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One-Third of U.S. Honeybee Colonies Died Last Winter, Threatening Food Supply

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posted on May, 9 2013 @ 03:17 AM
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One-Third of U.S. Honeybee Colonies Died Last Winter, Threatening Food Supply

Nearly one in three commercial honeybee colonies in the United States died or disappeared last winter, an unsustainable decline that threatens the nation’s food supply.

Multiple factors — pesticides, fungicides, parasites, viruses and malnutrition — are believed to cause the losses, which were officially announced today by a consortium of academic researchers, beekeepers and Department of Agriculture scientists.

“We’re getting closer and closer to the point where we don’t have enough bees in this country to meet pollination demands,” said entomologist Dennis vanEngelstorp of the University of Maryland, who led the survey documenting the declines.

Beekeepers lost 31 percent of their colonies in late 2012 and early 2013, roughly double what’s considered acceptable attrition through natural causes. The losses are in keeping with rates documented since 2006, when beekeeper concerns prompted the first nationwide survey of honeybee health. Hopes raised by drop in rates of loss to 22 percent in 2011-2012 were wiped out by the new numbers.



Forget causation arguments for now... It looks like we'll have more immediate consequences to worry about. It wont take much.

:shk:

If you're watching closely, there are very disturbing signs nearly everywhere you look.
edit on 9-5-2013 by loam because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 9 2013 @ 03:32 AM
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Happening here in the UK, people are tyring to push for a ban on nicotinoid pesticides, but despite that a lot of bee experts are pretty much saying the damage is already done, so any action taken to reverse will have little to know effect.

It is encouraging though in the UK and generaly world wide, the number of colonies has risen, maybe if enough people start keeping bee's they can help sustain the populations.

Pretty grim though, Bumblebees are declining pretty rapidly aswell.



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 03:40 AM
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Who was it that said Humanity would only have 4 years after all the bee's have died off ? Albert Einstein.



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 03:43 AM
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reply to post by loam
 


Consider another culprit - electromagnetic smog - 6 billion wireless devices on planet earth. I have decide to turn mine off except for emergencies. It is not just bees - it is the birds, butterflies, moths, spiders and all sentients.

This category may soon not include humans.

More inquiry is emerging about the _synergistic_ effect of 80,000+ chemicals most of them
untested combined with multifarious sources of wireless.

Good book: PUBLIC HEALTH SOS - the shadow side of the wireless revolution - only $20 by Magda Hava, Ph.D. and Camilla Rees. I bought $600 worth of these and gave them away. On the back cover a one inch postage stamp drawing of a cell phone tower and two words: WHO CARES?

Smart meters another invasion of air space - thousands of beacon signals a day pulsing. Not good.

Posted on a computer using a WIRE.



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 03:47 AM
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I can't remember who said it, but if all the bees in the world died, humans only have 4 years to live because the food that we eat will soon disappear. This is very disturbing and overlooked by the mainstream news. I would think this is actually an emergency situation that has to be handled right away and people should pay attention to this.

I have also heard somewhere before about the reasons why they are all dying. Quite a few theoris, some say it is a type of fungus attacking them, some other say it is caused by certain pesticides (which are now banned in Europe) and some other say it is because of our environment nowadays that is filled with electromagnetic waves for cellphones and wireless technologies we use. I don't know which one is the true reason, could be all of the above? Could it be something else we don't know?



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 03:47 AM
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reply to post by mazzroth
 


Not just bees as well man, more and more species of frogs are becoming extinct here in the UK all the time aswell as garden birds. The last ten years here have seen a pretty sharp decline in insects as well, and what with the radical changes in our weather we are experiencing it is compounding matters far worse.

Personaly I try and plant as many flowering plants as possible, and have a small flower/hay meadow at all times, looks kinda wild but helps attract and encourage as many species of insect as possible. Gardens are now there last refuge in a lot of areas.
edit on 9-5-2013 by Tuttle because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 04:51 AM
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reply to post by loam
 


This is why it is so important to help as many wild bees as we individually can.

