Cornell University is breeding nine-spotted ladybugs. The N.Y. insect had not been seen for 30 years in the state. There are four spots on each wing cover and the ninth is at the split at the front where the two meet.
Cornell University is breeding nine-spotted ladybugs. The N.Y. insect had not been seen for 30 years in the state. There are four spots on each wing cover and the ninth is at the split at the front where the two meet.

Once extremely common in New York, the nine-spotted became rare over the last 40 years and was even thought to be extinct, said Leslie Allee, a Cornell entomologist.

Allee and another Cornell entomologist, John Losey, formed the Lost Ladybug Project in 2000 to investigate why the nine-spotted and two other ladybug species that were once common in North America had become so rare so fast.

Ladybugs may have an adorable name and look pretty cute, but they also have an important job to do: They eat other insects.

"If we didn't have ladybugs we would need to use much higher levels of pesticides," Allee said. "So not only are they saving us money and saving crops, but they are also contributing to human health by reducing the level of pesticides that are needed."

Combining research with citizen science, the project uses photos and actual ladybugs submitted by people across the country to map where certain ladybug species are found, study differences between them and breed them. So far, 13,370 photos of ladybugs have been contributed by people around the country and Canada.

But no contribution was more significant than last July when project volunteer Peter Priolo organized a group search in Amagansett on Long Island, N.Y. Priolo spotted a nine-spot in a patch of sunflowers on an organic farm. It was the first one found in New York in 30 years and just the second found on the East Coast in the last 40 years, Allee said.

"This completely shifted our research data because it wasn't just one, it was a nice-sized population," Allee said.

Members of the lab in Ithaca headed to Amagansett to collect a bunch of the ladybugs. Now, there are about 100 nine-spotted ladybugs living in plastic containers in the lab. With a steady diet of aphids, housed in a climate-controlled room connected to the lab, the population should grow by 25 percent every three to four weeks. Along with Allee and Losey, undergraduate and graduate students work in the lab feeding the ladybugs, collecting data and cleaning the plastic homes.

So far, research from the project has yielded three different theories on the disappearance of the nine-spotted ladybugs: competition with invasive species of ladybugs; hybridization; and changes to the environment, such as climate change.

On hybridization, for example, the lab is looking at if it is possible that the nine-spotted could have interbred with the seven-spotted and essentially bred itself out of existence.

The conditions in the lab are better than in nature, Allee said, as the temperature is regulated, food is given regularly and there are no predators around. Though the project is about five to 10 years away from reintroducing the bug back into the environment, that remains a possibility, Allee said.

In addition to the research, a significant part of the Lost Ladybug Project is about outreach to community members, said Rebecca Smyth, who corresponds with the people who submit photos. Smyth can only remember one day last year when she did not receive a photograph.

"I saw there were no submissions and I thought, 'can this be true?'" she said. "But then I thought, 'Well it is Christmas, so that is OK."

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Berkeley Daily Planet, May 20, 2012

It was mid-afternoon on May 16 when more than 30 activists [the news said 90
people attended] began arriving at San Pablo Park. The crowd was greeted by the
lyrics of David Mallett's "Garden Song," performed by the guitar-wielding,
guerilla trio known as Occupella. Passersby could tell this was not your
average Berkeley demo (as if there were such a thing). First clue: Half the
crowd was dressed up as bees.

This West Berkeley park was the staging ground for a self-declared human
"Bee-in at Bayer." The goal: to call attention to the chemical maker's role in
producing a pesticide linked to "Colony Collapse Disorder," a mysterious
syndrome that suddenly turns once-healthy hives into empty shells devoid of
bees.

entrance Bayer Berkeley site

"Our entire ecological system depends on pollinators," the organizers noted in
a handout. "Ninety percent of our food crops are pollinated by bees." Occupella
underscored this point by breaking into another song that chorused: "For every
third bite of food, thank the bees."

In addition to protestors in bee-garb, several people showed up in full-body
beekeeper suits, complete with netted hats. Turns out they really were
beekeepers. Underneath one wide-brimmed and netted hat was Kathryn Gilje,
co-director of the Pesticide Action Network. Asked how her backyard hive in
Oakland was faring, she replied: "The bees are doing just great. Producing lots
of honey." Not every hive is so lucky as to have a member of PAN as a
caretaker.

