bees

Green taliban make up science and cost farmers and businesses billions

James Delingpole looks at the huge fuss caused by hippy ratbags once again manipulating and falsifying science to suit their own agenda, no matter the cost.

“‘Victory for bees’ as European Union bans neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for destroying bee population” read a front page headline in theIndependent last year.

It was the culmination of an intense burst of campaigning by left-wing pressure groups Avaaz, Change.org, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, BugLife and the Environmental Justice Foundation which erupted from nowhere last year.

One minute, no one had heard of “neonicotinoids”. The next, it suddenly seemed as though everyone knew for certain that this pesticide was responsible for the “colony collapse” devastating the world’s bee populations and that therefore it should be banned by the EU as a matter of urgency.

Among those who lent their weight to the campaign were the fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett, the National Treasure Stephen Fry and dozens of activists charmingly and amusingly dressed in bee costumes. The impression given was that this issue was an absolute no brainer on which the jury of the wise, decent and informed had long since delivered their verdict: anyone who spoke up in favour of these evil chemicals was clearly nothing more than a science-denying bee-hating bastard in the pay of Big Pharma.

So why, almost instantly, did I smell a rat? Well apart from the obvious clue – any campaign involving Vivienne Westwood is, by definition, stupid, silly and wrong – there was also the matter of the unseemly haste with which these campaign groups were trying to force the legislation through. And the fact that the bully-mob tactics being used here were so redolent of the ones I’d seen elsewhere used by environmentalists to justify their scientifically dubious campaigns against everything from the forestry industry to the harmless trace gas carbon dioxide.

Green on the outside, red on the inside: that’s what these Watermelon campaigns are really about. So, with the help of investigative journalist Richard North, I began looking into the true story behind the ban.

What we found was appalling if not altogether surprising. The ban – heavily opposed by Britain’s then-Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – had rather less to do with proven necessity than it did with political horse-trading.

Indeed, the scientific evidence for justifying the ban seemed flimsy to the point of non-existence.

How then, could all these celebrities and campaign groups and environmental activists and EU apparatchiks and progressive media outlets (from the Guardian and the BBC to Huff Po) have been persuaded otherwise? On what kind of science were they basing their claims?

Well, now thanks to a happy internet leak we have our answer. It turns out that the “evidence” was cooked up at the suggestion of a cabal of activist scientists working for a supposedly neutral and independent environmental organisation called the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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Perhaps Labour could declare a bee crisis to help the US

Everything Labour declares is a crisis miraculously recovers. It is just as well they don’t declare their party and leadership to be in crisis then.

In the US the White house has decided they need a bee task force to save the bees. The very last thing bees need is a presidential task force, in fact that has probably doomed them.

If Labour could send David Cunliffe over though and declare a crisis the problem would be solved.

President Barack Obama has announced plans to form a “Pollinator Health Task Force” in a bid to save the dwindling population of bees.

Bee populations saw a 23 per cent decline last winter, which is blamed on the loss of genetic diversity and exposure to certain pesticides. A quarter of foods eaten by Americans – including apples, carrots and avocados – rely on pollination, and the process carried out by the honey bee adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the United States, the White House said.    Read more »

Wasps? Bees? Oh who cares they are both yellow and black

The Herald really out did itself yesterday.

They had a story about a wasp attack, headlined about bees, and capped it all off with stock photo of bees.

bees-wasps Read more »

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Bees are nature’s little 3D printers

Now this is cool:

3D printers are kind of a big deal these days. They’re pumping out the coolest, newest toys and tools in the world, and they’re definitely the cutting edge of technology. But for a classier, slightly scarier twist on that, Dewars got together 80,000 honey bees and built the world’s first 3B printer. What exactly does that mean? Here’s some pretty awesome pictures to explain…

via The Chive

via The Chive

 

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Face of the Day

Boing Boing

Last wednesday, beekeeper She Ping covered himself with 331,000 bees to claim the world record from Ruan Luangming. As 33.1kg of insects crowded around his body and face, She Ping’s eyes and mouth were kept clear by an incense-waving apprentice. Photo: REUTERS/China Daily

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Mental Health Break

I love these Made by Hand videos…today’s one is The Beekeeper.

When I get back on my feet and have a nice country place to live in I am going to keep bees. I have always wanted to do it.