Archive | April 29, 2014



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Magnetogram 29.04.14  21.48 hrs UTC

Summary For 2014 – 234 Animal Mass Death Events In 50 Countries


Summary For 2014 – 234 Animal Mass Death Events In 50 Countries

Thousands of Bees continuing to die off in Elmwood, Canada

A finger points to a honey bee, carrying sacks of yellow bee pollen which are used to feed the honeybees in the hive, which has died right at the entrance to one of Dave Schuit's beehives near Elmwood on Friday, April 25, 2014. All three bees in this photo have died inches from the hive entrance. Schuit a former organic farmer who owns Saugeen Country Honey is claiming that neonicotinoid pesticides are responsible for the die off. He believes that neonicotinoid pesticides have killed 65,000,000 of his honeybees in the last two years.  (The Sun Times\JAMES MASTERS\QMI Agency).

The first pollen of the season has brought some frightening sights for a local beekeeper.

Dead and dying bees are already showing up at his bee yards and Dave Schuit of Saugeen Country Honey in Elmwood said Friday it is a clear sign the neonicotinoid pesticides used on crop seeds are in the soil, water and plants.

“We believe it is in the soil, it is in the water,” Schuit said from a bee yard near Elmwood where he was gathering dead bees. “The pussy willows are stating to come out, they are drawing up water and the pesticide goes up with it.”

Schuit said the yard he was at Friday was the second one this spring where dead bees were found in the hundreds and thousands.

A finger points to a honey bee, carrying sacks of yellow bee pollen which are used to feed the honeybees in the hive, which has died right at the entrance to one of Dave Schuit's beehives near Elmwood on Friday, April 25, 2014. All three bees in this photo have died inches from the hive entrance. Schuit a former organic farmer who owns Saugeen Country Honey is claiming that neonicotinoid pesticides are responsible for the die off. He believes that neonicotinoid pesticides have killed 65,000,000 of his honeybees in the last two years.  (The Sun Times\JAMES MASTERS\QMI Agency).

In both instances Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency has been contacted to do tests on the insects. The bees had pollen on them and the wings were flared forward, a sign of acute pesticide poisoning, Schuit said.

“Just because we see some bees here that are dying, what about the bees that are not making it back?” said Schuit. “I am seeing a couple hundred here, but it is several thousand. It is just that they are not in front of the hive, the bees are not making it back.”

Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticide used on crop and vegetable seeds. They have recently been linked to colony collapse disorder, a blight that has impacted beekeepers since at least 2006.

Some scientists and insecticide companies have also suggested that mites are to blame for the bee deaths.

Schuit said 2012 was the first time he started noticing major bee kills at his hives.

“I have, over the last two years, lost over 65 million bees,” he said. “I cannot sustain this.”

Schuit said he should have about 2,000 hives in 35 yards in an area that stretches from Ayton to Scone. He doesn’t know if he will have enough bees to operate 800 hives.

“I believe it is reverseable, but I am looking at five or six years before we see a great improvement,” said Schuit.

A Health Canada spokesperson referred a reporter to a statement on the Health Canada website that was updated Thursday about the government agency’s planned action on neonicotinoid pesticides.

The statement says new measures have been implemented this year to address the problems of exposure of bees during planting of treated corn and soybean seeds. The measures include safer planting practices and new labels with enhanced warnings.

Health Canada has also asked for additional information to support the continued need for neonicotinoid treatment on corn and soybean seed.

“Results of these measures to protect bees from exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides will be closely monitored as the 2014 planting season progresses,” the statement says. “Pending the outcome of these measures we will consider if any further actions may be necessary.”

The measures are in response to a notice of intent to protect bees from exposure to neonicotinoids by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

The Health Canada statement said a very high number of comments were submitted in response to the NOI consultation. Just under 90% of the respondents supported taking further action, including a ban or moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides.

“Health Canada shares Canadians’ concern regarding the importance of and need for a healthy bee and pollinator population,” the statement says. “We are working with regulatory authorities around the world to understand any potential impacts this class of insecticides may be having on bees.”

A re-evaluation of neonicotinoids in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency has been accelerated and an interim report is expected by 2015, the statement says.

Sara Lauer, a Health Canada media relations officer, confirmed via e-mail Friday that Health Canada has received reports of bee deaths in southwestern Ontario this spring.

“Per normal procedure, these bee mortalities will be assessed to determine if there is any relationship with pesticide exposure,” Lauer wrote. “These reports originate from similar locations as previous years.”

Schuit said the measures being introduced don’t go far enough.

“What they are doing is a Band-Aid that won’t stick,” said Schuit. “The outright ban is the only solution.”

Schuit, who has posted videos of the bee kills at his hives on the Saugeen Country Honey Facebook page, said he isn’t the only beekeeper experiencing the massive bee die-offs. There are reports of similar incidents across southern Ontario.

On Tuesday, an Oxford County beekeeper reported a massive bee kill at one of his operations near the community of Norwich. The bees showed signs of neonicotinoid poisoning.

Schuit said many beekeepers choose not to report die-offs because many have crop insurance and reporting die-offs can void that.