Another less-fortunate local bee-host explained how she became concerned when
her own local community of backyard bees suddenly started to spiral into
decline. Her research led to the discovery of two neonicotinoid
pesticides—Imidacloprid and Clothianidin. Both are currently among Bayer's
best-selling products.

The trade-off could not be clearer. While the EPA's review of neonicotinoid
hazards is due to last through 2018, one third of the country's honeybees are
continuing to vanish every year. As an emailed call-to-arms from the Berkeley
East Bay Gray Panthers put it: "We can't afford to play the odds with
extinction so that Bayer can continue to make exorbitant profits."
bee die-in

Bayer recently made good on a seven-year-old promise to halt production of
Class 1 pesticides that threaten human health but has done nothing to reduce or
halt the production of Clothianidin and Imidacloprid, both of which target
"social insects" like bees. (A passing thought: Have you ever wondered whether
pesticide companies intentionally create tongue-tangling names for their
products? It certainly makes it hard to complain about a chemical if you can't
even pronounce it.)

Back at the park, new volunteers, who arrived dressed in black, were being
wrapped in circles of yellow ribbons that turned their black-bloc regalia into
a rough semblance of apian attire. A few more heartfelt speeches and we were
ready to march off to bee-devil Bayer the Slayer. The plan was simple: make a
beeline for the Bayer plant on Ninth Street and "Swarm!"

A parade of people bedecked as bees is certain to stir up enthusiasm from
neighbors and drivers and, sure enough, horns were tooted in sympathy as the
colorfully bee-decked activists flashed signs reading "Honk If You Like Bees."
One protestor was spotted holding a placard that read: "WASPS 4 BEES. White
Anglo-Saxon Protestor Against Bayer." Another protest sign drew attention to
Bayer's historic role as a major chemical weapons maker for Nazi Germany.

At one point, someone in the parade began singing, "All we are saying is: Give
Bees a Chance." It caught on immediately. In between the chorus, the marchers
also gave bees some chants (thanks to the family of one young agitator who
stayed up late into the night crafting the following shout-outs): "Our Food
System's Fallin' without the Bees' Pollen"; "Bees for Our Nation, Not for your
Corporation"; "No Bees, No Farms, No Food"; and the inevitable "Whose Bees? Our
Bees!"

As the bee-dazzled throng passed the Good Vibrations shop on San Pablo, a
reporter pointed out the company's motto, painted on the front door: "Creating
a buzz since 1977." Shouts of "Join us!" ensued.

While Bayer's Berkeley facility doesn't make Clothianidin, it's a fair target
for anger directed at the parent company. When no one at the plant offered to
meet with the circling swarm of drum-banging activists at the closed side gate,
several organizers delivered a short speech and symbolically presented Bayer
with the "Poisoned Heart Award." The prize took the form of a
disgusting-looking plastic sack stuffed with lumps and oozing a thick coating of
Hershey's chocolate sauce.
The swarm then took flight and alighted at Bayer's nearby Main Gate for a
die-in.

One by one, the bees shook, stumbled, and fluttered to the ground. Their final,
ad-libbed cries were poignant enough to elicit tears among the
bystanders. "But… I don't WANT to die!" moaned one young woman as she collapsed
on the pavement. "My honey!" another woman cried out, "I haven't finished
making my honey!"

As the bees sprawled silent and unmoving on the asphalt, bystanders looking
past the metal gate blocking entry to the plant noticed a strange,
sinister-looking cloud of vapor. It rose from behind a building and wafted
slowly across the facility, driven by the evening's breeze. Below the cloud, two
solemn protester stood holding a large banner. It read: “Mystery Solved! Bayer
Is Killing Bees.” By Gar Smith

Campaign for total ban of neonicotinoid pesticides:
www.cbgnetwork.org/3035.html

Food First, May 21st, 2012
Bayer Pesticides Kill Bees

"Bayer is killing bees, bring them to their knees!" buzzed our group of around
90 protesters dressed as bees and beekeepers as we marched from San Pablo Park
to the East Bay headquarters of the international corporation, Bayer, to honor
them with the satirical Poison Heart Award, for their outstanding role in
global bee population decline. East Bay's Taking Back Our Food System organized
the march and demonstration. And while many marchers are not directly involved
with the Occupy movement, they are united over the common belief that our bees
must be saved as many fruits and vegetables depend on bees for pollination.

