Creating Waves of Awareness
Update March 29, 2013 | Soaring Bee Deaths.
Update June 3, 2012 | FRANCE TAKES ACTION -- BANS Neonicotinoid'
The media says new studies explain the decline and collapse of bee populations. Widely known and understood by naturalists, homeopaths, environmentalists that chemicals in the environment harm living organisms and deter proper functioning of species, these studies confirm that pesticides may be at the root of the problem.
If governments don't take action now, the bee populations will continue to decline. In many HWC articles and pleas, we have explained that all agriculture needs bees to propagate fruiting flowers. At stake is the survival of the planet as we know it.
Losing Their Way
A French study used tiny radiotransmitters to track honeybees as they left and returned to their hives and found that many of them failed to return after being exposed to non-lethal amounts of one pesticide.
If we extrapolate this out, we may surmise that persons with Alzheimer's also lose their way, as environmental chemicals affect their mental functioning. Maybe these people are sensitive to the pesticides used in gardens and parks?
Sterility A Major Problem
British researchers, meanwhile, found that bumblebee colonies exposed to common levels of another pesticide from the same family grew more slowly and produced nearly 85% fewer queens than non-exposed colonies, "which clearly could have very strong implications for bumblebee populations in the wild," co-author Dave Goulson said Thursday in Paris.
Like the canary in the coalmine, every time we see the species in the natural world affected, we can surmise that humans are also affected. We must recognize the time periods that the pathology will express itself from observable clinical data may be years after the exposure. This goes for the bees, as well. While repeatedly collecting pollen from plants that have been sprayed over a number of seasons, the effects add up until the day they suddenly die or become sterile. And, you may wonder why the human populations also have fertility problems?
Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides which act on the central nervous system of insects with lower toxicity to mammals.
Interestingly, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia have restricted the use of Neonicotinoids due to honey-bee collapse. Why did they know this already and take protective action for their seed, cereal and corn crops?
Tobacco Ingredient As Insecticide
The chemicals mimic the effect of the tobacco ingredient nicotine, which is used as a natural insecticide, and pose less risk to humans and other mammals.
Drugging the Bees Found In Numerous Studies
If these insecticides have drug-like effects, they lose their ability to function as individuals and within the group collectively. Compounded with ordinary stresses of climate change, drought, parasites and other variables, the bees cannot survive. How many studies does it take to take legislative action to save the bees?
The American Chemical Society’s journal Environmental Science and Technology published an Italian bee study suggesting that particles thrown off by seed drilling machines also emit high levels of neonicotinoids.
Indiana’s Purdue University found the neonicotinoids in pollen collected by bees from corn and other plants.
Bayer produces imidacloprid
Syngenta makes thiamethoxam
At the same time we learn of bee collapse due to insecticides we learn of incredibly startling increase in human autism. Can we draw the dots and make a line? Is there a connection between putting chemicals in our bodies [vaccinations] and in our environment and seeing the results over time?
Some solutions to the problems with bees.
From strengthening the hive, to varroa mites and CCD.
Pulsatilla nigricans. Anemone pratensis. Pulsatilla pratensis. Pasque Flower. (Sunny, sandy pastures in Central and Northern Europe and parts of South of England.) N. O. Ranunculaceæ. Tincture of entire fresh plant when in flower (it flowers in spring and again in autumn).
“As some confusion has arisen as to the Pulsatilla of homœopathic use, I will give Jahr's description of the plant: "Stems simple, erect, rounded, 3 to 5 inches high; leaves radical bipennatifid, oblong; flowers solitary, terminal, having folioles of calyx campanulate, bent at the point, the odour of the herb but slightly evident, taste acrid and pungent. The fresh plant contains an acrid and, vesicating principle, and furnishes a corrosive oil, as well as a kind of tannin, which colours iron green; in the dry state it is entirely deprived of this acrid quality. Grows in sandy pasture grounds, on hills and declivities exposed to the sun." He further distinguishes this Black Pulsatilla from the Common Pulsatilla (Pulsatilla vulgaris, Anemone Pulsatilla) which "grows only on dry and sterile hills and flowers in spring only, whilst the black-coloured Pulsatilla flowers a second time in August and September." P. vulg. is much less downy than P. nig.: "Its flowers clear violet or pale red, straight and not hanging; seeds surmounted by a long silky tail." It is called Pasque Flower because it is in bloom at Easter, and its flowers are used for colouring Easter eggs.”
(Clarke Dict of MM)
From its effects on humans – making them very affectionate and cuddly, we can derive several conclusions. The first is that this remedy would be very good for grains – growing close and having a similar signature of bending whichever way the wind blows and being susceptible to weather changes. The close spacing of grains also points to the aspect of “cuddling”, and this remedy is very good for grains.
