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Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

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  • Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

    Cornell UniversityAIDShttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/27/business/27bees.html
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  • #2
    Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

    colony collapse disorder? that sounds unnatural..

    wonder if it has anything to do with pesticides

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

      What a dumb, screwed up nation! Feeding bees corn syrup and protein supplements??? What a messed up food chain we have!!! Have the almond growers gone nuts?
      The Lyme Disease pandemic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5u73ME4sVU

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

        Bees - Biological Geiger Counters

        By: Mark Sircus, Ac., OMD
        March 16, 2007

        Farmers across North America have been blitzing their fields with millions of tons of herbicides and pesticides for decades. And since the mid to late 1990's massive numbers of genetically engineered crops have been planted.
        Greg CiolaSafe pastures where bees can forage without being poisoned by pesticides are becoming increasingly rare.More than 90 crops in North America rely on honeybees to transport
        pollen from flower to flower, effecting fertilization and allowing production of fruit and seed. The amazing versatility of the species is worth an estimated $14 billion a year to the United States economy.There are no tell-tale bee corpses inside colonies or out in front of hives, where bees typically deposit their dead nest mates.

        Experts are speculating that it may be the consequence of a new infection, or of several diseases simultaneously, leading to a fatally compromised immune system. It is also possible that severe stress brought on by crowding, inadequate nutrition or perhaps the combined effects of prophylactic antibiotics and miticides sprayed by beekeepers to ward off infections. Another particularly sad possibility is that accidental exposure to a new pesticide may cause non-lethal behavioral changes that interfere with the ability of honeybees to orient and navigate; brain-damaged foraging bees may simply get lost on their way home and starve to death away from the hive.

        Honeybees contribute to our food chain in more ways than any other animal species. They are vital to alfalfa and clover, which is processed into hay to feed beef and dairy cattle.

        The public does not recognize the magnitude of the threat that these mysterious events present but we should be more than alarmed. Scientists have been observing how one species after another is disappearing from our planet but never before has one with such a direct bearing on food production been threatened. Extinction of a species doesn't just affect the group that disappears - it tends to alter much more.

        Earth's biodiversity is being overtaken by a mass extinction which, if allowed to proceed unchecked, could well eliminate between one quarter and one half of all species.
        Norman Myers

        Bees do make excellent biological geiger counters. They are especially valuable perennial mobile biomonitors of the local environment. Foraging honey bees fly and crawl into flowers and inspect many substrates and openings. As such, they come in contact with naturally-occurring materials in the environment as well as manmade pollutants including heavy metals and pesticides. Pollen and these exotic materials stick to their hairy bodies and are carried back to the nest cavity where they often become incorporated into the beeswax, pollen and honey stores. Thus, with their wide foraging range and collecting activities, they are natural monitoring agents for investigating the ebb and flow of floral resources and toxic substances within the environment. At least one researcher has effectively used honey bees to collect pollutants including heavy metals, radionuclides and pesticides, which are concentrated within their nests and can be subsequently analyzed using modern chemical analytical instrumentation.



        [i]The decline of honeybee populations has brought the agricultural community to the brink of a pollination crisis.

        Scientists have already studied mercury levels in the head, abdomen and thorax of bees (Apis mellifera) from 20 bee populations coming from industrially contaminated areas with a dominant load of mercury (10 populations) as well as from uncontaminated areas. The following mercury levels were found in bees from the contaminated area: heads 0.029-0.385 mg/kg, thorax 0.028-0.595 mg/kg and abdomen 0.083-2.255 mg/kg. Mercury levels in samples from uncontaminated areas ranged from 0.004 to 0.024 mg/kg in the heads, from 0.004 to 0.008 mg/kg in the thorax and from 0.008 to 0.020 mg/kg in the abdomen. In honey samples from the contaminated and uncontaminated areas mercury levels ranged from 0.050 to 0.212 mg/kg and from 0.001 to 0.003 mg/kg, respectively.[iii] Researchers have also demonstrated heavy metal accumulation in honey suggested that honey may be useful for assessing the presence of environmental contaminants.[iv]

        Because of their experimental traceability, recently sequenced genome and well-understood biology, honey bees are an ideal model system for integrating molecular, genetic, physiological and socio-biological perspectives to advance our understanding of converging environmental stresses. Honey bees have the highest rates of flight muscle metabolism and power output ever recorded in the animal kingdom. Researchers believe that it is likely that changes in muscle gene expression, biochemistry, metabolism and functional capacity may be driven primarily by behavior as opposed to age, as is the case for changes in honey bee brains.[v] Even at low levels of exposure, mercury can permanently damage the brain and nervous system and cause behavioral changes in people. Mercury is a harsh neurological poison that affects neurological tissues throughout the animal kingdom and it is very possible that it is affecting the sensitive brains of honey bees.

        When gilial progenitor stem cells in the brain were exposed to 5 to 6 parts per billion (ppb) of mercury, these cells stop dividing and simply shut down! These cells are absolutely crucial in building the brain in infancy and beyond.
        Professor Mark Noble
        University of Rochester NY

        Power plants are the largest unregulated source of mercury emissions, releasing 48 tons of mercury into the air annually in the United States alone. Oil, fertilizers, pesticides and the countless other chemicals, byproducts and debris that enter our water, air and land continually afflict species worldwide and produce damaging, long-lasting effects. Mercury is however one of the most prevalent and powerful poisons, and it manages to infiltrate everything.

