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

Normoverschrijdingen van imidacloprid in het grond- en oppervlaktewater waren sinds 2004 onvermijdelijk

In 1995 gebruikten 2.381 bedrijven op een oppervlakte van 5.335 hectare in totaal 668 kilogram imidacloprid. In 2004 gebruikten 8.683 bedrijven op een oppervlakte van 39.691 hectare in totaal 6.332 kilogram imidacloprid. In 2008 werd op een oppervlakte van 34.577 hectare in totaal 6.027 kilogram imidacloprid gebruikt. Als zes ton imidacloprid jaarlijks over Nederlands akkerland verspreid wordt, kan met het EUSES model (European Union System for the Evaluation of Substances) worden berekend dat er een gemiddelde concentratie (in steady state) van 174 nanogram per liter in oppervlaktewater en een gemiddelde concentratie (in steady state) van 615 nanogram per liter in het grondwater van akkerland zal ontstaan. In het akkerbouwland van Nederland blijft dan ongeveer één-zesde van de applicatie, d.w.z. 914 kg imidacloprid in de bodem zitten. De ad hoc MTR (maximaal toelaatbaar risiconiveau) norm voor oppervlaktewater was 13 nanogram per liter, de wettelijke MTR norm is door het College voor de Toelating van Bestrijdingsmiddelen en Biociden (CTGB) in 2008 vastgesteld op 67 nanogram per liter. Dat betekent dus dat bij het gebruik van imidacloprid op het niveau van 2004 normoverschrijdingen onvermijdelijk zijn, en dit is in volledige overeenstemming met de werkelijk gemeten overschrijdingen.

EU-parlement wil onderzoek naar bijensterfte

Het Europees Parlement wil dat er een onafhankelijk onderzoek komt naar de massale bijensterfte. Het parlement schaarde zich donderdag achter een voorstel over dit onderwerp.

A meta-analysis of experiments testing the effects of a neonicotinoid insecticide (imidacloprid) on honey bees

James E. Cresswell, Ecotoxicology, article in press, pre-published online 16 November 2010

Abstract: Honey bees provide important pollination services to crops and wild plants. The agricultural use of systemic insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, may harm bees through their presence in pollen and nectar, which bees consume. Many studies have tested the effects on honey bees of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, but a clear picture of the risk it poses to bees has not previously emerged, because investigations are methodologically varied and inconsistent in outcome. In a meta-analysis of fourteen published studies of the effects of imidacloprid on honey bees under laboratory and semi-field conditions that comprised measurements on 7073 adult individuals and 36 colonies, fitted dose–response relationships estimate that trace dietary imidacloprid at field-realistic levels in nectar will have no lethal effects, but will reduce expected performance in honey bees by between 6 and 20%. Statistical power analysis showed that published field trials that have reported no effects on honey bees from neonicotinoids were incapable of detecting these predicted sublethal effects with conventionally accepted levels of certainty.

These findings raise renewed concern about the impact on honey bees of dietary imidacloprid, but because questions remain over the environmental relevance of predominantly laboratory-based results, I identify targets for research and provide procedural recommendations for future studies.

Pesticide industry involvement in eu risk assessment puts survival of bees at stake

NGO viewpoint: Press release by European Beekeeping Coordination and Corporate Europe Observatory
Brussels, 16 November 2010

Industry “experts” are undermining an EU review of the regulations of pesticides and putting Europe’s bee population further at risk, according to new research from the European Beekeeping Coordination and Corporate Europe Observatory published today (Tuesday) [1].

British Beekeepers' Association to stop endorsing bee-killing pesticides

The Guardian, 16 Nov 2010
Beekepers' group ends commercial relationship with pesticide manufacturer whose product killed bees

The British Beekeepers' Association has today announced plans to end its controversial practice of endorsing pesticides in return for cash from leading chemical manufacturers such as Bayer Crop Science.

Fatal Imidacloprid Poisoning in Humans

Neonicotinoids, agonists at the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), induce neuromuscular paralysis. The high selectivity for nAChRs (particularly the a4b2 subtype) in insects compared with mammals results in their favorable toxicological profile. We describe fatal toxicity with one such insecticide, imidacloprid, considered relatively safe. This patient manifested neurological dysfunction and rhabdomyolysis. The initial neurological dysfunction, probably due to central nicotinic stimulation, was compounded by ischemic and metabolic encephalopathy. This report of imidacloprid toxicity sensitizes clinicians to an emerging cause of poisoning and highlights the need for a careful review of its toxicity profile.

