Purdue entomologist: ‘No such thing as colony collapse disorder, we can use neonics safely’

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A Purdue University entomologist’s mantra for supporting pollinators?

“Do no harm,” Tom Turpin told nearly 700 attendees of the Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference in early January in Springfield. . . .

But Turpin, who has raised bees since he was 13, downplayed colony collapse disorder. There’s “no such thing,” he said.

Honeybee losses, first identified in 1880, occur every 20 years. “People keep coming up with reasons why it happens,” Turpin noted. “It was a perfect storm why it happened that year (2010).”

 

. . . .

On the same day as EPA’s announcement, a group of beekeepers and environmentalists announced it was suing EPA for not properly regulating neonicotinoids.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Greenpeace, environmental activists spread misinformation on honeybees and pesticides

“These things (bees) died before neonicotinoids were on the market. Bees are under pressure for other reasons,” Turpin said.

Those reasons include loss of bee habitat, mites, diseases, insecticides and, in 2010, a warm winter when bees flew for 40 days and became weak.

Turpin encouraged farmers, growers, gardeners and others to work with beekeepers. Use insecticides properly and time applications when bees generally aren’t flying. When notified by applicators, beekeepers also should close hives when spraying occurs, he said.

As for neonicotinoid seed treatments, “let EPA know we can use these things properly,” Turpin.

To support pollinators, Turpin suggested planting food sites and adding nesting habitat.

Read full, original post: Pollinator losses: Old problem surfaces ‘new’ causes

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