BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Bad News for Honey Bees: Insecticides Are Growing Much More Toxic

  • Environmental issues and concerns that affect beekeeping.
Environmental issues and concerns that affect beekeeping.
 #5543  by Chrisbarlow
 22 Jan 2020, 16:59
Researchers discover that neonicotinoid seed treatments are driving a dramatic increase in insecticide toxicity in U.S. agricultural landscapes, despite evidence that these treatments have little to no benefit in many crops.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/scitechdaily.com/bad-news-for-honey-bees-insecticides-are-growing-much-more-toxic/amp/
 #5548  by AdamD
 23 Jan 2020, 09:12
The world seems to be falling out of love with neonics and the finger is being pointed at these chemicals for a variety of reasons. Despite the fact that beekeepers in the UK haven't reported any issues and have previously enjoyed their bees going to neonic treated rape fields - and the bees doing well on them both before and after the treatment ban.
In the UK we don't grow soybeans as one example (which produce nectar freely, I believe) so we are different to the USA. And I would hope that our farmers are not forced to buy neonic treated seeds even if they don't want them treated - as is indicated by the first article.
 #5549  by NigelP
 23 Jan 2020, 11:25
It's interesting how effective the neonic seed coatings were. Most farmers around me have virtually stopped growing OSR as the cost of the extra sprays to get a crop to yield a profit has meant many have lost money on their OSR crop in recent years.
I'm gutted as I move hives literally onto a field of OSR each year, but farmer has now stopped growing it......
 #5552  by Chrisbarlow
 24 Jan 2020, 07:10
I would agree with you both, nothing appears to have changed in colony health since before the neonics ban.

Farmers where I have apiaries all state they're growing less OSR and the decline will continue
 #5553  by NigelP
 24 Jan 2020, 09:19
I've just had the results back from my summer honey from the National Honey survey.
Very interesting.
This was mainly July Honey harvested early August. My garden apiary where we have lots of "improved " grasslands and woods was predominately clover (27%), followed by bramble (22%), Balsam (18%0 plus Alder (12%) and another 22 identified species of flowers and plants....including woad!
Another apiary site close to woodlands and extensive agriculture showed predominately Bramble (65%!!!), clover (15%) and another 19 species. Quite a difference reflecting the diversity of forage at one site and the lack of at another.
 #5555  by Patrick
 24 Jan 2020, 13:43
That's really interesting Nigel. I am pretty sure bramble is just as important for me too, but I am surprised at the amount of clover you had. Interesting about the Woad, it is grown as a garden plant apparently and someone I heard of was planting in reasonable quantity for dye. Were any tree species aside from Alder in the list? Hawthorn?

I saw Alder being referred to in a Randy Oliver article and yours is the first UK reference I have seen, but I don't get out much.. :)
 #5557  by Chrisbarlow
 24 Jan 2020, 13:59
Patrick wrote:
24 Jan 2020, 13:43
That's really interesting Nigel. I am pretty sure bramble is just as important for me too, but I am surprised at the amount of clover you had. Interesting about the Woad, it is grown as a garden plant apparently and someone I heard of was planting in reasonable quantity for dye. Were any tree species aside from Alder in the list? Hawthorn?

I saw Alder being referred to in a Randy Oliver article and yours is the first UK reference I have seen, but I don't get out much.. :)
Good point about Hawthorne, I never see any bees on it round me.