Imidacloprid: Another possible link to Colony Collapse Disorder, Bayer Corporation is a possible culprit
Imidacloprid: another insecticide manufactured by the Bayer Corporation is suspected to have highly toxic effects in honeybees at low concentrations. Just to give you guys a history of the Bayer Corporation and their corporate crimes of the past go to this website: Corporate Watch: Bayer AG. I think it is also important to note that in December 2001, Multinational Monitor rated Bayer AG as one of their Top Ten Worst Companies of the year. In December 2003, Alternet ranked Bayer as one of ‘The 10 Worst Corporations of 2003′.
In 1999 France experienced a loss of honeybees resulting in a reduction to 1 million bees from 1.45 million. This incidentally happened the first year Imidacloprid was coated on the sun flower crop. This sparked an investigation in France by the department of Agriculture and also banned the insecticide. Bayer Corporation then conducted their own study determining that their product was not the culprit, citing various other reasons for the cause. I believe it also important to note that the Bayer corporation paid $70 million to beekeepers in France to avoid a law suit even though the company said they were not responsible. Back in the 1990′s up to 2001 various beekeeper organizations cited that during the winter an expected die off of 5-10% was normal. Now the media and various beekeepers report a 20% reduction in bees to be normal. Why the rise? Is it an increase use of pesticides and insecticides? Nonetheless, beekeepers in the US are reporting losses between 30% – 95%. The remaining surviving bees are too intoxicated to be of any use according to Eric Lane, a beekeeper in California.
It is also important to note that a report of Colony Collapse Disorder has been released in December of 2006 by Pennsylvania State University among others here, a 22 page report.
“Chemical Analysis for Pesticide Contamination”
To analyze pollen, honey and bees for the presence of neonicotinoid pesticides (and possibly certain fungicides)
The neonicotinioids, for example imidacloprid, are a rather new class of pesticides. There have been new chemicals of this sort introduced over the past few years (clothianiden and thiamethoxam). There is conflicting information about their effect on honey bees, however the EPA identifies these chemicals as highly toxic to honey bees. Some researchers..were looking for mortality and not chronic or behavioral effect. In addition, a study in NC found that some of these neonictinoids in combination with certain fungicides, synergized to increase the toxicity of the neonicotinoid over 1,000 fold in lab studies. Both the neonicotinoids and the fungicides (Terraguard and Procure) are used widely. Recent research tested crops where seed was treated with imidacloprid. The chemical was present, by systemic uptake, in corn, sunflowers and rape pollen in levels high enough to pose a threat to honey bees. Additional research has found that imidacloprid impairs the memory and brain metabolism of bees, particularly the area of the brain that is used for making new memories.
If bees are eating fresh or stored pollen contaminated with these chemicals at low levels, they may not cause mortality but may impact the bee’s ability to learn or make memories. If this is the case, young bees leaving the hive to make orientation flights may not be able to learn the location of the hive and may not be returning causing the colonies to dwindle and eventually die. It is also possible that this is not the sole cause of the dwindling but one of several contributing factors.”
This is just my best effort to dive into this issue a little more deeply. To those that care…the blog that I wrote yesterday about Clothianidin which was Googled by the Bayer AG corporation network with keywords “colony collapsed disorder”, who found my blog and subsequently I received 3 more hits through the Bayer AG Corporate Network in Germany with multiple page views. This serves to me that Bayer is nervous about CCD in the United States. This company has made record profits last year with fourth quarter revenue totaling $10.5 billion in 2006, up 25 percent from the $8.4 billion the company reported in the 2005 fourth quarter. Soon we will see the outcome of this chain of events occurring right before our eyes. My two cents of the day…
Recommended Colony Collapse Documentaries:
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