• LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • SNAP Display at Event
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • Link to SK Organic Resources

Bee Die-off

Educational Material

view details »


Bee Protective Habitat Guide (Beyond Pesticides) explains the role pesticides play in pollinator decline. Gives a list of pollinator-friendly plants, several of which may not be native to the area you live in. Rather than bringing in a potential invasive, look for similar native species

Beyond Pesticides Launches Comprehensive K-5 Pollinator Curriculum(Beyond Pesticides September 28, 2016)  For any interested teacher out there. Available on-line and seems free. There are even grants to help adoption of the courriculum in specific areas in the US.

Resources about Wildlife and Waters (NCAP) including Native Bees & Neonicotinoids and Plant These Save Bees + Neonic Examples BEE Protective (Beyond Pesticides)

Pollinators Vital to Our Food Supply Under Threat  Assessment Details Options for Safeguarding Pollinators (UN Environment Programme Fri, Feb 26, 2016) The assessment, titled Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production and the first ever issued by IPBES, is a groundbreaking effort to better understand and manage a critical element of the global ecosystem. It is also the first assessment of its kind that is based on the available knowledge from science and indigenous and local knowledge systems. 16.5% - Percentage of vertebrate pollinators threatened with extinction globally. +40% - Percentage of invertebrate pollinator species - particularly bees and butterflies - facing extinction."Wild pollinators in certain regions, especially bees and butterflies, are being threatened by a variety of factors," said IPBES Vice-Chair, Sir Robert Watson. "Their decline is primarily due to changes in land use, intensive agricultural practices and pesticide use, alien invasive species, diseases and pests, and climate change." ...The assessment found that pesticides, including neonicotinoid insecticides, threaten pollinators worldwide, although the long-term effects are still unknown. Genetically modified crops are usually either tolerant to herbicides or resistant to pest insects. The former reduces the availability of weeds, which supply food for pollinators. The latter often results in lower use of insecticides and may reduce pressure on beneficial insects including pollinators. However, the sub-lethal and indirect effects of GM crops on pollinators are poorly understood and not usually accounted for in risk assessments.

'A disaster in the making': New book on the massive decline of bees and birds

view details »

Press Release, October 29, 2010
Coalition against Bayer Dangers (Germany)    A disaster in the making

Author demands total ban on neonicotinoids  /  pesticides linked to bee and bird decline in western Europe / Bayer´s best-selling substances in question / see Preface

mail-order: www.disasterinthemaking.com
start of sale: November 1, 2010
price:  € 29.95 excluding VAT (if applicable) and shipping costs
ISBN/EAN: 978-90-79627-06-6

In a recent study the Dutch toxicologist Dr. Henk Tennekes demonstrated that the long-term risks for bees associated with the widely used insecticides imidacloprid and thiacloprid are far greater than hitherto thought. In his forthcoming book “The systemic insecticides: A disaster in the making” Tennekes now suggests that bees are not the only victims: Moths, bugs, butterflies, midges and flies have all succumbed too. And as the insects have declined, so have the birds.

Imidacloprid and thiacloprid, produced by the German company Bayer, belong to a substance class known as neonicotinoids. Dr. Tennekes: "Imidacloprid has been shown to seep out of storage or is washed out of the soil into waterways and groundwater. It is quite obvious that ground and surface water contamination with a persistent insecticide that causes irreversible and cumulative damage to aquatic and terrestrial insects must lead to an environmental catastrophe. The data presented in my book show that this catastrophe is actually taking place before our eyes, and that it must be stopped.” Since most if not all neonicotinoids are prone to cause these problems, Tennekes demands a total ban on neonicotinoids. “Bayer should finally listen to reason and stop selling these dangerous products!”, says Tennekes.

Recently Tennekes has shown that the total dose of neonicotinoid insecticides required to kill insects is smaller if administered over a longer time period - in other words, even minute amounts of these pesticides can be fatal to insects in the long run. There is no safe dose. Already in 2003 the Comité Scientifique et Technique, convened by the French government, declared that the treatment of seeds with imidacloprid leads to “significant risks for bees”. The substance is the most widely used insecticide in the world and Bayer´s best-selling pesticide (2009 sales: €606 million).

After huge bee losses in Germany in 2008 which were shown to be caused by neonicotinoid pesticides the Coalition against Bayer Dangers accused the Bayer management of downplaying the risks of neonicotinoids, submitting deficient studies to authorities and thereby accepting huge losses of honey bees in many parts of the world. At the same time, German authorities imposed a ban on the use of imidacloprid and its successor product, clothianidin, on maize. Italy and Slovenia imposed a similar ban.


  • “This is a stunning book, very powerful. The compilation of recent data regarding levels and impacts of the nicotinyls is extremely useful and convincing regarding the magnitude of risk. The art is wonderful” - Charles Benbrook, PhD, Chief Scientist, The Organic Center, Enterprise, Oregon 
  • “Great great great” - Tasmanian Beekeepers Association
  • "Interspersed with beautiful artistry is a rigorously presented, chilling message that we all must heed." - Meg Sears PhD, CHEO Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada
  • “I would write a letter strongly supporting such a book” - Kevin Hansen, producer of the film "Nicotine Bees"
  • “I don't think you need my praise and esteem for your good work but you have it anyway!” - Katerina Karatasou, Veterinarian, Federation of Greek Beekeepers Associations, Larisa, Greece
  • Depressing and alarming reading” - Phil Chandler, www.biobees.com

contact Dr. Henk Tennekes: info@toxicology.nl, Tel. +31 575 545500

more information:
Bayer pesticide imidacloprid: Long-term risks undervalued
Bulletin of Insectology (2010): The puzzle of honey bee losses
Open Letter to the European Union
Campaign for total ban of neonicotinoid pesticides
Charge against Bayer Board introduced

Coalition against BAYER Dangers (Germany)
Fax: (+49) 211-333 940   Tel: (+49) 211-333 911
please send an e-mail for receiving the English newsletter Keycode BAYER free of charge. German/Italian/French/Spanish newsletters also available.

Advisory Board
Prof. Juergen Junginger, designer, Krefeld,
Prof. Dr. Juergen Rochlitz, chemist, former member of the Bundestag, Burgwald
Wolfram Esche, attorney, Cologne
Dr. Sigrid Müller, pharmacologist, Bremen
Prof. Rainer Roth, social scientist, Frankfurt
Eva Bulling-Schroeter, member of the Bundestag, Berlin
Prof. Dr. Anton Schneider, biologist, Neubeuern
Dr. Janis Schmelzer, historian, Berlin
Dr. Erika Abczynski, pediatrician, Dormagen



Regulatory Information

view details »

EPA Review Keeps Bee-Toxic Pesticide Sulfoxaflor on the Market with Limited Restrictions (Beyond Pesticides, October 17, 2016) "Sulfoxaflor’s initial 2013 registration was challenged by beekeepers and subsequently vacated by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals due to overwhelming risks to bees and EPA’s inadequate review of the data. The Court concluded that EPA violated federal law when it approved sulfoxaflor without reliable studies regarding the impact that the insecticide may have on honey bee colonies." Its mode of action is similar to that  of neonicotinoid pesticides."Like nenonicotinoids, sulfloxoflor has a long half-life and persists in soil, where it is taken up by growing plants, presenting itself in the nectar and pollen that pollinators rely on for food."  SNAP comment: As of 17 October 2016, there are 5 sulfoxaflor insecticides registered in Canada.

EPA Denies Emergency Petition to Suspend Clothianidin (By Deniza Gertsberg,Sep 13, 2012, GMO Journal )..."The EPA discounted any correlation between the bee die-offs and systemic pesticides...The agency also took issue with the studies submitted by the petitioners. The agency said that the studies “represent a broad array of methods and measurement endpoints” and went on to discount their significance. Ironically, the agency did not have the same concerns when the manufacturer applied for clothianidin’s registration nearly a decade ago."

"In fact, clothianidin was conditionally approved by the EPA back in 2003, before the agency had a safety field study from Bayer. The agency gave Bayer an extension of time to complete its study and “in addition to rewarding Bayer for dragging its feet,  EPA approved protocols  for the study that were so far removed from reality that, even once completed, the study was incapable of detecting the environmental impacts it purported to  evaluate.”

"When Bayer finally submitted its long-overdue field study in 2007, the agency initially approved it as “scientifically sound” when many critics said that it was poorly designed. Some even went as far as to call the study “bogus.”  Still, the EPA granted unconditional registration to clothinidin in April 2010."

"Eight years later and the agency has yet to assess the affects of clothianidin on bees. As the emergency petition pointed out, “Bayer still has neither provided the outstanding data nor complied with the condition for clothianidin’s registration, which was to have been completed by December 2004.”   and more.

EPA Initiates Review for Pesticide Linked to Honeybee Decline  (Beyond Pesticides, July 16, 2009)

Colony collapse Disorder Action Plan U.S. - July 2007 will include looking at the role of pesticides. 

more information on SNAP's Pesticide Fact sheet: neonicotinoids flupyradifurone and glyphosate, water/Saskatchewan  and info/wildlife/birds, /amphibian and insects, exposure to pesticidesLegal/Litigation, digestive tract/microbiome, fungicides, mixture effects,  alternatives/insects and invertebrates/additional information

Scientific Literature Review Again Identifies Pesticide Disruption of Bee Gut Microbiota  (Beyond Pesticides, December 12, 2023) A review published in Nature Reviews Microbiology finds pesticides can disrupt honeybee (Apis mellifera) microbiota (bacteria) in their gut, altering the immune system, metabolism, behavior, and development. 

Organic Beekeeping Able to Manage Bees As or More Successfully than Chemical-Intensive Approach   (Beyond Pesticides, April 26, 2023) 'Organic methods of honey bee management are just as or more effective than conventional, chemical-intensive management systems, according to research published this month in the journal Scientific Reports by a team of Penn State scientists...Organic colonies contained solid bottom boards, and were treated with a rotation of organic-approved materials. Combs designed specifically to rear drones (and subsequently be removed to address Varroa) were employed, and over winter rations included granulated sucrose provided in January... (O)rganic was able to effectively match chemical management in reductions – by 72% in organic to 78% in conventional, relative to the chemical-free system. The failure of input-free system appears to be a result of heavy pest pressure experienced with beekeeping in the modern era'

Neonicotinoids Combined with Other Pesticides Elevate Hazards to Honey Bee  (Beyond Pesticides, February 22, 2023)   'Among the eight pesticides tested, honey bee toxicity was as follows from most to least toxic: the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam, the organophosphate insecticide dimethoate, the carbamate insecticide methomyl, the synthetic pyrethroid insecticides permethrin, and then cypermethrin, the triazole fungicide tetraconazole, and the synthetic pyrethroids cyfluthrin and then esfenvalerateThese results did change based on different treatment lengths, yet thiamethoxam was found to remain the most toxic throughout all studies.  In the study, scientists evaluate a total of 98 different mixtures, from binary combinations of two different chemicals to octonary combinations of all eight different pesticides. Within these tests, approximately 30% of these were found to be synergistic to honey bees, exhibiting toxicity greater than each individual material in the mixture.  Perhaps the most concerning interaction came from combinations that included thiamethoxam and the fungicide tetraconazole. Any variation of pesticide combinations that include these two chemicals have a roughly 55% chance of exhibiting synergistic toxicity to honey bees.'

