Mark Cullen | Continues MisInformation Campaign | Ontario Pesticide Ban Failure | Ash Trees | Grubs
Time has really run out for Mark Cullen and his Anti Pesticide Rhetoric.
Nematodes for Grubs (reduces grub population by only 30% at best), Marginal Control at Best
Treeazin for Ash Trees (costs as much to treat a tree as to cut it down)
Merit – Imidacloprid (now banned in Ontario, available in Quebec) is an excellent Pesticide that controls Grubs and Ash Tree Borers, the cost is a fraction of the price TreeAzin is and much more effective. Why have we banned it???????
Watching our trees die and lawns being torn up is travesty.
Why would Mark Cullen Support this?
We need to stand up against the Ministry of the Environment and people like Mark Cullen.
Time has nearly run out for our ash trees
The clock is ticking on the ash trees in the GTA. Within the next three to five years, all of the untreated ash will be history. The emerald ash borer (EAB) has crept up here from the mid-western United States, after having arrived there about 15 years ago from Asia. It begins its nasty work very quickly, gnawing its way under the bark of ash (all Fraxinus species), until they are dead.
In Toronto, our tree canopy consists of about 8 per cent ash; most of the 905 area is between 8 and 10 per cent, while in Ottawa the total number of ash represents over 20 per cent. Ouch! No matter where you live in southern Ontario, EAB is one big pain.
It was a year ago that I first wrote about the emerald ash borer problem in the Star. At the time, many readers were shocked to learn the extent and the severity of the infestation. Many were also keen to learn more about the treatment and control methods for the borer. It is time for an update.
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WHAT HAS CHANGED IN A YEAR?
Over the span of the past year, I have been impressed by the changes that have occurred in many municipalities with regards to the EAB problem. I have no doubts that this is due to the increased attention that the issue has received in the press, the resulting rise in interest on the part of concerned citizens, municipal employees responsible for urban trees, and the fact that more politicians have taken a keen interest.
Nevertheless, there are many questions that need to be answered. Here are the essential ones:
How pervasive is the emerald ash borer?
- All ash trees will be attacked. There are 22 species in Southern Ontario, but the most common are white and black ash. It is expected that the EAB will be most active in the GTA over the next three to five years, at which time it is anticipated that the problem insects will have moved on and/or died out due to a lack of food sources.
- How effective is the treatment for EAB (TreeAzin)?
- Unlike Dutch elm disease, which killed virtually all of the American elm trees that lined our streets in the 1960s and early ’70s, the EAB can be controlled using TreeAzin, a “biologically based” liquid that is injected into the tree by licensed professionals. TreeAzin is a derivative of the neem tree, a native of southeast Asia. Neem is popular as a plant shine and used for control of the lily beetle on oriental lilies.
- How much does it cost and how often is it applied?
- The cost of treatment for an average mature-sized ash of 40 centimetres diametre, measured at 1.2 metres high, is between $250 and $300 per tree/per treatment. The cost has come down over the last year by about 25 per cent.
- How and when is it applied?
- It is injected into the tree near its base any time from June through August. The tree “takes the product up” through the rise in sap that occurs naturally. I recommend that you treat ash before you see damage as the tree is best able to take up the TreeAzin product while healthy. Under normal circumstances, a tree will need to be treated every two years, three or four times for effective control. Total cost is between $800 and $1,200. Note that cutting and replacing a mature ash will run you about the same amount of money, perhaps more.
- How effective is it in the long term?
- While TreeAzin has only been registered with Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (like all registered pesticides) for less than 10 years, test treatments have indicated that permanent control of the EAB is possible with the recommended three or four applications. According to Joe Meating, the president of BioForest, the Canadian company that produces and distributes TreeAzin, it is believed “that the ash borer will have moved on or died out after the third or fourth treatment (six to eight years) as fewer trees will be alive to host the insect.”
- How do I know that my tree is a good candidate for treatment?
- If the tree in question is growing on private land, I recommend that you get a professional opinion. For a list of recommended TreeAzin applicators, go to yourleaf.org and check out the list under the “Resources” tab. If the tree is growing on municipal property (like a boulevard tree that may be located at the front of your house or on your street), I recommend that you contact the urban tree or parks department in your municipality.
