Bijensterfte neemt wereldwijd en in Nederland alarmerend toe. Deze website beoogt kennis en ontwikkelingen in wetenschap en beleid rond de vele oorzaken van bijensterfte inzichtelijk en toegankelijk te maken voor een breed publiek. Aanleiding was de brief in NRC van 2 mei 2009. We beogen verifieerbare, traceerbare informatie te bieden met bronvermeldingen en links naar de primaire bronnen uit de wetenschappelijke literatuur.

- Uitleg probleem neonicotine insecticiden (o.a. imidacloprid)
- Effects of neonicotinoid pesticide pollution of Dutch surface water on non-target species abundance
- Volg de meest actuele ontwikkelingen via Twitter

Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems

The Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems (WIA) has examined over 800 scientific studies spanning the last five years, including industry sponsored ones. It is the single most comprehensive study of neonics ever undertaken, is peer reviewed, and published as free access so that the findings and the source material can be thoroughly examined by others.

Present scales of use of neonicotinoid pesticides put pollinator services at risk

Scientists urge transition to pollinator-friendly agriculture
Utrecht & Tokyo, 7 June 2013
Honeybee disorders and high colony losses have become global phenomena. An international team of scientist led by Utrecht University synthesized recent findings on the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees. Scientists conclude that owing to their large scale prophylaxic use in agriculture, their high persistence in soil and water, and their uptake by plants and translocation to flowers, neonicotinoids put pollinator services at risk.

Super insecticide imidacloprid has dramatic impact on insect richness in and around water

Press release Utrecht University - May 2, 2013
Insect numbers have been declining in recent years. Research by Utrecht University has found a link between the super insecticide imidacloprid and a decline in abundance of insects and other invertebrates in surface-water. Scientists are ringing international alarm bells. “Stricter standards alone are not enough. This insecticide is so harmful and remains in the environment for so long that an international ban is definitely warranted.”

Late lessen uit vroege waarschuwingen: bijensterfte en systemische insecticiden

In 1994 begonnen Franse bijenhouders melding te maken van alarmerende verschijnselen. Nadat hun honingbijen enkele dagen hadden gefoerageerd op bloeiende zonnebloemen, keerden veel van de bijen niet terug naar de kast. De bijen zaten dicht op elkaar in kleine groepjes op de grond of zweefden gedesoriënteerd voor de kast en vertoonden abnormaal foerageergedrag. In sommige gevallen werden ook dode bijen aangetroffen voor de kast.
Onderzoek wees in de richting van het systemische insecticide Gaucho® van Bayer, dat voor zaadbehandeling wordt gebruikt, met als werkzame stof imidacloprid. In dit hoofdstuk geven we een historisch overzicht van de ontwikkeling van het bewijsmateriaal aangaande risico’s van zonnebloem- en maïszaadbehandeling met Gaucho® voor honingbijen, en analyseren we de acties die zijn ondernomen als reactie op de zich opstapelende aanwijzingen voor deze risico’s.

EFSA identifies risks to bees from neonicotinoids

EFSA scientists have identified a number of risks posed to bees by three neonicotinoid insecticides[1]. The Authority was asked by the European Commission to assess the risks associated with the use of clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam as seed treatment or as granules, with particular regard to: their acute and chronic effects on bee colony survival and development; their effects on bee larvae and bee behaviour; and the risks posed by sub-lethal doses[2] of the three substances. In some cases EFSA was unable to finalise the assessments due to shortcomings in the available data.

Triodos fonds voor onafhankelijk onderzoek bijensterfte en landbouwgif

Stichting Triodos Foundation vraagt uw steun voor onderzoek naar bijensterfte en landbouwgif. Het nieuwe fonds werd gelanceerd op de Hart en Hoofddag van Triodosbank op zaterdag 24 september in Amersfoort. Het stelt mensen in staat hun persoonlijke rijkdom in te zetten voor het behoud van de insectenrijkdom van onze planeet.

Grootschalig gebruik neonicotinoïden zet bestuiving op het spel

Wetenschappers dringen aan op transitie naar bijvriendelijke landbouw
Utrecht & Tokyo, 7 juni 2013
Wereldwijd kampen imkers met abnormaal hoge volksterfte en verzwakte bijen. Een internationaal team van wetenschappers geleid door Universiteit Utrecht bracht de recente wetenschappelijke stand van kennis in kaart over de effecten van neonicotinoïde insecticiden op bijen. Grootschalig preventief gebruik in de landbouw, in combinatie met hoge persistentie in bodem en water en opname door planten die het gif doorgeven aan hun stuifmeel en nectar, leiden tot substantiële risico’s. De wetenschappers concluderen dat de bestuiving van bloeiende planten en landbouwgewassen op het spel staat.

Weerwoord op kritiek Vijverberg en Blaauboer op UU PLOS ONE studie imidacloprid & insectenrijkdom

In een ingezonden brief in NRC van 11 mei 2013 geven Henk Vijverberg en voormalig Ctgb college lid Bas Blaauboer vier argumenten waarom ze vraagtekens plaatsen bij de betrouwbaarheid van onze studie in PLOS ONE naar de effecten van imidaclopridvervuiling van oppervlaktewater op de insectenrijkdom in en om het water. In het onderstaande weerleg ik deze argumenten/kritiekpunten een voor een.

Neonicotinoid pesticides are a huge risk – so ban is welcome says EEA

The European Commission has decided to ban three neonicotinoid insecticides. These chemicals can harm honeybees, according to a large body of scientific evidence, so the European Environment Agency (EEA) commends the precautionary decision to ban them.
Read full EEA highlight:
http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/neonicotinoid-pesticides-are-a-huge

Superinsecticide Imidacloprid heeft dramatische gevolgen voor insectenrijkdom in en om het water

Persbericht 2 mei 2013 - Utrechtse Wetenschappers luiden de internationale noodklok

Er vliegen de laatste jaren steeds minder insecten rond. Uit onderzoek van de Universiteit Utrecht blijkt dat er een verband is tussen het superinsecticide imidacloprid en de afname van de insectenrijkdom in het oppervlaktewater. Wetenschappers luiden de internationale noodklok: “Met een strengere norm alleen komen we er niet. Dit insecticide is zo schadelijk en blijft zo lang in het milieu dat een internationaal verbod zeker op zijn plaats is”.

Brits Lagerhuis wil unaniem een verbod op neonicotinoiden

Vrijdag 5 april 2013 verscheen het rapport van de Britse parlementaire enquette naar de misstanden bij de toelating van neonicotinoide insecticiden. Het parlementaire onderzoek waarin in uren lange zittingen gericht op waarheidsvinding tal van wetenschappers en industriemensen stevig aan de tand gevoeld zijn komt tot heldere conclusies. Er zijn grote redenen tot zorg dat het grootschalig gebruik van neonicotinoiden bijdraagt aan de sterke achteruitgang van wilde bestuivende insecten en bijdraagt aan de toegenomen problemen in de hongingbijenhouderij. Met de toelating is veel mis en de recente veldstudie waarmee Dr. Helen Thompson van Food and Environment Research Agency de eerdere veldstudie van Whitehorn ea (2012) (naar de lange termijn effecten van imidacloprid op het aantal koninginnen per hommelvolk) onderuit dacht te halen, is wetenschappelijk ver beneden de maat. De bevindingen van Whitehorn dat imidacloprid bij normaal toegelaten gebruik zeer schadelijk is voor hommels, blijven overeind.

Belangrijkste aanbeveling, unaniem gedragen door alle partijen in het lagerhuis :
Per 1 januari 2014 moeten imidacloprid, clothianidine en thiamethoxam in Engeland voorlopig worden verboden in voor bijen aantrekkelijke gewassen. Alle toelatingen voor particulier gebruik moeten per direct ingetrokken. De Britse regering moet zich daarnaast inzetten voor een Europees verbod.

Handbestuiving in China en de Zembla uitzending Moord op de Honingbij II - te kort door bocht of storm in glas perensap?

Op 24 Jan 2013 zond Zembla haar documentaire Moord op de Honingbij II uit.

Op zijn blog Kloptdatwel kraakt Pepijn van Erp een kritische noot over de slotscene van de Zembla uitzending: “Bijensterfte niet de oorzaak van handbestuiving in China

In het onderstaande reageer ik op de blog van Pepijn van Erp.

Partij voor de Dieren wil onmiddellijk verbod op gevaarlijke bestrijdingsmiddelen

[PERSBERICHT partij voor de dieren]
Neonicotinoïden brengen bijen in gevaar
Partij voor de Dieren wil onmiddellijk verbod op gevaarlijke bestrijdingsmiddelen

Den Haag, 16 januari 2012 - Na een jarenlange discussie over de oorzaken van bijensterfte concludeert ook de Europese Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit dat neonicotinoïden, een zeer giftig landbouwgif, een acuut en ernstig gevaar zijn voor de gezondheid van bijen. De Partij voor de Dieren wil dat deze middelen per direct van de markt worden gehaald.

