Skip to comments.2 Studies Point to Common Pesticide as a Culprit in Declining Bee Colonies
Posted on 03/29/2012 6:37:51 PM PDT by neverdem
Scientists have been alarmed and puzzled by declines in bee populations in the United States and other parts of the world. They have suspected that pesticides are playing a part, but to date their experiments have yielded conflicting, ambiguous results.
In Thursdays issue of the journal Science, two teams of researchers published studies suggesting that low levels of a common pesticide can have significant effects on bee colonies. One experiment, conducted by French researchers, indicates that the chemicals fog honeybee brains, making it harder for them to find their way home. The other study, by scientists in Britain, suggests that they keep bumblebees from supplying their hives with enough food to produce new queens.
The authors of both studies contend that their results raise serious questions about the use of the pesticides, known as neonicotinoids.
I personally would like to see them not being used until more research has been done, said David Goulson, an author of the bumblebee paper who teaches at the University of Stirling, in Scotland. If it confirms what weve found, then they certainly shouldnt be used when theyre going to be fed on by bees.
But pesticides are only one of several likely factors that scientists have linked to declining bee populations. There are simply fewer flowers, for example, thanks to land development. Bees are increasingly succumbing to mites, viruses, fungi and other pathogens.
Outside experts were divided about the...
Dr. Goulsons study on bumblebees might warrant a closer look, Dr. Fischer said, but he argued that the weight of evidence still points to mites and viruses as the most likely candidates for...
Although bumblebees have been on the decline in the United States and elsewhere, they have not succumbed to a specific phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, which affects only honeybees...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Other studies point to radio signals from cell phone towers.
Whatever the problem is, I hope they get a fix for it soon. Bees are marvelous, fascinating creatures and we depend on them a lot, yet most people have no idea.
This might bee of interest to you.
Neonicotinoid Insecticides used with seed treatment (systemic)
I am sure there are other simliar insecticides. These are relatively new insecticides.
i lost my one backyard hive last year when it got robbed by other bees. pretty amazing to watch, couldn’t stop it. i think i have a really strong wild hive nearby that has learned how to rob. second year in a row.
There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families, and probably many more not yet identified.
European honey bees, the type we are most familiar with, are not the only kind that makes honey and certainly just one of many that could be used for pollination of crops. It is also rather prone to disease and deadly mites.
And effort to breed a hardier bee resulted in the “killer bee”, that despite its reputation *is* more resistant *and* produces delicious honey. If its aggression can just be turned down, it could fill much of the gap of the honey bee.
But even more important, one of the reasons that bee diseases and mite infections are so bad is because honey bees are not used just for honey, but are transported around to pollinate, which exposes them to these problems.
Thus a good solution is to limit honey bees to just producing honey, hopefully a crossbred variety that is more resistant. Then use a different bee, that is as good, or better, for pollination. Hopefully one that does not interact much with honey bees.
Could have sworn that they difinitively determined hive disorders were being caused by parasites.
Clearly, they have their ethnic issues as well.
About 18 years ago my son threw one of his toys on the roof of our garage. I climbed up to get it and as I reached toward it, the most wonderfully bright solid yellow mini-bee (perfectly proportioned) hovered 4 inches from my hand. I had never seen one before and haven’t seen one since. Looked all over about it to no avail. Ever seen one?
Hubby pushed over a dead tree recently & it was full of bees and honey....made us sad but the tree is still on the ground in our field & the bees are still with it. We also have a dead tree at the golf course that is full of bees etc. Today our holly bush is in bloom & the bees are thick on it.
Another possibility is that genetically modified crops can produce their own pesticides.
Would they tell us if they determine this is true?
Hovered as in like a hummingbird? If yes, indeed there *is* a honeybee that hovers similar to a hummingbird... called the "hummingbird bee". It's rather large at 2", but I've seen here in the northeast a regular-sized honeybee that hovers like a hummingbird.
Is it still there? True around here, and I'd think in most places - ask and google around, and find your local or county bee club. They'd be likely to have a list of members that, no charge, come and "rescue" the colony - they get a new bee colony out of the deal - you are looking at about $100 worth of honeybees, and a chance to save them...
Could you have or did you install an entrance reducer to give your hive a better chance of defending itself? Do you think it would have done any good to put some sugar water away from your hive that would have drawn the feral bees away from your hive?
Thank you, Red. It is interesting, but I suspect that these studies may be targeting pesticides with an agenda. We use some of the brand names listed on our crops, as do many other farmers, and there has been colony collapses anywhere in NE Louisiana. I can’t speak for other areas, but I think we would have heard about it if keepers were losing hives. I read several bee fora, and stay in touch with the state beekeepers’ organizations.
However, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that pesticides are bad for bees as well.
You are right on the “shipping around for pollination”, which is done because the honey does not make the keepers enough money.
I’m pretty sure it is still full of bees, hubby is allergic to bee/wasp stings so he has kept his distance from them. I can investigate and see if someone wants to come get them.