comcast.net
Thu Jun 12 14:18:07 EDT 2008

Organic has no CCD: I wish it were so simple.  The official scientific jury
is still out on this one according to the researchers that report to our
state and local bee association.  Those of us that try to do everything
beyond organic (i.e. permacultural) want to believe that the problems with
the bees and indeed with agriculture and the whole world stem from the way
"they" approach things.  I for one am convinced of it.  The problem is that
if monoculture and chemical agriculture produce a super virus, the rest of
us may not be immune from it.  The collapse of the feral colonies from the
tracheal and varroa mites is an example.  Everything is connected, and we
all suffer from the impacts.

Gene Monaco
Knoxville, TN  
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 01:34:45 -0400
From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lflj at intrex.net>
Subject: [permaculture] [Fwd: Re: [SANET-MG] To Bee Organic or not to
To: permaculture <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <4850B575.1060300 at intrex.net>
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-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] To Bee Organic or not to Bee
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2008 19:47:49 -0400
From: jcummins <jcummins at UWO.CA>

Hello Stephanie White,
Thanks for the interesting question. Of course the overwhelming consensus of
the large number of  comment on the web are that organic farms are not
experiencing CCD. In terms of academic publications , the best available
studies come from Europe and these show that organic farms support bees
better than do conventional farms. I have previously posted such studies
and indicate that the number of such publications is small but informative.
Since 'A' cause for CCD has not yet been specified by 'authorities'
it is difficult to set up an experiment. Obviously organic farms studied
cannot be close to conventional farms studied as bees travel as do
The evidence from bee molecular genetics is sufficient in showing deficiency
in genes for pesticide defence and a frail immune system.
The synergism between pesticides and fungal parasites or virus in insects is
well published in science literature and the bee's frail immune system
cannot be ignored.
Another year of huge bee losses may lead to irreversible damage to the honey
bee. If we impose the precautionary principle at this time then the
neonicotinoid insecticides  would be banned immediately as would Bt corn
which was shown to influence bee behaviour. Rational agricultural
bureaucrats would have initiated a inventory comparing bees on conventional
vrs  organic farms and  would have placed a moratorium on pesticides in
areas such as the pecan fields in California.
The point I am making is that the countries such as US and Canada who
require proof beyond reasonable doubt that pesticides injure bees or people
seem to be backward, pesticide producers should be proving that they do not
harm bees or people. Those producers use only death as an endpoint for bees
while pesticide effects on  behaviour and synergism with parasites  need to
be studies.
Sorry for the long answer. I was easy to point out what needs to be done and
hard to see why it is not being done! sincerely, joe cummins

Stephanie White (MSU-CARRS) wrote:
> Dr. Cummins,
> Has it been definitely shown that bees living in chemical 
> pesticide/GMO free environments do not experience CCD?
> Thanks, Stephanie White

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