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Scotsman: Stinging attack on Scotland’s beekeepers

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Foraging Bee

Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 136
Location: UK, Scotland, Orkney

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: Scotsman: Stinging attack on Scotland’s beekeepers Reply with quote

What do you think of the major groups that are supposed to look after bees and beekeepers in the UK?
BBKA=British Beekeepers Association
SBA=Scottisch Beekeepers Association
BCT=Bumblebee Conservation Trust

A very revealing article in the 'Scotsman' yesterday, please follow the link to read the comments and possibly add your own.

Stinging attack on Scotland’s beekeepers

Published on Saturday 6 April 2013 00:00

A BATTLE is raging inside Scotland’s beekeeping community over a proposed ban on pesticides thought by some to be wiping out billions of bees worldwide.

The UK charity Friends of the Bees has accused the Scottish and British Beekeepers’ Associations (SBA and BBKA) and the Stirling-based Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BCT) of “greenwashing the truth” about the links between chemicals called neonicotinoids and the decline of bee populations.

In a letter to The Scotsman today, Graham White, spokesman for the Friends, claims beekeepers from the SBA, BBKA and BCT have sided with the pharmaceutical company that produces neonicotinoids – Bayer and Syngenta – to “defend these poisons”.

Mr White wrote: “Members of these charities face a dilemma: do they join the fight to ban these deadly poisons, or continue to serve the interests of the pesticide companies, until every last honeybee, bumblebee, butterfly and bird is dead, or survives only in a glass-cabinet?

“These charities have lost all credibility as conservation bodies.”

Today’s criticism coincides with an urgent review of evidence, launched by Scottish ministers after a damning report by the UK Parliament environmental watchdog concluded that official UK research that failed to find any link was “flawed”.

The study had been cited by both Westminster and Holyrood as a reason not to support European Commission calls for a two-year moratorium on use of the insecticides in the face of growing evidence suggesting they are deadly to bees.

Last month, the SBA voted against a motion calling for it to lobby for a moratorium north of the Border amid concerns that farmers might revert to using chemicals whose harmful affects are undisputed.

The BCT also refuses to call for a moratorium, despite a key study last year by founder Dr David Goulson which revealed that bumblebees fed neonicotinoids produced 85 per cent fewer queens than normal.

Last night, a spokeswoman for the BBKA said: “The BBKA does not wish to see any action taken that may in itself cause damage to pollinators, for example by the inevitable re-adoption by farmers of older superseded and more hazardous chemical agents being re- employed in crop protection.”

Lucy Rothstein, of the BCT, agreed: “Are pesticides bad? Yes, of course they are, but what is the level of harm caused by these chemicals in the field? We believe whatever decision is made should be evidence-based.”
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Silver Bee

Joined: 02 Nov 2008
Posts: 839
Location: UK, E. Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is no doubt that the beekeepers' associations have entrenched "pro chemical" members who have held sway for some years - one only has to look at the way the BBKA politburo used every arcane tactic going to keep the Bayer/Syngenta funding deal going until they eventually gave that up, and just crawled straight into bed with the CPA (the pesticide industry's propaganda wing). Since that time there have been no resignations, no apologies, just "business as usual" representing the best interests of Big Pestco - witness the recent pronouncements from the BBKA chairman and the odious Lovett........
Sussex Natural Beekeepers' Forum
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Foraging Bee

Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 136
Location: UK, Scotland, Orkney

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:38 pm    Post subject: The Scottish Vote Reply with quote

Having attended the AGM of the SBA in March I can only agree with the criticism voiced in the Scotsman article.

It was quite a sight to see nearly the whole executive of the SBA including the president, Phil McAnespie, raising their hands against Eric McArthur's motion to adopt the precautionary principle with regards to neonics.

The pesticide defenders only won 34 against 31, and that only after a shifty maneuver where the voting by cards was abandoned against a show of hands - apparently within the constitution but possibly prearranged ...

No interests were declared either, despite the fact that several voters have clear links to the industry.
And Phil Moss, responsible for Bee Health, held a glowing speech about the importance of neonic treated oilseed rape for the Scottish beekeepers.

Turkeys voting for Christmas, sprang to mind.

Rolling Eyes
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