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Honey Bees Vanishing

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by Rokerijdude11, May 11, 2007.

  1. 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.
  2. 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."
  4. 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."

  5. 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."
  6. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2007
    Likes Received:
    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.
  7. The Founders Intent

    The Founders Intent Well-Known Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    Likes Received:
    It's Bush's fault.
  8. wow what a loony tune
  9. vyo476

    vyo476 Well-Known Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    Likes Received:
    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?
  10. 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
  11. Fred

    Fred Active Member

    May 17, 2007
    Likes Received:
    This Guy is a whackjob and probably a stoner
    that is the name of a coffeeshoppe in Amsterdam
  12. Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Yeah, Amsterdam, coffee ok.
  13. Fred

    Fred Active Member

    May 17, 2007
    Likes Received:
    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

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