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Suddenly, The Bees Are Simply Vanishing
06-14-2007, 06:47 PM,
#1
Suddenly, The Bees Are Simply Vanishing
Suddenly, the bees are simply vanishing
Scientists are at a loss to pinpoint the cause. The die-off in 35 states has crippled beekeepers and threatened many crops.

LATimes, June 10, 2007

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.

*SNIP*

the other 4 pages here
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&I've come to the conclusion, after having spent many years in politics, is that our presidential elections turn out to be more of a charade than anything else, and I think that is true today. It is a charade,& - Ron Paul, Sept 2008.
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We're in a lot of trouble, watch this - http://www.youtube.com/v/3L3QVn4JyYA
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You cannot tax someone's labor because that is slavery
- Ed Brown, June 18 2007
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The world's &freeest& country has the highest number in prison.
- arundhati roy
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The crisis of modern democracy is a profound one. Free elections, a free press and an independent judiciary mean little when the free market has reduced them to commodities available on sale to the highest bidder.
- arundhati roy
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The era of manufacturing consent has given way to the era of manufacturing news. Soon media newsrooms will drop the pretense, and start hiring theater directors instead of journalists.
- arundhati roy
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The structure of capitalism is flawed. The motor that powers it cannot but vastly increase the disparity between the poor and the rich globally and within countries as well. Parecon is a brave argument for replacing that flawed machine and offers a much needed -- more equitable, democratic, participatory -- alternative economic vision.
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[The choice between John Kerry and George Bush] is not a real choice. It's an apparent choice. Like choosing a brand of detergent. Whether you buy Ivory Snow or Tide, they're both owned by Proctor & Gamble.
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No government's condemnation of terrorism is credible if it cannot show itself to be open to change by nonviolent dissent
- arundhati roy
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Dr. Hermann Oberth who pioneered rocket design for the German Reich during World War II and later advanced rocket technology for the American manned space launches, cryptically stated: "We cannot take the credit for our record advancement in certain scientific fields alone; we have been helped."

When asked by whom, he replied: "The people of other worlds."
Reply
06-14-2007, 07:46 PM,
#2
Suddenly, The Bees Are Simply Vanishing
I saw four yesterday, darling little yellowjackets...looked real healthy too...the tough little survivors. (Same 25 acres where I had seen not a one maybe a week ago.)

I sent them much love and well wishes. Never thought I would be so overjoyed to see bees, but I was.
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