Physiological and behavioural effects of imidacloprid on two ecologically relevant earthworm species

Earthworms play key roles in soils and sublethal effects of environmental toxicants on these organisms should be taken seriously, since they might have detrimental effects on higher ecological levels. Earthworms make important contributions to the breakdown of organic matter, soil fertility, and to the formation of soils. In laboratory experiments we have assessed sub-lethal effects of imidacloprid on two earthworm species commonly found in different agricultural soils (Lumbricus terrestris and Aporrectodea caliginosa). After 7 days of exposure in contaminated soil, a significant loss of body mass was found in both species exposed to imidacloprid concentrations as low as 0.66 mg kg-1 dry soil. These losses ranged from 18.3 to 39% for A. caliginosa and from 7.4 to 32.4% for L. terrestris, respectively. The detected sub-lethal effects were found close to the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) of imidacloprid, which is in the range of 0.33–0.66 mg kg-1 dry soil.

Adoptie bijenvolken groot succes

Meer dan vijfhonderd bijenvolken zijn al geadopteerd of cadeau gedaan sinds het begin van de adoptieactie ruim een maand geleden. Dat heeft Stichting Adopteer een Bijenvolk laten weten. Prinses Irene was de eerste die een bijenvolk onder haar hoede nam.

EU worried about declining bee population

Food production in the Europe community is in danger because bee mortality is up while the number of beekeepers is in decline, the European parliament warned.

The Public Editor of the New York Times - Carrying the Facts Too Far

Complaints about overstatement by reporters and headline writers come to me frequently from people who are extremely close readers of the paper. Many of these, like Times readers in general, are highly educated and bring very high expectations. Their complaints often seem to carry the thought: New York Times, you are the last bastion of reliable daily journalism; do not fail me now. Jason Hodin, a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford, faulted a fascinating Page 1 story for the sin of stretching. The article, by Kirk Johnson, appeared in print on Oct. 7 under the headline “With Scientists, Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery.” It dealt with a new study of the mystifying phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, in which 20 to 40 percent of U.S. bee colonies are believed to have died off. Mr. Hodin contended that the study identified new factors that appear to be “linked” to and “implicated” in the die-off, while the Times story and headline stretched the facts to conclude more. The article described two new suspect factors — a virus and a fungus, acting in combination: “together, the research suggests, they are 100 percent fatal.” Mr. Johnson, who was not responsible for the headline, said: “That Colony Collapse had been finally and permanently solved seemed neither evident to me, nor — in rereading the story as it appeared in the paper — the message of what we published. It certainly was not the intent.”

Potential risks of systemic imidacloprid to parasitoid natural enemies of a cerambycid attacking Eucalyptus

A community of insect herbivores has established on eucalyptus species in California following their introduction from Australia. A number of the species are under complete or partial biological control. A response to introduction of additional pest species into the complex has been the application of systemic insecticides to infested trees. Natural enemies that have been introduced to control the various pest species feed on the nectar of treated trees, and thus may be affected by these pesticides. In this study, Eucalyptus rudis trees were treated at label rates with the neonicotinoid systemic insecticide imidacloprid and nectar sampled at 5 months post-treatment during the spring bloom. The concentration of imidacloprid and its toxic metabolites in nectar was measured by ELISA at 660 ppb. Adults of the encyrtid egg parasitoid Avetianella longoi that were fed floral nectar collected from treated trees had significantly lower survival and reproductive fitness than adults fed nectar from untreated trees. In feeding bioassays, in which the adults were fed a range of concentrations of imidacloprid in sugar water, the LC50 for A. longoi was 212 ppb imidacloprid. Bioassays were also conducted with the braconid larval parasitoid, Syngaster lepidus. The LC50 for S. lepidus was 288 ppb imidacloprid. The insecticide appears to be concentrating in the nectar at higher levels than reported from other plant species and at concentrations exceeding the LC50 for two important parasitoids. If tree treatments become widespread as a result of continual introductions of new eucalypt herbivores, established biological control programs could be at significant risk.

$15 Billion Bee Murder Mystery Deepens

Lead researcher had connections to Bayer Cropscience

Dina Spector | Oct. 12, 2010

It was the buzz heard round the world. On Thursday, the front-page New York Times article titled, “Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery” was supposed to close the book on a four-year long case involving the unexplained death of millions of honey bees nationwide. Instead, it has only brought more confusion, unanswered questions, and anger in the science and beekeeping communities.

What a scientist didn't tell the New York Times about his study on bee deaths

By Katherine Eban, contributorOctober 8, 2010: 1:42 PM ET

FORTUNE -- Few ecological disasters have been as confounding as the massive and devastating die-off of the world's honeybees. The phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) -- in which disoriented honeybees die far from their hives -- has kept scientists, beekeepers, and regulators desperately seeking the cause. After all, the honeybee, nature's ultimate utility player, pollinates a third of all the food we eat and contributes an estimated $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the U.S. economy.