Honingbank - time is honey



De Honing Bank is een kunstproject dat iedereen de kans biedt om iets tastbaars voor de honingbij en het milieu te doen. Aktie is nodig, omdat het zowel in ons land als wereldwijd niet goed gaat met de bij. Zo worden 188 van de circa 350 bijensoorten in Nederland met uitsterven bedreigd. Dat is ook slecht nieuws voor ons: ruim 30% van wat we eten is afhankelijk van bestuiving, waarvan de honingbij een flink deel voor zijn rekening neemt. Geen bestuiving betekent geen jam op brood, geen koffie bij het ontbijt en geen orchidee voor het raam! Ook voor het ecosysteem als totaal zal het verdwijnen van bijen grote gevolgen hebben.

EPA Faces New Push To Closely Assess Neonicotinoids' Risks To Wildlife

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) says preliminary results of a study it is conducting show that EPA is underestimating the aquatic toxicity to birds and other wildlife of the controversial neonicotinoid class of insecticides, adding pressure to the agency to more strictly regulate those products amid concerns over their pollinator risks.

"Based on . . . preliminary results, we have reason to believe that EPA has underestimated the aquatic toxicity of the entire class of neonicotinoid insecticides," Cynthia Palmer, pesticide programs manager at ABC, says in Nov. 14 comments to EPA regarding the agency's registration review dockets for two of the neonicotinoids -- acetamiprid and thiacloprid.

New Nature study: Combined pesticide exposure severely affects individual- and colony-level traits in bees

Abstract: Reported widespread declines of wild and managed insect pollinators have serious consequences for global ecosystem services and agricultural production1, 2, 3. Bees contribute approximately 80% of insect pollination, so it is important to understand and mitigate the causes of current declines in bee populations 4, 5, 6. Recent studies have implicated the role of pesticides in these declines, as exposure to these chemicals has been associated with changes in bee behaviour7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and reductions in colony queen production12. However, the key link between changes in individual behaviour and the consequent impact at the colony level has not been shown. Social bee colonies depend on the collective performance of many individual workers. Thus, although field-level pesticide concentrations can have subtle or sublethal effects at the individual level8, it is not known whether bee societies can buffer such effects or whether it results in a severe cumulative effect at the colony level. Furthermore, widespread agricultural intensification means that bees are exposed to numerous pesticides when foraging13, 14, 15, yet the possible combinatorial effects of pesticide exposure have rarely been investigated16, 17. Here we show that chronic exposure of bumblebees to two pesticides (neonicotinoid and pyrethroid) at concentrations that could approximate field-level exposure impairs natural foraging behaviour and increases worker mortality leading to significant reductions in brood development and colony success. We found that worker foraging performance, particularly pollen collecting efficiency, was significantly reduced with observed knock-on effects for forager recruitment, worker losses and overall worker productivity. Moreover, we provide evidence that combinatorial exposure to pesticides increases the propensity of colonies to fail.

Influence of dinotefuran and clothianidin on a bee colony

By Toshiro Yamada, Kazuko Yamada and Naoki Wada, Jpn. J. Clin. Ecol. (Vol.21 No.1 2012)
Abstract  Recently it has become a serious problem that honeybees suddenly vanish in their colony, which is referred to as a colony collapse disorder( CCD). We have made it clear by the field experiments for about four months what effect neonicotinoid pesticides such as dinotefuran and clothianidin have on the occurrence of CCD. Eight colonies consisting of about ten-thousand honeybees in each colony were investigated under the practical beekeeping conditions in our apiary. In this study foods containing dinotefuran of 1 ppm to 10 ppm or clothianidin of 0.4 ppm to 4 ppm were fed into a beehive. Three levels of concentration were 10( high-conc.), 50( middle-conc.) and 100 low-conc.) times lower than that in practical use. The changes of adult bees, brood and the pesticide intake in each colony were directly examined. They suggest that each colony with the pesticide administered collapses to nothing after passing through a state of CCD, the high-concentration pesticides seem to work as an acute toxicity and the low- and middle-concentration ones do as a chronic toxicity. CCD looks mysterious, but it is just one of situations where a colony dwindles to nothing. We have proposed a CCD occurrence mechanism based on our results.
The NMR spectral analyses of dinotefuran and clothianidin in aqueous solution give the speculations that both are thermally stable under the heating condition of 50 ℃ ×24 hours and dinotefuran is radiationally stable under the ultraviolet-irradiation condition of 310 nm×50 W/m2 but clothianidin is unstable.

