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THE Bees Thread (merged)

Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Shaved Monkey » Sun 15 Jan 2012, 17:11:41

Peak Bees ....it seems systemic pesticides used in GM crops may be the reason.
Honeybee problem nearing a 'critical point'

Unusual honeybee die-offs have become so severe that some US beekeepers will qualify for disaster relief funds
"We are inching our way toward a critical tipping point," said Steve Ellis, secretary of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board (NHBAB) and a beekeeper for 35 years. Last year he had so many abnormal bee die-offs that he'll qualify for disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Of particular concern is a group of pesticides, chemically similar to nicotine, called neonicotinoids (neonics for short), and one in particular called clothianidin. Instead of being sprayed, neonics are
used to treat seeds, so that they're absorbed by the plant's vascular system, and then end up attacking the central nervous systems of bees that come to collect pollen. Virtually all of today's genetically engineered Bt corn is treated with neonics. The chemical industry alleges that bees don't like to collect corn pollen, but new research shows that not only do bees indeed forage in corn, but they also have multiple other routes of exposure to neonics.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2 ... intcmp=122

I might have to build a top bar hive and get me a swarm.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby careinke » Sun 15 Jan 2012, 19:04:07

From the article above:
Unfortunately, it was the EPA itself that green-lit clothianidin and other neonics for commercial use, despite its own scientists' clear warnings about the chemicals' effects on bees and other pollinators. That doesn't bode well for the chances of getting neonics off the market now, even in light of the Purdue study's findings.


So basically, the EPA grants license (Approval) to hurt the environment. Since the EPA approved this, it provides a measure of protection from civil law suites for the producers of this poison. The EPA needs to go away, it causes more harm than good.

BTW Shaved monkey, my brother in Law and I just finished our first three top bar beehives yesterday. Three more to go. They were a pain to build, but turned out really nice. Since this is our first time, we are going to buy our bees. We will raise them naturally, no sugar feeding, no chemicals, no plastic comb starter.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby M_B_S » Wed 18 Jan 2012, 04:23:32

http://news.discovery.com/animals/paras ... 10512.html

American scientists have discovered that a fly parasite can turn honey bees into confused zombies before killing them, in an advance that could offer new clues to why bee colonies are collapsing.

So far, the parasite has only been detected in honey bees in California and South Dakota, American researchers reported in the open access science journal PLoS ONE this week....But if it turns out to be an emerging parasite, that "underlines the danger that could threaten honey bee colonies throughout North America," said the study led by San Francisco State University professor of biology John Hafernik.

******************************

An interesting new aspect that complicates the discussion and solvation of the unsolved bee problem.

When the bees are gone homo sapiens has only 4 years to go ! A. Einstein

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Re: Cell phone radiation implicated in Bee collapse

Unread postby JMercer2012 » Mon 30 Jan 2012, 15:56:11

I have been worried about cell phone radiation ever since the WHO put out its study. I understand that there are some skeptics out there whether or not cell phones pose a threat, but I am one to stay safe rather than risk the exposure to harmful radiation.

Thanks for the post.

http://cellphoneradiation.talkspot.com/
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 29 Mar 2012, 17:31:08

Controversial Pesticide Linked to Bee Collapse

A controversial type of pesticide linked to declining global bee populations appears to scramble bees’ sense of direction, making it hard for them to find home. Starved of foragers and the pollen they carry, colonies produce fewer queens, and eventually collapse.

The phenomenon is described in two new studies published March 29 in Science. While they don’t conclusively explain global bee declines, which almost certainly involve a combination of factors, they establish neonicotinoids as a prime suspect.

“It’s pretty damning,” said David Goulson, a bee biologist at Scotland’s University of Stirling. “It’s clear evidence that they’re likely to be having an effect on both honeybees and bumblebees.”


Neonicotinoids emerged in the mid-1990s as a relatively less-toxic alternative to human-damaging pesticides. They soon became wildly popular, and were the fastest-growing class of pesticides in modern history. Their effects on non-pest insects, however, were unknown.


