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Where's the bees???
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:03 pm    Post subject: Where's the bees??? Reply with quote

http://www.intentblog.com/archives/2007/02/_2007_us_fruit.html

This could bode ill. We need insects to pollinate crops but we seem to be losing some of our species that do that. Declines in pollination have been observed throughout the globe, and without bees to pollinate plants, plant populations will be threatened as will everything else that depends on them, and from there the domino effect will continue.

US commercial beekeepers from at least 22 states are now reporting that bees have either mysteriously died or disappeared in huge numbers affecting their livelihood and hampering farmers that count on bees to pollinate their crops.

The phenomenon is recent, dating back to autumn, when beekeepers along the east coast of the US started to notice the die-offs. It was given the name of fall dwindle disease, but now it has been renamed to reflect better its dramatic nature, and is known as colony collapse disorder.

It is swift in its effect. Over the course of a week the majority of the bees in an affected colony will flee the hive and disappear, going off to die elsewhere. The few remaining insects are then found to be enormously diseased they have a “tremendous pathogen load”, the scientists say. But why? No one yet knows.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very interesting. Very interesting indeed. What sort of crops rely on bee pollination? The article mentions Almonds, but I didn't notice anything else.

Still, is this a food crisis we're talking about? Or an economic crisis for farmers, which is what this seems to imply?

Regardless, I'm minded of what Jay always says...it's all about balance. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its all crops. Vegetables, fruits, nuts.... I have posted some more websites below to show that its across many crops and that its not just in the US. This is global.

http://www.celsias.com/blog/2007/02/27/bees-dying-by-the-millions

<i>Bees pollinate more than $14bn (£7bn) worth of US seeds and crops each year, mostly fruits, vegetables and nuts.

The mystery disappearances highlight the important link that honeybees play in the chain that brings fruit and vegetables to supermarkets and dinner tables.

The crisis threatens numerous crops, from avocados to kiwis and California almonds - one of the most profitable in the US.

“I have never seen anything like it,” California beekeeper David Bradshaw, 50, told the New York Times.

“Box after box after box are just empty. There’s nobody home.”</i>

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jan2007/2007-01-29-09.asp#anchor3

<i>The important Pennsylvania apple crop, fourth largest in the country and worth about $45 million, is dependent on pollination services provided by commercial beekeepers.

In total, honey bee pollination contributes about $55 million to the value of crops in the state, said Frazier. Besides apples, crops that depend at least in part on honey bee pollination include peaches, soybeans, pears, pumpkins, cucumbers, cherries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. </i>

http://fufor.twoday.net/20070411/

<i>Bee populations throughout Germany have simultaneously dropped 25% and up to 80% in some areas. Poland, Switzerland and Spain are reporting similar declines. Studies have shown that bees are not dying in the hive, something is causing them to lose their sense of orientation so that they cannot return to the hive. </i>
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't I see a news story that linked the demise of bees to cell phone use ? Let me google it...

The Independent wrote:
Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees


It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up. ... [link]
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascinating. Thanks for the links folks. Cause and effect man. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's The Sheep Look Up coming to life, man.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.
Because the bees left their cell phones off the hook?

Seriously, considering the apparent pathology, the non-raided hives, the sudden emergence and the radial spreading of this syndrome the likelihood of cell phones being a significant factor is ridiculously small.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably you are right.

But does anyone doubt that in the end we'll find a human cause?

Remember the frogs dying out? They finally figured out it was a fungus that was rather limited, until rising temperatures caused it to proliferate, to the point where frogs died of it faster than they could reproduce.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I pretty much expect it to be human cause.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. And it is a rather fascinating theory.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
No, I pretty much expect it to be human cause.

--A


As do I.

So far there are many theories on whats causing the bees to decline and the science behind it says that their immune systems are being affected making them susceptable to things that wouldnt normally harm them.

Also one of the key things is that usually when a hive dies off anther hive of some sort will move in. Not so in these cases which makes alot of scientists believe that what ever they are bringing back with them is something other bees can smell or sense and thats what keeps them away.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot find much information on verroa mites.

Quote:
Mobiles 'not affecting bees'

... "There is a bigger threat to bees out there - the verroa mite is killing thousands of bees.

"It lives off of the bee and destroys their immune system and can take only three months to destroy an entire colony."


Quote:
Disappearing Honeybees Concern Beekeepers and Farmers

... Meanwhile, scientists with the U.S. Agriculture Department point to bugs called verroa mites. They kill bees by transmitting viruses.

