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« on: May 05, 2010 10:40 AM »


Figures show scale of bee catastrophe

Guardian World News


The world may be on the brink of biological disaster after news that a third of US bee colonies did not survive the winter

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.

The decline of the country's estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers.

The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8% last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government's Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute some £26bn to the global economy.

Potential causes range from parasites, such as the bloodsucking varroa mite, to viral and bacterial infections, pesticides and poor nutrition stemming from intensive farming methods. The disappearance of so many colonies has also been dubbed "Mary Celeste syndrome" due to the absence of dead bees in many of the empty hives.

US scientists have found 121 different pesticides in samples of bees, wax and pollen, lending credence to the notion that pesticides are a key problem. "We believe that some subtle interactions between nutrition, pesticide exposure and other stressors are converging to kill colonies," said Jeffery Pettis, of the ARS's bee research laboratory.

A global review of honeybee deaths by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported last week that there was no one single cause, but pointed the finger at the "irresponsible use" of pesticides that may damage bee health and make them more susceptible to diseases. Bernard Vallat, the OIE's director-general, warned: "Bees contribute to global food security, and their extinction would represent a terrible biological disaster."

Dave Hackenberg of Hackenberg Apiaries, the Pennsylvania-based commercial beekeeper who first raised the alarm about CCD, said that last year had been the worst yet for bee losses, with 62% of his 2,600 hives dying between May 2009 and April 2010. "It's getting worse," he said. "The AIA survey doesn't give you the full picture because it is only measuring losses through the winter. In the summer the bees are exposed to lots of pesticides. Farmers mix them together and no one has any idea what the effects might be."

Pettis agreed that losses in some commercial operations are running at 50% or greater. "Continued losses of this magnitude are not economically sustainable for commercial beekeepers," he said, adding that a solution may be years away. "Look at Aids, they have billions in research dollars and a causative agent and still no cure. Research takes time and beehives are complex organisms."

In the UK it is still too early to judge how Britain's estimated 250,000 honeybee colonies have fared during the long winter. Tim Lovett, president of the British Beekeepers' Association, said: "Anecdotally, it is hugely variable. There are reports of some beekeepers losing almost a third of their hives and others losing none." Results from a survey of the association's 15,000 members are expected this month.

John Chapple, chairman of the London Beekeepers' Association, put losses among his 150 members at between a fifth and a quarter. Eight of his 36 hives across the capital did not survive. "There are still a lot of mysterious disappearances," he said. "We are no nearer to knowing what is causing them."

Bee farmers in Scotland have reported losses on the American scale for the past three years. Andrew Scarlett, a Perthshire-based bee farmer and honey packer, lost 80% of his 1,200 hives this winter. But he attributed the massive decline to a virulent bacterial infection that quickly spread because of a lack of bee inspectors, coupled with sustained poor weather that prevented honeybees from building up sufficient pollen and nectar stores.

The government's National Bee Unit has always denied the existence of CCD in Britain, despite honeybee losses of 20% during the winter of 2008-09 and close to a third the previous year. It attributes the demise to the varroa mite – which is found in almost every UK hive – and rainy summers that stop bees foraging for food.

In a hard-hitting report last year, the National Audit Office suggested that amateur beekeepers who failed to spot diseases in bees were a threat to honeybees' survival and called for the National Bee Unit to carry out more inspections and train more beekeepers. Last summer MPs on the influential cross-party public accounts committee called on the government to fund more research into what it called the "alarming" decline of honeybees.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has contributed £2.5m towards a £10m fund for research on pollinators. The public accounts committee has called for a significant proportion of this funding to be "ring-fenced" for honeybees. Decisions on which research projects to back are expected this month.
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010 04:50 PM »

SO what do I use as a substitute for the honey I put in my tea  Huh?
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2010 08:39 PM »

How about sugar??

LOL I like how the article is like We're on the Brink of Biological Catastrophe!!!!  and bro saleem is worried about his chai ;p

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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010 09:17 PM »

How about sugar??

