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EPA: No Single Cause For Colony Collapse Disorder

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the couldn't-bee-easy dept.

Science 129

alphatel writes "Citing a wide range of symptoms, a federal report (PDF) released yesterday has concluded that no single event, pesticide or virus can be held responsible for CCD in North American bee colonies. Meanwhile, Europe has moved towards banning neocotinids for two years. EPA's Jim Jones stated, 'There are non-trivial costs to society if we get this wrong. There are meaningful benefits from these pesticides to farmers and to consumers, as well as for affordable food.' May R. Berenbaum, head of the department of entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a participant in the study, said, 'There is no quick fix. Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking.'"

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One hole at a time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625047)

Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking

But it is one less hole to worry about.

Re:One hole at a time (5, Insightful)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about a year ago | (#43625135)

No shit...it's obvious that not doing anything at all isn't going to fix the problem. Normally I don't support banning things because they "might" be affecting something else, but under these circumstances I'd say it might be worth some experimenting to see what might *help*. FFS, the more we sit and wait to see what's going on, the fewer bees we have to do their job. I realize other animals pollinate as well, but they don't do it nearly as efficiently as bees...and frankly, I think this problem is much easier to solve than the problem of how to get our fucking food to grow in five years.

Re:One hole at a time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625395)

You don't even know what you are acting against. Yet you would stop doing what is provably beneficial today to just 'do something'. Sounds like zombie logic.

Re:One hole at a time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625617)

Where is your proof?

Captcha: barium

It hasn't been proven beneficial. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626541)

The "proof" it was safe and effective was never done.

Re:One hole at a time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625603)

You don't get it. Once bees are exterminated, corporations can make HUGE profits selling us the solution. Every. Fucking. Day.

Captcha: underway

Re:One hole at a time (0)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43627165)

As opposed to the bee keepers, who, in all likelyhood are incorporated as well?

Always an excuse to rant against the corporations. Jeezuz, give it a rest!

Re:One hole at a time (-1, Flamebait)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year ago | (#43627315)

Hey retard, honey bees raised by bee keepers aren't the only things that pollinate our food crops. In fact they're not even the best at it [guardian.co.uk] . Commercial honey bees can't do it alone [sciencemag.org] Any excuse to suck the corporate cock, eh? Jeezuz, give it a rest!

Re:One hole at a time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625651)

I've heard of, even seen (on TV) places in China where there are no bees anymore. These are agricultural regions that were reliant upon bees to pollinate their crops.

They went to manual pollination. No shit, actual farmers spend 2-3 weeks every year, hand pollinating their crops. It only works because the average income level is comparatively low there. And let's face it, the choice was do the job by hand or get out of farming. Without outside assistance there are many plants that cannot pollinate themselves, or only do so poorly.

Re:One hole at a time (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#43627211)

I've heard of, even seen (on TV) places in China where there are no bees anymore. These are agricultural regions that were reliant upon bees to pollinate their crops.

They went to manual pollination. No shit, actual farmers spend 2-3 weeks every year, hand pollinating their crops. It only works because the average income level is comparatively low there. And let's face it, the choice was do the job by hand or get out of farming. Without outside assistance there are many plants that cannot pollinate themselves, or only do so poorly.

Not this again!!!

They were hand pollinating long before they killed off the bees trying to eradicate a different pest.

They were hand pollinating in situations there bees wouldn't have helped at all because in order to obtain high yield the crops required cross pollination between three related varieties of pears that flower at different times. They had been doing it for years to improve the crop.

Only much later did they accidently eradicate the bees, trying to save these same pear crops from a different pest.
But bringing in new bees wouldn't have helped due to the long time between the flowering of the three varieties.
They had not been relying on bees at all for years.

Read about it here. [beewatchers.com]

Lets not get our stories mixed up, mKay?

Hand pollination is also done in the US, especially when breeding new varieties of corn or apples, where its very important to know exactly what went into the mix. Its actually not that unusual.

Re:One hole at a time (5, Insightful)

Steeltoe (98226) | about a year ago | (#43625749)

Support for your line of thinking:

Salon: Without honeybees, we may cease to be [salon.com]
The report concludes, “imidacloprid seems to be a substance particularly ’fit for the precautionary principle’.” It cites the chemicals’ ability to harm honeybees and wild bees at minute doses and its persistence in the soil for several years. Additionally, it notes that after Italy temporarily banned neonicotinoids in several crops, reports of high honeybee mortality decreased from 185 to two.

