[About the Project]
[About the ApocaDocs]
[About Equal Share]
[TwitterFollow: apocadocs]


SEARCH

More than 6,000 stories!

OUR BOOK
IS NOW
IN PRINT!

The ApocaDocs have a Book!
Humoring the Horror
of the
Converging Emergencies
94 color pages
$24.99
Read FREE online!

Explore:

Play:

It's weekly, funny, and free!
Play:

Click for paper-free fun!

Ads for potentially
microfunding this site:


Apocadocument
Weekly Archives:
Sep 26 - Dec 31, 1969
Sep 19 - Sep 26, 2011
Sep 12 - Sep 19, 2011
Sep 5 - Sep 12, 2011
Aug 29 - Sep 5, 2011
Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2011
Aug 15 - Aug 22, 2011
Aug 8 - Aug 15, 2011
Aug 1 - Aug 8, 2011
Jul 25 - Aug 1, 2011
Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2011
Jul 11 - Jul 18, 2011
Jul 4 - Jul 11, 2011
Jun 27 - Jul 4, 2011
Jun 20 - Jun 27, 2011
Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2011
Jun 6 - Jun 13, 2011
May 30 - Jun 6, 2011
May 23 - May 30, 2011
May 16 - May 23, 2011
May 9 - May 16, 2011
May 2 - May 9, 2011
Apr 25 - May 2, 2011
Apr 18 - Apr 25, 2011
Apr 11 - Apr 18, 2011
Apr 4 - Apr 11, 2011
Mar 28 - Apr 4, 2011
Mar 21 - Mar 28, 2011
Mar 14 - Mar 21, 2011
Mar 6 - Mar 14, 2011
Feb 27 - Mar 6, 2011
Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2011
Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2011
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2011
Jan 30 - Feb 6, 2011
Jan 23 - Jan 30, 2011
Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2011
Jan 9 - Jan 16, 2011
Jan 2 - Jan 9, 2011
Dec 26 - Jan 2, 2011
Dec 19 - Dec 26, 2010
Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2010
Dec 5 - Dec 12, 2010
Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2010
Nov 21 - Nov 28, 2010
Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2010
Nov 7 - Nov 14, 2010
Nov 1 - Nov 7, 2010
Oct 25 - Nov 1, 2010
Oct 18 - Oct 25, 2010
Oct 11 - Oct 18, 2010
Oct 4 - Oct 11, 2010
Sep 27 - Oct 4, 2010
Sep 20 - Sep 27, 2010
Sep 13 - Sep 20, 2010
Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2010
Aug 30 - Sep 6, 2010
Aug 23 - Aug 30, 2010
Aug 16 - Aug 23, 2010
Aug 9 - Aug 16, 2010
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2010
Jul 26 - Aug 2, 2010
Jul 19 - Jul 26, 2010
Jul 12 - Jul 19, 2010
Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2010
Jun 28 - Jul 5, 2010
Jun 21 - Jun 28, 2010
Jun 14 - Jun 21, 2010
Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2010
May 31 - Jun 7, 2010
May 24 - May 31, 2010
May 17 - May 24, 2010
May 10 - May 17, 2010
May 3 - May 10, 2010
Apr 26 - May 3, 2010
Apr 19 - Apr 26, 2010
Apr 12 - Apr 19, 2010
Apr 5 - Apr 12, 2010
Mar 29 - Apr 5, 2010
Mar 22 - Mar 29, 2010
Mar 15 - Mar 22, 2010
Mar 7 - Mar 15, 2010
Feb 28 - Mar 7, 2010
Feb 21 - Feb 28, 2010
Feb 14 - Feb 21, 2010
Feb 7 - Feb 14, 2010
Jan 31 - Feb 7, 2010
Jan 24 - Jan 31, 2010
Jan 17 - Jan 24, 2010
Jan 10 - Jan 17, 2010
Jan 3 - Jan 10, 2010
Dec 27 - Jan 3, 2010
Dec 20 - Dec 27, 2009
Dec 13 - Dec 20, 2009
Dec 6 - Dec 13, 2009
Nov 29 - Dec 6, 2009
Nov 22 - Nov 29, 2009
Nov 15 - Nov 22, 2009
Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2009
Nov 1 - Nov 8, 2009
Oct 26 - Nov 1, 2009
Oct 19 - Oct 26, 2009
Oct 12 - Oct 19, 2009
Oct 5 - Oct 12, 2009
Sep 28 - Oct 5, 2009
Sep 21 - Sep 28, 2009
Sep 14 - Sep 21, 2009
Sep 7 - Sep 14, 2009
Aug 31 - Sep 7, 2009
Aug 24 - Aug 31, 2009
Aug 17 - Aug 24, 2009
Aug 10 - Aug 17, 2009
Aug 3 - Aug 10, 2009
Jul 27 - Aug 3, 2009
Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2009
Jul 13 - Jul 20, 2009
Jul 6 - Jul 13, 2009
Jun 29 - Jul 6, 2009
Jun 22 - Jun 29, 2009
Jun 15 - Jun 22, 2009
Jun 8 - Jun 15, 2009
Jun 1 - Jun 8, 2009
May 25 - Jun 1, 2009
May 18 - May 25, 2009
May 11 - May 18, 2009
May 4 - May 11, 2009
Apr 27 - May 4, 2009
Apr 20 - Apr 27, 2009
Apr 13 - Apr 20, 2009
Apr 6 - Apr 13, 2009
Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2009
Mar 23 - Mar 30, 2009
Mar 16 - Mar 23, 2009
Mar 9 - Mar 16, 2009
Mar 1 - Mar 9, 2009
Feb 22 - Mar 1, 2009
Feb 15 - Feb 22, 2009
Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2009
Feb 1 - Feb 8, 2009
Jan 25 - Feb 1, 2009
Jan 18 - Jan 25, 2009
Jan 11 - Jan 18, 2009
Jan 4 - Jan 11, 2009
Dec 28 - Jan 4, 2009
Dec 21 - Dec 28, 2008
Dec 14 - Dec 21, 2008
Dec 7 - Dec 14, 2008
Nov 30 - Dec 7, 2008
Nov 23 - Nov 30, 2008
Nov 16 - Nov 23, 2008
Nov 9 - Nov 16, 2008
Nov 2 - Nov 9, 2008
Oct 27 - Nov 2, 2008
Oct 20 - Oct 27, 2008
Oct 13 - Oct 20, 2008
Oct 6 - Oct 13, 2008
Sep 29 - Oct 6, 2008
Sep 22 - Sep 29, 2008
Sep 15 - Sep 22, 2008
Sep 8 - Sep 15, 2008
Sep 1 - Sep 8, 2008
Aug 25 - Sep 1, 2008
Aug 18 - Aug 25, 2008
Aug 11 - Aug 18, 2008
Aug 4 - Aug 11, 2008
Jul 28 - Aug 4, 2008
Jul 21 - Jul 28, 2008
Jul 14 - Jul 21, 2008
Jul 7 - Jul 14, 2008
Jun 30 - Jul 7, 2008
Jun 23 - Jun 30, 2008
Jun 16 - Jun 23, 2008
Jun 9 - Jun 16, 2008
Jun 2 - Jun 9, 2008
May 26 - Jun 2, 2008
May 19 - May 26, 2008
May 12 - May 19, 2008
May 5 - May 12, 2008
Apr 28 - May 5, 2008
Apr 21 - Apr 28, 2008
Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2008
Apr 7 - Apr 14, 2008
Mar 31 - Apr 7, 2008
Mar 24 - Mar 31, 2008
Mar 17 - Mar 24, 2008
Mar 10 - Mar 17, 2008
Mar 2 - Mar 10, 2008
Feb 24 - Mar 2, 2008
Feb 17 - Feb 24, 2008
Feb 10 - Feb 17, 2008
Feb 3 - Feb 10, 2008
Jan 27 - Feb 3, 2008
Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2008
Jan 13 - Jan 20, 2008
Jan 6 - Jan 13, 2008
Dec 30 - Jan 6, 2008
Dec 23 - Dec 30, 2007
Dec 16 - Dec 23, 2007
Dec 9 - Dec 16, 2007
Dec 2 - Dec 9, 2007
DocWatch
CCD
Twitterit?
News stories about "CCD," with punchlines: http://apocadocs.com/d.pl?CCD
Related Scary Tags:
pesticide runoff  ~ toxic buildup  ~ massive die-off  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ unintended consequences  ~ contamination  ~ food crisis  ~ climate impacts  ~ weakened immunity  ~ corporate farming  ~ species restoration  



Wed, Oct 8, 2014
from Canadian Press:
Pesticides linked to bee deaths pose 'massive' ecological threat, watchdog warns
The widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides by Ontario farmers, which has been linked to the deaths of bees, could have a "massive impact" on our ecological system, the province's environment watchdog warned Tuesday. "All the science is not done, but everything that I have before me ... suggests to me that this is the biggest threat to the structure and ecological integrity of the ecosystem that I have ever encountered in my life, bigger than DDT, " said Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller as he released his annual report. Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane was banned in Canada in 1972 because of environmental and safety concerns, and even Environment Minister Glen Murray admitted the neonicotinoid class of pesticides is "much more toxic" than DDT. ...


So much for equivocation.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Sep 5, 2014
from Common Dreams:
Canadian Beekeepers Launch Class Action Suit Against Pesticide Makers
Beekeepers in the Canadian province of Ontario have launched a class action lawsuit against makers of a class of pesticides linked to the decline of bees. The claim (pdf) filed Tuesday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeks $450 million in damages going back to 2006 for the "chronic effects of the use of the Neonicotinoids [...] felt by Canada's Beekeepers annually."... "Beekeepers have suffered, and will continue to suffer, devastating economic hardships as a result of the continued use of Neonicotinoids," it states. The damages they say are caused by these pesticides, also known as neonics, include: bee deaths; impaired reproduction; immune suppression; behavioral abnormalities resulting in hive loss ; reduced honey production; impacts on the quality of honey; contamination of hive equipment; loss of Queen Bees; breeding stock; and difficulties fulfilling honey product or pollination contracts. ...


The real question is, if the case is won, how do we shrink the currency so that it fits in their tiny little bee hands?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 25, 2014
from CBC:
More than half of Ontario bees died during harsh winter
About 58 per cent of Ontario bees died during what was an especially long winter, while other provinces lost on average about 19 per cent of their swarm, according to the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists survey. That means Ontario lost bees at a rate three times that of the other provinces. While the report fingers the weather -- this year's polar vortex -- as the main culprit for the bee deaths, acute and chronic pesticide damage or insufficient recovery from pesticide exposure last year have also been cited by hive-minders as contributing factors.... The Ontario bee group says nearly all corn seeds and about two-thirds of soy seeds sold in the province are pretreated with neonicotinoid coatings, though only a minority of the crops are at risk from pests the insecticide is meant to stop. It did its own winter survey earlier this year and found more than a quarter of beekeepers lost 75 to 100 per cent of their colonies. ...


That's a better survival rate than my peaches and cherry trees. Toughen up, Apis mellifera!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 27, 2014
from The Independent (UK):
Neonicotinoid pesticides also affect other friendly organisms including birds and fish
A group of 29 scientists from four continents found unequivocal evidence from hundreds of published studies to claim that "neonics" - the most widely used pesticides in the world - are having a dramatic impact on the ecosystems that support food production and wildlife. The independent researchers, who are also advisers to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), have concluded that the "systemic" pesticides such as the neonicotinoids pose as great a risk to the environment as the banned pesticide DDT, and other persistent organophosphates.... Key findings from the assessment found that neonics accumulate in the soil and persist for months and in some cases for years. The breakdown products are often as toxic - or more toxic - than the pesticide's active ingredients, which are designed to work as poisonous nerve agents. "If you use them every year they accumulate, they get into the soil water and hence into streams. So essentially we are contaminating the global environment with highly toxic, highly persistent chemicals," said David Goulson, professor of biology at Sussex University and one of the report's authors. ...


Contaminating the environment with highly toxic, highly persistent chemicals sounds strangely familiar.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 20, 2014
from Reuters:
U.S., stung by bee decline, sets plan to save pollinators
The White House on Friday announced a federal strategy to reverse a rapid decline in the number of honey bees and other pollinators in the United States that threatens the development of billions of dollars in crops. As part of the plan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $8 million in funding for farmers and ranchers in five states who establish new habitats for honey bee populations.... Over recent years, bees have been dying at a rate the U.S. government says is economically unsustainable. Honey bees pollinate plants that produce about a quarter of the food consumed by Americans, including apples, watermelons and beans.... The recent increased loss of honey bee colonies is thought to be caused by factors including a loss of natural forage and inadequate diets, mite infestations and diseases, loss of genetic diversity, and exposure to certain pesticides. ...


Exposure to certain?! Pesticides?!?! LIKE NEONICOTINOIDS?!?!? Oh, right, I forgot! Politics requires the pretense of complicated causation!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 9, 2014
from Harvard, via The Guardian:
Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use, research finds
The mysterious vanishing of honeybees from hives can be directly linked to insectcide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world's most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear. "We demonstrated that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering 'colony collapse disorder' in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter," said Chensheng Lu, an expert on environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health and who led the work. ...


Five out of ten scientists recommend Chesterfield neonicotinoids.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
from Associated Press:
Bumblebees getting stung bad by honeybee sickness
Wild bumblebees worldwide are in trouble, likely contracting deadly diseases from their commercialized honeybee cousins, a new study shows... "Wild populations of bumblebees appear to be in significant decline across Europe, North America, South America and also in Asia," said study author Mark Brown of the University of London. He said his study confirmed that a major source of the decline was "the spillover of parasites and pathogens and disease" from managed honeybee hives. ...


Apocapollination

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jan 25, 2014
from Grist:
Plant STD linked to honeybee colony collapse
Major crops including soybeans and tobacco can suffer from a crippling malady called tobacco ringspot virus. The disease is spread through sex, which in the plant kingdom involves the freaky use of vibrating creatures: bees. Honeybees and other pollinators carry infected pollen from one plant to the other and, in doing so, can spread the virus, which is also called TRSV. What's really freaky is that scientists have discovered that bees can become infected with the ringspot virus of the plants upon which they feed. The researchers report in the journal mBio that the unusual inter-kingdom host-species jump could be linked to colony collapse disorder.... When these researchers investigated bee colonies classified as "strong" or "weak," TRSV and other viruses were more common in the weak colonies than they were in the strong ones. Bee populations with high levels of multiple viral infections began failing in late fall and perished before February, these researchers report. In contrast, those in colonies with fewer viral assaults survived the entire cold winter months. ... ...


You wouldn't call this STD the clap -- more the buzzkill.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 4, 2013
from PLoS One:
Pesticides + Fungicides = Weak in the Bees
Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health.... We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to. ...