        Mercury pollution is making its way into nearly every habitat in the U.S., exposing countless species of wildlife to potentially harmful levels of this neurological toxin.Global decline of amphibians has been a hot issue in recent years among both the scientists who study them and the general public. A paper by University of Georgia researchers in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry suggests that atmospheric deposition of mercury in aquatic habitats has the potential to have significant impacts on amphibians in the larval stage of development.[vi]Freshwater Fish: Brook Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Rainbow Trout, Northern Perch, Largemouth Bass
        Birds in Aquatic Habitats: Bald Eagle, Great Egret, Wood Stork, Northern Shoveler, Common Loon, Red-winged Blackbird, White Ibis, Common Tern, Belted Kingfisher
        Birds in Forest Habitats:Mammals: Florida Panther, Indiana Bat, Mink, River Otter, Raccoon
        Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates: Two-lined Salamander, Snapping Turtle, Crayfish, American Alligator, Bullfrog
        Marine Life: Tiger Shark, Sperm Whale, Striped Bass, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Narwhal, Polar Bear, Beluga Whale, Ringed Seal

        It is understandable that those who are at the helm of our system do not want to create a massive scare by creating an association between a disaster in agriculture (via the collapse in bee colonies) and the tremendous rise in mercury that the government is trying to suppress. This book, The Rising Tide of Mercury and Other Toxic Chemicals, (coming at the end of 2007 from IMVA Publications), will clearly demonstrate the threat of mercury which is now taking on gigantic proportions, and how virtually no one is effectively dealing with the crisis. What good is it for Europe to eliminate the use of mercury from the continent when it is being spilled into the environment in huge amounts by the United States, China and India? Mercury circles the globe just as radiation from nuclear accidents and the use of deleted uranium weapons does.

        It is very possible that the honey bees are being affected in advance of other species in a massive way but it has already been demonstrated by scientists that humans, especially children, are also being seriously affected neurologically by mercury in the air. (See Chapter on Mercury in the Air and rising rates of autism.) The United States is being hit simultaneously by two increasing waves of mercury pollution: one could be responsible for triggering the collapse in bee populations, and the other long-standing issue of constant large tonnage being released each and every day.

        The increasing occurrence and intensity of wildfires due to climate change is worsening mercury pollution in North America according to a new study from researchers at Michigan State University, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the Canadian Forest Service. Wildfires are releasing mercury long since sequestered in Northern wetlands and will without doubt add to health problems in both humans and animals.

        Industry puts out more than carbon monoxide into the air, tons of mercury are put out into the air each and everyday.

        A 2002 study from the University of Santa Cruz, California illuminates the mechanisms of a second pathway where mercury is increasing. This study found that mercury from coal emissions in China ends up in rainwater on the California coast.[vii] Atmospheric mercury travels around the globe as a gas and must be oxidized into charged ions that will attach themselves to water molecules before they are washed out as rain. Ozone, abundant in industrial and urban smog, plays a key role in this oxidative process. When the gaseous mercury blows into San Francisco Bay from Asia, the local smog is there waiting to "enrich" it and set in motion the process of introducing more mercury into the food chain via rain onto surface waters. With China and India putting up new dirty coal fired plants at a furious rate it is literally raining mercury in the United States and all over the world. By 2020, the United States will emit almost one-fifth more gases that lead to global warming than it did in 2000, increasing the risks of drought and scarce water supplies, and of course, though no one is talking about it, mercury emissions will continue to rise.


        Scientists from the University of Quebec who have been studying the Amazon basin since 1992, measured riverbank sediments for mercury levels in small increasing increments and discovered that the most recent sediments contained 1.5 to 3 times the amount of mercury compared to those of 40 years earlier. The timing of the mercury increases fits well with the huge colonization of the area initiated during the 1960s by Brazil's National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform. Through this program, tens of thousands of families relocated from the poorer regions of northeastern Brazil to the Amazon basin. Most of these families turned to farming, and cleared more than 2.5 million hectares of Amazon forest using "slash and burn" methods. While most people are aware of the perils of deforestation in terms of global warming and depletion of protective ozone, only now are scientists beginning to understand that the consequent erosion of soils contributes to worldwide mercury contamination. "When you have forest cover, this mercury is extremely stable in the soils," explains one of the researchers. "There is hardly any release to the aquatic ecosystem. The mercury is bound to clay, organic matter, humic acids, and so on."[viii] Without the forest cover, exposed soil is washed into waterways as regularly as it rains. Once in contact with bacteria in the rivers, inorganic mercury is converted to methyl mercury and thereby introduced into the food chain.

        Mercury continues to appear in places and via means that scientists could not have predicted. Two studies in the March 15, 2002 issue of Environmental Science and Technology describe the phenomenon of "mercury sunrise," an event first described in 1998 in the Arctic north. During a span of only five months during the polar spring each year, the northern-most coast of Alaska receives more than twice the amount of mercury that would usually fall during an entire year on the northeastern coast of the US. This phenomenon also occurs on the southern polar region, and researchers estimate that as much as a hundred tons of mercury are dumped on both poles annually.[ix]

        It has been clear since the infamous 1950s case of women in Minimata, Japan who gave birth to children with severe birth defects because of mercury-tainted fish in their diet, that exposure to high levels of mercury can be harmful. Subsequent studies have revealed that even low-level mercury exposure threatens normal development of the fetus. Problems with vision, hearing, language and motor skills are typical of mercury-related neurological damage. Some recent studies indicate that men with elevated mercury levels may suffer more heart attacks. Animal studies suggest that low-level mercury exposure produces autoimmune diseases and other immune system anomalies.[x] The mercury is there but the recent publicity about this issue is centered on how safe it is to eat mercury contaminated fish!

        Because mercury is everywhere - in our water, foods, air, soil, vaccines and dental amalgam - it needs to be factored into ALL disease etiologies.
        The unprecedented human pressure on the Earth's ecosystems threatens
        our future as a species. We confront problems more intractable than any
        previous generation, some of them at the moment apparently insoluble.
        BBC News

        Mercury is an inherent insanity in the medical and dental communities. Doctors, dentists and health officials will not admit the dangers of mercury. If a physicist denied the basic laws of physics we would find that more than ridiculous but we allow doctors and dentists to shame themselves in front of medical history every day. With what we might call intellectual barbarism or chemical terrorism, they insist on exposing people and children to its dangers in clinical practice. Thus the medical and dental professions cannot be trusted with anything when it comes to mercury and its dangers.

        There is no way to ignore the fact that we all share one earth,one biosphere in which our transgressions against nature, either from ignorance or greed or malice, eventually affect us all.

        Humanity is beset by stresses covering every aspect of reality. We do now, and will continue to, receive signs and symptoms of massive but hidden forces in motion that the public media will not report on. Finally there has been a turn around when it comes to climate change. Unfortunately, with something as huge as the weather, the information is coming too late for us to change the course of destiny. With mercury it is much the same. Instead of decreasing mercury pollution, it is increasing through rapid expansion of the use of coal for the creation of electricity.

        Treatments for Mercury Toxicity
        http://www.imva.info
        http://www.magnesiumforlife.com

        [i] Bromenshenk, et al. 1995

        [iii] Toporcak J, Legath J, Kul'kova J. Univerzita veterinarskeho lekarstva, Kosice.
        [iv] Environ Monit Assess. 2005 Oct;109(1-3):181-7. Determination of heavy metals in honey in Kahramanmaras City, Turkey.Erbilir F, Erdogrul O. Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam, Kahramanmaras, Turkey.
        [v] J Exp Biol. 2005 Nov;208(Pt 22):4193-8. Muscle biochemistry and the ontogeny of flight capacity during behavioral development in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.Roberts SP, Elekonich MM. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4004, USA.
        [vi] http://www.uga.edu/aboutUGA/research-frogs.html
        [vii] Mercury in California Rainwater Linked to Industrial Emissions in Asia; Media Alerts Archive, December 19, 2002;
        www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/MediaAlerts/2002/2002121911028.html
        [viii] R.C.Willis, Mercury Rising: Deforestation and gold mining in the Amazon basin cause the release of toxic metal, Today's Chemist at Work, March 2001, vol. 10, No. 3, pp 30-36
        [ix] T. Steele, "Mercury sunrise" effect found in Antarctica, EurekaAlert!; www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2002-03/acs-sp031902.php
        [x] N. Shute, Heavy Metal Fish, U.S. News & World Report, March 17, 2003
        [xi] S. Weed, Healing Wise, Ash Tree Publishing, 1989, p.223.

        [xiii] Seaweed sold in the United States has a tremendous variation in the amount of iodine content. In Japan, the average Japanese eats around 13.8 mg of iodine per day with the vast majority of that iodine coming from seaweed that has been specifically grown and cultured to maximize iodine trapping in the seaweed. To my knowledge, this particular type of seaweed is not being sold in the United States at the present time. Gupta: Consequences of Iodine Deficiency http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2007/01/31/consequences_of_iodine_deficiency.htm
        [xiv] D. Williams, Poor Man's Chelation Therapy, on-line version, www.home.earthlink.net/~jedcline/cilantro.html

        http://www.healthtruthrevealed.com/f...&&page=article
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        • #5
          Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

          COLLAPSING COLONIES

          Are GM Crops Killing Bees?

          By Gunther Latsch
          March 22, 2007

          A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. The consequences for agriculture and the economy could be enormous.

          Walter Haefeker is a man who is used to painting grim scenarios. He sits on the board of directors of the German Beekeepers Association (DBIB) and is vice president of the European Professional Beekeepers Association. And because griping is part of a lobbyist's trade, it is practically his professional duty to warn that "the very existence of beekeeping is at stake."

          The problem, says Haefeker, has a number of causes, one being the varroa mite, introduced from Asia, and another is the widespread practice in agriculture of spraying wildflowers with herbicides and practicing monoculture. Another possible cause, according to Haefeker, is the controversial and growing use of genetic engineering in agriculture.