Honeybees are not the only Bees..

edit on 9/5/2013 by Theflyingweldsman because: A single interaction can have multiple interpretations.



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 04:57 AM
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reply to post by loam
 


You do realise that picture you posted isn't a honeybee but a bumblebee don't you? (Not part of the external content too)

Just sayin'

Thanks for the link though, Ill read it now.



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 05:14 AM
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reply to post by loam
 


There needs to be better control of the commercial side of beekeeping imo.

It's oh so easy to blame outside sources, but if the bees are fed GM corn syrup instead of natural sugar, fed at the wrong times, bred with a small gene pool, housed and transported inappropriately etc etc, then it's hard to pinpoint the real reasons for these die-off problems.

I'm not saying pesticides are the cause although they SHOULD be banned, I'm saying that with tighter controls on the commercialism of beekeeping it would help us understand where to focus better. And bear in mind that many commercial beekeeping companies are there to serve the crop industry and may blindly follow instructions given to them putting faith in those who care about profit, not nature.

It may also be that honeybees are getting bored to death....literally. With little choice in food because of a lack of diversity I can't blame them. More wild land is given over to mass food production every year with GM on the increase.

Imagine being carted away to a town that ONLY had McDonalds. No markets, no other restaurants, no fruit or vegetable gardens, no wild flowers, just McDonalds. The will to live from this kind of diet is evident in some humans who eat junk food. The apathy is clear.

All animals need nature or they become unnatural. An unnatural animal is never happy imo.

I still hope most honeybees die off and 100% of humans die off. At least the bees will then have the chance to start anew without our darned meddling.



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by loam
 


Normal loss for overwintering hives is 20 percent. We lost 4 of our 6 hives. Our Bee Inspector had 40 hives, and is down to 12.

Most lost 75 percent of their hives, but it's attributed to one factor nobody anticipated: Mother Nature.

In Zone 5-6, we had a warm snap that unclustered the bees, then it frosted again. The bees can't survive extreme variations in temperature. Basically, most bees froze to death.

Add that to the pesticides, and we're fighting an uphill battle.



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 09:50 AM
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Honeybees aren't even native to North America and people raised food here and lived just fine without them before.

How come all of a sudden all human life would be wiped out without them?

Seems very inconsistent and totally against history.

Honeybees are not the only pollinating creature out there.



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by Druid42
 


Clearly, there are many factors in play, removing whatever historical buffer used to exist.

Distressing to say the least.



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 



Originally posted by Hopechest
Honeybees aren't even native to North America and people raised food here and lived just fine without them before.

How come all of a sudden all human life would be wiped out without them?

Seems very inconsistent and totally against history.

Honeybees are not the only pollinating creature out there.


Perhaps this article will place things into context for you:




Predicting the collapse of pollinators

Three quarters of the world’s food crops require pollination by animals, usually insects, but international research involving University of Canterbury scientist Professor Jason Tylianakis shows that this free service provided by nature is under threat.

Professor Tylianakis (Biological Sciences) worked in collaboration with scientists in Argentina on research that shows, for the first time, that it is possible to predict which relationships between plant species and pollinators, such as particular bee species, are most under threat. The team’s work was published this week in the prestigious journal, Science in a paper titled “Specialization and rarity predict non-random loss of interactions from mutualist networks”.

...

“In nature, a diverse array of bee species pollinate a diverse array of plants, and these connections form an elaborate network that has properties in common with social, computer, and neural networks,” said Professor Tylianakis.



Specialization and Rarity Predict Nonrandom Loss of Interactions from Mutualist Networks (.pdf)

Since pollinators are largely specific to certain crops, the peril in the near-term is huge. Would this mean all of humanity would be wiped out? I don't think so. But the disruption would be severe enough, I can't imagine anyone who really thought it through would welcome the experience.


edit on 9-5-2013 by loam because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 9 2013 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by Hopechest
Honeybees aren't even native to North America and people raised food here and lived just fine without them before.

How come all of a sudden all human life would be wiped out without them?

Seems very inconsistent and totally against history.

Honeybees are not the only pollinating creature out there.


