There may be some here that might be interested in this from the University of Minnesota about bees and what could be causing their decline.
Here is a link that might be useful: About bees
kimmsr, thanks for linking a "frightfully" eye-opening document.
Thanks, kimmsr....I'll post this link to other forums where people need reminding.
This started out as a class of chemicals available to professionals and for use in an enclosed environment, where it presented little exposure to pollinators or ground water. It is persistant in plant material and the environment and could only be applied once per growing season. It was not labeled for food crops. It was extremely effective, inexpensive compared to many insecticides, systemic and the fact it only had to be applied once per crop cut back labor costs and increased profit. IOW all the ingredients necessary to brew the perfect storm.
We were once told that these systemic poisons would have no adverse affect on the beneficials, only the insect pests. The one thing I have seen over the years is that if some poison will kill bug A it most likely will also adversly affect bug B. Some people seem to believe that if an insect is not listed on a poisons label that poison will not kill that insect.
Kimmsr, We were once told that these systemic poisons would have no adverse affect on the beneficials, only the insect pests.
Essentially accurate; because a harmless insect does not feed on the sap of a plant.
Bees and nectar are a different story and I must confess that the adverse effect of a systemic on honey bees had not crossed my mind.
"Every drug has side effects", is a refrain of the pharmaceutical industry; but the same can be said of insecticides, rodenticides and the like. A particular dosage rate can affect members of the same insect species differently and may not harm another species at all.
Indeed, products like "warfarin" and "dicoumarin" were used as rodenticides in the 1960's.They are anti-coagulants and at a high enough dosage, would cause the animal to bleed to death.
These days they are used successfully to treat blood disorders in humans.
As always, the danger is in the dosage.
Thanks, again, Ron.....the Voice of Reason.
There are hundreds of household products in our bathroom and kitchen cabinets that can cause severe problems to us IF we don't use them in the proper manner (drinking your organic, papaya-melon-honey shampoo, for example) or at the proper rate. We use a quarter teaspoon of sea salt in the basin of our electric nasal irrigator (following the directions) ......not a tablespoon or a 'smidgen' or 'some'.
Pesticides, even the so-called organic ones need to be used with forethought. Proper ID of the problem is essential but might be difficult to achieve. Even in this very helpful forum, the accuracy of insect or disease identification can be dismal. Surprisingly few people seem to know how to use their Extension system. And a horrifying preponderance of people don't read labels or understand them.
It's a dilemma, for sure.