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Mysterious disappearance of US bees creating a buzz
Yahoo News ^ | Apr. 6, 2007 | Jean-Louis Santini

Posted on 04/07/2007 7:02:03 AM PDT by Nomorjer Kinov

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US beekeepers have been stung in recent months by the mysterious disappearance of millions of bees threatening honey supplies as well as crops which depend on the insects for pollination.

Bee numbers on parts of the east coast and in Texas have fallen by more than 70 percent, while California has seen colonies drop by 30 to 60 percent.

According to estimates from the US Department of Agriculture, bees are vanishing across a total of 22 states, and for the time being no one really knows why.

"Approximately 40 percent of my 2,000 colonies are currently dead and this is the greatest winter colony mortality I have ever experienced in my 30 years of beekeeping," apiarist Gene Brandi, from the California State Beekeepers Association, told Congress recently.

It is normal for hives to see populations fall by some 20 percent during the winter, but the sharp loss of bees is causing concern, especially as domestic US bee colonies have been steadily decreasing since 1980.

There are some 2.4 million professional hives in the country, according to the Agriculture Department, 25 percent fewer than at the start of the 1980s.

And the number of beekeepers has halved.

The situation is so bad, that beekeepers are now calling for some kind of government intervention, warning the flight of the bees could be catastrophic for crop growers.

Domestic bees are essential for pollinating some 90 varieties of vegetables and fruits, such as apples, avocados, and blueberries and cherries.

"The pollination work of honey bees increases the yield and quality of United States crops by approximately 15 billion dollars annually including six billion in California," Brandi said.

California's almond industry alone contributes two billion dollars to the local economy, and depends on 1.4 million bees which are brought from around the US every year to help pollinate the trees, he added.

The phenomenon now being witnessed across the United States has been dubbed "colony collapse disorder," or CCD, by scientists as they seek to explain what is causing the bees to literally disappear in droves.

The usual suspects to which bees are known to be vulnerable such as the varroa mite, an external parasite which attacks honey bees and which can wipe out a hive, appear not to be the main cause.

"CCD is associated with unique symptoms, not seen in normal collapses associated with varroa mites and honey bee viruses or in colony deaths due to winter kill," entomologist Diana Cox-Foster told the Congress committee.

In cases of colony collapse disorder, flourishing hives are suddenly depopulated leaving few, if any, surviving bees behind.

The queen bee, which is the only one in the hive allowed to reproduce, is found with just a handful of young worker bees and a reserve of food.

Curiously though no dead bees are found either inside or outside the hive.

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 neonicotinoides, 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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: bees; ccd; mites; nohoney4u
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I'm wondering how long before this too is blamed on heighened CO2 in the atmosphere.
1 posted on 04/07/2007 7:02:06 AM PDT by Nomorjer Kinov
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

buy more cabon credits from manbearpig and he’ll solve the problem..


2 posted on 04/07/2007 7:04:05 AM PDT by GeorgiaDawg32 (There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots..)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

Bees was and wane.


3 posted on 04/07/2007 7:04:27 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Planting trees to offset carbon emissions is like drinking water to offset rising ocean levels)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

Bees was and wane.


4 posted on 04/07/2007 7:04:28 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Planting trees to offset carbon emissions is like drinking water to offset rising ocean levels)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

Bees was and wane.


5 posted on 04/07/2007 7:04:28 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Planting trees to offset carbon emissions is like drinking water to offset rising ocean levels)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

It’s Bush’s fault.


6 posted on 04/07/2007 7:06:13 AM PDT by kjo
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

actually I went to a lecture a few months ago regarding anphylaxis. This was brought up. It has been noticed that bee stings are down. I still see quite a few in the E.D. But it is interesting now to see this article.


7 posted on 04/07/2007 7:07:12 AM PDT by TheRedSoxWinThePennant
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To: norwaypinesavage

Triple posting makes me wax wroth.


8 posted on 04/07/2007 7:07:15 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Enoch Powell was right.)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

They say that most of the bees just disappear with the queen and a few workers left behind. Is something interfering with the bees’ direction finding such that they leave the hive to find food, but can’t find their way back?


9 posted on 04/07/2007 7:08:19 AM PDT by GBA (God Bless America!)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

They are slipping across the border to Mexico.


