Honey Bees Vanishing



Bees Seem To Be Dying Across USA
Contributed by Yvette Rosser

Albert Einstein: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe,
then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no
more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

Species under threat: Honey, who shrunk the bee population?

Across America, millions of honey bees are abandoning their hives and
flying off to die, leaving beekeepers facing ruin and US agriculture
under threat. And to date, no one knows why.

It has echoes of a murder mystery in polite society. There could
hardly be a more sedate and unruffled world than beekeeping, but the
beekeepers of the United States have suddenly encountered affliction,
calamity and death on a massive scale. And they have not got a clue
why it is happening.
Michael McCarthy reports
Published: 01 March 2007. The Independent, UK
The Independent, UK

Across the country, from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, honey bee
colonies have started to die off, abruptly and decisively. Millions of
bees are abandoning their hives and flying off to die (they cannot
survive as a colony without the queen, who is always left behind).

Some beekeepers, especially those with big portable apiaries, or bee
farms, which are used for large-scale pollination of fruit and
vegetable crops, are facing commercial ruin - and there is a growing
threat that America's agriculture may be struck a mortal blow by the
loss of the pollinators. Yet scientists investigating the problem have
no idea what is causing it.

The phenomenon is recent, dating back to autumn, when beekeepers along
the east coast of the US started to notice the die-offs. It was given
the name of fall dwindle disease, but now it has been renamed to
reflect better its dramatic nature, and is known as colony collapse

It is swift in its effect. Over the course of a week the majority of
the bees in an affected colony will flee the hive and disappear, going
off to die elsewhere. The few remaining insects are then found to be
enormously diseased - they have a "tremendous pathogen load", the
scientists say. But why? No one yet knows.

The condition has been recorded in at least 24 states. It is having a
major effect on the mobile apiaries which are transported across the
US to pollinate large-scale crops, such as oranges in Florida or
almonds in California. Some have lost up to 90 per cent of their bees.

A reliable estimate of the true extent of the problem will not be
possible for another month or so, until winter comes to an end and the
hibernating bee colonies in the northern American states wake up. But
scientists are very worried, not least because, as there is no obvious
cause for the disease as yet, there is no way of tackling it.

"We are extremely alarmed," said Diana Cox-Foster, the professor of
Entomology at Penn States University and one of the leading members of
a specially convened colony-collapse disorder working group.

"It is one of the most alarming insect diseases ever to hit the US and
it has the potential to devastate the US beekeeping industry. In some
ways it may be to the insect world what foot-and-mouth disease was to
livestock in England."

Most of the pollination for more than 90 commercial crops grown
throughout the United States is provided byApis mellifera, the honey
bee, and the value from the pollination to agricultural output in the
country is estimated at $14.6bn (£8bn) annually. Growers rent about
1.5 million colonies each year to pollinate crops - a colony usually
being the group of bees in a hive.

California's almond crop, which is the biggest in the world,
stretching over more than half a million acres over the state's
central valley, now draws more than half of the mobile bee colonies in
America at pollinating time - which is now. Some big commercial
beekeeping operations which have been hit hard by the current disease
have had to import millions of bees from Australia to enable the
almond trees to be pollinated.

Some of these mobile apiaries have been losing 60 or 70 per cent of
their insects, or even more. "A honey producer in Pennsylvania doing
local pollination, Larry Curtis, has gone from 1,000 bee colonies to
fewer than eight," said Professor Cox-Foster. The disease showed a
completely new set of symptoms, "which does not seem to match anything
in the literature", said the entomologist.

One was that the bees left the hive and flew away to die elsewhere,
over about a week. Another was that the few bees left inside the hive
were carrying "a tremendous number of pathogens" - virtually every
known bee virus could be detected in the insects, she said, and some
bees were carrying five or six viruses at a time, as well as fungal
infections. Because of this it was assumed that the bees' immune
systems were being suppressed in some way.

Professor Cox-Foster went on: "And another unusual symptom that we're
are seeing, which makes this very different, is that normally when a
bee colony gets weak and its numbers are decreasing, other
neighbouring bees will come and steal the resources - they will take
away the honey and the pollen.

"Other insects like to take advantage too, such as the wax moth or the
hive beetle. But none of this is happening. These insects are not
coming in.

"This suggests that there is something toxic in the colony itself
which is repelling them."

The scientists involved in the working group were surveying the dead
colonies but did not think the cause of the deaths was anything
brought in by beekeepers, such as pesticides, she said.

Another of the researchers studying the collapses, Dennis van
Engelsdorp, a bee specialist with the State of Pennsylvania, said it
was still difficult to gauge their full extent. It was possible that
the bees were fleeing the colonies because they sensed they themselves
were diseased or affected in some way, he said. This behaviour has
been recorded in other social insects, such as ants.

The introduction of the parasitic bee mite Varroa in 1987 and the
invasion of the Africanised honey bee in 1990 have threatened honey
bee colonies in the US and in other parts of the world, but although
serious, they were easily comprehensible; colony collapse disorder is
a deep mystery.

One theory is that the bees may be suffering from stress as beekeepers
increasingly transport them around the country, the hives stacked on
top of each other on the backs of trucks, to carry out pollination
contracts in orchard after orchard, in different states.

Tens of billions of bees are now involved in this "migratory"
pollination. An operator might go from pollinating oranges in Florida,
to apples in Pennsylvania, to blueberries in Maine, then back to
Massachusetts to pollinate cranberries.

The business is so big that pollination is replacing honey-making as
the main money earner at the top end of the beekeeping market, not
least because in recent years the US has been flooded with cheap honey
imports, mainly from Argentina and China.

A typical bee colony, which might be anything from 15,000 to 30,000
bees, would be rented out to a fruit grower for about $135 - a price
that is up from $55 only three years ago. To keep the bees' energy up
while they are pollinating, beekeepers feed them protein supplements
and syrup carried around in large tanks.

It is in these migratory colonies where the biggest losses have been
seen. But the stress theory is as much speculation as anything else.
At the moment, the disappearance of America's bees is as big a mystery
as the disappearance of London's sparrows.
Vanishing bees threaten US crops
By Matt Wells
BBC News, Florida, USA

It is officially called Colony Collapse Disorder, but a more pithy way
of describing it would be Vanishing Bee Syndrome.

The Hackenbergs and their hives
Bees are driven around Florida to help pollinate early crops
All over America, beekeepers are opening up their hives in preparation
for the spring pollination season, only to find that their bees are
dead or have disappeared.

Nobody, so far, knows why.

The sad mystery surrounding the humble honeybee - which is a vital
component in $14bn-worth of US agriculture - is beginning to worry
even the highest strata of the political class in Washington.

"Hillary Clinton's got interested in this in the last week or so,"
said David Hackenberg, the beekeeper leading the drive to publicise
their plight.

"And she's not alone," he said. "There's a lot of Congressmen have
called...wanting to know what's going on. It's serious.

Bees in a hive
Before: a healthy beehive....
"It's not just affecting the beekeepers, it's affecting the farmers
that produce the food, and in the end it's going to affect the
consumer," he added, sighing deeply.

What makes our interview slightly surreal is that we are standing next
to an orange grove, in rural Florida, while about 70 hives of bees
buzz angrily behind us, as if to emphasise their predicament.

Dead and dying bees in affected hive
...and after: a hive with CCD

Mr Hackenberg is suffering along with his bees. Like many in his
rather neglected profession, he and his son spend the summer and
autumn in the north of the country, driving their bees down south
during the winter, to kick-start the early fruit and vegetable crops.

In a matter of weeks, he lost just over 2,000 of his 3,000 hives. The
yard of his small honey farm near Tampa Bay, is littered with empty
boxes, which normally would be full of worker bees, doing what they do

As we speak, his mobile phone chirps constantly, with yet more
beekeepers across the US, reporting losses of up to 95%.


Federal scientists, the National Beekeepers Association and state
researchers have come together to form an emergency working group to
try and halt the disastrous trend.

There are as many theories as there are members of the panel, but Mr
Hackenberg strongly suspects that new breeds of nicotine-based
pesticides are to blame.

"It may be that the honeybee has become the victim of these
insecticides that are meant for other pests," he said. "If we don't
figure this out real quick, it's going to wipe out our food supply."

Just a few miles down the sunlit road, it is easy to find farmers
prepared to agree with his gloomy assessment.

In the old days, crops would be pollinated by bees living in the woods
around the fertile fields, but housing developers have gobbled up much
of the natural habitat, according to Carl Grooms, who runs Fancy Farms

"The squash crops that we grow have a male and female bloom, and the
bee has to visit...to make it pollinate and produce," he said.

"We're going to have a hard time finding rental bees to aid in this
pollination and if it's as critical as it looks like it will be, I
probably won't even plant anything this spring."

Back at the Buffy Bee honey farm - the Hackenberg's Florida base - two
members from the working group checked in to pay their respects, and
take some bee samples on their way back to Washington.

Crazy theories

Dennis van Engelsdorp, a Pennsylvania-based beekeeper and leading
researcher, walks over to an isolated group of hives, and pulls out
two different wooden frames that would normally be covered in bees,
busy making honey.

The difference is obvious. While one is teeming with insects, the
other is virtually uninhabited. "The adult population totally
disappears," he said. He shakes his head in frustration.

Nathan Rice and Dennis van Engelsdorp take samples from a hive
The US Department of Agriculture is working on finding the cause

He runs through the long list of possible causes, ranging from new
mite infestation to new chemicals, but he is adamant that it is too
early to pin the blame on insecticides.

"We have no evidence to think that that theory is more right than any
other...There's stronger evidence for some other things really," he said.

He points to the fact that the Colony Collapse Disorder is
inconsistent even within localised regions. Some beekeepers have
managed to retain completely healthy hives.

His caution is backed up by Nathan Rice, from the Department of
Agriculture's bee research laboratory.

"While there is a lot of this crazy guessing going on, people get kind
of concerned," he said. "We're here to try to figure out why it's

Future fears

The sensitivity of the beekeepers themselves is easy to understand.
For the Hackenbergs, their livelihood is at stake, not to mention the
millions of bees that have died.

David Hackenberg's son, Davey, 35, is angry and frustrated that there
are no answers yet. "We're working hard at it every day, and we're
going to keep working hard until the bank comes and says, 'hey, we're
taking the place,'" he says with a defiant edge.

As a father of four, he thinks that the time may have come to get out
of the bee business.

Tales abound around the Hackenberg breakfast table of beekeepers who
have already given up after a calamitous few months trying to
pollinate the huge almond crop in California.

Some bankrupt beekeepers do not have the money to get themselves home,
let alone their equipment.

A bumper-sticker on one of the family trucks shows support for the
Bush-Cheney ticket in the 2004 election, but Davey is now wondering
whether anywhere near enough has been done by governments - and
everybody else - to keep his fragile industry and environment going.

Honey Bee Die-off Alarms Beekeepers
Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery News

Feb. 5, 2007 �" Something is wiping out honey bees across North America
and a team of researchers is rushing to find out what it is.

What’s being called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has now been seen
in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and way out in
California. Some bee keepers have lost up to 80 percent of their
colonies to the mysterious disorder.

"Those are quite scary numbers," said Dennis vanEngelsdorp,
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s lead apiarist. Whatever kills
the bees targets adult workers which die outside the colony �" with few
adults left inside, either alive or dead. The disorder decimates the
worker bee population in a matter of weeks.

Aside from making honey, honey bees are essential for the pollination
of tens of million of dollars worth of cash crops all over the United
States. That’s why almond growers of California, for instance, are
taking notice and pledging funds to help identify and fight the honey
bee disorder.

Among the possible culprits are a fungus, virus, or a variety of
microbes and pesticides. No one knows just yet. On first inspection,
the pattern of die-offs resembles something that has been seen in more
isolated cases in Louisiana, Texas and Australia, vanEngelsdorp said.

"Right now our efforts are on collecting as many samples as possible,"
said vanEngelsdorp. Bees that are collected are carefully dissected
and analyzed to see what might have killed them.

Other researchers are keeping track of the problem using Google Earth,
as well as cutting edge hive-sniffing and eavesdropping technology to
investigate the problem.
We’re trying to sort out the myriad of variables," said Jerry
Bromenshank of the University of Montana and Bee Alert Technology,
Inc. "We’ve sent teams to Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and
California. The scenario was about exactly the same everywhere we looked."

The locations of the bees are put on a global database to see it there
is any geographic pattern. Bromenshank also uses a groundbreaking
audio analysis technique that allows them to hear specific changes in
bee colony sounds when specific chemicals are present. Chemical air
sampling in hives is also being planned, he said.
Just how bad the bee problem is right now is unknown, since the first
cases came at the end of 2006 and many colonies in northern states are
not active yet.

As spring awakens honey bee colonies, it will be vital that beekeepers
send information to the scientists, regardless of how well or poorly
their bee colonies are faring, said Bromenshank. For that purpose the
scientists have put together a confidential beekeeper survey on their
Website, http://maarec.org.

"Beekeepers overwintering in the north may not know the status of
their colonies until they are able to make early spring inspections,"
said Maryann Frazier, apiculture extension associate in Penn State's
College of Agricultural Sciences. "This should occur in late February
or early March.

"Regardless, there is little doubt that honey bees are going to be in
short supply this spring and possibly into the summer."

Mystery Ailment Strikes Honeybees

_ Although the bodies of dead bees often are littered around a hive,
sometimes carried out of the hive by worker bees, no bee remains are
typically found around colonies struck by the mystery ailment.
Scientists assume these bees have flown away from the hive before dying.

_ From the outside, a stricken colony may appear normal, with bees
leaving and entering. But when beekeepers look inside the hive box,
they find few mature bees taking care of the younger, developing bees.
The Associated Press
Sunday, February 11, 2007; 11:17 PM

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- A mysterious illness is killing tens of
thousands of honeybee colonies across the country, threatening honey
production, the livelihood of beekeepers and possibly crops that need
bees for pollination.

Researchers are scrambling to find the cause of the ailment, called
Colony Collapse Disorder.
Washington Post

Reports of unusual colony deaths have come from at least 22 states.
Some affected commercial beekeepers _ who often keep thousands of
colonies _ have reported losing more than 50 percent of their bees. A
colony can have roughly 20,000 bees in the winter, and up to 60,000 in
the summer.

"We have seen a lot of things happen in 40 years, but this is the
epitome of it all," Dave Hackenberg, of Lewisburg-based Hackenberg
Apiaries, said by phone from Fort Meade, Fla., where he was working
with his bees.

The country's bee population had already been shocked in recent years
by a tiny, parasitic bug called the varroa mite, which has destroyed
more than half of some beekeepers' hives and devastated most wild
honeybee populations.

Along with being producers of honey, commercial bee colonies are
important to agriculture as pollinators, along with some birds, bats
and other insects. A recent report by the National Research Council
noted that in order to bear fruit, three-quarters of all flowering
plants _ including most food crops and some that provide fiber, drugs
and fuel _ rely on pollinators for fertilization.

Hackenberg, 58, was first to report Colony Collapse Disorder to bee
researchers at Penn State University. He notified them in November
when he was down to about 1,000 colonies _ after having started the
fall with 2,900.

"We are going to take bees we got and make more bees ... but it's
costly," he said. "We are talking about major bucks. You can only take
so many blows so many times."

One beekeeper who traveled with two truckloads of bees to California
to help pollinate almond trees found nearly all of his bees dead upon
arrival, said Dennis vanEnglesdorp, acting state apiarist for the
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

"I would characterize it as serious," said Daniel Weaver, president of
the American Beekeeping Federation. "Whether it threatens the
apiculture industry in the United States or not, that's up in the air."

Scientists at Penn State, the University of Montana and the U.S.
Department of Agriculture are among the quickly growing group of
researchers and industry officials trying to solve the mystery.

Among the clues being assembled by researchers:

_ Normally, a weakened bee colony would be immediately overrun by bees
from other colonies or by pests going after the hive's honey. That's
not the case with the stricken colonies, which might not be touched
for at least two weeks, said Diana Cox-Foster, a Penn State entomology
professor investigating the problem.

"That is a real abnormality," Hackenberg said.

Cox-Foster said an analysis of dissected bees turned up an alarmingly
high number of foreign fungi, bacteria and other organisms and
weakened immune systems.

Researchers are also looking into the effect pesticides might be
having on bees.

In the meantime, beekeepers are wondering if bee deaths over the last
couple of years that had been blamed on mites or poor management might
actually have resulted from the mystery ailment.

"Now people think that they may have had this three or four years,"
vanEnglesdorp said.

