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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Open Source: Some Follow up on Honey Bee Crisis -- Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

Research in its purist forms is Primary Research. Costs of primary research are high. Searching Literature, like in a Google-search, reveals whether others have done primary controlled experimentation that somewhat relates to our own quest for knowledge.

As a function of query, a Google search is called secondary research. Secondary sources are very helpful in open source Internet forums for blogging, discussion boards, and brain-storming. Attached below is a discussion board forum for the question "Bee colony collapse disorder: BCCD."

While primary research is being done, it is not available to us for immediate referral. We therefore continue appeal for discovery of cause and solution through online secondary here say, and conjecture. I am a supporter of this activity, and hope others can advance the art of discussion as if back on our streets, as plentiful open sources. Much of the solution to problems is in our perceptions of the events, and firm understanding of our questions.

So, if Honeybees were able to cast votes, Republicans would raise millions to find them. PD 15/Aug AM

Editor: Cheryl Woodard
Category: Environment
Updated: August 10, 2007
Submitted: April 22, 2007
ID# 9286 is a project of the Public Interest News Gate, a California nonprofit corporation founded in 2003 and located in Berkeley, California. Contact us through executive director, Cheryl Woodard.

Question Bee Colony Collapse Disorder: What's happening to bees, and what are the ramifications to food supplies?
Editor's Comments: Cheryl Woodward
Bees pollinate up to one third of our food plants, and in recent months, bee colonies have been mysteriously collapsing. Up to 70% of bees on the East coast have disappeared, and about 50% in other parts of the country.

One recent news account from New Hampshire says this: "The problem, called colony collapse disorder, already has hit beekeepers in 24 states, part of Canada, and several European Countries
Sunday, April 22, 2007 Widespread die off may be affecting area's bees By CHLOE JOHNSONStaff Writer...

Many bees seem to disappear, with few to no bodies of dead bees found near the hives. The remaining bees, meanwhile, show mysterious symptoms. "What's the Cause? Several theories are circulating, including these:

Cell phone transmissions, as reported in the UK (page not available)

Pesticides, as reported in the Palm Beach Post (page not available)

Viral Infections or Fungus is another idea, as reported in the Great Falls Tribune (page not available)

Genetically Modified Plants, as reported to a recent Congressional hearing.

Magnetic Pole Reversal, as described at Wikipedia and on the science program, Nova What's the Impact?There have been losses in bee colonies before, usually from diseases or pesticides. Some reports say that the current situation is more of the same. But there are some important differences. No dead bodies, for one thing. And no other physical clues.
Transcripts from the Congressional hearings are posted online, but offer no conclusive answers. Nationally, a Cornell University study said the value of bee pollination is $14.7 billion annually.

One scientist from Mississippi says, that “Ultimately CCD will affect fruit and vegetable production if we don’t have adequate pollination forces,” Collison said. “Bees pollinate many plants that affect wildlife and birds, so it’s not just the human diet that would suffer if bee populations are decimated.

”The Christian Science Monitor suggests that new agriculture policies are needed: "For many entomologists, the bee crisis is a wake-up call. By relying on a single species for pollination, US agriculture has put itself in a precarious position, they say.

A resilient agricultural system requires diverse pollinators. This speaks to a larger conservation issue. Some evidence indicates a decline in the estimated 4,500 potential alternate pollinators – native species of butterflies, wasps and other bees.

The blame for that sits squarely on human activity – habitat loss, pesticide use, and imported disease – but much of this could be offset by different land-use practices."The Sierra Club points out that the government has no national database of bio-engineered crops and therefore no precise way to study the impact of genetically modified food on bees. Writing to the Senate, the Sierra Club said, "Considering that loss of honeybee pollinators can leave a huge void in the kitchens of the American people and an estimated loss of 14 billion dollars to farmers, it would be prudent to use caution.

