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posted by janrinok on Monday June 23 2014, @05:24PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the honey-we-have-a-problem dept.

They are among America's busiest workers but they've been declining sharply in recent years due to various factors, including pesticides, mite infestations and loss of genetic diversity. Now Faith Karimi writes at CNN that President Obama has created a task force to address the issue of rapidly diminishing honey bees and other pollinators. "The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment," Obama said in a memo was sent to Cabinet secretaries and agency heads.

Friends of the Earth says that the US needs to immediately ban the use of neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides chemically similar to nicotine that has been linked to bee deaths. "The administration should prevent the release and use of these toxic pesticides until determined safe," says Erich Pica whose organization is conducting a campaign and has collected more than half a million petition signatures asking Home Depot and Lowe's to stop selling plants treated with neonicotinoids (neonics). So why isn't the US moving more quickly to ban neonics? Neonics play "a major role in pest management for pest control, agriculture and the ornamental plant protection industries. They serve as a group of highly effective insecticides with low risk to people and birds, which can be applied systemically to the soil," notes a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension blogger. This is a safer, better pesticide than many alternatives.

Another reason to hold off on a ban: There are still doubts that neonics are the principal cause of bee colony collapse. "In other words, while neonics might be one of the precipitating causes, they might not be the principle cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD) in the US and Europe," says David Clark Scott. "Saving the honey bees may require a more complex solution than banning one group of insecticides. And it may require more investigation into other possible causes of CCD, including parasites, viruses, climate change, bee nutrition, lack of genetic diversity and bee keeping practices."

Related Stories

Landmark Study: Honeybee Queens Severely Affected by Neonicotinoid Pesticides 18 comments

AlterNet reports

A research team from the Institute of Bee Health at the University of Bern, from Agroscope at the Swiss Confederation, and from the Department of Biology at Canada's Acadia University [published the results of their study] in an article in the open-access journal Scientific Reports from the Nature Publishing Group [which concludes] that honey bee queens are "extremely vulnerable" to the neonicotinoids thiamethoxam and clothianidin.
[Reprinted in the journal Nature."]

The study shows profound effects on queen physiology, anatomy, and overall reproductive success.

[...] Previous research suggests that exposure to these chemicals [causes] both lethal and sub-lethal effects on honey bee workers, but nothing has been known about how they may affect queens.

The observation that honey bee queens are highly vulnerable to these common neonicotinoid pesticides is "worrisome, but not surprising", says senior author Laurent Gauthier from the Swiss Confederation's Agroscope.

[...] Since there is only a single queen in each colony, queen health is crucial to colony survival.

[...] In 2013, governments in Europe took a precautionary approach by partially restricting the application of the neonicotinoid pesticides thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid, with the mandate to perform further environmental risk assessments.

A new inter-governmental review will take place in the coming months.

Previous: Can Obama Save the Bees?
EPA Finds Little Benefit to Pesticide Linked to Bee Declines


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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Horse With Stripes on Monday June 23 2014, @05:39PM

    by Horse With Stripes (577) on Monday June 23 2014, @05:39PM (#59090)

    Once it's gone this far it will get worse before it gets better. And no one will care until it starts affecting food prices in a significant way, at which point it will be too late to help those who can barely afford groceries as it is.

    This is a big domino and it doesn't really seem to bother our government. But it will when it becomes a campaign issue.

    • (Score: 1) by meisterister on Monday June 23 2014, @10:24PM

      by meisterister (949) on Monday June 23 2014, @10:24PM (#59155) Journal

      Surely we can find enough pissed off bee.... farmers? ranchers? to push the price of honey up in order to draw attention to the problem.

      --
      (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Horse With Stripes on Tuesday June 24 2014, @12:41AM

        by Horse With Stripes (577) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @12:41AM (#59181)

        If only this was about honey. It's about the bees pollenating all the other crops that require the process to produce food.

        America has so many natural resources to feed all of our citizens, and then some. But we ('we' being Corporate America and the politicians they buy) would rather poison the land - and in this case the bees - just to make a little more profit. Soon there won't be as many farmers, so these corporations won't sell as much of their poisons, and then they'll be asking the government for assistance. Within 10 - 20 years more and more Americans will know what hunger really means. If we can't grow it, and we can't afford to buy what is grown, then things will change in a hurry. Nothing stresses a population like mass hunger.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday June 23 2014, @11:21PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Monday June 23 2014, @11:21PM (#59167) Journal

      Perhaps a big price hike in advance might send the proper message. However little will likely happen until the 0,1% top is personally affected.