NewsTarget.com printable article
Originally published March 21 2007
Mysterious collapse of honeybee populations threatens national food supply
by Christian Evans

The honeybee population in the United States is currently suffering a
devastating collapse. Honeybees are flying off in search of pollen and
nectar and simply never returning to their colonies. Have they all
been kidnapped by mad beekeepers, or is something more frightening
occurring with the pollinators in our ecosystem?

During the final three months of 2006, a distressing number of
honeybee colonies began to diminish from the United States, and
beekeepers all over the country have reported unprecedented losses.
According to scientists, the domesticated honeybee population has
declined by about 50% in the last 50 years.

Reports of similar losses to the honeybee population have been
documented before in beekeeping literature, but are widely believed to
have occurred at this scale previously only at a regional level. With
outbreaks recorded as far back as 1896, this is regarded as the first
national honeybee epidemic in U.S. history.

The phenomenon, referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), is not
yet well understood. Even the existence of the disorder remains in
dispute. Nevertheless, what cannot be denied is that a shortage of
honeybees in the continental U.S. has affected cropowners from
California to the New England states.

"There are shortages [like this] that pop up from time to time," said
Claire Kremen, a conservation biologist at Princeton University.
"Whether there are more [shortages] than there were 20 years ago, one
would guess yes, as there are fewer bees to go around, but it's not
well documented."
Subsequent investigations suggest these outbreaks of unexplained
colony collapse were experienced by beekeepers for at least the last
two years. Are the honeybees dying in the fields they pollinate, or do
they simply become too exhausted and disoriented to find their way
back home?

Why honeybees are the invisible link to an abundant food supply
Whatever the reason, why should we care so much? Why should it matter
at all to Americans?

When entire bee populations seem to disappear or die out in alarming
numbers, the ramifications can be astounding. Bee pollination, which
most farmers depend on, is responsible for as much as 30% of the U.S.
food supply.

"Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to
pollinate that food," said Zac Browning, vice president of the
American Beekeeping Federation.

A Cornell University study has estimated that honeybees annually
pollinate more than $14 billion worth of seeds and crops in the United
States. These include such diverse food sources as almond blossoms,
pumpkins, cucumbers, raspberries, avocados, and alfalfa. Unless
something is done to protect the honeybee population soon, many fruits
and vegetables may disappear from the food chain.

"The sudden and unexplained loss of honeybee populations is an early
warning sign for coming disruptions in modern agriculture," explained
Mike Adams, executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center
non-profit group (www.ConsumerWellness.org). "If we continue to lose
honeybees at this rate, we may find ourselves in a dire food supply
emergency that will not be easily solved," Adams said.

"During the last three months of 2006, we began to receive reports
from commercial beekeepers of an alarming number of honey bee colonies
dying in the eastern United States," said Maryann Frazier, a senior
extension associate in the Department of Entomology at Pennsylvania
State University's College of Agricultural Sciences.

"Since the beginning of the year, beekeepers from all over the country
have been reporting unprecedented losses. This has become a highly
significant yet poorly understood problem that threatens the
pollination industry and the production of commercial honey in the
United States," she said.

Honeybees are killed by synthetic chemicals
Scientists, for now, have primarily attributed the honeybee decline to
diseases spread as a result of mites and other parasites as well as
the spraying of crops with pesticides. It may also result from the
treatment of forests, rangelands and even suburban areas to control a
wide variety of pests.

"There is no question that the extremely irresponsible use of
synthetic chemicals in modern farming practices is significantly
contributing to this devastating drop in honeybee populations," said
Mike Adams. "The more chemicals we spray on the crops, the more
poisoned the pollinators become. And the fact that honeybees are now
simply disappearing in huge numbers is a strong indicator that a key
chemical burden threshold has been crossed. We may have unwittingly
unleashed an agricultural Chernobyl."

In order to deal with this devastation, a newly formed CCD working
group has been organized in hope of finding a solution to the
dwindling honeybee population. According to the CCD mandate, the group
will explore "the cause or causes of honeybee colony collapse and
finding appropriate strategies to reduce colony loss in the future."

Comprised of university faculty researchers, state regulatory
officials, cooperative extension educators and industry
representatives, the working group hopes to develop management
strategies and recommendations for this epidemic. Participating
organizations include the USDA/ARS, the Florida Department of
Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania
State University, and Bee Alert, Inc., a technology transfer company
affiliated with the University of Montana.