The line of thinking to keep doing harm without testing wether bans might work, for short term profit, is frankly both suicidal unscientific.
Doing harm in the name of profit is evil.

Re:One hole at a time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626191)

No shit...it's obvious that not doing anything at all isn't going to fix the problem.

Yeah, the battle cry of clueless managers!

1. We must do something
2. Here is something
3. Let's do it!

You must also think that Carly did a great job as a CEO, at least she DID something!

Re:One hole at a time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626601)

So what's got you riding hard on the shillwagon, stock options?
It's a temporary ban on a pesticide proven to cause harm (albeit likely minor).

Re:One hole at a time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626707)

other animals pollinate as well.. and are also killed by pesticide abuse.

Re:One hole at a time (-1, Flamebait)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#43626901)

You're right, not doing anything is not the answer. Eliminating suspected causes IS! Doing extensive research while the clock tics is no more than an autopsy while you're only sick.

Let's re-examine the submission with some reality goggles on;

          "Citing a wide range of symptoms, a federal report (PDF) released yesterday has concluded that payola from Dow and other Chemical companies can buy study results. . Meanwhile, Europe has moved towards banning neocotinids for two years. EPA's Jim Jones stated, 'There are non-trivial costs to society if we get this wrong. There are meaningful benefits from selling your soul to big business, as well as exquisite food.' May R. Berenbaum, head of the department of entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a participant in the study, said, 'There is no quick fix. Patching one hole in a pocket that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from losing every penny they pay.'"

There doesn't that sound more like the world you and I woke up in this morning?
An agenda? Me? Well, I do brew beer and I kick up the alcohol with a quart of honey in the boil and an extra week in the fermenter, then an extra month in the bottle. WoooWEEEEE! A political agenda worth having.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625167)

Not to mention, with every hole you patch, the rate that the boat is sinking at will decrease, giving you time to search for more holes and/or duct tape.

Re:One hole at a time (0)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43625343)

AC gets it in one.

That it might be more expensive is moot.... more expensive food is still more desirable than no food at all.

Re:One hole at a time (2, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43625549)

I know you live in your own little life and have very little appreciation to what it's like in other parts of the country or the world. But to many people, more expensive food is the same as no food at all.

Re:One hole at a time (4, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#43625637)

what it's like in other parts of the country or the world. But to many people, more expensive food is the same as no food at all.

Fortunately, EU countries where neocotinids have been temporarily banned, tend not to be among such countries. [bbc.co.uk]
No, not even Greece. [bbc.co.uk]

Neonicotinoids... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about a year ago | (#43625675)

NOT neocotinids. Fuck!

Still haven't learned NOT to copy/paste from the summary.

Re:Neonicotinoids... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#43627275)

There was useful information included in the summary?

That's a first!

Re:One hole at a time (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43625683)

Only when people who are better off aren't willing to share.

Wanting those who might be able to afford to help the less fortunate also starve to death because the world's actually run out of useful food altogether doesn't help.

Re:One hole at a time (4, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#43625703)

We're talking very marginally more expensive food if we ban a class of insecticides, as opposed to much more expensive food if crops fail because they were not pollinated. Soybeans, despite what you're read, will not be much affected by bee loss. They self-pollinate.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625795)

While in your little life, you can justify releasing toxins in our food- and water-source, causing mass-extinctions and making people sick, to get cheaper and less nutritional food?

Re:One hole at a time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626317)

Neonicotinoids are synthetic and therefore are not toxins.

Please purchase a clue at your local store. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626555)

It is entirely possible to create synthetic toxins.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43625909)

Your "logic" is flawed. No food means EVERYONE goes hungry, and the hungriest will die. Expensive food means that more people will go hungry, and only some of the hungriest will die.

Plentiful resources is desirable, of course.
Limited resources is undesirable. Again, of course.
No resources is a circumstance that ensures that people do not survive.

Take your pick.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Velex (120469) | about a year ago | (#43626807)

Who are they?

Srsly, I once dated a guy who had food stamps. It was quite the nice budget. It made me wonder what a sucker I was when I was younger scraping by on ramen and working a job.

