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Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 1) 90

by Reziac (#49553721) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

"Neonicotinoids in bees: a review on concentrations, side-effects and risk assessment"

"Many lethal and sublethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees have been described in laboratory studies, however, no effects were observed in field studies with field-realistic dosages."

As they say there's need for further study regarding synergistic effects and the like. But real exposure effects in the field are what counts, not just laboratory findings. Otherwise it's like finding that table salt is OMG-toxic as studied in the lab, even tho we know it's safe in normal realworld use.

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 1) 90

by Reziac (#49552755) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

Honeybees are technically an invasive species in North America; they were imported, not native. There are numerous other species, including small native bees, that did the pollination work before honeybees came along. Far as I have heard, populations of these native bees have not been affected by CCD.

Neonicotinoids are relatively expensive (4 years ago, Imidacloprid was $25/pound, about 5x the cost of permethins), and I'd guess despite being about a quarter of the insecticide market, that in ag they are probably not used outside of the fairly limited areas that grow fruits and vegetables -- as those crops have a better profit margin. Yet CCD has been seen very widely, including in areas where there isn't any row-crop agriculture.

Anecdotally, I've used Imidacloprid to control desert stink beetles, and did not observe any issues with my wild honeybees (who frequented the same areas, cuz that's where the water was).

The scare over DDT was manufactured. Silent Spring (which I read, back when it was new) was mostly fiction and has been discredited, yet it influenced a whole generation of environmentalism -- that, not truth, was its point and intent. Some estimates put malaria deaths due to ending use of DDT in the millions. Meanwhile, the connection with condor populations was at best tenuous.

Comment: Re:One of many potential causes (Score 2) 90

by Reziac (#49551073) Attached to: Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

Actually there's a pretty good trail being laid down:

Not only that, but per this article (with stats), bee populations are stable to increasing despite CCD:

The amount of honey being produced is a good indicator, given you can't make honey without bees.

This won't load for me but I imagine it goes into more detail:

And actually, you can demonstrate 'insanity' in any wild colony with an aging queen -- the bees become aggressive at greater and greater distances from the hive. I watched this with a wild colony that had taken up residence in the wall of a barn. For the first three years, they were 'gentle' (not concerned about intruders) -- to the point that you could actually poke around in their entryway without incurring any retaliation. The 4th year, they got twitchy about people walking nearby. The 5th year, they regularly chased people who passed within about 20 feet of their hive entrance. The colony died off entirely that winter. Far as I saw, it never swarmed, indicating they didn't produce any new queens.

We probably don't see this in domesticated colonies because modern beekeepers are diligent about replacing queens in a timely manner. But I asked an old-timer about it (who'd been in the bee business since the 1930s) and he said that was all perfectly normal for a colony with an old queen.

Comment: Re:14 already executed.... (Score 1) 173

by Reziac (#49513111) Attached to: FBI Overstated Forensic Hair Matches In Nearly All Trials Before 2000

I'm not against the death penalty; I'm against making irreparable mistakes.

There's a way to prevent gung-ho justice: if judgment is later found to be in error, visit the same penalty on those who condemned. Tho I vaguely recall this principle comes from Sharia law, and if so it doesn't seem to limit behavior much in Real Life.

Comment: Re:Wouldn't help (Score 1) 538

That theory has been put forth, and probably has often been true, but it falls down when it comes to state offices -- where statewide, approval rating was in the toilet, yet the same people got re-elected.

There's also the problem of low turnout. In my SoCal town, the same guy has had a monopoly on the mayor's office for years, yet is widely hated. So how did he stay in office? In the last election while I lived there, less than 2% (yes, TWO percent) of registered voters actually voted. Or at least that was what was reported to the SoS office... there were irregularities sufficient that an investigation was scheduled, but nothing ever came of it.

I'm reminded of a tale from the 1972 Presidential election, from someone I knew who was doing a door-to-door survey: When asked their views, most people espoused typical conservative points. But the final survey question was: Who do you think would make a good president? And the most common answer, even from very conservative voters, was "Teddy Kennedy" (then the most liberal man in all of politics). The conclusion from the survey's data was that most voters didn't actually know what a given candidate stood for, but they sure as hell knew the names. (Mind you this was back when most of these voters would remember JFK firsthand.)

Here in Montana, if someone has an abysmal rating, they're likely to get voted out. One might offer a correlation with the much better educational level...

Comment: Re:Wouldn't help (Score 1) 538

More than an advantage; in California, it's a shoo-in.

At the last major election before I moved back out of CA -- I forget the year, mighta been 2010 -- public satisfaction with elected state officials was just 13%.

Yet *100%* of incumbants got re-elected. (I checked every race listed on the Secretary of State site. There were NO exceptions.)

If that ain't name-recognition at work, well, you tell me.

And yes, CA has more than its fair share of yellow-dog Democrats.
The term originated in the late 19th century. These voters would allegedly "vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for any Republican".

Don't panic.