Another Misleading Honeybee Study

"Bees and Neonicotinoids - Another Study Promoting a Media Meme," By Chuck Dinerstein. Researchers from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have published results of a large-scale field experiment, paid for by neonicotinoid (also shortened as "neonics") manufacturers Syngenta and Bayer, to assess neonicotinoid impacts on honeybees and wild bees across Europe. There were 258 data points, nine of which were negative, seven were positive and four were inconclusive. So 238 of 258 showed … [Read more...]

Claims about Wild Bee’s Going Extinct are Off-Base

"Bee Experts Challenge Environmental Claim That Wild Bees Are Near Extinction," By Hank Campbell. Colony Collapse Disorder, the belief that honeybees, an important pollinator, are being killed off in droves, has been good for environmental fundraising but hasn't had a scientific foundation. Nonetheless, it has persisted for 10 years despite data showing that periodic die-offs in bees are as common, and therefore predictable, as solar cycles and California droughts. From the time that records of … [Read more...]

Bee Listing Could Harm Bees, Butterflies, other Pollinators

"Endangered Species Bee Listing Could Harm Bees, Butterflies, other Pollinators," By Angela Logomasini. If you care about the survival of bees and other pollinators in the United States, you should be concerned about yesterday’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announcement that has placed the rusty patched bumble bee on the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) list. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, the ESA listing could harm this bee and other pollinators by creating perverse incentives that … [Read more...]

Politics of a Last Minute ESA Listing

"Last-Ditch Regulatory Mischief," By Paul Driessen. As time ticks down on the Obama administration, its appointees and minions in federal agencies across America are scrambling to deliver last-minute favors to their favorite constituencies — especially environmentalists. ...A perfect example involves the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which among other things plays a central role in administering the Endangered Species Act. ... in recent years the act has been invoked to … [Read more...]

Really Fake News: Chemical Scares

"The 'Fake News' Problem: Health and Safety Edition," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. The moniker “fake news” may have entered the mainstream lexicon in 2016, but phony and misleading news stories have always been a problem—and it’s a phenomenon that doubtless will continue so long as the news media continues disguising political opinion as objective fact. Consider the myriad alarmist news stories this past year hyping risks about chemicals. Read more. Save Save Save … [Read more...]

‘Advocacy Research’ Discredits Science

"'Advocacy Research' Discredits Science And Aids Unprincipled Activism," By Henry I. Miller and Robert Wager. The scientific research enterprise today is in something of a quandary. Various empirical studies show that 80-90% of the claims coming from scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals fail to replicate. (To simplify that statistic, that’s equivalent to only a 10-20% success rate for recipes from a cookbook.) For the most part this is due to flaws in the design of experiments, … [Read more...]

No Need to Worry about the Bees

"The Buzz: Six Reasons Not To Worry About The Bees," by Henry I. Miller. Bees are in the news, but for all the wrong reasons—mainly, dire tales of disappearing bees threatening a third of our food supply. Time Magazine, opting for sensationalism over accuracy, said we were headed toward “A world without bees,” with an online video explaining, “Why bees are going extinct.” They called it the “beepocalypse” and blamed it all on modern agricultural technologies, urging immediate and aggressive … [Read more...]

Beekeeping Fad

"Beekeeping Fad And The Stress Of Traveling Is Harmful To Bees," By Hank Campbell. Are bees in peril or not? It's difficult to know, because the moment science declares one thing not an issue (example: neonicotinoid targeted pesticides), environmental groups move the goalposts and declare something else is the problem. When honey bees were shown to be unaffected, groups proposed that wild bees were the big concern, and if amateur record-keeping and a Bayesian estimate agrees, they declare the … [Read more...]

Non-Pesticide Related Honeybee Losses

"3 Non-Pesticide Reasons Beekeepers Lost 44 Percent Of Bees In 2015-16," By Hank Campbell. The Bee Informed Partnership takes an annual survey of commercial and backyard beekeepers in order to track health and survival rates of honey bee colonies. The latest results show that colonies declined 44 percent during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016.  That sounds alarming, and it is in contrast to studies showing that bee numbers are not in decline, they were instead at a 20-year high last … [Read more...]

Organic Fertilizer Killing Bees?

"Organic Fertilizer Is Great at Killing Bees," by Ruth Kava. A given of the organic agriculture movement is that organic growers don’t use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, like organophosphates and glyphosate (RoundUp). All that fear-mongering about pesticides is only possible because environmental groups only test for the synthetic kind, they don’t test for the pesticides and fertilizers used by organic growers. Because those are safer? Absolutely not. In the Journal of Economic … [Read more...]

Still No Beepocalypse

"Near 20-Year High: Bee-pocalypse Postponed Again," By News Staff at Science 2.0. Despite the hype, there’s still no bee-pocalypse. Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department Agriculture released its latest count of commercial honeybee hives, and although the figure dipped 2.9 percent from the 20-year record-high set in 2014, the overall count of 2.7 million hives in 2015 remains strong. You wouldn’t know it from the news coverage.  One Michigan television station recently led with the headline: … [Read more...]

Neonics Not Harming Bees

"The Idea that Neonics Threaten Bees a Misguided Notion," By Peter Borst. The honey bee, whose problems we've heard so much about in recent years, forms a key partnership with farmers and agriculture. Yet, in a misguided effort to "save the bees," New York's Legislature is now considering measures that will drive a wedge between beekeepers and farmers, potentially damaging to both. More than four decades of professional experience in beekeeping and bee research has convinced me that the … [Read more...]