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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby M_B_S » Wed 15 Aug 2012, 02:39:06

LONDON, Ontario, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Canadian agricultural officials are examining hundreds of honeybees that have been mysteriously dying off in southwestern Ontario, an apiarist said.

The summer die-off follows one in the spring that both Ontario provincial and federal agriculture officials linked to poisoning by an insecticide used by corn farmers at planting time, the report said.

Devries said on average, for every dead bee found near a hive, 10 others likely died in the fields.

He said his various colonies will survive, but their production has been severely cut back by the deaths of so many "forager bees."

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2012/08 ... z23b4Vrh1z
************************************************
Here in Europe in Germany + Austria and Switzerland we see the same mass die off.

A new french study shows that human pesticides are the main cause for the bee die off (disorder).

More: CC could cause bee mass die offs too

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-nort ... s-19253961

Problem is old.

Discussion :

http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/ ... zzing-off/

If bees became extinct today, mankind would follow suit in 2012. Albert Einstein proclaimed this insect the most important factor in our food chain.

As their numbers dwindle, BOB MADDOX believes we must refocus our attentions and save the humble bumble bee

*************************
On our garden trees we have no cherrys. :cry:

The few pieces where eaten/stolen by craws ....a symbolic picture?

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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Wed 15 Aug 2012, 08:30:54

M_B_S wrote:As their numbers dwindle, BOB MADDOX believes we must refocus our attentions and save the humble bumble bee[/i]
*************************
On our garden trees we have no cherrys. :cry:

The few pieces where eaten/stolen by craws ....a symbolic picture?

M_B_S


The bumble bee is not as efficient as a pollinator. They too are decreasing in numbers and are all but gone in Euorpe.

Study: US Bumblebee Population in Sharp Decline

The population of bumblebees in the United States is in a kind of free fall, dropping 96 percent over the past two decades, according to a new study that has scientists alarmed.

Four species of bumblebees are in a rapid decline, possibly because of increased fungal infections and inbreeding. Researchers called the findings of the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "disturbing" and said they were in line with findings in Europe.

"Disturbing reports of bumblebee population declines in Europe have recently spilled over into North America, fueling environmental and economic concerns of global decline," the authors wrote.

http://www.aolnews.com/2011/01/04/study ... p-decline/
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby M_B_S » Mon 12 Nov 2012, 06:18:43

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/intern ... ht/1044622

Falling nectar production leads to honey drought
Updated 12 November 2012, 11:06 AEST


Victoria's commercial beekeepers say they are facing one of the worst seasons on record with nectar production falling dramatically.
"It's shaping up to be one of our worst [seasons] on record, I think, and I've been reading reports from all around the world and they have been having exactly the same problem," he said.
**************************************

So the bad behaviour of the bees is a strong indicator that something dramatical is hitting mother earths life support systems.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby anador » Wed 14 Nov 2012, 19:26:43

I would say land-use is probably much closer to the boundary than that
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Sat 30 Mar 2013, 13:00:28

One more time from Jim....

"This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend
The end of our elaborate plans
The end of ev'rything that stands
The end"


This Winter Was One of The Worst Ever For Bees

Beekeepers in the U.S. say that, in just one year, as many as half of their hives have vanished. It's due to colony collapse disorder, which has been around for several years. But this year's loss is much worse than it's been in at least the past few decades.

According to today's New York Times story on the drop, between 40 and 50 percent of hives in the care of commercial beekeepers disappeared last year. For perspective, beekeepers have become accustomed to losing about a third of their hives yearly since the onset of colony collapse disorder. Before then, just 5 to 10 percent of hives would typically be lost each winter. While the Agriculture Department will give their official report on bee populations in May, experts aren't waiting until then to characterize this season as unprecedented.

Since there's no conclusive explanation for the disorder, there's not much beekeepers can do to prevent it. The Times does note, however, that there's one explanation for the declining populations currently gaining traction:

"But beekeepers and some researchers say there is growing evidence that a powerful new class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, incorporated into the plants themselves, could be an important factor. The pesticide industry disputes that. But its representatives also say they are open to further studies...The explosive growth of neonicotinoids since 2005 has roughly tracked rising bee deaths."

