Newhouse On Labor

Newhouse On Labor

Bayer on Bees Part 2. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

Science magazine has released 2 articles that are pointing the finger at pesticides in the decline of both the honey and bumble bees. David Fischer with Bayer’s Environmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment says the study on honey bees that Science used was flawed.

FISCHER: In this particular study though, the main flaw we see is the dose level was much higher than what is field relevant. And we would have predicted with a dose level above 1 nanogram per bee that you would definitely see a behavioral effect and a delay in the bees getting back to the hive, at least potentially.

Another German study looked at high concentrations of other pesticides with similar results.

FISCHER: But they also evaluated lower concentrations which they considered to be field relevant and found no effects on the ability of the bees to get back to the hive. Again the honeybee paper we feel is an interesting paper on behavioral paper on toxicology. It show effects but those effects are completely consistent with what we would predict for the high dose that was applied. But under conditions of real use for these products in approved agricultural use the exposure levels are much lower and those effects should not occur and have not occurred in the many field studies that have been conducted with neonicitinoids.

Fischer says that this include some of the products that Bayers sells as well as the thiomithoxin that was used in the tests. The second article was on bumble bees.

FISCHER: In which they exposed bumble bee colonies to concentrations of Imidacloprid which is a neonicitinoid that Bayer Crop Sciences markets. They exposed them by giving them contaminated pollen at 6 parts per billion and 12 parts per billion and there was also a little bit of Imidacloprid provided through a nectar source as well. In that study they fed the bees for 2 weeks in the laboratory - took the colonies out into the field and looked at how those colonies developed over time.

He says there was a bit of a surprise in these results and we will take a look at that in tomorrows program with Bayer’s David Fischer.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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