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Neo Nicatinoids
Neo nicatinoids affect insects very similarly to the disastrous effects termed CCD:
bees simply not returning to hives. The effects are so similar that many
European countries have outlawed neo-nicatinoids as insecticides.
Unfortunately, neo-nicatinoids usage in agriculture doesn't correlate strongly with
areas with CCD devastation.
Neo-nicatinoids impact the central nervous system (like nicotine)-- bind to neural
receptor sites that would normally house acetycholine. They are loved by the
chemical industry because by simply soaking seeds in these nerve toxins, the plant
has sufficient insect repellent through it's life cycle to deter most insects. (i.e also a
pro for environment as there is no need to spray)
However, the unintended
consequence on the pollinators (beneficial insects) may have long term effects.
The level of toxicity is so low that in the short term they only confuse bees. We,
however, do not know the cumulative generational effects of these drugs.
Bayer says they find less than 20ppb and even independent testers say rarely over 50ppb.
However, we are not sure about cumulative/generational effects.
One experiment put bees in a cage and fed bees on sugar with concentrations of
neo-nicatinoids from 0 to 1000 ppb. Less than 30 ppb is considered okay.
parts per
billion of
minutes to
exit cage
%age that
return home
within 2 hours
%age that
return home
with 24 hours
It's clear that neo-nicatinoids are doing exactly what the symptoms of Colony Collapse
Disorder is. Bees are simply disappearing. France has banned them and yet CCD
continues in France which begs the question as to how long these nerve toxins exist in the
ground, etc. . .or perhaps that the causes are myriad and this is simply a contributor to the
game. Questions loom as some areas that are neo-nicatinoid free are still suffering from
CCD and other areas with heavy usage are not being hit.
I would like to stress that
looking for a single cause is a very reductionistic approach to a dilemna that is global in
scale and systemic in nature.