      • (Score: 1) by Horse With Stripes on Tuesday June 24 2014, @12:33AM

        by Horse With Stripes (577) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @12:33AM (#59179)

        The 1% will never be affected. But when voters start asking candidates about the high price of food and "the farmers blame it on pesticides killing the bees" then we'll see a shift in the attitudes in Washington. And let's not forget the Mid West's farming communities complaining about the high price of getting food to market and the low profits when people start pointing the fingers at farmers.

        Of course the first thing they'll do is import bees from other parts of the world. And we all know that introducing non-native species to address a problem in nature always ends well. /sarcasm

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Tuesday June 24 2014, @12:54AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @12:54AM (#59184) Journal

          Politicians will blame farmers. New laws written by big corporation will then screw them and antagonize them. Which causes less food to be produced. Meanwhile more poisonous Chinese food will be imported and all cancer cases will be blamed on the importer and Chinese. The catastrophe that imported species have will be blamed on scientists.

          So it will be a blame game and coffers will be filled at the top. But the problem will remain. Solutions must be sought in a way that side steps politics and big corporations.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @04:28PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @04:28PM (#59470)

          species?
          I thought they were European honeybees and from the name assumed they were brought over from Europe?
          If so, can we (or do they already) help with issues of inbreeding by bringing over some bees from Europe periodically?

    • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Tuesday June 24 2014, @02:58AM

      by davester666 (155) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @02:58AM (#59224)

      Unless we know exactly what is happening, as in, exactly why the bees are dying, and what proportion of the blame to put on pesticides, mites, whatever, it is infinitely better to do nothing until we know absolute for sure what the best course of action is.

      Doing anything else would be literally taking money away from babies, I mean, corporations.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23 2014, @05:42PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23 2014, @05:42PM (#59092)

    Just look at who's selling those https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonicotinoids#Market [wikipedia.org]

    Those are our friendly Genetically Modified food peddlers. And we love them, love!

    And as to the this is only a part of the solution bullshit, who gives a hoot?! If it helps, it has to be done. Pollination is kinda very important: we will starve without it. I guess these people never heard of food chains...

    Even the economic argument is clearly in favor according to numbers on Wikipedia: The worth of neonicotinoids market $1.5 B whereas the value of pollination (this does however include other insects besides bees) $3 B.

    Just look at this list and kiss them goodbye https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_crop_plants_pollinated_by_bees [wikipedia.org]

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Monday June 23 2014, @06:01PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 23 2014, @06:01PM (#59101) Homepage Journal

      Notice the order the producers are listed in. Bayer is on top, selling more of this stuff than the leading two contenders combined. Bayer almost single handedly pushed the approval for this stuff through, based on incomplete and faulty "research" or "testing" done in Canada. No independent tests were ever done on the stuff, Bayer's "research" was accepted by the FDA.

      Bayer has a lot of money invested in their pesticides, and they keep throwing good money after bad by lobbying here, and in the EU.

      One thing that is glossed over in discussions about neonics, is their persistence. One dose on a field is believed to persist in the soil, and in the plant life, for six or more years, up to a decade. Plants actively take the stuff up out of the soil, deposit in all of the plant's cells, and the plant is poison to bees, and any other susceptible insects. When the plant dies, or is harvested, it seems that the remaining plant material deteriorates, and the remaining pesticide again goes back into the soil.

      Not enough research has been done - no one knows positively how long this pesticide does reside. But, it is far to long!

      Banning the stuff today would still mean bees are dying off at least six years from now, and possibly a decade in the future.

      We need to ban it, immediately, without dicking around, without worrying about investors.

      And, the FDA needs to be made to actually TEST the stuff they approve of! The next poison they approve may be even worse than neonics!

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 1) by strattitarius on Monday June 23 2014, @08:21PM

        by strattitarius (3191) on Monday June 23 2014, @08:21PM (#59128) Journal
        The FDA does NO TESTING! Okay maybe they do... but this one I know for a fact: the FAA does NO TESTING!

