Read this report from Friends of the Earth: Follow the Honey: 7 ways pesticide companies are spinning the bee crisis to protect profits

Read the article in The Independent about the BBKA pesticide endorsement scandal and how the BBKA Executive has buried the truth

Read the history of the BBKA's endorsement of pesticides

Read the report that finally shocked the BBKA into dropping their endorsement of pesticides

Read about how BBKA censored their own web site

Download the full Open Letter to the BBKA

Key Facts

1. Insecticides are designed to kill insects. Bees are insects. Insecticides kill bees. 'Bee-friendly insecticide' is an oxymoron.

2. Modern insecticides are extremely powerful. Some of them are capable of killing bees in dilutions that are barely detectable by the latest analytical equipment, and have been shown to cause disorientation in bees, likely to result in death, in dilutions that cannot currently be measured.

3. Of the four insecticides endorsed by the BBKA as 'bee-friendly', three are among the top five most toxic in their class. (see Dr Doeser's report). Deltamethrin was introduced around 1984. The 48-hr contact LD50 for honey bees is 1.5 ng/bee (highly toxic). Cypermethrin was introduced around 1977. The 48-hr contact LD50 for honey bees is 20 ng/bee (highly toxic).

4. In the UK, annual spraying of the 4 endorsed pesticides covers an area one and a half the times the size of Wales.

5. The BBKA appears never to have issued any public statement that is critical of any pesticides or pesticide manufacturer.

6. The BBKA has never issued any statement in support of the organic movement in general or the Soil Association in particular, despite the apparent logic of allying themselves with those who are working for an overall reduction in the use of pesticides in agriculture. Instead, they have allied themselves with those who have a vested interest in increasing the use of pesticides.

7. The BBKA failed to support their colleagues in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Belgium in a call for the systemic, neurotoxic, neonicotinoid insecticides Imidacloprid, Fipronil, Thiamethoxam and Clothianidin to be removed from the European list of permitted agricultural chemicals.

8. The BBKA failed to support their German colleagues following the disastrous incident in May 2008, when millions of bees were killed by Bayer's neonicotinoid pesticide Clothianidin.

9. The BBKA did not consult its members before accepting donations from agri-chemical companies in return for use of the BBKA logo.

The BBKA is not the only organization that Bayer has bought and subverted to its own agenda. See this PDF for another example of how the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust published a leaflet with Bayer's 'help' about 'insects as pollinators' and somehow forgot to mention the massive damage done to insects (and therefore, the birds and fish that live on them) by insecticides...

28 Jan 2012 In response to damning evidence from top US researchers that tiny amounts of neonicotinoids kill bees, the BBKA published this limp and gutless response.

28 Feb 2012
In a move to distract attention from the growing mountain of evidence that their neonicotinoid pesticides are poisoning bees and contributing to the widespread destruction of many species of insects, birds and other wildlife, Bayer is cynically debuting a so-called “Bee Care Program” in a lame attempt to persuade people that they actually care about the health of bees, rather than their own obscene profits.
See article

Open Letter to the British Bee Keepers Association

January 10 2011

Since 2001, the British Bee Keepers Association has been receiving in the region of £17,500 per annum from pesticide manufacturers Bayer, Syngenta, BASF and Belchim in return for the BBKA's endorsement of several insecticides as 'bee-friendly'.

The BBKA policy of accepting money from such corporations, taken without consulting the membership, has been condemned by many of its members, other European bee keeping associations and some NGOs as unethical.

While the Executive have now changed their mind again and claims to have dropped the direct endorsement of pesticides, they have not ruled out accepting money from pesticide manufacturers under other pretexts.

And there are still some very important questions that remain unanswered for British beekeeping.

We call on the BBKA to sever all financial ties to manufacturers, sellers and promoters of any substance known to be or likely to be toxic to bees or other insects.

