Date: Mon, 7 Oct 1996
From: Andy Nachbaur
Organization: WILD BEE’S BBS (209) 826-8107 LOS BANOS, CA
Subject: More Mavrik pontification!
>That is PRECISELY! the concern. If/when one of the hordes of lab
>technicians blats to the media that they discovered traces of
Now what bee technician worth his salt would damage the bee industry by selling his story for a few pieces of silver….don’t answer that as there has been dozens of papers and almost daily lab work that indicates what pesticides and other chemicals are or have been found in honey that could be used by others to damage the image of Honey, but then maybe she ain’t so pure anyway. Maybe we have been just lucky but honey continues to bee a very valuable commodity traded on a world market and much comes to the US for our own consumption from countries that are not as enlightened on chemical use as we think we are. Should it be that if we don’t allow the same chemical to be used here in our bee hives we should not allow honey from areas that do to enter our markets? Some countries fear our bees and will not allow them to be imported, why should we not fear what may be in their honey if they can treat their bees with pesticides we can not use?
Then Honey itself is 2nd only to Pollen as an indicator as to what dirt is in our environment and it all gets into the bees food chain. Lucky for us most of it is not thought to be in harmful amounts and much can not be detected after time and normal handling. That does not mean it is not there, it may be just not detectable and for sure most of us can not afford the cost of looking even on a cooperative level.
>at an acceptable profit!!! The only way to prevent that dismal day
>is to use available products conscientiously, following the label
>directions and keeping potential contaminates out of our hives!!!
It’s true in a perfect world we would not see the need to use chemicals, but the fact is we don’t live in a perfect world and the US bee industry is now “trapped on the chemical merry go around” just like those nasty farmers who treat their crops, they say to protect them from a perceived threat.
Beekeepers treat their hives because someone has told and convinced them of a perceived threat and the US bee regulator scientists worked out a sweet deal with one chemical formulator for a permitted use of a regulated chemical in now what is a “one shot use product” leaving them with NO market competition and NO choice for the beekeeper. It matters not that there may be hundreds of other chemicals and natural substances that may be as good or better then the one approved, and don’t expect anything to change even as a few have a closer look and find a promise of good alternatives. There is no money in marketing a natural or even a man made product to beekeepers that would cost them only a few pennies to treat each hive with a product they could buy at the local Walmart.. The chemical regulation business runs on money, and not on the best use of our own money or even the best materials one would want to use. In today’s regulatory environment in the US we beekeepers are lucky to have any materials registered for our use at all because of the small amount of money in total we spend on such products which leaves little monetary incentive for any new or old product to run the gauntlet of US registration so it can be legally used by beekeepers.
Lets be real, the system is broken and if a new use for an old or new product becomes a reality and/or a problem then you can expect that something will be done, maybe…Beekeepers must be careful of what they add to their hives approved or not.
It is interesting that it was the same sweet people who also have sold us on the perceived threat with NO evidence in the case of the Vampire mite demonstrating that any level of infestation could be equated with the death of any one hive or if a beekeeper should treat at any particular level of infestation. Even today the few who are our regulators continue to search for the cause of death of our hives as beekeepers spend millions on the cure for what they are looking for, and we continue to lose hives. This year was the “year of the decline of the feral honeybee”, if you believe what has been printed, will next year be “the year of decline of the hive bees”?
>using Mavrik or leaving Apistan strips in year round, follow the
>advice of Bob Dole, “Just don’t do it!”
I did not do it and all my hives died, or I did do it and all my hives died anyway, which ever fits. I guess it may be just as important as who you do it with as it is what you use for protection when you do it. But if we want to follow the example of our highest political leader it would be more appropriate to say “do it, just don’t get caught”, and “if you do get caught, lie about it.” I do hope we have some leadership change at the highest level, but expect no change at this end of the food chain as far as beekeeping goes no matter who occupies the hot seat…beekeepers have not enough friends in congress on any side of the isle to expect any real help, unless you want to close down some federal bee program and then you find lots of friends.
What ever you use to treat a hive if it does not kill the hive and all the pests you targeted then you have a sub lethal residue problem.
NO claims have been allowed or made that the one permitted material when used as directed would give a 100% control of mites from the day one because when used as advertised it does not kill 100% of the bees or mites, so leaving the strips in is really academic problem and just fodder for contention between beekeepers, and bee regulators who are not that much better then beekeepers when it comes to removing the strips which is not a productive labor or use of time, but it could have been with a “return the used strip for a TWENTY-FIVE CENTS refund on the next one.” This would have killed two birds with one refund, the strips would have been removed sooner or later from the hives and the strips would have been given a proper disposal, what ever that means, maybe recycled into new strips. This could have been made part of the law just as the use reporting was, but then who has bothered to ask how much is being used anyway?
>Mississippi or Maryland about residues showing up in honey, and
>beekeepers EVERYWHERE will pay the price for the few beekeepers
>who are trying to cut corners by using pesticides produced for uses
>other than mite control in bee hives. We’ll all pay for the “frugality”
>of a few. Please, for the sake of MY profits and the sake of our
>industry as a whole, play by the rules!!!
The truth is that what we do in the US in our bee yards is determined more by the politics of the day then the science of the day. There is no place in this world that residues of man made and natural chemicals can not be found at some level in honey. People are free to point that out to the public and have done so many times and I would expect to hear it all again and again in the future. NO honey is 100% free of things we would rather not find in it, but no evidence exists that these small residues are nothing more then interesting and are more reflections of our own environment today, yesterday, and tomorrow.
The beekeeper in SA who covers his hives with tomato vines to control mites is adding the same ingredients to the hives environment as can be found in man made products just from a different source and for certain not registered or recommended for use to control mites in the US in a natural or artificial form.
In the US we all accept the fact we can not use Carbolic Acid to drive our bees from the full supers of honey, yet how many would like to use Thymol to kill the mites would want to know that in the one product the chemical that effects the mites may be the same that caused the other to be banned.
Because one chemical is permitted and small residues from that use is allowed is no great difference from all the chemicals that are not allowed and can be detected, we just don’t live in a Zero tolerance world and never did, it’s just today we have better instruments to measure things with and more people to complain on issues they/we really don’t understand.
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