Bee populations have been steadily declining for the past couple of decades and
many scientists have attributed it to the increased use of pesticides in
industrial agriculture. This trend is worrying because it not only endangers
the livelihoods of thousands of beekeepers and small farmers, but puts the
future of our global food system at risk. Honey bees pollinate 71 of the 100
most common crops, accounting for 90% of the world's food supply. Managed honey
bees are the most economically important pollinator. In fact more than one in
every three bites of food we eat depends on honey bees for pollination . Some
scientists have even narrowed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), described as "the
mysterious and massive die-off of bees across North America and Europe," to the
use of a specific pesticide that is manufactured by Bayer's clothianidin and
imidacloprid, first-generation neonicotinoids.

Bayer is not just the innocent aspiring manufacturer making aspirin.; They are
one of the largest manufacturers of pesticides in the U.S. and around the
world, along with other infamous companies such as Monsanto and Dow.

So how do neonicotinoids kill bees? Scientists have disclosed that
neonicotinoids disrupt insects' central nervous systems," and "spread through
the vascular tissues of plants." This is most disturbing because once the
pesticides spread they are "toxic through entire growing seasons, including
flowering times when bees consume their pollen." As pesticides infiltrate the
bees' central nervous system, their learning and navigational abilities are
disrupted. This also makes them susceptible to certain parasites. Essentially,
the pesticides fog up the bees' brain and make it difficult for them to find
their way back to the hive. Even If they are successful in making it back to the
hive though, it is most likely that the pollen that the bee has extracted and
brought back is infected with neonicotinoids, meaning the rest of the colony
will be affected resulting in complete collapse of that bee colony.

Today pesticides are a prevalent part of the food and agricultural system,
especially in the US. According to Pesticide Action Network (PANNA), 1,200
different pesticide active ingredients are approved and in use in 18,000
different product combinations. By contrast, France and Britain have registered
around 500 and 300, respectively. Mixtures of these chemical cocktails not only
infiltrate the bees' nervous system, but are stored in their wax and pollen, in
the soil, and in water droplets exuded by trees, and even in nearby untreated
land. This phenomenon creates a dangerous world of chemical exposure not only
for the bees, but for humans, frogs, bats, and a wealth of other plants and
animals that contribute to the health and biodiversity of our natural
environment.

While Bayer scientists have continuously reported that there is no evidence
that links neonicotinoids to the depletion of the bee population, there have
been independent scientific studies conducted around the world that prove
otherwise. On Wednesday, May 16 the Taking Back Our Food System protesters sent
a message to BAYER to stop manufacturing these pesticides because without bees,
there are no farms, which means there is no food. So, while the protesters may
have looked a little crazy buzzing through the streets of Berkeley, they did it
and will continue doing it because bees are crucial to the survival of the human
population, and it's essential to protect them so that then can do their jobs,
and we can continue to eat a variety of nutritious fruits and vegetables. By
Yvette Cabrera

Coalition against BAYER Dangers (Germany)
www.CBGnetwork.org(in English)
CBGnetwork@aol.com
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/pages/Coordination-gegen-BAYER-Gefahren-CBG/127538777294665
Fax: (+49) 211-333 940 Tel: (+49) 211-333 911
please send an e-mail to receive the English newsletter "Keycode BAYER" free of
charge. German/Italian/French/Spanish newsletters also available.

Advisory Board
Prof. Juergen Junginger, designer
Prof. Dr. Juergen Rochlitz, chemist, former member of the German parliament
Wolfram Esche, attorney
Dr. Sigrid Müller, pharmacologist
Dr. Angela Spelsberg, physician, board member Transparency International
Prof. Rainer Roth, social scientist
Eva Bulling-Schroeter, member of the German parliament
Prof. Dr. Anton Schneider, biologist
Dr. Janis Schmelzer, historian,
Dr. Erika Abczynski, pediatrician

New research shows that nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom are capable of destroying HIV cells while leaving others intact.

Bee Venom

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis (WU) say they’ve found a way to effectively destroy the HIV virus using a toxin found in bee venom.

The study, published Thursday in the journal Antiviral Therapy, states that the technique not only destroys the virus that causes AIDS, but also leaves surrounding cells intact.

Researchers say they hope the nanoparticle technology could be incorporated into a vaginal gel to prevent the spread of HIV in areas with high rates of infection.