Research involving the value of honeybees to agriculture could be
beneficial to both the beekeeper and the grower. The knowledge formed
from such research maximizes the likelihood of finding answers that
will aid beekeepers in promoting good health for honeybees within the
pollination industry. It should also keep the grower well informed
about the process of pollination and the relative damage of different
pesticides to honeybee populations.

A detailed, up-to-date report on Colony Collapse Disorder can be found
on the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium Web
site at http://www.maarec.org

The pesticide link to honeybee populations
Pesticides, specifically neonicotinioid pesticides, including
imidacloprid, clothianiden and thiamethoxam, poison the bee while it
is in the process of collecting nectar and pollen. The poisoning may
occur when the material is ingested, or it may be transported to the
hive where it poisons other bees in the colony.

According to a recent report, "Pesticides in Relation to BeeKeeping
and Crop Pollination, even organic insecticides -- the chlorinated
hydrocarbons, organophosphates, and carbamates -- vary in their
toxicity and are not recommended."

Pesticides can also damage wild bees, but the toxicity level of a
specific insecticide to honeybees and wild bees is not always the
same. Even among wild bees, some materials are more toxic to one
species than to another.

According to the CCD report, "If bees are eating fresh or stored
pollen contaminated with these chemicals at low levels, they may not
cause mortality but may impact the bee's ability to learn or make
memories. This could cause the colonies to dwindle and eventually die."

So far a few common management factors have been found, but no common
environmental agents or chemicals have been identified. There is no
one substance currently being branded as the culprit.

Not limited to the United States, this problem is complex and the
ramifications are alarming. Such a loss to the honeybee population can
occur in other countries that have highly developed agricultural

This only begs an even deeper question for society to answer: If we
are so dependent on honeybee pollination for our food supply, what
happens when the bees are wiped out? Mike Adams calls our current food
production situation a "food bubble" and explains that as mankind
disrupts nature and destroys sustainable ecosystems, the natural
backlash will impact the food supply first. "Following a century of
synthetic chemical poisoning of planet Earth, the human race is in for
a rather abrupt population correction. The collapse of pollinators is
merely a sign of things to come. Humans will either find a way to live
in balance with the planet, or they may ultimately face the same fate
as the honeybees."

When Bees Disappear, Will Man Soon Follow?
Apr 5th, 2007, 7:45 AM

Jean-Claude Gerard Koven

Last week I received an email from a friend reporting a sudden,
devastating collapse in America's bee population. The message
triggered an immediate unpleasant shiver through my body as I recalled
the ominous quote attributed to Albert Einstein: "If the bee
disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have
four years of life left.

No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no
more man."

Being a bit skeptical, I assumed this was just another piece of
alarmist misinformation finding its way onto Internet distribution
lists. A few minutes' research not only confirmed the story, but made
me realize that the problem is far from local. In official circles,
the condition is called either Fall-Dwindle Disease or, more commonly,
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

The communication I received stated: "Honeybees are flying off in
search of pollen and nectar and simply never returning to their colonies.

During the final three months of 2006, a distressing number of
honeybee colonies began to diminish from the United States, and
beekeepers all over the country have reported unprecedented losses.
According to scientists, the domesticated honeybee population has
declined by about 50 percent in the last 50 years. Reports of similar
losses to the honeybee population have been documented before in
beekeeping literature, but are widely believed to have occurred at
this scale previously only at a regional level. With outbreaks
recorded as far back as 1896, this is regarded as the first national
honeybee epidemic in U.S. history."

The topics grabbing headlines these days leave little room in the news
for the plight of an insect. What we fail to appreciate is that
without an abundance of bees to pollinate crops, the United States
could lose as much as 30 percent of its food supply. According to Zac
Browning, vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation, "Every
third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to
pollinate that food."

There is no doubt about what is happening - or its consequences if the
situation is not rectified. What remains murky is the cause. According
to Walter Haefeker, director of the German Beekeepers Association, CCD
has four possible causes: the varroa mite, introduced from Asia; the
widespread practice of spraying wildflowers with herbicides; the
practice of monoculture (a single crop covering a large area); and the
controversial yet growing use of genetic engineering in agriculture.