Bee-Pocalypse Myth

"Popping the Bee-Pocalypse Myth," By Julie Gunlock. The Christmas season has always been an important time for Hollywood’s box-office numbers — 2015 being no exception, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens expected to shatter the record $208 million opening set by last summer’s Jurassic World.  But with most of the money from ticket sales going back to the studios, movie theaters now make most of their profits from concessions sales — reviving the old joke that a movie theater owner is essentially … [Read more...]

Anti-Neonic “Science”

"Scientist for Hire: UK’s David Goulson produces Pre-determined Pesticide Research for Activist Funders?" By Jon Entine. Freedom of Information requests initiated first by USRTK have uncovered a plethora of documentation showing how anti-GMO groups coordinate their messaging, often working with pro-organic scientists who have shown a willingness to deliver studies supporting the industry that funds them while dissing biotechnology research. ... University of Sussex biology professor David … [Read more...]

Activist “Science” Behind Honeybee-Pesticide Debate

"Dave Goulson: Portrait of an Activist Scientist," By The Risk-Monger. Dave Goulson is an activist scientist campaigning against conventional farming and the use of products that help farmers protect their crops. An excellent communicator, he is interviewed regularly on environmentalist programmes posing as a concerned scientist fighting the lobbying machinery of big business. Presently a biologist at University of Sussex, I have just recently learnt that Goulson will be receiving research … [Read more...]

Organic Farming and Honeybees

"Organic Farming Kills Bees? Study Fails to Show This," By Josh Bloom. We constantly debunk bad studies that are anti-chemical, anti-GMO, pro-organic, etc. Why? Because they are either poorly done, and/or they’re complete garbage. This time, there’s a study which apparently condemns organic farming, which — despite the fictitious concept and name — isn’t what it seems to be. Chemicals are used in organic farming, just different ones than are used in conventional farming. But fair is fair, so … [Read more...]

Myth about Honeybees’ Impact on Food Supply

"Pollinator myth: Are bees responsible for one third of global food, heightening crisis? More like 7%" by Genetic Literacy Project. Will the planet starve if bees disappear? Aren’t bees responsible for a significant chunk of the world’s food supply and nutrition, from one third to as much as 90 percent, depending on what advocacy group is making the claim? You hear such assertions invoked by advocacy groups, reported as truth by journalists and cited by politicians as accepted wisdom whenever … [Read more...]

Market Demand Ensures Honeybee Survival

"How Markets Benefit Honeybees and Mankind," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. After more than a decade of panicked reports about honeybees disappearing and potentially going extinct because of a phenomenon called “colony collapse disorder,” The Washington Post reported last week that the number of hives in the United States has reached a 20 year high. At the same time, I was making presentation at a meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, explaining that globally, there are more … [Read more...]

Beepocalypse Narrative Doesn’t Pass Test

"Attempt to Breath New Life into Beepocalypse Narrative Doesn’t Pass Laugh Test, "by Genetic Literacy Project. It doesn’t take a peer-reviewed study to tell you that if you blot out the sun, plants won’t grow and solar panels are going to stop functioning. Or if a mammoth asteroid unexpectedly hit the earth tomorrow, it would cause enormous destruction. Or if… you get the point. Doomsday scenarios are great as sci-fi pulp or to bolster ideological campaigns, but such musings offer no practical … [Read more...]

The Bees are Alright

"The Bees are Allright! Stop Worrying About Them and Start Worrying about the Science," by American Council on Science and Health. “The bees are ok”– that’s the message Terence Corcoran hammers home in his latest article for the Financial Post. The piece comes on the heels of Canada’s Minister of the Environment, Glen Murray, announcing that the country will start doing more for the “declining” bee populations. However, as Corcoran explains exhaustively with data, this policy is not only … [Read more...]

Save the Bees from Biofuel Mandates

"Save the Bees: Eliminate Biofuel Mandates," By Angela Logomasini. The Obama administration made a lofty promise with the launch of its National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators. Over the next five years, the feds will implement an interagency campaign to restore and improve 7 million acres of “pollinator habitat.” That may be a laudable goal. But the strategy fails to address one of the biggest threats to pollinator habitat: federal biofuel mandates. Read … [Read more...]

Pork-Barrel and the Pollinators “Strategy”

"Of Pork-Barrel and Pollinators," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. The Obama administration has finally released its long-awaited National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators. It’s the federal government’s answer to the alarming claims that honeybees are disappearing, threatening many crops that rely on the bees for pollination. While it’s not clear what this strategy will achieve for the bees, we can be sure it comes with lots of government handouts, pork-barrel … [Read more...]

Colonies Collapsing?

"Are bee colonies collapsing? If so, why? If not, why all the hype?," By American Council on Science and Health. Last June, in response to ongoing concerns about the perceived loss of bee colonies, often referred to as “bee colony collapse disorder (BCCD),” President Obama established a multi-agency “Pollinator Task Force.” The panel’s mandate: investigate the various data on the health of bees in the U.S., and if a valid threat was detected, to determine the cause or causes and make … [Read more...]

Grading the Pollinator Strategy

"Grading The President's Strategy To Promote Bee Health," By Hank Campbell. In 2006 there was a serious decline in the number of honey bee colonies in parts of Europe and the United States and it brought renewed concern about another Colony Collapse Disorder, which had last occurred in the mid-1990s. Bee colonies rebounded quickly and are higher than ever but the question lingered; what caused these periodic collapses? Answers ranged from pests to viruses and pesticides and studies did nothing … [Read more...]