You are joking aren't you?
It's not only the honeybees who are dying - there are 20.000 different bee families worldwide. The honeybee is only one family. What do you think North America had before the honey bees - wild bees of course and other insects for entomophily.

In every country you use the chemical # the population of bees decline.



posted on May, 10 2013 @ 02:56 AM
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Originally posted by Theflyingweldsman
reply to post by loam
 


This is why it is so important to help as many wild bees as we individually can.



Yet, what kills the honeybee will also kill the wild bees,
bumblebees are in steep decline as well.

This will become clear, about the time that famine is reported
throughout the farming lands.



posted on May, 10 2013 @ 05:41 AM
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reply to post by sunnybrae



what kills the honeybee will also kill the wild bees

 


True. Don't wait for farming practices to change.

Do what you can now to protect the future.

Use your skills and talents, whatever they are, to change the future.


If you garden, don't use pesticide or weedkiller.

If you know a gardener or farmer, talk to them about their use of them.

Anyone can spend 10 minutes and build a Bee House.


Just drill some holes into a piece of wood


or bundle some hollow sticks and twigs together


and place over a meter high in direct sunlight.

The holes should be different sizes, down to 2mm..

Make a Bee House for your Garden (PDF Link)

If everyone did that, we could replace the dying Honeybees with Wild Bees.

One garden/balcony/tree/shed/wall at a time.

Tfw.



posted on May, 10 2013 @ 06:06 AM
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No shortage of bees where I live, in Central Texas. There are TONS of bees hanging around my flowering vines right now on my back patio. I'm talking hundreds and hundreds - you can hear the hum as soon as you open the back door. I'm waiting for the flowers to start dropping off my vines before I go out there to plant in my pots and beds. There are just too many bees and they make me nervous!



posted on May, 10 2013 @ 07:22 AM
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Originally posted by kaylaluv
No shortage of bees where I live, in Central Texas. There are TONS of bees hanging around my flowering vines right now on my back patio. I'm talking hundreds and hundreds - you can hear the hum as soon as you open the back door. I'm waiting for the flowers to start dropping off my vines before I go out there to plant in my pots and beds. There are just too many bees and they make me nervous!


No shortage here in west central Michigan either. In the spring, when many trees are in bloom (particularly the Maples) the European honey bees swarm the entire forest, and there is a lot of forest around here. The whole area hums like a swarming bee hive. There are several bumble bee types and a number of wild honey bees that closely resemble the European honey bees and I have been observing them on the local wildflowers every spring for about 15 years.

There are few working farms in my area of the forest and many of the working farms are Amish owned. We have many wild public lands that are maintained for native wild flowers and plants as tallgrass prairies. I think the problem is with the commercial bee keepers more than the environment, at least here in the Manistee National Forest area.

In another post by HopeChest:
Although I normally disagree with HopeChest on most of his/her posts, I'd have to agree that the European honey bee is a domestic/invasive species that the New World have thrived without for thousands of years. Yes, I acknowledge there is a growing bee problem, ie. CCD, but if nature is left to her own, the population of all pollenizing insects will do well enough to survive and even thrive.
edit on 10-5-2013 by MichiganSwampBuck because: typos



posted on May, 10 2013 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by nerbot
 


Looks like a honeybee drone to me. Possibly a Russian.

I'm a hobby beekeeper. Lost both my hives last winter. One made it right up to the second frigid snap we had mid-March. They were hanging in there early March when I checked during a warm spell and then the cold took them out. The cluster wasn't nearly as large as it should have been. Last week I picked-up 2 new nucs and had occasion to speak with several small-time beekeepers. One told me he lost 17 our of 18 hives last winter.

The Winter Loss Survey shows that overall we lost 31.1% of bee colonies last winter which was consistent with the average for the last 6yrs. Commercial beekeepers (almost entirely in the South) represent that majority of managed hives in the country so have the largest impact on loss numbers. The survey showed a 45.1% loss for survey respondents (which were 95% small, backyard beekeepers and more widely spread geographically) which is a 78.2% increase over last winter.

Winter Loss Survey

Hoping for better luck this year.






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