Next we must mention that Clarke calls it “the sheep's remedy”, which is shown in herd behaviour. My own experiences in Australia have confirmed that the kangaroo is the animal closest to the real Pulsatilla state – they live in groups and the young stay in the pouch for up to a year. Building further on this picture, we can conclude that Pulsatilla is the herd and hive remedy par excellence and my own experiments with bee hives have confrimed this. The cohesion in the hive is considerably enhanced, making for a stronger colony. When we consider that bees also forage when it is rather fresh outside (> from being outside, even in chilly weather), we see that Pulsatilla is an excellent remedy for bees.
Thus Pulsatilla is a remedy useful for humans, animals, plants and insects, provided they are “herd or hive species”.
In beehives, wax moth or beetle larvae – varroa mites.
Pseudoscorpions are tiny arthropods (between 2 and 7 mm) of which physiognomy remind strongly of scorpions. They live predominantly in humus or compost, but can also be found in tree bark, bird nests and sand dunes. More than 3000 species are known in the world, of which 100 live in Europe. They feed on other small arthropods. They have a phoretic relationship with larger insects, as, e.g., flies or spiders, that is, they use they as a « taxi » to migrate to new territories. The fact that bees interacted with has actually been known before: Weygoldt observed that pseudoscorpions feed as well on mites found on their hosts and that the Chelifer cancroides species was often found in beehives: "Normally the pseudoscorpions do not harm their hosts: they like the warmth of the nests and feed on other animals living there – wax moth or beetle larvae, for example." Moreover, it is allowed to assume that the presence of pseudoscorpions in beehives belong to the "defence mechanisms" or the Asian bee, Apis cerana against the varroa mite. Pseudoscorpions happen to attack their hosts, but this has been observed up to now only in tropical species. Pseudoscorpions seem thus to have simply added varroa to their "menu".
Control of varroa in bees.
Van Dugteren has observed a velvet mite feeding on a varroa mite in the hive.
The velvet mites (Trombidium holosericeum) belong, as pseudoscorpions, to the pedofauna. The larva parasites larger arthropods nevertheless without harming their hosts. The imago is considered as a useful animal in gardening and agriculture since it is a predator of harmful mites, aphids and small caterpillars. It would thus not be surprising that it would not either despite a varroa.
As Van Dugteren's observation has been an isolated case, it might that it has been an opportunistic caught, nevertheless, it would be interesting to study further if the velvet mite could develop as a regular predator of varroa, at least assist the elimination of varroa mites and find a usefulness in beekeeping as in gardening of agriculture.
Different beekeepers around the world, e.g. in South Africa (in 1997), New Zealand, the Netherlands (in 2003) and Germany have observed that, when important populations of pseudoscorpions were to be found in the vicinity of and in beehives, these beehives were completely free of varroa. Other beekeepers mentioned the standstill of pseudoscorpions activity after a short time.
As pseudoscorpions are cosmopolitan animals, its introduction in beehives should not present any risk from an environmental point of view, with the condition that local species are bred. The velvet mite is also a native species of Europe.
In organic gardening, predators (particularly ladybird, hoverfly and lacewing larvae) are e.g. used for the control of harmful animals such as aphids: either and preferably the garden will be laid out in a manner that an adequate habitat will be offered to those predators, or, to give it a boost or in case of emergency, it is possible to buy these predators from specialist suppliers. This idea can be transferred to beehives, that is to say, either introducing deliberately varroa predators in beehives, or maintaining a favourable environment to varroa predators in the vicinity of beehives.
This is the solution suggested by Piet van Dugteren. He has observed that pseudoscorpions develop particularly well in compost heaps and maintains since then a heap of dead leaves at the bottom of his hives. Pseudoscorpions need such a habitat, as these animals are very shy and need hides where they can retire quickly and most species need humid environment unless they would desiccate rapidly. It has been observed that some species use cavities in combs or brood cells left empty lay eggs or to rest during their metamorphosis period. For those who want to try out the experience, Piet van Dugteren offers to send pseudoscorpions in plastic containers in which they can survive for a couple of weeks. He nevertheless thinks that each beekeeper is able to maintain by him/herself a pseudoscorpions population.
The use of acaricides is definitively prohibited with this method, since they are likely to be as (or even more) harmful to the varroa predators as to the parasite itself. Even "natural" substances such as thymol have been demonstrated to have a lethal effect on a number of pedofauna species due to their highly irritating properties.
Bottom screens might also be contra-productive in this case since they would also represent a deadly fall for varroa predators especially if they are equipped with a greasy or sticky board.
Wikipedia : Pseudoskorpione. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoskorpion
Bérubé C. : Himalayan ceranaid:development assistance to preserve and promote Apis cerana beekeeping in Nepal. http://www3.telus.net/conrad/nepalbee.htm
Van Dugteren P. : Scorpion Beneficial Organisms: Bestrijd de varroamijt op naturulijke wijze. http://www.scorpion-beneficial-organisms.com/
Schöler A.: Untersuchungen zur Biologie und Ökologie der Herbstmilbe Neotrombicula autumnalis (Acari: Trombiculidae) im Hinblick auf Bekämpfungsmöglichkeiten sowie zu ihrer Bedeutung als Vektor der Borreliose. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. http://deposit.ddb.de/cgi-bin/dokserv?idn=968399304&dok_var=d1&...
Wikipedia : Fluweelmijt. http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trombidium_holosericeum
Donovan, B. J., 2000: Could pseudoscorpions from South African beehives control our varroa? The New Zealand Beekeeper 7(6): 22-23. Quoted by « Heidecap », http://www.imkerforum.de/archive/index.php/t-8458.html
Garrit: Pseudoschorpioen. Contribution to the "Imker forum" http://www.bijenhouden.nl/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID...
Gonzales V. H., Mantilla B., Manhert V., 2008 : A New Host Record for Dasychernes Inquilinus (Arachnida, Pseudoscorpiones, Chernetidae), with an Overview of Pseudoscorpion-Bee Relationship. The Journal of Arachnology 35:470–474. http://www.americanarachnology.org/JoA_free/JoA_v35_n3/JoA-35-3-470...
Pesticide Action Network : Thymol – Identification, toxicity, use, water pollution potential, ecological toxicity and regulatory information. The PAN Pesticide Database. http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC35222#Eco...
Nicotiana tabacum. Tobacco. N. O. Solanaceæ. Tincture of the fresh leaves collected before the flowers are developed.
Colony Collapse Disorder, burrowing flea, general insect remedy to be used solely and exclusively on grains.
“Nicotiana tabacum received its specific name from Jean Nicot, French ambassador to Portugal, who was the means of introducing the tobacco plant into France about 1560. When Columbus and his followers landed in Cuba in 1492 the practice of smoking tobacco was in common use among the natives throughout the island, and also throughout the continent of America. On their return to Spain the practice rapidly spread throughout the Peninsula. Sir Walter Raleigh and his companions introduced the practice into England in 1586. From that time the cultivation, manufacture, and use of tobacco, either by smoking, snuffing, or chewing, rapidly became universal.”
(Clarke. Dictionary of MM)
Strong tobacco-juice is the most effectual destroyer of the burrowing-flea, Chigoe. Tabacum has been used since the time of its introduction in Europe as a means to control pests on plants with success, but was replaced by chemicals soon after. It is due to its alkaloid nicotinum that it has this capacity. Since it is indiscriminate in its destructions of insects in the crude, it will also destroy the useful predators. In potency however, we might see a less destructive action.
It is also useful in controlling CCD in bees, because of its nicotine component, which is the main culprit responsible for the condition in the first place, in the form of the neonicotinoid pesticide sold by Bayer. Although scientists at both Bayer and the EPA warned against its use, due to the fact it also kills our valuable pollinators such as bees, both the company and the agancy ignored the warnings and approved and marketed this pesticide in ever increasing amounts. The resultant Colony Collapse Disorder is not just bad for beekeepers and their contaminated honey, but is simply devastating for the bees and if continued, may well spell the demise of the entire human race, since without pollinators, the world will soon run out of food.
Nicotinum. Nicotine. An alkaloid from Nicotiana tabacum. N.O. Solanaceae. C10H14N2. Solutions in distilled water or alcohol.
Colony Collapse Disorder in bees. Insect pests of almost any class, exclusively on Graminae.
We know from the remote past and from the present, that tobacco and its alkaloids are powerful insecticides when used in the crude. Today especially, we see that the neonicotinoids are used in this capacity, but they have some greatly undesirable effects on all insects and are implicated in CCD in bees. That said, it is with some reluctance that I introduce this remedy, because besides repelling insect pests, it may also keep pollinating bees of our crops. Therefore, it is recommended to use it only on those crops that do not depend on insect pollinators, such as the Graminae, which are pollinated by wind.
The remedy Nicotinum will not have such devastating effects on the bee population and may even be used to counteract the effects of Bayer's neonicotinoid pesticide. It is certainly worth the while to instigate tests to discover which effects this remedy can have on bee colonies that are affected by CCD. Bees are said to no longer be able to find back their hive, when affected by neonicotinoids. Also, bees subjected to this poisoning have symptoms in their gut, which gives it a bluish tint. Such symptoms are also found under Nicotinum:
“Delirium with frightful visions. Inability to think or fix attention on any subject. Indistinctness of senses; loss of consciousness. Peculiar symptoms and sensations were: Great sensitiveness of eye to light, along with indistinct vision. Vertigo and headache. Dulness of head, heaviness, dizziness, stupefaction. Uneasiness. So weak could scarcely hold up head. Paroxysms of faintness beginning with a vanishing of senses and ending with loss of consciousness.”
“Disagreeable sensation extending upwards and downwards from stomach. Emptiness and faintness in stomach. Persistent sensation of emptiness and faintness in stomach and intestines. Abdomen distended. Disagreeable sensation through whole intestinal canal.”
(Clarke Dict of MM)
Such symptoms are also seen in bees that suffer Colony Collapse Disorder. It will certainly be worth the while to try out this remedy in this devastating disease, which destroys yearly up to 50% of all bee colonies.
Thank you so very much for this information.