10 posted on 04/07/2007 7:09:31 AM PDT by TommyDale ("Rudy can win the War on Terror!" Perhaps, but for whose side?)
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To: kjo
It’s Bush’s fault.

It's worse than that. It's Reagan's fault...

...especially as domestic US bee colonies have been steadily decreasing since 1980.

It's probably mostly Republican fault as they have held the WH most since 1980 and are generally ati-environment. ;-0

11 posted on 04/07/2007 7:09:52 AM PDT by Nomorjer Kinov (If the opposite of "pro" is "con" , what is the opposite of progress?)
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To: TommyDale

Doing the work Mexican bees won’t do?


12 posted on 04/07/2007 7:10:18 AM PDT by Nomorjer Kinov (If the opposite of "pro" is "con" , what is the opposite of progress?)
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To: kjo
It’s Bush’s fault.

You sound sarcastic. This IS undoubtedly Bush trying to help out his freinds in BIG HONEY.
13 posted on 04/07/2007 7:10:29 AM PDT by TheRedSoxWinThePennant
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To: TheRedSoxWinThePennant

Better Big Honey than clinton’s friends, Big Hiney.


14 posted on 04/07/2007 7:12:03 AM PDT by Sgt_Schultze
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

This could be very serious. A neighbor of mine has lost hives that have been healthy for over 20 years. No indication global warming is the culprit but there is a problem out there. Im suspicious some bee disease has been released as a form of agri-terrorism. Our enemies have a big advantage over us. They are patient and willing to undermine us from the bottom up. What better way than to cripple our food supply/chain. If this problem is half a serious as they say watch what happens to fruit and produce prices this summer.


15 posted on 04/07/2007 7:12:19 AM PDT by DogBarkTree (Whatever happened to wars of attrition? Screw islamo hearts and minds. We need more heads on pikes.)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov
WE NEED A BIG HONEY WINDFALL PROFITS TAX
16 posted on 04/07/2007 7:12:21 AM PDT by TheRedSoxWinThePennant
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

Perhaps Global Warming, has made the weather so cold that they immigrated to Messico! We need a bee proof fence.
barbra ann


17 posted on 04/07/2007 7:13:02 AM PDT by barb-tex (Why replace the IRS with anything?)
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To: GBA

Shifting of the earth’s magnetic field?


18 posted on 04/07/2007 7:13:20 AM PDT by Frohickey
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To: ClearCase_guy
Touche’. Actually, I tried to kill it when I saw the miss spelling, and hit the wrong button.
19 posted on 04/07/2007 7:13:43 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Planting trees to offset carbon emissions is like drinking water to offset rising ocean levels)
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To: barb-tex

Is that where all the frogs went ?


20 posted on 04/07/2007 7:14:48 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: DogBarkTree

There is a lot of engineered seed now. Mayhaps the food, genetically altered to resist disease, is also poisoning the bee population.


21 posted on 04/07/2007 7:14:51 AM PDT by Sgt_Schultze
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To: Nomorjer Kinov
I've been wondering for a while now about the "bees".

Some years back, in the 90s, packet seed production went into selling seeds of which one could not harvest and re-use for other plantings. In my area, CA, then, one could only purchase these types of seeds -- so one needed to purchase seeds each time. The reproductive parts of full grown plants/produce of these seeds -- could not be used to propogate other seedlings.

I had to locate very small operations elsewhere in the country which sold the "regular" seeds. There was "talk" at the time in Northern CA from Dems about punishing those who used the "older" seeds.

I wonder if this is a factor in what is happening to the bees.

The non-perpetuating seeds were marketed as a natural "insecticide".

22 posted on 04/07/2007 7:15:51 AM PDT by Alia
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To: Ping-Pong

Another Missing Bee Article free republic Thread


23 posted on 04/07/2007 7:16:05 AM PDT by DvdMom (Impeach Nifong -)
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To: Alia

See #21 above. GMTA!


24 posted on 04/07/2007 7:17:35 AM PDT by Nomorjer Kinov (If the opposite of "pro" is "con" , what is the opposite of progress?)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov
The situation is so bad, that beekeepers are now calling for some kind of government intervention, warning the flight of the bees could be catastrophic for crop growers.

Domestic bees are essential for pollinating some 90 varieties of vegetables and fruits, such as apples, avocados, and blueberries and cherries.