However, it is the thinking of one of the cell phone industry's former
scientific hired guns that caught my attention. When George Carlo,
M.D., the celebrated author of "Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the
Wireless Age" and current chairman of the nonprofit Science and Public
Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., weighs in with an opinion, we'd
all be fools not to listen carefully.

On a recent conference call, Dr. Carlo laid the blame for the sudden
demise (often within 72 hours) of entire bee colonies on the recent
proliferation of electromagnetic waves (EMF). He cited the startling
statistic that, at present, there are some 2.5 billion cell phone
users around the world. While this (plus the explosive growth of cell
phone towers) used to be the major concern, the problem has been
significantly exacerbated by the recent introduction of satellite
radio. Imagine being closeted in a confined environment filled with
chain smokers; it would be impossible for you to get a breath of clean
air. It is becoming equally difficult for you to avoid the
now-measurable damage from EMF exposure.

Dr. Carlo commented that the constant electromagnetic background noise
seems to disrupt intercellular communication within individual bees,
such that many of them cannot find their way back to the hive. His
conclusions are confirmed by a recent study conducted by three
departments of Panjab University (India), which has found that cell
phone towers - the dominant source of electromagnetic radiation in the
city of Chandigarh - could well be the cause behind the mysterious
disappearance of butterflies, some insects (like bees), and birds.

Andrew Weil, M.D., author of "Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to
Optimum Health," fully agrees: "Electromagnetic pollution may be the
most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this
century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible."

In some countries, up to 10 percent of the population suffers from a
serious EMF-induced condition that Dr. Carlo and others call membrane
sensitivity syndrome. In a recent address to the Health, Social
Services and Housing Sub-Panel in the United Kingdom, Carlo explained:

"Originally, this type of condition was the result of high chemical
exposures; we used to call it chemical sensitivity. Now we have
identified the same type of condition in patients who are exposed to
various types of electromagnetic radiation. It is a medical problem.

People who have membrane sensitivity syndrome have internal bleeding.

They can be in a room where somebody puts on a cell phone, and they
will end up having an immediate reaction; they will go home and they
will bleed and in their stool they will have blood. This condition is
very debilitating. It prevents these people from being able to work;
they cannot earn a living, they have difficult relationships with
their children, their spouses give up on them. .. It is a very, very
serious medical problem."

The bees are the modern-day counterpart of the canaries that miners
used to carry with them as they descended into the mine shafts. If the
birds died, it was an early warning of a buildup of toxic gases in the

When canaries die or bees disappear, we are being cautioned that we
too are in immediate danger. It is time to listen to the message
nature is telling us. Denial - the favorite ploy of those whose
profits are being threatened - is no longer an option. As Arthur
Schopenhauer said, "All truth passes through three stages. First, it
is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted
as being self-evident."

I shudder to think of what will become of humankind if we linger too
long in stage two: "no more bees, no more pollination, no more plants,
no more animals, no more man."
I heard an interesting perspective on this last night. Not all bees are dying out, just the ones on these bee farms. Undomesticated bees don't seem to be effected. First, we have to ask what is different about domesticated bees? The answer may be in how they make their hives. Bee farmers provide a type of frame for the bees to build honeycombs on. These honeycombs tend have larger hexagon sections than those in the wild, and as a result, lead to larger bees. Science isn't really sure what kind of effects this has on the bees health though.
Second, we have to ask what is different about this year? Bees haven't been dying off until this year, so that leads one to the conclussion that something is happening this year that hasn't happened in previous years. That is where science has been drawing a blank.
Personally, I blame Wolfowitz.

Anyway, if the bees really are dying out (which it appears they are - article overload, my friend) then what can we do about it?
at this time NOBODY seems to know what is happening or why

one thing they know for sure

This is and will affect us all on this planet without Honey-bees there is no pollination and we all are smart enough to know what that means

read einstiens quote above in 1st article

yes i know article overload it was to show that it wasnt a fringe idea

personally I have read some interesting info on this and CHEMTRAILS

particularly Morgellons disease being found in hives

Morgellons apppears to be being delivered Via Contrails

again Morgellons is about as new a disease as the bee die off is new so there is Little info availible at this time
This Guy is a whackjob and probably a stoner
that is the name of a coffeeshoppe in Amsterdam
And so what if Bees are going away GOOD im allergic to them anyways ill be happy with less bees. The Government can pollinate fruits and veggies without bees