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Thread: Dying Bees in the US

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    Default Dying Bees in the US

    First of all, I placed this in Terrorism for a reason. Don't move it (yet).

    Secondly, I think this is a pretty serious issue. The vast majority of planets and crops are pollinationed by honey bees, and this is probably very close if not over 80%.

    Now... here is what the problem is, posted in the next message.
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    The Honey Bee Crisis of 2007: Escalating Honey Bee Decline Baffles Scientists
    Suite 101 ^ | 2/28/2007 | Sally Morton

    The Honey Bee Crisis of 2007 Escalating Honey Bee Decline Baffles Scientists Sally Morton Feb 17, 2007

    The honey bee crisis in the United States has been escalating for several years, rising to "unprecedented" levels of honey bee losses between Oct 2006 and Feb 2007.

    The honey bee crisis of 2005, which was blamed on the Varoa mite, decimated as much as 50% of honey bee populations in the US, but was weathered, overcome, and quickly passed out of most people’s vocabulary. I wrote an article about it for Suite 101, which you can read here. In it, I gave a fruit, vegetable, nut and wild plant list dependent upon insect pollination.

    Approximately 80% of all insect pollination is accomplished by honey bees. According to the University of California at Davis publication “Don’t Underestimate the Value of Honey Bees,” the remaining 20% of other insect pollinators are drastically reduced in number as well, making one wonder if the problem is the varoa mite or something else affecting the broader insect world. Honey Bee Pollination plays major role in Global Food Supply

    The year 2006 passed seemingly without incident relating to honey bees and I breathed a sigh of relief. Why is it worrisome when bees die by the thousands? Three words: global food supply. The lowly honey bee is required for the pollination of a wide range of plants, affecting everything from clover (think cows) to fruits to vegetable seeds. Honey bee-pollinated crops represent more than $15 billion annually to the economy. That does not even take into consideration indirectly affected items, such as beef, milk, cheese, wild animals, or birds.

    Fall of 2006 Reveals Decimated Bee Colonies

    The problem is that 2006 did not pass without incident—it passed without media-reported incident. It was in the fall of 2006 when a distressed Pennsylvania beekeeper, Dave Hackenberg, reported to researchers at Pennsylvania State University that he had lost about 2,000 hives. To give you an idea of how many bees that is—each hive contains around 50,000 bees in summer. The mysterious bee ailment was dubbed “Colony Collapse Disorder.”

    The last three months of 2006, beekeepers up and down the East Coast of the US were quietly reporting large bee losses. Alarm bells were ringing in the “beekeeper world.” By January of 2007, it had spread beyond the Eastern US and Western states were also reporting bee losses. As beekeepers in colder regions start reporting their bee colony status in spring, the figures are expected to rise even higher.

    Escalating Bee Decline for More than a Decade

    This week, I’ve learned that the honey bee crisis in the U.S. is back and its worse than ever. Or did it ever really leave? Two types of parasitic mites invaded the US—tracheal mites in 1984 and varroa mites in 1987. Bee populations have been steadily declining ever since. 2007 Honey Bee Crisis "Unprecedented"

    In February of 2007, I read the first mainstream media article I’d seen on this year’s bee crisis, which said that beekeepers from 22 states so far have reported decimation of hives by as much as 80%, varying in degree of severity.

    As I set out to find more information from leading authorities in the industry, I decided the best people to ask were the bee experts at the American Bee Federation. When I first clicked on their website’s homepage, I was greeted with this quote from a January 2007 Penn State press release:

    “An alarming die-off of honey bees has beekeepers fighting for commercial survival and crop growers wondering whether bees will be available to pollinate their crops this spring and summer…” The losses were called “unprecedented” by Penn State Agriculture Extension Associate, Mary Ann Frazier. Cause of Colony Collapse Disorder Eludes Investigators

    Although the honey bee crisis of 2005 was attributed to the varoa mite, the 2006-2007 malady is of unknown origin. Researchers have been unable to isolate a common cause. While they have found numerous disease organisms present in dying bee populations, along with a few common management issues, the common link affecting all the populations continues to elude investigators. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, acting state apiarist with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said, "Preliminary work has identified several likely factors that could be causing or contributing to CCD. Among them are mites and associated diseases, some unknown pathogenic disease and pesticide contamination or poisoning."

    University and federal researchers, state regulatory officials, cooperative extension educators, and industry representatives have joined together to research the current bee crisis. The beekeeping industry, including the American Beekeeping Federation, The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, and the National Honey Board are all actively engaged in the effort.

