Bumblebee Pupae Contain High Levels of Aluminium

Leifer

Senior Member.
bee.jpg
(Copyright © 2015 Discovery Communications, LLC)


This is not a debunk (or is it ?).

This study is being used by chemtrail believers for further validation of their suspicions of an aluminumo-toxic environment. They might call it "more proof".
I can't dispute what the study finds, but the study is not without it's problems....mostly in the form of curious and assumptive statements which are in-turn being repeated on social media.
And then there is the bias of it's first-named author. (more on that later)

Bumblebee Pupae Contain High Levels of Aluminium
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0127665#authcontrib

(bold text, by me...)

Abstract
The causes of declines in bees and other pollinators remains an on-going debate. While recent attention has focussed upon pesticides, other environmental pollutants have largely been ignored. Aluminium is the most significant environmental contaminant of recent times and we speculated that it could be a factor in pollinator decline. Herein we have measured the content of aluminium in bumblebee pupae taken from naturally foraging colonies in the UK. Individual pupae were acid-digested in a microwave oven and their aluminium content determined using transversely heated graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry. Pupae were heavily contaminated with aluminium giving values between 13.4 and 193.4 μg/g dry wt. and a mean (SD) value of 51.0 (33.0) μg/g dry wt. for the 72 pupae tested. Mean aluminium content was shown to be a significant negative predictor of average pupal weight in colonies. While no other statistically significant relationships were found relating aluminium to bee or colony health, the actual content of aluminium in pupae are extremely high and demonstrate significant exposure to aluminium. Bees rely heavily on cognitive function and aluminium is a known neurotoxin with links, for example, to Alzheimer’s disease in humans. The significant contamination of bumblebee pupae by aluminium raises the intriguing spectre of cognitive dysfunction playing a role in their population decline.
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"Aluminium is the most significant environmental contaminant of recent times"
....really ?....not CO2 gas ?.....not vehicle emissions ?.....not any other of these ??
Interestingly, the study does give a reference to that statement (ref. #5)....that being another study by this study's (same) author, C. Exely.....
(5) Exley C (2012) Elucidating aluminium’s exposome. Curr Inorg Chem 2: 3–7. doi: 10.2174/1877944111202010003
Content from External Source
"...and aluminium is a known neurotoxin with links, for example, to Alzheimer’s disease in humans."
Sure, in high enough doses AL can be a neurotoxin, but the scientific consensus is that AL is not significant cause of Alzheimer's. This study in question has a different opinion, probably because the first-named author of the study (Christopher Exley) wrote a book on it.....
Aluminium and Alzheimer's Disease


This study I suspect, will keep popping up as evidence-fodder by suspicious people, because it encapsulates a few controversial alternative media subjects.....
Alzheimer's
Bee decline (even though it's about bumblebees)
Chemtrails
.....even though the study reaches no definite conclusions.
It uses small sampling, no comparative studies, and the results themselves are "not significant".
The study (it's a small study, nearly an "article") affirms my above sentence....
There are no other comparable data for aluminium content of bumblebees, pupae or adults, or indeed any other pupae of terrestrial insects.
......
Our data provide preliminary evidence that exposure to aluminium may be having an adverse effect on bumblebees, for colonies with high concentrations in the pupae tended to have smaller pupae. However, no other strong effects were observed, and our data set is small. We suggest that further investigation is needed, both to find out the generality and extent of exposure of pollinators to aluminium, and to determine the consequences.
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I find it strange, to (even lightly) compare aluminum content of bumblebee pupae, to aluminum/Alzheimer's in humans. Since when are bumblebee brains >>>compared to human brains ?? by chance? or design ?
But they did, and the press is loving it, with eye-catching click-bait titles like....
"Are Bees Getting Dementia ?" (CNN)
"Are Bumblebees getting Alzheimer's ? (Discovery News)
What about those poor earthworms, who live in dirt, and will eat "aluminum contaminated" soil in order to burrow ? I wonder what the Alzheimer's rate in worms is ? :(

On the chemtrail front, Dane Wigington and Russ Tanner are hot on it, in their style, "we'll-quote-scientific-literature-only-when-it-agrees-with-our-opinion"....(and if it doesn't, "the science has been faked").....
http://globalskywatch.com/assets/mp3/gwradio/2015-06-09.mp3
(see 12:30 - 13:30 in the mp3)
When quoting the article, they both get the study's PPM and PPB results mixed-up, finally agreeing that this doesn't matter,
(Dane) "Either way, the numbers are extremely high."
Content from External Source
How can it not matter ?

Actually, the numbers in this study are in PPM, not PPB, so they are higher than what they "whatever-agreed" to (which was PPB).
The study uses dry-weight results, in the term ug/g, which is 1 ppm= 1 ug/g.
http://www.endmemo.com/sconvert/ppmug_g.php




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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I agree that this study seems rather odd. And as you say, there is no comparison. We don't know what aluminium levels in pupae where 10 years ago, or 50 years ago, or 100 years ago.
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
I agree that this study seems rather odd. And as you say, there is no comparison. We don't know what aluminium levels in pupae where 10 years ago, or 50 years ago, or 100 years ago.
I believe only 21 colonies and 72 pupae were tested. And only in the UK.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I believe only 21 colonies and 72 pupae were tested. And only in the UK.


In May 2013, 20 commercially produced Bombus terrestris audax colonies were acquired from Biobest NV. Belgium

(in urban and rural locations) in the East Sussex landscape

Content from External Source
how do i type these coordinants into Google Earth? (do i need a degree sign and where is it?)
I manually did the highest of the 6 rural areas, and i'm wondering why the area is all dirt vs the green all around it. so i'd like to look at the other areas but its hard to find manually.

urbanrural.PNG bees.PNG
 

MikeC

Closed Account
I manually did the highest of the 6 rural areas, and i'm wondering why the area is all dirt vs the green all around it.

it will just be part of crop or pasture management - being let lay fallow, or prepared for a crop that hasn't been sowed or hasn't grown much yet.

You can cut and paste co-ordinates in into Google Earth's search as they appear on the printout, including het E/W/N/S initial - it will make sense of them.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Email sent, and reply from Christopher Exley, the study's main author....

On 28 June 2015 at 10:44, Randy Leifer (asked) wrote:

What is your take on this ?
You may be aware, that a crowd of conspiracy believers tend to take your results of "high aluminum" found in pupae, and associate this with a supposed secret aluminum depositing jet trail program, where the trails left by airplanes, are claimed to be spraying aluminum.
Is this something your recent bumblebee study (Bumblebee Pupae)
.....either ."takes into account", or refutes ?
Also, while we have a dialog......Is soil and airborne dust found in gathered pollen/nectar, the primary source for aluminum ??.
Thank you,
=Randy Leifer=


To:
  • Randy Leifer

Hello Randy, thanks for your interest. I have been inundated with various communications suggesting that geoengineering may be one reason for the presence of aluminium in bumblebee pupae. At the moment the peer-reviewed scientific evidence for such is almost completely lacking and I will try and do something about this if I can. In the meantime, my thoughts are that the extensive use of aluminium based fungicides and pesticides et c. might be the source of aluminium which we assume is in the nectar and pollen fed to the pupae.
My best wishes
Chris (Exley)
Content from External Source
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
It's a fairly common method, for some suspicious people, to quote studies or other scientific research, and bend the gist (or topic) of those studies....in order to claim that that (quoted) science somehow supports their suspicious claims.....when really, it does not.
It may be just the title, or a phrase in the research that they grasp on to.

This is nothing new. This method is not only used by the conspiracy crowd, but by any number of agencies, politicians, lobbyists, companies, advertisers, (more), and the average person.
This Bumblebee study is a good example. People are using it to boost (prove) their claims that aluminum was found high somewhere, therefore it must be from the jet trails......even though the scientists fail to associate (or even mention) that idea in their findings. (in fact they mention completely different sources for Al)

As I have discovered with this one FB person (dialog above), this person claims, 'but they are not aware of the ongoing aluminum geoengineering' (paraphrased)...... or that the 'aluminum sources are not their specialty'.
When I mentioned that the lead author of the study is specially interested in aluminum, and that Exley has even written a book on the subject.....it falls on deaf ears, or defensive ears. (posted in subsequent dialog, not posted here)

This may be a case of someone so invested to prove him/herself correct in the original idea, that for them, to become open to a new perspective (or simply approach a reconsideration)......is expecting too much, too soon.
I'm trying to have a dialog with these people that leaves an open route for them to ponder evidence, and not pre-held beliefs.
Maybe my approach needs fine-tuning....not to corner them, but pose the ideas as a questions, rather than statements.
 
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Marin B

Active Member
That paper was recently brought to my attention as chemtrail evidence. There is a comment in PLOS cricitical of the paper:

Correlation is not causality?
Posted by MSHeard on 28 Jul 2015 at 12:42 GMT

We are concerned that this paper is too speculative and does not contain any mechanistic or causal links to explain the results.

The authors state that “Aluminium is the most significant environmental contaminant of recent times”, however, this simple statement ignores the fact that the majority of aluminium in the environment is naturally occurring. Further, even though the investigators have shown a weak, but statistically significant correlation between pupal Al and weight – they provide no mechanistic context for this relationship, i.e. what is the exposure pathway, is it cause-effect or simply a correlation? Indeed, beyond measuring aluminium concentrations, the levels of other trace elements (and pollutants) are not measured in the pupae. This is important because the factors that may cause excess exposure to aluminium (geology, aerial deposition from industrial release, low soil pH) are also likely to result in relevant exposure to other trace elements. Hence bees may be subject to exposure to multiple metals and pollutants and not just aluminium alone. Further, there are also no measures taken from unexposed bee colonies i.e. a control or base line pre-exposure. Since the authors also observe no effect on colony growth or ‘health’, eliciting a link between dementia in humans and performance in bees solely to aluminium exposure is wildly speculative and misleading.