LOL I like how the article is like We're on the Brink of Biological Catastrophe!!!!  and bro saleem is worried about his chai ;p



Sister Jannah, I think bro saleem is on to something... if you want the Muslims to rise up and react to this crisis, you have to hit them where it hurts... below the chai cup... Grin

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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010 04:19 AM »

LoL

Nothing can substitute the flavor and nutrition of honey so therefore, to save your 'chai' you have to get involved and help save the bees! yayy
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« Reply #5 on: Jun 01, 2010 10:22 AM »

This would make a lot of sense...

-===============


Mobile phones responsible for disappearance of honey bee

The growing use of mobile telephones is behind the disappearance of honey bees and the collapse of their hives, scientists have claimed.
 
Their disappearance has caused alarm throughout Europe and North America where campaigners have blamed agricultural pesticides, climate change and the advent of genetically modified crops for what is now known as 'colony collapse disorder.' Britain has seen a 15 per cent decline in its bee population in the last two years and shrinking numbers has led to a rise in thefts of hives.

Now researchers from Chandigarh's Punjab University claim they have found the cause which could be the first step in reversing the decline: They have established that radiation from mobile telephones is a key factor in the phenomenon and say that it probably interfering with the bee's navigation senses.
 
They set up a controlled experiment in Punjab earlier this year comparing the behaviour and productivity of bees in two hives – one fitted with two mobile telephones which were powered on for two fifteen minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed.

After three months the researchers recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phon, a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey.

The queen bee in the "mobile" hive produced fewer than half of those created by her counterpart in the normal hive.

They also found a dramatic decline in the number of worker bees returning to the hive after collecting pollen. Because of this the amount of nectar produced in the hive also shrank.

Ved Prakash Sharma and Neelima Kumar, the authors of the report in the journal Current Science, wrote: "Increase in the usage of electronic gadgets has led to electropollution of the environment. Honeybee behaviour and biology has been affected by electrosmog since these insects have magnetite in their bodies which helps them in navigation.

"There are reports of sudden disappearance of bee populations from honeybee colonies. The reason is still not clear. We have compared the performance of honeybees in cellphone radiation exposed and unexposed colonies.

"A significant decline in colony strength and in the egg laying rate of the queen was observed. The behaviour of exposed foragers was negatively influenced by the exposure, there was neither honey nor pollen in the colony at the end of the experiment."

Tim Lovett, of the British Beekeepers Association, said that hives have been successful in London where there was high mobile phone use.

"Previous work in this area has indicated this [mobile phone use] is not a real factor," he said. "If new data comes along we will look at it."

He said: "At the moment we think is more likely to be a combination of factors including disease, pesticides and habitat loss."

The UK Government has set aside £10 million for research into the decline of pollinators like bees, but the BBKA claim much more money is needed for research into the problem, including studies on pesticides, disease and new technology like mobile phones.

According to the University of Durham, England's bees are vanishing faster than anywhere else in Europe, with more than half of hives dying out over the last 20 years.

The most recent statistics from last winter show that the decline in honey bees in Britain is slowing, with just one in six hives lost.

This is still above the natural rate of ten per cent losses, but a vast improvement on previous years.

There has been an increase in the number of thefts of hives across the world and in Germany beekeepers have started fitting GPS tracking devices to their hives.

telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/7778401/Mobile-phones-responsible-for-disappearance-of-honey-bee.html
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 01, 2010 02:59 PM »

salam


I wonder if they've tried the experiements with mobile phone masts tho?

There was concern over what some people claimed was a rise in birth defects and childhood cancers in areas where there were mobile phone masts...


I wonder?



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And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 08, 2010 05:48 AM »

could not find the thread about he disappearance of bees....