    The Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium (MAAREC) is “a regional effort to address the pest management crisis facing the beekeeping industry in the Mid-Atlantic Region.” According to MAAREC, its mandate is: “Exploring the cause or causes of honey bee colony collapse and finding appropriate strategies to reduce colony loss in the future.” Emerging Global Pattern of Insect Pollinator Decline

    It’s hard for many to imagine how something as small and pesky as a honey bee could play such an important role in global food supply, but it does. Since the decline of insect pollinators fits into an emerging global pattern of insect pollinator decline, shouldn't the current US honey bee crisis be investigated from a wider world view?
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    What IF somehow another country could, over time eliminate a large portion of the United States economy by destorying crops?

    What IF someone from another country came up with a plan not only wipe out the crops, but do it surreptitiously, in such a way that we don't even NOTICE it until it's almost too late?

    What IF that method were to be transparent, without causing deaths right away, but it would slowly, over time eat away at the crops, reducing the food supply, our ability to feed not only ourselves, but others around us... to the point of causing farms to close down, people to starve, lands to suffocate under weeds and be reduced generally to non-farming status?

    What if this happened over a ten year period, slowly, inexorably, completely without us catching it until now......?

    This letter was sent to an online publication. Here's the letter, and the link:
    http://www.urbansurvival.com/lastweek.htm

    Bee Story
    The collapse of bee colonies has something to do with Russia? Well, here's an email to ponder from a bee-keeping reader:
    "Hello George, Just a comment on the honey bee problems in the US.
    I agree that genetically modified plant-life may be causing many problems for the bee population.


    There is also another possible cause that non-beekeepers probably wouldn't know about.


    Over the years the honey bee population in the US has been greatly reduced due to attacks of Tracheal mites, Varroa mites, and Hive beetles.


    Two years ago, in an effort to replenish the bee supply, the government introduced a program to give away "Russian" honeybees.


    In the US, most beekeepers keep "Italian" honeybees. The "Russian" bees were supposed to be more resistant to the Varroa mites.


    The original deal was that selected beekeepers would receive (free-of-charge) 2 packages of "Russian" bees and 2 hives. In exchange the beekeepers agreed to not sell the hives for 3 years and to allow regular inspections by government officials.


    Due to an overwhelming response by beekeepers the deal was later changed to 1 hive of "Russian" and 1 hive of "Italian" bees.


    I did not take part in the program but I did keep watch on the results in my state.
    Within the first year (2005) all 250 hives of "Russian" bees that were introduced into this state were dead.


    I personally know two beekeepers who took part in the program. By the end to 2006, one had lost 43 hives to "Colony Collapse", the other had lost 200 hives (his entire operation) to "Colony Collapse"


    I don't know if there is a connection or just a horrible coincidence but perhaps the plants aren't the only things being "modified".
    Safe Journey,"
    Bee safe, Ure self.
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    According to the Wikipedia online, Colony Collapse Disorder is a "disorder or syndrome that describes the massive die-off affecting an entire colony. It is apparently limited to colonies of the Western honey bee in North America.[1] The cause of the syndrome is not yet well understood and even the existence of this disorder remains disputed. CCD may be environmental, or may be caused by unknown pathogens or by mites or associated diseases. CCD is possibly linked to pesticide use though several studies have found no common environmental factors between unrelated outbreaks studied."

    The site says that such things have happened as early as 1896 and no one really knows what causes it. But if such a thing starts happening in large masses, as described in the letter above, then perhaps something else has caused this. Perhaps it's not just related to mites, or infection.

    Note that honey bee colonies are very CLEAN. Bees produce their own antibiotics for the most part to keep the hive clean. (Look this up for yourselves. I'm not going to do ALL the research on this!)

    The following article is from the MAAREC.


    Colony Collapse Disorder Working Group
    During 2006, an alarming number of honey bee colonies began to die across the continental United States.


    Subsequent investigations suggest these outbreaks of unexplained colony collapse were experienced by beekeepers for at least the last two years. Reports of similar die offs are documented in beekeeping literature, with outbreaks possibly occurring as long ago as 1896.


    The current phenomenon, without a recognizable underlying cause, has been tentatively termed “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD), and threatens the pollination industry and production of commercial honey in the United States.

    To better understand the cause(s) of this disease and with the hope of eventually identifying strategies to prevent further losses, a group of researchers, extension agents, and regulatory officials was formed. This group represents a diverse number of institutions including Bee Alert Technology, Inc. (a bee technology transfer company affiliated with the University of Montana), The Pennsylvania State University, the USDA/ARS, the Florida Department of Agriculture, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.