        Seriously, there are many of these oversight agencies that only oversee the testing conducted by the producers of the product. It's a pretty pathetic system; easy to see the holes and opportunities for corruption.
        --
        Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday June 24 2014, @11:56AM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 24 2014, @11:56AM (#59342)

        One interesting point is the conspiracy types come out of the woodwork, but banning a persistent product is just going to explode sales of non persistent products. So instead of a gallon of semi-permanent neo you'll get ten one gallon applications of nithiazine which is vaguely vampiric (in the sense that it turns to dust once sunlight hits it, unlike the semi-permanent neos)

        Given that all USA corn and soy is treated with this stuff, I'm feeling better about a grain-free diet. Once it starts killing livestock, then I'll be worried.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hoochiecoochieman on Monday June 23 2014, @05:45PM

    by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Monday June 23 2014, @05:45PM (#59096)

    We must eat OMGs in spite of all the doubts about their safety.

    We must not ban neonicotinoids because of all the doubts about their safety.

    I like this thought process... Why don't you politicians just cut through the bullshit and admit that all your decisions are taken (or procrastinated forever) based on how much money some corporation would make or lose? The public interest is not a factor, fuck it.

    It's funny, the guys that run the agrobusiness corporations don't even consider the consequences of the disappearance of bees, only short-term, highest possible profit. Like the guys that fought against lead bans for decades, they never for a second noticed that THEIR OWN children were being poisoned by lead, too.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23 2014, @06:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23 2014, @06:04PM (#59102)

      They are too busy working on prequels!

      Book: Getting Ready to Make Room! Make Room!

      Movie: The Road to Soylent Green.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:19PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:19PM (#59374)

      only short-term, highest possible profit

      That's because quarterly goals are what a business's management is judged on, not long-term viability. This is in large part because the financial industry who heavily controls everything can invest in agribusiness for a few quarters, wreck a large part of the planet, then move all their money out of agribusiness into, say, defense contractors, and wreck another chunk of the planet for a few quarters.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bradley13 on Monday June 23 2014, @05:46PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 23 2014, @05:46PM (#59097) Homepage Journal

    Great, a presidential commission, that'll help.

    There is essentially only a single, heavily inbred species of bee that is used for pollination. The hives are transported all over the country in trucks, ensuring that diseases spread quickly and efficiently. More robust bees (that aren't quite as tame) are actively exterminated.

    A very simple solution would be to encourage local bee hives and a variety of bee types. At the national level, all that's going to happen is that lots of money will be wasted...

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Monday June 23 2014, @06:11PM

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 23 2014, @06:11PM (#59105) Homepage Journal

      You have a good idea there - but there is a problem. It seems that no bees are safe from the stuff. I thought that I read something recently about carpenter bees being more immune than most other bees - but I can't find that again. But, "more immune" didn't translate into "immune" - it simply took more of the neonic to affect them.

      Basically, the neonics are capable of killing off all pollinators. We would gain nothing from allowing the honey bee monoculture to die off, if all other pollinators were killed off as well.

      Those bird species that pollinate flowers are also susceptible to neonics - primarily humming birds.

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:41AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:41AM (#59202)

        > I read something recently about carpenter bees being more immune than most other bees - but I can't find that again. But, "more immune" didn't translate into "immune" - it simply took more of the neonic to affect them.

        Probably because carpenter bees are big-ass mother-fuckers. I never even heard of them until I moved to the south and now I've got tons of them nesting in the wood on my dilapidated (and soon to be replaced) deck. They aren't really aggressive (the males are, but they don't have stingers, so it is all show). But I've hit them head on with bug spray that kills wasps in 30 seconds and these guys barely even notice.

        Downside of using carpenter bees as pollinators - they don't have hives, just solitary (and occasionally co-operative) nests with one female plus 10-20 babies.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday June 23 2014, @09:46PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 23 2014, @09:46PM (#59150) Journal

      Last time I visited my sister's family in central Montana I marvelled at how many farmers and ranchers had begun keeping bees. It seems they're being affected already. Since then I've been toying with the idea of building an apiary. I fear bees but having a ready supply of honey and not having to hand-pollinate my garden anymore would be great. It seems providing incentive for more people to keep bees might/would/could help.

      Have any Soylentils done this? What's the thumbnail sketch?