Wiskundige vergelijking bewijst de bepalende rol van imidacloprid bij bijenvolksterfte

Het bewijs voor de bepalende rol van het neonicotinoide insecticide imidacloprid bij de sinds enkele jaren sterk verhoogde bijenvolksterfte wordt geleverd met een wiskundige vergelijking [Ln t50 (uren) = 5.11 – 0.22 Ln c (microgram L-1 of kg-1)] die het verband beschrijft tussen de blootstellingsconcentraties (c) en blootstellingstijd totdat een dodelijke werking (t50) optreedt. Als bekend is met hoeveel imidacloprid de nectar en het stuifmeel (dat was meegenomen naar de bijenkast) besmet waren, kan met deze vergelijking worden uitgerekend na hoeveel tijd bijensterfte zal optreden. Dat bleek (bij in de wetenschappelijke literatuur gedocumenteerde besmettingen van stuifmeel en nectar met imidacloprid) binnen 14 dagen te zijn. Aangezien winterbijen een levensverwachting van enkele maanden hebben, betekent deze letale werking van de besmettingen van stuifmeel en nectar met imidacloprid gegarandeerd het einde van een overwinterend bijenvolk.

Movement of Soil-Applied Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam into Nectar and Pollen of Squash (Cucurbita pepo)

Abstract: There has been recent interest in the threat to bees posed by the use of systemic insecticides. One concern is that systemic insecticides may translocate from the soil into pollen and nectar of plants, where they would be ingested by pollinators. This paper reports on the movement of two such systemic neonicotinoid insecticides, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, into the pollen and nectar of flowers of squash (Cucurbita pepo cultivars “Multipik,” “Sunray” and “Bush Delicata”) when applied to soil by two methods: (1) sprayed into soil before seeding, or (2) applied through drip irrigation in a single treatment after transplant. All insecticide treatments were within labeled rates for these compounds. Pollen and nectar samples were analyzed using a standard extraction method widely used for pesticides (QuEChERS) and liquid chromatography mass spectrometric analysis. The concentrations found in nectar, 10±3 ppb (mean ± s.d) for imidacloprid and 11±6 ppb for thiamethoxam, are higher than concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides in nectar of canola and sunflower grown from treated seed, and similar to those found in a recent study of neonicotinoids applied to pumpkins at transplant and through drip irrigation. The concentrations in pollen, 14±8 ppb for imidacloprid and 12±9 ppb for thiamethoxam, are higher than those found for seed treatments in most studies, but at the low end of the range found in the pumpkin study. Our concentrations fall into the range being investigated for sublethal effects on honey bees and bumble bees.

Imidacloprid-Induced Impairment of Mushroom Bodies and Behavior of the Native Stingless Bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides

Abstract: Declines in pollinator colonies represent a worldwide concern. The widespread use of agricultural pesticides is recognized as a potential cause of these declines. Previous studies have examined the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid on pollinator colonies, but these investigations have mainly focused on adult honey bees. Native stingless bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Meliponinae) are key pollinators in neotropical areas and are threatened with extinction due to deforestation and pesticide use. Few studies have directly investigated the effects of pesticides on these pollinators. Furthermore, the existing impact studies did not address the issue of larval ingestion of contaminated pollen and nectar, which could potentially have dire consequences for the colony. Here, we assessed the effects of imidacloprid ingestion by stingless bee larvae on their survival, development, neuromorphology and adult walking behavior. Increasing doses of imidacloprid were added to the diet provided to individual worker larvae of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides throughout their development. Survival rates above 50% were only observed at insecticide doses lower than 0.0056 µg active ingredient (a.i.)/bee. No sublethal effect on body mass or developmental time was observed in the surviving insects, but the pesticide treatment negatively affected the development of mushroom bodies in the brain and impaired the walking behavior of newly emerged adult workers. Therefore, stingless bee larvae are particularly susceptible to imidacloprid, as it caused both high mortality and sublethal effects that impaired brain development and compromised mobility at the young adult stage. These findings demonstrate the lethal effects of imidacloprid on native stingless bees and provide evidence of novel serious sublethal effects that may compromise colony survival. The ecological and economic importance of neotropical stingless bees as pollinators, their susceptibility to insecticides and the vulnerability of their larvae to insecticide exposure emphasize the importance of studying these species.