    Broadly this group has identified its mandate as: “Exploring the cause or causes of honey bee colony collapse and finding appropriate strategies to reduce colony loss in the future”.


    How beekeepers can help:

    Complete the survey found at www.beesurvey.com

    Colony Collapse Disorder Press Release (1/30/2007)
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    The following is a college podcast about this:

    Colony Collapse Disorder



    In our first episode, hear from Senior Extension Agent and Honey Bee Specialist, Maryann Frazier, about honey bees and why they are such important pollinators in Pennsylvania and the United States. Find out why this die off is getting the attention of experts, and learn about the characteristics and extent of the collapse. Finally, get a preview of who the key players are and what is being done to investigate Colony Collapse Disorder.

    http://podcasts.psu.edu/node/265 : This is the site

    Click link for podcast:
    http://podcasts.psu.edu/files/ccd2.m4a
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    Mystery Ailment Strikes Honeybees

    By GENARO C. ARMAS
    The Associated Press
    Sunday, February 11, 2007; 11:17 PM




    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- A mysterious illness is killing tens of thousands of honeybee colonies across the country, threatening honey production, the livelihood of beekeepers and possibly crops that need bees for pollination.
    Researchers are scrambling to find the cause of the ailment, called Colony Collapse Disorder.




    A bee is seen on the blossom of an almond tree near Modesto, Calif., in a file photo from Friday, Feb. 20, 2004. As the cold slowly loosens its grip on California's Central Valley, the pink and white flowers on fruit and nut trees are just beginning to blossom and growers are scrambling for a dwindling supply of bees to pollinate their fields. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) (Rich Pedroncelli - AP)


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    Reports of unusual colony deaths have come from at least 22 states. Some affected commercial beekeepers _ who often keep thousands of colonies _ have reported losing more than 50 percent of their bees. A colony can have roughly 20,000 bees in the winter, and up to 60,000 in the summer.


    "We have seen a lot of things happen in 40 years, but this is the epitome of it all," Dave Hackenberg, of Lewisburg-based Hackenberg Apiaries, said by phone from Fort Meade, Fla., where he was working with his bees.
    The country's bee population had already been shocked in recent years by a tiny, parasitic bug called the varroa mite, which has destroyed more than half of some beekeepers' hives and devastated most wild honeybee populations.


    Along with being producers of honey, commercial bee colonies are important to agriculture as pollinators, along with some birds, bats and other insects. A recent report by the National Research Council noted that in order to bear fruit, three-quarters of all flowering plants _ including most food crops and some that provide fiber, drugs and fuel _ rely on pollinators for fertilization.
    Hackenberg, 58, was first to report Colony Collapse Disorder to bee researchers at Penn State University.


    He notified them in November when he was down to about 1,000 colonies _ after having started the fall with 2,900.
    "We are going to take bees we got and make more bees ... but it's costly," he said. "We are talking about major bucks. You can only take so many blows so many times."


    One beekeeper who traveled with two truckloads of bees to California to help pollinate almond trees found nearly all of his bees dead upon arrival, said Dennis vanEnglesdorp, acting state apiarist for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.


    "I would characterize it as serious," said Daniel Weaver, president of the American Beekeeping Federation. "Whether it threatens the apiculture industry in the United States or not, that's up in the air."


    Scientists at Penn State, the University of Montana and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are among the quickly growing group of researchers and industry officials trying to solve the mystery.


    Among the clues being assembled by researchers:



    _ Although the bodies of dead bees often are littered around a hive, sometimes carried out of the hive by worker bees, no bee remains are typically found around colonies struck by the mystery ailment. Scientists assume these bees have flown away from the hive before dying.

    _ From the outside, a stricken colony may appear normal, with bees leaving and entering. But when beekeepers look inside the hive box, they find few mature bees taking care of the younger, developing bees.

    _ Normally, a weakened bee colony would be immediately overrun by bees from other colonies or by pests going after the hive's honey. That's not the case with the stricken colonies, which might not be touched for at least two weeks, said Diana Cox-Foster, a Penn State entomology professor investigating the problem.


    "That is a real abnormality," Hackenberg said.


    Cox-Foster said an analysis of dissected bees turned up an alarmingly high number of foreign fungi, bacteria and other organisms and weakened immune systems.


    Researchers are also looking into the effect pesticides might be having on bees.


    In the meantime, beekeepers are wondering if bee deaths over the last couple of years that had been blamed on mites or poor management might actually have resulted from the mystery ailment.


    "Now people think that they may have had this three or four years," vanEnglesdorp said.


    ___


    On the Net:
    Mid-Atlantic Apiculture: http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/index.html
    Penn State University Entomology Dept.: http://www.ento.psu.edu/
    American Beekeeping Federation: http://www.abfnet.org/
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    The vast majority of planets and crops are pollinationed by honey bees
    Huh? I honestly didn't know that.
    I'm taking America back. Step 1: I'm taking my kids out of the public re-education system. They will no longer have liberal bias and lies like this from bullying teachers when I expect them to be taught reading, writing, and arithmetic:
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    Ummm yeah, well, that should read PLANTS not PLANETS lol (I didnt know planets were pollinated either lol)
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Ummm yeah, well, that should read PLANTS not PLANETS lol (I didnt know planets were pollinated either lol)
    Well of course they are. Where do you think moons come from? FWIW, I first became aware of this a few days ago-definately interesting, and natural or human-caused, has a large potential for causing problem.

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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    I have serious doubt there's anything related to "terrorism" in dying honeybees.

    This phenomenon is not limited to the US, but is an issue across the entire Northern Hemisphere of planet earth. The "symptom" citied by bee keepers are identical.

    Accoding to a UK report:

    An undiagnosed honeybee ailment spread across the northern hemisphere has left British beekeepers worrying about how many of their bees survived the winter

    ...

    This follows a series of unexplained, but very severe, honeybee colony losses over the past few years in Poland, Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal - heavy losses in other countries are suspected to be going unreported.

    In the UK past year, there were a few but significant examples of what became termed the Marie Celeste phenomenon - colonies simply disappearing from hives leaving no bees for post-mortem analysis.
    http://www.scenta.co.uk/scenta/news....content_view_1



    http://www.responsesource.com/releas...d=29961&hilite=

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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US



    European honey bee with a varroa mite, Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans, on its back.



    http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/misc/bees/varroa_mite.htm

    Introduction

    The varroa mite, an ectoparasite of honey bees, was first described by Oudemans (l904) from Java on Apis cerana. In 1951, it was found in Singapore. In 1962-63, the mite was found on Apis m. mellifera in Hong Kong and the Philippines (Delfinado 1963) and spread rapidly from there. Adaption to a new host (Apis m. mellifera), the importation of queen bees from infested areas, and the movement of infested colonies of bees for pollination led to the rapid spread of this mite. Following the find of a single varroa mite in Maryland in 1979, the Division of Plant Industry and H.L. Cromroy, University of Florida, made an inspection of Florida bees in 1984. The varroa mite was not found at that time, but in 1987 it was detected in Wisconsin and Florida. It remains unknown how or when the varroa mite was introduced into the continental U.S.A. In Florida, the varroa mite has been found on flower feeding-insects Bombus pennsylvanicus (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Palpada vinetorum (Diptera: Syrphidae), and Phanae us vindex (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) (Kevan et al. 1990). Although the varroa mite cannot reproduce on other insects, its presence on them may be a means by which it spreads short distances.


    Distribution

    The varroa mite is now cosmopolitan, being found in Indonesia (Oudemans 1904), Singapore (Gunther 1951), and USSR (Breguetova 1953); it was found on Apis m. mellifera in Hong Kong (Delfinado 1963) and Philippines (Delfinado 1963). It quickly spread to the Peoples Republic of China (Ian Tzien-He 1965), India (Phadke et al. 1966), North Korea (Tian Zai Zai Soun 1967), Cambodia (Ehara 1968), Japan (Ehara 1968), Vietnam (Stephen 1968), Thialand (Laigo and Morse 1969), Czechoslovakia (Samsinak and Haragsim 1972), Bulgaria (Velitchkov and Natchev 1973), South Korea (Delfinado and Baker 1974), Paraguay (Orosi-Pal 1975), Taiwan (Akratanakul and Burgett 1975), Argentina (Montiel and Piola 1976), Poland (Koivulehto 1976) Romania (Orosi-Pal 1975), Urguay (Grobov 1976), Germany (Ruttner 1977), Bangladesh (Marin 1978), Brazil (Alves et al. 1975) Myanmar (Marin 1978), Hungary (Buza 1978), Tunisia (Hicheri 1978), Greece (Santas 1979), Iran (Crane 979), Libya (Crane 1979), Turkey (Crane 1979), Yugoslavia (Santas 1979), Lebanon (Popa 1980), and likely other countries. Again, the mite was first detected in the USA in 1987 and has spread to most of North America. A full description of varroa's introduction, spread and economic impact has recently been published (Sanford 2001).

