Monday, July 15, 2013

Bumblebee Die off in Oregon....did we find the cause

Please read:,0,3014501.story

If you haven't read the above is the summary and then I will get on my soapbox...

In March using the pesticide "Safari" containing the ingredient dinotefuran that belongs to a class called neonicotinoids (which have been linked to the problem of hive collapse) the trees were sprayed long before they bloomed as required on the label but in late June they had 2 massive die offs of bees in the Portland-Hillsboro-Wilsonville area that killed off about 50,000+ bees--up from the 25,000 they originally thought.  The Oregon State Agriculture Department made the brave decision to net the approximately 200 trees that had been sprayed and cease the use of and even the sale of 18 products containing dinotefuran for agricultural, turf and ornamental as well as vegetable garden plantings making the use or sale of this chemical illegal for 180 days or until they have completed their investigation into the deaths of the 50,000 bees.  The option to continue the ban on neonicotinoids permanently is under investigation.

Now my soapbox....

HURRAY for the state of Oregon recognizing that a chemical pesticide derived from nicotine is not good for bees!  

Nicotine, in my opinion,  is not good for people or bees so why are the chemical companies still touting its use.  A limited search for the manufacturer of dinotefuran discovered it is manufactured in China. China does not have the regulations that in the USA that try to check for safety before something can be used in food.  It doesn't matter if it is human baby formula or pet food and treats or pesticides...they must be proven safe before being dumped into the environment.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against all chemical weapons against pests that eat our food crops because some are useful and relatively SAFE unlike the neonicotinoids.  We are fouling our planet and taking a chance on killing off the bees that pollinate 75% yes 3/4 of our food crops.  We are using a poison to kill the bees that ultimately feed us by pollinating our food crops and causing famine.  Wake up!  Get smart about the use of pesticides.  

Not only are neonicotinoids used in sprays but some people buy flea and tick collars for their dogs that contain dinotefuran along with pyrethrins.  The more we learn about pesticides including those I am writing about as well as DDT (remember the near loss of the large raptors due to concentrations of DDT in their eggs making the shells soft??) the more I question how much influence the chemical companies have over the EPA.  We need to band together and say no more random use of pesticides polluting our world.  

I saw a man put a nationally know broad-leaf herbicide and grass nutrient (Weed and Feed) broadleaf herbicide on his yard at twice the recommended concentration.  Yes he applied it by a spreader going lengthwise in his yard and then crossways (yes in a crosshatch pattern) giving his yard a double dose but he also made a spiral around his large shade tree giving it a lethal dose of herbicide.  His ornamental shrubs also died.  The Weed and Feed is registered by the EPA but he used it at more than double the concentration recommended and ignored the label that specifically states do not use within 50 feet of a tree or shrub you do not want to kill.  He had known that my DH is a forester and asked if he would come tell him what 'bug' killed his tree.  I told him it was most likely an herbicide poison in the Weed and Feed product he put on the yard as the leaves had the typical herbicide curl. It is time to ban all pesticides that are not applied by a licensed applicator to protect us all.  Currently the use of herbicides and pesticides in residential areas is at 10 times the concentration that is used in agricultural areas.  We need that to change.  

Off my soapbox.  


1 comment:

StringyDogs said...

Wow, I knew about tracheal mites in honey bees, but nothing about bumble bees suffering hive collapse. Amazing that the pesticide was not tested on bees in advance - though it seems a very, very low dose is needed to kill them. Thank you for the update. I had missed this completely.