          As far back as 2005, Haefeker ended an article he contributed to the journal Der Kritischer Agrarbericht (Critical Agricultural Report) with an Albert Einstein quote: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

          Mysterious events in recent months have suddenly made Einstein's apocalyptic vision seem all the more topical. For unknown reasons, bee populations throughout Germany are disappearing -- something that is so far only harming beekeepers. But the situation is different in the United States, where bees are dying in such dramatic numbers that the economic consequences could soon be dire. No one knows what is causing the bees to perish, but some experts believe that the large-scale use of genetically modified plants in the US could be a factor.

          Felix Kriechbaum, an official with a regional beekeepers' association in Bavaria, recently reported a decline of almost 12 percent in local bee populations. When "bee populations disappear without a trace," says Kriechbaum, it is difficult to investigate the causes, because "most bees don't die in the beehive." There are many diseases that can cause bees to lose their sense of orientation so they can no longer find their way back to their hives.

          Manfred Hederer, the president of the German Beekeepers Association, almost simultaneously reported a 25 percent drop in bee populations throughout Germany. In isolated cases, says Hederer, declines of up to 80 percent have been reported. He speculates that "a particular toxin, some agent with which we are not familiar," is killing the bees.

          Politicians, until now, have shown little concern for such warnings or the woes of beekeepers. Although apiarists have been given a chance to make their case -- for example in the run-up to the German cabinet's approval of a genetic engineering policy document by Minister of Agriculture Horst Seehofer in February -- their complaints are still largely ignored.

          Even when beekeepers actually go to court, as they recently did in a joint effort with the German chapter of the organic farming organization Demeter International and other groups to oppose the use of genetically modified corn plants, they can only dream of the sort of media attention environmental organizations like Greenpeace attract with their protests at test sites.

          But that could soon change. Since last November, the US has seen a decline in bee populations so dramatic that it eclipses all previous incidences of mass mortality. Beekeepers on the east coast of the United States complain that they have lost more than 70 percent of their stock since late last year, while the west coast has seen a decline of up to 60 percent.

          In an article in its business section in late February, the New York Times calculated the damage US agriculture would suffer if bees died out. Experts at Cornell University in upstate New York have estimated the value bees generate -- by pollinating fruit and vegetable plants, almond trees and animal feed like clover -- at more than $14 billion.

          Scientists call the mysterious phenomenon "Colony Collapse Disorder" (CCD), and it is fast turning into a national catastrophe of sorts. A number of universities and government agencies have formed a "CCD Working Group" to search for the causes of the calamity, but have so far come up empty-handed. But, like Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an apiarist with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, they are already referring to the problem as a potential "AIDS for the bee industry."

          One thing is certain: Millions of bees have simply vanished. In most cases, all that's left in the hives are the doomed offspring. But dead bees are nowhere to be found -- neither in nor anywhere close to the hives. Diana Cox-Foster, a member of the CCD Working Group, told The Independent that researchers were "extremely alarmed," adding that the crisis "has the potential to devastate the US beekeeping industry."

          It is particularly worrisome, she said, that the bees' death is accompanied by a set of symptoms "which does not seem to match anything in the literature."

          In many cases, scientists have found evidence of almost all known bee viruses in the few surviving bees found in the hives after most have disappeared. Some had five or six infections at the same time and were infested with fungi -- a sign, experts say, that the insects' immune system may have collapsed.

          The scientists are also surprised that bees and other insects usually leave the abandoned hives untouched. Nearby bee populations or parasites would normally raid the honey and pollen stores of colonies that have died for other reasons, such as excessive winter cold. "This suggests that there is something toxic in the colony itself which is repelling them," says Cox-Foster.

          Walter Haefeker, the German beekeeping official, speculates that "besides a number of other factors," the fact that genetically modified, insect-resistant plants are now used in 40 percent of cornfields in the United States could be playing a role. The figure is much lower in Germany -- only 0.06 percent -- and most of that occurs in the eastern states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg. Haefeker recently sent a researcher at the CCD Working Group some data from a bee study that he has long felt shows a possible connection between genetic engineering and diseases in bees.

          The study in question is a small research project conducted at the University of Jena from 2001 to 2004. The researchers examined the effects of pollen from a genetically modified maize variant called "Bt corn" on bees. A gene from a soil bacterium had been inserted into the corn that enabled the plant to produce an agent that is toxic to insect pests. The study concluded that there was no evidence of a "toxic effect of Bt corn on healthy honeybee populations." But when, by sheer chance, the bees used in the experiments were infested with a parasite, something eerie happened. According to the Jena study, a "significantly stronger decline in the number of bees" occurred among the insects that had been fed a highly concentrated Bt poison feed.

          According to Hans-Hinrich Kaatz, a professor at the University of Halle in eastern Germany and the director of the study, the bacterial toxin in the genetically modified corn may have "altered the surface of the bee's intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry -- or perhaps it was the other way around. We don't know."

          Of course, the concentration of the toxin was ten times higher in the experiments than in normal Bt corn pollen. In addition, the bee feed was administered over a relatively lengthy six-week period.

          Kaatz would have preferred to continue studying the phenomenon but lacked the necessary funding. "Those who have the money are not interested in this sort of research," says the professor, "and those who are interested don't have the money."

          Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

          http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,473166,00.html
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          • #6
            Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

            Flowers and fruit crops facing disaster as disease kills off bees http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...01/nbees01.xml
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            • #7
              Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

              Mysterious Disappearance of US Bees Creating a Buzzhttp://sg.news.yahoo.com/070407/1/47olu.html
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              • #8
                Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                Originally posted by neelu View Post
                What a dumb, screwed up nation! Feeding bees corn syrup and protein supplements??? What a messed up food chain we have!!!