Jerry Turner runs a honey farm near Orlando, Florida. He says the mites have become resistant to the insecticides used to kill them.

"You try to build your bees up to make honey and you put a lot of money and time and effort into them and then they start dying out,” he says. “These mites, they carry the viruses and such and the bees just start dying. And you try to make them up and increase your numbers again and you get kicked again."
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I would assume that the African killer bees are not having the same problems?
Too bad.
It would have been nice to protect the good ones and then use the mites against the nasty ones.

Perhaps that's where the research at the 100 Acre Wood Inc laboratories are focused.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

High Lord Tolkien wrote:
Perhaps that's where the research at the 100 Acre Wood Inc laboratories are focused.

Do you think the bees S - U - S - P - E - C - T something?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:
High Lord Tolkien wrote:
Perhaps that's where the research at the 100 Acre Wood Inc laboratories are focused.

Do you think the bees S - U - S - P - E - C - T something?


They might or they might not. You never can tell with bees.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

African Killer bees. Very Happy They're just bees damnit, not a plague. Laughing (Sorry, I find it amusing, although I know its serious for you guys, environmentally at least. What you call African Killer bees are just the ordinary bees I've lived with all my life. )

Anyway, I haven't heard about bee populations declining in Africa, but then, we'd probably e the last to notice anyway. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
African Killer bees. Very Happy They're just bees damnit, not a plague. Laughing (Sorry, I find it amusing, although I know its serious for you guys, environmentally at least. What you call African Killer bees are just the ordinary bees I've lived with all my life. )

Yeah! And instead of cats for pets, you have lions. Bad traffic is a herd of rhinos charging your truck. You sleep under netting because the mosquitos are the size of small children. When a bull elephant charges you, you look it in the eye until it turns away, and then you slap it on the ass. Now that's tough, man!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the cause needn't be man-made, since the bee habitats and populations already are.

Selective breeding narrowing the gene pool, diminishing the likelihood that a population will have the genes to cope with a perfectly natural pathogen (as the veroa mite), is plenty of reason for this to happen.

The veroa mite has been a known bee pest for decades IIRC, and so had Ceratocystis ulmi (the fungus causing Dutch elm disease) and the elm bark beetle. It still took a decade for the ball to get rolling with the well known result of complete erradication of all elms older than 20 years.

So no, the actual cause of this needn't be man made.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bees made the front page of CNN (for a while).

CNN.com wrote:
Vanishing honeybees mystify scientists

Commercial beekeepers would set their bees near a crop field as usual and come back in two or three weeks to find the hives bereft of foraging worker bees, with only the queen and the immature insects remaining. Whatever worker bees survived were often too weak to perform their tasks.

If the bees were dying of pesticide poisoning or freezing, their bodies would be expected to lie around the hive. And if they were absconding because of some threat -- which they have been known to do -- they wouldn't leave without the queen. [link]

So ... if it was mites or other parasites, the queen would succomb, no?

If it was cell phones, there wouldn't be workers "too weak" hanging around. This rules out predators as well.

Now it sounds like it might be some form of disease-related malnutrition, or malnutrition caused by genetic tampering of crops.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wayfriend wrote:

But does anyone doubt that in the end we'll find a human cause?


Last I heard, science doesn't work by everyone deciding ahead of time what the cause is--without a doubt, no less--before they actually investigate and figure it out. You may be right, and perhaps we caused it, but it could have just as well been a natural mutation of a virus which was previously not dangerous to them. We don't know. That's why the scientists are "mystified." But at least Wayfriend knows the cause: it's those pesky humans again. Smile

I'm not trying to pick on you. You're just the first one who got the ball rolling on blaming mankind before we actually know the cause. Curiously,this type of premature, anti-human biased, unscientific thinking, seems especially prevalent in liberal minded people. I'm not sure why. Maybe you could explain it to me, since you participate in it.

History has certainly provided examples where mankind unintentionally messed things up on a massive scale. But it has also shown us that nature itself can cause much more catastrophic damage than mankind has ever dreamed of producing. I think it's important to keep an open mind, and research all avenues of cause, rather than restrict our expectations to only those man-made.

[Note: I'm saying this after just having a conversation with my mother about this very issue, so her responses are coloring my reaction here. She wants the world to voluntarily give up their cell phones. Yes, let's cost the world trillions of dollars of productivity on the hunch that cell phones are the cause. That type of thinking drives me NUTS!]
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