The issue is an extremely serious one for society as a whole, Schuit said.

“This is also going to be killing the native bees, it is going to kill all pollinators,” he said. “When we have no pollinators left, there is no chocolate, there is no coffee, there is no fruit and vegetables.

“We can live without pork, we can live without honey, but we cannot live without pollinators.”

Schuit is also concerned about the impact neonicotinoids have on the health of humans.

“It’s in our water, it’s in our food, it’s in our drinks,” said Schuit. “I don’t know where it is not.

“You can’t help but think it is going up the chain. The pollinators are blowing the whistle by their death.”

Large fish kill found in a reservoir in Nanchong, China

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Nanchong a reservoir large area of ​​dead fish on April 24, in Nanchong City, Edmond Bridge Reservoir, local governmental organizations salvage of dead fish on the water. April 20 began, Shunqing District, located in the town of Nanchong City, Sichuan Province, Taiwan, Luxi Town, Hail Bridge Reservoir Dalin Township, emerging at the junction of a large number of dead fish. Currently, the local water samples have been taken for testing, investigate the cause of dead fish.

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500,000 Carp die suddenly in a river in Kentucky, America

Scientists are studying the cause of a massive fish kill in western Kentucky, which state wildlife officials are saying is the largest kill of its kind recorded.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources reports around 500,000 Asian carp died within a 24-hour period Wednesday on the Cumberland River just below Lake Barkley. KDFWR Fisheries Biologist Paul Rister says soon after discovering the kill fisherman were still catching fish,

“One group of gentlemen had just pulled in their limit of white bass,” Rister said.

The impact on just Asian carp has biologists and a state aquaculture specialist flummoxed.  Bob Durborow is an Aquaculture Specialist at Kentucky State University and has 30 years of experience, He says he hasn’t seen anything of this magnitude before. Durborow is testing specimens he received on Thursday.

“You know, they were of course dead,” he said of the specimens. “But, they appeared live. Their eyes looked like they were live their gills looked they were from live fish they were a good specimen to check. So, I feel confident that what we find from these fish might give us an indication of what is actually the problem.”

Durborow thinks a lack of oxygen may be the cause of the fish kill but he’s investigating the possibility of parasites bacteria and viruses. But Kentucky Fisheries Director Ron Brooks disagrees.

He says there’s always plenty of oxygen in the water this time of year. He also says the Barkley Dam wasn’t spilling water to create excess oxygen.  He’s thinking there could be a virus or bacteria to blame.

“There is a brain pathogen that has been found in Asian carp in previous smaller kills it is called Lactococcosis possibly it could be that and that is what we’re going to be looking for in more fish we got to the labs,” Brooks said.

Durborow anticipates have all test results in a month’s time.

Asian Carp are invasive, fecund and troublesome to game fish. If scientists find the source of the kill then it could prove to be helpful to those battling the fish.

“It’d be nice for them to be able to isolate that and create a biological bullet to combat Asian Carp,” Brooks said.

But, that could spell trouble to some businesses that are trying to capitalize on the rapidly expanding Asian carp population.

Massive die off of bees reported in Oxford County, Canada

Beekeeper John VanBlyderveen points to a frame he suspects is contamined with neonicotinoid pesticide. He removed dozens of these frames from his hives in hopes he could stop his bees from being poisoned over the winter.  TARA BOWIE / SENTINEL-REVIEW / QMI AGENCY

Planting season hasn’t even started yet and at least one Ontario beekeeper is reporting a massive bee kill at one of his yards.

John VanBlyderveen, owner of Oxford Honey and Supplies, said Pest Management Regulatory Agency inspectors took dead bee samples from one of his yards in Newark, just west of Norwich, Tuesday.

Inspectors also took pollen samples from nearby bee-foraged plants for the first time since studies started on neonicotinoid poisoning.

“There were dead bees out front, partially paralyzed. It’s typical neonicotinoid poisoning,” he said. “Residual toxicity levels out there are killing the bees even before planting starts.”

VanBlyder veen knows at least one other beekeeper planning to report a massive bee kill already this year. This beekeeper is located about three hours north of London.

Although winter losses are normally expected between the 10 to 20% range, VanBlyderveen said at least 43 % of his bees died over the winter, despite efforts that included removing frames from hives suspected of having honey contaminated with neonicotinoid residue.

“If the honey is there, they are forced to use it,” he said. “I consider myself lucky at that rate. There are others that lost 90% and some that aren’t planning to replenish.”

Because of the poisonings last year, his bees produced half of his usual honey crop, totalling about 22 kilograms (50 pounds).

Vanblyderveen doesn’t hold insurance on his hives because insurance doesn’t cover bee kills, just lost honey production.

“If you report a bee kill, they’ll cancel your insurance,” he said.

He’s contemplated leaving the industry but is determined to continue on as long as he can in hopes he can help put a stop to neonicotinoid use.

“I see this as a chemistry problem. This is not a farming problem. They are doing what they can to minimize the exposure, but it’s a chemistry problem,” he said.

