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Bee Catastrophe: 1/3 of Colonies Died This Winter, Worries Grow About Terminal Decline

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posted on May, 4 2010 @ 02:27 AM

May 3, 2010 | Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.

I've read so many explanations for this phenomena over the time...yet it seems scientists are no closer to an answer...which I find slightly hard to believe...I read an interesting post the other day where a person claimed: I think I know whats killing the bees. Definitely one of the most plausible explanations I've heard, however, I believe it could be a whole array of different things which contribute to the overall problem, that seems highly likely as well.

So what do you think?

EDIT: I've made 1,001 posts! Nice.

[edit on 4/5/10 by CHA0S]

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 02:30 AM
reply to post by CHA0S

This is horrible.

What about all the poison sprays that the very people who want the bees use?

Poison equals death, a basic equation.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 02:46 AM
reply to post by catwhoknows

Poison equals death, a basic equation. would think that's fairly obvious...but what poisons for what use? You mean the poisons/insecticides they spray crops with?

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 02:55 AM
reply to post by CHA0S

Yes, so the very farmers who want bees are killing them.

The poisons sprayed all around our world are killing a lot of species, probably including us.

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 04:39 AM
Well, here in Oslo the last two weeks, we have had almost summer weather, not to warm weather yet, but still, the last couple of days the flowers have been blooming and Ive had bumbebees on my varanda(?)porch in block building if you know what I mean, today : Snow storm , ofcourse the ecosystem will fail with this kind of weather..

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 07:57 AM
Yes this could be a sign of the fragility of the environment as bees are so necessary to the pollinating of plants. I heard some time ago that there was a correlation with the time that Cell towers were introduced that bees started acting erratically. The bees can't find there way back to the hive and die.

Is anyone going to give up there cell phone?

[edit on 4-5-2010 by kbriggss]

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:06 AM
So I'm going to ask the question that everyone else could be's on my mind pretty heavily;

How much food are we going to lose?

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:50 AM
reply to post by CHA0S

Thank you for the update; I had not seen that story. Last year I attended a public on-campus talk at UC Berkeley here in California, a talk given by Claire Kremen, PhD, an environmental sciences professor who specializes in studies of native bee populations. Among other facts, she states that the biggest factor influencing bee health around farmlands is diversity of planting: For example, if you are just "monocropping" (growing just one type of crop each season), you severely limit the amount of time that that crop is in flower; limited flowering means a severely limited food supply for native foraging bee populations. Another factor is that around farmlands, some species of native bees (such as solitary bees -- i.e., those who do not live in hives but create their own ground nests, one bee at a time) require undisturbed ground as their habitat or living space.

For both of these reasons given above, organic farming of multiple crops at a time and multiple plantings of diverse crops over a full year has an advantage over conventional agriculture (which uses chemical sprays, tainted fertilizers, and in some cases GMO seeds) in insuring both plentiful supply of flower pollen (food) for many bee species and more undisturbed ground surrounding the organic farms, per organic farming guidelines of certifying organizations.

Here, for example, is a link to the non-profit group founded by Dr. Kremen and several of her science colleagues to conduct ongoing studies of the health of native and non-native (European honeybee) bee populations:

Interestingly, in that website's current news (see the right-hand column) there is an update on the threat to native bumblebees. Here is that story, which is condensed from an earlier report in the Seattle Times, which you can click on at the bottom of this page below:

And here is the earlier Xerces Society summary of a January 2010 report on this same problem by the Washington Post newspaper:

Below is a Xerces Society fact sheet that explains in detail how the availability of flowering fruits (in this case - watermelon) helps maintain the strength of bee populations:

Xerces Society also has a number of more in-depth brochures they sell at minimal cost which explain an ecologically viable way to improve a farm's compatibility with all bee is one example:

Here is a low-cost recent book on the subject they have also published:

Here is the free signup page for their e-newsletter:

Here is the most recent news release on their website, 5 months ago, a scientific petition to the USDA agency in Washington DC to alert the US Federal government to the threatened extinction of 4 bumblebee populations:

Last year, my family and I signed up for monthly delivery to our door of fresh fruits and vegetables from the Farm Fresh To You food cooperative. Capay Farms, the supplier for Farm Fresh, is one of the organic farms in Yolo County in Northern California that Dr. Kremen's group has studied in depth over the last 10 years. (Farm Fresh also has set up fall/winter/spring farms in southern California in Imperial County -- the desert -- to serve as a more local supplier for its southern California customers like my family.)

If you want to contact Xerces directly to ask about the breaking news story cited by the OP, here are e-mail addresses and telephone numbers you can use:

[edit on 5/4/2010 by Uphill]

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 08:59 AM
I think the pesticide clothianidan and it's chemical relatives made by Bayer AG and Takeda chemical industries is at the very least partialy to blame.
They were banned in Germany and France over fears it related to the Bee die off.

Clothianidin is being studied regarding mass dieoffs of honeybees in some parts of Europe. Use of clothianidin was prohibited by the German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety on May 15, 2008 until new studies can prove the innocuousness of the product.

In August 2008, the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the United States Environmental Protection Agency after the latter agency failed to provide records related to studies regarding clothianidin's possible effects on bees.

Clothianidin has the potential for toxic chronic exposure to honey bees, as well as other nontarget pollinators, through the translocation of
clothianidin residues in nectar and pollen.

This is from a EPA clothianidan fact sheet, sorry no link it gives a massive url that doesn't work properly.
I don't know if the EPA were eventually forthcoming with the studies to the NRDC or not? I believe the EPA approved clothianidan in the first place.

This came out near two years ago, I'm not sure where it's at now. Still unresolved I'd say if Bayer has anything to do with it.

BTW if your unfamiliar with Bayer check this out. Wow! quite a history.

[edit on 4-5-2010 by squiz]

posted on May, 4 2010 @ 09:04 AM
Between the Bees and the Oil spill a lot of food will be lost.

If we have good rain and some hot sun at the right times we could get a good NA crop this year...if not then we are in deep doo doo..

Also the RICE crops need to be followed and the Ukrainian, Australian and SA. crops.

These are the biggie food suppliers.

posted on May, 5 2010 @ 11:53 AM
According to this article, they can't pinpoint one particular reason that the bees are dying, but rather there are several contributing factors, including "irresponsible use of pesticides".

The death of the bees is incredibly alarming and frightening. Our future looks grim without them.

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