Re:One hole at a time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43627081)

Erm, food is a concrete material commodity, money's an abstract thing. We need to grow up as a society and admit the current economic system is outdated and needs to be changed. The OP's got it right, but you child need to get your head out of your horse's ass and stop talking down to others over the internet.

Re: One hole at a time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625995)

Sadly the ac is wrong and statist solutions to market problems (as all problems of this nature are) will always fail. Attacking capitalism isn't going to fix this. Enabling the FREE market will. Simple. Common. Sense.

Ron Paul 2016. Take back America.

Re: One hole at a time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626293)

Poe's law strikes again...

Re: One hole at a time (0)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43626855)

I'm only attacking capitalism to the exact same extent that capitalism would create an even larger old hunger problem than what already exists by not trying to fix negative environmental impacts of existing commercial practices

Re:One hole at a time (1)

patchmaster (463431) | about a year ago | (#43625481)

Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking

But it is one less hole to worry about.

True, but if it costs you $billions to patch that hole and you save no colonies due to the many other factors, that's $billions wasted. I don't think the original quote was suggesting that we do nothing, but that we be highly selective about which holes we attempt to patch.

There's a great tendency with situations like this to feel that we need to do something, randomly pick something, do it, then feel good about yourself for having done something regardless of whether you've lessened the severity of the situation.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625557)

In the history of mankind, it has never been a BAD idea to ban a pesticide.

Maybe this ban will not save the bees, but it will help humanity in the long term.

Re:One hole at a time (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43625731)

In the history of mankind, it has never been a BAD idea to ban a pesticide.

The obvious counterexample is DDT. It got banned and as a result malaria wasn't eradicated. This link claims 50 million lives lost [discoverthenetworks.org] due to the ban since the 70s.

Re:One hole at a time (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625901)

You're suggesting that the only way we will ever stop malaria is to poison mosquitoes into extinction?

That's very short term thinking.

50 million lives were lost because they weren't "rich enough" to deserve our health care or research funding. It's as simple as that.

Re: One hole at a time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626195)

Can't we do both? Save the bees and erradicate the mosquitos!

Re: One hole at a time (1, Redundant)

ALEX CERVANTES (2914305) | about a year ago | (#43626201)

Can't we do both? Save the bees and erradicate the mosquitos!

Re:One hole at a time (0)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43626567)

You're suggesting that the only way we will ever stop malaria is to poison mosquitoes into extinction?

It works.

50 million lives were lost because they weren't "rich enough" to deserve our health care or research funding. It's as simple as that.

Nonsense. The developed world doesn't have malaria now because they drove it to extinction in the wild via DDT and similar pesticides.

Re:One hole at a time (3, Informative)

dryeo (100693) | about a year ago | (#43627305)

You're suggesting that the only way we will ever stop malaria is to poison mosquitoes into extinction?

It works.

No it doesn't (exception being smallpox) as almost always a resistant strain develops

50 million lives were lost because they weren't "rich enough" to deserve our health care or research funding. It's as simple as that.

Nonsense. The developed world doesn't have malaria now because they drove it to extinction in the wild via DDT and similar pesticides.

Actually the important thing was mechanical. Draining swamps is very effective to control mosquitoes along with judicious usage of pesticides, ideally a variety to prevent immune strains.

DDT has NEVER been banned. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626581)

There is NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD that has banned the use of DDT.

DDT was not for crop spraying, it was for "surgical strike" and the abuse of the use of DDT meant that the population of mozzies were building an immunity.

It was far cheaper and far far more effective to use nets and impregnate them with insecticides.

That link can claim what the hell it likes, it's talking complete shite.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626941)

But we still have birds.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43627053)

and as a result malaria wasn't eradicated

And neither were Bluebirds, the Bald Eagle, or many other Avians affected by DDT-caused Eggshell thinning.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT#Environmental_impact [wikipedia.org]

Re:One hole at a time (3, Informative)

dryeo (100693) | about a year ago | (#43627269)

Not this bullshit again. DDT was never banned for malaria prevention, just every other use and is still used for indoor treatment for malaria carrying mosquitoes though I doubt they make wallpaper out of it any more. Pesticides are like anti-biotics, use them only when needed as immunity is built up in the target population which is one of the main reasons that DDT isn't used as much for malaria prevention, just as penicillin isn't used much anymore for infections.
The Stockholm convention banned DDT for all uses except malaria carrying mosquito control though they did discourage it. Currently the World Health Organization does encourage using DDT for indoor use to control mosquitoes in malaria infected areas. Press release, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2006/pr50/en/ [who.int]
And staying on topic, I had a pesticide application ticket many years ago. It was stressed to only use pesticides as a last resort, to use what was effective, and no more and one of the main dangers was how sensitive bees were to insecticides compared to most insects. Fish were also very sensitive to some insecticides and herbicides so you'd have chemicals with a low LD50 yet a high LC50 level. Toxicity can be very complex.