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by rancid on Monday June 23 2014, @11:01PM

        by rancid (4090) <reversethis-{ten.rotliam} {ta} {izbas}> on Monday June 23 2014, @11:01PM (#59164)

        Planting a bee garden [thehoneybeeconservancy.org] is a good option too for those unable or unwilling to have their own hive.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by art guerrilla on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:13AM

        by art guerrilla (3082) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:13AM (#59189)

        whoa, you hand-pollinate your garden, seriously ? ? ?
        well, you are living the future, mein gut freund...

        one of the things i've noticed on our humble 10 acres, is that the last couple years has been w-a-y down for spiders; we are usually CHOKING with webs of golden orb weavers and crab spiders, such that you need to carry a 'spider-stick' to brush away the webs every day when you walked the trails... now? so few, you don't really need a spider-stick... seems way low on mosquitoes, 'love-bugs', too, AND -perhaps not coincidentally- seems way low on anoles, blue-tailed skinks, i've seen ZERO toads this year, and very few snakes...
        i'm sure its all just a natural cycle...

        i mean, we've run this experiment on other 'control' earths and know how many PPM of Co2 and shit we can get away with, right ? ? ?
        ...right ? ? ?
        Norman, please explain...

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Reziac on Tuesday June 24 2014, @02:47AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @02:47AM (#59221) Homepage

        Honeybees as we know them were imported from Europe, mostly England. They are not native; they are an invasive species, and they displaced other species (and not only bees) that used to be North America's major pollinators.

        Montana (where I live) has relatively few bee-pollinated cash crops; most of our crops are wind-pollinated. The only major exception I can think of offhand are cherries up in the Flathead region.

        As to the beehives in Montana -- you'll see them every summer, when southern beekeepers truck their hives north, to where there are blooming plants for a lot more of the summer, so their bees can make honey longer. Cuz they can't do that in the southwest where after the spring rains, everything dries up. When I lived in SoCal, I worked for a beekeeper who did exactly that, every summer... trucked a load of bees to northern Montana for the summer. When his bees were in SoCal, their major income came not from honey, but from pollinating almond and orange orchards. (Outside of that, nearly all the honey was from buckwheat -- dark, strong, and the market is wholly overseas.)

        • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday June 24 2014, @03:49AM

          by dry (223) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @03:49AM (#59240) Journal

          I'd guess that Alfalfa is also an important crop in Montana, whether for cash or for the ranchers to feed their cattle and of course Alfalfa is pollinated by bees. Makes good honey as well.

          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday June 24 2014, @04:17AM

            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @04:17AM (#59243) Homepage

            It's getting to be more grass than alfalfa, far as I see in the fields and as hay for sale (likely a matter of the spike in energy prices making water expensive to pump -- alfalfa needs irrigation here). And there are all sorts of bugs that live on alfalfa and crawl into the blossoms. But more to the point, alfalfa isn't generally grown for seed, so outside of those few who do produce seed, no one cares if it "sets a crop".

            • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday June 24 2014, @05:58AM

              by dry (223) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @05:58AM (#59259) Journal

              Good point about not needing seed.

              • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:42PM

                by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:42PM (#59390) Homepage

                A specialty crop, being the seeds are tiny, and you can't exactly process 'em with a baler. Now that you mention it I'll have to look into that... it sets seeds randomly from first bloom til hard frost. They don't even mature at the same pace within a single flower head.

                The primary insects I see on alfalfa blooms are a very small black bee and one that looks like a tiny black earwig, both very plentiful in hot weather.

                • (Score: 2) by dry on Thursday June 26 2014, @04:29AM

                  by dry (223) on Thursday June 26 2014, @04:29AM (#60218) Journal

                  50 million kilos of alfalfa seed a year are produced in N. America so not that much of a specialty crop. Seems that alfalfa leaf miner bees were domesticated mostly for pollinating alfalfa, at least here in Canada and I'd guess the small bees you see are also a species of leaf miner bee. There are a lot of leaf miner bee species.

          • (Score: 2) by caseih on Tuesday June 24 2014, @05:29AM

            by caseih (2744) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @05:29AM (#59255)

            Except for seed production, most Alfalfa is cut for forage. The alfalfa that is for seed production is pollinated with bees brought in, rather than rely on local populations. Some honey bees, mostly leaf-cutter bees, just as with hybrid canola seed.

            • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday June 24 2014, @06:02AM

              by dry (223) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @06:02AM (#59260) Journal

              They bring in leaf cutter bees? Most Alfalfa fields I've seen have been full of honey bees. That was 30+ years ago and before the current bee problems

              • (Score: 2) by caseih on Thursday June 26 2014, @01:49AM

                by caseih (2744) on Thursday June 26 2014, @01:49AM (#60178)

                Mostly leaf-cutters these days. A whole industry here has sprung up mainly for canola seed production. But I understand they do use them for alfalfa quite a bit. Might have to try some alfalfa seed production sometime. It's a lot easier these days with top-kill herbicide. Instead of swathing, and then worrying about the windrows blowing away, we can spray Reglone and then combine it straight a week later. All without killing the alfalfa.

                • (Score: 2) by dry on Thursday June 26 2014, @04:23AM

                  by dry (223) on Thursday June 26 2014, @04:23AM (#60214) Journal

                  Interesting how the domestic leaf miners are handled and seems that they were mostly domesticated for Alfalfa seed production, at least here in Canada, http://www.seeds.ca/proj/poll/index.php?n=Leafcutter+Bees [seeds.ca] and between the States and Canada we produce 50 million kilos a year of alfalfa seed.
                  Never realized that desiccants such as Reglone were used so much in agriculture, hadn't even heard of it, I was at time a registered pesticide applicator (forestry) so familiar with many herbicides.

                  • (Score: 2) by caseih on Monday June 30 2014, @01:21AM

                    by caseih (2744) on Monday June 30 2014, @01:21AM (#61765)

                    Yes. We use reglone to desiccate peas, beans, and sometimes Canola. And alfalfa seed, I understand. It works faster than RoundUp and leaves no residue, which is important for markets that have a zero tolerance for RoundUp residue on food. It's more than double the cost of RoundUp per acre but works well. I believe Reglone is used extensively in potatoes as well, to kill off the vines at harvest time to prevent the tubers from continuing to grow, while at the same time making sure they stay alive, which RoundUp wouldn't do. It's safer than roundup too, since a little herbicide drift won't kill established grasses, alfalfas, and trees.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 25 2014, @02:08AM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 25 2014, @02:08AM (#59659) Journal

          Wow, informative reply, thanks! I assumed the hives were there to pollinate the alfalfa people grow in central Montana. I grew up in Kalispell and have been back frequently since I moved away for college; in all that time I can only recall ever seeing one bee hive, which was on the west side of Flathead lake near the cut across to Plains. Never saw any in the cherry orchards on the east side of the lake even. That's why I was so struck by the sight of so many on the road from Great Falls to Lewistown last year. I stopped counting after two score. I have never heard of anyone selling honey that was flavored with alfalfa (though I've heard plenty about honey from bees in Provence who frequent lavender fields, for example), so I surmised the hives were being brought in because they had become necessary. If it's true beekeepers truck them up from the Southwest perhaps the drought there is playing a role as well.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday June 25 2014, @02:34AM

            by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday June 25 2014, @02:34AM (#59666) Homepage

            Yeah, the drought probably has a lot to do with it -- the beekeeper I worked for spent more of the summer in MT as the SoCal situation got drier. D'oh!! (And he's still doing it -- I saw his truck on the interstate last summer, somewhere down by Dillon and loaded with bees.)

            Could be there are enough wild bees (not just honeybees) and other insects to pollinate the cherry crop. As you know the Flathead doesn't lack for water, and when you've got plenty of water, there are always plenty of bugs!

            (I say, looking out the window at yet ANOTHER rainstorm... we've had, count them, six days since the snow stopped without at least a little rain. I grew up in Great Falls, but now I'm down by Three Forks, where it's usually nowhere near this wet, nor this many mosquitoes. I think I moved to Minnesota by mistake.)

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Dunbal on Monday June 23 2014, @06:12PM

    by Dunbal (3515) on Monday June 23 2014, @06:12PM (#59106)

    The answer is - of course not. Bureaucracies are notoriously inefficient and rarely achieve anything at all apart from the creation of new bureaucracies. How this will help bees is unclear, especially since nicotinoids are only PART of the problem. So lots of mediocre people will get mediocre jobs that consist in making other people's job harder or impossible, economic efficiency will decrease overall, taxes will go up to pay for all the new bureaucrats, prices will go up to pay for all the decreased yields, alternate chemicals or decreasing margins due to all the red tape. And the bees will still die.