It's as if toxin + toxin = toxin2.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 16, 2013
from Scientific American:
Royal Pains: Why Queen Honeybees Are Living Shorter, Less Productive Lives
What's killing the bees? If you've been watching the news, you might answer: "Colony collapse disorder." Yet after the winter of 2011-2012, beekeepers only attributed 8 percent of their wintertime honeybee-hive losses to colony collapse disorder. Other reasons for hive deaths were much more common, including ailing queen bees, to which beekeepers attributed 32 percent of their dead hives. At one recent pollination research conference, nobody seemed to be looking for the disorder's cause anymore.... Queens just don't seem as long-lived and fecund as they used to be, says David Tarpy, who researches beekeeping at the University of North Carolina. Sometimes worker bees even kill their own queens. This behavior, called supersedure, is part of a healthy colony's life cycle, but beekeepers say they're seeing it occur at an accelerated rate, which stresses hives. ...


Even being a queen ain't what it used to be.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 31, 2013
from Mother Jones:
The Mystery of Bee Colony Collapse
... But according to a new peer-reviewed paper, neonicotinoids aren't the only pesticides that might be undermining bee health. The study, published in PLOS One and co-authored by a team including US Department of Agriculture bee scientist Jeff Pettis and University of Maryland entomologist Dennis vanEngelsdorp, found that a pair of widely used fungicides are showing up prominently in bee pollen--and appear to be making bees significantly more likely to succumb to a fungal pathogen, called Nosema ceranae, that has been closely linked to CCD. The finding is notable, the authors state, because fungicides have so far been "typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees."... Overall, study co-author vanEngelsdorp told me in a phone interview, bees fed with fungicide-laced pollen were "two times more likely to come down with an infection" than control bees. One particular fungicide, pyraclostrobin, was found to make bees three times as susceptible to Nosema. ...


Bemoaning bruised, battered bees' bleak body budget.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 4, 2013
from Reuters:
Honeybee food may contribute to U.S. colony collapse - study
Bee keepers' use of corn syrup and other honey substitutes as bee feed may be contributing to colony collapse by depriving the insects of compounds that strengthen their immune systems, according to a study released on Monday.... A bee's natural food is its own honey, which contains compounds like p-coumaric acid that appear to help detoxify and strengthen a bee's immunity to disease, according to a study by scientists at the University of Illinois. Bee keepers, however, typically harvest and sell the honey produced by the bees and use substitutes like sugar or high-fructose corn syrup to feed them. ...


Let them eat Coke.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 13, 2013
from RT:
US approves new pesticides linked to mass bee deaths as EU enacts ban
In the wake of a massive US Department of Agriculture report highlighting the continuing large-scale death of honeybees, environmental groups are left wondering why the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to approve a "highly toxic" new pesticide.... One group, Beyond Pesticides, has called the EPA's recent green light for use of a new insecticide known as sulfoxaflor irresponsible in light of its "highly toxic” classification for honey bees. ...


Here in the US we expect our bees to toughen up.

ApocaDoc
permalink


Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Tue, Apr 30, 2013
from Reuters:
EU to ban pesticides blamed for harming bees
The European Union will ban three of the world's most widely-used pesticides for two years because of fears they are linked to a plunge in the population of bees critical to the production of crops. The executive European Commission said on Monday it would press ahead with the ban on a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, produced mainly by Germany's Bayer and Switzerland's Syngenta, despite the EU's 27-member states failing to reach an agreement on the matter. ...


In Europe bees are more important than bucks.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 25, 2013
from PhysOrg:
EU set to ban pesticides blamed for decline of bees
The EU appears set to impose a two-year ban on the use of insecticides blamed for a sharp and worrying decline in bee populations, an EU source said Thursday.... Under EU procedure, if Monday's vote is the same, the Commission has the authority to proceed on its own with the ban. "The most likely outcome will be the same as last time ... and in that case, the Commission will decide to put the ban into operation," the source said. The Commission wants the insecticides banned for use on four major crops--maize (corn), rape seed, sunflowers and cotton--in a bid to protect the bee population.... Experts have isolated three compounds causing concern--clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, known as neonicotinoids--which are present in insecticides produced by pharmaceutical giants Bayer of Germany and Switzerland's Syngenta. ...


Bee happy.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Apr 13, 2013
from Wired Science:
Pesticide Suspected in Bee Die-Offs Could Also Kill Birds
According to a report by the American Bird Conservancy, the dangers of neonicotinoid pesticides to birds, and also to stream- and soil-dwelling insects accidentally exposed to the chemicals, have been underestimated by regulators and downplayed by industry. "The environmental persistence of the neonicotinoids, their propensity for runoff and for groundwater infiltration, and their cumulative and largely irreversible mode of action in invertebrates raise environmental concerns that go well beyond bees," stated the report, which was co-authored by pesticide policy expert Cynthia Palmer and pesticide toxicologist Pierre Mineau, both from the American Bird Conservancy.... Insect-eating birds are indeed declining in the Netherlands and elsewhere, a trend that dates to the 1960s and is blamed on a variety of factors, including earlier generations of pesticides, habitat alteration and climate change. Neonicotinoids represent a fairly new threat, but van der Sluijs is not alone in his concerns. Ecotoxicologist Christy Morrissey of the University of Saskatchewan said there is "considerable circumstantial evidence that these chemicals are causing large-scale reductions in insect abundance. At the same time, we are observing serious declines in many species of birds in Canada, particularly aerial insectivores, swifts and swallows for example, that are highly dependent on insects to raise their young." ...


I thought "the birds and the bees" was a love story!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 28, 2013
from BBC:
Neonicotinoid pesticides 'damage brains of bees'
Commonly used pesticides are damaging honey bee brains, studies suggest. Scientists have found that two types of chemicals called neonicotinoids and coumaphos are interfering with the insect's ability to learn and remember. Experiments revealed that exposure was also lowering brain activity, especially when the two pesticides were used in combination.... Dr Christopher Connolly said: "We found neonicotinoids cause an immediate hyper-activation - so an epileptic type activity - this was proceeded by neuronal inactivation, where the brain goes quiet and cannot communicate any more. The same effects occur when we used organophosphates. "And if we used them together, the effect was additive, so they added to the toxicity: the effect was greater when both were present." ...


Jeez, it's not as if bees need to actually think.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 22, 2012
from Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council:
Combined Pesticide Exposure Affects Bumblebee Colony Success
Individual worker behaviour and colony success are both affected when bees are exposed to a combination of pesticides, according to research conducted by Dr Richard Gill and Dr Nigel Raine at Royal Holloway, University of London. This research, published in Nature, investigated social bumblebee colonies which rely on the collective performance of numerous individual worker bees. It showed that chronic exposure to two commonly-used pesticides (a neonicotinoid and a pyrethroid), at concentrations approximating field-level exposure, impaired natural foraging behaviour and increased worker mortality. This led to significant reductions in colony success, and increased rates of colony failure. ...


It never ceases to amaze me that pesticides could be harmful to insects.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 1, 2012
from New York Times:
Honey Producers Lament a Bad Season for Bees
Both excess rainfall and drought in various parts of Europe have reduced honey production by as much as 90 percent, according to some producers, while the erratic course of America's parasite-afflicted "zombie bees” this week reached as far north as Washington State.... Climate change, disease and increased use of pesticides have been blamed as factors in dramatic declines in numbers of bee colonies worldwide -- by more than half in 20 years in the case of Britain, according to a recent study by Friends of the Earth, the environmental lobby organization. ...


If the hive don't thrive, honey won't bring you money.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 11, 2012
from Chemical & Engineering News:
Bee-Linked Pesticide Under Fire
A Syngenta pesticide, thiamethoxam, is likely to be banned in France because of concerns about the compound's effects on honeybees. Thiamethoxam is an active ingredient in the Swiss firm's Cruiser OSR neonicotinoid pesticide, which is used as a seed coating for the oilseed crop rapeseed. The proposed ban follows research by French scientists showing that bees exposed to thiamethoxam in nectar have trouble returning to their hive after foraging (C&EN, April 2, page 10). French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll says he based his decision on a review of the research by the French Agency for Food, Environmental & Occupational Health & Safety. ...


What a meth.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 4, 2012
from Mongabay:
After damning research, France proposes banning pesticide linked to bee collapse
Following research linking neonicotinoid pesticides to the decline in bee populations, France has announced it plans to ban Cruiser OSR, an insecticide produced by Sygenta. Recent studies, including one in France, have shown that neonicotinoid pesticides likely hurt bees' ability to navigate, potentially devastating hives. France has said it will give Sygenta two weeks to prove the pesticide is not linked to the bee decline, known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). France's decision comes after its National Agency for Food, Safety, and the Environment (ANSES) confirmed the findings of two recent studies published in Science. The two studies found that neonicotinoid pesticides, although not immediately lethal, likely hurt bee colonies over a period of time. ...


I think we ought to ban France.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 24, 2012
from New Yorker:
Silent Hives
Over the last few weeks, several new studies have come out linking neonicotinoids to bee decline. As it happens, the studies are appearing just as "Silent Spring," Rachel Carson's seminal study of the effect of pesticides on wildlife, is about to turn fifty: the work was first published as a three-part series in The New Yorker, in June, 1962. It's hard to avoid the sense that we have all been here before, and that lessons were incompletely learned the first time around. In the first of the new studies, published online in the journal Science, British scientists raised bumblebees on a diet of pollen, some of which had been treated with a widely used neonicotinoid called imidacloprid. Those colonies that had received the treated pollen suffered significantly reduced growth rates and produced dramatically fewer new queens. In the second, also published in Science, French researchers equipped honeybees with tiny radio-frequency tags. They fed some of the bees sucrose treated with thiamethoxan, another commonly used neonicotinoid. Then they let the bees loose to go foraging. The bees that had been exposed to thiamethoxan were much less likely to return to their hives. "We were quite surprised by the magnitude of the effect," said one of the study's authors, Mickael Henry, of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Avignon. In a third study, to be published soon in the Bulletin of Insectology, seemingly healthy honey colonies were fed high-fructose corn syrup that had been treated with imidacloprid. Within six months, fifteen out of the sixteen hives that had been given the treated syrup were dead. In commercial beekeeping operations, bees are routinely fed corn syrup, and corn is routinely treated with neonicotinoids. ...


Nicotinoids haven't yet been proven to cause lung cancer. And don't forget about farmers' rights.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 29, 2012
from Science, via The Guardian:
Neonicotinoid Pesticides linked to honeybee decline
The new research strongly links the pesticides to the serious decline in honey bee numbers in the US and UK -- a drop of around 50 percent in the last 25 years. The losses pose a threat to food supplies as bees pollinate a third of the food we eat such as tomatoes, beans, apples and strawberries. Scientists found that bees consuming one pesticide suffered an 85 percent loss in the number of queens their nests produced, while another study showed a doubling in "disappeared" bees -- those that failed to return from food foraging trips. The significance of the new work, published Science, is that it is the first carried out in realistic, open-air conditions.... The pesticides investigated in the new studies - insect neurotoxins called neonicotinoids - are applied to seeds and flow through the plants' whole system. The environmental advantage of this is it reduces pesticide spraying but chemicals end up in the nectar and pollen on which bees feed. Goulson's group studied an extremely widely used type called imidacloprid, primarily manufactured by Bayer CropScience, and registered for use on over 140 crops in 120 countries.... "There was a staggering magnitude of effect," said Goulson. "This is likely to have a substantial population-level impact." ...


This stings.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 22, 2012
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Honeybee decline blamed on lethal combination of chemicals and disease
In the latest study a laboratory at Universite Blaise Pascal in France studied bees infected with a disease known as nosemosis and bees exposed to an insecticide known as fipronil. Neither of the case studies resulted in many deaths. However when the bees were exposed to both the disease and the insecticide, in any combination, a large number died. Nicolas Blot, who led the study, said only "multi-factors" could explain the worldwide decline. He said the world community now has to work on how to minimise the stress on insects. "Until now nobody could find one single reason why bees were in decline worldwide," said he said. "Many worked on one kind of stress. What we show here it is not one insecticide or one disease that explains what is happening but a combination of factors in the environment. Bees are not exposed to one stress they are exposed to many." ...


Which part of "immunosuppression" didn't you understand?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 15, 2012
from Glasgow Herald:
Scientists link mass death of British bees to farm pesticides
Nicotine-based pesticides in widespread use by farmers are implicated in the mass deaths of bees, according to a new study by US scientists. The authoritative, peer-reviewed research undermines the pesticide industry's long-repeated arguments that bees are not being harmed, and piles pressure on UK and US authorities to follow other countries by introducing bans on the chemicals. Pesticide companies have been trying to protect their multi-billion pound businesses by lobbying internationally against bans on neonicotinoids, a group of toxic chemicals designed to paralyse insects by attacking their nervous systems. ...


Innocent beestanders.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jan 14, 2012
from Grist, via Guardian:
Honeybee problem nearing a 'critical point'
Although news about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has died down, commercial beekeepers have seen average population losses of about 30 percent each year since 2006, said Paul Towers, of the Pesticide Action Network. Towers was one of the organizers of a conference that brought together beekeepers and environmental groups this week to tackle the challenges facing the beekeeping industry and the agricultural economy by proxy. "We are inching our way toward a critical tipping point," said Steve Ellis, secretary of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board (NHBAB) and a beekeeper for 35 years. Last year he had so many abnormal bee die-offs that he'll qualify for disaster relief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).... "In the industry we believe pesticides play an important role in what's going on," said Dave Hackenberg, co-chair of the NHBAB and a beekeeper in Pennsylvania. Of particular concern is a group of pesticides, chemically similar to nicotine, called neonicotinoids (neonics for short), and one in particular called clothianidin. Instead of being sprayed, neonics are used to treat seeds, so that they're absorbed by the plant's vascular system, and then end up attacking the central nervous systems of bees that come to collect pollen. Virtually all of today's genetically engineered Bt corn is treated with neonics. The chemical industry alleges that bees don't like to collect corn pollen, but new research shows that not only do bees indeed forage in corn, but they also have multiple other routes of exposure to neonics. ...


Bee very afraid.

ApocaDoc
permalink


You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Wed, Jan 4, 2012
from New Scientist:
Parasitic fly could account for disappearing honeybees
Parasitic flies that turn honeybees into night-flying zombies could provide another clue to cracking the mystery of colony collapse disorder. Since 2007, thousands of hives in the US have been decimated as bees inexplicably go missing overnight. The best explanation so far is that multiple stresses, perhaps parasitic mites, viruses or pesticides, combine to tip the bees over the edge. John Hafernik of San Francisco State University in California and colleagues discovered that hosting Apocephalus borealis, a parasitic fly found throughout North America, makes bees fly around in a disoriented way at night, when they normally roost in the hive, before killing them.... "They seem to leave their hives in the middle of the night on what we call the 'flight of the living dead'," he says. ...


The bees call it 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hive.'

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 28, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Dan Rather: Bee Aware
And it's not just here in the United States. With losses being reported from all over Europe, the Middle East and some parts of Asia, the worldwide economic value of pollinators to agriculture, estimated to be over $200 billion dollars, is in the balance. So what's going on? One of the suspects, according to beekeepers and scientists, is relatively new on the market. Remember these words: systemic pesticides. Systemics work differently than any other pesticide.... Systemic pesticides have changed the game of insect control since they were introduced in the mid-90s. They have since become the fastest growing class of any insecticide in history, and among the most widely used in the world, now approved for use on three quarters of all U.S. farmland. Systemic pesticides have become popular because they're so effective. Since they are absorbed by the plant, either through seed treatment or spray, the whole plant becomes toxic to insects. That means they don't need to be reapplied like traditional pesticides, saving time, money and exposure to humans. But it also means that the chemicals get into the pollen and nectar. ...


