Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'm calling bullshit on the "government stole my bees" story

In the past few days, a story has been circulating about Terrence Ingram, an Illinois beekeeper that had his bees "illegally" taken by Department of Agriculture officials and destroyed. Furthermore, this destroyed his "decades of research" in breeding a "Roundup immune" strain of bees. I'm sorry, but everything I've read about this story just isn't credible.

First of all, there are no sources. Or as Wikipedia would put it, no reliable sources. I've seen a couple of people post links to this article at GlobalResearch, also a 9/11 troofer site. There is exactly one hit on this in Google News, which turns out to be a blog post at, which cites as its original source this article at Packalert Press, which also thinks the recent OK tornado was artificially created by Obama to distract from the IRS scandal. The site that seems to have written the most about it is Prairie Advocate, which could have published a press release written by Ingram and it probably wouldn't have looked any different.

This whole story stinks. This guy claims to have been performing "research" on the effect of Roundup on bees for decades. There's nothing in Google Scholar by this guy; not a single paper. After having done over 10 years of research, no one suddenly comes out with groundbreaking results having published nothing in the meantime. Ingram claims he was about to reveal proof(!) that Roundup, everyone's favorite bugaboo, causes colony collapse disorder. Well, I'm sorry, but it's not like that hasn't occurred to anyone before. The exact cause of colony collapse disorder is unknown, but it's likely a combination of a number of factors, including parasites, viruses, and environmental toxins like pesticides.

What's a lot more likely is that this guy's hives were infected with American foulbrood, a highly contagious and incurable disease that can spread from hive to hive. In fact, that's exactly what the Department of Agriculture found when they inspected his hives and sent samples to a lab. They notified him multiple times of the fact that foulbrood had been detected in his hives and he was ordered to burn them. He continued to refuse and months later, the DoA came in, seized the hives, and (presumably) destroyed them, as they are legally allowed to do.

Ingram is outraged (outraged, I say!) that the DoA even inspected his hives. The Prairie Advocate story quotes Ingram as saying, "The State Department of Agriculture came in and inspected our hives 4 times, 3 times when we were not home, and without due process. I have never received or found a Search Warrant." Furthermore, several of the articles and blog posts on this around the Web claim that these bees were seized "illegally."

Did you know that Illinois has a Bees and Apiaries Act? Neither did I, but yes, Illinois has an entire section of the law on the keeping of bees. 510 ILCS 20/2-4 says, "The Department shall have the power to inspect ... any bees, colonies, items of bee equipment or apiary. For the purpose of inspection, the Director is authorized during reasonable business hours to enter into or upon any property used for the purpose of beekeeping." So the DoA did not need to serve Ingram with a warrant to inspect his bee hives.

Furthermore, they were entirely within their rights to seize and destroy the infected hives. After Ingram had refused multiple times to deal with the infected hives, the DoA has the authority to do it for him (and send him a bill, at that). From 510 ILCS 20/2c, "In carrying out the provisions of this Section or any quarantine, the Director may, at the expense of the owner, when an infestation, infection or nuisance is located, seize or abate bees, colonies, or items of used bee equipment."

So there simply is no story here. There was no violation of the law. There was no illegal seizure of bees or bee hives. But the fact that this guy claims to have been doing "research" into Roundup means this story is going to be flogged by Monsanto-hating activists from one end of the Internet to the other.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Don Gerard: Vindicated

There's been a lot of speculation online about this whole kerfluffle between Mayor Don Gerard and Jim "Jammin" Bean, what caused it, who started the argument at Boneyard Creek Community Day a few weeks ago, etc. I can now say I have seen one of the social media postings involved and that, yes, Bean was talking smack about Mayor Gerard's underage daughter.

I also want to say that Mayor Gerard is under no obligation to make the details about this whole affair public. He's been taking some heat in the News-Gazette and elsewhere about it. If he is doing so because his daughter doesn't want to make a big deal about it or is just embarrassed by the attention, I commend him for putting her interests above his own defense.

Again, in this matter, I'm 110% behind Mayor Gerard.

Screenshots are forever, bitches.