Re:One hole at a time (5, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43625951)

Consider the facts surrounding this insecticide.

First - it is DESIGNED to kill insects. That is it's purpose.
Second - it was approved for use based on flawed research, conducted in Canada only, in an area that had no honey bee populations to be affected. Private research, conducted by Bayer - research that should never have been admitted as "science".
Third - the colony collapses happen most frequently in areas that use this specific insecticide.
Fourth - there is data that supports the ban - Steeltoe posted a link above: http://www.salon.com/2013/03/21/without_honeybees_we_may_cease_to_be/ [salon.com]

    "Additionally, it notes that after Italy temporarily banned neonicotinoids in several crops, reports of high honeybee mortality decreased from 185 to two."

Re:One hole at a time (1)

patchmaster (463431) | about a year ago | (#43626289)

I don't really want to get into a debate about whether it is or is not a good idea to ban any particular insecticide. Frankly, I'm not qualified to argue either side of such a debate.

This is exactly why I do think it makes sense to listen to the experts hired by the U.S. government to study the issue. It appears the experts feel that banning one class of pesticide won't solve the problem. Unless you think they were all paid off by Bayer or aren't really scientists or are maybe all Canadian, there would seem to be little reason to disregard their conclusions, even if they do seem to contradict those arrived at by Salon.com.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43626639)

Please note - the location of the "study" being in Canada has nothing to do with the Canadians. It was a flawed study, performed by Bayer. Canadians didn't do the study, didn't approve of the study, didn't participate in any way.

All in all, Canadians seem to be better at regulating business than the US.

Other experts say otherwise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626649)

So why are you believing the US ones?

Because they're telling you what you want to hear.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Velex (120469) | about a year ago | (#43626797)

Oh wow. Excellent troll, sir. Appeal to authority and the whole nine yards.

*rummages around*

I know I've got some mod points around here somewhere.

but srsly

Unless you think they were all paid off by Bayer...

That's EXACTLY what we're suspecting.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43625527)

That reminds me of some sitcom or cartoon where the characters are lost in the desert and their only food supply catches fire, so they dump their canteen of water on it to put it out. Knee-Jerk reactions rarely work out for the best.

Re:One hole at a time (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43625693)

But it is one less hole to worry about.

Unless in the process you punch several more holes. Now, I get your point, but I find it interesting that even the EPA is cautioning against just "plugging holes" without evaluating whether that's worth the cost or not.

May R. Berenbaum is hot! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625051)

'nuff said!

No, See, We're going too need a Villain here. (4, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#43625097)

This would have gotten a lot better play on Slashdot if Monsanto had played a larger and more definitive role in the CCD....

Jim Jones? (4, Funny)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#43625121)

As if anyone is going to listen to him again.

Re:Jim Jones? (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a year ago | (#43625303)

Right.
The last colony that did, didn't even have a chance
to regret it for the rest of their life.

This EPA announcement brought to you by... (0, Flamebait)

squidflakes (905524) | about a year ago | (#43625127)

Monsanto.

Friends, isn't it time you started using neocotinids on your crops? Why waste the summer dealing with the dangers of bees when you can use Genuine Monsanto(tm) Pesticides! Yes friends, be free from the worries of work-a-day bee invasions, slug infestations, and all of those annoying back yard guests with Monsanto! Spray it on your crops, on your meat, in your milk, even on your kids. Monsanto brands are formulated by actual scientists and checked for quality and killing power by our own crack team of former EPA regulators.

Monsanto: The Best Regulatory Capture Money Can Buy!

Re:This EPA announcement brought to you by... (1, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43625363)

Monsanto does not produce neonicitinoids.

Re:This EPA announcement brought to you by... (0)

squidflakes (905524) | about a year ago | (#43625441)

Damnnation, I meant Bayer, not Monsanto.

