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Comment by Bob Luttrell on ANBees:

Hello all
And at last the news has reached Australia and Queensland, and a comment from an Australian beekeeper consistent with the likely effect of the seed treatment.

http://www.courierm news/breaking- news/pesticides- cou...
http://theconversat buzz-on-bee- pesticides- australia...

We must follow Europe’s lead. North America is in the mess it is with their bees for ignoring simple evidence. They started it with the EPA and their expedited registration and flawed registration procedures, then ignoring the advice of its own scientists. They will soon report 50% loss of hives this year, and try to blame it on something else, anything but the neonicotinoids. That would cost the EPA. North America is such a toxic environment for all manner of insect life. It has got to the point that sorting out which is the key chemical may well be impossible, but pouring more chemicals into the hives seems an unusual response in the situation. Seems to me that the biggest of all the US beekeepers may have at last seen the light, but it took losing 50 semi-trailer loads of hives taken to the almonds in California to do it. I have little sympathy for those in North America, they have given their bees the worst possible environment in which to survive. Poured all manner of chemicals into their hives to treat all these problems, under the advice of all their experts. Bees are living organisms not machines. For years they have chased every excuse of a reason, every possible symptom of the cause. Researcher after researcher has claimed to have found the cause. Millions if not billions have been poured into the cause.

On their general bee population, in one case where there is a known past record of bees, a record from 100 years ago and a fantastic baseline study, that population has diminished by 50%. That cannot be explained by all the diseases of the honey bee. These are the bumble bees and solitaries. It is habitat loss of course but that will reduce numbers, and CHEMICALS. They will cause complete disappearance. A 50 % reduction in species is scary. The whole situation has to be reviewed with the losses of all the pollinators as well as Apis in mind. They are going together in Europe and North America.

Here in Australia, we do not have any baseline studies on which to base such comparisons. I visited someone only 15km from me, and in what seemed to be a reasonable area, and he had passionfruit without a single set fruit. I have hundreds, even if the cockatoos get most. Why? It is a regular comment I hear, we never see bees any more. How many of you have heard that?

At least the Europeans have taken action, whether it is enough remains to be seen, but it is logical action in view of the evidence that has been presented. I have always maintained that it is only by breaking down the effects of the chemical to the physiological level on the bee, that we will understand how to do the field trials. Field trials are too crude for something with so many interacting variables as are at play here in a complex super organism that is a bee colony. There will never be enough hives, enough replicates to get meaningful results. Perhaps that work has been happening too slowly, and the environmental contamination happening too fast for any field trials to be achieved. The total contamination of the environment in agricultural Europe and North America would make it near impossible to do meaningful field trials as the Bayer supporters seem to insist on. The trial that was the justification for the UK voting against the ban was accepted by their own scientists in the press as poor science, yet the politicians, Bayer and all the supporters of that side say the case is not proven based on that failed trial. What it did prove is that the environment in the UK is so totally contaminated with the neonicotinoids, that the scientists could not select a site for a control group that would not be exposed to the chemicals. Just how bad is that for all the rest of the pollinators out there. No one knows the differing sensitivity of the various solitary bees, although it has been shown that the chemical effects will be worse for the solitary bees. Not only that, in the other groups in that trial, only a third of the pollen came from treated crops, so to protect the bees from the chemical, it needs dilution from natural , clean pollen sources. I suggest that in the US, these are getting few and far between. We are luckily in Australia that we still have a large area of natural uncontaminated foraging area for our bees.

Perhaps one beneficial effect of this ban, will be to trigger research work to prove or disprove the chemical effects out there.

Obviously, the Tasmanian beekeeper has had a poor experience with canola, and is honest enough to say so. I have heard of this numerous times from around Australia. It is great to have someone like that in his position. The very nature of the sub-lethal dose received when foraging on such crops is that it will not be seen at that time, but months later. Then it will be buffered by other pollen sources, other honey sources. It will be nurse bees getting a close to lethal dose while feeding larvae, those larvae then developing to have navigation problems, behavioural problems. This simply never happens in one crop cycle. So it can be argued, there is no harmful effect. But it is there, just waiting to express itself when the conditions and bee life cycles combine to become overwhelming for the colony.

Sorry to be going on about this, but I have had some other news about comments made by other Australians . To say I was disgusted, puts it mildly, in view of the decision that has just been made in Europe. I had to say my piece.

Bob Luttrell

From: robertb.luttrell@
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 8:23 AM
To: ANBees@yahoogroups. com
Subject: Re: [ANBees] Re: those chemicals again

It is looking likely that the UK will not implement a ban even though the rest of Europe will. free/2013/ apr/29/beware- rise...
The articles in the Guardian have been the links that I have posted on this group and this shows the feelings in the UK. I heartilly agree with the sentiments of the journalist towards the chief UK scientist, especially when it comes to those failed experiments on which the UKs stand is based. Amazing that they can take such a position on such results.

From: robertb.luttrell@
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:51 AM
To: ANBees@yahoogroups. com
Subject: Re: [ANBees] Re: those chemicals again

Hello all
Amazingly, the vote has got up. For 2 years the neonicotinoids will be banned in Europe on crops that are attractive to bees. It is , at least to me, a logical outcome. It is a major win in the campaign. What will now happen with the EPA in the US? They are the ones who started it all with their faulty registration processes 2013-04-29/ eu-to-ban- pesticides- lin...
I actually waited up for this news, watched a bit of sci-fi as I did

From: robertb.luttrell@

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