Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 17 submissions in the queue.
posted by cmn32480 on Tuesday May 31 2016, @10:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the pollinators-in-danger dept.

A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season.

Christian Krupke, professor of entomology, and then-postdoctoral researcher Elizabeth Long collected pollen from Indiana honeybee hives at three sites over 16 weeks to learn which pollen sources honeybees use throughout the season and whether they are contaminated with pesticides.

The pollen samples represented up to 30 plant families and contained residues from pesticides spanning nine chemical classes, including neonicotinoids - common corn and soybean seed treatments that are toxic to bees. The highest concentrations of pesticides in bee pollen, however, were pyrethroids, which are typically used to control mosquitoes and other nuisance pests.

"Although crop pollen was only a minor part of what they collected, bees in our study were exposed to a far wider range of chemicals than we expected," said Krupke. "The sheer numbers of pesticides we found in pollen samples were astonishing. Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields."
...
"If you care about bees as a homeowner, only use insecticides when you really need to because bees will come into contact with them," she said.

Organic vegetables with a few insect-caused holes taste better than unblemished supermarket ones.

Original Study


Original Submission

Related Stories

Hives With Over Half-Million Bees Burned and Drowned in Brazoria County, Tx. 24 comments

On the night of April 26th, an unknown person or persons destroyed beehives that were home to over half a million bees in Alvin, Texas.

With the advent of Colony Collapse Disorder early this millennium, and the resulting drops in bee populations across the USA, Europe, and Asia, people and organizations have been making efforts to house, protect and nurture honeybee populations for the sake of their crops, the good of the environment, or as a service to humanity at large.

Use of the land for the bees destroyed was donated by a private citizen and the location is visible to the road so passers by can watch and enjoy the bee keepers working with the bees.

Then we get people that do things like this:

Over the weekend, someone set fire to two dozen bee colonies in Alvin, Texas belonging to the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association. The perpetrator also dumped some of the bee boxes into a nearby pond.

According to one of the beekeepers:

I broke down in tears when I saw a floating brood frame in the water with bees still caring for the brood.

It is expected that the perpetrators were very likely stung and the community is on the lookout for individuals with bee stings.

Perhaps more remarkably, this is not a completely new idea. Multiple Facebook comments speak of past attacks on bees elsewhere attributed to teenagers and rival bee keepers.

We've already seen bees persevering through fire and smoke, according to beekeepers the surviving bees are stressed and many will have lost their queens, but is also possible some hives will survive.

Previous coverage of Bee troubles:
Some Honeybee Colonies Adapt in Wake of Deadly Mites
Backyard Beekeeping Now Legal in Los Angeles
Honeybees Pick Up 'Astonishing' Number of Pesticides Via Non-crop Plants
Bees Dead from Aerial Zika Spraying in South Carolina
Pesticide Companies' Own Secret Tests Showed Their Products Harm Bees
Extensive Study Concludes Neonicotinoid Pesticides Harm Bees
EU Bans Outdoor Use of Pesticides That Harm Bees


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 31 2016, @11:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 31 2016, @11:06PM (#353246)

    Organic vegetables with a few insect-caused holes taste better than unblemished supermarket ones.

    That line has no place in this summary. Please remove it. I agree with it, but it doesn't belong and should be removed.

    • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday May 31 2016, @11:53PM

      by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday May 31 2016, @11:53PM (#353258)

      I reluctantly agree. It is correct but out of place.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @01:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @01:39AM (#353300)

      What if that line was replaced with the Joni Mitchell lyric from Big Yellow Taxi--

        "Hey farmer farmer, put away the DDT now; give me spots on apples, but leave me the birds and the bees."

      Would that be acceptable? Personally I like these tag lines, forces me to evaluate the post again and maybe "do my own thinking".

    • (Score: 1) by Meepy on Wednesday June 01 2016, @02:58AM

      by Meepy (2099) on Wednesday June 01 2016, @02:58AM (#353320)

      I agree, doesn't belong. It's almost a non sequitur.

      Organic doesn't mean pesticide-free. They just used pesticides classified as "organic", and often more of them since they aren't as effective. Some of those are pretty carcinogenic too compared to the carefully synthesized "non-organic" ones.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @06:52AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @06:52AM (#353354)

        Can we get some citations about carcinogenicity of pesticides allowed in organic farming? And even red meat is "probably carcinogenic" and already Paracelsus knew in the 1500s that "does makes the poison"; If something can cause cancer but only in massive concentrations nobody gets exposed to it's fairly irrelevant.

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Wednesday June 01 2016, @11:52AM

        by driverless (4770) on Wednesday June 01 2016, @11:52AM (#353423)

        Organic doesn't mean pesticide-free. They just used pesticides classified as "organic"

        I wonder if you could convince people that organophosphates qualify? Ever since they withdrew amiton from sale, it's been impossible to find anything that really gets rid of all garden pests.

