Wednesday, May 24, 2017

About Bees

I am not any sort of expert about bees and neonicotinoids, but this woman* seems to really try to look at the objective evidence and make comparisons.  I am suspicious of some of her conclusions on other topics (though not rejecting - she has me thinking), but she seems very thorough and evenhanded here. I liked the overall site as well. Short version.  Some neonicotinoids may be bad for the bees, but that's the least of their problems.

*I'm not sure how I knew she is a woman, but there was something in the writing style.  I had to dig into the site to learn that she is a Finn with a Master's degree in biology from a Swedish university, who now lives in Switzerland with her husband and two children.


james said...

The infographic is kind of misleading. Pesticides are represented by a small tab, as is nutrition, even though nutrition is mentioned as one of the big factors in bee mortality.

One of my daughters was looking into keeping bees--I should ask her about this.

Christopher B said...

It would take a bit of google-fu for me to find a link but I remember​ a couple of points from an article on colony collapse that I read in the last year or so. One was that while the scope is wider this is not a new phenomenon. A certain percentage of bee colonies have always failed for unexplained reasons. The second point was that a lot of the publicity of the problem is being driven by a small number of very large bee keepers who rent their bees as pollinators rather than for honey production, and for whom it is a big issue. There was also a strong implication that those keepers were not willing to accept any explanation that might indicate a need to change their husbandry practices or business model.

james said...

Ah. So one source of the spread might be keepers moving bees from one zone to another, with little hitchhikers aboard?