Growing Sunflowers Near Honey Bee Colonies Helps Reduce Mite Problems  (Beyond Pesticides, January 18, 2023) Sunflower plantings have the potential to significantly reduce mite infestations in nearby honey bee colonies, according to research recently published in the Journal of Economic Entomology by researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).For every doubling of sunflower crop production, models employed show a nearly 1/3 decrease in varroa mite infestation. For the fall pollen feeding experiment, colonies fed sunflower pollen saw a 2.75 fold reduction in the intensity of Varroa infestation compared to the artificial pollen treatment. For the spring feeding, Varroa was found in only one-third of hives sampled. Neither the fall nor spring feed experiment, or the individual caged bee experiment saw a significant effect on viral loading or Nosema prevalence, however.

Pesticide Mixtures Reduce Life Span of Honey Bees, Damage Gut Microbiome    (Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2022) Study done with field relevant concentrations. 'Honey bees exposed to a combination of multiple pesticides suffer a reduced lifespan and experience adverse changes to their gut microbiome, increasing susceptibility to pathogens and disease. This finding comes from a study published recently in Science of the Total Environment, which examines the interactions between the insecticides flupyradifurone and sulfoxaflor and the fungicide azoxystrobin on honey bee health.   As the present study reveals, pesticide risk assessments do not inadequately capture the range of harm that can result when pesticides are combined, necessitating a shift toward safer, alternative, and regenerative organic farming systems that do not use these dangerous chemicals.For the initial experiment on individual bees, those exposed to flupyradifurone fared the worst, experiencing significantly reduced survival (50% reduction). The addition of azoxystrobin did not significantly add to this effect. However, with sulfoxaflor, it did. Bees subjected tsulfoxaflor and azoxystrobin in combination experienced significantly reduced survival when compared to a sole sulfoxaflor exposure.'     All experimental groups 'show significantly increased abundance of Serratia spp. This rod-shaped bacteria can serious harm honey bee fitness. “These bacteria are pathogenic and harmful to bees’ health,” said Dr. Al Naggar. “They can make it harder for the insects to fight off infection, leading to premature death.”  

Review Provides New Insight into How Pesticide Exposure Disrupts Bee Gut Microbiome    (Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2022) 'Pesticide exposure disturbs the gut microbiome of social bees, leading to a range of alterations that could affect fitness in the wild, finds a major literature review recently published by researchers at the University of Ottawa, Canada.   Studies showed that pesticide use can disturb and shift the abundance of certain microbes in the bee gut microbiome, but rarely are these microbes completely eliminated. In general, researchers found declines in Bifidobacteriales and Lactobacillus bacteria to be the most common shifts observed.   Pesticides induced disturbances primarily in one of two ways – either directly harming microbes, and indirectly harming the host (bee) health and subsequently shifting the microbiome.Researchers cite glyphosate as an example of a pesticide that directly harms the growth of certain gut microbes.   The literature review also found that, regarding the impacts of exposure, the duration of pesticide exposure was more important than the amount of pesticide to which a bee was exposed. '

Court Steps In to Stop Pesticide Use Not Adequately Regulated, Protects Bees   (Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2021) 'In a win for pollinators, a California Superior Court has issued a ruling that sulfoxaflor, a systemic pesticide that is “field legal” but “bee lethal,” can no longer be used in the state. The suit was brought by the Pollinator Stewardship Council and the American Beekeeping Federation.Sulfoxaflor is an insecticide registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in controlling sucking insects such as aphids, stink bugs, plant bugs, and thrips in agricultural production. It was registered in 2013 for use on many fruit and vegetable crops.... “In 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that federal regulators lacked adequate data to show the pesticide did not pose serious risk to pollinators, and the court vacated the agency’s ( EPA) approval of sulfoxaflor'. . . .for the EPA to proceed in registering sulfoxaflor for crops that do not attract bees, then re-registering it for bee-pollinating crops in subsequent years. SNAP Comment: Sulfoxalor is not a neonicotinoid but has the same mode of action. There are currently 5 sulfoxaflor registered labels in Canada. One of them indicated it was registered both for ground and aerial application on fruits (including apples) and vegetables.

Global Review Identifies Key Drivers of Pollinator Decline, Threat for Humanity    (Beyond Pesticides, August 17, 2021)  'Overall, land cover, land management, and pesticide use are identified as ‘very important’ or ‘important’ drivers of pollinator declines in nearly every geographic region of the world. While climate change is also identified as such, experts do not have as much confidence in its importance when compared to other factors putting pollinators at risk. Pests and pathogens are identified as very important risks in North America and Latin America, and generally rank above concerns over pollinator management and invasive species. Genetically engineered cropping systems are identified as a lower threat in most regions of the world, but very important threat in Latin America, where hazards are identified due to high use of glyphosate resistant crops and subsequent data on the dangers of that chemical to pollinators.'

Of Multiple Stressors, Pesticides Are the Most Harmful to Bees by Acting Synergistically to Increase Mortality    (Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2021) Multiple stressors, including pesticides, parasites, and poor nutrition, act synergistically to increase the risk of bee mortality, according to a meta-analysis recently published in the journal Nature. The findings are yet another indictment of the U.S. pesticide regulatory system’s ability to protect pollinators, as the authors note that their results, “…demonstrate that the regulatory process in its current form does not protect bees from the unwanted consequences of complex agrochemical exposure.”   At the most general level, multiple stressors were synergistic in the context of bee mortality, but additive for effects on overall fitness. Looking further into the data, it was determined that exposure to multiple pesticides had the most robust connection to synergistic impacts.

Typical Neonicotinoid Insecticides at Any Level Likely to Kill Off Wild Pollinators   (Beyond Pesticides, August 4, 2021) 'Neonicotinoid insecticides applied to nursery plants sold at garden centers kill off wild, solitary pollinators regardless of the amount applied, according to research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.... Although not recorded in the study, a press release published by University of California, Riverside indicates that the first time the experiment was tried, researchers used the EPA recommended label concentration of the product, and all bees died within a few short days.  At the significantly lower rate, scientists found that high irrigation watering reduced the amount of imidacloprid detected in plant nectar. Nonetheless, researchers observed the same harmful effects on leafcutter bes as the group exposed to lower amounts of irrigation.'

