News and Blogs
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I occasionally comment on bee issues or the news, or link to interesting blogs by others on beekeeping, bee biology, or the environment.
I’m impressed by a recent blog by Dr. David Zaruk, who is a Risk Governance Analyst at Risk Perception Management and an Assistant Professor Adjunct in Communications at Vesalius College, VUB, and Facultés universitaires St-Louis in Brussels. He blogs under the name of the “Risk Monger.” He recently posted about the real-life agricultural and ecological consequences of the politically- (as opposed to scientifically-) motivated suspension of neonic seed treatments in the EU. http://risk-monger.blogactiv.eu/2014/09/30/the-save-the-bees-ban-failed-crops-and-another-precautionary-fail-who-is-to-blame/
Read previous blogs here:
Dec 2, 2013 If you have interest in the recent petitions to ban the neonics, I recommend reading a letter to the respected journal Nature by a British bee researcher, Lynn Dicks, in which she points out the problems with hurried setting of policy based upon political pressure rather than upon careful scientific evaluation of the evidence http://www.nature.com/news/bees-lies-and-evidence-based-policy-1.12443
Such a careful evaluation of all evidence is what I’m all about, even if that is unpopular with those who don’t want to be confused by the facts. I currently feel that the problem with planting dust from corn seeding has finally reached the point where the manufacturers either have to take responsibility for compensating beekeepers who suffer losses due to the application of their products, or EPA and PMRA need to restrict the use of neonic seed treatments to only planters that pass dust emission certification. However, I feel that to date there is not enough evidence to call for a complete ban on the neonics–there are simply too many beekeepers successfully keeping healthy hives in areas of seed-treated crops. Clearly this is a hot issue, and the neonics, along with all pesticides need to be closely watched and regulated. It appears to me that our regulatory agencies are doing a good job at this, even if progress seems to be excruciatingly slow.
The most recent blog of interest is on the real people involved in biotechnology (GMO’s). Steve Savage writes:
“As with any new technology, the development and commercialization of biotech crops is a story about people. Its a story about people with ideas and vision; people who did hard and creative work; people who took career or business risks, and people who integrated this new technology into the complex business of farming… Their story is important, but it tends to get lost in much of the conversation about biotech crops.
Many narratives about “GMOs” leave out the people side, presenting it instead as some faceless, monolithic phenomenon devoid of human inspiration, intention and influence. Thats not how it happened. Other narratives about “GMOs” demonize those who made biotech crops a reality. Such portrayals are neither fair or accurate. The real stories of these people matter, because trust in a technology is greatly influenced by what people believe about those behind it.”
Read the rest at: