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Tavascarow

It's getting worse for neonic

Stinging verdict on bee-killers.
Quote:
After reviewing over 100 new peer-reviewed studies into the pesticides, the European Academies Science Advisory Council – representing 29 national academies, including Britain’s august Royal Society concludes that “there is an increasing body of evidence” that their widespread use “has severe negative effects” on beneficial insects and other wildlife, including bees and birds, and may even make pest outbreaks worse. And it adds that their widespread use in seed dressings is “inconsistent” with basic principles laid down in EC directives.

& the Conservatives want the EU neonic ban lifted!!!?
Mistress Rose

Well they think it will please their little friends, don't they. I know some farmers are finding it more difficult without, as they have got used to using them, but it is important that the ban continues. I didn't see how seed dressing could affect bees at first, but the evidence seems to be mounting up that they are doing damage.

I don't think either colony collapse disorder or winter losses are 'caused' by neonics though. I think they have muliple causes, and the more that can be cleared out of the way, the closer we will be to finding a solution.
tahir

http://www.hortweek.com/eus-neonicotinoid-report-triggers-further-controversy/products-kit/article/1342398
Mistress Rose

It is a problem for farmers, but in the past they have managed by various methods, including sowing at different times of year, to adapt. I am not minimising their problems, but if this morotoriam on the use of neonocs. shows that bees recover and they really were affecting various pollinators, then they will have to do without them. No pollinators is rather more serious.
Tavascarow

& not just polinators but avian species as well. & I would bet that the decline in bat populations are also associated.
There is huge amounts of peer reviewed science proving the damage it does.
Not only should neonics be banned but it's time for testing to be carried out independently before product release. At the moment testing of new agrochems is done by the manufacturer. We have just heard how Monsanto have known about glyphosate's cancer risk for thirty five years & covered it up!!
Can we really continue to trust big business to test their own products.
Also the old LD50 test that has been used for decades is past its sell by date.
Modern agrochems work in very subtle ways & just taking a sample of non target species, & dosing them till half are dead doesn't cover any of the other ways these chemicals can effect.
dpack

yep,the "my new blunderbuss is very safe" style of letting the maker produce the safety and bycatch and interaction data is very flawed.
Mistress Rose

This was done with pharmacuticals, agro and other chemicals, to both speed up the process and reduce the amount of money spent by the public purse. I agree with you, but some way has to be found that spreads the cost of the testing so that while the results are in the public domain, and carried out by public servants rather than the companies. Perhaps the companies paying for most of the safety testing with a small contribution from the state before they can sell in that country, but data from other countries such as the US and other European countries being scrutinesed so that there is less duplication, but any potentially flawed tests, other requirements of points of concern raised since the tests were carried out are covered.
dpack

using existing data from previous testing sounds sensible but i recon i could get a "safety certificate"for almost anything in the "right" countries.
how much does a corrupt "minister of testing" cost in a country of exploitation?

a bit like big pharm has been known to do.
Mistress Rose

That is why I suggested that only data from reliable sources should be used. It is well known that some places data is dubious and that some laboratories are less good than others.
Tavascarow

I see no reason why the manufacturers shouldn't pay the full cost of testing in every country. Although I wouldn't have a problem with a EU testing system.
The manufacturers make huge profits from their poisons so why do governments need to foot any of the bill? Other than overseeing & regulating the testing laboratories.
dpack

im fairly sure i half heard a news report this am that suggested that bees get a "addiction" to neonics which makes them seek food supplies containing them leading to toxic levels in the bees above what would be expected from general environmental exposure. and tragic results.

i cant find the scientific paper but a quick google leads to the news reports
Tavascarow

im fairly sure i half heard a news report this am that suggested that bees get a "addiction" to neonics which makes them seek food supplies containing them leading to toxic levels in the bees above what would be expected from general environmental exposure. and tragic results.

i cant find the scientific paper but a quick google leads to the news reports
There's a link to it in this page near the bottom.
Quote:
Researchers found that compared with areas without neonicotinoid seed treatments, in the vicinity of crops treated with clothianidin populations of wild bees were slashed in half, solitary bees did not nest at all, and bumblebee nests were half as heavy and produced less than a third as many queens.

This evidence follows the recent revelation that the UK Government’s own bumblebee study actually revealed correlations between neonicotinoid insecticide contamination and bee health, but despite knowing better the Government misleadingly claimed that their research had found "no relationship between colony growth and neonicotinoid residues"
Quote:
“The pesticide companies have been hiding behind the absence of sufficiently robust field studies to call for inaction in protecting wild pollinators from insecticides. This position is no longer tenable in light of this highly conclusive study.” Said Matt Shardlow, Buglife CEO. “We hope this puts the debate about impacts of neonicotinoids on bees and pollinators to bed, because there are growing concerns about the impacts of these toxins on soil life and in freshwater and nothing has been done to regulate this environmental damage, it is time for the authorities to reassess the wider environmental impacts of neonicotinoids and take further action to restrict their use”.
I know from personal experience how bloody addictive nicotine is (nine months & still getting urges).
Rob R

It's certainly having an effect.

Quote:
About 5% of the oilseed rape crop originally planted was lost to flea beetle damage last autumn, with 1.5% redrilled, leaving 22,000ha ripped up in England, equating to some 3.5%.


Quote:
The survey says England and Wales plantings would have been 5% higher if neonicotinoid treatment had been available, equivalent to an extra 38,000ha drilled.
Mistress Rose

I notice they don't remark on the losses to pigeons. I don't know about flea beetle, but we mainly get autumn sown here, possibly because of flea beetle. I know we get tremendous losses due to pigeons some years as you can see the huge bare patches in the fields, and pigeons taking off from them.

While I understand the problem with flea beetle, there is a serious potential problem with neonics and bees, and the rape won't get pollinated without the bees, so killing the pest and the pollinator is going to reduce the yield even further.
Tavascarow

It's certainly having an effect.

Quote:
About 5% of the oilseed rape crop originally planted was lost to flea beetle damage last autumn, with 1.5% redrilled, leaving 22,000ha ripped up in England, equating to some 3.5%.


Quote:
The survey says England and Wales plantings would have been 5% higher if neonicotinoid treatment had been available, equivalent to an extra 38,000ha drilled.
Who are the HGCA? I like to know who pays the piper. I definitely wouldn't expect FWi to be anti pesticides considering how much advertising revenue they receive. Rob R

They are the levy board for grains & oilseeds. Not everything is a conspiracy theory - I'm not sure what you're suggesting - it is exactly the outcome you would expect. Farmers don't spend thousands on pesticides for fun. Mistress Rose

I know they don't. There are two sides to this. On one side the farmers need some sort of pesticide against flea beetle, and on the other side they need bees to pollinate the OSR and other flowers. The current pesticide of choice seems to be having an adverse effect on the pollinators. By seeing if stopping the use of the pesticide for a few years helps the pollinators, a sensible experiment is being run. However, at present, nobody has come up with a good alternative way of controlling flea beetle. How was it controlled in the past? I agree that help should be given to the farmers in terms of their lost yeilds, and also help to control the pest in some other way.

My comment about pigeons was because some years the losses to winter sown OSR to pigeons seem far in excess of reported losses to flea beetle in this area, and as a passer by, they are very obvious to me.
Rob R

I agree that help should be given to the farmers in terms of their lost yeilds, and also help to control the pest in some other way.

I'm not so sure about that - it's prevalence as break crop is much greater because of the pesticides and breeding. With it withdrawn I think the only sensible answer is to gross less of it and return to more traditional break crops, like grass in the rotation.

Vegetable oils are causing so much damage to the environment yet it is always meat that gets the blame and we're told to cut down on that. Noone ever says that we're eating too much veg oil and we should be growing more grass.
Tavascarow

They are the levy board for grains & oilseeds. Not everything is a conspiracy theory - I'm not sure what you're suggesting - it is exactly the outcome you would expect. Farmers don't spend thousands on pesticides for fun. I wasn't saying there was a conspiracy. I just like to know who's paying the bill because as you know that generally sways the conclusions. A lot of the pro chemical/ anti ban propaganda is coming from the agrochem industry, which is why I asked. Thanks for clearing that one up.
If farmers had time to read the science they probably wouldn't pay thousands. There's proof that neonics are bad for yields in certain instances because of their effects on beneficial species. As Mistress Rose stated without pollinators OSR is just a green crop. It's totally reliant on insect pollination to produce seed. 5% loss of yield to fleabeetle is better than 100% loss due to no bees.
Rob R

Agreed, but we'd all be a lot better off with less OSR - it struggles often because there are just too few pollinators to cope with the demand in a short space of time. A few more clover leys to support pollinators are best, but for that we need a few more animals to eat it.

I think we're going to see a significantly reduced crop in the future, not just due to pesticides, but other factors too. However, I'm not so confident that it'll be replaced with more grass, perhaps more pulses to help combat rising protein costs.
Mistress Rose

I assumed the OSR was grown because it was something the farmers could sell. I didn't realise it was mainly as a break crop, because round here there is lots of it grown. We have found OSR useful for our bees because it builds them up in the spring, but whether all of it gets pollinated I don't know. The spring rape used to give us a good crop, but hardly any of that is grown here now. Pulses are not a bad alternative are they? Certainly peas and field beans add nitrogen to the soil, and field beans encourage pollinators, as the best honey I ever had was rape and field bean.

Clover is a good crop for cattle and for wildlife, but it depends on whether it is worth while for the farmer, and the particular place it is grown. If ground is to be used for livestock, then trying to re-establish the traditional pasture for that area is probably a good alternative.

Basically, it is a question of balance. We need some arable farming, some livestock and the whole as ecologically balanced as possible. You would not be able to do your type of farming where we are because it is dry and the natural pasture, although used for grazing in the valleys, is better suited for sheep on the hills.
Rob R

If it grows grass (and even some places that don't) , it's suitable.

We need some arable, but a lot less than we have at the moment - we should build the soil with grass for more years than we deplete it with crops. We'd need a lot less pesticides, and be a lot healthier for it.
Falstaff



.......... However, at present, nobody has come up with a good alternative way of controlling flea beetle. How was it controlled in the past? .........

"Flea Beetle dust" was effective I used to lend it surreptitiously to my mate who "was organic" so he could actually grow some seedlings !

It was banned around the same time as "Derris dust"
Mistress Rose

I suspect it was derris dust. As far as I recall, that is organic, but kills nearly everything.

Leaving fields to grass or fallow would be a good way of reducing pests and diseases Rob. It might do something for things like black grass too. It would mean altering the current ideas of farming back to mixed farming as it used to be I suspect. Several farms I see locally, that mainly rely on pigs or cows seem to use this method and after the animals have been on them for a few years, they plough them up and grow a crop for a year or two before going back to grazing. Assume that gets rid of parasite build up in the soil for the animals.
Rob R

I watched a programme 'Man & Beast' with Martin Clunes last night on ITV.com after hearing that it featured his Dexters too. Nothing to do with grazing but it was good (& bad) to see how much we rely on animals for so many things. Mistress Rose

Something I think a lot of people don't realise. dpack

derris is a plant based complex ,it kills most insects and is also pretty good as a fish poison .made from a chrysanthemum iirc and discouraged for good reasons

edit having checked made from vetch like plants ,perhaps used on chrysanthemums Embarassed

although some of those do have some rather interesting toxins and toxin precursors
Falstaff

I suspect it was derris dust. As far as I recall, that is organic,...




Like cyanide, strychnine and nicotine ?


Apparently "derris dust" is rotenone ! (you learn something every day ! ) and is efficient against insects and fish, but not on humans and other mammals. Very Happy

Dunno whetehr dd and Flea beetle dust were the same - I rather doiubt it, sine they were side by side on teh shelves from the same maker


However they were only effective for a few days whereas neonics are systemic and last seemingly for the life of teh plant.

The links seem to say dd was ok for use up until2008 and possibly after - I'm wondering whether that means something else became known as dd because I remember it being "barred" in around 1992 ?
Mistress Rose

Some things are barred for some uses by some people but not others. It could have been the shelf life of the product though as it would probably alter and become less effective with time.
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