Another article regarding problems caused by glyphosate.
The only studies that people use to support this claim are weak and riddled with methodological issues and poor conclusion-drawing. All of the high-quality, large, robust studies on this topic have only been able to conclude that glyphosate is not the cause of the recent bee deaths. Make sure you are getting your information from reliable sources, not from blog sites that have their clear biases.
Some points on the latest ‘study’ about glyphosate’s effects on bees:
- Glyphosate concentrations used in the study, 5mg/l and 10mg/l, are quite high. Finding bees regularly exposed to these levels in the field is questionable.
We could do the exact same thing with studying the deathly impacts of water. Scary? No? Think again! If you drink ten litres of water in 30 minutes, you’ll also have negative health impacts! Don’t drink water ever again!
See what I mean? It’s just dishonest workmanship on behalf of the authors. Plus, glyphosate doesn’t accumulate. It breaks down to its natural components very quickly, therefore not exposing organisms to potentially harmful doses. Unfortunately, most Organic pesticides do not do this, instead contributing to contamination of the farmland and downstream waterways (but this is another topic for later discussion).
- The bees were fed a sucrose solution, which takes the normally available amino acids away from their diet, a concern raised by an entomologist friend (a bee lover). With no available aromatic amino acids, high enough glyphosate levels could indeed temporarily inhibit groups of bacteria. It doesn’t necessarily relate to field conditions, however.
At the dose 25 mg/kg during a two-week exposure study on rats, glyphosate and its formulations ‘had very limited effects’ on the gut bacteria. Why? Because the gut is a formidable cornucopia of freely floating amino acids!
- Range of bacterial communities exhibited on Day 0 of the study shows great differences between the groups already. This may just reflect the fact that there is a very large natural variation in gut microbiomes in general - evident from many studies on many different species previously. This also could explain why the data, post-treatment, is noisy and inconsistent.
So basically, the researchers deliberately chose bees that were going to set them up with the results they wanted. This is exactly how Seralini designed his ‘study’ to ‘prove’ GMOs cause cancer. Total bunk.
- The study strangely finds changes in bacterial levels at the lower concentration of glyphosate only, and not the higher. This invites question about whether these results are robust, or a result of noisy data. This also shows, that if you are going to take this data as gospel, MORE glyphosate reduces the negative effects on bees. Bee consistent with your logic
- What makes things further suspect, is that to explain away the lack of effect at 10 mg/l, they say it could be because those bees got lost on the way home… and to support this point, they uncritically refer to various studies, which (as you can read in the article) carry very little weight due to the tragicomic-level weakness of their methods.
- The study states: “glyphosate may affect bacterial symbionts of animals living near agricultural sites.” They correctly use the word ‘may’, as their evidence is not enough to confirm such an effect. If there truly was an effect that made bees more susceptible to illness, we should be able to confirm this in mortality/growth rates in large field studies. The evidence so far, even of glyphosate levels ten times as high, does not demonstrate such an effect.
Here is the latest weak study people are gripping to to support their preconceived biases. Consider the aforementioned points while reading through it. And remember, choose high-quality evidence over opinions that agree with your preconceived notions.
An article regarding the effects of glyphosate on bees.
Fixed it for you.
Other people have probably noticed also.Your be lucky to find 1 Bee in a bunch of flowering plants these days you hardly ever see them
There seem to be just as many around my part of the Sunshine Coast now as ever. They are doing a brilliant job of pollinating all the flowering weeds, something they would be familiar with given the weeds and bees are all immigrants.
I think our local honey collectors call it “Mixed Blossom”.
P.s.I don’t spray these weeds with glyphosate, I use something else that is covered by permit.
Interesting i’m in Victoria sounds like it’s very different situation here.People who live in different states what’s it like for you?
There are many also in Brisbane. We have however noticed an increase in native bee numbers in recent years. Don’t know if this is due to drought, loss of habitat, bees exploring further into urban areas, more urbanites having native bee hives or some other reasons.
They are high?. The standard mixing rate for non-agricultural use is 10mL of 360g Glyphosate/litre of water. This means a concentration of about 3.6g/L…so the level reported seem reasonable when one includes other factors.
One has to remember that glyphosate is a salt and anticipate would cause problems to bees no differently to say sodium chloride.
If a plant is in flower when sprayed, there is potential that the glyphosate salt could be present in the flower’s nectar if there is direct contact between the spray and nectar. Such increase in salt is unlikely to occur in the natural world, especially in flowers removed from areas prone to cyclic salt.
Every other weakness in this study is more than enough to discredit the conclusions that were drawn, even if these were reasonable concentrations. However, as I wrote earlier, glyphosate residues in pollen and nectar undergo very rapid breakdown, presence is at an order of magnitude smaller (ug/kg rather than mg/kg).
(EDIT: The scientific paper I hyperlinked in this paragraph shows the presence of glyphosate residues.)
This is one of many evidence-based articles that puts this controversial topic into perspective: