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walangij
Jun 30, 2007, 04:22 AM
I stumbled across a set of articles that I found fascinating as I was learning more about the country I am currently in on a foreigner forum. Apparently billions of honey bees have vanished across the globe leading to a decrease in crops. This has been called CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder. It's happened in the past, but not at such great rates in the records.

Researchers are scrambling to determine the reasons behind the disappearance of 25 percent of US honey bees – as well as colony crashes in Europe and South America, which may or may not be linked. Culprits could include viruses, funguses or pesticides. Honeybees are the principal pollinators of hundreds of crops and essential for fruits, vegetables, flowers and nuts – and the insect’s decline could devastate huge segments of the agriculture industry. Genetic and chemical testing is underway, as some in the US rely on bees from Australia. As long as the disappearance of bees remains a mystery, global attention will focus on all possible sources – from agrochemicals to development practices. – YaleGlobal

Apparently Albert Einstein is attributed with saying : "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left..." but recently the credibility of Einstein saying this has been disputed.

Links:
NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/24/science/24bees.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5087&en=9df9d827baea1544&ex=1184040000)
Colony Collapse Disorder Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_Collapse_Disorder)
BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6400179.stm)
LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-bees10jun10,0,1027860.story)
The Economist (http://www.economist.com/science/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9070846)

Abstract
Jun 30, 2007, 04:30 AM
Yeah, that's pretty crazy.

And I have been photographing bees today than 6+ months ago (at the beginning of this situation). I definitely think there were less bees working, but that may be because it's winter where I live. :o

psychofreak
Jun 30, 2007, 04:45 AM
Chicken Little was right, but the sky is falling slower than expected...

iBlue
Jun 30, 2007, 05:34 AM
I'm just annoyed that it's not wasps, hornets, yellow-jackets, etc, those mean little bastards. Honey Bees are ok. :-/

Jaffa Cake
Jun 30, 2007, 05:44 AM
"A recent suggestion that mobile phones may play a part has also been dismissed."

Good stuff – all those folk queuing up for iPhones needn't feel too guilty just yet...

Abstract
Jun 30, 2007, 05:49 AM
I'd love to know why this is happening.

I read the news often, but in case we miss the explanation, can someone post it when someone figures out why this is happening?


Anyway, here's a photo that I took today at noon, obviously healthy and active. :) I only took around 2 bee photos today, so I didn't have a lot to choose from.

dmw007
Jun 30, 2007, 06:34 AM
I'm just annoyed that it's not wasps, hornets, yellow-jackets, etc, those mean little bastards. Honey Bees are ok. :-/

I agree, why does it have to be the Honey Bees that are disappearing- there are better ones to go first. :o

walangij
Jun 30, 2007, 08:28 AM
I agree, why does it have to be the Honey Bees that are disappearing- there are better ones to go first. :o

I've always liked honey bees, they just pollinated and minded their own business. I think that the jury is still out on the reason why there's been the Colony Collapse Disorder. I read all the articles and more, they think it may be a parasite or something along those lines, but this is still not official because theres not much evidence to support it.

furcalchick
Jun 30, 2007, 10:32 AM
i try to stay away from bees. my dad is allergic (had a bad episode when i was growing up), and thankfully, i'm not (got stung twice in a strange incident of bee in my shirt a few years ago, but i still panicked). but i hope it's not the end of the bees...what would we run away from now?

Tom B.
Jun 30, 2007, 12:50 PM
but i hope it's not the end of the bees...what would we run away from now?

Wasps, hornets, disease carrying mosquitos... etc. :)

MIDI_EVIL
Jun 30, 2007, 07:46 PM
Wow your Bees are horrible.

This is a UK Bee.

http://www.glaucus.org.uk/BEE026.jpg


Rich.

mrkramer
Jun 30, 2007, 07:57 PM
Wow your Bees are horrible.

This is a UK Bee.


Our bees are the same ones that you have over there, they were imported when your countries started to send colonists over here. or at least the ones that are dissapearing are ones that were imported.

srf4real
Jun 30, 2007, 08:07 PM
Wow. I thought this was only in the U.S. Didn't know it was world wide...
It's only hearsay but someone told me that agriculture fertilizers were playing a role somehow. I'll do a search for more facts now.

We really are screwed tho if our crops don't get pollenated.:eek:

interesting link. (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mvanishingbees.htm)

walangij
Jul 1, 2007, 12:33 AM
Great article! I was pretty shocked to see CCD on a global level, there's always been regional troubles but global is just, well shocking. I sure hope that scientists make some headway. I don't want to end up paying $$$ on our crops b/c there is low supply (probably few years out if things don't change).

Gymnut
Jul 10, 2007, 01:11 AM
Interesting, we just had an article here in Hawaii that the honeybee populations were threatened by a blood sucking mite.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707080363

Tiny little bastards are able to wipe out entire colonies.

zim
Jul 10, 2007, 10:08 AM
Interesting, we just had an article here in Hawaii that the honeybee populations were threatened by a blood sucking mite.

http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707080363

Tiny little bastards are able to wipe out entire colonies.

Thanks, great article. Interesting that bees have only been on the island for 150 years. I do hope that they find a way to control the mites.

I still find it hard to believe that this topic has not made more press. I was shocked to learn, while at a cookout, that most people (the guest) didn't even know that there was an issue.

ctango
Jul 10, 2007, 10:13 AM
The point is that without bees, plants won't pollinate like they used to. It is a serious issue, and I am sad it hasn't gotten more press.

srf4real
Jul 10, 2007, 12:07 PM
We have oranges, lemons, key limes, grapefruit, avocado, mango and fig trees in our backyard - this spring I was hunting good 'bud shots' and came across this lone bee doing all the work... not even a honey bee! Our crop is diminished by 90 percent over last year, with the meyer lemon and one key lime that will have a good harvest. The grapefruit which yielded five bushels last year has about five fruits on it. No tangelos, only a few navels... I don't have to go far to see the implications this could have.:eek:

http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/5326/bzzztu6.jpg

zim
Jul 10, 2007, 12:24 PM
We have oranges, lemons, key limes, grapefruit, avocado, mango and fig trees in our backyard - this spring I was hunting good 'bud shots' and came across this lone bee doing all the work... not even a honey bee! Our crop is diminished by 90 percent over last year, with the meyer lemon and one key lime that will have a good harvest. The grapefruit which yielded five bushels last year has about five fruits on it. No tangelos, only a few navels... I don't have to go far to see the implications this could have.:eek:

Nice photo, thank you for sharing. We have clovers in our back that seem to be visited regularly by honey bees, or at lest they look like honey bees.

Keebler
Jul 10, 2007, 12:58 PM
i've heard about this and have seen or haven't seen less bees around. it is weird. one has to wonder if it's a cyclical thing or if it's something bigger.

i think einstein was an ok smart guy ;), but maybe we have different techniques to help us out? time will tell.

Gymnut
Jul 10, 2007, 04:03 PM
Thanks, great article. Interesting that bees have only been on the island for 150 years. I do hope that they find a way to control the mites.

I still find it hard to believe that this topic has not made more press. I was shocked to learn, while at a cookout, that most people (the guest) didn't even know that there was an issue.

Yes well it seems that erradicating the mites from the island of O'ahu is not possible. Such a fragile process, so many things have to go right just for life to be sustainable.

Earendil
Jul 10, 2007, 05:39 PM
The point is that without bees, plants won't pollinate like they used to. It is a serious issue, and I am sad it hasn't gotten more press.

At first, I'm ashamed the media hasn't given it more attention as well.
However, there isn't any way of solving it. There aren't even plausible causes yet as to why. So all reporting it would do is scare people, which would cause them to panic and blame things that aren't causing it.

Those that care about honey bees know, or will know soon enough. Others probably haven't even seena honey bee or know how pollination works, but that won't stop them from blaming Bush or an alien invasion :rolleyes:

Does it need media attention? Sure, and it has gotten it. Does it need to be the #1 story? I don't think so. Which is not to say I'm defending any of the stories that DO make the top 10. Most of them are useless repeated drab that may be sad/good news, but is extremely unimportant to the vast majority.

Take the top CNN story today. A small plane crashes into a house, and 5 people die. I don't mean to sound insensitive, but very few people care. This doesn't seem like anything that should be reported past local news.
People die in the US all the time, and they don't make national news. And what good has the story done? Perhaps inspired people to value their life and those they love a little more, but more likely it has caused an increase in misplaced and irrational paranoia about flying in planes, and planes hitting their house. :mad:

[/end rant]
:o
~Tyler

joepunk
Jul 10, 2007, 05:46 PM
I've heard about this problem. Though I did not know it was such a world wide event. thought it might have just been north america/mexico what with our massive movement of honey bees by trucks across the country and not giving them their due bit of natural rest.

commonpeople
Jul 10, 2007, 10:21 PM
Snopes says that the Einstein quote is probably fabricated

http://www.snopes.com/quotes/einstein/bees.asp

me_94501
Jul 12, 2007, 12:26 AM
I have no scientific basis to go off of, but the bee population in my yard seems to be higher and more diverse than in previous years. That is a very small sample size, however.

I have known about this for the past few months, and I get angry every time I see the TV ad for Raid Yellow Jacket Traps. :mad::mad::mad:

iBlue
Jul 12, 2007, 01:13 AM
...
I get angry every time I see the TV ad for Raid Yellow Jacket Traps. :mad::mad::mad:

eff that, yellow jackets are little arseholes! I might feel a slight saddened sting for missing honey bees but good freakin riddance yellow jackets, hornets, wasps, etc. Mean little bastards!

by the way, your avatar is positively adorable. :D

Teddy's
Jul 12, 2007, 11:55 AM
I saw a news documentary about a Chinese doctor curing rheumatoid arthritis by inducing pain to the joints. This was done by using bees to sting the patient. He has thousands of bees in his clinic and he is doing pretty good money.

I don't know if he "replaces" the bees that give their little lives to save humans from pain. It's not something totally scientific proved, as this "doctor" didn't look a knowledgeable person IMHO. He mentioned that a few years ago he was a clerk or some sort, then he a bee stung him :rolleyes:

At least the patients say they were feeling better.

Save Our Sweet Little Friends.

fingers
Jul 12, 2007, 12:15 PM
I heard from a friend of mine that the demise of the bee is down to the electro-magnetic radiation from cellphone transmitters. Apparently causing them to lose their way back to their hive.

Scary stuff, we are all doomed!

walangij
Jul 12, 2007, 12:16 PM
I saw a news documentary about a Chinese doctor curing rheumatoid arthritis by inducing pain to the joints. This was done by using bees to sting the patient. He has thousands of bees in his clinic and he is doing pretty good money.

I don't know if he "replaces" the bees that give their little lives to save humans from pain. It's not something totally scientific proved, as this "doctor" didn't look a knowledgeable person IMHO. He mentioned that a few years ago he was a clerk or some sort, then he a bee stung him :rolleyes:

At least the patients say they were feeling better.

Save Our Sweet Little Friends.

I saw a shortened version in the NG video podcast! I hope the bees continue to pollinate the delicious fruits!

Abstract
Jul 12, 2007, 07:47 PM
I heard from a friend of mine that the demise of the bee is down to the electro-magnetic radiation from cellphone transmitters. Apparently causing them to lose their way back to their hive.

Scary stuff, we are all doomed!

Then why did it only kick in recently? We've had airwaves for ages....waves at many frequencies.

fingers
Jul 13, 2007, 03:49 AM
Then why did it only kick in recently? We've had airwaves for ages....waves at many frequencies.
Don't know. I'll ask him next time I see him. Although not a bee keeper, he has quite a knowledge of our little friends. I know we have had radio waves since the days of Marconi et al, but the amount of transmitters we have now (and possibly the specific frequencies that they use) could have something to do with it?

Abstract
Jul 13, 2007, 04:52 AM
I'm not even talking about that far back. Why didn't it happen last year, or the year before? The situation was somewhat the same. I guess there may have been an effect that takes time to accumulate, and eventually......they just fall over!

fingers
Jul 13, 2007, 05:25 AM
I'm not even talking about that far back. Why didn't it happen last year, or the year before? The situation was somewhat the same. I guess there may have been an effect that takes time to accumulate, and eventually......they just fall over!
Could be, I am going to email my friend now, and see where the source of this theory comes from.

