bees being wiped out by mysterious illness

bees being wiped out by mysterious illness

Postby Vay » 16 Mar 2007, 14:17

Bee Colony Collapse Disorder - Where is it heading?

The phenomenon is recent, dating back to autumn, when beekeepers along the east coast of the US started to notice the die-offs. It was given the name of fall dwindle disease, but now it has been renamed to reflect better its dramatic nature, and is known as colony collapse disorder.

It is swift in its effect. Over the course of a week the majority of the bees in an affected colony will flee the hive and disappear, going off to die elsewhere. The few remaining insects are then found to be enormously diseased - they have a “tremendous pathogen load”, the scientists say. But why? No one yet knows.

… The disease showed a completely new set of symptoms, “which does not seem to match anything in the literature”, said the entomologist.

… the few bees left inside the hive were carrying “a tremendous number of pathogens” - virtually every known bee virus could be detected in the insects, she said, and some bees were carrying five or six viruses at a time, as well as fungal infections. Because of this it was assumed that the bees’ immune systems were being suppressed in some way.


Creepy shite indeed.
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Postby urodacus » 16 Mar 2007, 14:19

global warming?

only half kidding. but fred'll put me right.
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Postby TainanCowboy » 16 Mar 2007, 14:21

This is serious business. These bees are a vital part of the ecology of our planet.
Pollination via bees is serious food chain business.
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Postby Chris » 16 Mar 2007, 14:28

TainanCowboy wrote:This is serious business. These bees are a vital part of the ecology of our planet.
Pollination via bees is serious food chain business.


Careful now. You're starting to sound like an environmentalist.
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Postby Belgian Pie » 16 Mar 2007, 15:09

The suspect a new nicotine containing herbicide/pesticide that has an effect on the bees immune system ... or something ...
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Postby bobepine » 17 Mar 2007, 00:22

Belgian Pie wrote:The suspect a new nicotine containing herbicide/pesticide that has an effect on the bees immune system ... or something ...
The nicotine based chemical disorientates the bees and they can't find their way back "home." It doesn't explain the diseases in bees, though. Another brilliant invention to be added to our portfolio...

Interesting graph showing bees' contribution to producing human food. Alarming indeed.

Thanks for the post, Vay.
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Postby Vay » 21 Apr 2008, 23:31

Further related news...

Why flowers have lost their scent

Pollution is dulling the scent of flowers and impeding some of the most basic processes of nature, disrupting insect life and imperilling food supplies, a new study suggests.

The potentially hugely significant research – funded by the blue-chip US National Science Foundation – has found that gases mainly formed from the emissions of car exhausts prevent flowers from attracting bees and other insects in order to pollinate them. And the scientists who have conducted the study fear that insects' ability to repel enemies and attract mates may also be impeded.

The researchers – at the University of Virginia – say that pollution is dramatically cutting the distance travelled by the scent of flowers. Professor Jose Fuentes, who led the study, said: "Scent molecules produced by flowers in a less polluted environment could travel for roughly 1,000 to 1,200 metres. But today they may travel only 200 to 300 metres. This makes it increasingly difficult for bees and other insects to locate the flowers."

The researchers – who worked on the scent given off by snapdragons – found that the molecules are volatile, and quickly bond with pollutants such as ozone and nitrate radicals, mainly formed from vehicle emissions. This chemically alters the molecules so that they no longer smell like flowers. A vicious cycle is therefore set up where insects struggle to get enough food and the plants do not get pollinated enough to proliferate.

Already bees – which pollinate most of the world's crops – are in unprecedented decline in Britain and across much of the globe. At least a quarter of America's 2.5 million honey bee colonies have been mysteriously wiped out by colony collapse disorder (CCD), where hives are found suddenly deserted.

The crisis has now spread to Europe. Politicians insist that CCD has not yet been found in Britain, but the insects have been declining here too, and the agriculture minister Lord Rooker has warned that "the honey bee population could be wiped out in 10 years".
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bees being wiped out by mysterious illness

Postby Icon » 22 Apr 2008, 11:07

Bats are also dying out, wiped also by a mysterious disease. We humans will be in a lot of trouble foodwise in the future, my friends.
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Postby Jack Burton » 22 Apr 2008, 11:40

Yea, haven't you see the Bee movie? If the bees go, a lot of things follow.

"He who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind."

"We inherit the sins of our fathers."


Basically, our children will fight a resource war - only now, the resources will dwindle and/or change. Whether we can adapt is another questions.

Stock up! Arm up! Take out your fat neighbour!

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Postby sandman » 22 Apr 2008, 11:47

Scary. There a very similar scare back in the early 70s, when insect life in UK was being wiped out by agricultural pesticide and herbicide use and the changeover to big farms that saw thousands of acres of hedgerows grubbed out and replaced by wire fences, removing "safe" natural habitat for wee beasties. Yet here we still are. The sky didn't fall.
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