Experts said the suspected pesticide poisoning
Last week, the caidian Wing Yu Yin and area, with a dozen beekeepers encounter trouble: Italian bees inside the hive swarms of death, dead bees everywhere on the road.
Yesterday morning, reporters in Caidian Yu Yin Zhen Yang Village, the two groups met outside the room beekeepers yellow soldiers arrayed hundreds of beehives, concrete floor next to the dead bee dense, weed also visible piles of dead bees . Huang Bing, he raised 130 boxes of Italian bees, four months after the canola flower to collect nectar Xiantao, before January return Yuxian, arrived in early June to prepare Dawu, take honey from the bars, only to depart yet Italian bees large number of deaths. About a week ago, there is sporadic Italian bees died Huangbing Gang started yet did not care, then more dead more Italian bees, now he had been dead for eighty percent of Italian bees.
Huang Bing surrounding beekeepers have encountered the same problem. Yang Village thirty-four mile away from the old Village Yonganzhen Caidian, Zhu Yuan beekeeping for more than ten years. 朱 玉安 said, each box there are about 28,000 Italian bees began to emerge from the week before dead bees, and has now lost Qi Cheng. He said, according to the loss of 20,000 per case basis, he lost up to 2.4 million Italian bees. “If we can arrive Dawu bullion flowers, 120 boxes of honey bees can collect 6000 pounds!” Zhu Yuan sad to say, his family lost several million.
According to statistics, around the damaged beekeepers reached 13, reaching more than 1,000 beehives box, all yearn to find out why beekeepers Italian bees dead.
Yesterday afternoon, the Bureau of Animal Husbandry Caidian technology promotion stations 周科长 interview with reporters, said that after receiving the reflected beekeepers, Huazhong Agricultural University has invited experts on-site investigation, experts believe that the suspected pesticide poisoning. He also said that if you want to find out the cause of death, to the dead bees to the Fujian Institute of Animal dissection laboratory.
Beekeepers say the recent few flowering plants and vegetables, wild flowers can not play pesticides, only a large area planted near cabbage flower, suspect with this. Caidian technology promotion stations 周科长 Animal Husbandry Bureau, said there are beekeepers believe that excessive pesticide cabbage flowers can be reflected to the District Agricultural Bureau.
One by one, the 65 beekeepers talked about the harsh toll the frigid winter took on their bee colonies, and how a late start to spring has delayed the blooming of dandelions — depriving bees of one of their first sources of nectar and starving them to death.
The consensus at the meeting of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association was about 50 percent of everyone’s honeybees died during the colder-than-usual winter. Normally, the winter die-off would be about 20 percent.
“I’ve never seen a winter like this one in regards to bee losses,” said Charlie Vorisek, president of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association. He told the group that he lost 67 of his 135 hives — resulting in the death of 530,000 honeybees.
The above-average bee die-off means locally produced honey is scarce and more expensive. Mr. Vorisek, for instance, has raised prices about 50 cents a pound.
“A lot of other guys are sold-out,” said Mr. Vorisek, 59, who has been a beekeeper in Linesville for the past 24 years.
Fewer bees also mean less pollination in cherry and apple orchards, and crops that feed dairy cows. Mr. Vorisek said he expects to see higher prices for fruits, vegetables and almonds in local markets.
He recently surveyed the more than 800 members in the state’s beekeeper association about the winter die-off. The study is continuing, he said, but so far about 200 responses have showed 41 percent of colony losses statewide.
Charles Schroeck considers himself lucky.
The longtime Millcreek Township beekeeper went into the winter with 12 colonies of honeybees. Eleven survived.
“I expected this spring would be a disaster. This has been the coldest winter since I’ve been keeping bees,” said Mr. Schroeck, 69, a beekeeper for 34 years. “I was pleasantly surprised.”
Mr. Schroeck, who teaches beekeeping at Asbury Woods Nature Center in Millcreek, said his bees have less exposure to pesticides found in agricultural areas that weaken bees.
He also fed his bees in the fall. It was a rich, syrupy mixture of sugar and water, something he’s never given them in the past. Mr. Schroeck lost eight of his 12 hives last winter, and figured he’d experiment with the fall feeding.
Bee populations in recent years have already been devastated by the mysterious colony collapse disorder, the cause of which is still unidentified by researchers. But this winter and spring, beekeepers dealt with a different dilemma.
On Monday morning, temperatures dipped into the low 30s at Mr. Vorisek’s Backyard Bee Farm, 15834 Linesville Road, in Crawford County. The beekeeper also operates a roadside stand on his 2.5-acre property, where he sells a dozen varieties of honey, and skin products, candles and lip balm all made of beeswax.
Mr. Vorisek saw frost covering the windows of his car and glistening off the grass.
He surveyed his hives. The bees that survived the winter have begun laying eggs and rebuilding the population. They’ll do that through this month and into June. But there also were clusters of dead bees inside the hives.
They were stuck in small spots due to the extreme, persistent cold — unable to move around inside the hive, even though the hive still held honey they could have eaten — and eventually froze to death.
Perry and Beverly Riley have been beekeepers for 9 years. Since last summer, Perry has lost about 80-percent of his bees. He says last year’s drought hurt, and then this past winter did in a number more.
“They’re already weak, and that just put the hammer to them,” said Perry.
As if bad weather weren’t enough, beekeepers like the Riley’s will tell you there’s an even more dangerous bee killer out there: pesticides farmers use in their fields.
“They don’t kill them all at once. It’s a slow kill. They’ll go in in the winter, and by spring they’re dead,” said Perry.
Purdue University says bees are dying by the thousands. A dry spring means the pesticides can be wind blown onto plants like dandelions. When bees come to pollinate, they’re in essence covered in poison, which they take back to their hives.
“It’s just like you eating a little bit of rat poison every day. If you keep eating it long enough, you’ll get sick and die,” said Perry.
So what does this mean for you? Honey bees are responsible for 80% of all pollination that happens in nature. Without bees, fruit trees will not be as productive.
“They say other insects will pollinate. The other insects all die,” said Perry. “So in the spring when your fruit comes in, the honey bees are the only one with the numbers to do it.”
Prices of fruits, plums, and oranges could go up if the bees continue to die. Perry hopes we take a closer look at the chemicals used on crops. He says the bee shortage is at a serious stage.
“We’re at the first stage of people starting to wonder what we’re going to do.” But Perry fears nothing may be done until we start to see the consequences of killing off our honey bees.
Prices on California almonds are also going up due to a bee shortage there. The industry even resorted to importing honey bees from Australia so trees could be pollinated.
Millions of bees have died this winter devastating hives across Ohio and Southern Ontario, America/Canada
Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine, published by A.I. Root Co., checks one of two surviving demonstration hives on display at the company’s West Liberty Street campus in Medina. Two other hives died out as a result of the harsh winter.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.