fingers
Jul 13, 2007, 06:33 AM
My friend replied:
"apparently its all the wifi waves that disorientate them & they can't find their way back to their hives. The main killer of bees is sill the Varroa mite a nasty little red coloured parasite that eats them alive."
That would explain why it's only a recent phenomenon. I am so glad I am not a bee... urgh.

srf4real
Jul 13, 2007, 02:05 PM
That would explain why it's only a recent phenomenon. I am so glad I am not a bee... urgh.It is not only a recent phenomenon. Check linkety. (http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mvanishingbees.htm).
"Fourth, even the original report describing and naming the phenomenon explicitly says it's something that has been seen before (repeatedly), named before, and studied before – in all cases without coming to any conclusion about the cause. The researchers didn't like the older names for the syndrome (which usually included the word "disease," which has connotations about infectiousness that don't seem applicable here), so they renamed it colony collapse disorder. That point has largely eluded the press, with the result that most people think this is a new phenomenon, when in fact the researchers who described it note reports of similar die-offs dating back to the 1890s."

crazytom
Jul 13, 2007, 04:36 PM
I heard from a friend of mine that the demise of the bee is down to the electro-magnetic radiation from cellphone transmitters. Apparently causing them to lose their way back to their hive.

Scary stuff, we are all doomed!

I don't think so:

" “Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?” It floated a baseless theory—citing a study that was not, in fact, carried out—that radiation from cell phones was disorienting the bees."

The rest of the article can be found here: Discover magazine website (http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/better-planet/article_view?searchterm=bees&b_start:int=0)

Pani
Aug 2, 2007, 12:39 PM
Here is a link to 5 small steps one can take to help honeybees thrive. Every little bit counts.

http://lighterfootstep.com/five-ways-to-help-our-disappearing-bees.html

Mainly it applies to people with gardens. But the last suggestion is to support local bee keepers. Where I live, they have a farmers market downtown in Daley Center and they bring their honey every week during the summer. I think that is what everyone is getting for Christmas.

This IS a very serious problem. And only one of many serious catastrophies we are facing from global warming to economic collapse. We need to wake up and realize what is really important.

zim
Aug 2, 2007, 04:04 PM
Here is a link to 5 small steps one can take to help honeybees thrive. Every little bit counts.

http://lighterfootstep.com/five-ways-to-help-our-disappearing-bees.html

Mainly it applies to people with gardens. But the last suggestion is to support local bee keepers. Where I live, they have a farmers market downtown in Daley Center and they bring their honey every week during the summer. I think that is what everyone is getting for Christmas.

This IS a very serious problem. And only one of many serious catastrophies we are facing from global warming to economic collapse. We need to wake up and realize what is really important.

Thank you for posting that article, very informative.

Bees
Aug 2, 2007, 05:18 PM
I beekeeper I met (also at a farmer's market) told me that the hives that are in decline are commercial hives. These are hives that are trucked thousands of miles--from Florida through Texas to California--to pollenate crops here and there. These worker bees ain't workers. They're slave bees. In any case, the beekeeper's own hives are doing perfectly well (and producing extremely expensive honey--another consequence of the die-off) because she doesn't move them. The commercial bees are constantly moved, under stress, and as with most animals, are thus subject to disease and so on. It isn't as if this is a consequence of some global transformation or radio waves. It is a consequence of bad practices that hurt bees.

I chose my username long before this thread was conceived, by the way.

Evangelion
Aug 3, 2007, 02:03 AM
This was talked about in Finland as well last week. Apparently the population on bumblebees and wasps has gone dramatically down in just few weeks time, but honeybees are OK. Experts are blaming the drop on bad weather-conditions.

I hope we get some bumblebees this summer, I miss those little guys :(. Wasps I don't care that much for....

iBlue
Aug 3, 2007, 02:18 AM
Well a couple of weeks ago a bumble bee flew right into my bedroom and scared the living hell out of me. I shooed it out safely to happily propagate its species. Looks like there's hope in this far east london borough.

the vj
Aug 3, 2007, 08:57 AM
After reading this article I realize that there are no more bees around here in Caracas. I used to see them around the bakery stores where there is a lot of shugar. Everytime you buy a coffe or a soda there is a bee around but not any more.

I posted the coment in my MSN and many of my friends realized the same thing and i have been like that for a few years now. Bees are gone.