Time-dependent Toxicity of Imidacloprid in Bees and Ants

Honeybee colony losses continue to be unacceptably high.  In the US this spring, colonies brought in to California to pollinate almonds from throughout the country, about half of the colonies were lost (New York Times, March 29, 2013).  It is generally accepted that multiple pathogens ultimately bring down stressed colonies (Cornman 2012).  However the role... Continue Reading →

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Resolving the Imidacloprid Paradox and the CCD Connection

There are quite a number of studies that show imidacloprid and other neonicotinoid insecticides don't do much damage to honeybees at levels expected in field conditions.  Yet there is plenty of evidence that "country" bees do better than "farm" bees. The big migratory beekeepers are the one's suffering the most, often with losses over 100% a year,... Continue Reading →

The Case Against Imidacloprid

Ever since French beekeepers saw their bees dying as they collected pollen from treated sunflowers back in 1996, beekeepers have been concerned that their bees are being harmed the highly toxic neonicotinoid insecticides, with imidacloprid most widely used. The use of this class of insecticide has grown steadily ever since. Bee losses have become chronic... Continue Reading →

Banning Bee-Killing Pesticides

Last week three major home store chains in the UK took insecticides with troublesome neonicotinoid systemics off their shelves.  The chains, Wicks, B&Q, and HomeBase no longer have insecticides containing clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, the three neonicotinoids deemed most toxic and problematic to honeybees in a recent announcement from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).  The EFSA recommends, among other things,... Continue Reading →

Keeping our Bees Alive

UPDATE 1/30/12:  Yet another study implicating Neonicotinoid insecticides.  This time the study looks at sub lethal levels of imidacloprid fed in spiked pollen substitute patties on the susceptibility of newly emerged bees to nosema infection.  There is clear evidence that although the bees themselves have an undetectable level of insecticide present, the ones fed contaminated pollen had higher levels of nosema spore... Continue Reading →

Nosema Ceranae

Parasites and their hosts live a delicate dance.  If the parasite kills the host, it may lose its habitat and perish as well, so most parasite-host relationships develop such that the parasite is a nuisance, but not life threatening to the host.  The problem we have with our bees at the moment, is that the most troublesome parasites... Continue Reading →

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