                Have the almond growers gone nuts?
                LOL masha'allah.

                they are more nuttier than we could ever imagine.
                "If I was going to meet my new wedded wife on my wedding night, or you would give me news I had a new born son. It would not give me the same satisfaction as sitting in a tent on a cold night thinking of tactics on how to ambush my enemy."
                Khalid ibn al-Waleed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                  Abu Nuh scared them off"
                  Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvM7L5Wm7q0

                  ‎"If she's not on the deen, she's not fit to be your queen. If he hasn't got imaan, he's not fit to be your man."



                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                    Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

                    Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees

                    By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross
                    15 April 2007

                    It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

                    They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

                    The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

                    Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

                    The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

                    CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.

                    Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."

                    The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left".

                    No one knows why it is happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides, global warming and GM crops have been proposed, but all have drawbacks.

                    German research has long shown that bees' behaviour changes near power lines.

                    Now a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a "hint" to a possible cause.

                    Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: "I am convinced the possibility is real."

                    The case against handsets

                    Evidence of dangers to people from mobile phones is increasing. But proof is still lacking, largely because many of the biggest perils, such as cancer, take decades to show up.

                    Most research on cancer has so far proved inconclusive. But an official Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10 years were 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side as they held the handset.

                    Equally alarming, blue-chip Swedish research revealed that radiation from mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that today's teenagers could go senile in the prime of their lives.

                    Studies in India and the US have raised the possibility that men who use mobile phones heavily have reduced sperm counts. And, more prosaically, doctors have identified the condition of "text thumb", a form of RSI from constant texting.

                    Professor Sir William Stewart, who has headed two official inquiries, warned that children under eight should not use mobiles and made a series of safety recommendations, largely ignored by ministers.

                    http://news.independent.co.uk/enviro...cle2449968.ece
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                    • #11
                      Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                      Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons

                      By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVOOsama bin LadenPennsylvania State University. With Jeffrey S. Pettis, an entomologist from the United States Department of AgricultureColumbia University has revealed the presence of multiple micro-organisms in bees from hives or colonies that are in decline, suggesting that something is weakening their immune system. The researchers have found some fungi in the affected bees that are found in humans whose immune systems have been suppressed by the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or cancerNational Academy of Sciences questioned whether American agriculture was relying too heavily on one type of pollinator, the honeybee.

                      Bee colonies have been under stress in recent years as more beekeepers have resorted to crisscrossing the country with 18-wheel trucks full of bees in search of pollination work. These bees may suffer from a dietDNAWashington State UniversityWest Nile disease in the United States.

                      Dr. Cox-Foster ultimately sent samples of bee tissue to researchers at Columbia, to the Agriculture Department laboratory in Maryland, and to Gene Robinson, an entomologist at the University of Illinoishttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/24/science/24bees.html
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                      • #12
                        Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                        Why is this not front page news? Why am I reading this for the first time here and not in a newspaper, on the radio or tv news?

                        THIS IS SERIOUS PEOPLE!!!

                        If bees were to vanish, nature as we know it could collapse into itself...bees, ants etc are the foundation of the EARTH!

                        If humans were to vanish off the face of the earth tomorrow, life would go on, earth would sustain, renew and replenish itself with the incredible insects and animals that live on it.

                        If bees or ants were to vanish, we would truly be lost! SubhanAllah! This is scary stuff! Entire colonies are disappearing!
                        What does 'freedom' mean?

                        Does the eagle want to swim in the sea,
                        Restricted by the sky?

                        Does the fish want to dance on the wind,
                        Not enough river to explore?

                        Yet the sky is freedom for the bird
                        but death for the fish,

                        The sea is wide for the fish
                        but will engulf the bird.

                        We ask for freedom but freedom to do what?
                        We can only express our nature as it was created.

                        The prayer mat of the earth is freedom,
                        freedom from slavery to other than the One,
                        Who offers an shoreless ocean of love to swim in
                        and a horizon that extends to the next life,
                        Yet we chose the prison and call it freedom.

                        http://campaign.justgiving.com/chari...iyahschool2015

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                          Taiwan stung by millions of missing bees

                          April 26, 2007

                          TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's bee farmers are feeling the sting of lost business and possible crop danger after millions of the honey-making, plant-pollinating insects vanished during volatile weather, media and experts said on Thursday.

                          Over the past two months, farmers in three parts of Taiwan have reported most of their bees gone, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported. Taiwan's TVBS television station said about 10 million bees had vanished in Taiwan.

                          A beekeeper on Taiwan's northeastern coast reported 6 million insects missing "for no reason," and one in the south said 80 of his 200 bee boxes had been emptied, the paper said.

                          Beekeepers usually let their bees out of boxes to pollinate plants and the insects normally make their way back to their owners. However, many of the bees have not returned over the past couple of months.

                          Possible reasons include disease, pesticide poisoning and unusual weather, varying from less than 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) to more than 30 degrees Celsius over a few days, experts say.


