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Posted 25 Nov 2010
BBKA's position on Pesticides Endorsement
Dear Beekeepers ...
I don't usually email you to tell you I have published a new podcast, but this time it's different: I would really like you to listen to this one - and get all your friends to do so as well.
Because it addresses a big issue of vital significance - not only for the survival of the honeybee, but for a whole raft of insect species that are likely to become extinct within a relatively few years if we fail to act now.
The issue is the over-use of insect-killing chemicals - or 'pesticides', as we generally call them.
And the specific issue I address in this podcast is that of the relationship between the people who claim to be protecting the interests of bees and beekeeping, and those who make massive profits by pretending there is no problem here - and what is worse - by persuading our bee keepers' associations that there is no problem and keeping them 'on message' by paying them regular sums of money.
This episode will be of particular interest to British beekeepers - especially those who are - or have been - or may one day be members of the British Bee Keepers Association - the BBKA. And wherever you are, I think you will this of interest, as I will be interviewing a man who has looked very carefully at the whole issue of pesticides and their potential impact on bees, with particular reference to the BBKA's decade-long policy of taking money from the pesticide industry in return for the use of the BBKA logo on certain products, and the endorsement of such products as being somehow 'bee-friendly'.
Many people - when told that a bee keepers association endorses insecticides at all - are shocked and surprised, as was Dr Bernie Doeser, who has recently produced an independent report that is highly critical of the way the BBKA have managed - or failed to manage - their policy.
Bernie Doeser's report reveals barely believable levels of negligence and incompetence in this whole episode, starting with the fact that the BBKA actually endorsed some of the pesticides that - far from being bee-friendly - are actually among the top five most lethal pesticides in their class. I had to record the interview with Bernie Doeser in the rather echo-y cafe of the Tate gallery in the seaside town of St Ives in Cornwall, and although we managed to arrange coats and hats to absorb much of the background noise, you can still tell that it is a cafe.
Here's a direct link to the latest - *episode * (And for those of you outside the UK, Cornwall is in the bottom left hand corner of England, and England is part of that little island off the coast of Europe called Great Britain, the United Kingdom or just the UK.) You can listen to or download my podcasts from iTunes (search for 'Barefoot Beekeeper') or go directly to the host site at http://biobees.libsyn.com
PS - If you are a member of the BBKA, please make your feelings about this issue known to your local branch committee and your county association, and make sure they support the Twickenham motion at next year's Annual Delegates Meeting.