Pesticide Issues


The Future: Pesticides and Fungicides

Randy Oliver Dave Hackenberg once quipped that “”Beekeepers have become the ugly stepchild of agriculture.” Despite their general disregard for us, perhaps there are lessons that we can learn from our agricultural stepparents. Pest Resistance Management Beekeepers worldwide, in their exuberant use of every miticide available, have accelerated the development of mites resistant to (surprise) […]

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Pesticide Incident Reporting

The EPA needs to know if pesticides are causing “incidents” involving honey bee mortality.  It is important for beekeepers to bring such incidents to the EPA’s attention, or they won’t know that there are problems! If your colonies experience a pesticide incident, please rule out any other possible causes first!  In many suspected pesticide kills, […]

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The Extinction of the Honey Bee?

Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com We call on you to vote to stop production and sale of neonicotinoid pesticides until and unless new independent scientific studies prove they are safe. The catastrophic demise of bee colonies could put our whole food chain in danger. If you act urgently with precaution now, we could save bees from extinction [1]. […]

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A New Large-Scale Trial of Clothianidin

First published in: American Bee Journal, September, 2012

Randy Oliver and Brett Adee The process for approving a new pesticide is similar to that of approving a new drug.  In the case of a drug, randomized controlled clinical trials are run to demonstrate efficacy and safety.  Then once the drug is approved for use, it essentially undergoes a more extensive “uncontrolled trial,” in […]

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Neonicotinoids: Trying To Make Sense of the Science

First published in: American Bee Journal, August, 2012

Trying to Make Sense of It All Look and You Shall Find It Looking at Both Sides of the Issue The Regulatory Gauntlet A Balancing Act Who Does the Testing? Academic versus Field Applicable Field Relevance Problems in Methodology and Interpretation Recent Studies References Randy Oliver Science is all about trying to understand things.  When […]

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Testing of Bee Feed Syrups for Neonicotinoid Residues

First published in: American Bee Journal, August, 2012

Eric Mussen1 and Randy Oliver2 The widespread adoption of the systemic neonicotinoid insecticides has led a number of beekeepers to question whether the commercially available corn, beet, or cane sugar syrups might be contaminated with residues of those insecticides. Introduction Beekeepers often feed some form of sugar syrup to colonies for either buildup or winter […]

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Neonicotinoids: Trying To Make Sense of the Science – Part 2

First published in: American Bee Journal, September, 2012

“Scientists have largely remained silent when the public discussion turns to the trade-off of benefits and risks from chemicals. They are often unwilling to engage controversial issues that could endanger their funding and research…The public interprets the unwillingness of scientists to engage those who campaign against chemicals as an implicit validation of their dangers. Those […]

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Sick Bees – Part 18F: Colony Collapse Revisited – Pesticides

First published in: American Bee Journal January 2013

Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com Pesticides A Bit of History Nailing Down the Guilty Party Keep ‘em Honest! Pesticides and CCD Making the Link Acknowledgements References As long as I’ve been keeping bees, one of our worst fears has been that we might suffer a serious pesticide kill.  Pesticides (especially insecticides) have always been, and will continue to […]

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Sick Bees – Part 18F2: Colony Collapse Revisited – Plant Allelochemicals

First published in: American Bee Journal February 2013

Plant Allelochemicals Nature Is Not Nice Toxic Pollen and Nectar Definitions Have You Ever Noticed Plant Toxic Effects? What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger An Unintended Effect on Varroa? Self Medication Tritrophic Interactions Bee Detoxification of Allelochemicals Acknowledgements References Plant Allelochemicals How do pesticides relate to colony collapse?  That sounds like a simple question, […]

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Sick Bees – Part 18F2: Colony Collapse Revisited – Keeping A Leaky Boat Afloat

First published in: American Bee Journal March 2013

Keeping A Leaky Boat Afloat Keeping a Leaky Boat Afloat. 1 the leaky boat analogy. 1 Why would bees collect toxic pollen?. 2 Almond pollen. 4 colony-to-colony variation. 5 bee genetics or gut endosymbionts?. 5 summary (so far). 6 Acknowledgements References Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com The Leaky Boat Analogy One way to put pesticide impacts upon bee […]

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Sick Bees – Part 18F2: Colony Collapse Revisited – Environmental Toxins

First published in: American Bee Journal April 2013

Environmental Toxins New Chemicals in the Environment Fear of Chemicals – It Ain’t Just Pesticides Irrational Fear of “Chemicals” Manmade Chemicals General Environmental Pollutants Natural Elements Those Danged Bees! Poor Colony Survival Reality Check Acknowledgements References and Notes Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com   I left off last month with the analogy of the bee colony being akin […]

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Sick Bees – Part 18F2: Colony Collapse Revisited – Synthetic Pesticides

First published in: American Bee Journal May 2013

Synthetic Pesticides Synthetic Pesticides Preadaptation Interactions Between Synthetic and Natural Toxins Toxicological Eras in Honey Bee Evolution The “Varroa Era” Conclusion Addendum: The Beekeepers’ Responsibility Acknowledgements References Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com OK, I hope that since explaining that bees have always had to deal with natural plant toxins, and more recently, with human pollution, that I […]

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Sick Bees Part 18F9: Colony Collapse Revisited – The Bee/Pesticide Problem Complex

First published in: American Bee Journal, January 2014

Sick Bees Part 18F9: Colony Collapse Revisited – The Bee/Pesticide Problem Complex Examples Of Improved Technology The Transition The “Bee/Pesticide Problem Complex” Pesticide Hazard Quotients A More Relevant Figure? Wrap Up Acknowledgements Citations and Footnotes Part 1 Randy OliverScientificBeekeeping.com In my lifetime I’ve witnessed a wholesale shift in our attitudes toward pesticides.    We’ve gone from […]

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Amitraz: Red Flags Or Red Herrings?

First published in: American Bee Journal, October 2014

CONTENTS Amitraz: Red Flags or Red Herrings? A Potential Bombshell Narrowing In On Suspects Another Possible Correlation? The Correlation Over Time Spurious Correlations In Defense Of Amitraz Amitraz And Varroa A Change In The Works Beekeeping Diligence Safety To Humans Prevalence Of Amitraz Residues In Hives Development Of Resistance By Mites To Amitraz Mode Of […]

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Effect of Amitraz on Buildup of Nucs

First published in: American Bee Journal, October 2014

Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com Introduction and Objectives I was surprised by the slow buildup and lack of drawing of foundation by the nucs in my 2013/14 Pollen Supp Trial. Although the colonies were started during a dearth, due to the near-continual feeding of syrup, I fully expected them to build more rapidly. They didn’t start to […]

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