Kenyan Farmers Are Resorting to Hand Pollination After Pesticide Use Kills Off Local Pollinators(Beyond Pesticides, March 24, 2021) "The worst predictions of scientists and advocates are playing out in the fields of eastern Kenya, as chemical-intensive farming there threatens the future of food production.   Crop yields in the region have tapered off over the last two years, and farmers like Mr. Mbithi are pointing to pesticide use as the cause, citing past reliance on the herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) and the organophosphate insecticide malathion. “Pollinators such as bees and butterflies are not around due to chemicals which we spray in our farms,” he told RFI."  

Bees Lose Sleep Over Pesticides, Adding Stress and Increasing Risk of Death   (Beyond Pesticides, November 11, 2020) 'Neonicotinoid insecticides inhibit honey bee sleep cycles, leading to stress and population declines, according to research from Vanderbilt University.(link to study). “Beyond sleep disruption, we know that honey bees rely on their internal sense of time and the position of the sun,” said Dr. Tackenberg. “If they have an incorrect sense of time their ability to effectively navigate is hindered. It stands to reason that if a bee’s internal sense of time is disrupted or altered it could affect learning, memory and foraging efficiency—even outside of reduced capacity from sleep disruptions.”   The mechanistic process discovered by researchers has the potential to explain why many beekeepers experience a dwindling or collapsing hive without evidence of other stressors.'

Insecticides the Pesticide Industry Said Were “Safer for Bees” Found to Stress and Kill Honey Bees    (Beyond Pesticides, June 23, 2020)  'As reported, a study by researchers at Oregon State University in the journal PLOS Onesulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone (in the products Transform and Sivanto, respectively) were found to increase apoptosis (cell death) and increase oxidative stress in exposed honey bees. The study indicates that, “With the recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval for use of both flupyradifurone and sulfoxaflor, and with the growing concern regarding pollinator health, it is important to better understand any potential negative impacts (especially sub-lethal) of these pesticides on bees.” However, this statement begs the question ‘why these two new bee-toxic pesticide were approved by EPA in the first place.’.    Independent scientific data has already been established on the harm these pesticides pose to pollinators. Last year, EPA registered new uses of sulfoxaflor, despite these warning signs. “Proposing to register sulfoxaflor for use on bee-attractive crops, in the midst of an ongoing pollinator crisis, is the height of irresponsibility,” said Drew Toher, community resource and policy director for Beyond Pesticides in an interview for Bloomberg Environment. “When all of the available data points to significant risks to pollinators from use of this chemical, we must face the facts: EPA is working towards the protection of pesticide industry, not the environment,” he said. EPA is in the midst of a lawsuit challenging its approval of sulfoxaflor.  The Saving America’s Pollinators Act (SAPA) was amended last year by Representative Blumenhauer to include immediate restrictions in the use of flypyradifurone and sulfoxaflor, in addition to the neonicotinoid insecticides that continue to poison pollinator populations. (US readers: go to the original article for action on this issue)    SNAP Comment: Well, the insecticides are also approved in Canada. As of 10 July 2020, 5 labels (including Transform) are listed for sulfoxaflor and 6 labels for flupyradifurone including Sivanto. As the question of why these products were approved, I suspect it is as replacement for neonicotinoids banned or about to be banned. Another indication that banning one produt at a time after a replacement is found is ridiculous to ensure safety. 

filed under flupyradifurone and Bee Die-off

Error (DOC): file doesn't exist

Neonics Found to Impair Honey Bee Growth and Development, As EPA Re-Opens Opportunity for Public Comment on the Bee-Toxic Pesticides    (Beyond Pesticides, May 27, 2020) Research published last week in the journal Scientific Reports uncovers new ways that neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides hamper the growth and development of honey bee colonies.  Researchers filmed their study from start to finish, focusing on the effect of chronic sublethal doses of the neonciotinoids clothianidin and thiacloprid. Colonies were fed these chemicals in a sugar syrup over the course of three weeks in May and June.  Results showed that nurse bees exposed to low doses of neonics fed larvae less often, causing larval development to take up to 10 hours longer than hives without exposure. “For the first time, we were able to demonstrate that neonicotinoids also change the social behavior of bees,” study coauthor Paul Siefert, PhD, said in a press release. “This could point to the disruptions in nursing behavior due to neonicotinoids described by other scientists.”The mechanism researchers discovered may help explain why neonic-exposed honey bee colonies are at increased risk of varroa mite infestation. In addition to depressing grooming behavior in adult workers, delays in brood development—and thus longer periods where larvae are uncapped -makes it easier for varroa mites to invade a hive and feed on pupae and larvae.  On balance, this means the study will carry little effect on the agency’s ultimate decision whether to continue registration, which is not based purely on the science, but on a mixture of politics, science, and public opinion.

Honey Bee Queens’ Exposure to Pesticides Weaken Reproductive Success and Colony Development   (Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2020)    ...researchers determined which pesticides (miticides, insecticides, and fungicides) are commonly used in combination and then used those pesticide combinations to expose honey bees to field-realistic doses in the labtau-fluvalinate and coumaphosamitraz, or chlorothalonil and chlorpyrifos. Pesticide-contaminated beeswax impaired honey bee colonies during the queens’ maturation. This led to reproductive dysfunction that significantly decreased worker bees’ entourage size and the queens’ egg-laying rate. Worker bee performance decreased in response to the queen’s change in pheromone secretions and reproductive ability. Worker bees favored queens raised in pesticide-free conditions and formed larger cohorts to tend to the queen.... This research broadens the understanding of the range of pesticides that can harm honey bees. Pesticides intensify honey bees’ vulnerability to health risks (such as pathogens and parasites), and colony collapse as pesticide-contaminated conditions limit colony productivity, growth, and survival.