    -----

    Bottom Line: If the Varroa Mite is the culprit (and I doubt that it is the sole source of the problem) then this is not a new issue, but one that has become significant for reasons still undetermined.

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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    The mite you are pointing out isnt the issue.

    The bees are dying over other factors, having NOTHING whatsoever to do with this mite.

    You didn't read the article and you didn't read what I said.
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    http://realitycheck.blogsome.com/

    Over the course of the past couple of years, honey bees in the United States, particularly the western US regions have suffered massive losses to something they are calling “Colony Collapse” and was perhaps formerly known as “Fall Dwindle Disease”.

    In the past history of bees, if this has occurred it has been in small regions. Now it is occurring across the US. At present at least twenty-two states have been affected. Honey bees are not native to the United States, and were introduced here in the early days of the Colonies.

    “Honey-bees are responsible for approximately one third of the United States crop pollination including such species as: peaches, soybeans, apples, pears, pumpkins, cucumbers, cherries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. [1]

    According to the above quoted article, this is believed to be a contagious disease.

    During the months of October, November, and December 2006, an alarming number of honeybee colonies began to die along the East Coast of the United States. West Coast beekeepers are also beginning to report unprecedented losses. This phenomenon, without a recognizable underlying cause, has been tentatively been termed “Fall Dwindle Disease,” and threatens the pollination industry and production of commercial honey in the United States. This has become a highly significant yet poorly understood problem for beekeepers. States like Pennsylvania can ill afford these heavy losses; the number of managed colonies is less than one half of what it was 25 years ago. Many beekeepers are openly wondering if the industry can survive. There are serious concerns that losses are so great that there will not be enough bees to rebuild colony numbers in order service pollination needs and to maintain economic viability in these beekeeping operations. [2]

    While the exact mechanisms of CCD are unknown, pathogens, pesticides or mite associations are suspected as causative agents. One study group is doing autopsies on bees. [3]

    Now, let’s interject a bit of skeptical speculation into the mix. If I were a bad guy, say a foreign state bent on the destruction of the United States and I wanted to bring down the US without firing a shot, how could I do it. Easy, study my enemy and know their weaknesses. Let us say our foreign power figured out a way to destory bees, without firing a shot. What would be the result?

    In the United States, a very large portion of all pollination occurs from honey bees. That number is roughly 80% of the of all insect crop pollination is accomplished by honeybees, instead of other insect species. If you suddenly eliminated bees somehow, the cross pollination of many species, including, but especially apple trees and many other fruit trees would cease. Those crops would not yeild as much the following year and perhaps nothing the next year. So, supplies of food drop drastically.

    Prices increase. A large strain on the economy may be the result.

    The United States is one of the largest producers of food in the world, and we export a great majority of that food. Fortunately, bees aren’t the method of pollinization for wheat and similar grains. But they certainly support orchards of fruit. Especially oranges, apples and similar trees. Most plants that produce fruit, produce flowers where the bees drink nectar for their honey production, and rub off pollen, moving from flower to flower, depositing some of that pollen on other plants. Thus, cross pollination occurs. For fruit to be produced, the flower must be pollinated in this manner. Sometimes the wind can do it, but most plants are successfully touched by bees throughout their cycle, thus ensuring pollination.

    If this process stopped, fruit and many other types of food production would be drastically curtailed.

    Ok, let’s do our speculation a step further. What if somehow, say the Russians could introduce into the United States, legally, and effectively a bee that contained nothing at all, but over time send sick bees, or bees infected with something that would rapidly spread throughout the US, as bees do?

    In 2004 or so, the US Agriculture introduced to the United States a specially bred bee, that was highly resistent to a specific type of mite, called the varrao. These bees under went testing and were quarantined, tested and so forth. I personally don’t know, and haven’t been able to figure out the process on how foreign species are introduced to the US through the USDA, but if there are ANY holes in the process, what happens if some bad bees get through? What if it were planned?

    Yes, this is a conspiracy theory. Yes, it is speculation. Is it true? I highly doubt it but its a probable scenario. I’m not a proponent of such things as conspiracy theories, but I will say this much. You must think like a bad guy, to fight a bad guy. We need to investigate this completely and of course rule out foul play, but I certainly would not put it past the Russians at all.