Philip Chandler, Friends of the Bees
Dr. Hugh Salvesen, Trustee, Natural Beekeeping Trust

This letter is supported by:
  • Dr David Bellamy OBE
  • Dr Karim Vahed, Entomologist & Reader in Behavioural Ecology, University of Derby
  • Dr. Andreas Daugsch, PhD, Post-Doc researcher at Unicamp University, Brazil
  • L. R. B. Mann M.Sc Ph.D applied ecology consultant, beekeeper of 21 y Whangaparaoa, New Zealand
  • Dr David Heaf, beekeeper, Wales
  • Dr Henk Tennekes, toxicologist, Netherlands
  • Manfred Hederer, President, German Professional Beekeepers Association
  • John Salt, ex-President, Moray Beekeepers Association
  • Michael Young MBE
  • Michael Weiler, Dipl.Ing.agr and beekeeper, Advisor for Biodynamic Beekeeping
  • Thomas Radetski, Association for the Development of Ecological Apiculture, Germany
  • James Fearnley, author and researcher
  • The Trustees of the Natural Beekeeping Trust
  • Alys Fowler
  • Chris Packham
  • Chris Baines, independent environmentalist and champion of wildlife gardening
  • Michael Thiele, GaiaBees
  • A.E. McArthur, MIL, Emeritus editor of Scottish Beekeeper magazine 1995 - 2005
  • Kate Canning FRSA, member Twickenham & Thames Valley BKA
  • Tom Petherick
  • Alan Beat
  • Nicholas Evans, author
  • Brigit Strawbridge
  • Biodynamic Association
  • Günter Friedmann, professional Master Beekeeper, Leader of the German group of Demeter-certified Beekeepers
  • Sky McCain, Wholesome Food Association
  • Nick Delaney, Somerset beekeeper
  • Patrick Moulesdale, Somerset Beekeeper
  • Nick Mole, Pesticide Action Network UK
  • Rebecca Hosking MSc, MBE, farmer
  • Tim Waygood, farmer
  • Maddy Harland, editorial director, Permaculture Magazine
  • Teresa van Dijk, research scientist, Netherlands
  • Emma Hockridge, Head of Policy, Soil Association
  • Lord Peter Melchett, Soil Association
  • Amanda Williams @helpthebees
  • Graham White, environmental campaigner, writer, beekeeper
  • Pete Riley, GM Freeze
  • Philipp Mimkes, Coalition against BAYER Dangers (Germany)
  • Jessie Jowers and Carlo Montesanti, Bee Guardian Foundation
  • Matt Adams, CEO, The Good Gardeners Association
  • Miss Adebisi Data Adekunle Slow Beekeeper (UK & Nigeria)
  • Satish Kumar, peace campaigner
  • Patrick Holden CBE, Director, Sustainable Food Trust
  • Carol and Neil Klein

(A number of other people wrote to indicate their support, but were unable to include their names here due to conflicts of interest, or for other reasons.)

These are the key questions that need answering if the BBKA wishes to be seen as fairly representing the interests of British beekeeping:

(1) When the BBKA Executive made the decision to endorse the initial four insecticides, what due diligence procedures did it employ that led to the conclusion that these insecticides were 'bee-friendly'? Did the manufacturers provide peer-reviewed, independent research to back up their claims?

(2) Was the Executive aware, for example, of the research (i) published in 1995 - 6+ years before the decision - that demonstrated deltamethrin (one of the endorsed pesticides) to be deadly to bees, even in extremely small doses? And the research (ii) published 1993 that clearly states 'Cypermethrin is highly toxic to bees'?

(3) If the Executive was aware of this research, what led it to ignore or override its findings?

(4) If the Executive was not aware of this research, does it still consider that it undertook due diligence before endorsing these pesticides?

(5) Did the Executive, during the subsequent years of endorsement, keep a review on published research about the endorsed pesticides?

(6) And is the Executive familiar with the research (iii) published in 2005 that shows both cypermethrin and deltamethrin to be 'highly toxic to honeybees'? If not, please review your answer to Q5.

(7) It is clear from Dr Bernie Doeser's review of the science (sent to BBKA November 2 2010) that the very pesticides the BBKA endorsed are very far from being 'bee-friendly'; in fact three of them are among the five most toxic pesticides in their class.(iv)

In the light of this review, do you still think you made the right decisions? And will you be taking up Dr Doeser's generous offer of expert help and advice in such matters?

(8) In the light of the above, the BBKA executives who were responsible for the endorsement policy appear to have been either:
(a) negligent in their assessment of published research, or

(b) reckless in their endorsement of products known to be toxic to bees.

Which do you consider to have been the case?

