Neonics, Mites, and CCD
There’s been a lot of talk recently about neonicotinoid pesticides and their effects on honey bees and their possible role in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), with some groups calling for banning them. However, Canada and Australia use neonicotinoids but have not experienced CCD. In this article, “Science Collapse Disorder — The Real Story Behind Neonics And Mass Bee Deaths,” John Entine suggests that the real culprit may be the Varroa mite, which attaches itself to bees and spreads diseases. Click here for the article.
I’m wondering if honey bees tend to die in the winter because they’ve spent several months living off of “concentrated nectar.” Has anyone researched the concentration of chemicals in honey? Isn’t it plausible that bee mortality is a result of the synergy of all of the various biocides (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides) in honey combined? Huge winter die-offs can’t just be the stress of winter; winter has always been. Pesticides make me wonder about accounts of lower densities of insects in general in the environment. I hear repeated accounts of HUGE reductions of insects over what people remember in the 1950’s (“insects in car headlights at night”, “insects stuck on the front of our car”, “insects at gas station/street lights”). I know scientists are not so keen on antecdotal accounts as a sign of anything, but when I’ve inquired about such reductions, I’m frequently met with, “no baseline data”. If baseline population densities don’t exist for insects from prior to the wide spread use of pesticides, how is anyone going to assess their effects in the environment? One way may be the secondary effects of insect absence. Baseline bird populations, reduced weights of bird populations where data is being measured, etc. Shouldn’t we be worried about the data showing pest resistance to pesticides, persistence of pesticides in the environment over time, mortality to other non-target species (e.g. birds, frogs), effects of pesticides on soil organisms needed to maintain soil health, or effects on aquatic invertebrates needed in the food web? I think these are all cause for considerable concern and that, because pesticides are the only option for some pests, we should use them EXTREMELY SPARINGLY.
Well, what is the exact ID of the fly (Diptera) shown on the photo? Possibly Eristalys? And what it does on the honeycomb? And: are flies also infested by Varroa mites?
Aqil, that is not a fly, it is male honey bee, a drone. And that is a Varroa mite on its thorax.