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Honey Bees & Colony Collapse Disorder

52269 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.
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Threat to honeybees as Asian hornet's arrival on UK mainland confirmed

The Asian hornet's long-feared arrival on the UK mainland has been confirmed, government scientists have said, with ecologists warning of dire consequences for honeybees if the species is not swiftly eliminated.

The hornets eat honeybees and have become widespread in central and southern France, prompting warnings in recent years that they could arrive in the UK via potted plants from France.

Believe it or not, the bees are doing just fine

You've probably heard the bad news by now that bees were recently added to the endangered species list for the first time. But if you're part of the 60 percent of people who share stories without actually reading them, you might have missed an important detail: namely, that the newly endangered bees are a handful of relatively obscure species who live only in Hawaii.

The bees you're more familiar with - the ones that buzz around your yard dipping into flowers, making honey, pollinating crops and generally keeping the world's food supply from collapsing? Those bees are doing just fine, according to data released by the USDA this year.

In 2015, there were 2.66 million commercial honey-producing bee colonies in the United States. That's down slightly from the 2.74 million colonies in 2014, which represented a two-decade high. The number of commercial bee colonies is still significantly higher than it was in 2006, when colony collapse disorder - the mass die-offs that began afflicting U.S. honeybee colonies - was first documented.
347 Native Bee Species 'Spiraling Toward Extinction'

In the first comprehensive review of the more than 4,000 native bee species in North America and Hawaii, the Center for Biological Diversity has found that more than half the species with sufficient data to assess are declining. Nearly one in four is imperiled and at increasing risk of extinction.

A third of the nation's honeybee colonies died last year. Why you should care

America's beekeepers watched as a third of the country's honeybee colonies were lost over the last year, part of a decade-long die-off experts said may threaten our food supply.

The annual survey of roughly 5,000 beekeepers showed the 33% dip from April 2016 to April 2017. The decrease is small compared to the survey's previous 10 years, when the decrease hovered at roughly 40%. From 2012 to 2013, nearly half of the nation's colonies died.

Large-scale study 'shows neonic pesticides harm bees'

The most extensive study to date on neonicotinoid pesticides concludes that they harm both honeybees and wild bees.

Researchers said that exposure to the chemicals left honeybee hives less likely to survive over winter, while bumblebees and solitary bees produced fewer queens.

The study spanned 2,000 hectares across the UK, Germany and Hungary and was set up to establish the "real-world" impacts of the pesticides.

Bees Are Bouncing Back From Colony Collapse Disorder

The number of U.S. honeybees, a critical component to agricultural production, rose in 2017 from a year earlier, and deaths of the insects attributed to a mysterious malady that's affected hives in North America and Europe declined, according a U.S. Department of Agriculture honeybee health survey released Tuesday.

The number of commercial U.S. honeybee colonies rose 3 percent to 2.89 million as of April 1, 2017 compared with a year earlier, the Agriculture Department reported.

Pesticides that pose threat to humans and bees found in honey

Three-quarters of the honey produced around the world contains nerve agent pesticides that can harm bees and pose a potential health hazard to humans, a study has shown.

Scientists who tested 198 honey samples from every continent except Antarctica discovered that 75 per cent were laced with at least one of the neonicotinoid chemicals.

More than two-fifths contained two or more varieties of the pesticides and 10 per cent held residues from four or five.

Pesticides, poor nutrition deadly one-two combo for honey bees

Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Lack of nutrition and exposure to pesticides are a deadly combination for honey bees, new research shows.

For the first time, scientists quantified the effects of the one-two punch on bee mortality. They published their findings this week in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The study's results showed bee mortality increased 50 percent when the two threats were combined.

Strongest evidence yet that neonicotinoids are killing bees

There can be little doubt now that the world's most widely used insecticides are bad for bees. Two new studies add to the mountain of evidence that neonicotinoids are harmful to pollinators, and add to the pressure for Europe, at least, to introduce a full ban.

The European Union has had a temporary moratorium on using three major neonicotinoids on bee-attractive crops since 2013, though farmers can apply for emergency authorisation to keep using them. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is due to publish an assessment in November on whether to make the ban permanent, and legislators are already discussing whether to extend it to cover all uses outside greenhouses.

EU-Wide Ban on Bee-Harming Pesticides Likely After Major Review

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded in a new assessment that "most uses" of three widely used neonicotinoids-imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam-pose a risk to wild bees and honeybees, which play a crucial role in pollination across the globe.

