America show scale of bee catastrophe

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investorzzo's picture
investorzzo
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America show scale of bee catastrophe

Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.

The decline of the country's estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers.

The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8% last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute some £26bn to the global economy.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/02/food-fear-mystery-beeh...

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John99
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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

US scientists have found 121 different pesticides in samples of bees, wax and pollen, lending credence to the notion that pesticides are a key problem. "We believe that some subtle interactions between nutrition, pesticide exposure and other stressors are converging to kill colonies," said Jeffery Pettis, of the ARS's bee research laboratory.

Go Monsanto, go!

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Tall
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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

Apparently, it is not just direct pesticide residues that may harm bees, indirect routes may also be important.

 

Recent work has shown that the droplets of water that plants secrete along their leaf margins (guttation droplets) can contain lethal concentrations of pesticides for bees.

http://www.metroatlantabeekeepers.org/guttation__new_pesticide_concer.htm

 

 

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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

When I was young, our yards were full of clover and the honey bees that fed on the it.   My 14 grandchildren love clover (expecially looking for 4 leaf clovers).  My yard is full of clover, but there are no honey bees. I do have a very large vegtable garden and now also a fruit one.  So far I have not had any problem having my  fruits and vegtables pollinated. 

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jimbergin
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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

When I was young, our yards were full of clover and the honey bees that fed on the it.   My 14 grandchildren love clover (expecially looking for 4 leaf clovers).  My yard is full of clover, but there are no honey bees. I do have a very large vegtable garden and now also a fruit one.  So far I have not had any problem having my  fruits and vegtables pollinated. 

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land2341
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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

So far for the last five years we have lived in the country we have bees, bees,  bees.  But I don't think they are honey bees.  We have several different types of bee and especially wood borer bees which are tremendously destructive.  But, they seem to be able to do the job of pollinating things.  Just our luck that this disorder will kill the non-aggressive helpful honey bee and leave us wood borers.

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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

“The greatest danger of pollution may well be that we shall tolerate levels of it so low as to have no acute nuisance value, but sufficiently high, nevertheless, to cause delayed pathological effects and to spoil the quality of life” [Rene Dubos, “Adapting to Pollution,” Scientist and Citizen 10 (January/February 1968): 1-8].

Some honey bees just moved into my neighbor's old stucco wall.   Quite a sight - the "tornado" arrived about 2:00 p.m., about 25 feet high, and it took them about 2 hours to get into the wall.  My neighbor is okay with it so they're safe.   I miss butterflies the most - see them rarely these days, but I'm working on that.  Bird populations way down.   Etc., etc.   Loss of biodiversity - pollution, habitat destruction, newly introduced species.  So I do the easy things – eliminate pollutants, put stuff in the yard they like, maintain native species.   Well, not always THAT easy, is it?   Costs more than it used to!  ....oh, yeah - the other E's.

 

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xraymike79
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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

And fireflies...they're gone from my neck of the woods. They were so cool to watch.

“It is quite clear they are declining,” says Stefan Ineichen, a firefly researcher in Switzerland. “When you talk to old people about fireflies, it is always the same. They saw so many when they were young; now they are lucky if they see one.”

http://www.journalpress.com/guest-columnist/874-fireflies-light-the-way-...

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jimbergin
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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

Although we do not have honey bees here in western NC, we do have plently of birds, butterflies and other animals.  I do not see a drop in the population of any of these.

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ltlredwagon
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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

Western North Carolina - beautiful area - you're lucky!    I couldn't find a year on this Audubon report on North Carolina, but the bird losses have been horrific:  http://www.tgpearsonaudubon.org/environmentalwakeup.htm   They also don't seem to break down eastern and western North Carolina, but I believe the bobwhite population in western NC was huge even 40 - 50 years ago.

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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe
ltlredwagon wrote:

Some honey bees just moved into my neighbor's old stucco wall.   Quite a sight - the "tornado" arrived about 2:00 p.m., about 25 feet high, and it took them about 2 hours to get into the wall.  My neighbor is okay with it so they're safe.  

Actually, having honey bees in you walls is not a good thing.  If anything happens to the bees and they die off (not just the mystery death), there will be lots of honey and wax in the walls. When the bees are there, they fan the wax/honey with their wings and keep it at a constant temperature. If they're dead or moved on to another location, the wax melts and the honey puddles at the bottom of the walls.  It's quite a mess and a fire hazard. In many places there are lists of bee keepers who will come to your house and trap the bees to start their own hives away from your house. I use to do this with my dad when he started his bee keeping hobby. It was nice to take the bees alive and save a home owner from serious house damage.

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ltlredwagon
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Re: America show scale of bee catastrophe

Ooops, I should have been clearer.  This wall is not part of his house, but a remnant from an old wall in his yard.   I think the bees will like this spot, but I'm no expert, so I'll check with a local beekeeper and see what he says.  He handled a swarm in a tree a few years back.   There is a large amount of fruit trees in my area so we're trying to keep the bees close by.

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