Other explanations include drought, viruses, and bee mites, though none of them seem to comprehensively explain what's going on. Read the full story at the New York Times.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/ ... eason.html
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Beery1 » Sat 30 Mar 2013, 15:00:35

Oh no! Not the bees! Not the bees! AHHHHHHH Ahgarbulagabah my eyes! my eyes! AHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHhhhurgh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1GadTfGFvU
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Sat 30 Mar 2013, 16:40:51

Unfortunately it makes for gallows humor.

About a third of global farm output depends on animal pollination, largely by honey bees. Most natural pollinators are virtually gone and in some regions on the planet already extinct.

Added to that, as we deplete fish stocks around the world's oceans and suffer from more frequent crop failures, in just a matter of a few decades, it's going to be really hard to meet global food production that will sustain anywhere near a population of several billion people.

While we debate peak oil and global warming we are just as likely to meet our nemesis and ultimate doom from unexpected quarters.

To quote Albert Einstein:
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would have only four years to live".
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby ralfy » Sat 30 Mar 2013, 23:54:08

RE: Einstein,

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/einstein/bees.asp

Everything else you shared is right.
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby careinke » Sun 31 Mar 2013, 01:18:48

I lost one of my four Top Bar beehives this winter. I'm pretty sure it was due to moisture, (common in Western Washington). Last year was my first year, so I'm pretty new at this. I raise them naturally with no chemicals.

I tore apart the hive that "died" and it still had about 40 lbs of honey in it. I set it out for my other Bees to find. They have taken all the honey and left the comb.

Today I noticed that my bees were bringing in LOTS of pollen. Almost every returning bee had her leg sacks stuffed with pollen. It puzzled me for a while, as not much is in bloom right now. Then, while eating lunch on the front porch I happened to look up into a large Leafed Maple tree, and it was awash in bees. Mystery solved.

This is an unexpected bonus. With the Big Leaf Maple pollen coming on at the same time of year my bees become active, I should not have to ever feed my bees again. I do leave lots of honey for the bees, and only take enough for our families use.

This winter I built an experimental "Perone Hive". I'm hoping for a swarm this year (very Likely) so I can populate it. Evidently packages don't work well with Perone Hives, you need a primary swarm.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Lore » Sun 31 Mar 2013, 11:30:24

It would be sad if not tragic for humans to eventually lose this vital insect.

I think it would be a good idea for people to get behind this as careinke has and put up a few beehives where they can and if they can. I suspect though that it will be difficult this spring to get your hands on package bees as many suppliers are already sold out. May have to trap a swarm to get into it yet this year.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby yeahbut » Sun 31 Mar 2013, 18:29:32

Looks like the proposed blanket ban on neonicotinoids in Europe has got the big boys in full damage control and bs (sorry, pr) spouting mode. I wonder if they will be able to water the measures down or head them off entirely?

Pesticide makers, facing ban, propose plan to help bees

Syngenta and Bayer, top producers of the pesticides blamed for a sharp fall in bee populations around the world, have proposed a plan to support bee health to try to forestall a European Union ban on the products.

EU governments failed this month to agree a ban on three widely used pesticides linked to the decline of honeybees, but the European Commission is threatening to force one through unless member states agree a compromise.

The Commission proposed a ban after the EU's food safety watchdog EFSA said neonicotinoids posed an acute risk to honeybee health, although it found no link between use of the pesticides and the phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder.

"The Commission will wait to see the proposals from the companies, but as things stand, we believe the opinion from EFSA provides sufficient evidence to proceed with the proposed measures," said Commission health spokesman Frederic Vincent.

Syngenta and Bayer, which say the impact of pesticides on bees is unproven and that a ban would deal a blow to the EU economy, proposed a plan to help end the stalemate that they hope will help bees and restore confidence in their products.

Their plan includes the planting of more flowering margins around fields to provide bee habitats as well as monitoring to detect the neonicotinoid pesticides blamed for their decline and more research into the impact of parasites and viruses.

