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Bees and Bt…No evidence of harm???

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Joined 2013-09-03

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At our town council tonight, a pro- GMO man will be speaking. He will be quoting this:

Verdict on Bt crops The specific Bt cry proteins used in GM crops were intentionally chosen to not cause harm to bees. There is no evidence to date that they do. On the other hand, Bt crops require less use of insecticides that are clearly toxic to bees.

Please comment!!! ASAP.

 

     
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Total Posts: 216

Joined 2012-05-24

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Hi Sharon,

Firstly, welcome to the Forum !

Secondly, my apologies for my slow response to your query. 
I haven’t had much time to look at the Forum for a few weeks, but am at last managing a catch-up.
What I have to say may help you with your suspicion about Bt and bees.

I am a beekeeper. 
Beekeepers need to store honey bee combs over winter, when they are not in use. 
The stored combs are at risk of being badly damaged by the caterpillars of two types of Moth, known as Wax Moths.  (These are The greater wax moth Galleria mellonella and lesser wax moth Achroia grisella.)

A Beekeeping Medicament company called Vita (Europe) Ltd sell a preparation based on Bt which can be sprayed onto the stored comb, with the purpose of killing caterpillars that attack the comb later.  The claim is that the treated comb can be used without later harm to honey bees when the combs are put back into use. 
The product is now sold as Vita’s product B401, but used to be sold as Certan.

So, Bt (at least in some forms) can be harmless to honey bees; and by inference to bumblebees too: but be lethal to Lepidoptera caterpillars - Wax Moth caterpillars.

If you do a Google search using the terms “Vita, Wax Moth, Certan” you should be able to read much more detail. 

I hope you found the meeting interesting !

Yours     Clive