Letters for Wednesday, March 22, 2017

• Pesticides present in bee hives • US should be accepting of all

Pesticides present in bee hives

The title of the article “Honey bee pollen study yields positive results” in TGI really means that 1-5 pesticides were positively identified in every sample in the Department of Agriculture study. Additional information was discussed with Mr. Enright at a public meeting with the Kauai Beekeeper’s Association after the meeting with the County Council.

Although pesticide concentrations were low, Mr. Enright did not know whether they were below the level toxic to bees and did not know the toxicity level of the pesticide cocktails found in the pollen.

One highly toxic Restricted Use Pesticide reported found on westside pollen, Lorsban, contains chlorpyrifos , a chemical neurotoxin being banned around the world because of its effects on bees and the developing brains of children.

Although some data were presented on pesticides, no data were presented on overall bee population “health” to substantiate “some of the healthiest bees in the world” exaggeration. The fact that Kauai does not have varroa mites is the major factor keeping Kauai’s hives healthier than in other places.

The DOA study did not test for glyphosate (Roundup) as the cost was prohibitive, glyphosate is found in honey not in the pollen collected, and there is little evidence that glyphosate severely affects bees.

In consultation with the DOA apiarist, a student and I undertook a concurrent study of glyphosate in honey taken from hives all around the island. Concentrations ranged from 0-341.6 ppb and 37 percent of the sites tested positive.

A greater percent of the Westside samples (51.6 percent) were contaminated with glyphosate than on the Eastside (17.9 percent) and the average concentrations were 30 times higher. This research is completed and the findings are being written for a scientific publication.

Because Mr. Enright has not shared any data, we do not know if sites contained both contaminated pollen and honey or what effect that would have on the bees. But the two experiments gave positive results; there is widespread pesticides in the bee hives. It is coming from both urban and large scale industrial use. It is not good for the bees or humans, as both pollen and honey are consumed by us. In the USA there is a zero tolerance level for glyphosate in honey.

Carl J. Berg, Ph.D., Ecologist

US should be accepting of all

I was interested to read Mike Spangler’s announcement in the March 20 Garden Island that after 30 years of annual visits to our state he will now be boycotting Hawaii because a Honolulu judge blocked President Trump’s most recent executive order on immigration.

I respect Mike’s concern that Judge Watson is “endangering American citizens,” but it seems to me that if the order was meant to make us safer, it would include countries that terrorists have actually come from. More likely, the order is meant to fulfill a campaign pledge to ban Muslims. This goal is not only unconstitutional, it endangers our society.

When we define people by where they come from or who they worship, we dehumanize them. It’s easy to turn our backs on someone we label a “Muslim terrorist,” harder when we see them for who they really are: a family fleeing a war zone, an engineer seeking a graduate degree.

Our moral and democratic values are a major reason the United States is a target of terror. If we sacrifice our values, even in the name of safety, then the terrorists will achieve their goal without ever setting foot on our soil.

John Teschner, Anahola


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