Honeybees and Pork-Barrel Politics

"Saving the Bees vs. Pork Barrel Spending," By Angela Logomasini. The Obama administration has finally released its "National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators." It's the federal government's answer to all the hype found in the news related to the health of the nation's honeybee hives. While it's not clear what it will achieve for the bees, we can be sure it comes with lots of pork-barrel spending, government handouts, and shortsighted pesticide polices that … [Read more...]

Honeybee Policy Should Use Facts not Alarmism

"U.S. Pollinator Policy Should Focus on Facts Rather than Alarmism," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research held a a hearing on “pollinator health” on May 13 to discuss a national strategy designed to improve honeybee health. Hopefully, U.S. regulators and legislators will not move too quickly on a strategy that is governed by alarmism; rather, they should take a deliberative approach that is based on science and good … [Read more...]

Honeybee Nonsense

"On Bee Enslavement and Other Nonsense," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. I’ve seen many crazy headlines about the challenges facing honeybees, but this one takes the cake: “Bee collapse is the result of their enslavement in industrial monocultures.” So now, not only are humans “killing off” bees, we are “enslaving” them! According to this article, “industrial agriculture” is the problem and technological approaches won’t help things. However, the authors don’t offer much of any solution other … [Read more...]

Green Agenda on Bees

"Bee Facts Change – Green Agendas Don’t," by Paul Driessen. U.S. Department of Agriculture annual beekeeper surveys reveal that the number of honey-producing hives in the United States has held steady at about 2.5 million since 1995. Indeed, the numbers increased four of the last five years and are actually higher now than when neonics first came on the market in the mid 1990s. Most beehive problems now involve less experienced hobby beekeepers. A similarly hyped issue, “colony collapse … [Read more...]

New Bee “Crisis”

"The New Bee Crisis Is Just Like The Old One: Phony," by Henry I. Miller. Never let a good crisis go to waste, Rahm Emanuel famously said. But what do you do if the “crisis” turns out to be a dud? Easy–invent a new one. That’s what we’re seeing currently in Washington and Brussels, where government regulators, deprived of one environmental calamity–by, of all things, data–are scrambling for a new narrative. For years environmentalists have been raising alarms about the “bee-pocalypse”–a … [Read more...]

What’s Really Threatening Honeybees

"Rash Regulation Is What's Really Threatening Honeybees," Angela Logomasini. The honeybee is a powerful symbol of nature’s generosity given that these industrious critters pollinate crops around the world. Green activist groups and others are capitalizing on that symbol to spread fear and misinformation—to advance an unrelated crusade against agrochemicals. Unfortunately, if regulators continue to accept activist-generated spin, not only will food production suffer, honeybees will as well. This … [Read more...]

What is the Biggest Challenge to Honeybee Hive Health?

CLAIM: Colony Collapse Disorder is the biggest threat to honeybees. REALITY: CCD is a relatively small threat to honeybees compared to other well-known challenges.   "With a third of honeybee colonies disappearing due to ‘colony collapse disorder,’ it’s time to move into high gear to find a solution,” claims one Mother Jones article on the topic. But to find a solution, we need to understand the problem, and CCD is really not the main challenge facing honeybees. Not all … [Read more...]

More Bee-fuddling Claims from the NYT

“'Pesticide Linked to Bee Collapse May Pose More Risks': Pure junk From the EU and The NYTimes," By American Council on Science and Health. For some reason, or perhaps not, safe and effective modern pesticides of the “neonicotinoid” class (“neonics”) have had a target painted on them by anti-chemical activists based in Europe, for about a decade now. Ironically, these chemicals were developed in response to (baseless, but politically potent) claims of adverse health effects of older classes of … [Read more...]

Private Action Will Help the Bees

Today, the Competitive Enterprise Institute published my paper on the honeybee health issue and pesticide use. We have had several media outlets ask, why is CEI focused on the honeybee issue now? If you read this blog, you know that I have been writing about pesticides and their impact on public health and well-being for at least a decade and a half. CEI selects issues based on our goals to promote freedom and prosperity, using the market to advance public health and well-being. I focus on … [Read more...]

Bee Colonies Increase

"Bee Colonies In 2014 Increase Another 4 Percent," by Hank Campbell. The National Agricultural Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has released its honey report for 2014 and found it's boom times for bees. Hives increased again, another 4 percent, up to a whopping 2.74 million colonies, and honey production is up 19 percent. Yield per colony averaged 65.1 pounds, which is up 15 percent.  Read more. … [Read more...]

Pesticides Don’t Cause Bee Colonies to Collapse

"EPA Study Finds That Neonics Not Causing Colony Collapse Disorder In Bees," By Hank Campbell. A few years ago, bees suddenly had a sharp decline in numbers. This "Colony Collapse Disorder" as it is called, is a disorder in the sense that it is a recurring phenomenon, detailed for the last 1,000 years even when record-keeping just consisted of sporadic anecdotes. It was noted more frequently as record-keeping became more thorough. so it appeared far more often by the 1800s. By the 1900s, … [Read more...]

Many Factors Behind Colony Collapse Disorder

"What Makes Honeybee Colonies Collapse?" by Joe Ballenger. Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder has always interested me, because I’m interested in insect pathology – and this is probably the most important insect-pathology related event we’ll see in our lifetimes. I’ve written about CCD here at Biofortified, first in my post Colony Collapse Disorder: an Introduction. I followed this up with Are Neonicotinoids the Cause of Colony Collapse Disorder, where I talked about why the pesticide topic … [Read more...]

Neonicotinoid Ban in Europe Only Helps Pests

"Pests Invade Europe After Neonicotinoids Ban, With no Benefit to Bee Health," by Rebecca Randall. This month, more than 100 natural food brands, including Clif Bar and Stonyfield, joined together in a drive to encourage the Obama Administration to ban pesticides linked to bee deaths. The culprit, they say, is neonicotinoids, which is a class of chemicals commonly called neonics, introduced in the 1990s, that are mostly coated onto seeds to help farmers control insects. ...Yet, as activists … [Read more...]

Activist Science and Honeybees

"Activist Science Undermines Research on Honeybees and Pesticides," by Angela Logomasini. As reported in a blog post by David Zaruk, some of the “science” on the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on honeybees appears to have resulted from a pre-orchestrated campaign, rather than an unbiased scientific process. The researchers involved are members of the International Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, which is part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The task force … [Read more...]

Bee Experts Dismantle Touted Harvard Study

"Bee Experts Dismantle Touted 'Harvard' Neonics-Colony Collapse Disorder Study As 'Activist Science,'" by Jon Entine. Chensheng Lu was in his element last month at a speech before a green group at Harvard Law School. The School of Public Health professor was lecturing on his favorite topic--his only subject these days, as it has become his obsession: why he believes bees around the world are in crisis. Lu is convinced, unequivocally, that a popular pesticide hailed by many scientists as a less … [Read more...]

Pseudo-Science, Neonics, and Honeybees

"Still More Politicized Pseudo-Science? The Neonics and Honeybees Saga Takes Interesting, Potentially Fraudulent Turn," by Paul Driessen. Insisting that scientific evidence shows a clear link between neonics and honeybee population declines, EU anti-insecticide campaigners persuaded the European Union to impose a two-year ban on using the chemicals. Farm organizations and the Union’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department unsuccessfully opposed the ban, arguing that evidence for a link … [Read more...]

Honeybee Hype and Scandal

"IUCN’s Anti-Neonic Pesticide Task Force: An Exposé into Activist Science," By The Risk Monger. The Risk-Monger recently came across a strategy document carelessly left on-line by activist scientists that lies at the heart of the founding of the IUCN Taskforce on Systemic Pesticides. The Addendum to this document (see page 3) spells out a rather distasteful anti-neonicotinoid campaign strategy lacking in scientific integrity. The process has been tried and tested before by activists, but their … [Read more...]

U.S. Farmers Need to Challenge Anti-Pesticide Policies

"A Wake-Up Call For U.S. Farmers: The EPA Is Trying To Put You Out of Business, By Henry L. Miller. The Environmental Protection Agency is arguably the worst regulatory agency in the history of the world. But perhaps I understate. EPA has long been highly politicized, disdainful of science, relentlessly incompetent and corrupt. The agency is a miasma populated by the most radical, disaffected and anti-industry discards from other agencies, who collude secretly and sometimes illegally with … [Read more...]

Video: Jon Entine Interview on Honeybees

"Jon Entine Debunks Theory Linking Neonic Pesticides to Honeybee Collapse," by American Council on Science and Health. In a masterful example of thorough scientific reporting, Jon Entine makes it clear that the recent accusations that the group of pesticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”) is responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honeybees are baseless. Such accusations are bound to be concerning, since honeybees are responsible for pollinating many crops — both here and in … [Read more...]

Flawed Studies on Neonics and Bees

"Part II: Bee Deaths And CCD - Flawed Chensheng Lu Harvard Studies Endanger Bees,"By Jon Entine. Last week, in Part I of this two part series, "Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health”, we explored the claims by Harvard School of Public Health researcher Chensheng Lu, heralded by anti-pesticide and anti-GMO advocacy groups, for his research that purportedly proves that the class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids are killing bees and endangering … [Read more...]

Neonics Good for Honeybees?

"Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health," By Jon Entine. Reports that honey bees are dying in unusually high numbers has concerned many scientists, farmers and beekeepers, and gripped the public. There have been thousands of stories ricocheting across the web, citing one study or another as the definitive explanation for a mystery that most mainstream experts say is complex and not easily reducible to the kind of simplistic narrative that … [Read more...]

No Effect of Neonics in Field Study of Honeybees

"New Field Study Confirms Neonicotinoids Have Little Impact on Honeybees," By Angela Logomasini. As the Ontario provincial government in Canada considers policies that may force farmers to stop using, or drastically reduce use of, a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, a new study shows why such policies are unlikely to do any good. Supposedly, limiting use of these pesticides will improve honeybee hive health, but such regulations will simply make it harder for farmers to produce an … [Read more...]

How Anti-Pesticide Policies Kill

"Green Hysteria Costs Lives," By Jasson Urbach. Africa Fighting Malaria Apparently we no longer live in a world that values technological advancement. Canadian Environmental Commissioner, Gord Miller, recently stated, "[Neonicotinoids are] the biggest threat to the structure and integrity of the ecosystem that I have encountered in my life... Bigger than DDT". Neonicotinoids are a remarkable and desperately needed kind of insecticide. Miller bases his mistrust of neonicotinoids on an unfounded … [Read more...]

Harmful Effects of Baseless Pesticide Bans

"First DDT, now Neonics—the Harmful Effects of “Environmentalist”-Sponsored, Baseless Pesticide Bans," By American Council on Science and Health.quito In a recent article from Africa Fighting Malaria, author Jasson Urbach addresses the harmful effects of banning a class of insecticides: neonicotinoids. Urbach compares the unfounded fears of neonics with those of DDT, giving a brief history of the negative effects that bans on DDT have had on public health. For example, when South Africa stopped … [Read more...]

