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


Geezer Power said...

I spotted two Honey Bees here in Independence OR yesterday. The first that I've seen this year. There are a lot of small bumble bees and some wasps and yellow jackets.

Geezer Power said...

Update on the honey bees. I have had a lot of bees and wasps on the blooms on the ivy on my Winter Pear tree. It's an ancient tree and the ivy has pretty much taken it over. The ivy has been growing on it for 10 or 15 years and is now mimicking the limbs and leaves of the tree. The ivy at ground level still has the regular ivy leaf, but higher in the tree the leaves look pretty close to pear leaves on thick shoots that look pretty much like limbs. My nieghbor Bill gets on me once in a while to remove the ivy, but to me it's a nature experiment and the tree still produces pears...(: