Threshold mechanisms in acetylcholine pathway insecticides and environmental safety

UPDATE 12/7/17:  I realized I could, with a few assumptions, calculate the relative metabolic load imposed by residual levels of the two classes of insecticide we are discussing. This section is in progress and will be added. I also corrected a couple of the equations. Overview Previously we looked at some of the basic principles... Continue Reading →

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The Mechanisms of Neuro-toxic Pesticides

Agricultural pesticides have become part of the chemical landscape that we all  live in.  To be able to make intelligent decision about the use and regulation of these chemicals, it's important to understand how they work.  Almost all modern pesticides are chemicals that interfere in some way with the nervous system. The characteristics of the... Continue Reading →

Environmental Implications of Pesticides with Delayed Toxicity

The debate about the environmental safety, or lack there of, for the neonicotinoid insecticides begs us to ask what would be the characteristics of an environmentally safe or benign pesticide?  Despite a growing and flourishing organic agriculture movement, industrial agriculture is not going away any time soon.  Hence it is important to understand how to... Continue Reading →

Neonics and Bees — Political Inaction Persists Despite Mounting Evidence

Over the course of the last year, the issue of bees and the neonicotinoid pesticides has finally begun to appear in the popular press in this country.  A campaign by Friends of the Earth in the UK resulted in major garden center chains removing the neonics from their shelves in February of last year.  Early... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 →

I’m getting rid of Imidacloprid – Avoiding the Worst Neonicotinoid Insecticides

I'm often asked which products are OK and which should be avoided.  Hence the mnemonic in the title to help you remember I'm getting rid of Imidacloprid.  Say it three times out loud, and when you read the labels at the garden store you will remember:  I'm getting rid of Imidacloprid. When it comes to... Continue Reading →

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