Even though speculative, the authors do show the presence of aluminium in pupae. However, this is unsurprising since this metal has been measured in many species in unpolluted areas. Possible exposure routes to Al include atmospheric deposition/contact or ingestion via pollen, nectar (or water). To be confident of the significance of any correlation to bee health you would have to provide evidence that exposure to Al via these routes is a) possible and b) significantly different across the gradient tested. This has not been done. In terms of Al exposure, the most likely exposure route is via plants, however in this case the most likely driver of variability in plant Al would be underlying geology, with local modification due to soil acidification increasing Al (and other metal) bioavailability.

Matthew Heard, Steve Lofts, Dave Spurgeon, NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

No competing interests declared.
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And Exley's (somewhat indignant) reply:

RE: Correlation is not causality?
aluman replied to MSHeard on 28 Jul 2015 at 14:57 GMT


It is quite difficult to understand the point being made by Heard et al. at CEH. I am sure that they know that they do not need to lecture me about the biological availability of aluminium.
Our short paper makes just one simple observation. The aluminium content of bumblebee pupae is very high. These data are not speculative, they are absolute.
These were 'unexposed' bee colonies!
As we pointed out the likely source of the aluminium in the pupae was their food, nectar and pollen. If nectar and pollen in this area of southern England are heavily loaded with aluminium then it would be pertinent to ask why? To my knowledge, and CEH might well have the relevant data for this, the soils in this region are unlikely to have high levels of biologically available 'naturally occurring' aluminium. So, establishing the source of the aluminium to the plants and thereafter to the bee pupae would be an interesting follow-up study. Aluminium-based fungicides and herbicides might be likely candidates?

No competing interests declared.
Content from External Source
http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action?root=86784

I did a little bit of searching and found that herbicides are often formulated as metal salts, including aluminum salt.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
And Exley's (somewhat indignant) reply:

RE: Correlation is not causality?
aluman replied to MSHeard on 28 Jul 2015 at 14:57 GMT


It is quite difficult to understand the point being made by Heard et al. at CEH. I am sure that they know that they do not need to lecture me about the biological availability of aluminium.
Our short paper makes just one simple observation. The aluminium content of bumblebee pupae is very high. These data are not speculative, they are absolute.
These were 'unexposed' bee colonies!
As we pointed out the likely source of the aluminium in the pupae was their food, nectar and pollen. If nectar and pollen in this area of southern England are heavily loaded with aluminium then it would be pertinent to ask why? To my knowledge, and CEH might well have the relevant data for this, the soils in this region are unlikely to have high levels of biologically available 'naturally occurring' aluminium. So, establishing the source of the aluminium to the plants and thereafter to the bee pupae would be an interesting follow-up study. Aluminium-based fungicides and herbicides might be likely candidates?

No competing interests declared.
Content from External Source
http://www.plosone.org/annotation/listThread.action?root=86784

I did a little bit of searching and found that herbicides are often formulated as metal salts, including aluminum salt.

[emphasis added]

Well, at least Exley doesn't seem to be attempting to invoke chemtrails. I did wonder if that was his motive.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
Remember, Exely has always been a proponent of alumina-Alzheimer theory. He wrote a book on it.
(Gladly) he looks to other sources for the AL........not chemtrails.

His career is heavily based on searching for human exposure to AL and it's (theorized) toxicity, signs of toxicity, and relief from toxicity (silicic acid)

He's even looked for it in cannabis.
If he wants to test AL in any area, time, or situation......let him - AFAIC.

I would never call him a quack. He thoroughly believes it and he's scientifically motivated. It's been non-stop for him since his undergraduate thesis(s).....
Chris Exley graduated from Stirling in 1985 with a 2i Honours degree in Biology. It was during the 4th and final year of my degree that I undertook my first research on aluminium. The title of my undergraduate thesis was : "Aluminium toxicity to Atlantic salmon smolts, Salmo salar, and juvenile rainbow trout, Salmo gairdneri, in acid waters".
https://www.keele.ac.uk/lifesci/people/chrisexley/
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I'm curious....why - if the authors suspected before-hand that pesticides/fungicides/herbicides (PFH) could be a reason for "any" high AL levels (or other anthropological source)........why didn't they also test for PFH while they had test subjects in-hand, and a method of collection (the study parameters)????
Where are the other significant elements, not tested for, in order to even mention 'anthropological' sources in the study ? To help rule-in/rule-out.


Flower (bee) pollen under a microscope, are generally a pimpled and pocketed/suckered, multi-conical pointed spheres (i made that up). This irritates the olfactory system in most mammals. In other words, it irritates me to even have typed it.
Ambient and present dirt-dust may adhere to (inside/within) the pollen cavities.......along with any other airborne particle of suitable size.
I don't know the static attraction that might make pollen more sticky, but is another possibility to explore.



This is pollen from a variety of plants.....

Misc_pollen.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Misc_pollen.jpg
 
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