(9) Why did the BBKA Executive fail to support their colleagues in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Belgium in a call for the systemic, neurotoxic, neonicotinoid insecticides Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam and Clothianidin to be removed from the European list of permitted agricultural chemicals? (v)

(10) What measures do you propose to put in place to ensure that:
(a) BBKA takes a firm stance against the introduction into our environment of unnecessary toxic chemicals, especially the widely-condemned neonicotinoids? (vi)(vii)

(b) BBKA members are not again embarrassed by having to apologize to the rest of the world for being represented by a body that endorses bee-killing chemicals?

(c) Members of the BBKA Executive, whether elected or co-opted, make a full, public declaration of any financial, academic or research interests that they hold in partnership with pesticide companies, the agricultural, pharmaceutical and food industries, - or any other industry that could be deemed a conflict of interest.

(d) BBKA supports the organic/pesticide-free farming movement, including the Soil Association, the Wholesome Food Association, Garden Organic and the Biodynamic Agricultural Association, in their encouragement to farmers to use non-chemical growing methods?

'When the logic of history hungers for bread and we hand out a stone,
we are at pains to explain how much the stone resembles bread.'

Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic, 1948

Update 16th January 2011

Following the ADM on 15th January, BBKA spin doctors posted this message on their site. What they failed to mention was that the executive pre-empted the motion from Twickenham BKA and forced a change to the wording, which, had it been voted through, would have stopped them accepting money from pesticide companies under any pretext. They have thus demonstrated that they have no intention of cutting financial ties with these corporations.

The questions above remain un-answered, along with the following:
  • When exactly did they withdraw from the endorsement contracts?
  • Why are they refusing to let the membership have sight of the contracts? Citing 'commercial confidence' isn't sufficient.
  • Why do they refer to the pesticide manufacturers as the 'crop protection' industry? The BBKA has no mandate or responsibility to promote the agri-chemical industry.
  • Why do they not publicly and formally support the other UK, European and international agencies (environmental & apicultural) in calling for a ban on the use of neo-nicotinoids, especially in the UK?

Update 29th February 2012

Due to persistent spamming and hacking attempts, the guestbook has been removed. Here are some of the comments received in support of our letter to the BBKA. PLEASE NOTE - In the entire time this message board was active, we did not receive a single comment in favour of the BBKA position.

Justin Hemus Surrey U.K I've been chatting to Bayer via facebook... unsure how to proceed, after deleting two of my posts on their facebook page I suggested I might not give up... they were very defensive but did offer to put me in touch with an 'expert' mmmm if I prvide contact details... mmm concerned beekeeper January 19, 2012

Marisa & Renato Italy Hallo, we are two italian beekeeper, and we have start an hungry strike from the 4 of july in Turin against neonicotinoids that kill our bees. We cannot go on with this situation, it is from 2005 that we have problems, and now we are sure, we have done analisis and we have foud thiamethoxam on bees, larvaes, beebread! We ask for an international mobilitation to ban this kind of insecticides. Please help us with a signature on our website!!!
Thanks also for your work for the campaign to ban neonicotinoids. Marisa, Renato August 1, 2011

Emily Norfolk I have just become a beekeeper and joined the bbka. I read the excellent book "A spring without bees" so you can imagine my confusion when in my membership pack from bbka there was a leaflet called "bee safe bee careful when using insecticides" sponsored by the Crop Protection Association. Apparently they..."represent members active in the manufacture, formulation and distribution of pesticide products in the agricultural, horticultural, amenity and garden sectors."
The leaflet is like a wolf in sheeps clothing.
They sound so concerned about the problems bees are having and talk about how important they are. They make sure to say that the problems are due to varroa destructor and nosema, and their wording in places is so manipulative "the stewardship of such products (seeds covered with insecticide) is being closely monitored across Europe to CONFIRM (my caps) that there are no undesirable effects associated with the correct use of this development".I thought that there was quite a lot of evidence that these treated seeds ARE harmful to our bees.
I think it is shocking that I have received this leaflet from the bbka! and i'm shocked at what I'm finding out here. July 18, 2011

Simon Quinton Poole, Dorset I fully support this open letter to the BBKA July 8, 2011

Dr Robaire Beckwith Wales I fully support the perspective presented in the letter regarding the involvement of pesticide manufacturers in the sponsorship of the British Beekeeping organisation.


