[permaculture] [Fwd: Re: [SANET-MG] save the bees ban the pesticides]

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at intrex.net
Sat May 17 21:50:51 EDT 2008

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] save the bees ban the pesticides
Date: Sat, 17 May 2008 17:22:27 -0400
From: jcummins <jcummins at UWO.CA>

Hello Dr. Ahmad Mahdavi,
Thank you for the interesting comments. I would appreciate your
clarification of allelochemicals effects on insects. My understanding
is: allelochemicals are  toxic plant chemical: a chemical produced by
one plant that is toxic to another. Your findings seem striking and
certainly should be tested further.
Also your comments on inbreeding are well taken. The famous teacher of
genetics James Crow of the University of Wisconsin published on the
population genetics of inbreeding in the honey bee 58 years ago and he
is still as active in populations genetics research  as he was  when I
studied at Wisconsin 50 years ago. Mating between a Queen bee and
closely related drones reduces both the size and the disease resistance
of the colonies. Bees ,like other insects, have humoral and cellular
immune systems but these systems have not been exploited in a breeding
program. There are both behavioural traits such as mating while flying
and genetic traits which limit inbreeding. It would be surprising if
commercial bee keepers were unaware that bees have to out breed to some
degree to prevent inbreeding depression.
A bee genome draft sequence was published in 2006 ( Honeybee Genome
Sequencing Consortium Insights into social insects from the genome of
the honeybee Apis mellifera.Nature. 2006 Oct 26;443(7114):919-20). It
appeared that genes devoted to the immune system of the bee and to
chemical detoxification were  relatively few while genes for social
behaviour was relatively greater than flies.
Considering the importance of honey bees (they are required to produce
one out of each three bites of food that we eat) their relatively
fragile nature should be given more consideration by those who produce
food. sincerely, joe cummins
Ahmad Mahdavi wrote:
> Honey bee CCD(Colony Collapse Disorder)
> Some years ago during my research here in Guelph I found very strong relationship/ 
> correlation between effects of insecticides and plant allelochemicals on insects, now what 
> I would like to reccomend is that testing any insecticides (or other pesticides) on bees will 
> be accompanied by looking on the plants that bees get the nectar/ pollen etc.  Pesticide 
> pollution or wider than that chemical pollution that now is everywhere could be a playing 
> factor in CCD but this should be scientifically tested.  It seems that honey bees as a 
> homogenous species is more sensitive to environmental stressors in general.  Perhaps this 
> could be related to inbreeding for a long time.
> With best regards,
> Ahmad Mahdavi,
> Sustainable agriculture and environment,
> Guelph, Ontario.
> bugmahda at yahoo.com.
> jcummins <jcummins at UWO.CA> wrote:
>   Germany has imposed a moratorium on the use of certain neonicotinoid and 
> carbamate seed treatment insecticides. This action was taken because of 
> a direct effect of the pesticides on the honey bee in the face of a 
> decline in the pollinator. The response of regulators was rational but 
> one that will likely bring tears to the eyes of Bayer. Interestingly, 
> the synergism between pesticide and fungal parasite or virus has not yet 
> been taken into account.

More information about the permaculture mailing list