Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought

Wendy S. Delmater
By Wendy S. Delmater on Wed, Jul 1, 2015 - 1:43pm

Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought

As we’ve written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.

Read the rest here, but basically it's a combination of factors--including previosuly-thought-safe fungicides--that weaken the bees for certain pests.



pinecarr's picture
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Good article, Wendy

Sobering stuff.  I wish I had faith that our lawmakers and leaders would put their grown-up pants on and actually deal with a problem of this magnitude head-on and quickly. 

I think it is going to be a shock to people, one of these days, when they find out that the world they lived in was a fantasy, that reality doesn't really give a hoot if we believe in it or not, and that actions really DO have consequences. 

rheba's picture
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I am not sure I trust that report. VanEnglesdorf has been very very cautious about implicating neonics since 2006. Bayer Crop Science has a lot of power over the agricultural colleges. Correlation is not causation but it is very obvious that the bee deaths have tracked the introduction of neonics. If you read the description of how imidacloprid kills termites you will see what I mean.


Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Only One Bad Winter

one bad winter could leave fields fallow. 

And it looks as though that bad winter is coming in 15 years.

Perhaps we should be keeping bees in zoos, behind glass so the kids can see what they are  were.


Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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The TPP, Or Beyer Sues Europe.

Well that didn't take long.

Bayer is suing Europe for making Neos illegal. Give them enough rope.

Did that get your dander up? Well do something about it.  Sign.



Michael_Rudmin's picture
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Honeybee dieoff and pollination niche filling

As I walked through my garden, I noticed our mint flowers being heavily and methodically pollinated by green bottle flies (did you know the green bottle maggot is useful for cleaning up gangrene?) and fireflies (which are an omnivorous beetle).

It comforts me that the niche left behind by the loss of the imported European honeybee is being filled, and at that it is being filled by native species.

It is possible that all our screaming and worrying aside, we may actually move back towards a natural order.

robshepler's picture
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Native polinators

Hey Michael!

From what I know about pollinators, our natives are taking a hit too. It is a difficult subject to get any data on as the natives have not been kept track of to any degree.

It is curious that we shun so many invasive species and embrace the European honey bee, they are so much a part of our culture.

Not sure that I am ready to embrace flies as pollinators!


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