Maybe that explains why my old compost piles look like my new ones.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 18, 2011
from Huffington Post:
'Citizen Scientists' To Help Gauge Wild Bee Population
Scientist Gretchen LeBuhn is trying to save the nation's wild bee population. But to achieve her goal, she's resorting to some unconventional means, namely the help of ordinary citizens from across the country. On Saturday 100,000 'citizen scientist' volunteers will spend about 15 minutes counting the number of bees that visit "lemon queen" sunflowers they've planted following instructions on LeBuhn's website, www.greatsunflower.com. Participants will monitor the flowers for bees twice monthly through the end of the summer, uploading the information into a central database.... Though researchers have reported a drastic decline in the populations of domesticated honeybees since at least 2006, the statistics on wild bees have remained more elusive.... "The Western bumblebee disappeared from all over the Western U.S. and nobody noticed," she told HuffPost in an interview Thursday. "I find that amazing that you can have the biggest, fuzziest, most common, cute bee disappear and people didn't even know." ...


Clearly those bees didn't have the right agent.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 22, 2011
from Guardian:
Experts puzzled by big decline in honeybees over winter
Honeybee populations declined by 13.6 percent over the winter, according to a survey of beekeepers across England. Losses were most severe in the north-east, where the survey recorded a loss rate of 17.1 percent. Experts worry that the declines will affect plant productivity. There are also concerns that the declines, along with drought conditions in some areas, will mean less English honey this year.... However, there is good news that the rate of colony loss has slowed. Four years ago, one in three hives was wiped out.... A campaign being launched next week to save all bees, spearheaded by Sam Roddick and Neal's Yard Remedies, pins the blame for the decline on pesticide. It will start a petition to hand to Downing Street in October to ban the use of a class of pesticides that has been implicated in bee deaths across the world. Roddick said: "These neonicotinoid pesticides penetrate the plant and indiscriminately attack the nervous system of insects that feed off them, disorientating bees, impairing their foraging ability and weakening their immune system, causing bee Aids. On current evidence, Italy, Germany and Slovenia have banned some varieties. In the UK, it's up to the people to show the government that if there is any doubt that they are contributing to bee deaths, we need to ban them." ...


The rate of decline slowed! That's almost the same as recovering, right?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 5, 2011
from Independent:
Study reveals how bees reject 'toxic' pesticides
Bees can detect pesticide residues in the pollen they bring back to the hive and try to isolate it from the rest of the colony, the American government's leading bee scientist revealed in London yesterday. They "entomb" the contaminated pollen in cells which are sealed over, so they cannot be used for food, said Dr Jeffrey Pettis, head of the Bee Research Laboratory of the US Department of Agriculture.... Great interest has been shown in Dr Pettis's work on how a new generation of pesticides, the neonicotinoids, which are increasingly used over enormous acreages of crops in Britain and the US, and may be contributing to the worldwide decline in honey bees by making them more susceptible to disease. Dr Pettis has discovered that bees infected with microscopic doses of imidacloprid, the best-selling neonicotinoid made by the German agribusiness giant Bayer, are far more susceptible to infection by the harmful nosema parasite. Yet his study, which featured on the front page of The Independent two months ago, remains unpublished two years after it was completed.... He said his study was going through the process of peer-review with a scientific journal, and he hoped it would be published shortly, perhaps in less than a month. "In fact, the US Department of Agriculture has given me freedom to talk about it," he said. ...


If you had to ask for permission, that's probably not freedom.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 4, 2011
from San Jose Mercury News:
Native bee populations on the decline, report says
The National Academy of Sciences recently released a report confirming that some native bee populations -- the ones agriculture has depended on for centuries for pollination, until the advent of the honeybee -- are in decline. And one of the major culprits is no surprise: habitat loss. The scientists, led by Sydney A. Cameron of the University of Illinois at Urbana, found that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96 percent over the last few decades. In addition, their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by alarmingly -- as much as 87 percent, and even at the lowest level, 23 percent. The bumble bees also are being hit with higher infection levels of a pathogen known as Nosema bombi. And -- the triple whammy -- they have lower genetic diversity than other populations of non-declining species. "Pollinator decline has become a worldwide issue, raising increasing concerns over impacts on global food production, stability of pollination services, and disruption of plant-pollinator networks," Cameron wrote. Native bee populations matter hugely, given the decline of honeybees. Researchers in this area have been studying them, with the idea of determining if they could take up the slack -- regain their agricultural prominence -- if honeybee populations should collapse altogether. ...


To a rose, a pollinator is a pollinator is a pollinator. Until it isn't.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 7, 2011
from Earth Times:
Bumblebees: Gone with the Wind? A Major Disappearance
Bumblebees, also known as Bombus terristris, are the pollinating cousins of wasps and hornets. They are the number one pollinator for wild growing plants as well as commercial agriculture; you may have seen them flitting around your Gran's tomato plants on summer evenings, busy at work. However, these popular and beloved buzzing insects that help bring us all kinds of food-- from coffee beans to fresh apples -- bring alarming news. In the past few decades scientific studies have found that increasing numbers of bumblebee colonies are disappearing. It's possible that Bombus affinis, one of the many bumblebee subspecies native to North America, have all but died out. Between 1976 and 2006, there was a huge loss in the number of wild bumblebee colonies; they are now almost completely gone. Not only North America is suffering from this bumblebee disappearance; in the UK, over the past 70 years 3 out of 24 native bumblebee species have gone extinct.... Scientific evidence strongly suggests that the combination of insecticides and disease from imported bees, bred in greenhouses, are two main causes of bee deaths. One highly dangerous group of insecticides, called neonicotinoids, have been used since the 90s in North America on a wide variety of crops.... Climate change, environmental stress, harmful chemicals- these are all human induced symptoms that are believed to be contributing to rapid bee extinction. ...


With a name like Bombus terristris, I think I'm glad we're wiping them out!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 20, 2011
from The Independent, via DesdemonaDespair:
Bees facing a poisoned spring
A new generation of pesticides is making honeybees far more susceptible to disease, even at tiny doses, and may be a clue to the mysterious colony collapse disorder that has devastated bees across the world, the US government's leading bee researcher has found. Yet the discovery has remained unpublished for nearly two years since it was made by the US Department of Agriculture's Bee Research Laboratory.... Bayer, the German chemicals giant which developed the insecticides and makes most of them, insists that they are safe for bees if used properly, but they have already been widely linked to bee mortality. The US findings raise questions about the substance used in the bee lab's experiment, imidacloprid, which was Bayer's top-selling insecticide in 2009, earning the company 510m. The worry is that neonicotinoids, which are neurotoxins - that is, they attack the central nervous system - are also "systemic", meaning they are taken up into every part of the plant which is treated with them, including the pollen and nectar. This means that bees and other pollinating insects can absorb them and carry them back to their hives or nests - even if they are not the insecticide's target species.... The American study, led by Dr Jeffrey Pettis, research leader at the US government bee lab in Beltsville, Maryland, has demonstrated that the insects' vulnerability to infection is increased by the presence of imidacloprid, even at the most microscopic doses. Dr Pettis and his team found that increased disease infection happened even when the levels of the insecticide were so tiny that they could not subsequently be detected in the bees, although the researchers knew that they had been dosed with it. ...


Bee there, dead that.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 16, 2011
from The Independent:
Beekeepers fume at association's endorsement-for-cash of fatal insecticides
Britain's beekeepers are at war over their association's endorsement for money of four insecticides, all of them fatal to bees, made by major chemical companies. The British Beekeepers' Association has been selling its logo to four European pesticide producers and is believed to have received about 175,000 pounds in return. The active ingredient chemicals in the four pesticides the beekeepers endorsed are synthetic pyrethroids, which are among the most powerful of modern insect-killers. The deal was struck in secret by the beekeepers' association executive without the knowledge of the overwhelming majority of its members. After news of the deal emerged, some members expressed outrage and others resigned. ...


That executive's colony just collapsed.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 4, 2011
from PNAS, via PhysOrg:
US sees massive drop in bumble bees: study
Weakened by inbreeding and disease, bumble bees have died off at an astonishing rate over the past 20 years, with some US populations diving more than 90 percent, according to a new study. The findings are of concern because bees play a crucial role in pollinating crops such as tomatoes, peppers and berries, said the findings of a three-year study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Similar declines have also been seen in Europe and Asia.... Researchers examined eight species of North American bumble bees and found that the "relative abundance of four species has dropped by more than 90 percent, suggesting die-offs further supported by shrinking geographic ranges," said the study. "Compared with species of relatively stable population sizes, the dwindling bee species had low genetic diversity, potentially rendering them prone to pathogens and environmental pressures." Their cousins, the honey bees, have also experienced catastrophic die-offs since 2006 in a phenomenon known as "colony collapse disorder," though the causes have yet to be fully determined. ...


The bumblebee may become bumblebeen.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Dec 26, 2010
from Science News:
Flower sharing may be unsafe for bees
Wild pollinators are catching honeybee viruses, possibly from pollen... Eleven species of wild pollinators in the United States have turned up carrying some of the viruses known to menace domestic honeybees, possibly picked up via flower pollen. Most of these native pollinators haven't been recorded with honeybee viruses before, according to Diana Cox-Foster of Penn State University in University Park. The new analysis raises the specter of diseases swapping around readily among domestic and wild pollinators, Cox-Foster and her colleagues report online December 22 in PLoS ONE. ...


Just like needles.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 13, 2010
from Fast Company:
Wik-Bee Leaks: EPA Document Shows It Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Honey Bees
Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists. The document, which was leaked to a Colorado beekeeper, shows that the EPA has ignored warnings about the use of clothianidin, a pesticide produced by Bayer that mainly is used to pre-treat corn seeds. The pesticide scooped up $262 million in sales in 2009 by farmers, who also use the substance on canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers, and wheat, according to Grist.... The document invalidates a prior Bayer study that justified the registration of clothianidin on the basis of its safety to honeybees: "Clothianidin's major risk concern is to nontarget insects (that is, honey bees). Clothianidin is a neonicotinoid insecticide that is both persistent and systemic. Acute toxicity studies to honey bees show that clothianidin is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis. Although EFED does not conduct RQ based risk assessments on non-target insects, information from standard tests and field studies, as well as incident reports involving other neonicotinoids insecticides (e.g., imidacloprid) suggest the potential for long-term toxic risk to honey bees and other beneficial insects." The entire 101-page memo is damning (and worth a read). But the opinion of EPA scientists apparently isn't enough for the agency, which is allowing clothianidin to keep its registration. ...


I wonder which part of the name got changed: "Environmental" to "Economic", or "Protection" to "Pretension"?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Dec 12, 2010
from TreeHugger, thru DesdemonaDespair:
Beekeepers, Activists Demand EPA Remove Pesticide Linked to Bee Deaths
Now US beekeepers are honing in on pesticides too, asking the EPA to remove one particular pesticide after a leaked study showed that field trials were severely flawed. According to PR newswire, a group of beekeepers and anti-pesticide activists are stepping up calls for the EPA to remove approval for clothianidin (product name "Poncho") after a leaked EPA memo dated November 2nd identifies a core study underpinning the registration of the insecticide as being unsound. The pesticide has been widely used on major crops across the country under a "conditional registration" while the manufacturer, Bayer Crop Science, was supposed to conduct a field study assessing the insecticide's threat to bee colony health.... "Among the neonicotinoids, clothianidin is among those most toxic for honey bees, and this combined with its systemic movement in plants has produced a troubling mix of scientific results pointing to its potential risk for honey bees through current agricultural practices. Our own research indicates that systemic pesticides occur in pollen and nectar in much greater quantities than has been previously thought, and that interactions among pesticides occurs often and should be of wide concern." ...


Heck, it's Bayer! It comes with a conditionally registered nature-back guarantee!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 15, 2010
from London Independent:
None flew over the cuckoo's nest: A world without birds
...It is nearly 50 years since Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, the book that warned of environmental damage the pesticide DDT was causing. Today, DDT use is banned except in exceptional circumstances, yet we still don't seem to have taken on board Carson's fundamental message. According to Henk Tennekes, a researcher at the Experimental Toxicology Services in Zutphen, the Netherlands, the threat of DDT has been superseded by a relatively new class of insecticide, known as the neonicotinoids. In his book The Systemic Insecticides: A Disaster in the Making, published this month, Tennekes draws all the evidence together, to make the case that neonicotinoids are causing a catastrophe in the insect world, which is having a knock-on effect for many of our birds. Already, in many areas, the skies are much quieter than they used to be. All over Europe, many species of bird have suffered a population crash. Spotting a house sparrow, common swift or a flock of starlings used to be unremarkable, but today they are a more of an unusual sight. Since 1977, Britain's house-sparrow population has shrunk by 68 per cent. ...


And the worms shall inherit the earth.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 25, 2010
from Hurryit Daily News and Economic Review:
Bee deaths worrying Turkish honey producers
An organic honey producer in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey has seen a 50-percent fall in the 2010 honey harvest even after increasing hive numbers by 40 percent over last year. "The bees look like they are almost on strike. They have so drastically slashed the production that we could only deliver half the amount we promised to customers a year ago. We had to suspend our export negations with five countries," said Remzi Ozbay, general manager of Topuy Kaaskar. ...


Friggin' unions.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 11, 2010
from Press Trust of India:
Pollinator crisis shrinking vegetable production: scientists
Vegetable production in India is shrinking over the years due to a decline in the population of pollinating insects like bees and butterflies, a new study has claimed. The study, carried out by researchers at the University of Calcutta, found a disturbing trend in the growth of yields of several vegetables despite an increase in their cultivation area over the past 45 years. Led by Parthiba Basu, a researcher at the varsity's Ecology Research Unit, the team analysed the growth of yield and cultivated area of 11 major pollinator-dependent vegetable crops, including cucumbers, brinjals, pumpkins, tomatoes and gourds, between 1963 and 2008. Basu and his student Ritam Bhattacharya presented their findings at a recent British Ecological Society meeting held at the University of Leeds. It was found that although the area used for cultivating those vegetables has gone up by 340 per cent (over six times), their absolute yield has increased by a meagre 63 per cent taking 1963 as the base year. ...


It's the Apollinacalypse!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 9, 2010
from CNN:
What a scientist didn't tell the New York Times about his study on bee deaths
Few ecological disasters have been as confounding as the massive and devastating die-off of the world's honeybees. The phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) -- in which disoriented honeybees die far from their hives -- has kept scientists, beekeepers, and regulators desperately seeking the cause.... The long list of possible suspects has included pests, viruses, fungi, and also pesticides, particularly so-called neonicotinoids, a class of neurotoxins that kills insects by attacking their nervous systems. For years, their leading manufacturer, Bayer Crop Science, a subsidiary of the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG (BAYRY), has tangled with regulators and fended off lawsuits from angry beekeepers who allege that the pesticides have disoriented and ultimately killed their bees... A cheer must have gone up at Bayer on Thursday when a front-page New York Times article, under the headline "Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery," described how a newly released study pinpoints a different cause for the die-off: "a fungus tag-teaming with a virus."...What the Times article did not explore -- nor did the study disclose -- was the relationship between the study's lead author, Montana bee researcher Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, and Bayer Crop Science. ...


