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Mystery bee deaths accelerate

Posted on Sunday, 31 March, 2013 | Comment icon 44 comments


Image credit: Aaron1a12

 
Honeybees have been dying off faster than ever with up to 50% of hives being wiped out last year.

Scientists have been scratching their heads since bees started to die off mysteriously over the last few years. Despite extensive research in to the cause of what is now known as "colony collapse disorder", researchers have been unable to agree upon a conclusive explanation. Some believe that the affliction is down to new types of pesticides known as neonicotinoids that are incorporated in to the plants themselves, however this has yet to be confirmed.

Now the problem appears to be getting worse, spelling potential catastrophe for the bees themselves and for the all the plants that they pollinate. "They looked so healthy last spring," said beekeeper Bill Dahle. "We were so proud of them. Then, about the first of September, they started to fall on their face, to die like crazy. We’ve been doing this 30 years, and we’ve never experienced this kind of loss before."

"A mysterious malady that has been killing honeybees en masse for several years appears to have expanded drastically in the last year, commercial beekeepers say, wiping out 40 percent or even 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation’s fruits and vegetables."

  View: Full article

 Source: New York Times


  Discuss: View comments (44)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #35 Posted by lightly on 31 March, 2013, 23:39
There were and are, many bee species in the Americas before the honeybee was introduced, its just that they are more efficient pollinators of European and African plants our main food crops, brought by Europeans as they colonized the world. They also produce honey in collectable quantity. Bumblebees, wood-boring bees, leaf-cutter bees, metallic green bees, stingless bees and others are found throughout North and South America but were not deemed to work as well as the honeybee. Bumblebees are efficient pollinators in some cases; I have two species of Tabebuia tree from South America in my yard... [More]
Comment icon #36 Posted by lightly on 31 March, 2013, 23:44
Thanks a lot Sundew, (& awest,rashore,danielost) very educational! I knew there had to be bees in the Americas prior to 'colonization' ... didn't know honey bees are an import. (or i forgot lol ... you'll see.)
Comment icon #37 Posted by Sundew on 1 April, 2013, 0:52
Wild bees won't be able to step into the shoes of the farmed bees. Bees, collect nector from one type of flower at a time. That is why they can sell specilty honeys. It is true they are not a good replacement, however if it come to the point where all or most domesticated European honeybees have been killed off, it's either rely on native bees, Africanized honeybees or humans to hand pollinate our crops at a huge rise in cost of our produce. They already do this in some parts of Asia where the bees have been exterminated for crops like pears and apples. Can't remember if it was Japan or China,... [More]
Comment icon #38 Posted by NiteMarcher on 8 April, 2013, 5:15
It smells heavily like "Mansanto".....
Comment icon #39 Posted by AsteroidX on 8 April, 2013, 6:12
You wont stop it unless you replace the ones that dont care enough to stop destroying the honey bees.
Comment icon #40 Posted by Mistydawn on 13 April, 2013, 14:45
Or just replace the humans for the everything. Lets face it without us, within a few years the natural order of things would come about and Earth would be an amazing place, balanced and harmonious.
Comment icon #41 Posted by Tesla II on 13 April, 2013, 14:49
Very bad news. I wonder if, rather than a mystery.. there is a plan? Tunnel vision plan... spray more poison or fertilizers on the ground to make best of products/food, on the other hand they are destroying the same exact ecosystem that is making food avaible at the first place...
Comment icon #42 Posted by Tesla II on 13 April, 2013, 14:54
Or just replace the humans for the everything. Lets face it without us, within a few years the natural order of things would come about and Earth would be an amazing place, balanced and harmonious. That would be a nice sight to see ... but until we the virus are here only destruction,pollution, industralization, death... everything just so we can live... I hope there is an end to this..natural or unnatural as long as it is end. Since many people live in big cities they most likely forgot the air, sight, positive vibes from a forest growing in spring, with warm sun and everything to go along...... [More]
Comment icon #43 Posted by Mistydawn on 13 April, 2013, 15:08
That would be a nice sight to see ... but until we the virus are here only destruction,pollution, industralization, death... everything just so we can live... I hope there is an end to this..natural or unnatural as long as it is end. Since many people live in big cities they most likely forgot the air, sight, positive vibes from a forest growing in spring, with warm sun and everything to go along... same goes for mountains or seas... It is just simply breathtaking even we you see that forest everyday, it is something special at this time. You should be in one to experience that.. Tesla, you ga... [More]
Comment icon #44 Posted by Tesla II on 13 April, 2013, 15:17
Tesla, you gave me a moment of tears.. Your summary of how breathtaking the natural world truely is, makes me feel quite desolate. I moved to the city because of finances 5 years ago and I long with fervour to feel, smell, touch and see the world especially in the wee dawn hours..not quite the same tramping the streets and gazing into gardens.. though even there, the wee birds and small mammals that survive give me an ache to my stomach, how awesome and strong they are to survive in the face of concrete and man's bureaucracy. The beauty of our planet seen through words . I agree with you i see... [More]


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