Tech Support Guy banner

Honey Bees & Colony Collapse Disorder

52268 Views 299 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  ekim68
In case anyone has not heard of this, a potentially significant ecological & financial disaster is in the makings. Honey bees are dying in a so far unexplainable manner.
Although die offs have happened multiple times in the past, this particular occurrence has the makings of a more major impact.
Its amazing how many different plants, fruits, industries, etc. are dependent upon something so 'simple' as a bee.
Guess better stock up on my supply of mead... :( ;)

It is officially called Colony Collapse Disorder, but a more pithy way of describing it would be Vanishing Bee Syndrome.

All over America, beekeepers are opening up their hives in preparation for the spring pollination season, only to find that their bees are dead or have disappeared. Nobody, so far, knows why.

The sad mystery surrounding the humble honeybee - which is a vital component in $14bn-worth of US agriculture - is beginning to worry even the highest strata of the political class in Washington.

"It's not just affecting the beekeepers, it's affecting the farmers that produce the food, and in the end it's going to affect the consumer," he added, sighing deeply.
241 - 260 of 300 Posts
Bee's are dieing and they say may harm insects and the life that depends on them. Should say IS.

But they alive around here because they leave there "waste droppings" on all the cars and it damages the paint.

No one around here knew what it was till I told them. I found out in 1981 when working on new homes next to where they were farming and any time we was at the edge by the farm you got the spots.

Maybe I need some Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters.
Saving America's honeybees

With a workforce of billions, they contribute more than $15bn (£9bn) to the US economy each year - but as populations decline, can the humble honeybee be saved?
In a sign of how seriously this is being taken, in June, President Obama launched a taskforce to protect the honeybee. The White House is investing $50m into research and action to stem the decline, improve habitats and promote better education around the issue.
Sick honeybees may be nursed by doctors

They are among the most industrious creatures on the planet, but honeybees still struggle when they're ill. Once a disease takes hold inside a hive, the bees can become sluggish and disorientated, and many may die.

Now it seems honeybees may have a way of helping to keep their workforce healthy - by employing bees that feed "medicinal honey" to other members of the hive.

A group of worker bees called "nurse bees", if they are infected with a parasite, selectively eat honey that has a high antibiotic activity, according to Silvio Erler of the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Halle, Germany and his colleagues.
More problems for bees: we've wiped out their favorite plants

Bees are disappearing-that much is certain. What's unclear is why. Pathogens and pesticides have been posited as potential causes, as has the loss of bees' preferred floral resources. This last reason has intuitive appeal: wildflowers are disappearing because of agriculture, and bees rely on the pollen and nectar in flowers, so the loss of flowers should be causing the loss of bees.

But a demonstration of this seemingly simple idea has been hard to come by. Different species of bees rely on different plants-the bee species that are disappearing have never been analyzed in terms of taste for the plants that are disappearing to see if they match up. And, once the bees or plants are gone, it's hard to figure out what relationship (if any) they might have had. Pesky details.

Researchers in the Netherlands have gotten around this problem by examining museum specimens of bees to figure out which bees like which flowers. They've demonstrated that the bee species that have declined are in fact those that like the pollen from flower species that have also declined.
Nicotine and caffeine can protect bees against parasites

Cigarettes cause cancer, among a wide range of other deadly maladies. And too much coffee can encourage anxiety and insomnia. But for bees, a new study finds, a little bit of nicotine and caffeine might be the best way to ward off intestinal parasites.

Some toxins can, when consumed in small amounts, offer health benefits to humans and animals. The Researchers at the University of Massachusetts and Dartmouth College recently found this to be the case for bees.

As part of the new study, entomologists at the two schools exposed nests of eastern bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) to the intestinal parasite (Crithidia bombi). The researcher then fed the pollinators nectars laced with different naturally occurring toxins.

The toxins, including nicotine and caffeine, were derived from plants which rely on the chemicals to deter predators. Substances produced by plants as a method of defense against herbivores are known as secondary metabolites.

Some of the toxic nectar reduced infection levels by as much as 81 percent among the treated bumblebees.
woo hoo, I'm safe from crithidia Bombi! :)
My Mum and my Bro both keep bees. they are doing ok, but they say that in america the colony collapse is worse.
In China they were forced to hand pollinate and found that PEOLE were 30% more efficient than the bees!

See less See more
Flower-friendly farms 'boost bee populations'

Planting farmland with strips of flowers can boost the number of wild bumblebees, a study has confirmed.

Not only does it attract foraging bees, but it also encourages nesting, say researchers at University of Sussex.

In past decades, many bumblebee species have declined, due to a number of factors, including intensive farming.

The study, published in Molecular Ecology, suggest farms given funding to improve the environment can increase the size of wild bumblebee populations.
A Sharp Spike in Honeybee Deaths Deepens a Worrisome Trend

A prolonged and mysterious die-off of the nation's honeybees, a trend worrisome both to beekeepers and to farmers who depend on the insects to pollinate their crops, apparently worsened last year.