Neonicotinoids... Take out the "neo" and the "oids" and you have nicotin... sound familiar? The bees are dying from smoking, not pesticides.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 1, 2010
from IOP, via EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Insecticide implicated in bee decline
Honeybees, bumblebees and many other insects are being slowly poisoned to death by persistent insecticides used to protect agricultural crops. Small doses of the toxic chemicals accumulate over time, meaning that there is no safe level of exposure. That's the conclusion from recent research looking at the long-term effects of a commonly used class of insecticides.... Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used worldwide; they work by acting on the central nervous system of the insect. The chemicals have little affinity for vertebrate nervous systems, so they are much less toxic to mammals and birds.... In the case of honeybees, up to 6000 times less insecticide was required to kill them if it was administered in multiple tiny doses over a long time period.... Right now it still isn't possible to say if neonicotinoids are the sole cause of CCD in honeybees, but it seems likely that they play a significant role. "It explains the rapid increase in CCD since 2004, which coincides with the rapid growth in worldwide use of neonicotinoids - the most widely used class of insecticides," said van der Sluijs. ...


We bee in trouble.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Aug 6, 2010
from Guardian:
Pesticides linked to bee decline, say green groups
Environmental groups including the Soil Association and Buglife are making a renewed call for an end to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are among the most commonly used pesticides worldwide, after a new study linked them to a decline in bee in bee populations. The study, published in the journal Toxicology, says the effects on bees of two particular neonicotinoid pesticides, known as imidacloprid and thiacloprid, have previously been underestimated and may explain the decline in bee populations. It says even low concentrations of the pesticides may be more deadly then previously thought due to their high persistence in soil and water, supporting claims for the role that pesticides may play in bee deaths.... 'We will keep this area under review and will not hesitate to act if there is any evidence of an unacceptable risk to bees,' said a spokesperson. ...


Any other evidence, that is.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 29, 2010
from New Scientist:
Phytoplankton [and more] in decline: bye bye food chain
Ocean life is being wiped out from the bottom up. The global population of microscopic plants that float in ocean water and support most marine life has declined by 1 per cent every year since 1899.... Whatever the cause, it's a remarkably bad piece of news, because although phytoplankton are neither glamorous nor cute, the entire ocean food chain depends on them.... [Corals] are threatened by changing ocean temperatures and ocean acidification, both triggered by humanity's greenhouse gas emissions. [Key saproxylic beetles in] Europe, at least, 24 per cent are under threat, and we would miss them if they went. Similarly, insects such as butterflies and bees that pollinate plants are probably in decline (though the data are far from complete). And fungi have barely been assessed at all, but along with bacteria they are the organisms that do the lion's share of decomposition, which is whiffy but essential. In other words, never mind the pandas: it's plankton, bugs and fungi you should be worrying about. ...


We are the food chain's weakest link.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 22, 2010
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Bee decline could be down to chemical cocktail interfering with brains
A cocktail of chemicals from pesticides could be damaging the brains of British bees, according to scientists about to embark on a study into why the populations of the insects have dropped so rapidly in recent decades. By affecting the way bees' brains work, the pesticides might be affecting the ability of bees to find food or communicate with others in their colonies.... Chris Connolly of Dundee University's Centre for Neuroscience has been awarded 1.5 m to lead the work on whether pesticides are having an affect on the brains of bees. Pesticides could be blocking the electrical and chemical signals between neurons, he said, and only subtle changes may be required to produce serious brain disorders. These problems might stop bees identifying the best sources of nectar, or it might affect their ability to navigate to nearby food source and back home again. Brain disorders in bees might also interfere with their ability to communicate with nest-mates using the "waggle dance", where bees come back to their hive and spread information about the food sources they have found. The IPI will bring together ecologists, molecular biologists, mathematicians and computer experts to study the decline of honeybees and other insect pollinators from a range of different angles. ...


Why would pesticides affect bugs that aren't pests?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 8, 2010
from Guardian:
Bumblebees on UK pollination 'rescue mission' die in hibernation
An "international rescue mission" to tackle Britain's pollination crisis has suffered a setback after a shipment of bees due to be imported into the country died just days before their release. Natural England, the government's countryside agency, chose the short-haired bumblebees from New Zealand because they were originally from the UK, but have since become extinct in their homeland. But less than two weeks before the selected bees were due to be flown over and released on Friday, scientists say they have died in hibernation.... The plan to bring them back to the UK, where they were declared extinct in 2000, was in response to a steep decline in bumblebees and other pollinating insects in recent years, a problem blamed on the loss of most wildflowers in Britain's intensively farmed landscapes - some of which were also transported to New Zealand and have survived in the South Island's England-like climate. ...


Bees afraid. Bees very afraid.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 7, 2010
from Pune Mirror:
The effects of cellphone tower radiation on honey bees: India report
The recent experiment, which observed bee colonies exposed to mobile phone radiation, concluded, "At the end of the experiment, there was neither honey nor pollen in the beehives. It resulted in complete loss of the colony." The study found that the queen bee's egg-laying capacity dropped drastically because of the radiation. The bees that went foraging could not find their way back to the beehives, according to the experiment. The implications of these findings could be catastrophic for Mumbai. An expert from the BNHS said, "If the bees were to disappear from Mumbai the result would be disastrous. It would cause a huge imbalance in the entire ecological system. Bees are not just one of the key pollinating agents but also an important part of the food chain."... Bees, which have magnetite in their bodies, utilise the earth's magnetic field to navigate. Cell tower radiation interferes with this process. ...


Those Indian bees should quit talkin' and keep their eyes on the road.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 26, 2010
from BBC:
'Synergy' explanation for bee decline
Scientists from the US Department of Agriculture say the pathogens to blame are a fungus and a family of viruses.... Jay Evans of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, a researcher on the study, says that when these two very different pathogens show up together, "there is a significant correlation with colony decline".... So how do bees get CCD? Evans believes the infection is spread primarily through pollen on flowers.... "Once the viruses become prevalent in a colony, they spread quite rapidly both by contact among the bees and often by a parasitic [Varroa destructor] mite that lives on them. "We've been able to see the viruses move within that mite and actually be transmitted from bee to bee by the mite," said Evans. As for the fungus, it is transferred by the insects' excretions, he said. ...


Thank God it's not our fault! ... er, much.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 4, 2010
from Guardian:
Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe
Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter. The decline of the country's estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers. The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8 percent last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government's Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute some £26 billion to the global economy.... The disappearance of so many colonies has also been dubbed "Mary Celeste syndrome" due to the absence of dead bees in many of the empty hives. ...


Mary Celeste stung like a butterfly, right?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 29, 2010
from USDA, via EurekAlert:
USDA Survey reports latest honey bee losses
Losses of managed honey bee colonies nationwide totaled 33.8 percent from all causes from October 2009 to April 2010, according to a survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Beekeepers identified starvation, poor weather, and weak colonies going into winter as the top reasons for mortality in their operations. This is an increase from overall losses of 29 percent reported from a similar survey covering the winter of 2008-2009, and similar to the 35.8 percent losses for the winter of 2007-2008. The continued high rate of losses are worrying, especially considering losses occurring over the summer months were not being captured.... The 28 percent of beekeeping operations that reported some of their colonies perished without dead bees present--a sign of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)--lost 44 percent of their colonies. This compares to 26 percent of beekeepers reporting such dead colonies in the 2008-2009 winter and 32 percent in the 2007-2008 winter. ...