Bio warfare scientists help solve mystery of dying bees

By Steve Connor, Science Editor

The cause of the mysterious decline of the honey bee in the United States – and elsewhere in the world – may have been found in the form of a "double whammy" infection with both a virus and a fungus.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/bio-warfare-scientists-help-solve-mystery-of-dying-bees-2101004.html

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« Reply #8 on: Jan 04, 2011 01:45 AM »

Bees in freefall as study shows sharp US decline

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/03/bumblebees-study-us-decline

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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013 09:57 AM »

Feds: Many causes for dramatic bee disappearance

http://weather.yahoo.com/feds-many-causes-dramatic-bee-disappearance-152605922.html



WASHINGTON (AP) — A new federal report blames a combination of problems for a mysterious and dramatic disappearance of U.S. honeybees since 2006.

The intertwined factors cited include a parasitic mite, multiple viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and pesticides.

The multiple causes make it harder to do something about what's called colony collapse disorder, experts say. The disorder has caused as much as one-third of the nation's bees to just disappear each winter since 2006.

Bees, especially honeybees, are needed to pollinate crops.

The federal report, issued Thursday by the Agriculture Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, said the biggest culprit is the parasitic mite varroa destructor, calling it "the single most detrimental pest of honeybees."

The problem has also hit bee colonies in Europe, where regulators are considering a ban on a type of pesticides known as neonicotinoids that some environmental groups blame for the bee collapse. The U.S. report cites pesticides, but near the bottom of the list of factors. And federal officials and researchers advising them said the science doesn't justify a ban of the pesticides yet.

May Berenbaum, a top bee researcher from the University of Illinois, said in an interview that she was "extremely dubious" that banning the pesticide would have any effect on bee health. She participated in a large conference of scientists that the government brought together last year to figure out what's going on, and the new report is the result of that conference.

Berenbaum said more than 100 different chemicals — not just the pesticides that may be banned in Europe — have been found in bee colonies. Scientists find it hard to calculate how they react in different dosages and at different combinations, she said.

Some of these chemicals harm the immune systems of bees or amplify viruses, said Penn State University bee expert Diana Cox-Foster.

At a news conference Thursday, Sonny Ramaswamy, a top USDA official, said the scientific consensus is that there are multiple factors "and you can't parse any one out to be the smoking gun."

USDA bee researcher Jeff Pettis also cited modern farming practices that often leave little forage area for bees.

Dave Gaulson of the University of Stirling in Scotland, who conducted a study last year that implicated the chemical, said he can't disagree with the overall conclusions of the U.S. government report. However, he said it could have emphasized pesticides more.

The environmental group, Pesticide Action Network North America blasted the federal government for not following Europe's lead in looking at a ban of certain pesticides.

Pollinators, like honeybees, are crucial to the U.S. food supply. About $30 billion a year in agriculture depends on their health, said Ramaswamy.

Besides making honey, honeybees pollinate more than 90 flowering crops. Among them are a variety of fruits and vegetables: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruit and cranberries. About one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination.

"It affects virtually every American whether they realize it or not," said EPA acting administrator Bob Perciasepe.

Zac Browning, a fourth-generation commercial beekeeper who has hives in Idaho, North Dakota and California, said the nation is "on the brink" of not having enough bees to pollinate its crops.

University of Maryland entomologist David Inouye, who was not part of the federal report, said he agrees that there are multiple causes.

"It's not a simple situation. If it were one factor we would have identified it by now," he said.

Inouye, president-elect of the Ecological Society of America, said the problems in Europe and United States may be slightly different. In America, bee hives are trucked from farm to farm to pollinate large tracts of land and that may help spread the parasites and disease, as well as add stress to the colonies, while in Europe they stay put so those issues may not be as big a factor.

At the news conference, Berenbaum said there's no single solution to the U.S. bee problem: "We're not really well equipped or even used to fighting on multiple fronts."