If genetically engineered crops are killing honeybees, a moratorium on their planting should be considered."News and updates are available at the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research Consortium.
Cheryl Woodard (Executive Director) co-founded the world's top-selling computer magazine, PC Magazine, as well as PC World and Macworld in the 1980's. She served for seven years on the board of the International Data Group (IDG)Publishing company in their San Francisco division. Her first book Starting and Running A Successful Newsletter or Magazine (Nolo Press, fifth edition, 2006) is the leading business how-to book for magazine publishers. Her second book, Every Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing (Nolo Press, 2007) will be published in May 2007. In addition to running, Woodard is full-time business consultant to publishers, and editor of Woodard is the only official PING staff person at this time. "We don’t sit in meditation to become good meditators. We sit in meditation so that we’ll be more awake in our lives." Pema Chodron

Comment #9
Information on a pesticide called imidacloprid suggests that this product may be causing colony collapse. The scientist says this: Bayer claims in many of its publications that the problems with bees are due to disease, not this insecticide. But I would draw your attention to this quote, from the label of Premise 75, a Bayer product with 75% imidacloprid and 25% inert used to kill termites and ants (other social insects like bees):Comment #9
Information on a pesticide called imidacloprid suggests that this product may be causing colony collapse. The scientist says this: Bayer claims in many of its publications that the problems with bees are due to disease, not this insecticide. But I would draw your attention to this quote, from the label of Premise 75, a Bayer product with 75% imidacloprid and 25% inert used to kill termites and ants (other social insects like bees): "Premise causes a range of effects in termites, they stop feeding and are unable to maintain their colony. A second effect, exclusive to Premise, is called Premise plus Nature. This product makes termites susceptible to infection by naturally occurring organisms. Either way, the termites die and your home is protected". Exactly, my point, weaken the colony of bees with lethal and sub-lethal effects and surely disease will set in, and it is crass to use this effect to advertise a product, and then use it to blame beekeepers' problems on diseases.

Read more about imidacloprid at

Comment #15 Lifespan of a bee - The queen can live from 2-5 years. The drone lives 40-50 days. Drones are male bees. Most of the bees are workers.They are females. They work hard making honey and stinging for defense! They live from 1-4 months. The life cycle of the worker bee: Egg (3 days), Larva (6 days), Pupa (12 days). This is a total of 21 days from egg (baby) to adult worker. Lifespan of a trout - Brown trout spawn in the fall, a little later than brook trout, when water temperatures are in the mid-40s to high 40s. Eggs are deposited in a stream gravel depression that the female prepares with swimming actions of her fins and body. Large females produce 4,000 to 12,000 eggs. Several males may accompany the female during spawning. The eggs hatch the following spring, with no parental attention. Brown trout eat aquatic and terrestrial insects, crayfish and other crustaceans, and especially fish. The big ones may also eat small mammals (like mice), salamanders, frogs and turtles. Large browns feed mainly at night, especially during the summer. Their life span in the wild can be 10 to 12 years. Bees pollinate everything that flowers - not just the pretty flowers we see growing in the fields but the flowers on food crops like strawberries, lettuce, almonds, oranges, lemons and on and on - in other words, everything we spread sludge and/or treated waste water on. Is it possible that the mutations we've seen documented in fish (with a lifespan of 10 to 12 years) are happening at a relatively faster rate to bees? A report I read recently suggested that scientists are looking at a virus or plague of sorts that might be killing off the bees. I might suggest that they start looking at possible mutations caused by the endocrine disruptor commonly found in sludge and treated waste water. Maybe the bees just can't reproduce anymore.

Comment #18 I just read a document from Penn State University where several scientist have been called together to study the problem. From what I read, the problem primarily affects bees that are part of commercial hives. Certain commercial hive practices cause stress on the bees, making them susceptible to other opportunistic diseases. These activities include trucking hives to distant fields, splitting colonies to start new hives and of course, taking their honey. There was another thought regarding environmental contaminants. There is a pesticide and a fungicide that alone are not a big threat to bees. But together, their strength is magnified 1,000 fold. The stronger combined toxin impairs a bee's ability to navigate and could explain why no bodies are found. They fly away, get poisoned, get lost and die. The fungicide and pesticide are commonly used and can often be combined in the same field. I've heard no mention of wild hives being affected in any way. If any of you have, please post here so we all know.

Comment #20 What about the queens? They keep the hive in line, functioning and workers working. The queens produce a pheromone or chemical scent to direct the other bees. What if that is malfunctioning like queen phero-menapause? From what I've read the queens are still there, the workers/drones are gone. How about checking into queens functionality?

Bees Even Affect Your Beef Purchases!
Like a little Angus with your meal? Well if the CCD problem isn't resolved soon, you might be paying top dollar for that fillet Mignon.Bees play an important role in fertilizing the alfalfa that cows are fed by cattle industry leaders. With no alfalfa, there will be no feed for the cows - or a pricier substitute will be found, and the cost passed along to consumers.

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