Beekeeper Rejects Anti-Pesticide Campaign

"Bees, Bans and Bungling: How an Anti-pesticide Campaign May Spell Serious Trouble," by Claire Brownell. At the end of a long day in the field, Ontario beekeeper Hugh Simpson is on his way to a meeting, where he’s looking forward to a packed agenda talking shop. Bee talk. Honey discourse. And absolutely not about banning pesticides. In March, Mr. Simpson was involved in forming the Independent Commercial Beekeepers. So far, the group has attracted about 20 members, based out of Ontario’s … [Read more...]

Perverse Consequences of Precautionary Ban of Neonics

"Agenda Based Precautionary Ban of Neonics Causes the Opposite of Its Intent," by American Council on Science and Health. British science journalist and author Matt Ridley (best known for his writings on science, the environment, and economics) has penned an op-ed published in The Times of London exposing the inanity and perverse consequences of the EU’s pet theory, The Precautionary Principle. Although some variants are less destructive and irresponsible than others, the main thrust of the … [Read more...]

Seattle’s Pesticide Ban Won’t Help Honeybees

"Seattle's Action on Honeybees Scientifically Calibrated to Help Politicians, Not Bees," by Todd Meyers. Environmental policy provides numerous examples where trendy politics and ignorance trump sound science. The City of Seattle's latest action to protect honeybees is just the latest example.  Taking a step called "very conservative," the City of Seattle announced it will no longer use a class of pesticides called neonicitinoids. The resolution, which is boilerplate language from other cities, … [Read more...]

Honeybee problems: Complex and Multiple

"No Simple Answer to Bee Issues Exists," By Henry I. Miller, MD. Jennifer Sass's comments about my op-ed "The Buzz About a Bee-pocalypse Is a Honey Trap" are misguided and misleading (Letters, Aug. 6). Although the number of U.S. honey bee colonies has fallen from a World War II peak of about five million to around 2.5 million today, the number of U.S. bee colonies has remained relatively stable and has even slightly increased over the two decades since neonicotinoid pesticides ("neonics") were … [Read more...]

Are Honeybee Populations Really Declining?

"Honeybee Population in Decline—Or Not?," By Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. If you read the news about honeybee survival, it’s all very confusing. Some sources sound the alarm by pointing out that the number of honeybee hives has dropped significantly in recent decades. Others say just the opposite: There are more hives today than ever before. Which is it? Actually, both. Read more. … [Read more...]

The Buzz About a Bee-pocalypse

"Why the Buzz About a Bee-pocalypse Is a Honey Trap" By Henry I. Miller. On June 20 the White House issued a presidential memorandum creating a Pollinator Health Task Force and ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to "assess the effect of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bee and other pollinator health and take action, as appropriate." Why the fuss over bees? Is the U.S. in the midst of a bee-pocalypse? The science says no. Bee populations in the U.S. and Europe remain at … [Read more...]

California Regulator Details Pesticide Benefits

"Viewpoints: Pesticides are Critical to Providing a Safe, Reliable Food Supply," By Brian R. Leahy. Last year I managed to lose a tooth due to a sliver of a wayward pistachio shell. As a result, I have come to know an excellent oral surgeon in Sacramento who is Harvard-educated and has a wicked sense of humor.  On my last visit, he told me that he had just harvested his backyard plums. With a big smile, he said that because he had not used any pesticides on his fruit he did not fall under my … [Read more...]

Beekeeper Questions Claims about Honeybees and Pesticides

"Another View: Evidence is Questionable that Pesticide is Harming Honeybees," By Randy Oliver. I commend The Bee for promoting environmental awareness (“ A lot is riding on finding culprit in honeybee deaths”; Editorials, July 27). However, contrary to popular myth, honeybees are actually in no danger of extinction. In fact, the number of managed bee hives has been increasing in the U.S. and nearly every country in the world. The reality is that the number of hives goes up and down depending … [Read more...]

Bee-pocalyse Trap

“The Buzz About a Bee-pocalyse Is a Honey Trap”, By American Council on Science and Health. ACSH friend and former trustee, Dr. Henry Miller of Stanford’s Hoover Institution, has another of his typically-erudite and incisive op-eds, this one in today’s Wall Street Journal. This has a wealth of bee-and-neonicotinoid-related information, all of which points to these twin dangers: Read more. … [Read more...]

Honeybee Health, Neonicotinoids, and Misinformation

"The Honeybees Are Just Fine," by Richard Tren. Is a relatively new class of insecticides, known as neonicotinoids or "neonics," harming bees and other wildlife? That's what the International Union for the Conservation of Nature claimed in a recent press release announcing the results of a meta-study the organization conducted earlier this year. One might have expected the press release to be accompanied by the underlying scientific studies. But that wasn't the case. Read more. … [Read more...]

Just More Bee-S?

"Fewer Bees or Just More Bee-S? By American Council on Science and Health. In today’s New York Times, Mark Winston writes a heart-wrenching column about a problem that will sooner or later come back to sting all of us in a big way—massive die-offs of bees. There are (at least) three problems, though, with his piece: 1. Winston provides no data to support his claim about the “bee colony collapse” that we have been hearing about. 2. This is because there is no such collapse. 3. This does not … [Read more...]

Human Efforts Will Save the Honeybees

“'Tampering' with Nature to Save Honeybees," By Angela Logomasini. Environmental groups are calling for an immediate suspension of an entire class of pesticides in order to save ailing honeybee populations—and they won’t wait for results of a recently launched federal effort to study the problem. But the greens' strategy won’t help the honeybees because it targets the least likely cause of recent beehive losses and ignores the more likely ones. Underlying the activists’ ban-now-think-later … [Read more...]