Effects of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid pesticide, on reproduction in worker bumble bees (Bombus terrestris)

Abstract: Bumble bees are important pollinators whose populations have declined over recent years, raising widespread concern. One conspicuous threat to bumble bees is their unintended exposure to trace residues of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides, such as imidacloprid, which are ingested when bees forage on the nectar and pollen of treated crops. However, the demographic consequences for bumble bees of exposure to dietary neonicotinoids have yet to be fully established. To determine whether environmentally realistic levels of imidacloprid are capable of making a demographic impact on bumble bees, we exposed queenless microcolonies of worker bumble bees, Bombus terrestris, to a range of dosages of dietary imidacloprid between zero and 125 μg/L and examined the effects on ovary development and fecundity. Microcolonies showed a dose-dependent decline in fecundity, with environmentally realistic dosages in the range of 1 μg/L capable of reducing brood production by one third. In contrast, ovary development was unimpaired by dietary imidacloprid except at the highest dosage. Imidacloprid reduced feeding on both syrup and pollen but, after controlling statistically for dosage, microcolonies that consumed more syrup and pollen produced more brood. We therefore speculate that the detrimental effects of imidacloprid on fecundity emerge principally from nutrient limitation imposed by the failure of individuals to feed. Our findings raise concern about the impact of neonicotinoids on wild bumble bee populations. However, we recognize that to fully evaluate impacts on wild colonies it will be necessary to establish the effect of dietary neonicotinoids on the fecundity of bumble bee queens.

Pesticides and bee health: EFSA reviews the science

EFSA has published a state-of-the-art scientific review of the risks posed by pesticides to honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees. This major piece of work will support the development of specific guidance for the assessment of possible risks to bees from the use of plant protection products. The guidance will provide up-to-date advice to those involved in the evaluation of plant protection products and their active substances, including industry and public authorities.

Using video-tracking to assess sublethal effects of pesticides on honey bees (apis mellifera l.)

Abstract - Concern about the role of pesticides in honey bee decline has highlighted the need to examine the effects of sublethal exposure on bee behaviors. The video-tracking system EthoVisionXT (Noldus Information Technologies) was used to measure the effects of sublethal exposure to tau-fluvalinate and imidacloprid on honey bee locomotion, interactions, and time spent near a food source over a 24-h observation period. Bees were either treated topically with 0.3, 1.5, and 3 mg tau-fluvalinate or exposed to 0.05, 0.5, 5.0, 50, and 500 ppb imidacloprid in a sugar agar cube. Tau-fluvalinate caused a significant reduction in distance moved at all dose levels (p<0.05), as did 50 and 500 ppb imidacloprid (p<0.001). Bees exposed to 50 and 500 ppb spent significantly more time near the food source than control bees ( p<0.05). Interaction time decreased as time in the food zone increased for both chemicals. This study documents that video-tracking of bee behavior can enhance current protocols for measuring the effects of pesticides on honey bees at sublethal levels. It may provide a means of identifying problematic compounds for further testing.

Bijentelweekend 12 en 13 mei 2012. Doe mee!

Zaterdag 12 en zondag 13 mei 2012 is het landelijke bijentelweekend. Iedereen met een tuin, balkon of plantsoen in de buurt kan meedoen. Organisatoren KNNV, EIS en de Bijenstichting willen weten welke bijensoorten u het meeste ziet. Ga op zoek naar wilde bijen met de speciale zoekkaart in uw hand en geef uw waarnemingen door op www.jaarvandebij.nl.

Spatial and Temporal Trends of Global Pollination Benefit

ABSTRACT: Pollination is a well-studied and at the same time a threatened ecosystem service. A significant part of global crop production depends on or profits from pollination by animals. Using detailed information on global crop yields of 60 pollination dependent or profiting crops, we provide a map of global pollination benefits on a 5′ by 5′ latitude-longitude grid. The current spatial pattern of pollination benefits is only partly correlated with climate variables and the distribution of cropland. The resulting map of pollination benefits identifies hot spots of pollination benefits at sufficient detail to guide political decisions on where to protect pollination services by investing in structural diversity of land use. Additionally, we investigated the vulnerability of the national economies with respect to potential decline of pollination services as the portion of the (agricultural) economy depending on pollination benefits. While the general dependency of the agricultural economy on pollination seems to be stable from 1993 until 2009, we see increases in producer prices for pollination dependent crops, which we interpret as an early warning signal for a conflict between pollination service and other land uses at the global scale. Our spatially explicit analysis of global pollination benefit points to hot spots for the generation of pollination benefits and can serve as a base for further planning of land use, protection sites and agricultural policies for maintaining pollination services.

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