Originally posted by jjkenobi
Oh my gosh I am so blasted sick of these honeybee threads. Where I live in Indiana the honey bees are terrible. They are everywhere and no pest company will touch them. I've killed over 10 nests built on my house/gutters/shutters/lamp post/swingset this summer alone. People I work with have also expressed annoyance at the mass number of bees and nests everywhere.
Originally posted by Gradius Maximus
There are already places in China that have no bees.
They have to collect pollen in little jars and brush it onto each and every item they want to bear fruit.
Sad isnt it?
More Diversity is Better The diversity of pollinators and pollination systems is striking. Most of the 25,000 to 30,000 species of bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) are effective pollinators, and together with moths, flies, wasps, beetles and butterflies, make up the majority of pollinating species. Vertebrate pollinators include bats, non-flying mammals (several species of monkey, rodents, lemur, tree squirrels, olingo and kinkajou) and birds (hummingbirds, sunbirds, honeycreepers and some parrot species). Current understanding of the pollination process shows that, while interesting specialized relationships exist between plants and their pollinators, healthy pollination services are best ensured by an abundance and diversity of pollinators.
Worldwide, there are an estimated 20,000 species of bees (Michener, 2000), with approximately 4,000 species native to the United States (Winfree et. al., 2007). The non-native European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important crop pollinator in the United States. However, because of disease and other factors the number of managed honey bee hives in the United States has declined by 50 percent since 1950 (NRC, 2007). During this same period, the amount of crop acreage requiring bee pollination has continued to grow. This makes native pollinators even more important to the future of agriculture. Native bees provide free pollination services and are often specialized for foraging on particular flowers, such as squash, berries or orchard crops. This specialization results in more efficient pollination and the production of larger and more abundant fruit from certain crops (Tepedino, 1981; Bosch and Kemp, 2001; Javorek et. al., 2002). The pollination done by native bees contributes an estimated $3 billion worth of crop production annually to the U.S. economy (Losey and Vaughan, 2006).
About the same time the fields were being converted to hand-pollinated pear trees, an outbreak of pear Psylla (Pear lice) began. The Psylla are a serious pest of pears. This outbreak was treated by intense spraying with insecticide. In fact, every time an insect appeared on the income-producing pear crop, farmers would spray–sometimes as much as 12 times during each production season. Unwilling to risk the loss of their pear trees–and the subsequent loss of income–the farmers continued to intensively spray their pear trees–killing the pest insects.
The honeybees, once common, began to disappear. The intensive spraying killed all insects, including the honeybees. Bee keepers moved their colonies out of the area to protect them. Honey bees can still be found in abundance in nearby areas where intensive spraying is not conducted. While hand-pollinating does increase yields and produce better-looking fruit, the farmers would like to move away from depending on hand-pollination. But the farmers still spray several times a season for insects.
And beekeepers–still unwilling to risk losing their colonies to insecticide spraying–are also reluctant to lose income by bringing their honey bee colonies into Hanyuan to pollinate pears. The bee keepers are reluctant for another reason. Pear flowers do not produce much nectar and what little nectar they do produce is low in sugar. A bee keeper bringing bees into the area risks not only the death of his colony from insecticide spraying, but the loss of income from honey production.
Until the farmers learn to manage the pear crop better–utilizing Integrated Pest Management techniques, improving the varieties of pears, and improving and coordinating production methods–they will continue to safeguard their higher incomes by spraying insecticides to control insect pests on their income-producing crop and they will need to hand-pollinate.
And the bee keepers will keep their bee colonies in other areas.
Originally posted by squiz
reply to post by loam
Bingo! Well done loam. Confirms what I was suspecting. Bayer is behind the bee collapse.
That's why they were banned in France and Germany and why the EPA who has a revolving door of positions with Bayer where not forthcoming with their tests and had to be taken to court.
Originally posted by squiz
We've had no colony collapse in Australia, because the those pesticides are not used here, Organic honey producers apparently also do not suffer from colony collapse. Same reasons. It's not a global issue as has been led to be believed. Just more misdirection.
Originally posted by Frogs
The ongoing honeybee colony collapse has been a topic of threads and cause of concern here on ATS for sometime.
Some 40% of the bee colonies in the US alone have collapsed and died since 2006 and science had not been able to pin-point a cause.
How serious is this? Remember the birds and the bees? The bees pollinate many of the crops we eat and plants we rely on. If the bees are gone that could mean vastly reduced crops and that could me starvation and that could mean a global crisis - and that leads to government involvement.
Thankfully, this blend of military and private sector scientists may have cracked the puzzle. It is not one thing - but a combination of a virus and a fungus acting together.
Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery
Dr. Bromenshenk’s team at the University of Montana and Montana State University in Bozeman, working with the Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center northeast of Baltimore, said in their jointly written paper that the virus-fungus one-two punch was found in every killed colony the group studied. Neither agent alone seems able to devastate; together, the research suggests, they are 100 percent fatal.
“It’s chicken and egg in a sense — we don’t know which came first,” Dr. Bromenshenk said of the virus-fungus combo — nor is it clear, he added, whether one malady weakens the bees enough to be finished off by the second, or whether they somehow compound the other’s destructive power.
Also, it is not clear what about this combo makes the bees fly away from the colony to die alone. However, the fact that this happens made finding the killer that much more difficult.
Their paper is available online at the link below ---
Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Declineedit on 7-10-2010 by Frogs because: Quote got messed up.
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