Well, this isn't that great of a tragedy. Perhaps in light of the guest worker program/amnesty that Bush and the Democrats are pushing, the disappearance of bees has finally opened up a job that Americans actually won't do: Crop Pollination Specialist.

Job Description: Walk around farmer's fields from sunup to sundown with a backpack full of Q-tips, pollinating plants. Pay: Minium Wage, no benefits, no raises. Vacation: winter. Sick leave: none.
25 posted on 04/07/2007 7:18:37 AM PDT by Old_Mil (Duncan Hunter in 2008! A Veteran, A Patriot, A Reagan Republican... http://www.gohunter08.com/)
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To: DogBarkTree

BTTT


26 posted on 04/07/2007 7:18:46 AM PDT by Alia
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To: DogBarkTree
Avian Flu and CCD.

Birds and Bees. Definitely an obsessive agenda disorder of Democrats.

27 posted on 04/07/2007 7:19:52 AM PDT by Alia
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To: Old_Mil

Actually, I realize that I was mistaken on this. Clearly, given the trade policies in place today, we’ll merely stop growing our own food and import the rest of it from China...where this job will be performed by political prisoners with a gun to their heads, for free.


28 posted on 04/07/2007 7:20:02 AM PDT by Old_Mil (Duncan Hunter in 2008! A Veteran, A Patriot, A Reagan Republican... http://www.gohunter08.com/)
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To: Sgt_Schultze

Yours is my wondering, too.


29 posted on 04/07/2007 7:20:27 AM PDT by Alia
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To: DogBarkTree
A neighbor of mine has lost hives that have been healthy for over 20 years.

Tracheal mites have been a real problem for a while now, but that usually kills the bees in the hive. This is strange and potentially threatening to our food supply.

30 posted on 04/07/2007 7:20:39 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Just the facts, ma'am)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov
When contacted for a response to this alarming situation, local bee expert Winnie the Pooh had only this to say: "Oh, bother!!!" Image and video hosting by TinyPic
31 posted on 04/07/2007 7:20:49 AM PDT by pillut48 (CJ in TX (Bible Thumper and Proud!))
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

Just now read #21. Thank you! :)


32 posted on 04/07/2007 7:21:31 AM PDT by Alia
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To: Alia

Maybe GM crops? Who knows. I’m not too happy to see one of our key pollinators missing. There is work to be done Mr. Bees!


33 posted on 04/07/2007 7:21:36 AM PDT by Dacb (No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.)
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To: Dacb
Who knows. I’m not too happy to see one of our key pollinators missing

On an asidem, I've never liked the liberal war against males, at any point in their revolution. ;>

I'm slow off the mark this morning: What's "GM Crops," pls?

34 posted on 04/07/2007 7:25:00 AM PDT by Alia
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To: Alia

It’s really startling that in an effort to boost crop yields, Monsanto et al might be orchestrating the next great famine.


35 posted on 04/07/2007 7:25:13 AM PDT by Sgt_Schultze
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To: Sgt_Schultze

If the culprit is GM crops.


36 posted on 04/07/2007 7:26:56 AM PDT by Nomorjer Kinov (If the opposite of "pro" is "con" , what is the opposite of progress?)
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To: Thermalseeker
Correct.My neighbor has spent a lot of money having the few dead bees left in the hive examined by various labs and entomologists but nothing has turned up. What is most puzzling is that the vast majority of them are just plain gone.
37 posted on 04/07/2007 7:26:56 AM PDT by DogBarkTree (Whatever happened to wars of attrition? Screw islamo hearts and minds. We need more heads on pikes.)
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To: Frohickey

Now thats something to ponder about...


38 posted on 04/07/2007 7:28:38 AM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways Guero >>> with a floating, shifting, ever changing persona....)
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To: Alia
Genetically Modified
39 posted on 04/07/2007 7:29:54 AM PDT by Dacb (No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

Pelosi’s fault.


40 posted on 04/07/2007 7:30:28 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Nomorjer Kinov
They are now a part of the Borg Collective!

Beam me up Data!

41 posted on 04/07/2007 7:30:43 AM PDT by Young Werther ( and Julius Ceasar said, "quae cum ita sunt." (or since these things are so!))
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To: Sgt_Schultze
I wonder instead if perhaps the newer "non-seedling-reproducible" types of plants are lacking a essential ingredient(s) which are required in bee chemistry for bees to return to the hive and do what bees do.