___

Online:

The report: http://www.usda.gov/documents/ReportHoneyBeeHealth.pdf

___

Seth Borenstein can be followed at http://twitter.com/borenbears
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2013 03:11 PM »


http://worldtruth.tv/usda-admits-exterminating-birds-crops-and-bees/

USDA Admits Exterminating Birds, Crops, and Bees


 The USDA has been under fire recently for its admitted assault against nature, after multiple investigations have uncovered its deliberate tampering with both plants and animals alike. One such investigation has put an end to the mystery surrounding the death of millions of birds, with USDA documents revealing the organization’s role in the massive slaughter. In addition to the mass bird killings, it turns out the USDA was fully aware that a highly-popular herbicide chemical was a known bee-killer, which may have aided the bee decline. The USDA has also threatened the genetic integrity of the nation’s crops. Information has surfaced regarding the USDA’s illegal approval of Monsanto’s biotech crop, sugar beets. These crimes are simply an excerpt from the long list of USDA crimes that are continually being exposed.

In December of 2010, mystery struck the world. Reports of mass fish and bird die-offs were coming in from Texas to Sweden. The first occurrence in the series of strange events started in Arkansas, where 3,000 birds fell from the sky. In the following days and weeks, similar incidents were reported with no solid explanation. The reason has now been found, thanks to documents found on the USDA’s website. Claiming to be protecting farmers from predators, the birds were victims of a little-known government program. Like millions of other animals since the Bye Bye Blackbird program was created in the 1960?s, the birds were poisoned and killed for being considered a nuisance to farmers. It is important to take note that many of these animals don’t pose any immediate threat to farmers.


 
In the 1960?s the USDA established a program referred to as the Bye Bye Blackbird program. This program is solely responsible for the mass killings of what could ultimately be millions of birds across the nation. In 2009 alone the USDA poisoned and killed over 4 million birds. The documents state whether or not the deaths were intentional or unintentional on the government website. You can find extremely large numbers, such as 22,276 blackbirds marked as intentionally euthanized. Here is some data from the USDA itself:

Brown-headed cowbirds: 1,046,109

European Starlings: 1,259,714


Red-winged blackbirds: 965,889

Canadian Geese : 24,519

Pigeons: 96,297

Grackles: 93,210

Starlings European: 1,259,714

These numbers are simply the top for 2009. Let us not forget about all the other years animals have been killed since the 1960?s when the program was first created.

According to Natural News :

A Nebraska farmer was apparently complaining that the starlings were defecating in his feed meal. The answer to this conundrum apparently isn’t to cover your feed meal but rather call the USDA and ask them to poison thousands of birds. The USDA complied, apparently agreeing this was a brilliant idea. So they put out a poison called DRC-1339 and allowed thousands of birds to feed on that poison.

“Cows are supposed to eat grass. If you are running a cow operation where the birds are eating your grain and you think the birds are the problem, the real problem is that you’re feeding cows the wrong food! If you raise your cows on grass, the birds don’t get into the grain and you don’t have to poison the birds.

“You see, when one ecological element gets out of balance (feeding grain to cows, for example), it then causes another problem that must be dealt with in some other destructive way (such as poisoning the birds). This cycle of disharmony continues and escalates until entire ecosystems are out of whack. Then the USDA shows up with a pickup truck full of poison bait and goes to work poisoning animals. The solution isn’t to keep poisoning animals and trying to control populations through toxic chemicals but rather to return to holistic web-of-life farming methods that work in harmony with nature rather than treating nature as the enemy."


The government is committing what many people would call a crime. Killing mass amounts of animals via poison is a flagrant act of violence against nature that should not be tolerated or encouraged. People aren’t allowed to hunt in certain regions of the United States, but the government is allowed to kill off animals by the millions. Something is terribly wrong with this picture.



 In recent years the world honey bee population has plummeted in North America. This is important because bee pollination is crucial for the fertilization of many crops. Just as many potential explanations arose over the mysterious bird deaths, many different theories have been proposed to explain the bee decline. Electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate have all taken the heat of critics looking for answers. Recently, however, a document was leaked revealing that a bee-killing pesticide put in use by the EPA may be to blame. Adding to the controversy, more records have emerged showing that the USDA was fully aware of the pesticide's threat to not only bees, but humans. The two-month-old report released by the USDA itself unveiled that the toxic insecticide used on plants are not only a threat to insects’ central nervous systems, but are also a threat to the internal systems of humans.