Dr Robaire Beckwith BSc. PhD March 25, 2011

Max Kennedy Ontario Canada As an Environmental Toxicologist I support this letter fully. For an organisation purportedly designed to promote beekeeping accepting money from pesticide suppliers is an abhorrent conflict of interest. The science of these types of chemicals directly contravenes the idea that they are "bee friendly". Indeed they are bee killers! Furthermore the backroom dealing, not brought to the membership of the organisation, is the worst type of skulduggery. If this executive refuses to correct the issue and cannot be ousted members not in agreement need to break away and form a new governing body. February 15, 2011

Tim Hall Devon Any individual or organisation that truly cares for the honeybee and it's wellbeing would work to ensure that the use of these chemicals is, at least, suspended. For BBKA to support the company that produces these is at best naive and worst insidious and amoral. January 27, 2011

Jules Christie UK I can't understand how the BBKA has been accepting funds from pesticide manufacturers. What have they been using the money for? Trying to bring dead bees back to life? January 25, 2011

Bethany Oprie Maine, USA I fully support this open letter and am against the use of any pesticides for farming or chemicals to treat bee diseases. January 17, 2011

Luis Ongay London In order to get to the bottom of this matter and in order for the executives to clear their names and find out whether or not they acted outside their remit when they signed a contract that may have been damaging to the bees, THEY SHOULD DISCLOSE THESE CONTRACTS to the membership. Failure to do so may force us to draw negative conclusions as to the good conduct of the executives. Maybe one day another whistleblower or wikileak may help us! January 17, 2011

Keith Bowes Great Massingham, Norfolk I cried when I read the Open Letter to the BBKA.

This world needs easily available and widely publicized facility for Whistle Blowers January 15, 2011

Jane Carr Withyham, UK This is why I have not joined BBKA. I personally feel they are behaving in a dispicable manner in their disregard for such an obvious danger to our bees. Surely, even without the proof which I feel we have in abundance, endorsing these chemicals is totally irresponsible. I call to all bee enthusiasts to look at joining a natural beekeeping group and to adopt natural beekeeping methods. January 14, 2011

Seets London I am shocked at how BBKA can accept funds from such a company. Is there no policy on this or any concern for conflict of interest? January 13, 2011

Phil Chandler Devon While the current Executive will, no doubt, try to brush off these questions as 'no longer relevant', I hope that they will one day be held accountable for their actions. BBKA members need to keep an eye on the people they elect - especially those who have close connections with the pesticide industry. January 12, 2011

Barry Wingrove London Thank goodness for the sanity of the people associated with the NBKT in a world of madness populated by people who support the BBKA January 11, 2011

annie cornwall I learned my basic skills from BBKA 25 years ago. It was getting too scientific even then. but this really tops it. I AM UTTERLY DISGUSTED. January 11, 2011

Bil Harley Rhone valley, France The BBKA has thoroughly discredited itself and it is difficult to see how it can continue to pretend to represent the interests of beekeepers anywhere. January 11, 2011

Fran Rogers SE London I fully support this open letter and am against the use of any pesticides for farming or chemicals to treat bee diseases. Nature provides its own immunities against disease if bees are allowed to live in a natural way without being so controlled by humans. It seems that the BBKA is more concerned about safeguarding profits from honey rather than the health of the bees. As declining bee numbers show, this policy clearly does not work. January 11, 2011

Adrienne Campbell East Sussex This is one of the reasons why I and many others have steered well clear from the BBKA for some years. January 11, 2011

Colin & Jan Bartlett Cornwall This is why we have not joined the BBKA. January 11, 2011

Terryl Bacon Bristol Please could we have a petition to be sent directly to the BBKA Executive? January 11, 2011 Natasha Coombs Montgomeryshire Bees and pesticides don't mix. January 11, 2011

Michael Phillips Sturts farm Dorset I believe that as has been said,- the only way to make BBKA act,(this goes also for any other unethical Co.)
in a responsible/moral way, is to withdraw from such undertakings, then at the least our money does not then help support such criminality. January 10, 2011

Gabriella Kapfer Oxfordshire It seems to me that an association representing bee-keepers and bees should have their best interest at heart. To find the opposite is true is really a betrayal of members and bees as well as the welfare of the natural balance of the planet. I have not renewed my membership and will not unless policies and leadership of the BBKA changes to be in alignment with the true needs of who it represents and with the Common Good. January 10, 2011