Neocotinids? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625141)

C'mon, editors! We're just stringing random letters together.

Drunk! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625231)

There are meaningful benefits from these pesticides to farmers and to consumers, as well as for affordable food...

If the bees go, so then do (for the most part) the crops, even my cat understands that.
This is all about profits (for the insecticide producers).

Look, I'll spell it out for the EPA:
1. Bees okay before pesticide
2. Introduction of pesticide
3. Bees die.
4. Pesticide == no bees.

CAPTCHA = 'disprove', even /. agrees with me.

Re:Drunk! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625367)

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Re:Drunk! (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43625449)

It's not that simple.

Some countries like Switzerland that don't have

2. Introduction of pesticide

do have

3. Bees die.

While other countries like Australia that have

2. Introduction of pesticide

don't have

3. Bees die.

Re:Drunk! (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43625967)

Switzerland is not an isolated island thousands of miles away from accidental contamination sources. It has been shown that this pesticide is spread by the wind, after which it "soaks" into the vegetation and the soil.

Complex system has multiple modes of failure (3, Insightful)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#43625283)

News at 11...

neocotinid? are you fucking kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625307)

It's neonicotinoid, you know, as in based on nicotine, a naturally-evolved defense against insects and the second most common drug in the world? There's no such thing as a cotinid.

Since Bees don't vote... (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about a year ago | (#43625311)

I told the bees that they needed to contribute to both parties if they wanted a voice in these matters.

Good terminology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625315)

I'm glad somebody came up with the term "Colony Collapse Disorder".

Trying to explain "save the bees" sounded so lefty-flighty I couldn't even convince myself when I heard myself in my own brain, much less convince anyone else.

1 > 0 (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about a year ago | (#43625319)

'There is no quick fix. Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking.'

Patching zero holes also won't keep it from sinking, and, indeed, is pretty much guaranteed to do less to delay the sinking than patching one hole.

Re:1 0 (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43625587)

Yes, but patching the smallest hole in the boat with your marine radio instead of using it to call for help wouldn't be wise either. His point was that you need to think before you act, and he's right.

Sink the boat (4, Insightful)

fox171171 (1425329) | about a year ago | (#43625329)

There is no quick fix. Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking.

Yes, much better not to patch any holes at all, and let the boat sink, than to risk patching a hole that wasn't leaking. Hell, maybe we should drill a few more holes, just to be sure.

There are meaningful benefits from these pesticides to farmers and to consumers, as well as for affordable food.

There are meaningful benefits from these bees to farmers and to consumers, as well as for affordable food.'

There, fixed that for you.

I think it would be better to be condemned for doing something and failing, than to be be damned for standing back and watching it happen.

Re:Sink the boat (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43625985)

"Do something, right or wrong."

That was one of my Dad's favorite witticisms, so yeah, he would agree with you.

suprise.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625345)

EPA siding with the companies that make the pesticides.

Hello, Nirvana fallacy (5, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | about a year ago | (#43625381)

'There is no quick fix. Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking.'"

Hello, nirvana fallacy.

For those who aren't familiar, the basic explanation of the nirvana fallacy is rejecting a solution because it isn't perfect/ideal. In this case: rejecting a ban on the pesticide because there are other additional causes of colony collapse disorder that wouldn't be affected by such a ban.

Idiotic, and amazing that a scientist could utter it.

Re:Hello, Nirvana fallacy (1)

patchmaster (463431) | about a year ago | (#43625601)

You're conflating two different things, no doubt due to the confusing nature of the post. The quote about patching holes was from a participant in the study that looked at a wide range of factors, including pesticides and viruses, and concluded there was no single culprit.

In the midst of this the OP mentions Europe banning "neocotinids" [sic] for two years. This has nothing whatever to do with the study mentioned or the quote from the study participant. So the patching holes quote isn't suggesting we shouldn't follow Europe's lead in this as that was not the topic being addressed.

Re:Hello, Nirvana fallacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626723)

nah but I agree - these articles aren't written by accident - they're is an agenda, and the agenda is on the side of the supply and production chain, and this organization is for pesticides because it is yet another product that goes into the supply and production chain. There logic isn't sensible from the standpoint of survival of the whole, just of their particular organization. It's .. corrupt and sick.