Science Not Politics to Help Honeybees

"Beekeepers/Farmers Need Answers, not Giant Inflatable Bees," By Elton Robinson. Protestors insisted that Loews remove neonicotinoid insecticides from its shelves. But the protestors once again cited poorly-constructed research about the insecticide's role in bee health. Last month, members of group called SumOfUs.org, sporting a giant inflatable bee, organized a protest at a Lowe’s shareholder meeting, insisting that the corporation “remove bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides from its … [Read more...]

Lawmakers Speak Out on Honeybee Issue

"Cutting Through the Buzz: Pollinator Numbers Are Up," By Reps. Tom Rooney and David Valadao. For some time now, the media has been issuing dire warnings of the coming “bee- pocalypse.” Time magazine ran a cover story titled, “A World Without Bees.” A headline in the London Telegraph proclaimed “Honey bees in US facing extinction.” CBS warned of the drastic threat to our food supply if these essential pollinators are lost. Yet reports of bees’ catastrophic demise are greatly exaggerated. … [Read more...]

A Plan for Saving the Honeybees?

"Can Obama Save the Honey Bees?," by David Clark Scott. Who could be against saving the honey bees? For politicians, this is what's called an "Apple Pie" issue. And who pollinates the apple trees? On Friday, Obama signed a presidential memo ordering the federal government to come up with a plan for protecting pollinators such as honey bees, butterflies, birds and bats. "The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid … [Read more...]

Bee-S Beepocalypse

"Bee-S Beepocalypse - Don't Make The Perfect The Enemy Of The Good," by Hank Campbell. Generally speaking, when a politician goes on television and says he is creating a special task force to look at a product, you know what happened; someone wrote about it in the New York Times and someone did a poll and someone else told him it would look presidential to be bold. And then someone in the environmental movement will invoke DDT. Really, the EPA was not created 40 years ago to protect us from … [Read more...]

Honeybee Science

"Activists Declare The Science Settled - Neonicotinoids Are Killing Bees," By Hank Campbell. Want to scare people about a pesticide? Compare it to DDT. 40+ years after it was banned in a bit of scientization of politics, people have still heard of it. DDT may be the only pesticide many people have ever heard of. Environmental groups love to invoke it for that reason.  But if you are a fan of science, when you see a DDT comparison, you know evidence has left the building. DDT, when misapplied, … [Read more...]

Ban Threatens Honeybees and Farming

"There is No ‘Bee Armageddon’: Misguided Neonics Ban Threatens Honeybees and Farming," byJon Entine, Stats.org. Science can’t be rushed. Usually legislators make policy decisions on controversial issues only after carefully weighing current research. But just the opposite has unfolded in the EU. European Commissioners last year passed a two-year ban on a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids in a preemptive move to protect honeybees, after sketchy reports of higher-than-normal winter … [Read more...]

Honeybee Health and Headlines

"Good News and Bad News about Honeybees," By Angela Logomasini. News stories related to honeybee health the past few weeks are all over the map. Some headlines claim that new research proves that honeybees are dying off because of pesticides, while others say honeybees are doing just fine. But reality is different than either scenario. Beekeepers surely have their challenges, but banning pesticide's won't help them or their bees. Much of the media "bad news" comes from a recent Harvard … [Read more...]

Regulators More Dangerous than Pesticides

"Killer Regulators Are More Dangerous To Bees Than Neonics Are," By Hank Campbell. At a time when the EPA is rushing to place new regulations on the one thing that is still cheap and increasingly environmentally effective in America, energy, it may seem strange to laud the EPA. But career scientists do solid work there. I made that point in a comment about Rachel Carson and "Silent Spring" recently. While the book was not very solid scientifically it was certainly effective culturally. Every … [Read more...]

Bee Busybodies Rebuked

"Bad News for Bee Busybodies," Washington Times Editorial. The hardy honeybees are back, having returned from dark and mysterious places in the imaginations of the environmentalists. The latest numbers from the Agriculture Department are a stinging rebuke to the doomsayers who spread hysterical tales of a mysterious apocalypse of beedom. In the latest annual survey, federal bee counters reported the lowest rate of over-the-winter bee losses in nearly a decade. Beekeepers call a loss of 19 … [Read more...]

Friends of the Earth’s Phony Science

"Espousing Phony Science? You Better Hope Hank Campbell Doesn’t Find Out," By American Council on Science and Health. ACSH friend (and the creator of the enormously popular Science 2.0 website) has the uncanny ability to sniff out bad (and hypocritical) science, and when he does, he is not shy about speaking his mind. This time he goes after the radical environmental group Friends of the Earth, and by the time they read his piece they will not be “Friends of Hank.” His message is about the … [Read more...]

Improving Honeybee Health

"Nationwide Survey Shows Dramatic Improvement in Honeybee Health," by Todd Myers. During the last week, there has been a great deal of attention to a study claiming pesticides are responsible for an increase in honeybee hive death. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), beekeepers and scientists have been working to find out what is to blame for the trend. What has been ignored, however, is recent good news about CCD. A recent study by Bee Informed, a nationwide survey of beekeepers, the … [Read more...]

Rash Regulation May Harm Honeybee

"Regulate-First-Think-Later Approach to Harm Honeybees," by Angela Logomasini. European bureaucrats placed a two-year ban on a class of pesticides in the name of “protecting honeybees” when in fact, as one EU official recently admitted, they didn’t have evidence that the chemicals present a serious threat to honeybee health.  According to an article in Food Chemical News, the European Commission official admitted that the government banned the chemicals simply because it was “the only factor” … [Read more...]