Acute and delayed effects of thiacloprid on seven freshwater arthropods

Ecotoxicological risk assessment of contaminants often is based on toxicity tests with continuous-exposure profiles. However, input of many contaminants (e.g., insecticides) to surface waters typically occurs in pulses rather than continuously. Neonicotinoids are a new group of insecticides, and little is known about their toxicity to nontarget freshwater organisms and potential effects on freshwater ecosystems. The aim of the present research was to assess effects of short-term (24-h) exposure to the neonicotinoid insecticide thiacloprid, including a postexposure observation period. A comparison of several freshwater insect and crustacean species showed an increase of sensitivity by three orders of magnitude in the following order: Daphnia magna < Asellus aquaticus = Gammarus pulex < Simpetrum striolatum < Culex pipiens = Notidobia ciliaris = Simulium latigonium, with median lethal concentrations (LC50s) of 4,400, 153, 190, 31.2, 6.78, 5.47, and 5.76 μg/L, respectively (postexposure observation 11–30 d). Thiacloprid caused delayed lethal and sublethal effects, which were observed after 4 to 12 d following exposure. Reduction in LC50s found when postexposure observation was extended from 1 d to a longer period (11–30 d) was up to >50-fold. Hence, delayed effects occurring after short-term exposure should be considered in risk assessment. The 5% hazardous concentration (HC5) of thiacloprid obtained in the present study (0.72 μg/L) is more than one order of magnitude below the currently predicted worst-case environmental concentrations in surface water. Concerning the selection of test organisms, we observed that the widely employed test organism D. magna is least sensitive among the arthropods tested and that, for neonicotinoid insecticides, an insect like the mosquito C. pipiens would be more suitable for predicting effects on sensitive species.

Assessing Toxicity of the Insecticide Thiacloprid on Chironomus riparius (Insecta: Diptera)

Since data documentation on neonicotinic toxicity to nontarget organisms should be enhanced, the effects of thiacloprid, a novel neonicotinoid insecticide, on the sediment-dwelling nontarget insect Chironomus riparius were investigated. C. riparius was impacted starting at concentrations of 0.5 μg/L, a concentration that can be considered environmentally relevant. Larval mortality, behavior, emergence, and Hsp70 protein level were sensitive indicators for the toxic effect of thiacloprid, whereas gender ratio and mouthpart morphology were not affected.

Hazard identification of imidacloprid to aquatic environment

The insecticide imidacloprid is quite water soluble even at the lowest solubility value reported (510 mg/L) and could potentially leach to groundwater or be transported in runoff. The time required for 50% of the field-applied imidacloprid to dissipate (DT50) can range anywhere from approximately 80 days to 2 years. Assuming typical DT50s of 1 to 2 years, the Canadian PMRA (Pest Management Regulatory Agency) has classified imidacloprid as persistent in soil. Based on the high water solubility of imidacloprid and its persistence, PMRA considers imidacloprid to have ‘high’ leaching potential. The compound is stable to hydrolysis at environmentally relevant pH.

Kamervragen over imidacloprid en thiacloprid in relatie tot bijensterfte

Kamerbrief met antwoorden op Kamervragen. Het Ctgb beoordeelt op dit moment een bezwaarschrift dat op het toelatingsbesluit van Merit Turf is binnengekomen. De minister wacht deze beoordeling af.

Toelating Merit Turf wordt opnieuw beoordeeld

Bij het College voor toelating van gewasbeschermingsmiddelen en biociden (Ctgb) is een bezwaarschrift binnengekomen op de toelating van het middel Merit Turf. In dat kader zal ook worden bekeken of de beweringen van de toxicoloog Henk Tennekes juist zijn dat de stoffen imidacloprid en thiacloprid veel langzamer worden afgebroken dan gedacht en dat deze stoffen daardoor langer schadelijk blijven voor bijen en bovendien al schadelijk blijken bij een minimale hoeveelheid. Dat schrijft minister Verburg van LNV aan de Tweede Kamer in reactie op vragen van Paulus Jansen van de SP.

Run-off of imidacloprid from turf

Imidacloprid is a pesticide often used to control insect pests on residential lawns and golf courses. To investigate its potential to be transported into non-target aquatic systems by rainfall events, imidacloprid was applied as 5.0 g kg−1 GR and 750 g kg−1 WP to 12 plots planted with bermuda grass set on a 5% slope. At a rate of 2.5 cm h−1, 5-cm rainfall events were simulated at 24 and 48 h after application and 2.5-cm events were simulated at 96 and 192 h. After each event water was collected from each plot and analyzed by HPLC for residual insecticide. Approximately 1.4% of the insecticide formulated as WP and 1.9% of that formulated as GR was lost from the plots after four run-off events. Of the total mass lost, 64% and 30% respectively occurred in the first and second run-off events for the WP formulation versus 75% and 20% for the GR formulation. The maximum concentration of imidacloprid detected in run-off water was 0.49 mg litre−1 and occurred during the first run-off event.