- If I wish to have an ash tree treated that is growing on public land, how do I go about this?
- As of today, every municipality in the GTA and Ottawa has an established policy regarding the issue. They have budgets for the treatment of valuable ash and for removal and replacement in the case of the untreated specimens on public land. Every municipality is approaching the issue differently and with various degrees of aggression. The most ambitious treatment program is in Oakville, where the goal is to save more than 80 per cent of the ash tree canopy. Other municipalities are shooting for a save rate of less than 5 per cent of the trees on public property. There is a clear disparage here.
- What kind of tree should I consider replacing ash with?
- If we have learned anything at all from this, it is this: our urban forest will benefit most and serve future generations better with greater species diversification. So the answer is not as straightforward as “plant sugar maples” since your situation may be more appropriate for other species. I do encourage you to consider making a selection from the broad selection of native trees available. I do not advocate that a native tree is suitable for every situation, but we definitely need to plant more than we have in the past. An excellent list of native trees and flowering shrubs is offered on the Leaf website (yourleaf.org/species-available). A visit to your local garden centre can be useful. Talk to a qualified professional about your location, exposure to sun, soil quality, drainage, and your own wishes to make an informed decision.
- How do we avoid another problem like this in future?
- I can almost guarantee that there will be another pest or disease that will wreak havoc on our tree population in future. History tells us that we should be on the lookout for it. My answer to this question is the same answer as the last one. Diversification. A good defence is a good offence. Or something like that.
- Where do I go for more information?
- The City of Toronto has published an excellent handbook titled “Emerald Ash Borer.” You can access it online at toronto.ca/trees/eab.htm. Whether you live in Toronto or not, the information is useful. If you live in another municipality, call your city hall or access its website. Most are working hard on their communication programs now.
I encourage you to talk with your local city councillor and to your neighbours. Smart people are rallying around this issue to raise awareness and money to save whole streets of ash from the chop-chop. This is your chance to lead and make a very big difference.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK
Q: Skunks are digging up my lawn every night. How do I stop the damage?
A: Raccoons and skunks are digging in lawns to feed on grubs. Once the soil temperature is above 10C, you can apply beneficial nematodes to control the grub population. I use Green Earth Grub Busters.
Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, author, broadcaster and garden editor of Reno and Decor magazine. You can sign up for his free monthly newsletter at markcullen.com, and watch him on CTV Canada AM every Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. You can reach Mark through the “contact” button on his website and follow him on Twitter @MarkCullen4 and Facebook. Mark’s latest book, Canadian Lawn & Garden Secrets, is available at Home Hardware and all major bookstores.
via Time has nearly run out for our ash trees | Toronto Star.
10 thoughts on “Mark Cullen | Continues MisInformation Campaign | Ontario Pesticide Ban Failure | Ash Trees | Grubs”
Can MUNICIPALITIES afford the HARDSHIP AND COST of this #@!!% PESTICIDE BAN NONSENSE ?!?!
When it comes to PESTICIDE BANS, Municipal Officials can learn a lot from the experience of those jurisdictions that have SUFFERED THE HARDSHIP AND COST OF THIS #@!!% NONSENSE !
And there is little debate about the fact that BANS convert communities into SHABBIER AND DANGEROUS PEST-INFESTED GARBAGE DUMPS.
PESTICIDE-FREE means DEAD TREES and WEED-INFESTED PLAYING SURFACES.
EMERALD ASH BORER, a wood-boring insect that is HIGHLY DESTRUCTIVE to Ash Trees, is an example where Anti-Pesticide PROHIBITION led to municipalities being forced to spend STUNNINGLY EXORBITANT AMOUNTS OF MONEY AND RESOURCES.
It is IMPOSSIBLE to control EMERALD ASH BORER without conventional pest control products.
WILLIAM H. GATHERCOLE AND NORAHG
CARNAGE CREATED BY STUNNINGLY EXORBITANT COSTS OF MAINTENANCE FOR MUNICIPALITIES – WHO CAN AFFORD THIS #@!!% BAN NONSENSE ?!?! ( Web-Page )
CARNAGE CREATED BY STUNNINGLY EXORBITANT COSTS OF MAINTENANCE FOR MUNICIPALITIES – EMERALD ASH BORER – WHO CAN AFFORD THIS #@!!% BAN NONSENSE ?!?! – 2012 11 29 ( Reports )
CARNAGE CREATED BY STUNNINGLY EXORBITANT COSTS OF MAINTENANCE FOR MUNICIPALITIES – BRITISH COLUMBIA CONSPIRACY – #@!!% PESTICIDE BANS – MUNICIPAL PESTICIDE BANS – THE HARDSHIP & COST OF THIS #@!!% NONSENSE – LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA – RESPONSE – 2012 03 13
What exactly is a Pesticide Truth?
If we need Pesticide truths, we need the whole story on both sides, and not simply a part of it.
This article continues to speak positivily towards Merit with an active ingredient of Imidacloprid. It further states that Merit costs considerbly less than does the alternative it speaks to, known as TreeAzin.
Fact – Merit soil drench costs less – however there is more to be learned on that which I will mention below. When mentioning soil drench – I reference the professional pesticide versus 75WP unless indicated.
Fact – Merit injectable is available in Ontario. Sold by Bayer Chemicals under brand name Confidor 200 SL.
Fact – Confidor 200 SL costs aproximatly the same (perhaps slightly more) than does TreeAzin.
Fact – Confidor 200 SL as per Bayer label must be applied annualy, TreeAzin is applied as per label every two years.
Fact – as per recent study systemic neonicotinoid insecticides, imidacloprid and clothianidin, cause cognitive damage in bees. They have been recently banned in Europe for two years.
These same insecticides are under review in the U.S.
And in Canada
While Bayer shows their product available in Quebec, the professional soil drench I have not seen as being available, nor have I seen any Canadian PMRA number for it anywhere yet. Discussion with Bayer indicate it will not likely be registered in Canada.
The homeowner version or Merit 75WP appears to be available in Quebec.
Webinars on the EAB with industry experts in the U.S. indicate this is a fairly effective product against EAB when used on smaller DBH trees.
Now to TreeAzin, which some might question as to if it is effective.
Merit soil drench – as per label conference at American University in February 2013 is really effective on smaller DBH trees, with testing is still ongoing on larger trees.
The other aspect which is a potential issue on both soil drench and bark spray are:
Off target exposure – contact with pets, flowers, vegetables, birds or other insects which were not the intended target.
Leaching of chemicals – especially into groundwater
Note when you look at American sites, you will rarely find TreeAzin listed as it has only been used / registered in the U.S. recently compared to many other products.
There is also a comparison between protecting an ash tree versus removal and replacement, with no discussion on the actual benefit of a mature tree. A lot has been learned over the past decade on tree benefits to the urban landscape, and how much a mature tree really is worth and what the impacts of loss might be. These range far beyond the actual replacement cost of the tree itself.
You will also see bark spray mentioned in American articles, this is not available nor legal for use in Canada.
Note: the lack of Merit soil drench or bark spray is not related to the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban in place in the Province of Ontario.
There was also a mention that TreeAzin is Neem Oil, this is not correct.
Some American references – note as American TreeAzin will be not mentioned, and there will be pesticides which we can not get legally in Canada.
In recent years, the EAB has demonstrated time and time again what has now become known as the Death Curve. And it is a fact on how quickly the death of trees accelerate. Ash trees not treated will die.
While this is shown to be pesticide truths – often times only part of the story is told and very little reference to any external research is provided or discussed/reviewed.
If we are to get “truths” and we need and want them, then please include the whole truth and not simply parts of it to push a specific agenda.
If left untreated, say farewell to your ash tree
Listen to Sean Barker (treefeed.ca Director) talk about 4 years ago when EAB was more controllable (you provided a link to him) https://pesticidetruths.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/AshBorer-NON-Expert-Meg-Sears-Sean-Barker-Tells-the-Truth.mp3
European Union Risk Assessment https://pesticidetruths.com/2011/11/24/bioforest-ca-treeazin-effectiveness-study-2008-2010-biopesticide/
We have listened to medical experts – like the Canadian Cancer Society – who have made a convincing case for reducing our exposure to pesticides, particularly children who are generally more susceptible to the potential toxic effects of pesticides.
The ban is part of the McGuinty government’s commitment to protect families, especially children from pollution and toxic chemicals through tough new environmental laws.
What Is Imidacloprid?
Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid insecticide that is readily taken up by plants and translocated systemically within the plants. It is active against insects on contact and through ingestion. Various end-use products containing imidacloprid are currently registered for control of insect pests in turf, on various food crops or on companion animals (dogs or cats). Registered uses on plants include foliar sprays, seed treatments and application to soil for uptake by plant roots.
FACT: Nematodes are not an effective Grub Control Option.
Can not comment on that but I beleive it is true. I might also add that weed control sold as Fiesta is not as effective as products which were banned.
FACT: Imidacloprid is an excellent Grub Control Product (now Banned in Ontario) and much cheaper than nematodes
Can not comment on that but I beleive it is true.
FACT: Confidor (Imidacloprid) is used at .3 to 1.25 ml per cm DBH
Confidor 200SL is used at 1.25 ml per cm DBH on EAB. Any lower levels are for other insects. Since we are referencing the article by Mark, lets remain with EAB.
Confidor 200SL should be applied every year. Cost of Confidor 200SL for product alone is $1 per ml or around $1.25 per cm per year + shipping, vehicle costs, fuel, equipment overhead, labour, etc.
FACT: TreeAzin is used at 12ml per Inch DBH
TreeAzin is applied at levels between 2ml per cm DBH to 5ml per cm DBH depeding upon size of tree and proximity to EAB known infestations. For any comparison lets use 5ml (highest dose for EAB). TreeAzin cost is $0.55 per ml or $2.75 per cm + shipping, vehicle costs, fuel, equipment overhead, labour, etc. But TreeAzin is applied every 2nd year, making the annual costs $1.38 per cm per year.
Realistically we need to look at the total cost to consumer. If one is applied every year, the other every two years then we need to consider what impacts might be over the span of total treatment, which could be eight to ten years for sake of argument.
Are product costs really the same (it looks like treeazin is at the very least 50% more expensive)
This brings the product costs fairly close in my math, then factor in the overhead of labour, vehicle, etc for the extra site visit, and the two become very close or perhaps Confidor slightly more costly. Unless I have missed something. Now I do know some are using Confidor only every 2nd year, this is against the Bayer label and if the tree were to perish the tree service would likely be potentially liable for any claims filed.
FACT: Confidor kills adults and larvae
That is true. TreeAzin only makes adult pretty much sterile and kills larvae.
FACT: Treeazin kills larvae only.
TreeAzin makes the female almost sterile, with the vast majority of her eggs not hatching. It actually does not kill larvae, but is a growth regulator so prevents it from passing through to next instar and hence it perishes.
FACT: BEYOND PESTICIDES IS NOT A VALID REFERENCE FOR BEE DEATHS
Perhaps so, but it is not the article per say, as "Beyond Pesticides" is likely biased based upon its name. It was more the reference to the recent 2 year ban in the EU. In fact, I would likely agree it is as biased as any publication available. But did reference the EU story, there are other references though.
FACT: NEEM OIL Is not a Registered Pesticide in CANADA (Azadirachtin is the most well known and studied triterpenoid in neem oil) Except TreeAzin.
Neem oil is not registered, that is true. And yes Azadirachtin is a significant active ingrident in Neem Oil. Amount of Azadirachtin in Neem Oil may range from a couple of hundred ppm to perhaps a couple of thousand. Neem Oil has been used in human medication for years, and still is today.
But while a component within Neem Oil is Azadirachtin, and TreeAzin is Azadirachtin, it is not Neem Oil. The two should not be confused, in particular since Neem Oil is not a registered pesticide and Azadirachtin by itself is.
Did you know Neem is extremely toxic to aquatic organisms? Ground Water Contamination????
Actually I beleive it is rated as Moderate.
Here is a link to each for reference. And yes, any pesticide has its pros and cons, which is why transparency and full disclosure is good. TreeAzin does kill some things, it is a pesticide and a Class 4 pesticide, the same class as Confidor in fact.
FACT: Health Canada Registers Imidacloprid on DOGS and CATS, Food Crops, Lawns, Nurseries, Forestry,
Absoutely true. In fact I put some on my dog this past week. Having said that, it does not alter the fact that it is under review. It is doubtful that the pet applications are significant or even considered when looking at the honey bee aspect. Again, not trying to state one is better than the other, simply trying to get all aspects of each out.
FACT: Pushing an Agenda? The Ontario Ministry of the Environment uses nonfactual information as a health and environmental benefit?
Likely all true.. lets not continue however and show both sides, facts on each.
Did you know Neem is extremely toxic to aquatic organisms? Ground Water Contamination????
Do not want to repeat this part. But wanted to mention that either Confidor or TreeAzin, being direct injectables are far less likely to cause water contamination (in fact virtually impossible) compared to soil drench.
The ban is part of the McGuinty government’s commitment to protect families, especially children from pollution and toxic chemicals through tough new environmental laws.
Agreed – it is a political ban versus one based upon science.
Great input TomWheel,
There are several contradictory statements made about the EAB tools availiable to Arborists. Pro and Con.
Just like the Ontario Government (Gideon Forman, Meg Sears) said when claiming Fiesta and Finalsan would replace Effective Lawn Pesticides.
Class 4 Pesticides include TreeAzin, 2,4-D and Glyphosate (How Safe is TreeAzin compared to 2,4-D?? or Roundup?? http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/stdprodconsume/groups/lr/@ene/@category/@pesticides/documents/nativedocs/stdprod_080197.pdf
The biggest concern with BioForest and Canadian Government partnering to promote TreeAzin is that much of the Scientific Reviews and References have Joe Meatings name on them.
The danger of Imidacloprid and Bee thing is going to end up like the Josette Wier, West Coast Environmental Law Association challenge with POEA and GLYPHOSATE.
As for EAB tools. There is a lot of information on the internet related to EAB, some good & some bad. Some correct and some absolutely wrong. Difficult for consumers to know and make decisions. Why? For a few reasons actually. We have learned a lot about the EAB in the past decade, more in fact than we knew about DED (Dutch Elm Disease) after 4 decades. We also have some viable options for treatment. We did not have treatment or options a decade ago. If fact when we first found the insect, we did not even know what it was, other than a relative of some native beetles. In fact nobody in North America could identify it, and at the time it only had the scientific name – Agrilus planipennis. Little was known about it prior to the invasion of North America, in fact only two known papers written before that time exist. At the time we though cutting all the ash down would prevent movement and the beetle would die. That proved wrong. We thought, treatment was not available. Or did not work. Or was too expensive compared to removal and replacement. Hence the large scale of ash removals began. We have since learned that treatment is effective, in places where it has been done properly it is almost 100% effective. We also have learned the benefits of trees, often times in communities where the ash were decimated and removed. Then the lack of urban forest made the benefits apparent. Ranging from cost of asphalt, storm water runoff, heating and cooling costs to buildings, vehicle accidents and even human health. There are also very valid tree benefit calculators available to municipal arborists now to calculate the benefits. Generally if the ash tree is small, less than perhaps 15-20cm removal is the logical choice. If it is a mature, healthy ash, then removal and loss of the benefits is almost always the most costly route. We learned all this over time. We use the internet. There are varying degrees of knowledge, various authors, and old material remains posted forever. Hence in an area where we are learning, and finding out new and better ways to do things. Learning that what we thought in the past is not accurate. It is important to filter and understand what is truth and not. Also there are a large number of arborists out there, and a large degree of skill. While there are around 30,000 Certified Arborists in the world, and maybe 1,000 or so in Ontario, if you look at the advertisements there seem to be that many right here. The issue of course is lack of transparency, and not understanding the ANSI definition of Certification. If an arborist has a Certification, or anybody for that matter, they will have a wallet card with a Certification # and it will have an expiry date. All Certifications by definition do expire. Find a certified arborist here: http://www.isa-arbor.com/faca/findArborist.aspx Of course that is only part of the story. Now you need one with a pesticide license. And there are perhaps only a much smaller percentage of those around. So you are getting treatment by somebody who is not an arborist or at least not a Certified Arborist much of the time. That may not be totally bad, but it does leave a huge unknown parameter in the skill of your applicator. When looking at your article you attached in last post it showed IMA-Jet, Confidor, TreeAzin and ACECAPS. IMA-Jet is not registered in Canada, with the review in process the likelihood of adding soon is somewhat slim as it is an Imidacloprid based product. Confidor is shown as more cost