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Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 | Author:

British Govt Attempts National Beekeeper DatabaseNational Bee Database to be set up to monitor colony collapse

By Rosa Prince, Political Correspondent
Last Updated: 10:16PM GMT 09 Mar 2009

Britain’s 20,000 amateur beekeepers have been asked to register their insects on a national database in a bid to halt the dramatic decline of the honey bee…

The register, funded by the Department for the Environment, will be used to monitor health trends and help establish for certain whether the £30 million honey industry is under threat from the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder.

Theories about the cause of the decline in the bee population, which has seen nearly one in three hives collapse, include climate change and an infestation by the Varroa mite. READ REST at the Telegraph…

My Questions:

  1. Would beekeepers in the u.S.A ever voluntarily join a national database managed by the U.S. Federal Government?
  2. What does £4.3 million really buy??
  3. Does registering with a government database include creating a GIS from this database? Who owns the data? Since it should be public data, will the database be available in real-time on the Internet for other researchers to use?
  4. Making the data publicly available opens the research potential, but at what costs to the beekeeper’s privacy? How much data are they “invited” to submit to the database?
  5. Don’t privacy concerns about “a beek’s girls” and business interests get trumped by the dire consequences of failing to understand what’s happening worldwide?
  6. Will joining such a database subject the beekeeper to new regulation, oversight and intrusion by (presumably inept) government controllers?

The UK will provide lessons to the North Americans who still can’t get a dime from their government to do real research on the bees. I’m talking federal money for thousands of GPS tagged hives like the rest of the modern world uses to track anything. Basic logic says we need to know where (commercial) hives are going to analyze the data about what they were exposed to, for how long, with which other bees, from where (Australia?), etc. We need data for a GIS, and it can’t be chicken scratched on plastic bags with sharpies, only (dead bees). In the U.S., it seems that the privatized mind thinks that research money should only come from private interests, like Haagan Daaz or the Almond Industry, or the military. Does this opinion come from a jaded viewpoint that federal funding means loss of control and more potential suffocating regulation, a lack of trust in government?

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 | Author:

First UK supermarket chain – and Britain’s biggest farmer – to prohibit chemicals implicated in the death of over one-third of British bees

Alison Benjamin

guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 28 January 2009 11.40 GMT

The Co-op today became the first UK supermarket to ban the use of a group of pesticides implicated in billions of honeybee deaths worldwide.

It is prohibiting suppliers of its own-brand fresh produce from using eight pesticides that have been connected to honeybee colony collapse disorder and are already restricted in some parts of Europe.

The Co-op said it will eliminate the usage of the neonicotinoid family of chemicals where possible and until they are shown to be safe. The Co-op has over 70,000 acres of land under cultivation in England and Scotland, making it the largest farmer in the UK. Since 2001, it has already prohibited the use of 98 pesticides under its pesticide policy.

Simon Press, senior technical manager at the Co-op group said: “We believe that the recent losses in bee populations need definitive action, and as a result are temporarily prohibiting the eight neonicotinoid pesticides until we have evidence that refutes their involvement in the decline.”

Laboratory tests suggest that one of the banned chemicals, imidacloprid, can impede honeybees’ sophisticated communication and navigation systems. It has been banned in France for a decade as a seed dressing on sunflowers. Italy, Slovenia and Germany banned neonicotinoids last year after the loss of millions of honeybees. And the European Parliament voted earlier this month for tougher controls on bee-toxic chemicals.

Read rest: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jan/28/bees-coop-pesticide