"This comprehensive plan will bring valuable insights into the area of bee health, whereas a ban on neonicotinoids would simply close the door to understanding the problem," Syngenta Chief Operating Officer John Atkin said in a statement.


linky

Incidentally, it occurred to me the other day that here in New Zealand the honey bee is probably the most domesticated of all animals, at least in the sense of dependence on humans. Since varroa got into NZ 12 or so years ago, wild bees have become extinct. The lower part of the South Island has been the final area to be colonised in just the last couple of years, and the wild bees there are vanishing fast. Very soon, only bees that are cared for by humans will survive in NZ. The entire species would go extinct without constant human intervention- something that couldn't be said for most other (if any?) domesticated species.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby yeahbut » Tue 30 Apr 2013, 16:18:06

Environmentalists hailed a "victory for bees" today after the European Union voted for a ban on the nerve-agent pesticides blamed for the dramatic decline global bee populations.


I'm pleasantly surprised to see this managed to get through, "despite fierce lobbying by the chemicals industry and opposition by countries including Britain". A two year ban will start from December. It will be interesting to see if there is any recovery in bee populations over that time. Well done Europe! Our govt here in NZ is far too gutless and conservative to introduce any such measure.

fingers crossed for the bees
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby careinke » Tue 30 Apr 2013, 17:16:11

My Brother In Law picked up two packages to re-install in his hives, as he lost both of them this winter. The local vendor, who drives down to California to pick up 100s of packages, was pretty distraught. She was supposed to get both Italian and Russian bees. Unfortunately she could only get mostly Italians with very few Russians. This could be overcome by re-queening the Italian hives with a mated Russian queen. Unfortunately, she could only get 10 mated Russian queens. She is frantically trying to find more.

Fortunately for my BIL, he had ordered Italians so no problem.

I had 3 out of four hives survive and they are going gangbusters right now. I expect at least one prime swarm in May and probably all three. This will be nice as I have two more hives to install.

My new Perone hive will get the first swarm. I'm really looking forward to testing this new type of hive. It is basically hands off and you only harvest one day a year.
Supposedly my part of the honey, (as opposed to the bees part), will yield around 150 lbs/year. You got to love a no maintenance hive, I'm pretty confident it will work.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Pops » Tue 30 Apr 2013, 18:01:24

Neonics are some of the most widely used pesticides now, they are systemic so stay resident in the plant and don't need frequent reapplication - theoretically they go everywhere in the plant except the nectar and pollen. Sure.

I think the ban is a good thing, the problem is, unless they ban imports of product it's been used on, the burden will be born by their farmers who will be at a significant disadvantage economically. It may, probably does, kill bees but it kills damaging pests for sure and is safer to humans than the organophosphates they will be forced to go back to now.

I don't know what the answer is, will europeans just import the cheaper melons from somewhere else? That's what we'd do in the US - not that we've ever met a chemical we didn't like.
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Re: THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 30 Apr 2013, 18:33:05

Researchers find high-fructose corn syrup may be tied to worldwide collapse of bee colonies

A team of entomologists from the University of Illinois has found a possible link between the practice of feeding commercial honeybees high-fructose corn syrup and the collapse of honeybee colonies around the world. The team outlines their research and findings in a paper they've had published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Since approximately 2006, groups that manage commercial honeybee colonies have been reporting what has become known as colony collapse disorder—whole colonies of bees simply died, of no apparent cause. As time has passed, the disorder has been reported at sites all across the world, even as scientists have been racing to find the cause, and a possible cure. To date, most evidence has implicated pesticides used to kill other insects such as mites. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence to suggest the real culprit might be high-fructose corn syrup, which beekeepers have been feeding bees as their natural staple, honey, has been taken away from them.

Commercial honeybee enterprises began feeding bees high-fructose corn syrup back in the 70's after research was conducted that indicated that doing so was safe. Since that time, new pesticides have been developed and put into use and over time it appears the bees' immunity response to such compounds may have become compromised.


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