VanBlyderveen has heard at least four large beekeeping operations in Ontario that each have at least 200 hives are calling it quits this year, which has left some fruit and vegetable farmers scrambling to find pollinators for this year’s crops.

“There is a shortage of bees to pollinate from the 401 south down to the lake. The losses are extremely high this year,” he said.

Although large beekeepers might be leaving the business, Vanblyderveen knows of many hobby and smaller beekeepers that are starting up operations.

“For the last five or six years, there’s been an increase in bee awareness. The hobby business is growing. Those people want to do good for the environment and some of are just generally interested. They want to see what is going on first hand,” he said.

Adding to the ongoing issues surrounding pesticide use is the late spring, setting beehive repopulation back even farther.

Vanblyderveen thinks it could have negative effects on blueberry production on the East Coast, which relies on bees being sent from Southern Ontario to pollinate.

“The rebuilding is going slow for everyone because of the late spring,” he said.

Vanblyder veen has set out sugar syrup in some of his bee yards to help his bees. He’s shied away from the practice because he knows they will eventually forage for their own food.

“If they have their choice between nectar and the sugar syrup, they go for the nectar. You can’t stop them,” he said. “This year because of the cold late spring I’ve had to help them by putting it out.”

Because he’s already experienced one possible neonicotinoid bee kill already, he’s fearful of what will happen to his surviving bees once planting season starts in the next few weeks.

“Not only are they being poisoned at planting time but we lose foragers all year round. This stuff is building up. It’s a loose molecule in the soil. Who knows how far it will go?” he said. “If I was the general public I’d insist for the Ministry of Environment check air samples.”

Large amount of fish wash up dead along a river in La Chorrera, Panama

24.04.14 La Chorrera, Panama

Large amount of fish wash up dead along a river in La Chorrera, Panama

2 Million fish found dead in a dam in Tehran, Iran

Fish Kill Alert

Some 2 million fish are found dead in Tehran province’s Fashafuyeh dam due to water pollution.

Reports suggest that the incident has happened because the Vavan housing complex’s sewage system goes directly into the lake.

Mohsen Shokati, head of Rey City Environmental Protection Office, said that over 30 tons of fish have been killed in the past few days.

“Previously the housing complex’s sewage system poured into the lake through a canal, but now it directly goes to the lake,” he noted.

“Vavan housing complex needs a Water treatment facility. The construction work even started, but due to lack of budget the project was halted,” Shokati said, adding that the facility is currently 60 per cent complete.

He went on to note that Fashafuye dam’s water is being used for agriculture, fish farming, and animal husbandry.

Mass die off of honeybees found in Oregon, America

What caused mass honey bee die-off in Oregon?

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is investigating the die-off of thousands of honeybees in Sherwood.

KGW reports dead bees were found Sunday scattered along on Highway 99 at Sunset Boulevard.

State Insect Pest Prevention and Management specialist Pat Mitchell says there are many theories but the state won’t know what happened until samples are completely tested.

There are agricultural fields nearby.

Last year, tens of thousands of bees were found dead in a Wilsonville shopping center. Two companies were fined for spraying pesticide that killed the bees.

Mass die off of fish in Island lake in Ontario, Canada


Unusually thick ice is taking the blame for an above average winterkill of fish at Island Lake.

As the manmade body of water continues to melt, numerous visitors to the conservation area have reported spotting large amounts of dead fish surfacing on the lake.

According to Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), thick ice cover on the lake deprived fish of oxygen leading to their death.

Ice acts as a barrier between water and the air. Fish and decaying plants will consume oxygen available in the water eventually leading to suffocation. Winterkill is common in shallow lakes and ponds.

The water in Island Lake is about four feet deep. This winter, ice on the lake exceeded two feet in depth.

“We had unusually high depths of ice,” said Wayne White, chairman of the Friends of Island Lake. “It’s just an act of nature. It has nothing to do with water quality or anything else.”

Island Lake bass have suffered the brunt of the winterkill, according to White.

“The pike can survive on lower levels of oxygen,” he said.

Dead fish will usually surface in concentrated numbers where ice first begins to melt. White said dead fish sightings in the lake are being reported near Bob’s Bridges. However, the new boardwalk is not to blame for any aquatic casualties.

“It was quite a shock to people walking across Bob’s Bridges and seeing the fish there,” White said. “It was the first area for the ice to melt on the lake.”

CVC has implemented voluntary trial harvest limits on fishing at the lake.

Bill Lidster, CVC’s senior superintendent of conservation areas, said the limitation aims to allow the lake to replenish its own fish population.

“We’re confident with those trial harvest limits the lake will replenish itself,” Lidster said.

Although dead fish sightings may be gruesome, Lidster explained the overall percentage of fish that are dead is likely low.

“This is just a natural occurrence,” he said.

White added the fish fatalities wouldn’t have an impact on Friends of Island Lake’s fishing derby scheduled for early July.

CVC staff also plan to keep an eye on fish species that experience winterkill and the extent of any die-offs.

“We don’t want people to all of a sudden not register and think they won’t catch fish,” White said.

CVC is warning of the possibility of an increased winterkill throughout the entire Credit River watershed.