Saturday, March 31, 2012

This looks potentially troublesome...  

The newly announced possible link between corn insecticide treatments and bees is a cause for concern.
In Thursday’s issue of the journal Science, two teams of researchers published studies suggesting that low levels of a common pesticide can have significant effects on bee colonies. One experiment, conducted by French researchers, indicates that the chemicals fog honeybee brains, making it harder for them to find their way home. The other study, by scientists in Britain, suggests that they keep bumblebees from supplying their hives with enough food to produce new queens.
The authors of both studies contend that their results raise serious questions about the use of the pesticides, known as neonicotinoids. [More]
The reason I am going to watch this is the possible mechanism by which this occurs - a catalytic effect on fungicides given to the bees for other reasons.
Both Goulson and Mace Vaughn, pollinator program director at the Xerces Society, an invertebrate conservation group, said neonicotinoids won’t be the only cause of colony collapse disorder.
“If it was as simple as that, the answer would have been discovered a long time ago,” said Goulson. “I’m sure it’s a combination of things. I’m sure that disease is a part of it, and maybe the two interact.” He noted a study in which honeybees exposed to neonicotinoids were especially vulnerable to a common bee parasite. Another study found that neonicotinoids dramatically increase the toxicity of fungicides. [More]
That's the kind of complicated chain of events that has made the search for a cause of CCD so difficult. For that reason alone it strikes me as plausible.

Coupling that with issue with the planter-talc problem recently suggested, and you have the beginning of a complex theory of cause and delivery.


 FWIW, we're planting. Central IL has made the drought map, as we have known for months now, and I worry about moisture levels dropping in worked ground faster than new roots can chase them. Also, we're running out of days for a frost, albeit historically, it could still happen, I know. There is no hint on any longer range forecast, however.

If the year turns out to be hot, I'd just as soon be pollinating in June. Soil temps at 4" are an astounding 68℉. If it weren't for the calendar, anyone would swear it was past time to plant.

With all those rationalizations, were going to put it in the ground. The idea of a significant Aug/Sep premium due to short supplies certainly seems possible after yesterday, too. If the season turns out to be great growing conditions, it might be the high for the crop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John, Lets see some planting pics Please-