                          "You can see climate change really clearly these days in Taiwan," said Yang Ping-shih, entomology professor at the National Taiwan University. He added that two kinds of pesticide can make bees turn "stupid" and lose their sense of direction.

                          As affected beekeepers lose business, fruit growers may lack a key pollination source and neighbors might get stung, he said.

                          Billions of bees have fled hives in the United States since late 2006, instead of helping pollinate $15 billion worth of fruits, nuts and other crops annually. Disappearing bees also have been reported in Europe and Brazil.

                          The mass buzz-offs are isolated cases so far, a Taiwan government Council of Agriculture official said.

                          But the council may collect data to study the causes of the vanishing bees and gauge possible impacts, said Kao Ching-wen, a pesticides section chief at the council.

                          "We want to see what the reason is, and we definitely need some evidence," Kao said. "It's hard to say whether there will be an impact."

                          http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?ali...modsrc=reuters
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                          • #14
                            Ecological Apocalypse: Why Are All The Bees Dying?

                            GM, toxic chemicals, chemtrails destroying eco-system, threatening very survival of humanity
                            Paul Joseph Watson
                            Prison Planet
                            Tuesday, April 10, 2007

                            digg_url = 'http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/april2007/100407beesdying.htm';digg_title = 'Ecological Apocalypse: Why Are All The Bees Dying?';digg_bodytext = 'The alarming decline in bee populations across the United States and Europe represents a potential ecological apocalypse, an environmental catastrophe that could collapse the food chain and wipe out humanity. Who and what is behind this flagrant abuse of the eco-system?';digg_topic = 'politics';


                            The alarming decline in bee populations across the United States and Europe represents a potential ecological apocalypse, an environmental catastrophe that could collapse the food chain and wipe out humanity.

                            Who and what is behind this flagrant abuse of the eco-system?
                            Many people don't realize the vital role bees play in maintaining a balanced eco-system. According to experts, if bees were to become extinct then humanity would perish after just four years.

                            "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man," said Albert Einstein.

                            Others would say four years is alarmist and that man would find other food sources, but the fact remains that the disappearance of bees is potentially devastating to agriculture and most plant life.

                            Reports that bee populations are declining at rates of up to 80% in areas of the U.S. and Europe should set alarm bells ringing and demand immediate action on behalf of environmental organizations. Experts are calling the worrying trend "colony collapse disorder" or CCD.

                            "Bee numbers on parts of the east coast and in Texas have fallen by more than 70 percent, while California has seen colonies drop by 30 to 60 percent," reports AFP.

                            "Approximately 40 percent of my 2,000 colonies are currently dead and this is the greatest winter colony mortality I have ever experienced in my 30 years of beekeeping," apiarist Gene Brandi, from the California State Beekeepers Association, told Congress recently.

                            The article states that U.S. bee colonies have been dropping since 1980 and the number of beekeepers have halved.

                            Scientists are thus far stumped as to what is causing the decline, ruling out parasites but leaning towards some kind of new toxin or chemical used in agriculture as being responsible. "Experts believe that the large-scale use of genetically modified plants in the US could be a factor," reports Germany's Spiegal Online.

                            Bee populations throughout Germany have simultaneously dropped 25% and up to 80% in some areas. Poland, Switzerland and Spain are reporting similar declines. Studies have shown that bees are not dying in the hive, something is causing them to lose their sense of orientation so that they cannot return to the hive. Depleted hives are not being raided for their honey by other insects, which normally happens when bees naturally die in the winter, clearly suggesting some kind of poisonous toxin is driving them away.

                            "In many cases, scientists have found evidence of almost all known bee viruses in the few surviving bees found in the hives after most have disappeared. Some had five or six infections at the same time and were infested with fungi -- a sign, experts say, that the insects' immune system may have collapsed."

                            A study at the University of Jena from 2001 to 2004 showed that toxins from a genetically modified maize variant designed to repel insects, when combined with a parasite, resulted in a "significantly stronger decline in the number of bees" than normal.

                            "According to Hans-Hinrich Kaatz, a professor at the University of Halle in eastern Germany and the director of the study, the bacterial toxin in the genetically modified corn may have "altered the surface of the bee's intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry -- or perhaps it was the other way around. We don't know."
                            Kaatz was desperate to continue his studies but funding was cut off.
                            While we are lectured by government to change our lifestyle and cough up more taxes for the supposed peril of man-made global warming, an environmental catastrophe that could eliminate the human race in the figurative blink of an eye is looming.

                            Why are major environmental groups and lobbyists ignoring this mammoth threat to our very existence? Where is Greenpeace?

                            The hyperbole surrounding man-made global warming is swallowing up all the attention while real dangers like the rapid die-off of bee populations and its link to GM food is largely shunned by governments and activist foundations.

                            Is it a stretch to hypothesize that government mandated spraying of crops with deadly chemicals as well as toxic substances contained in chemtrails could be part of a deliberate program to eliminate the bee population? Or is this just another example of big business flagrantly abusing the eco-system in order to drive up profits?

                            The elite have publicly stated their desire to significantly reduce world population on numerous occasions. Just yesterday we featured a story about a British Government Ministry of Defence report that postulated on the future use of bio-weapons to thin the human population in under 30 years.

                            Making bees all but extinct would be a swift and plausibly deniable method of enacting global population reduction long dreamed of by the maniacal sociopaths that control the world.