    • (Score: 2) by BradTheGeek on Monday June 23 2014, @06:25PM

      by BradTheGeek (450) on Monday June 23 2014, @06:25PM (#59109)

      Yes, because the bureaucracies that banned DDT were ineffective too. I really miss the bald eagle and the condor. And those species weren't pivotal to our food supply. We are doomed.

      • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday June 24 2014, @03:51AM

        by dry (223) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @03:51AM (#59241) Journal

        DDT was also getting ineffective so the chemical companies didn't put up too much of a fight. Be the same with the current crop of insecticides, once the pests evolve to make them ineffective, they'll be banned.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:46AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @01:46AM (#59204)

      > Bureaucracies are notoriously inefficient and rarely achieve anything at all apart from the creation of new bureaucracies.

      You seem to be a lover of corporations which are just another kind of bureaucracy, therefore your logic is ipso facto false because we aren't still sleeping in trees.

      • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Tuesday June 24 2014, @10:52AM

        by Dunbal (3515) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @10:52AM (#59323)

        "You seem to be a lover of corporations"

        No I don't. Take your non sequitur and leave.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by evilviper on Tuesday June 24 2014, @08:14AM

      by evilviper (1760) on Tuesday June 24 2014, @08:14AM (#59295) Homepage Journal

      Bureaucracies are notoriously inefficient and rarely achieve anything at all apart from the creation of new bureaucracies.

      Which is why private industry invented nuclear bombs and reactors? Landed men on the moon and sent probes out of our solar system?

      Point me to the privatization projects that saved money without cutting services...

      Don't confuse popular Fox News / talk radio talking points for reality.

      --
      Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
  • (Score: 1) by Buck Feta on Monday June 23 2014, @07:29PM

    by Buck Feta (958) on Monday June 23 2014, @07:29PM (#59122) Journal

    > The problem is serious and requires immediate attention

    I'm not an Obama hater, but geeze, the guy is *way* late on this issue.

    --
    - fractious political commentary goes here -
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday June 23 2014, @09:04PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday June 23 2014, @09:04PM (#59139) Journal
      Geez, mate, is this some kind of "Marvel Syndrome"? If Captain Ame... sorry... Zer Prezident is not there to save the day, all will be fucked by Zie Germanz?
      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Monday June 23 2014, @11:28PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Monday June 23 2014, @11:28PM (#59169) Journal

      Are you sure the president is really the one in power?

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23 2014, @07:34PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23 2014, @07:34PM (#59123)

    While we're at it, let's put an end to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, premenstrual syndrome...

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23 2014, @09:28PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23 2014, @09:28PM (#59146)

    steps:

    1: overuse of pesticides (monsanto, anyone) like round up
    2: create robotic bees when most/all real bees have died
    3: license/patent the robo bees to monsanto
    4: profit!

    M0ns4nt0: Hey! Those are OUR robot bees pollinating your crops! Pay us.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday June 23 2014, @11:30PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Monday June 23 2014, @11:30PM (#59170) Journal

      Perhaps a round up of some corporations is what's needed..

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by cyrano on Monday June 23 2014, @09:53PM

    by cyrano (1034) on Monday June 23 2014, @09:53PM (#59153) Homepage

    We've seen bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) in area's where no neo nicotinoids were used too. I've been following the reports since the very beginning and it is certain that the influx of new types of Varroa were also a factor.

    3 neo nicotinoids have been banned for 2 years in the EU to study their influence on the entire process.

    The USA has been hit much harder by CCD but most beekeepers I talked to were convinced the reason for that was that colonies get hauled around and exploited in the most awful fashion possible, moving them from totally different habitats 4 to 5 times in a season.

    The wikipedia page has a quite complete overview

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder#Neonicotinoids_banned_by_European_Union [wikipedia.org]

    --
    The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear. - Kali [kali.org]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25 2014, @12:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25 2014, @12:31PM (#59822)

      Wireless radiation causes CCD. But it is not what companies benefiting from wireless -- a very long list, btw -- want everyone to know.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @04:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 24 2014, @04:51AM (#59248)

    Obama can save the entire Earth. Of course he can save the bees. He can do that before you finish breakfast in the morning.