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What is going on?
Where have all the bees gone?
It is a vanishing on the scale of entire cities. Late in 2006, commercial beekeepers in Florida began noticing alarming numbers of their bees had gone missing. Bustling colonies, tens of thousands strong, were emptying in a matter of days. Systematic searches for dead bees around the colonies mostly drew a blank.
"Imagine waking one morning to find 80 per cent of the people in your community are just gone," says May Berenbaum of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Before long 22 states were reporting similar stories, raising fears that bees were in serious trouble - potentially a big disaster for farmers since bees pollinate crops worth $14 billion each year in the US.
There is no shortage of potential culprits; European honeybees make up the vast majority of commercial stocks in the US and they are susceptible to myriad viral and fungal blights and two forms of parasitic mites, one of which wiped out about half of the American honeybee population in the 1980s. Yet, in this instance, the precise cause of the sudden decline, dubbed "colony collapse disorder", remains elusive. The pattern of disappearance offers few clues, since CCD appears to be widespread and plagues non-migrating colonies as well as those that are moved from place to place to pollinate crops.
Originally posted by TheWalkingFox
Does this happen in Eurasia? Because it could very well be an indigenous parasite / disease that fluctuates. Honeybees are an unnatural part of North America's fauna, after all.
Maybe it's just nature reasserting itself.
Unfortunately I lost the original link to where I originally found the article but here is the link to the other thread where I posted the article on another forum.
Are GM Crops Killing Bees?
By Gunther Latsch
A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. The consequences for agriculture and the economy could be enormous.
Is the mysterous decimation of bee populations in the US and Germany a result of GM crops?
Walter Haefeker is a man who is used to painting grim scenarios. He sits on the board of directors of the German Beekeepers Association (DBIB) and is vice president of the European Professional Beekeepers Association. And because griping is part of a lobbyist's trade, it is practically his professional duty to warn that "the very existence of beekeeping is at stake."
The problem, says Haefeker, has a number of causes, one being the varroa mite, introduced from Asia, and another is the widespread practice in agriculture of spraying wildflowers with herbicides and practicing monoculture. Another possible cause, according to Haefeker, is the controversial and growing use of genetic engineering in agriculture.
As far back as 2005, Haefeker ended an article he contributed to the journal Der Kritischer Agrarbericht (Critical Agricultural Report) with an Albert Einstein quote: "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."