                            Either way, this issue represents an overwhelming threat to the food chain and an environmental crime of the highest order, for which the perpetrators need to be brought up on charges of accessories to genocide, should a deliberate effort to endanger the food chain be proven, and the chemicals responsible immediately banned.

                            Please circulate this article to environmental groups and demand they investigate who and what is killing our bees!
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                            • #15
                              Re: Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril

                              Suddenly, the bees are simply vanishing

                              By Jia-Rui Chong and Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writers
                              June 10, 2007

                              Scientists are at a loss to pinpoint the cause. The die-off in 35 states has crippled beekeepers and threatened many crops.

                              The dead bees under Dennis vanEngelsdorp's microscope were like none he had ever seen.

                              He had expected to see mites or amoebas, perennial pests of bees. Instead, he found internal organs swollen with debris and strangely blackened. The bees' intestinal tracts were scarred, and their rectums were abnormally full of what appeared to be partly digested pollen. Dark marks on the sting glands were telltale signs of infection.

                              "The more you looked, the more you found," said VanEngelsdorp, the acting apiarist for the state of Pennsylvania. "Each thing was a surprise."

                              VanEngelsdorp's examination of the bees in November was one of the first scientific glimpses of a mysterious honeybee die-off that has launched an intense search for a cure.

                              The puzzling phenomenon, known as Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, has been reported in 35 states, five Canadian provinces and several European countries. The die-off has cost U.S. beekeepers about $150 million in losses and an uncertain amount for farmers scrambling to find bees to pollinate their crops.

                              Scientists have scoured the country, finding eerily abandoned hives in which the bees seem to have simply left their honey and broods of baby bees.

                              "We've never experienced bees going off and leaving brood behind," said Pennsylvania-based beekeeper Dave Hackenberg. "It was like a mother going off and leaving her kids."

                              Researchers have picked through the abandoned hives, dissected thousands of bees, and tested for viruses, bacteria, pesticides and mites.

                              So far, they are stumped.

                              According to the Apiary Inspectors of America, 24% of 384 beekeeping operations across the country lost more than 50% of their colonies from September to March. Some have lost 90%.

                              "I'm worried about the bees," said Dan Boyer, 52, owner of Ridgetop Orchards in Fishertown, Pa., which grows apples. "The more I learn about it, the more I think it is a national tragedy."

                              At Boyer's orchard, 400 acres of apple trees — McIntosh, Honey Crisp, Red Delicious and 11 other varieties — have just begun to bud white flowers.

                              Boyer's trees need to be pollinated. Incompletely pollinated blooms would still grow apples, he said, but the fruit would be small and misshapen, suitable only for low-profit juice.

                              This year, he will pay dearly for the precious bees — $13,000 for 200 hives, the same price that 300 hives cost him last year.

                              The scene is being repeated throughout the country, where honeybees, scientifically known as Apis mellifera, are required to pollinate a third of the nation's food crops, including almonds, cherries, blueberries, pears, strawberries and pumpkins.

                              Vanishing colonies

                              One of the earliest alarms was sounded by Hackenberg, who used to keep about 3,000 hives in dandelion-covered fields near the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.

                              In November, Hackenberg, 58, was at his winter base in Florida. He peeked in on a group of 400 beehives he had driven down from his home in West Milton, Pa., a month before. He went from empty box to empty box. Only about 40 had bees in them.

                              "It was just the most phenomenal thing I thought I'd ever seen," he said.

                              The next morning, Hackenberg called Jerry Hayes, the chief of apiary inspection at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and president of the Apiary Inspectors of America.

                              Hayes mentioned some bee die-offs in Georgia that, until then, hadn't seemed significant.

                              Hackenberg drove back to West Milton with a couple of dead beehives and live colonies that had survived. He handed them over to researchers at Pennsylvania State University.

                              With amazing speed, the bees vanished from his other hives, more than 70% of which were abandoned by February.

                              Hackenberg, a talkative, wiry man with a deeply lined face, figured he lost more than $460,000 this winter for replacement bees, lost honey and missed pollination opportunities.

                              "If that happens again, we're out of business," he said.

                              It didn't take researchers long to figure out they were dealing with something new.

                              VanEngelsdorp, 37, quickly eliminated the most obvious suspects: Varroa and tracheal mites, which have occasionally wrought damage on hives since the 1980s.

                              At the state lab in Harrisburg, Pa., VanEngelsdorp checked bee samples from Pennsylvania and Georgia. He washed bees with soapy water to dislodge Varroa mites and cut the thorax of the bees to look for tracheal mites; he found that the number of mites was not unusually high.

                              His next guess was amoebic infection. He scanned the bees' kidneys for cysts and found a handful, but not enough to explain the population decline.

                              VanEngelsdorp dug through scientific literature looking for other mass disappearances.

                              He found the first reference in a 1869 federal report, detailing a mysterious bee disappearance. There was only speculation as to the cause — possibly poisonous honey or maybe a hot summer.

                              A 1923 handbook on bee culture noted that a "disappearing disease" went away in a short time without treatment. There was a reference to "fall dwindle" in a 1965 scientific article to describe sudden disappearances in Texas and Louisiana.

                              He found other references but no explanations.

