Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
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Now I'm forgetting where I heard or read this, but I thought one recently popular pesticide acts by disorienting the bugs. Some bee keepers have pointed out that this is exactly what is happening to bees--they can't find their way back to the hive. They just go away and never come back.
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is the name that has been given to the latest, and what seems to be the most serious, die-off of honey bee colonies across the country. It is characterized by, sudden colony death with a lack of adult bees in/in front of the dead-outs. Honey and bee bread are usually present and there is often evidence of recent brood rearing. In some cases, the queen and a small number of survivor bees may be present in the brood nest. It is also characterized by delayed robbing and slower than normal invasion by common pests such as wax moth and small hive beetles.
[According to the CCD report] "If bees are eating fresh or stored pollen contaminated with [neonicotinioid pesticides] at low levels, they may not cause mortality but may impact the bee's ability to learn or make memories. If this is the case, young bees leaving the hive to make orientation flights may not be able to learn the location of the hive and may not be returning causing the colonies to dwindle and eventually die."
NBC Nightly News will do a feature on this tonight. Let's see what they have to say about it.
Lore wrote:NBC Nightly News just restated the mystery.
Yahoo! wrote:The fact that other bees or parasites seem to shun the emptied hives raises suspicions that some kind of toxin or chemical is keeping the insects away, Cox-Foster said. Those bees found in such devastated colonies also all seem to be infected with multiple micro-organisms, many of which are known to be behind stress-related illness in bees. Scientists working to unravel the mysteries behind CCD believe a new pathogen may be the cause, or a new kind of chemical product which could be weakening the insects' immune systems. The finger of suspicion is being pointed at agriculture pesticides such as the widely-used neonicotinoids, which are already known to be poisonous to bees. France saw a huge fall in its bee population in the 1990s, blamed on the insecticide Gaucho which has now been banned in the country.
We can't live on just corn and potatoes.
Dreamtwister wrote:Actually, at this point, the average North American diet is almost completely based on corn. Even the meat is corn-fed. But fear not! Since those dead bees aren't pollinating the corn either, it won't be a problem for long.
Dreamtwister wrote:I've been watching this with some interest. The latest consensus seems to be that *something* has been damaging the bees' immune systems, rendering them defenseless against infections that would normally be relatively mild. Instead of a few dozen bees at a single colony dying, entire hives are being wiped out. Not only that, but the honey that's been left behind is sitting completely untouched by other insects and the hives themselves are sitting empty. That is highly unusual.
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