Without a "mission" (so to speak) are the bees losing their way and dying elsewhere?

I'm thinking along the lines of "viagra" in the broadest sense of thought. Obviously, viagra supplies a chemical to the male organism which bypasses a existent problem. Without the viagra -- no "can do".

42 posted on 04/07/2007 7:32:31 AM PDT by Alia
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To: Dacb
Thank you!

(Yep, I'm slow this morning.)

43 posted on 04/07/2007 7:33:16 AM PDT by Alia
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To: DogBarkTree
What is most puzzling is that the vast majority of them are just plain gone.

It's not that unusual for some of them to split off and go make another hive somewhere nearby. You've got to rob the honey and keep them busy so they don't do that. Keeping them busy keeps them from being agressive, too. Capturing the queen helps, also. My neighbor's let a couple of their hives go last year and some bees turned up in my wisteria vines. They made a comb, but didn't survive the summer. Some others wound up in a hollow tree in another neigbor's yard across the road, but none were more than a half mile from the original hives. The fact that they are just disappearing and not showing up elsewhere is very strange, especially when they're not finding dead bees.

44 posted on 04/07/2007 7:34:01 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Just the facts, ma'am)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov

We need guest worker bees to do the jobs that American bees just won’t do.


45 posted on 04/07/2007 7:34:10 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (I voted Republican because no Conservatives were running.)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov
I wonder if those nasty Red Wasp Hornets will disappear as well?

sw

46 posted on 04/07/2007 7:34:47 AM PDT by spectre ((Spectre's wife))
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To: Frohickey
>Shifting of the earth’s magnetic field?

The Chinese took them.
HKS killed them. Drunken
Mexicans hit them.

Giuliani ate
them. They left to get away
from Katie Couric.

Tom Cruise made them join
Scientology and now
they're too cool to buzz . . .

(I apologize
if I missed someone's tin foil,
this was off the cuff . . .)

47 posted on 04/07/2007 7:34:52 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: Sgt_Schultze
True, but I'm not necessarily against GM produce. Up around the locales I used to live were liberals using human waste as fertilizer. At least in the GM environment, stands a better chance against terrorism and/or filthy, unhealth practices in producing produce.

But then again, perhaps Monsanto plans to announce their newest R&D commodity for sale.

48 posted on 04/07/2007 7:36:02 AM PDT by Alia
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To: Alia

That sounds more like simply that most stores were selling hybridized seeds that don’t breed “true” from the seeds they produce.


49 posted on 04/07/2007 7:36:29 AM PDT by RockinRight (Support FREDeralism. Fred Thompson in 2008!)
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To: Nomorjer Kinov
snipped: Neonicotinoids are classified by the EPA as both toxicity class II and class III agents and are labeled with the signal word "Warning" or "Caution." Because the neonicotinoids block a specific neuron pathway that is more abundant in insects than warm-blooded animals, these insecticides are more selectively toxic to insects than mammals. The most available toxicity data of the neonicotinoids is with imidacloprid. These data indicate that it is less toxic when absorbed by the skin or when inhaled compared to ingestion. It causes minor eye reddening, but is non-irritating to the skin. Signs of toxicity in rats include lethargy, respiratory disturbances, decreased movement, staggering gait, occasional trembling, and spasms. There are no accounts of human poisoning, but signs and symptoms of poisoning would be expected to be those similar for rats. A chronic toxicity study showed that rats fed up to 1,800 ppm resulted in a No Observable Effect Level (NOEL) of 100 ppm. The EPA categorizes imidacloprid as a "Group E" (no evidence of carcinogenicity). In animals and humans, imidacloprid is quickly and almost completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and eliminated via urine and feces within 48 hours. Of the neonicotinoids, imidacloprid is the most toxic to birds and fish. Both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam are highly toxic to honeybees. Mammalian toxicities for neonicotinoid pesticides registered in Florida are shown in Table 1 . Table 2 lists the toxicities to wildlife by the common name of the neonicotinoid pesticide. Table 3 provides a cross listing of many of the trade names that these products are registered and sold by in Florida. Pesticide Toxicity Profile: Neonicotinoid Pesticides http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/PI117
50 posted on 04/07/2007 7:36:59 AM PDT by Vn_survivor_67-68
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