                              VanEngelsdorp traveled to Florida and California at the beginning of the year to collect adult bees, brood, nectar, pollen and comb for a more systematic study. He went to 11 apiaries, both sick and healthy, and collected 102 colonies.

                              A number of the pollen samples went to Maryann Frazier, a honeybee specialist at Penn State who has been coordinating the pesticide investigation. Her group has been testing for 106 chemicals used to kill mites, funguses or other pests.

                              Scientists have focused on a new group of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, which have spiked in popularity because they are safe for people, Frazier said. Studies have shown that these pesticides can kill bees and throw off their ability to learn and navigate, she said.

                              Researchers have yet to collect enough data to come to any conclusions, but the experience of French beekeepers casts doubt on the theory. France banned the most commonly used neonicotinoid in 1999 after complaints from beekeepers that it was killing their colonies. French hives, however, are doing no better now, experts said.

                              Sniffing out the culprit

                              Entomologist Jerry J. Bromenshenk of the University of Montana launched his own search for poisons, relying on the enhanced odor sensitivity of bees — about 40 times better than that of humans.

                              When a colony is exposed to a new chemical odor, he said, its sound changes in volume and frequency, producing a unique audio signature.

                              Bromenshenk has been visiting beekeepers across the country, recording hive sounds and taking them back to his lab for analysis. To date, no good candidates have surfaced.

                              If the cause is not a poison, it is most likely a parasite.

                              UC San Francisco researchers announced in April that they had found a single-celled protozoan called Nosema ceranae in bees from colonies with the collapse disorder.

                              Unfortunately, Bromenshenk said, "we see equal levels of Nosema in CCD colonies and healthy colonies."

                              Infected swarms?

                              Several researchers, including entomologist Diana Cox-Foster of Penn State and Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a virologist at Columbia University, have been sifting through bees that have been ground up, looking for viruses and bacteria.

                              "We were shocked by the huge number of pathogens present in each adult bee," Cox-Foster said at a recent meeting of bee researchers convened by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

                              The large number of pathogens suggested, she said, that the bees' immune systems had been suppressed, allowing the proliferation of infections.

                              The idea that a pathogen is involved is supported by recent experiments conducted by VanEngelsdorp and USDA entomologist Jeffrey S. Pettis.

                              One of the unusual features of the disorder is that the predators of abandoned beehives, such as hive beetles and wax moths, refuse to venture into infected hives for weeks or longer.

                              "It's as if there is something repellent or toxic about the colony," said Hayes, the Florida inspector.

                              To test this idea, VanEngelsdorp and Pettis set up 200 beehive boxes with new, healthy bees from Australia and placed them in the care of Hackenberg.

                              Fifty of the hives were irradiated to kill potential pathogens. Fifty were fumigated with concentrated acetic acid, a hive cleanser commonly used in Canada. Fifty were filled with honey frames that had been taken from Hackenberg's colonies before the collapse, and the last 50 were hives that had been abandoned that winter.

                              When VanEngelsdorp visited the colonies at the beginning of May, bees in the untouched hive were clearly struggling, filling only about a quarter of a frame. Bees living on the reused honeycomb were alive but not thriving. A hive that had been fumigated with acetic acid was better.

                              When he popped open an irradiated hive, bees were crawling everywhere. "This does imply there is something biological," he said.

                              If it is a pathogen or a parasite, honeybees are poorly equipped to deal with it, said entomologist May Berenbaum of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

                              The honeybee genome has only half as many genes to detoxify poisons and to fight off infections as do other insects.

                              "There is something about the life of the honeybee that has led to the loss of a lot of genes associated with detoxification, associated with the immune system," she said.

                              In the absence of knowledge, theories have proliferated, including one that Osama bin Laden has engineered the die-off to disrupt American agriculture.

                              One of the most pervasive theories is that cellphone transmissions are causing the disappearances — an idea that originated with a recent German study. Berenbaum called the theory "a complete figment of the imagination."

                              The German physicist who conducted the tiny study "disclaimed the connection to cellphones," she said. "What they put in the colony was a cordless phone. Whoever translated the story didn't know the difference."

                              Another popular theory is that the bees have been harmed by corn genetically engineered to contain the pesticide B.t.

                              Berenbaum shot down the idea: "Here in Illinois, we're surrounded by an ocean of B.t. pollen, and the bees are not afflicted."

                              And so the search continues.

                              Many beekeepers have few options but to start rebuilding. Gene Brandi, a veteran beekeeper based in Los Banos, Calif., lost 40% of his 2,000 colonies this winter.

                              Brandi knows plenty of beekeepers who sold their equipment at bargain prices.

                              Scurrying around a blackberry farm near Watsonville, Brandi, 55, was restocking his bees. In a white jumpsuit and yellow bee veil, he pulled out a frame of honeycomb from a hive that had so many bees they were spilling out the front entrance.

                              "When it's going good like this, you forget CCD," he said.

                              Hackenberg, who has spent his whole life in the business, isn't giving up either. He borrowed money and restocked with bees from Australia.

                              In April, the normally hale Hackenberg started feeling short of breath. His doctor said he was suffering from stress and suggested he slow down.

                              Not now, Hackenberg thought. "I'm going to go down fighting."

                              http://www.latimes.com/news/science/...107,full.story
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