Re:Hello, Nirvana fallacy (1)

the biologist (1659443) | about a year ago | (#43625633)

What they should have said is that there is no particular evidence supporting the model that the neocotinid pesticides are at all relevant to colony collapse disorder in North America.

Re:Hello, Nirvana fallacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626303)

no particular evidence supporting the model that the neocotinid pesticides blah blah blah

Your statement is utter bullshit.

Nicotine is extremely toxic to bees, but shot lived. Neonicotinoids are extremely toxic to bees and they are systemic pesticides, meaning they live inside the plant and not only get into pollen, they also get into food.

Re:Hello, Nirvana fallacy (4, Insightful)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | about a year ago | (#43626491)

It kind of occurs to me that they would most likely say that there is no evidence if there was none. Since they didn't say there was no evidence, I suppose there is some. I would also point out that there is an active lawsuit [panna.org] (first google hit) going against the EPA and possibly this is the reason for the article. I also read that there was at least one paper on the cause of colony collapse disorder. Don't know if they/it can be found on Google Scholar here [google.ca] . Bayer crop science is the villan for promoting the use of this. Anyway you look at it, the disappearance of bees may be good for selling one particular seed, but in general very, very bad for the rest of nature and most other agricultural industries too. Think of how Biologist Jonas Salk said: "If all insects on Earth disappeared, within 50 years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.”. This does not mean that all humans have to disappear in order for life to survive however. I would prefer a balance.

No Single Cause For Colon Collapse Disorder (1)

slazzy (864185) | about a year ago | (#43625515)

Did anyone else have to read this a few times thinking it said colon collapse disorder?

Re:No Single Cause For Colon Collapse Disorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625639)

Yeah, then I figured this was yet another obvious fact "science" post.

I mean, duh. You've got quality Mexican food; you've got bad Mexican food; you've got chili; you've got spicy Indian food; you've got spoiled dairy products...

The fight against colon collapse must be fought on many fronts.

This is the worst possible outcome. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625543)

If they at least banned one type of pesticide but got it wrong, we would have noticed it in a year or two. As it is now, we can't even trial and error a way out of this...

captcha: reactive

EPA? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43625545)

The report seems to be from the USDA, not the EPA. There are some contributors from the EPA though.

A cop out by quasi-politicians so they look good. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43625623)

To quote House, Bullshit, there's a cause for everthing; you just haven't figured it out, yet.

It's Obviously... (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about a year ago | (#43625681)

...a result of our failure to make timely sacrifices to the Wicker Man

Who is really behind this report (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625757)

Note the disclaimer on page 3. Not the policies or positions of the USDA, EPA or USG.

It is also interesting to see who was on the different work group.

  Lots of academia

CropLife America (used to be The Agricultural Insecticide and Fungicide Association).
Bayer
Monsanta - directly and indirectly (CropLife)
DuPont

A little background info... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43625885)

A little background info for aspiring entomologists. Neonicotinoids are an interesting class of insecticides. They are valued because they have relatively low mammalian toxicity but they are very effective against insects. Neonics are systemic insecticides, i.e., they get inside plants and are distributed into all plant tissues. Neonicotinoid residues found in pollen and nectar are consumed by flower-visiting insects such as bees. Concentrations of residues can reach lethal levels in some situations. Neonicotinoids can persist in soil for months or years after a single application. After plants absorb neonicotinoids, they slowly metabolize the compounds. Some of the breakdown products are as toxic or more toxic to honey bees than the original active ingredient. Honey bees exposed to sublethal levels of neonicotinoids can experience problems with flying and navigation, reduced taste sensitivity, and slower learning of new tasks, which all impact foraging ability. Keep in mind that neonicotinoids were on the market for about 10 years before colony collapse disorder was noticed.

Re:A little background info... (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year ago | (#43627405)

A little background info for aspiring entomologists. Neonicotinoids are an interesting class of insecticides. They are valued because they have relatively low mammalian toxicity but they are very effective against insects. Neonics are systemic insecticides, i.e., they get inside plants and are distributed into all plant tissues. Neonicotinoid residues found in pollen and nectar are consumed by flower-visiting insects such as bees. Concentrations of residues can reach lethal levels in some situations. Neonicotinoids can persist in soil for months or years after a single application. After plants absorb neonicotinoids, they slowly metabolize the compounds. Some of the breakdown products are as toxic or more toxic to honey bees than the original active ingredient. Honey bees exposed to sublethal levels of neonicotinoids can experience problems with flying and navigation, reduced taste sensitivity, and slower learning of new tasks, which all impact foraging ability. Keep in mind that neonicotinoids were on the market for about 10 years before colony collapse disorder was noticed.

Very interesting and I'd mod up if I hadn't already posted.
The other questions. How destructive are the insects that the neonicotinoids are controlling? How effective are the alternatives? Is this just maximizing huge profits or make or break scenario? I'm not knowledgeable on this subject.

Worst. Analogy. Ever. (1)

grimJester (890090) | about a year ago | (#43625979)

Patching one hole in a boat that leaks everywhere is not going to keep it from sinking

So, we should not patch a hole in a sinking boat? That's so absurd only Congress would fall for it. WTF are you proposing we do, swim?

corn syrup? (3, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about a year ago | (#43626217)

Read an article recently that said they have evidence to suggest that feeding bees corn syrup to replace the honey that they would normally eat weakens their immune system because the honey contains all sorts of good biological things that are remnants from the plants they harvest the nectar from. Instead, we steal their honey and feed them factory produced high fructose corn syrup. Pesticides, insecticides, corn syrup.. It's no wonder they're dying....

Re:corn syrup? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43627321)

But is there a time correlation between changing to feeding them HFCS and the colony collapse syndrome?

Difference between US/EU (4, Interesting)

devent (1627873) | about a year ago | (#43626241)

I really like how this really shows the difference between policy making in the US and the EU:
EU: maybe those pesticides are really hurting the bees, so we going to ban them for 2 years and see if it's help.
US: there are many stuff that hurts bees, but behind the pesticides are big cooperations so we rather do nothing.

"non-trivial costs to society" meaning the big cooperation don't like to take the hit on profits if there is a ban.

EPA puppets (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#43626261)

Says the bought dogs of Monsanto and DuPont.

Tobacoo got it wrong (4, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | about a year ago | (#43626947)

Big Tobacco delayed progress with FUD for decades but where they finally tripped up is that they didn't fund research into other causes of lung cancer. By conflating the whole issue with tons of information about contributing factors and flat out admitting they were a contributing factor they could continue to this day!

If you ever came in contact with Asbestos, ate poorly, lived in a polluted city, failed to get X minutes of aerobic exercise and then smoked... (I'd love the aerobic part since smokers tend to hate aerobic exercise; I'm sure their stats would be low on that "contributing factor")

Re:EPA puppets (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year ago | (#43627587)

Wrong. This is the bought dogs of Bayer for a change.

Nor Cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626393)

Cancer is caused by more than tobacco. Or radiation. Or massive UV. Or artificial fod additives. Or HPV. Or Dr. Marys Monkeys.. Or ....

So, African bees will have longer to adapt. Once they do, they will swarm all over the world, quickly adapting to the weather in the absence of competition and abundance of food. They will have this craving for nicotine and nicotine-like substances, though. That can be really messy.

I'm surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43626459)

This is the most intelligent and well reasoned point made by a government official I've heard in months. Bravo. Truly, bravo. A government agency being careful about doing something because there might be unintended consequences? I never thought I'd hear that out of any mouth but a libertarian. EPA's Jim Jones, you have my respect.

Rational Political Speak (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about a year ago | (#43626909)

+1 for intelligent political speak.
-10 for defending this foolishness.

There is no single cause for the bank robbery; therefore, we must be careful about accusing any single person for the loss of money because it could harm those components if we take measures against them.

If you think my logical transform is a false analogy, think about the fraudulent banks that caused the depression.

Should we worry about some peoples' jobs when we have a potentially big disaster on our hands? no. life sucks. get another business until you are proven safe. These pro-business zealots are all for competition killing each other off but when there is a seriously big risk they must defend the "industry" against the public, majority, democratic institutions. If you are unlucky because company X innovated and you go under that is just the risk of doing business and if you harm a lot of people you are also unlucky (unless you are Monsanto and evil is your purpose.)

Baton Twung (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43627001)

Baton Twung uh uh uh uh .

Nadive Pwide uh uh uh uh.

Who needs bees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43627287)

We can survive perfectly well on Soylent Green.

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