Growers Call for Science-based Approaches to Help Honeybee

"Growers say Pesticide Ban Won’t Solve Bee Problems," Eric Mortenson. The Oregon Association of Nurseries urges Congress to use a collaborative and scientific approach to regulating pesticides that some blame for honeybee deaths. Instead of banning the neonicotinoid class of pesticides, Congress should follow Oregon’s example and use a collaborative and science-based approach to improving honeybee health, the executive director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries said. OAN director Jeff … [Read more...]

Findings of Honeybee Health Study Encouraging

"Encouraging News about Honeybee Health," By Angela Logomasini. A recently released study in Europe reports some good news about honeybee health, which should prompt public officials to reexamine a recent ban on some agricultural products. “It’s the first major study of pests and diseases that affect honeybees. A lot of it seems very encouraging,” honeybee researcher Tom Breeze, says in a Reuters news story. The study examines honeybee populations in Europe after recent disappearances of entire … [Read more...]

Beekeeper: Alliance with Greens is Counter-Productive

"Beekeeper Speaks Out Against Anti-Pesticide Campaigns," By Angela Logomasini. Anyone worried about honey bee survival should read the piece by Canadian beekeeper Lee Townsend in the Guelph Mercury newspaper. In recent years, beekeepers have seen some of their hives disappear without much explanation, a phenomenon referred to as”colony collapse disorder.” Green activists have used this situation to randomly initiate bans on various pesticide products in the name of saving the bees, and their … [Read more...]

Beekeeper Says: Alliance with Greens is a Mistake

"Canada’s Bees are Thriving: Public Needs Facts, not Fear," By Lee Townsend. News outlets throughout Canada are filled with stories about the imminent decline of honeybees and the calls by some beekeepers to ban the pesticides — called neonicotinoids — which they blame for their problems. As a commercial beekeeper, I have a couple of points to make that may surprise some readers. First, the Canadian honeybee industry is far from collapsing — in fact, it's thriving. The numbers don't lie. Both … [Read more...]

Anti-Public Health: Green Agendas

"Essay Attacks “Environmentalists” for Anti-Public-Health Agendas," By American Council on Science and Health. Richard Tren has long been well-known as a fervent proponent of the more widespread use of public-health insecticides, especially DDT, to prevent the scourge of malaria in Africa. He co-founded “Africa Fighting Malaria,” and co-authored several tomes and articles on this subject. His current op-ed in Forbes.com, “Anti-Science Environmentalists Ban ‘Neonic’ Insecticides, Imperiling … [Read more...]

Anti-Science Attacks on Public Health and Pesticides

"Anti-Science Environmentalists Ban 'Neonic' Insecticides, Imperiling Global Health," By Richard Tren. Some of history’s greatest advances in public health – especially in regions plagued by insect borne diseases – have come from the judicious use of pesticides to kill or repel the insect vector before it can infect human populations. Because the market for public health pesticides is relatively small, however, most of these vital chemistries were developed for larger agricultural uses. … [Read more...]

Honeybees and Pesticide Ban Reversal?

"Bee Deaths Reversal: As Evidence Points Away From Neonics As Driver, Pressure Builds To Rethink Ban," by Jon Entine. If the Environmental Protection Agency moves to restrict neonicotinoid pesticides because of fears that they are causing bee deaths, it will happen in spite of the mounting evidence rather than because of it.  Last December, the European Commission banned the use of neonicotinoids, often called neonics, for two years. The moratorium, support for which was channeled by the … [Read more...]

Beepocalypse or Not?

"To Bee or Not to Bee? What is Behind the Bee Colony Collapse? Or is There One?" By American Council on Science and Health. The discussion about the reasons behind the so-called “beepocalypse” has been entirely focused on its cause. Some suspects have been cell towers, pesticides, and infectious diseases—Tobacco Ringspot Virus being the latest theory. But if you follow some of the references in Jon Entine’s recent Forbes op-ed, entitled “Bee Deaths Reversal: As Evidence Points Away From Neonics … [Read more...]

Pesticides Used to Help Save Honeybees

"Royal Pains: Why Queen Honeybees Are Living Shorter, Less Productive Lives," by By Francie Diep What's killing the bees? If you've been watching the news, you might answer: "Colony collapse disorder." Yet after the winter of 2011-2012, beekeepers only attributed 8 percent of their wintertime honeybee-hive losses to colony collapse disorder. ... In fact, some entomologists say colony collapse disorder is no longer a major problem. After a spike in incidents in 2006, when the condition was first … [Read more...]

Honeybee Politics and Science

"While Global Bee Colonies Struggle, European Politicians Seem Determined To Kill Them Off," by Jon Entine. Science and politics don’t mix well. In the United States, we’re witnessing rancorous policy debates over shale gas extraction (i.e. fracking) and GMOs in our foods. But in Europe, the hottest issue is the health of honeybees. And the ugly public discussion is lapping onto our shores. Bees pollinate 80 percent of our flowering crops, which constitute about one third of everything we eat. … [Read more...]

Beekeeper Perspective on Colony Collapse Disorder

"What’s Killing the Bees? Pesticides, But Not the Ones You Think," by Randy Oliver. I’m a professional beekeeper and independent research scientist. My sons and I run a 1000-colony beekeeping operation. I talk on a daily basis with beekeepers and researchers around the world. Bees are my life. I’m also a lifelong environmentalist and organic gardener, coming of age at the time Silent Spring was published. So when bee colonies — including my own — started to die at an increased rate in the … [Read more...]

