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  • Jerry Bromenshenk
    replied
    As well as other purposes. Interesting use of word pulverizing weeds. Most herbicides alter the growth dynamics of weeds.

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  • Edward
    replied
    Pesticides incorporate herbicides for pulverizing weeds and other undesirable vegetation, bug sprays for controlling a wide assortment of bugs, fungicides used to keep the development of molds and buildup, disinfectants for keeping the spread of microorganisms, and mixes used to control mice and rats.

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  • Jerry Bromenshenk
    started a topic Pesticides

    Pesticides

    Pesticides are poisons, but not all pesticides are poisonous to bees. Typically, pesticides fall into categories such as insecticides which usually are poisonous to bees, herbicides which target plants and may or may not affect bees, fungicides, and miticides. For our classes, we recommend obtaining from Wicwas Press a copy of the handbook of Pollinator Protection: A Bee and Pesticide Handbook, by Carl A Johansen and Daniel F. Mayer, the 2014 re-issue of their 1990 classic book. It's old but it's based on the life-long experience and knowledge of three of the true US experts in honey bee poisoning. Read it before you start commenting about pesticides - at least you'll have an understanding of the basic concepts. You'll also discover that although this book does not cover the neonicotinoids, it will provide you with the ability to compare these relatively new insecticides with the alternative which are covered in the book. This Handbook offers "a positive set of solutions to a usually negative topic. It advised and even demands co-operation between beekeepers and pesticide applicators. And it contains an enormous amount of information which Johansen and Mayer have collected over the years."

    As is the case with this Handbook and the Courses that we teach at the University of Montana, the purpose of Bee Health Guru is to address issues based on a sound background in science and the most recent research discoveries. As life-long scientists, like Johansen and Mayer, we follow the data, and if there is a question or debate, we do research to resolve the issue. What we do not do is to recklessly call for actions such as completely banning a class of chemicals that may or may not be a factor in colony loss, when the alternative chemicals are just as bad, if not worse for bees and clearly are far more harmful to humans and other animals. Are neonicotinoids harmful to bees - sure, when used improperly and in specific cases such as drift of neonic-contaminated planting dust. But you'll find even among beekeepers - those who think neonicotinoids are bad for bees and others that have found that their pesticide problems have been dramatically reduced by use of the newer pesticides. In other words, we still don't know. Our purpose and yours here, should be to help answer the questions.

    If you think, for example, that EPA should focus more on synergistic effects of chemicals - tell us how you would design an affordable test, what chemicals at what concentrations? If you want to test any or all of the neonicotinoids for harm, organize a study here - just be sure to use a positive control. Your test should include a standard control (no exposure or treatment with neonics), the treatment (the neonic of concern) AND a positive control (one of the classical pesticides known to be highly harmful to bees. That way you can compare which is worst - the new or the old. Remember, all insecticides are poisons. It's the dose that makes the poison. However the dose is not simply a factor of the toxicity of the chemical but is also that of other factors such as how applied. Typically, most of the older pesticides were sprayed on plants. The neonics were designed to be systemic pesticides, applied to seeds, to protect the young seedlings. By the time the crop is harvested, such as corn, the pesticide is more or less gone. Food market assays show that corn meal in the US has no detectable levels of neonics.

    Clearly, if someone, perhaps a group on this Forum, can show clear evidence that one class of pesticides, like the neonics are far more harmful to bee colonies than the alternatives, then critical decisions about use have to be made. But so far, the weight of evidence doesn't support a ban. IF you disagree, then set up and conduct the trials to prove your viewpoint - but do it on science-based information, not on emotional arguments.
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