In an annual survey released on Wednesday by the Bee Informed Partnership, a consortium of universities and research laboratories, about 5,000 beekeepers reported losing 42.1 percent of their colonies in the 12-month period that ended in April. That is well above the 34.2 percent loss reported for the same period in 2013 and 2014, and it is the second-highest loss recorded since year-round surveys began in 2010.
ratcheting up to 50%. Nope, I don't like it.
Bees are dying off — but there’s a surprisingly simple, completely uncontroversial way to save them

The simplest way, if you want to conserve bees, the most obvious thing and the least controversial thing, everyone can agree, it would be nice to have more flowers. You don’t upset too many people when you say that. But it’s true. And also going back to these other things, the pesticides and the diseases they suffer from, they’re probably better able to cope with being poisoned or infected if they’ve got lots of food. The same is true of people; obviously we all know if you’re unwell, it’s important to have healthy food and so on, because that helps build your strength and immunity. So creating areas with flowers is a really good way to help them.
Oslo Builds World's First Bee Highway

Bees are essential for food production, but around the world, populations have been declining for years. Norway’s latest bid to back its fuzzy insectoid friends? The world’s very first bee highway, naturally.

“We are constantly reshaping our environment to meet our needs, forgetting that other species also live in it,” Agnes Lyche Melvaer, head of an Oslo-based environmental group supporting urban bees, told The Guardian. “To correct that we need to return places to them to live and feed.”

It won’t look like any highway you’re familiar with, but Norway hopes this collection of flower-laden rooftops will become a corridor that provides pollinating insects safe passage through the city, with ‘rest stops’ along the way that offer food and shelter. The initiative—a cooperation between state bodies, companies, and private homeowners—is being built piecemeal, with new highway partners simply jumping in and adding their rooftops to the mix. The website contains a growing, interactive map of the entire route:
well, this is, while not unexpected, a most certainly unwelcome facet of this:

Honey bee queens highly vulnerable to two neonicotinoid insecticides

Throughout the northern hemisphere, beekeepers have struggled to maintain adequate numbers of honey bee colonies for crop pollination and honey production due to dramatic increases in colony deaths each year. Recent surveys of beekeepers suggest that poor queen health is an important reason for these losses, but why queen health is now being affected is not understood.
  • Like
Reactions: 1

Neonicotinoid Pesticides Turn Bumblebees Into Poor Pollinators

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been blamed for declines in bee populations worldwide. The chemicals don't kill bees, instead neonicotinoids impair the insects' abilities to learn, navigate, forage for nectar, and reproduce, according to studies published over the past several years.

Now, researchers report that bees exposed to the pesticides also become less effective pollinators for crops (Nature 2015, DOI: 10.1038/nature16167).

The study is the first to demonstrate that neonicotinoids can decrease the quality of a food crop by affecting bee pollination, says Maj Rundlöf of Lund University, who was not involved in the work. "This is a strong indication that farmers, particularly those growing insect-pollinated crops, should consider both the gains and the costs of pesticide use when selecting a pest management strategy."
Bees, Butterflies May Go Way of the Dinosaur

Don't care much about birds and bees going extinct? OK, but you may have to forgo popular foods (like blueberries, apples, and coffee) that depend on creatures that pollinate plants, the Christian Science Monitor reports. According to a UN scientific report approved by 124 nations, the coming extinction of pollinators such as butterflies and bees could undermine hundreds of billions in world food crops. "We are in a period of decline and there are going to be increasing consequences," says lead report author Simon Potts. With one in six vertebrate pollinators (like hummingbirds) and two in five invertebrate pollinators (like bees) going extinct, the report says, $235 billion to $577 billion in world food crops are at risk. Some 35% of world crop production depends on pollinators, the New York Times reports.

Maryland to Become First State to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides for Consumer Use

In an effort to curb its plummeting honeybee population, Maryland is about to become the first state in the nation to pass strict restrictions on neonicotinoids for consumer use.

Bees are Caffeine addicted - Inglewood Health

Researchers in United Kingdom have found that certain plants actually produce caffeine to attract bees and help in pollination.

Scientists at the University of Sussex said they thought the plants produce the caffeine in their nectar to fool bees into thinking it contains more sugar than it actually does. The insects will repeatedly visit those flowers, helping the plants maximize pollination.

Plan bee: Minnesota sets broad limits on chemicals blamed for bee decline

Minnesota's governor on Friday ordered the broadest restrictions yet in a US state on the use of agricultural pesticides that have been blamed for hurting bees, fuelling concerns that farmers there will not be able to protect crops from insects.

Governor Mark Dayton issued an executive order that requires farmers to verify they face "an imminent threat of significant crop loss" before using the chemicals, called neonicotinoids.
241 - 260 of 300 Posts