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Gotta love you, Bob!  I have learned a great deal from you, since you know
more about commercial beekeeping than I ever will.  But you are also the
reason that I started posting to Bee-L, and started writing for the
journals--in response to some of your more bombastic and inflammatory
statements.

I am not criticizing you in any way, since a discussion group would be
pretty worthless if everyone agreed on everything.  So let me answer your
questions.  Sorry for the delayed reply--I am on the road.

>Stan & I are still waiting on the results of why his hives crashed! What
> exactly did Bayer say when you asked about our request? You did ask the one
> single request I made of my beekeeper rep to the Bayer dialog didn't you?
>

I'm surprised that Stan didn't answer this (Stan who just posted that his
bees are thriving on neonic-treated canola).  I researched Stan's question
deeply last year.  Bayer was only marginally involved in the study.  So I
had long conversations with the independent scientist in charge.  The bottom
line, as I informed Stan, was that the poor guy went through a devastating
divorce in the middle of the trial, and the samples degraded in his freezer
while he put his research on hold.  The project simply died due to personal
circumstances--no secrets, no suppression of data.  His *personal* feeling
from the data that he did collect was that he could see no problem from the
neonics, but that is not citable data.  As far as I am concerned, that case
is closed.

I am currently in Canada, and have had a chance to speak to folk up here.
It seems that Stan may have a legitimate complaint, when bee forage (such as
clover) is planted following potatoes treated with granular neonics.  The
problem appears to be related to application details by the farmer, rather
than the pesticide per se.

As for seed-treated canola, the Canadians (who grow most of the world's
supply) do not appear to have a problem with the neonics.  Nor with
foliar-sprayed neonics.

>I am glad as I would not to be the person between Bayer and beekeepers
> myself.
>

Bob, I am not between Bayer and beekeepers.  The entire Honey Bee Advisory
Board (of which I am not a member) has exactly the same access to Bayer
information that I do.

Anyone from my home town would find your implications that I am a lackey for
Bayer to be ludicrous.  I have decades of history as an organic grower, and
environmental activist, a Sierra Club member, active in founding our Land
Trust, and as a naturalist for the local parks.  I personally abhor
pesticides.

Allow me to quote from a recent article of mine in ABJ:
"Dennis vanEnglesdorp notes that coumaphos residues have a positive
correlation with CCD.  I find it strangely ironic that beekeepers in Europe
are blaming (with scant scientific evidence) the Bayer neonicotinoids for
their sick colonies, while at the same time they continue to dose those same
colonies with yet another Bayer product for which there exists abundant
evidence demonstrating its harmfulness bees!"

Does the above sentence sound like that from a Bayer lackey?

Bob, I still stand ready to forward any of your requests for information to
Dr Dave Fischer ("Bayer" actually has a name).

>I am happy you have never seen losses in your bees Randy which

> could have been caused by the neonicotionds.


Bob, I've made it clear to the List that the neonics are a suspect of mine
for recent bee kills that I've had.  I run half my operation in summer in
corn and alfalfa.  I don't see problems when corn is coming up, nor when it
is tasseling.  But I do see problems around the time that it is being cut
for silage.  I have not been able to determine if that is coincidence or
causality.


> >I believe searching the internet and reading the studies is important. In
> fact doing so quickly made up my mind about the neonicotinoids.


Bob, I'm sorry to hear that you made your mind up so quickly.  I haven't
made my own mind up at all.  However, I do take much of what I read on the
internet with a grain of salt.  I did check out all the references in the
book "A Spring without Bees" that you recommended.  Bob, I read more
references than he cited before breakfast!

>So I guess ( correct me if I am wrong) you have no first hand knowledge of
> the neonicotinoid losses other than what you have learned from Bayer, other
> beekeepers  and the internet.
>

Don't know, Bob, still trying to figure out my late summer kills.  However,
I have traveled widely, and spoken with beekeepers and researchers in many
states, plus Canada, Hawaii, and Australia.  There is one beekeeper in
Australia whose mind is as "made up" as yours--I'd be glad to send you his
name off list.

>
> >I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
>

What's there to disagree with?  I am a data guy.  If the neonics are as
rough on bees as you are convinced, it would not be difficult to demonstrate
in field trials.  So far, about 30 field trials have not done so.

Bob, I have asked you off list for good anecdotal evidence, or for citations
of published evidence.  I'm still waiting...

It is clear to me that neonics cause problems under certain circumstances.
So it is up to beekeepers to report those circumstances to the regulatory
authorities so that they can be investigated, and the label changed.  Bayer
and the other chemical companies are on board to cooperate.  So I don't
understand your position.

>
> >I do wonder  whenever a post about Bayer comes on BEE-L you come on
> defending Bayer.


Must have something to do with my new extravagant lifestyle.  THAT WAS A
JOKE!

Bob, I'm not defending anyone.  Just asking for data or good field
observations that can be confirmed.

>Is there nothing you have observed with the noenicotinoids
> which concerns you? Please at least tell the list one area of *possible*
> use
> of the neonicotinoids beekeepers should be concerned with.
>

Have already done so, but here are some:
1.  The sheer volume applied.
2.  The collateral damage to earthworms and other nontarget organisms.
3.  In forage following seed potatoes.
4.  In melons.
5.  When applied by chemigation.
6.  When injected into flowering trees.
7.  In corn seedlings during drought periods.
8.  When improperly applied, which has been well documented to kill entire
colonies.

Bob, it's getting old hearing you trying to paint me as a Bayer apologist.
I'm 100% environmentalist, and on the beekeepers' side.  However, I stick to
facts, data, and verifiable observations.  If communicating, in part, with
expert scientists with extensive firsthand knowledge of the chemicals in
question taints, in your mind, my search for the truth of the matter, then
so be it.

Respectfully yours,

Randy Oliver

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