Adrian Fox As beekeepers in France we are well aware of the massive harm pesticides do to bees. There are products proven to be very harmful to bees but which are still being used due to the weak policy that says old stocks can be used up even though the product is now banned!
Many French farmers just ignore guidelines about spraying in the evening and continue to spray crops in flower during the middle of a sunny day. When you protest to the local Mairie they don't want to get involved, especially in rural areas.
The only way to stop this irresponsible behaviour is for beekeeping organisations to show more solidarity in opposing products which kill bees and many other types of pollinating insect, as well as contaminating the water table and doing harm to public health. January 10, 2011

Bill Behrend Georgia, USA Pesticide use worldwide urgently needs mitigation immediately. January 10, 2011

Kevin B Wales This is about as ethical as cancer reserch endorsing a tobacco company for a donation towards a cure for cancer. "COME ON" get with the rest of the modern real world. I know of many of us bee keepers, like myself, who will not now have anything to do with the BBKA because of their generally out dated unethical views, practices and endorsments. January 10, 2011

Nicki Penaluna France As long as the BBKA has any connection with any pesticide company such as Bayer or their like, they are not representing the British beekeeper or the bees. Their only connection with these companies should be in the mode of protest letters and representation of beekeepers in getting these toxins banned outright.
I call on them to sever all relationship with any toxic producing company to take immediate effect January 10, 2011

Petra Knowles Scotland Now that it has been shown that the BBKA's policy of endorsing pesticides was based on (a) maliciously inaccurate information from the manufacturers, and/or (b) a willingness by the BBKA executive to ignore toxicity data in favour of money, it is time to hold them to account.

Which were they - greedy or stupid? Or possibly both?

Did they blindly accept the pesticide salesmen's word that the pyrethroids they were asked to endorse were 'bee-friendly'? Or were they so keen to grab the money that they didn't ask too many questions?

We also need to be told why the BBKA's chief technical advisor, Norman Carreck - believed by many to be the prime mover behind the pesticide endorsement fiasco - is so very keen on biotechnology, GM and pesticides, and so anti organic farming? Is this in any way connected with the sources of funding with his research?

And talking of vested interests, what exactly is ex- president Tim Lovett's connection with pharmaceutical company Dermapharm, which has links with Bayer?

This sorry mess has undermined the credibility of Britain's oldest beekeeping charity, and it seems to me that nothing short of the resignation of all parties involved will repair the damage done. January 10, 2011

Jewels Orton Derbyshire "We call on the BBKA to sever all financial ties to manufacturers, sellers and promoters of any substance known to be or likely to be toxic to bees or other insects." And that they should be more open and transparent in their dealings. January 10, 2011

Kate Canning Hampton UK below is what I've sent to all the UK beekeeping associations before the BBKA Annual Delegates Meeting on Sat 15 Jan 2011. Many beekeepers who will read it are firmly entrenched in a 'pro BBKA & pesticide endorsement' mentality despite all the evidence and ethical considerations, though quite a number have shifted their views in recent months.

"On behalf of T&TVBKA and all the BKA’s who have supported the cessation of pesticide endorsement by the BBKA, we are pleased to read in Jan 2011 Beecraft, that at last the BBKA have taken note of the members views and say that they are removing themselves absolutely from pesticide endorsement. However in 2010 alone, the Executive have issued at least 4 differing public announcements stating they were/weren’t/were/weren’t continuing with pesticide endorsement.

Martin Smith goes on in the Beecraft article to repeat his Nov 16 statement “we do not preclude ever entering into a paid relationship with a crop protection company…..” which can easily lead us back to having yet more bee research paid for by agrichem companies and thus compromising that research, the BBKA & its members’ integrity yet again.

Therefore any association relationship the BBKA may have with pesticide companies in the future needs to be clearly defined, discussed and assessed with regard to safeguarding against further loss of integrity.

It is likely that the BBKA Executive will now say regarding their ADM proposition (which comes before ours) that they have publicly announced their withdrawal from pesticide endorsement and so our motion need not be debated at the ADM.

However, we feel strongly that our proposition should still be debated as:

· The BBKA Executive have shown for over 10 years to be completely incapable of objective, good, long term policy making and stewardship in regard to endorsement for cash, the use of the BBKA logo and the reputational damage which the BBKA has sustained as a result of it’s blinkered thinking regarding to pesticide endorsement.

They should have supported UK bees and beecraft and put their best interests first. They did not. Instead we now know where the BBKA led us. “UK are Dirty Beekeepers of Europe” indeed.

· Constitutionally it is important for members of the BKA’s to express their views on the pesticide endorsement issue and for these to be recorded so that the Executive have a clear mandate for a new strategic direction from the membership. The time has come for transparency and there are a number of questions which need answering about this issue.

We look forward to the formal debate of our proposal at the forthcoming BBKA ADM on 15 Jan 2011 and to an outcome where the views of the body of individual members and the strategic thinking of the organisation become more aligned."

Very best wishes for your bees in 2011

Kate January 9, 2011

Rupert Stewart Cox South west France It is difficult to imagine the leadership of a national organisation, purporting to look after the interests of their members, being more duplicitous and incompetent. January 9, 2011

Amanda Williams UK There is a misunderstanding that the BBKA will discontinue endorsing pesticide products. However, a statement outlining their position on the matter reads:
“The Trustees do not preclude accepting funds in the future from either the crop protection industry in the guise of the CPA or individual companies nor other organisations involved in horticulture and agriculture, which are beneficiaries of honey bee activity.”
(Note, the "crop protection industry" is actually the pesticide industry).
In signing this letter, I do hope the BBKA will reconsider any future relationship with this industry, which actually has strategic implications, and instead, align themselves with conservation organisations such as those represented on this letter, and the likes of Buglife. January 9, 2011

Steve Mitchell Cornwall It's a travesty that an organisation that is supposed to be supporting bees & beekeeping in the UK should have ever taken up these endorsements in the first place.
See sense & start supporting the environmental lobby instead of taking the agrochemical shilling. January 9, 2011

Colin Moss Derby England It is time this stops whilst it still can be stopped May 16, 2010

Barry Jackson London Now that Hilary Benn has not banned Neonicotinoids, it is fairly obvious that the BBKA has failed to support its members by remaining quiet, even sitting on the fence over this serious matter. Outrageous.
New Beekeeper
B.Jackson April 29, 2009

Ernest J.P. Muhly Maryland, U.S.A. Too many years of viewing salvation somewhere else than in the earth's biocultural diversity has left mankind too ignorant to realize what it is loosing until it has disappeared. Its past time to teach the children whats at stake so they can lead us to a better future! October 17, 2008

professor West Virginia, USA The Bayers, Monsantos, their fellow cohorts and minions, will have the planet and it's creatures unrecognizable within a decade or so. Let us hope that some of us are still here to witness and correct their mistakes. June 15, 2008

SeaCrow Seattle, WA USA Brilliant, Bayer (not :mad: you should all be invited to drink clothianidin-spiked tea, stripped nekkid, tarred & feathered, sued for triple damages, have your corporation decertified & assets sold by auction to competitors, and thrown in Guantanamo for triple-lifetime sentences. Fair enough? June 6, 2008

David Stover Richmond, VA USA This is my first year as a beekeeper. I'm using a Top Bar Hive and live in the inner city. I've noticed a few bees lately dying and struggling to fly. This does not seem to be an age related death though I am too unknowledgeable to really say what it may be. I watched the German video on this site and my bees here in the US have the same symtoms as the German bees in the video. Hopefully what I am seeing is not death by pesticide poisining. I want to thank BARB and for helping in my education of the lives of bees and how we humans can interact successfully with them. I applaud your work.

David June 1, 2008

Ronnie Tyneside Would it be too strong a measure to call for the BBKA to cease and set up a new assoc free from the taint of the, at best, naive actions of the BBKA Executive? June 1, 2008

Frank Egan Dear Misters (Chamberlain) Smith & Turner,
Your collaboration with Bayer over the "donations"to the BBKA are about to see daylight. We will see the the meetings, phone calls, minutes and the money trail soon. Your despicable behavior regarding the acceptance of poisons on behalf of British beekeepers, hopefully, will earn you a special place in the new "Spandau". May 29, 2008

Gordo Kingston, ON, Canada I fail to see how this can possibly be a good thing for the BBKA to become involved in. Having the Executive Committee actively working against the best interests of the membership is wrong on so many levels. May 29, 2008

Greg Hounsell Kingston, Ontario,Can I am flabbergasted at their actions. Let alone condone products that are not in the best interests of the groups mandate and sustainability of the honey bee. And taking money for it?? That totally destroys any credibility in my view.