Imidacloprid, one of the neonicotinoid family of pesticides introduced over the past 15 years, is likely to be responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the recently observed phenomenon in which bees abandon their hives en masse, according to the study by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States.



The study, to appear in the June issue of The Bulletin of Insectology, provides "convincing evidence" of the link between imidacloprid and CCD, claim the authors, led by Alex Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in the school's Department of Environmental Health. It follows two other widely publicised studies, from Britain and France, published last week in the journal Science, which strongly suggested that neonicotinoids were linked to the declines in bees and other pollinating insects seen in Europe and the US.

Neonicotinoids, which attack the central nervous system of insects, are considered by some scientists as dangerous to species which are not the compounds' principal targets, because they are "systemic" – meaning they do not just sit on the surface of a plant but are taken up into every part of it, including the pollen and nectar, where they can be ingested repeatedly by bees and other pollinating insects.

Twice in the past three years, the Government has been asked, on the basis of compelling evidence, to suspend the use of the new generation of neonicotinoid pesticides, until the increasingly worrying evidence that they are extremely harmful to bees and other pollinating insects has been shown to be unfounded.

The first occasion was in 2009, by a coalition of environmental groups led by Buglife, the invertebrate conservation charity; the second was in 2011 by the Labour MP Martin Caton, after  paper's disclosure that America's leading bee scientist had found a harmful link. On each occasion the request was ignored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Sugar Beets created by corporate giant Monsanto Company, who is leading the genetically modified food market, make up for about half of the nation's sugar supply. The approval of these beets was initially made in 2005, granting Monsanto the right to plant genetically modified sugar beets that could withstand sprayings of the herbicide marketed as Roundup. The entity responsible for the approval? The USDA. Unfortunately, the USDA hadn’t conducted a thorough review of the biotech crop, making the approval flagrantly illegal. To make matters more complicated, the USDA issued permits which allowed companies to plant seedlings that would later produce seed for future sugar beet crops. Judge White, the federal judge who deemed the approval illegal, issued that the seedlings be removed immediately. The immunity that the sugar beets possess against the herbicide being used on them is not exhibited by any other plant, or even humans. With excessive herbicide use comes more poisoned organisms consuming the sugar beets and thus becoming sickly. Additionally, conventional and organic crops are subject to contamination from an overflow of pesticides.



If you thought Monsanto’s lack of testing on their current GMO crops was bad before, prepare to now be blown away by the latest statement by the USDA. Despite links to organ damage and mutated insects, the USDA says that it is changing the rules so that genetically modified seed companies like Monsanto will get ‘speedier regulatory reviews. With the faster reviews, there will be even less time spent on evaluating the potential dangers. Why? Because Monsanto is losing sales with longer approval terms.

The changes were expected to take full effect in March when they’re published in the Federal Register. The USDA’s goal is to cut the approval time for GMO crops in half in order to speedily implement them into the global food supply. The current USDA process takes longer than they would like due to ‘public interest, legal challenges, and the challenges associated with the advent of national organic food standards‘ says USDA deputy administrator Michael Gregoire.

This is just a small fragment taken from a list of . The USDA seems to be recklessly endangering life on this planet with its disregard for what it was created to protect. The reports and documents revealed in this article may very well be the tip of the iceberg. The recently-released document unveiling the bee decline is two years old, and is most likely not the last to be uncovered. It is only a matter of time before more secretive documents come out highlighting the USDA’s shameless lack of respect for life. The USDA has not been forced to openly admit to these claims due to a lack of mainstream media attention. It took investigative journalism to discover these documents and it will take future investigation to oust even more of the USDA’s corruption.
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2013 03:28 PM »

so basically bees are doomed and so are we!!!

here's another about the effects of fructose corn syrup

Researchers find high-fructose corn syrup may be tied to worldwide collapse of bee colonies
http://phys.org/news/2013-04-high-fructose-corn-syrup-tied-worldwide.html#jCp
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