Where Is My Project Heading ?

Whilst I have been exploring different avenues for the expansion of my project, I have looked at what other animals are effected by the depleting numbers of bees species around the world. I naturally looked at the prey of bee species specifically birds and how these animals can be effected, similar to the effects we are seeing from dolphins that are being washed up on shores across the world with stomachs full of plastics. They prey of fish, that prey on grill, that prey on plankton which unknowingly prey on plastic residue. Though the process of natural eating patterns each time we go up the food chain the amount of plastic ingested gets larger.

Until there is no room for organic materials and ultimately the animal at the top of the chain will die. Taking this into theory within my own current work, when will we see that by poisoning the little guy we loose out ourselves in the long run. The benefits (even though very small) of using pesticide is short lived, we aren't solving a problem just moving the problem. By allowing bees to inject chemicals that will be ingested by birds, small mammals and even humans what is the reasoning ? I found an interesting article which suggests theory surrounding pesticide effects are just that and have no real presence in a scientific world.

“Dave Goulson’s theories about neonicotinoids poisoning birds are simply that – theories – and are not backed up by evidence from real life”, he added. In the UK, poisoning of all animals is investigated by the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme. If seed-eating farmland birds were being poisoned as a result of eating neonicotinoid treated seed, you would rightly expect this scheme to be finding these incidents. There are no incidents of bird poisoning resulting from the use of neonicotinoids over the last ten years. Promoting theories without the evidence to back them up is only going to damage the cause of pollinators and wildlife, and damage the public perception of science in general.”

My detailed response to this was sent on December 10th 2017. On that date I also contacted the wildlife incident unit. I asked them to tell me what pesticides they would test a dead bird for. The answer, kindly provided by David G Brown, is below:

“This can be quite specific depending on the evidence available but in general terms analysis will look for pesticide groups such as carbamates, organophosphates and rodenticides in addition to compounds such as chloralose and metaldehyde (slug pellets), the former a frequently abused product historically, the latter more commonly confirmed in ‘misuse’ incidents.”

So, there are no incidents of bird poisoning resulting from neonic use because dead birds aren’t normally tested for neonics in the UK. The apparent anomaly between France, where many dead birds contain neonics, and the UK, where no such incidents have been detected, is thus rather easily explained.

Expanding this into a possible avenue of exploration of my project I could look at how other animals are effected by the depleting number of bees and create images that reflect this. Using the same method of the photogram I would create images that use birds and other small animals that could come in contact with these harmful pesticides. The animals would have to be representative and not a direct infected specimen. The reasoning for this is I don't have the facilities to work with potentially harmful organic materials and I have been unable as yet to source somewhere to find such materials. I feel that even though this area of the project would be out of character (without scientific evidence) I feel it would still work well in a representative way. I think the project is lending itself to this natural expansion. This is of course a very rough idea that hasn't had time to formulate anything of substance so far, but through the next few weeks I would expect myself to have worked with these materials and have created a small amount of images that could be a scaffolding for the change in direction from the total exploration of the bees singularly to the exploration of the further shockwaves that come from loosing such an important species .


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