Leaked EPA Memos May Explain Massive Bee Die-Off

HoneybeeCMD's guest blogger, Jill Richardson, has done some ground-breaking reporting on the potential cause of the massive bee die-off.  According to Jill's investigation, leaked U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) memos reveal that the agency gave conditional approval to pesticides now in wide use, without requiring adequate proof that they are safe to use around honeybees. In the wake of the new information, beekeepers are starting to blame the country's massive die-off of honeybees on the pesticides. A leaked EPA memo dated November 2, 2010, discusses Bayer CropScience's efforts to legalize use of its pesticide clothianidin on mustard seed and cotton crops. EPA gave conditional approval for the chemical in 2003 and let Bayer start selling it, but told the company that they needed to complete further safety testing by a certain deadline to get full approval. The  additional testing was to assure the chemical was safe to use around honeybees. Bayer failed to do the testing for years, and instead sought and received an extension of the conditional permit to use the chemical. When Bayer finally performed the study, they did it in another country, and on crops that aren't grown much in the U.S. Bayer also used bees that were located on a small patch of treated crops surrounded by thousands of acres on untreated crops -- a design that handed Bayer the result it wanted by making the chemical appear safe to use. EPA deemed the defective study acceptable and gave full registration to clothianidin in 2007. In November, 2010, when Bayer asked to extend use of the pesticide to more types of crops, EPA still did not comment on the inadequacy of Bayer's study. Beekeepers are incensed at this information, and along with others are asking why EPA allows pesticides to go onto the market before they have been adequately safety tested. They also wonder how sound the science around such studies can be when they are performed by the pesticide makers themselves.


I believe that a class action lawsuit against Bayer and EPA should be organized. I am not a beekeeper ourselves. The class affected might not only include beekeepers, but the farmers that do not use pesticides that rely on bees for pollination.
I can see a bill in congress the "Chemical Transparency Act" to require all pesticides and herbicides including ones previously approved by EPA to have multiple studies by independent 3rd parties. It should remove all control of the company from design of the studies to remove conflict of interest. All studies should also be made public for review. Bad studies will be revealed via the transparent process and peer review.

Third party testing is a great idea.

You don't need studies. Use logic. Governments allow Pesticide Corporations to manufacture millions of pounds of pesticide every year. The product (a poison) goes in a container AND on that container they paste a label with the directions on how to mix the pesticide with water and other pesticides, how and when to spray it, how to dispose the left over mixture, how to dispose rise from the sprayer and the rinse from the container and how/where to dispose of the actual container (bury it or recycle it etc).

Directions on a piece of paper is all that's between you and safety in the regulation of poison in your food and on the bee's food. Covering our planet with billions of pounds poured, dumped and sprayed since WWI is going to be a problem very soon. So, now that you know that - what value is there is a study?

The people who actually control pesticide - who determine the safety of pesticide in and on your food are the people who use the pesticide - the applicators. Any safety derived from a field test where they determine how much they can use so it doesn't kill you or the bees is a moot point if the farmer can't read. Millions of people can't read directions, can't measure, don't know how to spray or calculate humidity or wind speed - you don't spray when there is no wind so how much wind is OK?

Remember this - pesticides are not regulated at the point where they enter the environment. All regulation is done after there has been an accident or a violation and even then, the Government's job is merely to achieve compliance with the legislation (follow the directions on the label). What does that mean? Well, if people are employed to achieve compliance - it means people don't spray it right.

How do I know all this? from surviving a pesticide violation. So please, use my knowledge - it came at a high cost. Share this information until we get enough people with common sense to stop the use of pesticide - we need to stop drowning our planet with pesticides and chemicals. There is not much time left - pesticides ends up in the ocean - pesticides kill fish - the ocean is dying right now. When the ocean dies so do people. So do it for your grandchildren

I wonder if these memos will explain the massive bird die offs from earlier in the year, as well as the deaths of all those fish in CA, etc.

They were blaming everthing under the sun, and finally came to the conclusion that a fungal infection was responsible. That's no surprise given that Bayer is headquartered in Germany! I should have known something was up; German TV is a propaganda machine.

Many gardeners alike are killing honeybees. The insecticide SEVEN sold at many of the big box stores is lethal to honeybees and yet masses of people purchase Seven and are poisoning honeybees by putting this product on their yards and gardens. Being a cherry farmer and my parents as bee keepers I am well aware that many of the insecticides we apply on the cherries (and all crops) are harmful to the honeybees. On our farm we try to minimize the exposure so the two, honeybees and farming, can coexist but it is a challenge. For example, Neonicotiniods, a class of insecticides is very harmful to bees is one of a couple products that will kill Black Cherry Aphid. We must kill the black cherry aphid but the problem is the bees when visiting flowers after the insecticide has been sprayed pick up tainted pollen and take it back to the bee hive where it is stored and fed to the young. The chemical not only kills the young but also stays in the bees wax for years to come thus causing continual problems until the bees wax is removed. One might say well just do not spray it on any flowering plant. Well we try to do that the best we can. We also spray at night when some of the flowers are closed up and the honey bees are not actively foraging.
In response to the comment about German TV being a propaganda machine I would agree and probably just as bad or maybe worse is USA TV. We have very limited exposure to the truth and in general are clueless as to how other countries feel about the US. I learned this when I visited Austria and watched the news. When I got back to the US the news was telling a completely different spin on the same news misleading how the rest of the world was responding to the same news. We are like mushrooms and fed a bunch of bull----.
The number one most important thing in life most of us do not even know. This is the reason why we were made and exist but it has been hidden in all of the bull----. We are to seek our creator - God - Jehovah and find salvation in Jesus Christ and then tell others about so that they too can decide and be saved.