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3 new videos from Bee Life

 
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1051
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:41 pm    Post subject: 3 new videos from Bee Life Reply with quote

Dear all,

Bee Life European Beekeeping Coordination is pleased to present three videos:

“Neonicotinoid Insecticides: A Justified Ban” http://youtu.be/6nABrAf_gKw

“Warnings from the Field” http://youtu.be/CrdrAGtiSTI

“A Future for both Bees and People”. http://youtu.be/s3rruh9No6c

This trilogy includes testimonials from stakeholders responsible of keeping our bees healthy. They share their ideas for the creation of pollinator-friendly farming for Europe.

We hope you will appreciate, share and use them!

More information at the BEELIFE WEBSITE: http://bee-life.eu/en/article/78/

Best regards,

Carolina Cardoso


Video One “Neonicotinoid Insecticides: A Justified Ban” http://youtu.be/6nABrAf_gKw

This first video documents the history of neonicotinoids, since they were first licensed in the 1990s, until they were partially suspended by the European Commission in 2013. Neonicotinoid insecticides are often portrayed as “good for the environment” because they are applied ‘locally’ as: pesticide-coatings on seeds; injected directly into tree-trunks; granules mixed into soil, etc. In reality, neonicotinoids are used in huge quantities and spread throughout our entire environment, with devastating impacts for: bees, pollinators and wildlife.

Neonicotinoids are applied ‘ prophylactically’ year after year as a preventive ‘insurance’, even when there is no threat from pests at all. They are routinely applied to billions of monoculture seeds, sown on millions of acres of land. The vast quantities of neonicotinoids used in the fields put entire ecosystems at risk, due to their:
- Systemic Action: a ‘systemic’ insecticide does not remain ‘outside’ the plant; instead, it is absorbed into the entire cellular structure, permeating: roots, stem, sap, leaves, flowers, fruit or grain. This makes the entire plant toxic to insects for its entire life in the field. Bees are directly exposed to these insecticides when they gather contaminated nectar and pollen from crops; they are also confronted to contaminated soil, air and water. Finally, the bees are also exposed via the follow-on crops or wild flowers, in later years, which, absorb the pesticide left behind in soil or water, and then become toxic to bees in their turn.
- Long persistence in soil (up to 4 years).
- High Solubility in water - migration to other areas and contamination of water sources
- Wide killing-spectrum - they affect not only insect pests, but beneficial insects like bees or ladybirds.

Bees which are exposed to infinitesimal doses of these insecticides, display abnormal behaviour: they tremble or stagger; they are unable to navigate or fly back to the hive; they stop gathering pollen and nectar, become listless and eventually die alone, out in the fields. These insecticides affect the bees glands, from which they normally secrete royal jelly for the bee-larvae and queen. The fertility of the Queen and the drones is also crippled.
In December 2013, several neonicotinoid insecticides (Imidacloprid, Clothianidin and Thiamethoxam) were partially suspended from the European market, for two years. Fipronil, a systemic insecticide with similar characteristics to neonicotinoids, was also suspended. At a local level, some American cities, have also banned these of neonicotinoids: Seattle, Portland and Eugene in Oregon, Harvard University campus etc..
However, throughout Europe, neonicotinoids can still be legally used in commercial greenhouses and on crops, which do not normally attract bees, such as wheat and potatoes. Moreover, two other neonicotinoids, Thiacloprid and Acetamiprid, remain unrestricted in Europe. Recently, a study reviewing more than 800 papers shows that the impact of systemic insecticides is not restricted only to bees, but rather, affects a very large number of invertebrate species.
Why can we not have a complete ban of neonicotinoids?

Video Two: “Warnings from the Field” http://youtu.be/CrdrAGtiSTI
This documents the effects of neonicotinoids on the bees' health, as described by beekeepers and scientists. For many of Europe’s farms, farming can only be sustained by the massive use of: insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, veterinary products and synthetic fertilisers.

As a result, beekeepers and scientists report that it is almost impossible to keep honeybees healthy and productive in such a farming environment. Many bee-colonies simply die, while others become sick, lose their vitality and slowly dwindle. These toxic effects are also evidenced by: the collapse of honey production and recurrent outbreaks of diseases, which often lead to the death of colonies.
Why can’t we create a healthy and ecologically diverse environment on European farms, enabling honeybees, wild bees and other pollinators to live happily together?

Video Three: “A Future for both Bees and People”. http://youtu.be/s3rruh9No6c
This video describes the steps we must take if we are to develop “pollinator-friendly farming” : a countryside where bees, pollinators and wildlife can thrive and prosper, while maintaining our food production. We urgently need:
- A dramatic reduction of chemical and pesticide inputs to farmland.
- More sustainable farming techniques like: crop rotation, the use of pest-resistant crop varieties, and the creation of ecologically-diverse landscapes, rich in pollinators, birds and wildlife.
- Friendly co-operation between researchers, farmers and beekeepers, in order to develop truly resilient food production systems.
- Pesticides arriving to the market need to be safe. Therefore, their risk to human beings, animals, and the environment needs to be assessed in a comprehensive way and avoiding any influence of pesticide producers.

Please join with us, to work for policy-solutions at a political level within the EU, so that we can develop genuinely Pollinator Friendly Farming for Europe.
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