How Nanoparticles & Bee Venom Destroy HIV

Microscopic nanoparticles have unique and exciting properties. In biomedicine, they are used to transport important proteins throughout the body. Bee venom’s principle toxin is melittin, a small protein. Researchers used nanoparticles to distribute melittin in laboratory studies.

Similar to the way a bee injects its venom into your skin using its stinger, the toxin melittin is able to poke holes in the protective coating of HIV and other viruses.

“We are attacking an inherent physical property of HIV,” Dr. Joshua L. Hood, a research instructor in medicine at WU, said in a press release. “Theoretically, there isn’t any way for the virus to adapt to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane that covers the virus.”

When researchers loaded the toxin into nanoparticles, they found that it didn’t harm normal cells because of a protective bumper added to the nanoparticle’s surface. Because HIV cells are smaller than regular cells, they slide between the bumpers while leaving healthy, normal cells intact.

Most current HIV treatments focus on inhibiting HIV’s ability to replicate, but do nothing to stop the initial infection. However, researchers say that because the venom-laced nanoparticles attack a crucial part of HIV’s structure, they can kill before the virus has a chance to infect a person.

How Bee Venom Nanoparticles Can Help Stop the Spread of HIV

Researchers say these bee venom nanoparticles could be used in a vaginal gel to help prevent the spread of HIV in developing countries, such as parts of Africa with a high HIV rate. They could also be used by people who want HIV protection, but not contraception.

“We also are looking at this for couples where only one of the partners has HIV, and they want to have a baby,” Hood said. “These particles by themselves are actually very safe for sperm, for the same reason they are safe for vaginal cells.”

Beyond preventive measures, Hood sees the potential for treating existing HIV infections. He theorizes that the nanoparticles could be injected into a person’s blood in order to clear HIV cells from the bloodstream.

The technology could also be used to combat other infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, because the viruses share a similar protective membrane to the HIV virus.

Dr. George Krucik, Healthline’s director of clinical content, said that while nanoparticle research is not new, much more research will be required before these results can be put to use in people.

“This delivery technology holds out the promise of destroying circulating viruses that have not entered a cell, so in theory they could prevent a virus from infecting a cell,” he said. “These laboratory experiments are known as proof of concept studies, which demonstrate the feasibility of the technology. The use of this technology in humans has yet to be explored and will require years of study and clinical trials to see if they are effective in real live people.”

Bee venom is also being studied for use in pain relief medications and anti-aging creams.

 SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

Risk from neonicotinoids is 'not acceptable' and EU must limit use to winter crops, says charity

pg-10-bee-killing-ap

Controversial nerve-agent pesticides widely linked to decline in bees around the world should be banned, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) says today.

Neonicotinoids should no longer be used on crops which attract bees and other pollinating insects, the RSPB says, in a call for the Government to support a proposed EU ban on the three most common neonicotinoid substances.

The intervention of the million-member society comes after a mounting tide of evidence indicating linkages between the use of the chemicals, made by the agribusiness giants Bayer and Syngenta, and collapses in colonies of honey bees and bumblebees.

More than 30 separate scientific studies in the last three years have shown adverse effects on insects from neonicotinoids, which are "systemic" insecticides, meaning they enter every part of the target plants – including the pollen and nectar which bees harvest. In January, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a scientific opinion recommending that the three main substances – imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam – should not be used on crops attractive to bees. RSPB agricultural policy officer Ellie Crane said yesterday: "We've been reviewing the science for a long time, and scientists are telling us that neonicotinoids might be killing bees.

"Everyone is basically coming to the same conclusion: there's a real and present danger on crops that are attracting bees because these substances are present in the pollen and the nectar. We have come to the conclusion that the risk is not acceptable." The call, formally made today on the blog of the RSPB Conservation Director, Martin Harper, will put significant pressure on the Government to go along with a recommendation from the European Commission, following the EFSA report, that the chemicals should indeed be withdrawn.

So far, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has refused to consider suspending or banning the substances, because it believes that there is no "unequivocal evidence" that they are causing harm.

Defra has now commissioned its own research into the impact of neonicotinoids on bees and the Department is waiting for the results of field studies being carried out by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA). These will be assessed by the Government's Advisory Committee on Pesticides, and on that basis, a decision will be taken about whether to support a ban.