effective than TreeAzin, however many do the math on a single treatment versus the life of the tree. Good sales pitch maybe until customer figures it out. ACECAP is the lowest cost, but if you look at article it is something that will reduce populations but not an effective control. ACECAP also has a fairly large hole in the tree, and is not something that you would want to use each year on a tree. http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/apa13498/$FILE/barry_lyons-2011.pdf When trees are treated in areas which do not have known infestations, TreeAzin becomes far more cost effective than Confidor. Many arborists are offering both Confidor and TreeAzin as options and letting the consumer decide. That is a fair and valid option. However there are some other issues out there. As mentioned earlier – some are using Confidor every two years, this of course does make it a more viable option price wise than TreeAzin – but at the same time often the consumer selects the treatment but the cost of each is the same. This means that the arborist is making a larger profit. Not an issue, arborists like anybody else does have bills to pay. But the use of the product every two years is contrary to the Bayer product label. Confidor is supposed to be used EVERY year as per current label. TreeAzin is supposed to be used EVERY TWO years as per current label. ACECAP is a item that is most cost effective, not a real great tool for eradication of EAB though and most invasive to the tree itself. Confidor does also leave a plastic insert in the tree, the ArborJet plug. The article you posted stated it would add about $1.80 to the cost of injection. ArborPlugs cost around $0.50 each US plus shipping. http://www.sherrilltree.com/Professional-Gear/Arborjet-Tree-Injection-System/100-pack-Arborplug-by-ARBORjet-3-8-9-32 To determine how many to use, you need to know the DBH. http://blog.arborjet.com/2011/03/how-to-properly-set-arborplugs/ http://www.arborjet.com/images/uploads/ArborplugTM_Instructions.pdf http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/FinalReportTroyGeneral1.pdf However, this often times this can run into several dollars, not huge but more than the $1.80 stated. If the cost is only $1.80 then that is 3 plugs. Makes for a fairly small DBH tree when plug numbers are calculated at DBH/2 or even if DBH/4. That is when DBH is measured in inches (not cm). That would mean a 20” DBH ash would need between 5 to 10 plugs and a 30” DBH ash would need 8-15 plugs. Generally most would use more than DBH/2 and at least move to the mid-point in calculations. The benefit of more is more even distribution in tree, the disadvantage of course is more labour, more plug costs, more holes in tree. Again keep in mind when reading articles to try and find a date, as material may be good reference for some information but dated on others. As for scientific testing, a lot of pesticide testing is initially funded by and assisted by the company developing the product and getting the registration. Bayer would have funded much of the early Imidacloprid research. However, there have been years of real field trees now out there by various municipalities which are being used for efficacy information. While BioForest may and likely does assist in putting this material together, much of the recent data is coming from well documented field information our municipal workers produce. It would be great to see more 3rd party papers on any product. However, the input from the municipal forestry groups does add credibility to the results. What they cannot add of course are issues such as impacts to the environment, other animals, fish, birds, etc which is based on other scientific research or existing known data. As for injury to trees, the holes made by either Confidor or TreeAzin seal the same day, and are so small the tree will cover them over with a very short time. Going back for the next treatment and you will not be able to see the holes made in the previous treatment.
Some New Information to add here as of Jun 11 2013
It seems OMAFRA is confirming toxicity of TreeAzin, it would be hard to discern which product is really the safest. But Cost and Effectiveness are Mandatory. FearMongering to support the usage of a could be, may be, possibly is a safer lower risk pesticide doesn't cut it.
Management Strategy for Emerald Ash Borer and Bronze Birch Borer – Insect Pests of Landscape Trees in Ontario
Tom Wheel have you seen what the Municipality of Ottawa (TreeAzin Label) is saying about more than 1 injection every 2 years. Wounding to injection site…. Do you also see that the Municipality Is saying TreeAzin is being used and those treated trees are still dying. https://pesticidetruths.com/2013/07/22/pesticide-free-failure-joe-meating-wrong-emerald-ash-borer-treeazin-not-working/#more-26636
Update for Tom Wheel : May 2014 Video of European Union Director General saying "We Need to Change the Narrative" "There is no BEE EMERGENCY" . Not a popular video, but what is when it comes to factual information.
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