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Honey Bees & Colony Collapse Disorder

52270 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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Engineered bacteria immunize bees against cause of colony collapse

The world is losing huge numbers of honeybees to colony collapse disorder (CCD), which has devastating implications for global ecosystems and agriculture. But now, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have engineered bacteria that can help bees fend off two of the main causes of CCD.

The two problems in question are Varroa mites and deformed wing virus. Varroa mites are tiny parasites that cling to the backs of bees and feed off their fat stores, severely weakening the host. Get enough of them together and they can devastate a honeybee colony.

The Bee Is Declared The Most Important Living Being On The Planet

Its sting hurts a lot, but if they were to disappear, it would hurt much more.

The Earthwatch Institute concluded in the last debate of the Royal Geographical Society of London, that bees are the most important living being on the planet, however, scientists have also made an announcement: Bees have already entered into extinction risk.

Bees around the world have disappeared up to 90% according to recent studies, the reasons are different depending on the region, but among the main reasons are massive deforestation, lack of safe places for nests, lack of flowers, use uncontrolled pesticides, changes in soil, among others.
Why bees are finally getting a break

Lockdowns have put a number of insect-harming practices on hold, creating a friendlier world for wild bees - and conservationists hope some of these changes could be here to stay.

More flowers and pollinator diversity could help protect bees from parasites

Having more flowers and maintaining diverse bee communities could help reduce the spread of bee parasites, according to a new study.

Dramatic decline found in Western bumblebee populations

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal review of existing data unveils an alarming trend for the western bumblebee population, which has seen its numbers dwindle by as much as 93% in the last two decades.

How smart tech could help save the world's honey bees

Now, technology startups are developing smart devices that give beekeepers access to detailed information about the state of their hives, aiming to reduce losses and improve bee health.
Among them is Ireland's ApisProtect, which has just launched a sensor that alerts beekeepers if there is a problem in their hives.

Ten ways to ensure bees benefit from the solar power boom

Researchers assessing the impact of solar energy development across Europe have come up with ten ways in which the expansion of solar can be shaped to ensure pollinators benefit.

Space-hungry solar photovoltaic (PV) is set to dominate future global electricity supply, but with careful decision making, efforts to secure clean energy need not come at the expense of biodiversity-particularly pollinators which are in sharp decline.

American bumblebees have disappeared from these 8 states. Now they could face extinction.

Dwindling populations of the American bumblebee and their complete disappearance from eight states has led to a call for the bee to be placed under the Endangered Species Act before they face extinction.

Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Idaho, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Oregon each have zero or close to zero American bumblebees left, according to a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity and Bombus Pollinators Association of Law Students.
Well....THAT aint good...

New chemical could help protect honeybee colonies from parasitic mites

It is believed that parasitic varroa mites may be one of the main causes of colony collapse disorder, which is decimating honeybee colonies around the world. There may be hope, however, as a new chemical has been found to eradicate the mites without harming the bees.
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Pissed me off when the exterminator came around my work area, just doing his job...was outside for a smoke and a bumblebee flew near us. No threat at all.
He sprayed it saying "He's dead but doesn't know it."

But...but .. you shouldn't kill pollinators!
I said...he didn't care, just bugs to him. :censored:
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Study suggests fertilizers may hamper bees' ability to identify flowers

A number of studies have already shown that synthetic chemicals can harm the bees that are vital to the pollination of plants. New research now additionally indicates that fertilizers may disrupt bees' ability to identify flowers, reducing the likelihood of the insects landing on them.

Puzzling study finds bee lifespans are now 50% shorter than 50 years ago

Striking research from a pair of entomologists at the University of Maryland suggests the lifespan of honey bees kept in controlled laboratory conditions is 50% shorter than what was seen in the 1970s. The researchers hypothesize genetic changes in bees may be responsible for the shorter lifespans.

Uncle Sam OKs vaccine that protects honeybees against hive-destroying bacterium

Dalan Animal Health – a biotech company based in Athens, Georgia, focusing on insects – hopes to help ease at least one of those threats with a vaccine against American foulbrood which was granted a conditional license by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) yesterday.

American foulbrood is devastating to hives. Caused by the spore-forming bacterium Paenibacillus larvae, brood are infected through their food (royal jelly), killing them at pre-pupal or pupal stage.

EU to promote 'buzz lines' to help reverse decline of bees by 2030

"Buzz Lines" for bees and other pollinators where they could move across Europe and find food and shelter were among measures laid out by the EU's executive body on Tuesday to reverse the decline of the insects vital for crop production.

Currently, one in 10 bee and butterfly species and one in three hoverfly species is threatened with extinction.

Plant discovery could lead to wider use of bee-friendly pesticides

One limonoid – called azadirachtin – is already used in both traditional and commercial farming operations, as a natural-source, fast-acting, bee-friendly pesticide. Like other limonoids, it has to be extracted directly from the plant which produces it ... in limited amounts. Because it hasn't been possible to inexpensively produce the chemical in large quantities, it's not nearly as widely used as it could be.

That may be about to change, though, thanks to an international research project.
Robotic beehive provides vital life support to chilly honeybees

While honeybees are famously difficult to study, altering natural behaviors if any outside influences are sensed, they’re also incredibly susceptible to colony collapse due to the cold. If hive temperatures drop below 50 °F (10 °C), the bees cease buzzing and generating their own heat, and slip into a deadly state of chill coma.

So in a win for both bees and ecologists, a team of roboticists and biologists from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in Switzerland, and the University of Graz, in Austria, have developed a robotic honeycomb that both keeps the bees toasty during cold snaps and also allows them to be studied.

Honeybee hive debris provides snapshots of urban microbiomes

Researchers have enlisted a new kind of helper to monitor the microbiomes of cities around the world: the honeybee. A recently published analysis shows that the debris which gathers at the bottom of their hives can reveal a great deal about what's going on in their urban environments.

‘Bees are sentient’: inside the stunning brains of nature’s hardest workers

‘Fringe’ research suggests the insects that are essential to agriculture have emotions, dreams and even PTSD, raising complex ethical questions

Scientists name the top plants for bumblebee-friendly gardens

A study of nearly 23,000 interactions between different species of bumblebees and flowers has determined what these environmentally important fuzzy buzzers like to dine on. The information will help professional and amateur conservationists cater to these picky eaters.
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