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View Diary: Florida citrus grower gets slap on the wrist after killing millions of honeybees (140 comments)

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  •  But if this becomes a bigger problem (0+ / 0-)

    on a wider scale with specifically oranges, then yes, beekeepers will eventually pull away from that crop. The problem is it isn't just oranges. The neonics are widely used, and it is very difficult for large beekeeping operations to get away from them.

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:11:25 AM PDT

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    •  Neonicotinoids are a huge problem everywhere (0+ / 0-)

      But they are specifically an issue for orange groves. There is a disease called citrus greening caused by the Asian citrus psyllid (warning:PDF) that as of now is only effectively controlled through the systemic use of neonicotinoids. UC Davis advises that to be effective it should be applied systemically (requiring root activity for uptake) from June through September. It seems application to blossoms is ineffective, so it's hard to understand why Ben Hill Griffin, Inc. spayed the blooms.

      This pest-born disease is a huge problem for citrus groves in both California and Florida, for beekeepers, and for consumers of oranges and orange juice. Systemic use, rather than spraying, of neonicotinoids is still dangerous to bees, not to mention what it might be doing to people. A better solution needs to be found.

      "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

      by Involuntary Exile on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 09:52:25 AM PDT

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      •  Yep, this is basically true (1+ / 0-)
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        Involuntary Exile

        And the reason they spray the blossoms directly is because a direct hit from the pesticides does kill insects. That's why recently in Oregon, close to where I live, there was a massacre of bumble bees in a parking lot due to direct spraying of a neonic-based pesticide to kill aphids on linden trees while in bloom (I wrote a diary about the incident, and went to the scene, and yes, bees were killed quite effectively). But the systemic expression of the pesticide is better and has a longer effect, it would seem, than direct spraying on the insects.

        But what you're ignoring is the neonics are being used in many, many other crops as well. In my region, the pesticide is used on many varieties of fruit trees, berries, and is widely present. Neonics are designed to be systemic, and this isn't limited to oranges, but to most other agricultural uses. I have seen the effect on my bees, and it's awful. The only way I can get my bees away from this would be to place them in a wild, remote area away from agriculture, which I'm planning to do. But I don't depend on the bees for an income at present (although I'm trying to expand). Other beekeepers in my area know about the neonics, but they can't just pull up and leave. I'm pretty sure the guy who owns the berry farm next to where I have my bees uses heavy amounts of neonics, but he still pays a commercial beekeeper to put hives there, and for $50 per hive, the beekeeper accepts the situation, while I am planning to remove mine from the area.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 10:43:56 AM PDT

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        •  Good god, people are stupid. (1+ / 0-)
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          ZhenRen

          Neonicotinoids in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and honey, bees are dying at alarming rates, and we are eating food laced with a neurotoxin. Stupid, stupid, stupid. That's why I try to stick with organic foods and locally grown produce from small growers that I know with certainty do not use pesticides. It costs more but it's worth it to me.

          "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

          by Involuntary Exile on Fri Aug 30, 2013 at 02:11:40 PM PDT

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