Red de bij

Dinsdag 28 september 2010, Bas Eickhout
Woensdag stemt het Europees Parlement over een resolutie waarin een oproep wordt gedaan om de problemen in de Europese bijenteelt aan te pakken. In de resolutie wordt onder andere verzocht een actieplan op te stellen om de massale bijensterfte tegen te gaan. Ook dringt de resolutie aan op onderzoek naar bijensterfte in Europa en naar de relatie met het gebruik van pesticiden en genetisch gemodificeerde gewassen. GroenLinks-Europarlementariër Bas Eickhout hoopt dat de resolutie op een meerderheid kan rekenen.

Franklin’s bumblebee goes missing

Robbin Thorp is on a lonely search for a single bee. He’s looked low and high, hoping to spot Franklin’s bumblebee. The last time he saw one was August 2006 on Mt. Ashland in Oregon. The bee might be extinct. Thorp, a bumblebee authority and emeritus entomology professor at the University of California at Davis, remains hopeful that it isn’t. That’s why he keeps looking. Franklin’s bumblebee once buzzed around Siskiyou and Trinity counties. Its range stretches about 190 miles north to south and 70 miles east to west, from Southern Oregon into Northern California. Thorp has been monitoring the bee since 1998. The first year’s count was 100. That dropped to three in 2003, one in 2006 and none since.

'Pollination crisis' hitting India's vegetable farmers

A decline in pollinating insects in India is resulting in reduced vegetable yields and could limit people's access to a nutritional diet, a study warns. Each year, India produces about 7.5 million tonnes of vegetables. This accounts for about 14% of the global total, making the nation second only to China in the world's vegetable production league table.

Bijenlint wint Toekomstprijs

Project Het Bijenlint, een initiatief van Piek Stor en Helma Röell van de werkgroep Bijen en Biodiversiteit van Transition Towns Zutphen, heeft de Zutphense Toekomstprijs 2010 gewonnen. De werkgroep probeert naar eigen zeggen "de bijenpopulatie in de stad te versterken door onder andere voor voldoende drachtplanten te zorgen". In mei en juni zijn vanuit een groot aantal winkels zakjes zaaizaad verkocht. "In veel Zutphense en Warnsveldse tuinen gonst het nu van de bijen en de hommels, die zich te goed doen aan overvloedige hoeveelheden nectar en stuifmeel."

Acute bioassays are poor indicators of overall effects of insecticides

The impacts of six selective insecticides on three predatory insect species, Tasman’s lacewing (Micromus tasmaniae), the transverse ladybird (Coccinella transversalis) and the damsel bug (Nabis kinbergii), were tested by acute and long-term bioassay. Acute bioassays measured mortality 72 h after exposure to wet sprays and dry residues, and long-term bioassays measured mortality and sublethal effects over a generation. The acute bioassays were not consistently reliable indicators of the harmfulness of insecticides that did not induce high short-term mortality. Pymetrozine caused very low mortality (smaller than 20%) to the larvae of C. transversalis in acute tests, but the long-term test showed that 97.6% of individuals were killed before maturity. Similarly, pirimicarb adversely affected reproduction of C. transversalis even though there was only a minor effect on short-term mortality. Imidacloprid caused low mortality (smaller than 20%) of M. tasmaniae in acute tests, but reproductive capacity was reduced by about two-thirds in long-term tests. Therefore, in some cases, acute bioassays were poor indicators of overall effects of insecticides on populations. Our results support previous studies by other authors that long-term mortality and sublethal effects of selective insecticides on predatory species need to be determined to facilitate their effective use alongside biological control in integrated pest management programs.

Translating science for conservation: bees benefit first

A project to make conservation science accessible and relevant to conservationists and policymakers launches its first major synopsis of evidence, on bee conservation. For the first time, scientific knowledge and experience about how to conserve wild bees around the world has been brought together by conservation scientists led by Professor William J. Sutherland and Dr Lynn Dicks at the University of Cambridge. The synopsis of evidence on bee conservation is meant to inform people taking action or spending money to help wild bees - anyone from farmers to international NGOs - about what works and what doesn't. It is part of a project called Conservation Evidence, which aims to make conservation practice more science-based.

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