Honeybees & Pesticides

"Perspectives on Honeybees & Pesticides," by Angela Logomasini. If you believe the headlines, honeybees may soon be endangered, pesticides are to blame, and regulations offer an easy solution. Yet headlines belie the truth of the matter:  Some honeybees have left their hives to never return, but we really don’t know why. Referred to as “colony collapse disorder,” the disappearance of honeybee colonies raises concerns that it will be increasingly difficult to produce food without enough of … [Read more...]

No ‘Bee-pocalypse,

"Everyone Calm Down, There is No 'Bee-pocalypse,'" Shawn Regan. Honey BeeThe media is abuzz once again with stories about dying bees. According to a new report from the USDA, scientists have been unable to pinpoint the cause of colony collapse disorder (CCD), the mysterious affliction causing honey bees to disappear from their hives. Possible factors include parasites, viruses, and a form of pesticide known as neonicotinoids. Whatever the cause, the results of a recent beekeeper survey suggest … [Read more...]

Accidental Bee Kill Not Excuse for Bans

"A Stinging Rebuke of Anti-Agriculture Environmental Activists," by Jeff Stier. An estimated one hundred people braved scorching outdoor temperatures to attend a memorial service earlier this month. The honorees, however, were not heroes, community figures, or even human. They were bees apparently killed by accident in Wilsonville, Ore. Deemed a "bee kill," the insects were found dead in a Target parking lot after a pesticide was sprayed on trees infested with aphids. Media attention to the … [Read more...]

Unreasonable Precaution

"The Precautionary Principle is a Blunt Instrument, a 90s Throwback Out of Place in an Era of 'Smart Solutions' and Big Data," by Tracey Brown. A world of over seven billion people faces some pretty complex questions about the trade-offs involved in producing food, using resources, reducing disease and achieving the societies and environments in which we want to live. There's a collision between short-term and long-term outcomes, narrow interests and broader ones, and between problems and … [Read more...]

Honeybee Health

"For a Responsible Approach to Bee Health, Ignore the Activists," by Jeff Stier. Bees pollinate a host of important crops, from fruits and nuts such as oranges, blueberries, apples and almonds, to row crops such cotton, canola, and soy. But the last few decades have been tough for bee populations, which have experienced larger than normal winter die-offs. Read the full article on the Huffington Post. … [Read more...]

Anti-Pesticide Activists and Honeybees

"Chemophobic Anti-Pesticide Groups Are At It Again," By Paul Driessen. Modern environmentalism rose to ascendancy on opposition to pesticides, specifically DDT. “If the environmentalists win on DDT,” Environmental Defense Fund scientist Charles Wurster told the Seattle Times in 1969, “they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.” Using Rachel Carson’s often inaccurate book Silent Spring to drive a nasty campaign, they succeeded in getting the Environmental Protection … [Read more...]

Bee Colony Collapse & Anti-Pesticide Activists

"Collapse Of Bee Colonies Is Latest Target For Anti-Pesticide Groups," By Paul Driessen. Beekeeping is big business, and everyone loves honey and foods made possible by pollination. But "colony collapse disorder" threatens bees and crop pollination in many areas. CCD and other bee die-offs are nothing new. What we now call colony collapse was first reported in 1869, and many outbreaks since then have sent scientists scurrying for explanations and solutions. Fungi, varroa mites and other … [Read more...]

Beekeeper Fingers Ethanol Mandate

"My Bees, Pesticides and Washington State's Biofuel Mandate," by Todd Myers. The sun is slowly arriving and the bees in my new beehives, as well as bees across the Northwest, will be happier for it. As they begin to pollinate flowers and orchards, however, they will face a number of challenges: Varroa mites, wasps, pesticides and loss of suitable bee pasture. Recently, various members of the environmental community have seized on the threat from one type of pesticide, known as neonicotinoids, … [Read more...]

The Poltics of Bees and Neonicotinoid Insecticides

"The Politics of Bees Turns Science on its Head -- Europe Bans Neonics While Local Beekeepers, Scientists Say Action is Precipitous," by Jon Entine. In a move they say will protect bees, the European Commission announced on Monday that it would impose a two-year ban on neonicotinoid insecticides, although a sharp divide remains whether politics or science is driving this policy change. .... They have announced that the ban will likely become effective at the end of the year even though the … [Read more...]

Insights on Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder

"Colony Collapse Disorder—it Sounds Catastrophic and Frightening," by Jon Entine. It’s estimated that over the past five years, some 30 percent of bees in the United States have either disappeared or failed to survive to pollinate blossoms in the spring. That’s about 50% more than the rate expected. The problem is direr in some other countries. In Spain, recent data indicate a loss close to 80% of beehives. On the other hand, in Canada and Australia, there is no sign of Colony Collapse … [Read more...]

Pesticide Alarmism Dangerous

"Alarmism About Pesticides Can Be Dangerous," by Carrie L. Lukas IWF has written before about the often overlooked benefits of innovation in agriculture (such as genetically modified foods) and the serious unintended consequences when environmentalists get it wrong. Read the full article on IWF's Inkwell Blog. … [Read more...]

Study Addresses Pesticides & Hon­ey­bees

"Pesticides not yet Proven Guilty in Bee Dieoffs: Study," by the University of Exeter and World Science staff. Con­tra­ry to some pre­vi­ous stud­ies, crop pes­ti­cides are un­likely to cause dev­as­tat­ing de­clines in hon­ey­bee popula­t­ions, the au­thors of new re­search say. Writ­ing in the Sept. 20 is­sue of the jour­nal Sci­ence, U.K. sci­en­tists from the Uni­vers­ity of Ex­e­ter and Food and En­vi­ron­ment Agen­cy said more work is needed to pre­dict the im­pact of widely-used … [Read more...]

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