Croplands’ Toxicity to Pollinators Has Skyrocketed Since the Turn of the Century   (Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2020) 'Findings indicate that from 1997-2012, contact bee toxic load remained steady, while oral bee toxic load increased nine times, despite significant declines in the overall weight of insecticides applied during that time period.   The trend is particularly pronounced in the U.S. Midwest. According to the study, the widespread use of neonicotinoid seed treatments increased oral bee toxic load by 121 times. Worse yet, there is little to no evidence that these seed treatments are actually managing pest problems.

Study Finds EU Moratorium of Persistent Bee-Toxic Pesticides Cannot Eliminate Short-Term Hazards  (Beyond Pesticides, December 5, 2019)   'Five years after three neonicotinoids were banned for use on bee-attractive crops in the EU, researchers found that these bee-toxic chemicals are contaminating soils and poisoning the nectar of oilseed rape (canola). The results of this research point to an immediate need to end the use of persistent environmental contaminants and promote organic practices.  They tested for imidaclopridthiamethoxam, and clothianidin residues in the nectar of winter-sown oilseed rape in from 291 oilseed rape fields in western France for five years following the EU moratorium (2014-2018).  Results show all three neonicotinoids were present at least once in the study’s time period. Imidacloprid was detected every year with “no clear declining trend,” though its prevalence fluctuated widely between years. Two samples from 2016 show residues that are five times the expected maximum concentration in nectar of a plant directly treated with imidacloprid.   Risk peaks in 2014 and 2016 indicate that 50% of honey bees were likely to die from imidacloprid on 12% of the study plots. Risk for individual wild bees was even higher.  These data illustrate that the EU moratorium, while viewed as a a critically needed step, cannot in the short-term eliminate risk from persistent pesticides for foraging bees.'

Bees Enrich Farmers More than Synthetic Inputs, According to Study  (Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2019)   The study was performed in France. 'Addressing the ongoing question of how much natural ecosystem services are worth, scientists analyzed the costs and benefits of biodiversity versus agrichemicals. Researchers found the value pollinators add to oilseed rape (OSR) production by increasing yields is higher than synthetic chemical inputs, which are costly to farmers and decrease beneficial insect abundance. The title of the study touts the impressive findings, “Bee pollination outperforms pesticides for oilseed crop production and profitability.”   The researchers state, “Based on a very large dataset spanning 4 and 6 years, this study provides a comprehensive analysis of the synergy and antagonism between agrochemical applications and biodiversity, and their effects on yield and income.”

Surprise: Bees Need Meat   Microbes in flowers are crucial to bee diets, and microbiome changes could be starving the insects  (By Paige Embry, Scientific American, August 23, 2019)   'The mason bee results suggest that bees could suffer or starve if certain microbes disappear from their diet. Scientists have attributed the declines of both managed and wild bees to various combinations of habitat loss and degradation, pests and pathogens, pesticide exposure and climate change. They have largely focused on how such factors impact bees directly. The next step is to look at whether the stressors may affect the pollen-borne microbes.'  “we have ample evidence, at this point, that fungicides dramatically alter the microbial community of fermenting pollen.” And, he adds, “agricultural use of fungicides is very likely a primary stressor—the primary stressor—for bee decline.”

Insect 'apocalypse' in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides   Bees, butterflies, and other insects are under attack by the very plants they feed on as U.S. agriculture continues to use chemicals known to kill. (Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, August 6, 2019)    'Using a new tool that measures toxicity to honey bees, the length of time a pesticide remains toxic, and the amount used in a year, Klein and researchers from three other institutions determined that the new generation of pesticides has made agriculture far more toxic to insects. Honey bees are used as a proxy for all insects...The study found that neonics accounted for 92 percent of this increased toxicity. Neonics are not only incredibly toxic to honeybees, they can remain toxic for more than 1,000 days in the environment, said Klein...This is the first study to quantify how toxic agricultural lands have become for insects and it shows toxicity levels rapidly increased when treating seeds with neonics really took off, said Klein. “This is also when beekeepers began to see declines in bee numbers,” she says.' also see Chemical-Intensive Agriculture Is Increasingly Toxic to Insects (Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2019) 

Study Finds Synergism between Neonicotinoids and Parasites Leads to 70% Declines in Honey Bee Survival  (Beyond Pesticides, June 24, 2019)     After 42 days of spring exposure to neonicotinoids at environmentally relevant concentration, 'researchers looked for differences in response to neonicotinoid exposure depending on individual bees’ status – whether or not they were harboring mites – which varied naturally among individuals in each colony.' 'By the time autumn collections were completed, combined exposure to neonicotinoids and V. destructor were found to cause an astounding 70% reduction in survival, significantly surpassing the effects of either exposure alone. These results have strong implications for overall colony survival.'

Bees face yet another lethal threat in dicamba, a drift-prone pesticide  (By Liza Gross, Reveal, January 23, 2019)    'From 2016 to 2017, U.S. honey production dropped 9 percent. Official statistics for 2018 have not been released.' Bee orders for pollination in California orchards have trouble being filled.'Coy became convinced that plummeting honey production at Coy’s Honey Farm, which is Arkansas’ largest beekeeping operation, was due to dicamba after reading one of Mortensen’s studies. The research showed that doses of dicamba that mimicked the drift associated with spraying the weed killer delayed flowering and reduced by half the number of flowers that plants produced and the number of pollinator visits.' Link to study 'Effects of the herbicide dicamba on nontarget plants and pollinator visitation' in article..

Glyphosate perturbs the gut microbiota of honey bees  (Erick V. S. Motta, Kasie Raymann, and Nancy A. Moran, PNAS October 9, 2018 115 (41) 10305-10310) complete sccientific paper.  'The honey bee gut microbiota is dominated by eight bacterial species that promote weight gain and reduce pathogen susceptibility. The gene encoding EPSPS is present in almost all sequenced genomes of bee gut bacteria, indicating that they are potentially susceptible to glyphosate. We demonstrated that the relative and absolute abundances of dominant gut microbiota species are decreased in bees exposed to glyphosate at concentrations documented in the environment.

Beekeepers at Risk of Losing Hives after Mosquito Insecticide Spraying  (Beyond Pesticides, November 21, 2018) A study published last month in the Journal of Apicultural Research finds significant numbers of U.S. honey bees at risk after exposure to hazardous synthetic pesticides intended to control mosquitoes. With many beekeepers rarely given warning of insecticide spraying, researchers say the risk of losing colonies could increase. SNAP Comment: The Saskatchewan government West Nile virus program trained municipal workers in identifyng mosquito larvae breeding grounds and using the bacterium Bti as larvicide for mosquito control This program has been discontinued by the SaskParty. However, some municipalities have kept on using malathion or other insecticide fogging and some routinely spray the area of upcoming events with insecticides. Check with your municipality on their approach and policy. 

Bees’ Medicine Chest Should Include Sunflower Pollen, Study Finds (Beyond Pesticides, October 25, 2018) A study published last month in Scientific Reports finds that eating sunflower pollen significantly reduces protozoan infection in bumblebees...However, noting sunflower pollen is not a silver bullet, Dr. Alder indicates that, “Bees do not do well eating just sunflower, but it may be part of a solution.' clover was also useful.

Common Weed Killer Linked to Bee Deaths  (University of Texas news, Sept. 24, 2018) "The researchers exposed honey bees to glyphosate at levels known to occur in crop fields, yards and roadsides. The researchers painted the bees’ backs with colored dots so they could be tracked and later recaptured. Three days later, they observed that the herbicide significantly reduced healthy gut microbiota. Of eight dominant species of healthy bacteria in the exposed bees, four were found to be less abundant. The hardest hit bacterial species, Snodgrassella alvi, is a critical microbe that helps bees process food and defend against pathogens...The bees with impaired gut microbiomes also were far more likely to die when later exposed to an opportunistic pathogen, Serratia marcescens, compared with bees with healthy guts. Serratia is a widespread opportunistic pathogen that infects bees around the world."  Also see  Study: Roundup Weed Killer Could Be Linked To Widespread Bee Deaths  (Vanessa Romo, NPR, September 25, 2018) 

Has Ottawa sold out to Big Agro and its toxic chemicals?   (By Bruce Livesey, Canada's National Observer, July 25th 2017)  (#1 of 2 articles from the Special Report: Bureau of Poison) SNAP Comment: If pesticides work, why are we using more and more every year? Well researched article.  'According to Statistics Canada, the area of farmland treated with herbicides, insecticides and fungicides increased by 3 per cent, 42 per cent and 114 per cent respectively between 2001 and 2011. In Canada, 100 million kilograms of pesticides were sold in Canada in 2014 – up from 82 million kilograms in 2009.'... 'However, the Auditor General of Canada has carried out three investigations... into the PMRA since 2003 — and found it wanting.' 'In response to the Auditor’s 2015 report, last year the PMRA announced it was going to stop giving conditional registrations – but only on new pesticides, not those currently on the market. This winter, Health Canada began considering phasing out one class of neonicsimidacloprid, due to its impact on aquatic insects – but only over a three-to-five year time frame. '"Rarely will (PMRA) take a pesticide off the market,” says Cooper. “They will tweak the label or they will add additional requirements or mitigation for the workers or application rates… But you never get to ‘Boy, this thing is bad news’.”    'But more significantly, the PMRA uses a “risk-based” assessment model that critics believe ensures no pesticide could ever be banned. But more significantly, the PMRA uses a “risk-based” assessment model that critics believe ensures no pesticide could ever be banned. '... 'Back in Alvinston, Ontario, Munro Honey continues to struggle to keep its bees alive. While queen bees used to last three to four years, Munro finds now they usually only live a year. '

Monsanto's global weedkiller harms honeybees, research finds (The Guardian, 24 Sep 2018)    Glyphosate – the most used pesticide ever – damages the good bacteria in honeybee guts, making them more prone to deadly infections   'We demonstrated that the abundances of dominant gut microbiota species are decreased in bees exposed to glyphosate at concentrations documented in the environment,” ' 'Prof Dave Goulson, at the University of Sussex, said: “It now seems that we have to add glyphosate to the list of problems that bees face. This study is also further evidence that the landscape-scale application of large quantities of pesticides has negative consequences that are often hard to predict.”'   SNAP Comment: Monsanto claims that "More than 40 years of robust, independent scientific evidence shows that it poses no unreasonable risk for humans, animal, and the environment generally.” I doubt any of their research looked at this particular problem. Industry research is focused on the dose at which 1/2 the animals die, which is the basis of our regulatory system. It does not look at functional or low dose effects. Perhaps Monsanto should not have registered glyphosate as an antibiotic if they didn't want researchers to look at its effect on bacteria.... 