The key vote will be in a Brussels meeting of the EU Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, to consider a draft regulation from the European Commission. This would restrict use of the three neonicotinoids to winter cereals and other crops that are not attractive to bees.

Original Article can be Viewed HERE

Dear all,

This may only be of key interest if you are involved in farming or food
production, though it will of course affect us all in the very near future.

If you know any farmers, food distributors or people who are involved in
farm-policy and conservation, please pass it on.

If you are concerned about Monsanto and Syngenta's bid to secure a virtual
monopoly on the supply of all crop seeds, please download and read the
following report from the American Centre for Food Safety.
This is a definitive document which will influence the debate for years to
come. Very good summary of the history and the issues.

 

LINK TO FOOD SAFETY

Original article from National Geographic

A combo of pesticides takes a toll on their memory and communication skills

A honeybee pollinates a flower.

Honeybees learn and remember the locations of flowers, but a new study shows they may be losing their way.

Photograph by John Kimbler, My Shot

Christy Ullrich

National Geographic News

Published February 13, 2013

A single honeybee visits hundreds, sometimes thousands, of flowers a day in search of nectar and pollen. Then it must find its way back to the hive, navigating distances up to five miles (eight kilometers), and perform a "waggle dance" to tell the other bees where the flowers are.

A new study shows that long-term exposure to a combination of certain pesticides might impair the bee's ability to carry out its pollen mission.

"Any impairment in their ability to do this could have a strong effect on their survival," said Geraldine Wright, a neuroscientist at Newcastle University in England and co-author of a new study posted online February 7, 2013, in theJournal of Experimental Biology.

Wright's study adds to the growing body of research that shows that the honeybee's ability to thrive is being threatened. Scientists are still researching how pesticides may be contributing to colony collapse disorder (CCD), a rapid die-off seen in millions of honeybees throughout the world since 2006.

"Pesticides are very likely to be involved in CCD and also in the loss of other types of pollinators," Wright said. (See the diversity of pollinating creatures in a photo gallery from National Geographic magazine.)

Bees depend on what's called "scent memory" to find flowers teeming with nectar and pollen. Their ability to rapidly learn, remember, and communicate with each other has made them highly efficient foragers, using the waggle dance to educate others about the site of the food source.

Their pollination of plants is responsible for the existence of nearly a third of the food we eat and has a similar impact on wildlife food supplies.

Previous studies have shown certain types of pesticides affect a bee's learning and memory. Wright's team wanted to investigate if the combination of different pesticides had an even greater effect on the learning and memory of honeybees.

"Honeybees learn to associate floral colors and scents with the quality of food rewards," Wright explained. "The pesticides affect the neurons involved in these behaviors. These [affected] bees are likely to have difficulty communicating with other members of the colony."

The experiment used a classic procedure with a daunting name: olfactory conditioning of the proboscis extension reflex. In layman's terms, the bee sticks out its tongue in response to odor and food rewards.

For the experiment, bees were collected from the colony entrance, placed in glass vials, and then transferred into plastic sandwich boxes. For three days the bees were fed a sucrose solution laced with sublethal doses of pesticides. The team measured short-term and long-term memory at 10-minute and 24-hour intervals respectively. (Watch of a video of a similar type of bee experiment.)

This study shows that when pesticides are combined, the impact on bees is far worse than exposure to just one pesticide. "This is particularly important because one of the pesticides we used, coumaphos, is a 'medicine' used to treat Varroa mites [pests that have been implicated in CCD] in honeybee colonies throughout the world," Wright said.

The pesticide, in addition to killing the mites, might also be making honeybees more vulnerable to poisoning and effects from other pesticides.

Stephen Buchmann of the Pollinator Partnership, who was not part of Wright's study, underscored how critical pollinators are for the world. "The main threat to pollinators is habitat destruction and alteration. We're rapidly losing pollinator habitats, natural areas, and food-producing agricultural lands that are essential for our survival and well being. Along with habitat destruction, insecticides weaken pollinators and other beneficial insects."

By Daniel Klein
This short video explains so much about Monsanto's bid to gain a total
global monopoly on the world's supply of crop-seeds.
Monsanto and four other giant corporations have a global strategy to
destroy every nation's 'seed sovereignty' and reduce all countries to the
status of 'dependent seed serfs'.
Once they have destroyed all indigenous varieties of seeds, along with
farmers' legal right to save their own seeds they will have global control
of most food commodities.
The war-plan is to replace all indigenous, locally developed varieties of
rice, wheat, barley, cotton, corn etc with Monsanto's patented GM
monocultures.
Vandana Shiva explains this in just 5 minutes. The choice is between a
'toxic future' run by giant corporations and a local self sufficiency and
independence.