    [1] Alarm sounded over US honey bee die-off; Wikinews, http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Alarm_so...ey_bee_die-off
    [2] Wednesday Edition: Colony Collapse — The Death of Bees, http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=2&aid=118658
    [3] Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), http://www.ento.psu.edu/MAAREC/press...Update0107.pdf

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pub..._NO_115=180423
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pub..._NO_115=150884

    Side note: Here’s a letter from a Bee Keeper. It was written to a site called UrbanSurvival.Com and mentions the Russian Bees. I can’t say that I put a lot of stock in the site necessarily, but I certainly think that someone who has seen this first hand and knows the introduction of these bees was perhaps related could be at least considered a source.

    http://www.urbansurvival.com/lastweek.htm
    Bee Story

    The collapse of bee colonies has something to do with Russia? Well, here’s an email to ponder from a bee-keeping reader:

    “Hello George, Just a comment on the honey bee problems in the US.

    I agree that genetically modified plant-life may be causing many problems for the bee population.

    There is also another possible cause that non-beekeepers probably wouldn’t know about.

    Over the years the honey bee population in the US has been greatly reduced due to attacks of Tracheal mites, Varroa mites, and Hive beetles.

    Two years ago, in an effort to replenish the bee supply, the government introduced a program to give away “Russian” honeybees.

    In the US, most beekeepers keep “Italian” honeybees. The “Russian” bees were supposed to be more resistant to the Varroa mites.

    The original deal was that selected beekeepers would receive (free-of-charge) 2 packages of “Russian” bees and 2 hives. In exchange the beekeepers agreed to not sell the hives for 3 years and to allow regular inspections by government officials.

    Due to an overwhelming response by beekeepers the deal was later changed to 1 hive of “Russian” and 1 hive of “Italian” bees.

    I did not take part in the program but I did keep watch on the results in my state.

    Within the first year (2005) all 250 hives of “Russian” bees that were introduced into this state were dead.

    I personally know two beekeepers who took part in the program. By the end to 2006, one had lost 43 hives to “Colony Collapse”, the other had lost 200 hives (his entire operation) to “Colony Collapse”

    I don’t know if there is a connection or just a horrible coincidence but perhaps the plants aren’t the only things being “modified”.

    Safe Journey,”

    Bee safe, Ure self.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    The mite you are pointing out isnt the issue.
    Sorry, I didn't say it was either.

    The bees are dying over other factors, having NOTHING whatsoever to do with this mite.
    Exactly. It's not this mite, not this time. It was in to some degree in 2005, but not this time.

    You didn't read the article and you didn't read what I said.
    Incorrect. I did read the article. In fact I have read a minimum of two dozen articles IN FULL over the past month on this problem including both the recent article written by Sally Morton and her 'Honey Bee Crisis' article of March 2006. I also read what you posted.

    I have significant doubts that the current honey bee problem has any connection to terrorism. It's a significant problem, but just like in 2005 when 40-60% of US honeybees were dead or susceptible to death due to immune system weakness, this issue will also be eventually identified for what it is and that identification stands a very strong probability (95% or greater) of being totally unrelated to terrorism, or agro-terrorism.

    This is a natural phenomenon that teams of scientists, not counter-terrorist teams, will have to tackle.

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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    I myself see this more of an issue of a initially non-native species in the throes of the very long process of adaptation. After the mites, virus's, predators, parasites... the strong survive and move one step forward. It is a odd spike of exceptionally high mortality in a relatively short time frame, I'll agree there. I'm just more prone to think it's Mother Nature balancing out an unnatural act of man. (ie: species transportation)

    It is very unfortunate, it definitely holds significant consequences socially and financially. I'm just not so sure it's not nature doing what it does best. Restoring balance. Sometimes natures balance is at odds with human business/social balance.

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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    Here an article that directly addresses some of the items Neue Regel mentions in his post. Bold for emphasis.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/02/...iness/bees.php


    Mysterious bee disappearances endanger crops

    By Alexei Barrionuevo
    Published: February 26, 2007

    VISALIA, California: David Bradshaw has endured countless stings during his life as a beekeeper, but he got the shock of his career when he opened his boxes last month and found half of his 120 million bees missing.

    In 24 U.S. states, beekeepers have gone through similar shocks: their bees have been disappearing inexplicably at an alarming rate, threatening the production of numerous crops, including California almonds, one of the most profitable crops.

    "I have never seen anything like it," Bradshaw, 50, said last week from an almond orchard that was beginning to bloom. "Box after box after box are just empty. There's nobody home."

    The sudden, mysterious losses are highlighting the critical link that honeybees play in the long chain that gets fruit and vegetables to supermarkets and dinner tables. As researchers scramble to find answers, growers are becoming openly nervous about the capability of the commercial bee industry to meet the growing demand for insects to pollinate dozens of crops, from almonds to avocados to kiwis.

    A study by Cornell University has estimated that honeybees pollinate $14 billion worth of seeds and crops annually, mostly fruits, vegetables and nuts.

    "Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honey bee to pollinate that food," said Zac Browning, vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation.

    Now, in a mystery worthy of Agatha Christie, bees are flying off in search of pollen and nectar but never returning to their colonies. And nobody knows why.

    Researchers have dubbed the syndrome the "colony collapse disorder." They say the bees presumably are dying in the fields, perhaps becoming exhausted or disoriented and eventually dying from exposure to the cold.

    Or, it could just be that the bees are stressed out.

    Last week about 20 worried beekeepers convened in Florida to brainstorm with researchers about how to cope with the loss of bees. Investigators are collecting samples and exploring a range of theories for the colony collapses, including viruses, a fungus and poor bee nutrition.

    They are also studying a group of pesticides that were banned in some European countries to see if they are somehow affecting the innate ability of bees to find their way back home.

    The bee losses are ranging from 30 percent to 60 percent on the U.S. West Coast, with some beekeepers on the East Coast and in Texas reporting losses of more than 70 percent; beekeepers normally consider a loss of up to 20 percent to be normal.

    Beekeepers are the nomads of the agriculture world, working in obscurity in their white protective suits and frequently trekking cross-country with their insects in tow. Once the domain of hobbyists with a handful of backyard hives, beekeeping has become increasingly commercial and consolidated.

    During the past two decades, the number of beehives, now estimated by the U.S. Agriculture Department to be 2.4 million, has dropped by a quarter and the number of beekeepers by half.

    Beekeepers and growers alike worry that the bee industry may be reaching a breaking point. The costs to maintain hives, also known as colonies, are rising along with the strain on bees of being bred to pollinate rather than just make honey. And beekeepers are losing out to suburban sprawl in their quest for loitering spots where bees can forage for nectar to stay healthy and strong.

    "With less beekeepers, less bees and more crops to pollinate, we are asking ourselves at what point does it no longer become worth it to regenerate our hives?" Browning said.

    Those efforts are likely to accelerate if bees keep disappearing at the current pace. Beekeepers want their bees to survive the long winter months before the pollination season begins in February. That has likely lowered their immunity to viruses.

    Mites have also damaged bee colonies around the world, and the insecticides used to try to kill mites are harming the ability of queen bees to spawn as many worker bees. The queens are living half as long as they did just a few years ago.

    Researchers are also concerned that the far and frequent transport of bees around the country is helping promote the spread of viruses and mites.

    Dennis van Engelsdorp, a bee specialist from Pennsylvania who is part of the team studying the bee colony collapses, said the "strong immune suppression" investigators have observed "could be the AIDS of the bee industry," making bees more susceptible to other diseases that eventually kill them off.

    Growers have tried before to do without bees. In past decades, they have used everything from giant blowers to helicopters to mortar shells to try to spread pollen across the plants. More recently researchers have been trying to develop "self-compatible" almond trees that will require fewer bees. One company is even trying to commercialize a "blue orchard bee" that is sting- less and works at colder temperatures than the honeybee.

    This is not the first time the bee industry has dealt with adversity. Beekeepers have endured two major mite infestations since the 1980s, which felled many hobbyist beekeepers, and three cases of unexplained "disappearing" disorders as far back as 1894. But unlike the current phenomenon, those episodes were confined to small areas, Engelsdorp said.

    Today the industry is in a weaker position to deal with new stresses. A flood of imported honey from China and Argentina has depressed honey prices and put more pressure on beekeepers to take to the road in search of pollination contracts. Beekeepers are trucking tens of billions of bees around the country every year.

    When the bees are done pollinating almond trees, many beekeepers will truck them to apple and cherry orchards on the West Coast, and later to cranberry trees in Wisconsin and to blueberry orchards in Maine. Beekeepers generally charge less to pollinate those crops than they do for almonds.

    To cope with the losses, beekeepers have been scouring elsewhere for bees to fulfill their contracts with growers. Lance Sundberg, a beekeeper from Columbus, Montana, said he spent $150,000 in the past two weeks buying 1,000 packages of bees from Australia. He is hoping those will help offset the loss of one-third of the 7,600 hives he manages from six states.
    "The fear is that when we mix the bees, the die-offs will continue to occur," Sundberg said.

    Migratory beekeeping is a lonely life that many compare to truck driving.
    Beekeepers must often plead with landowners to allow bees to be placed on their land. But the quality of forage might make a difference.
    Last week Bradshaw used a forklift to remove bee colonies from a spot across a riverbed from orange groves. Only three of the 64 colonies there have died or disappeared.

    "It will probably take me two to three more years to get back up," he said. "Unless I spend gobs of money I don't have."

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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    Sorry Sean. I assumed your post was to explain that it was the mites.

    I agree that whatever caused this problem will work itself out eventually.

    I merely postulated the theory, and I back it up with a letter from an unknown beekeeper -- from a questionable web site.

    It IS a conspiracy theory. I don't BELIEVE it, I merely put it forth as a part of the message.

    However, it is under terrorism for a reason -- because I'm not the only one that has thought of this, and it IS a potential terrorist issue. It's one way to do something over LONG TERM as opposed to killing a lot of people, that can drastically affect our economy.
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    Cool.

    As theories go there are other possibilities for this issue.

    First a couple of definitions.

    Pestilence

    1.a deadly or virulent epidemic disease.

    3.something that is considered harmful, destructive, or evil.


    Plague

    1.an epidemic disease that causes high mortality; pestilence.



    I'm not saying this is, but perhaps also possibly if not probably could be a root cause of this problem. These words above are used normally to describe things affecting the human condition. But they also are used with respect to bees.


    http://mcsweeneys.net/2001/12/14bees.html


    Q: What are some of the pestilence, diseases that affect the bees in Nebraska?

    Simmonds: When I get in there I look for the American Foul Brood disease and Varroa mites, which are the two most threatening problems.

    Q: Are there any others?

    Simmonds: Yes. There's the European Foul Brood and Chalk Brood, which is quite prevalent with beekeepers coming from the south and southwestern states.

    Q: So, ideally, by inspecting the hives one prevents the introduction and dissemination of these pests and diseases?

    Simmonds: Correct.

    Q: And do these diseases pose dangers to any other insects or animals?
    Simmonds: No, they only affect the bee population.

    American Foulbrood: (read all the data at this link)

    http://www.spc.int/rahs/Manual/BEES/AMFOULBROODE.HTM


    American foulbrood (AFB) is a serious bacterial disease that attacks the brood of honey bees. The disease is caused by a spore forming bacteria — Paenib.

    Susceptible species
    The honey bee Apis mellifera and other Apis spp. are susceptible.
    Distribution
    AFB is widely distributed, in western and eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, North and Central America and part of South America, Africa and Asia.
    It has also been reported from a number of Pacific Island countries and Territories, including New Zealand.
    More information/links:

    http://www.greenhome.com/info/magazine/002/poll.html

    So what is taking out the bees and other pollinators? Pesticides, pestilence and habitat loss. If the chemical insecticides and herbicides frequently used in agricultural and other applications don’t kill off the pollinator outright, they often impair its ability to reproduce, compromise its food supply, and destroy its nesting places. Loss of wild habitat to urban sprawl and agricultural monoculture further exacerbate the pollinator’s plight. Thus weakened, the pollinator becomes susceptible to disease and parasitic infestations. The honeybee population has been decimated by infestations of two different parasitic mites and now a parasitic beetle looms. In fact this past spring about 300,000 honeybee colonies were too weak to service the California almond crop.
    http://www.intentblog.com/archives/2..._gerber_m.html

    Many people would be surprised to know that 90% of the feral (wild) bee population in the United States has died out. Recent studies in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have shown that bee diversity is down 80 percent in the sites researched, and that "bee species are declining or have become extinct in Britain." The studies also revealed that the numbers of wildflowers that depend on pollination have dropped by 70 percent. Which came first, the decline in wildflowers or the decline in pollinators, has yet to be determined. If bees continue to die off so would the crops they support and with that would ensue major economic disruption and possibly famine.

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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    I've been looking at the USDA and other related gov sites.

    They are doing a massive testing (as are several organizations, as they all see this as a very critical situation) and all of the bees tested have been found to have various diseases and paracite infestations. One thing I was reading said that bees were mostly immune to some of the bacterialogical things they found. I think I already posted that link.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Dying Bees in the US

    If bees continue to die off so would the crops they support and with that would ensue major economic disruption and possibly famine.
    This may be a dumb question, with the answer in Wikipedia, but what crops would be devastated if bees died off completely, zip? Would that affect grains as corn and wheat, soy, sorghum, or just flowering fruit trees?

    In any event, I hope jellyfish, mosquitos and mudwhoppers (wasps) are next on the terrorist hit list.
    Last edited by samizdat; March 2nd, 2007 at 06:46. Reason: forgot

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