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 01 2016, @11:41AM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday June 01 2016, @11:41AM (#353417) Journal

      The point I was obliquely making was that people are so obsessed with the perfect appearance of produce, lawns, and landscapes that farmers (or Big Ag) and homeowners are over-applying pesticides and wiping out the bees as collateral damage, when the irony is that organic vegetables taste better and are better for you even with a few insect-caused holes.

      That is germane to the discussion, is it not?

      The value of a site like Soylent is in its discussion, not as much in its actual articles, which you can go to ArsTechnica, Phys.org, and the like to read. I add brief comments to excerpts to kickstart discussion because in my experience they do. Many's the time, as a counter-test, I submit interesting articles with no comment or quip only to see them draw 0 comments. We could all subscribe to RSS feeds instead to get that.

      But FYI, if you post criticism as an AC it's written off as a concern troll. If you want the all-volunteer editors, devs, and submitters to listen to your feedback, pluck up your courage, sign-in, and post the same under a real username. If you're real person with real feedback, you should have no problem doing that.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @02:29PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @02:29PM (#353473)

        Summaries should summarize the article, not your opinion or thoughts about them. The place for that is in the comments. After you submit the article, make the first post your thoughts on it or maybe add a "submitter's comment" section to the summary. Just don't mix that with the actual article. It's unprofessional.

        I'm AC because I don't like dealing with managing multiple logins across tons of sites. Tracking and the risk of data leaks is annoying too, but those are of less concern. According to you, if I just created a throwaway account and made one post, that post would have more weight than this post. That's simply stupid. It shouldn't matter what your name is, the only thing that should matter is the content of the post. The poster's background doesn't change what they typed. It could change the interpretation, but you have to already know the poster for that and this is a public site not a private club.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 01 2016, @03:46PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday June 01 2016, @03:46PM (#353507) Journal

          I'm not a professional. I'm a random dude who gave of his time, freely, to submit an article to a community site for discussion. So if you're demanding "professional" something from a place you pay nothing for, and don't contribute anything to, not even the merest soupcon of identity or reputation, then you're behaving like a ninny.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @05:46PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @05:46PM (#353554)

            It's just cheesy flamebait that ends up dominating the conversation. Might as well just post a goatse.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @12:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @12:40PM (#353440)

      I thought this site was supposed to be better than Slashdot but at least they don't do this sort of crap.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @12:13AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @12:13AM (#353268)
    Controlling the spread of mosquitoes can be a matter of life and death in many parts of the world. Malaria, dengue fever, zika fever, chikugunya, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever, filariasis, West Nile fever, and many more dangerous diseases are carried by them. Some of these diseases are deadly, nearly all of them will require a hospital stay of at least several days.
    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Wednesday June 01 2016, @02:50AM

      by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday June 01 2016, @02:50AM (#353317)

      True, but preserving the pollinators could be a matter of life and death for the human species.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @07:09AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @07:09AM (#353358)
        Which is why lethal ovitraps really should be the preferred method for mosquito control. They put pesticides in special traps that are similar to places where female mosquitoes like to lay their eggs, and the pesticides are such that either the eggs or larvae are destroyed or the hapless mosquito is killed outright. They can use very strong pesticides there which would otherwise cause harm to the environment if sprayed. Naturally other types of insects aren't going to go into such traps and get poisoned as a result.
    • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Wednesday June 01 2016, @06:31PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Wednesday June 01 2016, @06:31PM (#353583)

      Controlling the spread of mosquitoes can be a matter of life and death in many parts of the world. Malaria, dengue fever, zika fever, chikugunya, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever, filariasis, West Nile fever, and many more dangerous diseases are carried by them.

      The real problem seems to be that we are changing conditions to allow these diseases to affect more people and to spread to places not evolved to handle them. There are a lot of ways that occurs, from bringing the diseases out of the treetops by clear cutting forests, to blanket spraying that harms the populations of the predators of the disease carrying pests faster and more thoroughly than the pests themselves, to moving people into new habitats and by moving the pests themselves into new habitats, to name just a few.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday June 01 2016, @12:20AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 01 2016, @12:20AM (#353271) Homepage Journal

    Pesticides aren't applied carefully to individual plants. Whether applied in the form of a liquid, or a dust, pesticides are applied in bulk. The wind carries the stuff far and wide. When applied from a tractor, you can see a cloud of dust or vapor being blown downwind. When applied from a crop dusting plane, that cloud is generally larger, and higher, so it settles even further down wind.

    Even if herbicides and pesticides were manually applied carefully to individual plants, you would get downwind contamination. That doesn't address the spread of chemicals in the water. Nor does it address the fact that any "over application" goes into the soil, then it is often taken up into subsequent crops along with the plant's nutrients.

    All herbicides and pesticides are poisons. We should use a lot less of them, everywhere.

    --
    Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @05:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @05:49PM (#353557)

      Yeah whatever, but what about the better taste of organic products?