There’s been enough written about genetically modified organisms and Monsanto that it’s easy to lose touch with how they actually impact people’s lives. On a recent trip to India, Perennial Plate got a wake-up call from environmental activist Vandana Shiva. Here’s our conversation with Shiva on a seed-saving revolution, farmer suicides, and how female farmers are the future of India’s agriculture. 

Daniel Klein is a chef, activist, and the filmmaker behind Perennial Plate. Follow him on Twitter at @perennialplate.

18 January 2013Ned Stafford

 

Chemical giants Bayer CropScience and Syngenta are both disputing the conclusions of a report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that says that bees might be at risk from neonicotinoid insecticides produced by the two companies. The report cited ‘the importance of bees in the ecosystem and the food chain’ and states that three neonicotinoid insecticides – clothianidin,imidacloprid and thiamethoxam – should only be used ‘on crops not attractive to honey bees’.

Bayer CropScience, which produces clothianidin and imidacloprid, argued in a written statement that it ‘has generated extensive safety data for its neonicotinoid-containing crop protection products’ that have confirmed ‘the absence of any unacceptable risk’. Bayer added: ‘We do not believe that the new EFSA reports alter the quality and validity of these risk assessments and the underlying studies.’

EFSA was asked by the European commission to assess neonicotinoids last year following the publication of two studies1 in Science2 linking the pesticides to declining bee populations. EFSA evaluated the latest scientific research on clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, as well as regulatory approval data for the pesticides submitted by Bayer and Syngenta.

Focusing on the use of neonicotinoids as seed treatment or granules, EFSA assessed the acute and chronic effects on bee colony survival and development, on bee larvae and bee behaviour, and the risks posed by sub-lethal doses. Although the report ‘identified a number of risks posed to bees’ by the three neonicotinoid insecticides, EFSA acknowledged that in some cases it ‘was unable to finalise the assessments due to shortcomings in the available data’.

EFSA’s findings were embraced by environmental groups and scientists who previously have argued that neonicotinoids are a key factor in declining bee populations. Citing the report, neonicotinoid opponents say the EU should now enact an immediate ban of neonicotinoids. France, Germany and Italy have already banned some uses of these pesticides.

Measured response

Frédéric Vincent, spokesman for health and consumer policy at the European commission tells Chemistry World that the ‘commission has concerns over findings of the EFSA report’. The commission has asked Bayer and Syngenta to provide ‘feedback’ by 25 January. ‘As far as we're concerned it's quite clear,’ he says. ‘If the report and ensuing studies highlight that there is a problem with these products, then the commission, together with member states, will take the necessary measures.’

Bayer CropScience contends that previous research has shown that ‘poor bee health and colony losses are caused by multiple factors, the parasitic Varroa mite being the key issue’. Syngenta, which produces thiamethoxam, took a more forceful stance in its response to the report. ‘We believe that that EFSA has found itself under political pressure to produce a hurried and inadequate risk assessment, which even they acknowledge contains a high level of uncertainty,’ the company said. ‘We intend to deploy all means at our disposal to defend the use of this product.’

Syngenta also cited figures contained in a study issued earlier this week by the Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture describing ‘the value of neonicotinoid seed treatment in the European Union'. The study, financed by Syngenta, Bayer CropScience, the European Farmers Union and others, says a neonicotinoid ban would cost the EU economy €17 billion (£14 billion) over the next five years and threaten 50,000 jobs.

David Goulson, a biologist at Stirling University in Scotland and author of one of the two Science studies that triggered the EFSA assessment, described the Humboldt Forum study as ‘laughable propaganda designed to scare politicians into inaction’, adding: ‘The economic calculations have no basis in fact.’ He says that he supports an immediate ban on use of neonicotinoid seed treatments for oilseed rape, sunflower and maize. ‘The scientific community is already largely agreed,’ he says. ‘I hope that politicians will take the EFSA's statement very seriously.’

Finally, what Sharilyn Stalling has been telling people for years has been proven!

