Sunday, July 8, 2007

Evening in the foothills of the Cascade mountain range with the sun shining under the cloud layer onto freshly plowed red soil.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Are bees disappearing because of genetic crops?

Buzz off
Apr 26th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Investigating colony collapse disorder

IT IS a mystery that would tax the minds of the world's greatest detectives. Across America beekeepers are finding hives abandoned. What appear to be normal, healthy adults suddenly disappear within two days, leaving their queen, their food stores and the young. In the past, a mass exodus would leave the hive to be ransacked by honeybees from neighbouring colonies. This time, not only is the retreat more common, but nearby bees seem strangely reluctant to enter the abandoned hives. There are no dead bodies, but scientists who have studied the corpses of the occasional remaining live adult report that they are ravaged by disease.

What could be going on? The Department of Agriculture in America this week convened a workshop of apiarists and federal and university scientists to suggest some answers.

Colony collapse disorder, as the phenomenon has become known as, was first reported in America in mid-November 2006. It spread rapidly, with beekeepers reporting heavy losses of between 30% and 90% of bees. Some 24 American states have now reported cases of colony collapse disorder. It has also been seen in Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

Because the living bees that the scientists were able to study carried almost every virus and parasite known to infect honeybees, researchers are working on the idea that the insects' immune systems have failed. Reducing the body's ability to fight disease allows infection by a host of pathogens. But exactly why this should happen is unclear. It could be that one disease, perhaps a new type of lurgy, invites the others to infect the bee, or that a pesticide performs this role.


Daves Garden has an interesting blog where many people are reporting conditions in their yard throughout the country.

I like this one...G:

Sunnyvale, CA
(Zone 9b)

Jun 7, 2007
10:46 AM

Post #3586411

We have had honey bees as well as wild mason bees, bumble bees, burrowing bees, and beneficial pollinating flies that resemble bees, at our community garden since the weather warmed up. There are cells phones en mass around here, and they don't seem to be bothering the bees. Our community garden is organic, and many of the surrounding homes do not use toxic sprays. So the mystery continues.

And you'll need to put on your tinfoil hat for this site:

The Bees' Needs


It's the Physics, Stupid!

By Richard C. Hoagland and David Wilcock

2007 The Enterprise Mission