Suburban Bees Still Vulnerable to Neonicotinoids Despite EU Ban  (Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2018) According to new research from the University of Sussex, bees living in suburban habitats are still being exposed to high levels of neonicotinoid pesticides. Even though there is a European Union (EU) ban on these chemicals, the ban focuses on agricultural and not residential applications. The study’s authors are urging gardeners to forgo the use of these pesticides in favor of more holistic, pesticide-free approaches. 'The authors of the study say it is the first of its kind to highlight the risk to bees in urban areas posed by garden use of pesticides. Entitled Monitoring neonicotinoid exposure for bees in rural and peri-urban areas of the UK during the transition from pre- to post-moratorium, the study sampled pollen and nectar from bumblebee colonies in rural and peri-urban habitats ... over three years. Sampling began prior to the ban (2013), during the initial implementation when some seed-treated winter-sown oilseed rape was still grown (2014), and following the ban (2015). Honey bee colonies in rural habitats were also sampled to compare species-level differences between bumblebees and honey bees.' SNAP comment: I am not aware of any Canadian study looking at the concentration of neonics in pollen and nectar in urban areas. However, a recent study looking at pesticide contamination of bedding plants have found commercial bedidng plants to be widely contaminated with neonics. In Canada, a quick search (5 August 2018) of the PMRA domestic formulations for a few neonicotinids found many Canadian registered neonicotinoids for treating fleas and lice on pets, but also for ant treatment indoors and out. Many neonicotinoids are licensed for  professionals to use in greenhouses and nurseries insects in lawn, fruit and ornamental trees. Any commercial applicator can use some for treating your lawn, trees or landscape.  

Long-term yield trends of insect-pollinated crops vary regionally and are linked to neonicotinoid use, landscape complexity, and availability of pollinators (Heikki M. T. Hokkanen et al,  Arthropod-Plant Interactions, June 2017, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 449–461, First Online: 21 April 2017) a Finnish study. 'It appears that only the uptake of neonicotinoid insecticide seed dressing about 15 years ago can explain the crop yield declines in several provinces, and at the national level for turnip rapeseed, most likely via disruption of pollination services by wild pollinators.' 

Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought    “It’s not clear whether the pesticides are drifting over to those plants but we need take a new look at agricultural spraying practices,” says vanEngelsdorp. SNAP Comment: It took bees to finally bring us there...Researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite called Nosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.Most disturbing, bees that ate pollen contaminated with fungicides were three times as likely to be infected by the parasite. Widely used, fungicides had been thought to be harmless for bees as they’re designed to kill fungus, not insects, on crops like apples.The study found another complication in efforts to save the bees: US honey bees, which are descendants of European bees, do not bring home pollen from native North American crops but collect bee chow from nearby weeds and wildflowers. That pollen, however, was also contaminated with pesticides even though those plants were not the target of spraying. SNAP Comment: The abiliy of several registered pesticides to decrease immunity and make animals (and plants) susceptible to disease has been known for some time, at least since they found over 20 years ago that amphibians exposed to DDT in Ontario (including in Point Pelee National Park) were much more susceptible to disease. This is reiterated in Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles, Second Edition, (2010) edited by Donald W. Sparling, Greg Linder, Christine A. Bishop, Sherry Krest, p 281. I guess it took bees to bring it to the general public and most researchers' attention. 

Study Finds Substantial Risks to Honey Bees During and After Crop Pollination (Beyond Pesticides, April 25, 2017)  Honeybees at risk from insecticide and fungicide use in surrounding land. The study fills a gap in knowledge. Cornell researchers conducted a massive study that analyzed both the pollen source and pesticide residue found therein for 120 experimental hives placed near 30 apple orchards in New York State. The landscapes surrounding each orchard were classified based on the amount of natural area or agricultural land that was present. Scientists analyzed risk to honey bees by collecting information about pesticide use during the growing season as well as the amount of pesticide contamination in “beebread,” pollen tightly packed unto pellets by bees used as food or in the production of royal jelly. In 28 out of 30 orchard sites, pesticides not sprayed during that year are detected, totaling 64% of total pesticides found, with roughly 2.8 novel pesticides discovered at each site. Overall, 17% of colonies have pesticide levels so high they present an acute hazard to honey bees, while 73% contain residues that indicate a chronic exposure risk. Ultimately, researchers determined that neonicotinoids as well as a range of other insecticides present significant risks to pollinating honey bees.

Study Links Neonicotinoid Exposure to Learning Deficit in Bees (Beyond Pesticides,  December 14, 2016) Preliminary research presented this week at the British Ecological Society’s annual meeting identifies yet another troublesome connection between the use of neonicotinoid pesticides and the health of bees, a critical pollinator species. The research links neonicotinoid use with an impaired ability of bees to learn to vibrate flowers and shake out the pollen, which is necessary for fertilization in crops like tomatoes and potatoes. and Pesticides stop bees buzzing and releasing pollen, says study (The Guardian, US Ed, 13 Dec 2016) SNAP Comment: Unfortunately there is nothing in either article on what the effects on the 2 ppb group were. These studies used the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam, not imidaclopid which the Canadian government is considering banning.

Neonicotinoid Insecticide Exposure Reduces Bumblebee Colony Size (Beyond Pesticides, October 24, 2016) When neonicotinoid “exposure is relatively persistent and combined with other stressors associated with land use change, they could have detrimental effects at the colony level.”  The study, Impact of controlled neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebees in a realistic field setting, assesses the effect of exposure to the neonic, clothianidin, on bumblebee foraging patterns and colony size. Clothianidin was given to 20 buff-tailed bumblebee colonies for five-weeks in a sugar solution at a concentration of 5 parts per billion, an environmentally relevant level of the pesticide. A bumblebee colony census was done before and after the field experiment, where the number of eggs, larvae, pupae, and workers bees were recorded along with the wax and pollen stores in the colony. The researchers found that the clothianidin treated colonies had fewer workers, drones and reproductive female bees compared to the colonies with no exposure

Endangered Species Status Proposed for Rusty Patched Bumble Bee  (Beyond Pesticides, September 23, 2016) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed listing the rusty patched bumble bee as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This is a victory for environmental groups who have fought to protect the rusty patched bumble bee from widespread threats such as habitat loss and pesticide use. 

