Clothianidin: a Neonicotinoid Pesticide Highly Toxic to Honeybees and other pollinators

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Photo Credit: Attribution Some rights reserved by Ryan Wick via Flickr.


This is a continuation of the honeybee problem facing the United States and other countries right now:

Here is a link that is provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The link in PDF format is a fact sheet for a pesticide called Clothianidin which is in a subclass of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. The major US producer of this chemical is the Bayer Corporation which also produces for Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, New Zealand, and the UK, which uses this pesticide to treat seeds for corn and canola. This is the same company that makes Aleve, Alka Seltzer, and of course Bayer Aspirin. The product name for its Clothianidin use is called Poncho as it will be cited below in the excerpts.

Also Read:
Our new post on Colony Collapse Disorder: Colony Collapse Disorder: Past, Present, Future

Colony Collapse Disorder is also being reported in Canada and in Europe…go figure.

Quoted from the Bayer Corporation web site’s News Release in 2003:

“Clothianidin is a new active ingredient in the chemical class of neonicotinoids. Poncho as a seed treatment offers an extended and highly consistent efficacy at low application rates against chewing and sucking insects under diverse climatic and soil conditions. Due to its high root systemicity it is an excellent tool for the protection of the vulnerable kernel and the young seedling.”

Poncho offers a new dimension in pest control in maize. The unique seed applied control of corn rootworms (Diabrotica spp.) and cutworms (Agrotis spp.) combined with the control of all major secondary pests is setting a new technical standard for maize production in the USA. In canola, clothianidin is highly effective against the major pest, flea beetle.”

And now -> Quoted from EPA science fact sheet on Clothianidin:

“Available data indicate that clothianidin on corn and canola should result in minimal acute toxic risk to birds. However, assessments show that exposure to treated seeds through ingestion may result in chronic toxic risk to non-endangered and endangered small birds (e.g., songbirds) and acute/chronic toxicity risk to non-endangered and endangered mammals.

Clothianidin has the potential for toxic chronic exposure to honey bees, as well as other nontarget pollinators, through the translocation of clothianidin residues in nectar and pollen..In honey bees, the effects of this toxic chronic exposure may include lethal and/or sub-lethal effects in the larvae and reproductive effects in the queen.”

Clothianidin: Neonicotinoid and Honeybees

Now could this be the link that is causing up to 95% losses in honeybees in parts of the nation? Bee keepers in 25 states have declared to have colony collapse disorder. Its time our scientists officially figure out the root cause of the deaths. According to the data, this is a possible cause to the deaths, but no studies have recently been released to provide supportive evidence of this.

Recommended Colony Collapse Documentaries:

About John Tarantino (325 Posts)

My name is John Tarantino ... and no, I am not related to Quinton Tarantino the movie director. I love writing about the environment, traveling, and capturing the world with my Lens as an amateur photographer. You can connect with me via Google+ or via Twitter: Follow @EnvironmentBlog

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20 Comments on “Clothianidin: a Neonicotinoid Pesticide Highly Toxic to Honeybees and other pollinators

  1. JT, Where do you get the time to do all of this research and put it in an awesome blog that is very informative?- Justin

  2. Hi J.T. Up until 2 weeks ago I was a bee-keeeper in Ontario. North shore of Lake Ontario. C.C.D. appears to be the predonminate culprit in the loss of all my colonies.A thought to ponder for those of you who don't have any exposure to the bee business. But honey prices have been decimated by dumping into the N.A. market mostly from China.So the other option has been pollination contracts. The dollars in can not justify the losses. So the problem is going to be bigger than just the current population losses. What incentive do small farmers like myself have to spend the money to re-invest when the losses are ever present?I guess we are not evolving to a post-agrarian world after-allCheers from Canada eh!

  3. Yeah I read about it, crazy how this problem is still going on more than year after I wrote about it.

  4. In Germany the use of Poncho produced by Bayer and it's active ingredient Clothianidin is illegal as of today since it is blamed for massive reduction in Bee population. Hope the US get to the same point soon….

  5. It is time that Bayer were exposed for the eco-criminals they really are. Clothianidin has now been proven to have caused millions of bees to die in Germany recently, and no doubt millions more worldwide-

  6. I am A 7th generation beekeeper in California and have been fighting the Government here to ban or at least restrict Imidocloprid since 2003. Last year I lost 800 hives out of 1000 to what I believe is Bayers Neonicatoid insecticide. I think they are going to find it very difficult to grow food without honeybees.

  7. I am a small bee keeper in new york state,south of lake ontario. Had last of my hives come thru winter in good shape in 2005. Then 2 weeks later, no bees. this was very strange. I informed the bee inspector about it,on 7/16/05. I suspected pesticides.

  8. Need to keep in mind that the most prevalent neonicotinoid, imidicloprid, is the most widely used pesticide in North America, is directly related to clothianidin in composition, is rated for homeowner use (unlike Poncho) and says , in the description of treatment of termites, that it disrupts the ability of the insect to navigate back to the hive. It has also been found to collect in flowering points (including nectar and pollen) and can stay in plant systems for up to seven years! But no…can't be this stuff, as there is WAY too much money being made…

  9. In the petroleum/energy business model,cars are petroleum burning devices, buy it once it burns fuel for years and incandescent bulbs are electron using devices. Conservation is not on their agenda. Agriculture is a petroleum/ag chemicals usage opportunity. What's next? Artificial pollinators? genetically engineered self pollinating plants?

  10. a WORD for all of the GMO, GE,and the Big Money, which are creating these FRANKENSTEIN seeds, the embryos to our survival-to suit the needs of their wealth. the pandora is out of the box, but this is no simple pandora….MONSTER KILLING MACHINE what is happening……THE WORD IS ''RUTHLESS''.

  11. Consider this:Many engineered plants are modified to include a Pesticide in the gene sequence, natural or artificial pesticide is not my point; my point is that a poison is in the gene sequence of the plant. The poison in the gene sequence of the plant acts as a poison in the gut of the insects it is designed to deter or kill. That is, it has the same net effect as a pesticide in the gut of the insect that eats the plant.Can one posit for debate that the gene sequence acts the same way in the gut of a human being? That is, it acts as a poison or a pesticide, probably with detrimental effects such as killing off the beneficial bacteria (thus the rise in popularity of activia and yogurt products), and may accumulate and cause gut cancers of one kind or another?Can one posit for debate that some humans will be more sensitive to such poisons and pesticides than others, giving rise to an entirely new and unique set of potential allergies, horrific reactions, and organ decay?

  12. There is so much that we don't know for sure, but one thing we can do is try to avoid Genetically Engineered foods. We can also support our local farmers markets, and try to grow as much food as we can on our own. Thanks for all you input and comments, keep em coming =)

  13. In Australia we have so far, as I understand it, not been subject to hive collapse. Our scientists haven't been sure why and have been doing research to try and protect us from what we have been expecting to eventually appear.
    We have also not had much in the way of GM crops. That is not proof of a causal link but it is suggestive. Perhaps it might be worth investigating.

  14. Pingback: Ist die Bayer AG noch bedrohlicher als Monsanto? « Die kosmische Urkraft

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