The conclusion, based on analysis of more than 1,500 studies, will likely prompt a total ban on the pesticides from all fields across the European Union when the issue comes to a vote next month, the Guardian reported.
And thus:

EU bans use of three neonicotinoid insecticides blamed for bee decline

April 27 (UPI) -- After an extensive scientific review and intense debate, the European Commission, a legislative body of the European Union, voted on Friday to ban three neonicotinoid insecticides blamed for killing both wild bees and honeybees.

Farmers and gardeners in Europe will no longer be able to spray the pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametheoxam outdoors.
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Probiotics help bees fight colony collapse disorder

A wealth of research suggests it is rarely a single factor that explains a decline in bee health. Instead, several stressors combine to increase mortality rates. Still, studies have revealed a correlation between nosemosis and colony collapse disorder, the crisis causing the decline of honey bee populations all over the world.

In a new study, researchers found probiotics can help prevent and treat nosemosis.

Sunflower pollen protects bees from disease, study finds

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Great access to sunflowers and their pollen could help keep vulnerable bee populations pathogen-free.

In experiments carried out by researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, scientists found bees fed sunflower pollen enjoyed lower rates of infection by two common pathogens.

Can listening to bees help save them - and us?

Can artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning help save the world's bees? That's the hope of scientists who are scrambling to reverse the dramatic declines in bee populations.

Bees are in trouble, but we're not quite sure why.

It could be the overuse of insecticides; air pollution; warming temperatures; the varroa destructor mite; or even interference from electromagnetic radiation.

Or it could be a combination of all these factors. But until we have more data, we won't know for sure.

So the World Bee Project and IT firm Oracle are creating a global network of AI "smart hives" to give scientists real-time data into the relationships between bees and their environments.

Bees Are Facing Yet Another Existential Threat

When Coy spotted the withering weeds, he realized why hives that produced 100 pounds of honey three summers ago now were managing barely half that: Dicamba probably had destroyed his bees' food.

In October, the US Environmental Protection Agency extended its approval of the weed killer for use on genetically modified soybeans and cotton, mostly in the South and Midwest, for two more years. At the time, the EPA said: "We expect there will be no adverse impacts to bees or other pollinators."

But scientists warned the EPA years ago that dicamba would drift off fields and kill weeds that are vital to honeybees. The consequences of the EPA's decisions now are rippling through the food system.

Giant bee species, feared extinct, found alive and well in Indonesia

Animals are dying off at a pretty alarming rate, with some studies suggesting the world is entering a sixth major extinction event. But now, in a rare piece of good news from that field, researchers from Australia, Canada and the US have rediscovered Wallace's giant bee, an insect that hasn't been seen in almost 40 years.

U.S. beekeepers lost over 40 percent of colonies last year, highest winter losses ever recorded

Beekeepers across the United States lost 40.7 percent of their honey bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019, according to preliminary results of the latest annual nationwide survey conducted by the University of Maryland-led nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership. The survey results indicate winter losses of 37.7 percent, which is the highest winter loss reported since the survey began 13 years ago and 8.9 percentage points higher than the survey average.

A New Study Reveals Just How Toxic a Bee's World Has Become

You can thank pollinating insects for one of every three bites of food you take. But as you may have heard, these bugs are in trouble: Since 2006, around 30 percent of US honeybee hives have died off each year, about double the previous loss rate. Honeybee populations are holding steady because honeybees are essentially winged livestock, so they benefit from management by beekeepers who scramble to maintain populations by splitting healthy hives. Bumblebees and other wild pollinators don't have such caretakers, and their populations are dropping.

The best science suggests that a complex web of threats-including exposure to pesticides, loss of foraging habitat, and parasites-is attacking pollinator health. A new study published Tuesday in the journal PLOS One found that one of those factors, a class of chemicals called neonicotinoids, has seen a dramatic expansion since 2004. As a result, bees and other pollinators have encountered landscapes increasingly loaded with harmful pesticides.

'Rewilding:' One California man's mission to save honey bees

SEBASTOPOL, Calif. (Reuters) - The staggering decline of honey bee colonies has alarmed experts across the United States, but an unconventional apiculturist in California thinks he has found a way to save them.

Michael Thiele has championed an approach he calls the "rewilding" of honeybees, allowing them to live as they did for millions of years - in natural log hives high above the ground.
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How to support your local bees in your own backyard

UNLESS YOU'VE BEEN wearing noise-cancelling headphones while living under an extremely large rock on a distant planet, you've probably heard something about the recent decline of bee populations. The hubbub is completely justifiable, because bees are essential to the health and diversity of our entire ecosystem, not to mention their crucial role as crop pollinators.
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