See this email and the attached PDF.Effects of Neonics on Bees


Dear all,
Breaking News!
Henk Tennekes has just sent through this vitally important report from the
Directorate General Policy unit of the European Parliament.

DIRECTORATE GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES
>POLICY DEPARTMENT A: ECONOMIC AND SCIENTIFIC POLICY
>
>"Existing Scientific Evidence of the Effects of Neonicotinoid
>Pesticides on Bees"

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
>>
>>KEY FINDINGS
>>1. Although bee declines can be attributed to multifarious
>>causes, the use of
>>neonicotinoids is increasingly held responsible for recent
>>honeybee losses.
>>
>> 2. Neonicotinoids show high acute toxicity to honeybees.
>>
>>3. Chronic exposure of honeybees to sub-lethal doses of
>>neonicotinoids can also
>>result in serious effects, which include a wide range of
>>behavioural disturbances in
>>bees, such as problems with flying and navigation, impaired memory
>>and learning,
>>reduced foraging ability, as well as reduction in breeding success
>>and disease
>>resistance.
>>
>> 4. Recent scientific findings are urging to reassess the bee
>>safety of approved uses of
>>neonicotinoid insecticides at European level. A current review,
>>carried out by the
>>European Food Safety Authority EFSA (on behalf of the European
>>Commission) will
>>give new insights into this issue.
>>
>> As long as there are uncertainties concerning the effects of

>>neonicotinoids on honey
>>bees,the Precautionary Principle in accordance withwith the
>>Regulation (EC) No
>>1107/2009should be applied when using neonicotinoids.
>>
It is a summary of what the EU experts and Reporter States regard as 'the
state of the evidence' on neonicotinoids and honeybee/ wild bee deaths.

It appears to overwhelmingly support the position that Imidacloprid,
Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam are directly responsible for the mass-death
of bee colonies in Europe and the UK.

It recommends that - since the evidence is so strong - that the European
Commission shoiuld apply thePrecautionary Principle and ban or
suspend the use of these systemic pesticides.

This does not mean of course that the European Commission will act
immediately on this recommendation but it suggests that a decision will be
made by the end of December 2012.

This is fantastic news - hope it transforms into regulatory action before
the next planting season.

Please read the attached document carefully and distribute to relevant
networks

Regards

Graham White
Beekeeper
Scotland, UK.

1

Original Link

AUSTRALIAN researchers have been astonished to discover a cure-all right under their noses -- a honey sold in health food shops as a natural medicine.

Far from being an obscure health food with dubious healing qualities, new research has shown the honey kills every type of bacteria scientists have thrown at it, including the antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" plaguing hospitals and killing patients around the world.

Some bacteria have become resistant to every commonly prescribed antibacterial drug. But scientists found that Manuka honey, as it is known in New Zealand, or jelly bush honey, as it is known in Australia, killed every bacteria or pathogen it was tested on.

It is applied externally and acts on skin infections, bites and cuts.

The honey is distinctive in that it comes only from bees feeding off tea trees native to Australia and New Zealand, said Dee Carter, from the University of Sydney's School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences.

The findings are likely to have a major impact on modern medicine and could lead to a range of honey-based products to replace antibiotic and antiseptic creams.

Professor Carter's two sons, Marty, 8 and Nicky, 6, think it's funny the way their mother puts honey on their sores. But she swears by it, telling stories of how quickly it cures any infection.

"Honey sounds very homey and unscientific, which is why we needed the science to validate the claims made for it," she said.

The curative properties of various types of honey have been known to indigenous cultures for thousands of years, and dressing wounds with honey was common before the advent of antibiotics.

"Most bacteria that cause infections in hospitals are resistant to at least one antibiotic, and there is an urgent need for new ways to treat and control surface infections," Professor Carter said.

"New antibiotics tend to have short shelf lives, as the bacteria they attack quickly become resistant. Many large pharmaceutical companies  have abandoned antibiotic production because of the difficulty of recovering costs. Developing effective alternatives could therefore save many lives."

Professor Carter said the fascinating thing was that none of the bacteria researchers used to test the honey, including superbugs such as flesh-eating bacteria, built up any immunity.

She said a compound in the honey called methylglyoxal -- toxic on its own -- combined in unknown ways with other unidentified compounds in the honey to cause "multi-system failure" in the bacteria.

The results of the research project are  published in this month's European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.