2008 Dezember 9
The British Bee Keepers Association (BBKA) has an arrangement with certain pesticide manufacturers to endorse some of their products as 'bee friendly', despite the fact that they are known to be toxic to bees. Bayer is one of the most untrustworthy corporations on the planet, with a record that would shame the most hardened criminal (see their Wikipedia entry, just for starters), yet one of the oldest and once respected beekeepers' organizations thinks that 'taking their word for it' is an acceptable way to assess Bayer's toxic products. Useless genetically engineered plants and pesticides, especially those containing ingredients dangerous to bees should have been prohibited.
Recently Mr. Phil Chandler wrote some interesting e-mails to me: "As you are probably aware by now, the British Bee Keepers Association (BBKA) has an arrangement with certain pesticide manufacturers to endorse some of their products as 'bee friendly', despite the fact that they are known to be toxic to bees. They have also failed to make any statement condemning the now widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides, despite the proven fact that they caused the death of millions of bees in Germany this year, and have done so in Italy and France since the turn of the century."If people don't comply in basic principles, they can't give advices to each other" (Konfuzius)
When making statements to the press, the BBKA seems very reluctant to even mention pesticides as a possible cause of problems to bees, despite massive European evidence to the contrary. BBKA secretary Mike Harris was quoted recently in the Yorkshire Post as saying "...Colony Collapse Disorder was caused by the varroa parasite. Pesticides were a separate problem..." (http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/farming-news/Insecticide-ban-plea-to-help.4558542.jp)
Many beekeepers consider that the BBKA's financial relationship with Bayer and Syngenta effectively prevents them from fulfilling their prime function as guardians of the interests of bees and beekeeping.
Now the BBKA appears to be planning to extend its endorsement of bee-killing pesticides, by becoming a rubber-stamping body for Bayer, with no requirement for independent testing - merely a review of the manufacturer's own data. You can read the full text of their proposals here http://www.biobees.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=13413#13413
Considering that complete severance of financial ties to pesticide manufacturers could be replaced only a £1 increase in membership fees, it seems remarkable that a national body claiming to act in the best interests of its membership would compromise their integrity so readily and so cheaply.
Bayer is one of the most untrustworthy corporations on the planet, with a record that would shame the most hardened criminal (see their Wikipedia entry, just for starters), yet one of the oldest and once respected beekeepers' organizations thinks that 'taking their word for it' is an acceptable way to assess Bayer's toxic products.
We call upon all beekeepers to make their
views on this subject known to the BBKA. You would like to send the BBKA
president, Tim Lovett, a personal message? If so, here is his email address
- email@example.com. Also see: http://www.bayer-kills-bees.com
By the way, we have similar problems in Germany too. Bees-research institures who should do research for bees and beekeepers are doing research for pesticide manufacturers and Biotech-companies, although it is a true fact that most pesticides are so dangerous to the health of bees and human beings that they thould have been prohibited.  You can find lots of examples in Science Review Letters and Api Review Letters.
There are many reasons not to cooperate with pesticide manufacturers and biotech-companies. The most important is: "If people don't comply in basic principles, they can't give advices to each other" (Konfuzius)
"1. It is unnecessary. On the BBKA's own figures, the money from product endorsement could be replaced by a small increase in the annual membership fee - £1.00-£1.50 - depending on which BBKA document you read.
2. It is unethical. Do the Royal Horticultural Society endorse herbicides? Does the AA (the Automobile Association or Alcoholics Anonymous) endorse whisky? Do the Metropolitan Police endorse crack cocaine? Then why does the BBKA feel the need to endorse products that are toxic to bees?
3. It is unconstitutional. Nowhere in the BBKA Constitution can I find any passage that gives the executive the power to accept sponsorship money from corporations with a vested interest in selling compounds harmful to bees.
4. It damages their credibility. Do the BBKA expect to be taken seriously as advocates of bees and beekeeping, when a significant proportion of their income is derived from profit-seeking corporations with contrary aims?
5. It is against the stated objects of the BBKA. The BBKA constitution states: "The objects of the BBKA shall be: to promote and further the craft of beekeeping; to advance the education of the public in the importance of bees in the environment". Exactly how are either of these objects furthered by endorsing pesticides?
6. It is unprecedented. I know of no other beekeeping organization in the world that takes money for endorsing pesticides.
7. It makes the BBKA a laughing stock among other European beekeeping organizations, who have been campaigning for years against the use of pesticides that are toxic to bees, and which have killed billions of bees in France, Germany, Italy and elsewhere. The BBKA should be showing solidarity with our European colleagues, not spitting in their faces.
8. It is against the wishes of a significant number of UK beekeepers. If the feedback I have received is indicative of the proportion of beekeepers who have an opinion on this subject, then far more of them are against the idea than for it.
9. It creates a dangerous precedent. The BBKA are proposing to endose products based solely on the data supplied by the manufacturer, without any requirement for independent testing. Once they have shown themselves susceptible to product endorsement, and have become dependent on the income, it will be all too easy to put their stamp on more and more products, until they lose all vestiges of the credibility they once had.
10. Bayer - one of the most vilified and untrustworthy corporations on the planet - will gain far more from this exercise that the paltry few thousand pounds they are handing to the BBKA. Their single aim is to make a profit - the bigger the better - and they are doing it by selling ever-increasing quantities of products that have been proven to be deadly to bees and all other insects - with the BBKA symbol on the label.
They have suppressed discussion of this subject on their web forum (banning me in the process); they have censored beekeepers' comments from their own web site, once they realised that they were all opposed to their position (see www.britishbeekeeping.com for details); they have published endless propaganda on this subject in their newsletters; they have refused to print opposing points-of-view; the president, Tim Lovett, has personally canvassed his own Surrey branch with an outrageous piece of propaganda that reads as if it was written by Bayer's PR agency, making clumsy links between rejecting endorsement proposals and 'extremism'; the president and two of the technical committee have strong links to the pharmaceutical industry, while another member of the technical committee, Norman Carreck is a strong advocate of chemical agriculture who has publicly supported GM and described crop rotation as 'old-fashioned'." 
 BeeAlert 11/2008
 Thiele, M. 2008: "junk science" II - useless genetically engineered plants and pesticides, especially those containing Clothianidin and other ingredients dangerous to bees like Antarc (Wirkstoffe: beta-Cyfluthrin, Imidacloprid), Chinook (Wirkstoffe: beta-Cyfluthrin, Imidacloprid), Cruiser 350 FS (Wirkstoff: Thiamethoxam), Cruiser OSR (Wirkstoffe: Fludioxonil, Metalaxyl-M, Thiamethoxam),Elado (Wirkstoffe: Clothianidin, beta-Cyfluthrin), Faibel (Wirkstoff: Methiocarb, Imidacloprid), Mesurol flüssig (Wirkstoff: Methiocarb) und Poncho (Wirkstoff: Clothianidin). Science Review Letters 7, Nr. 260
 Thiele, M. 2008b: Beautiful New Beesworld. Beeresearchinstitutes, Bayer, BASF & Co. and the Beesmonitoring. Apicultural Review Letters 2008, 7,Nr. 276, 302
 BeeAlert 12/2008
 Evidence That Pesticides Are Seriously Messing Up Our Honey Bees - http://tinyurl.com/5an2e4
Complete edition of letters published in Online-Magazine "Apiculture"