Over Two Million Bees Killed after Aerial Mosquito Spraying in South Carolina (Beyond Pesticides, September 2, 2016) Sprayed with the very toxic organophosphate Naled. "Naled is an organophosphate insecticide with the highest acute toxicity of any mosquitocide. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Naled can cause cholinesterase (an enzyme necessary to the transmission of nerve impulses) inhibition in humans, meaning that it can overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, confusion, and, at very high exposures (e.g., accidents or major spills), respiratory paralysis and death. Naled is highly toxic to honey bees."I guess they will have to go to court and sue for damages. I have a feeling the compensation will not come by itself. PANNA Pesticide Database indicates that,besides being a cholinesterase inhibitor (toxic to the nervous system, Naled is a development/reproductive toxins and has not been tested for endocrine disruption. Better options for mosquito control.

Half of the Total Decline in Wild Bees throughout the UK Linked to Use of Neonics (Beyond Pesticides, August 18, 2016)  Decline of wild bee populations is linked to the use of toxic, systemic neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides used on oilseed rape (canola), according to new research done by a team of scientists at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the United Kingdom.The study, Impacts of neonicotinoid use on long-term population changes in wild bees in England, published in the journal Nature Communications, analyzed 18 years of UK national wild bee distribution data for 62 different species, and related it to amounts of neonicotinoid use. NOTE: Interesting for Saskatchewan as canola is a major user of neonic seed treatment.

Study Finds Neonicotinoids Cause Compound-Specific Harm to Bumblebees (Beyond Pesticides, May 2, 2016) The study, published in Scientific Reports, looked at field-relevant levels (2.5 parts per billion) of imidaclopridthiamethoxam, and clothianidin, and found compound-specific effects at all levels, including within individual bee cells, individual bees, and whole colonies in semi-field conditions.

Chlorpyrifos Reduces Memory and Learning in Exposed Bees (Beyond Pesticides, March 4, 2016) Honey bees experience a learning and memory deficit after ingesting small doses of the insecticide chlorpyrifos, potentially threatening their success and survival, according to a study in New Zealand, . Chlorpyrifos is a highly neurotoxic organophosphate pesticide used worldwide on crops to protect against insects and mites.Chlorpyrifos is still used in Edmonton, AB, for mosquito control, in Regina and many Saskatchewan municipalities as a basal spray in the fall for elm beetle control and still used in agriculture.

Bayer Concurs with EPA Findings on Certain Neonicotinoid Hazards to Honey Bees (Beyond Pesticides, January 14, 2016)  A spokesman for Bayer CropScience said the neonic-selling giant has reviewed the assessment and found it to be “quite good and scientifically sound,” according to a news report. The Guardian is reporting that Bayer will be proposing new protections for pollinators... This is a stark turnaround from Bayer’s statement last week,...”

Native Bees Found to Have Residues of Pesticides Linked to Their Steep Decline (Beyond Pesticides, November 12, 2015. Native bes are exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides, as well as other pesticides, at significant rates.The study tested for 122 different pesticides. According to study findings, 72% of bees tested positive for pesticide residues, raising concerns for the potential for unintended pesticides exposures where land uses overlap or are in proximity to one another. 

Study Finds Neonics “Severely Affect” Health of Honey Bee Queens (Beyond Pesticides, October 20, 2015. Neither the European Union nor U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study the impacts of pesticides on queen health before allowing a pesticide to market. More queens died, they layed less worker eggs, stored less spermatozoa and had larger ovaries.

Country-wide Field Study Links Pollinator Decline to Pesticide Use  (Beyond Pesticides, August 26, 2015) A study performed by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) in the United Kingdom (UK) provides evidence of confirming the link between neonicotinoid pesticides and continually increasing honey bee colony losses on a landscape level.

Bee crisis: Are mites or neonics the real culprit? Pesticide firms use tobacco tactics to sell products, beekeeper says. (By Janet Thomson, Manmeet Ahluwalia, CBC News Posted: Aug 09, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 09, 2015 5:00 AM ET)  Industry spokespeople have been candid over the years. Here is the thought process: every day they can delay regulating or reducing use on a product, by whatever means, is more money in their pocket. More rambling in the news item

Bumper Canola Crop Expected in the UK Even Without Bee-Toxic Neonics (Beyond Pesticides, August 5, 2015) The United Kingdom (UK) is poised to harvest higher than expected yields of winter oilseed rape (canola) in its first neonicotinoid-free growing season since the European moratorium on neonicotinoids went into place in 2013.

Neonicotinoids Hinder Bee’s Ability to Smell Flowers (Beyond Pesticides, June 29, 2015)...'a neonicotinoid pesticide, at sublethal doses, harms this odor memory formation,” Chinese Academy of Science’s Ken Tan, who led the study, told CBS News in an email interview.' 'Published in Nature on June 18, 2015, the study finds that “adults that ingested a single imidacloprid dose as low as 0.1 ng/bee had significantly reduced olfactory learning acquisition, which was 1.6-fold higher in control bees. Bees exposed as larvae to a total dose of 0.24 ng/bee had significantly impaired olfactory learning when tested as adults; control bees exhibited up to 4.8-fold better short-term learning acquisition.” Researchers conclude that this sublethal cognitive deficit caused by low dose exposure to neonicotinoids on a broad range of bee species is cause for further study.

Canadian Senate Committee Report Finds Neonicotinoids Play Role in Bee Mortality (Beyond Pesticides, May 29, 2015) A report released by the Canadian Senate’s Committee on Agriculture and Forestry this week acknowledges that neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, although it adds that more scientific data is needed before making any policies in response. The Canadian report, titled “The Importance of Bee Health to Sustainable Food Production in Canada,” highlights different stressors that cause harm to bees, one of which includes neonicotinoid insecticides.

EPA’s “New” Restrictions Fail to Protect Honey Bees as Promised (Beyond Pesticides, June 1, 2015)  The reality is that the proposal will only result in modest ch