I find what is even worse how it came about and the fact they are not owning up to it and doing the right thing.

Resign or be impeached! May 29, 2008

Brian Jordan Hampshire, UK I fail to see how BBKA can claim to represent beekeepers and bees in this country while at the same time having such cose ties with the purveyors of insecticides. This is an unacceptable position. May 29, 2008 beekeeper Scotland Dr Miles Thomas of the Central Science Laboratory reports that Imidacloprid was used on over 1.4 million acres of crops in the UK in 2004. The chemical is a systemic insecticide and pecifically attacks the nervous system; as a neuro-toxin it has a lethal effect on bees at just 5-10 part per billion in nectar and pollen. However, one
independent French study found it had sub-lethal behavioural effects on bees at just 0.1 ppb - a dosage of 50-100 times less than the lethal effect.

The pesticide is dusted onto the seeds of oilseed rape and other crops but it migrates throughout the growing plant and is found in: sap, leaves, nectar and pollen. Imidacloprid is neuro-toxic - it attacks the nervous system of all animals including invertebrates: worms, insects, bees, butterflies, ladybirds etc. It also poisons birds. The 'target' species are aphids, flea beetles and any soil invertebrates which attack seeds and roots. However, Imidacloprid also kills on-target-species including bees, earthworms, woodlice, caterpillars, moths etc. May 28, 2008

Dragonia England How tragic that the organization that should be protecting the bees has sold out for peanuts to the industry least likely to care about bees. May 28, 2008

Archaeopterix Varg Directors of Bayer should be held personally responsible for the crimes of their company. May 18, 2008


(i)May 1995, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Volume 14, Issue 5, pages 855–860, the summary of which reads:

Foraging activity of bees is currently disturbed by treatments with pyrethroid agrochemicals. To discover eventual troubles of spatial orientation of the foragers, we exposed bees to sublethal doses of deltamethrin sufficiently low to avoid motor inco-ordination or muscular troubles. In an insect-proof tunnel, bees were trained to forage at a feeder 8 m from their nucleus. When temperature and global radiance conditions were optimal, some foragers were caught, exposed to a deltamethrin dose 27 times lower than its LD50, and released after 20 min of recovering. Among the contaminated bees, 54% took flight toward the sun and 81% did not come back to their nest within 30 s (which is 3 times longer than the mean time of control bees). Because pyrethroids are known to disturb learning and memory, we cannot conclude if this disorientation is due either to a trouble of information storage (wrong spatial perception or phototropism increase), or to a trouble of information retrieval (bad comparison of actual and memorized patterns). Routine chemical analysis of exposed bees does not detect residues of deltamethrin 3 hours after bee sublethal exposure, although bees evidenced alteration in the flight.
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(ii) Alpha-cypermethrin is the active ingredient in BASF's 'Contest', one of the endorsed pesticides. See: Pesticide Information Profile (A Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and University of California at Davis), 1993
NB - "The recommended application rates of alpha-cypermethrin are lower than those of cypermethrin because the former is biologically more active."
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(iii) Contact Toxicity of Some Insecticides to Apis Mellifera and Apis Cerana, J. Asia-Pacific Entomol. 8(1): 113-115 (2005)
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(iv) Dr Bernie Doeser, Observations on the Effectiveness of the BBKA endorsing Four Pesticides Also with ref to Bulletin of Insectology 56 (1): 103-109, 2003 ISSN 1721-8861

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(vi) Concern over Imidacloprid, Graham White
'According to James Frazier, PhD., professor of entomology at Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, "Among the neonicotinoids, clothianidin is among those most toxic for honey bees; and this combined with its systemic movement in plants has produced a troubling mix of scientific results pointing to its potential risk for honey bees through current agricultural practices. Our own research indicates that systemic pesticides occur in pollen and nectar in much greater quantities than has been previously thought, and that interactions among pesticides occurs often and should be of wide concern." Dr. Frazier said that the most prudent course of action would be to take the pesticide off the market...'
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(vii) Dr Henk Tennekes, A Disaster In The Making (2010)

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