It's not our fault. It's those damned serial killer bees.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 20, 2010
from Dayton Daily News:
$44M in crops threatened by high honeybee deaths through winter
Think the 2009-10 winter was tough on you? Consider the state's honeybees. An estimated 50 to 70 percent of hives kept by beekeepers died, said Cindy Kalis, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The losses are in keeping with heavy fatality rates experienced since 2006 -- a year when 600,000 bee colonies in the U.S. mysteriously fled their homes and disappeared, said James Tew, Ohio State University's state honeybee specialist. "The average person should care," he said. "Bees of all species are fundamental to the operation of our ecosystem." ...


Then as an above average person, I should care a lot!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 4, 2010
from South Bend Tribune:
Local beekeepers worry about downward trend
Last winter, he lost more than half of his colonies. It's a trend noticed around the region and the country. "We're all losing bees, lots of bees," beekeeper Jerry Shaw said. Shaw's collection once topped 600 hives. Now he's down to 200. He suspects Colony Collapse Disorder is responsible for the population decline. "You'll generally have quite a bit of honey left, but there are no bees," Shaw said.... "We think the deaths are caused by viruses, parasitic mites, diseases and pesticide residue, or a combination of those things," said Michael Hansen of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. "The big problem is more colonies of bees are dying now than they did 10 or 20 years ago. " ...


These bees got the blues: they're leaving their honeys behind.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 24, 2010
from AP, via Yahoo:
Bees in more trouble than ever after bad winter
The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees' pollen and hives laden with pesticides. Two federal agencies along with regulators in California and Canada are scrambling to figure out what is behind this relatively recent threat, ordering new research on pesticides used in fields and orchards. Federal courts are even weighing in this month, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overlooked a requirement when allowing a pesticide on the market.... Bees have been declining over decades from various causes. But in 2006 a new concern, "colony collapse disorder," was blamed for large, inexplicable die-offs. The disorder, which causes adult bees to abandon their hives and fly off to die, is likely a combination of many causes, including parasites, viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition and pesticides, experts say. ...


Wait -- pesticides can affect bees?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 15, 2010
from Washington Post:
Bees are busier than ever as disease besieges colonies
...More than three years after beekeepers starting seeing the sudden disappearance of hive populations, scientists have yet to find the cause -- let alone the fix -- for a condition called colony collapse disorder (CCD). Meanwhile, the commercial beekeeping industry is struggling to provide pollination services to the nations' farmers. One-third of food crops rely on insect pollination. A recently published survey suggests that hive losses have stabilized at around 30 percent a year, but that high figure is based on last winter's data. Anecdotally, the losses have climbed this winter, although a formal tally won't occur until the spring....scientists think the cause is not a single factor but a cocktail of maladies that together weaken and sicken the bees. "We know CCD bees get all the pathogens causing the symptoms; it doesn't leave answered what's the underlying cause," said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Pennsylvania's acting state apiarist. ...


I fear the cocktail will nail us all.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 31, 2010
from Telegraph.com:
Row threatens plan to save bees
The British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA), the country's largest beekeeping body, believes that money put aside for a 2.8 million Whitehall initiative to protect the health of honeybees is being misspent. The organisation has now walked out of the management board set up to run the Healthy Bees strategy, which is aimed at reversing the decline in honeybees in Britain.... The report says that without them, many crops would need to be pollinated by hand, an exercise that could cost 1.5 billion pounds a year. If such action was not taken, farm income could slump by 13 per cent, costing the economy more than 440 million pounds. The latest research has revealed that managed honeybee populations in England have declined by 54 per cent in the past 20 years while numbers of wild bees such as bumblebees have also plummeted. ...


Bureaucracy trumps bees any day, right?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 28, 2010
from Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, via EurekAlert:
Fewer honey bee colonies and beekeepers throughout Europe
The number of bee colonies in Central Europe has decreased over recent decades. In fact, the number of beekeepers has been declining in the whole of Europe since 1985. This is the result of a study that has now been published by the International Bee Research Association, which for the first time has provided an overview of the problem of bee colony decline at the European level. Until now there had only been the reports from individual countries available. As other pollinators such as wild bees and hoverflies are also in decline, this could be a potential danger for pollinator services, on which many arable crops depend.... Through the investigation, the mystery of bee losses has by no means been solved, emphasize the scientists, who were however able to add another piece to the puzzle. Furthermore, the data would have to be interpreted very carefully because of the very different evaluation methods in individual countries. "With the limited evidence available it is neither possible to identify the actual driver of honey bee losses in Europe nor to give a complete answer on the trends for colonies and beekeepers...." ...


What a buzzkill.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jan 20, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Bee numbers in England fell by more than half over the last 20 years
The University of Reading research found there was a 54 per cent decline in managed honey bee populations in England between 1985 and 2005 compared to an average of 20 per cent across Europe. It comes as separate research in France suggested the reason bee numbers are falling is because of intensive agriculture that has led to a fall in the number of wild flowers and plants.... Dr Potts, who will be speaking on the subject in front of MPs this week, blamed the increased use of pesticides, bee disease such as the varroa mite and intensive agriculture. Meanwhile, in a separate study, the National Institute of Agronomic Research in Avignon proved for the first time that a more diverse diet of different kinds of pollen can boost bee immunity. This suggests that the monoculture used in today's intensive farming techniques may be contributing to the decline of the honey bee. ...


I know! Let's spray bee-vitamins to boost their bee-immune systems!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 7, 2010
from Yale 360:
Behind Mass Die-Offs, Pesticides Lurk as Culprit
Today, drips and puffs of pesticides surround us everywhere, contaminating 90 percent of the nation's major rivers and streams, more than 80 percent of sampled fish, and one-third of the nation's aquifers. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, fish and birds that unsuspectingly expose themselves to this chemical soup die by the millions every year. But as regulators grapple with the lethal dangers of pesticides, scientists are discovering that even seemingly benign, low-level exposures to pesticides can affect wild creatures in subtle, unexpected ways -- and could even be contributing to a rash of new epidemics pushing species to the brink of extinction. In the past dozen years, no fewer than three never-before-seen diseases have decimated populations of amphibians, bees, and -- most recently -- bats. A growing body of evidence indicates that pesticide exposure may be playing an important role in the decline of the first two species, and scientists are investigating whether such exposures may be involved in the deaths of more than 1 million bats in the northeastern United States over the past several years. ...


Aren't bats, frogs, and bugs simply pests anyway?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Nov 15, 2009
from Boston Globe:
Bat soup in bat hell
Thomas Kunz emerges from Aeolus cave in East Dorset, Vermont, with a half-dozen metal ID bands -- smaller than SpaghettiOs -- cupped in the palm of his latex-gloved hand. They're tiny emblems of death, having once been affixed to the forearms of little brown bats. The renowned bat biologist from Boston University, who bears a passing resemblance to Harrison Ford, minutes earlier had recovered the bands while trudging, like a real-life Indiana Jones, through a slippery mud-like ooze of rotting bat carcasses, liquefied internal organs, toothpick-sized bones, piles of guano, and a strange white fungus on the cave floor. If bats had come out of hell, it couldn't have been worse than this. "What we saw was bat soup. There were a lot of bones of wings and skulls and emulsified bodies," Kunz says. "There were dead bats -- decomposing bats -- hanging from the walls of the cave. ...


Bats as sympathetic characters... Who woulda thought!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 17, 2009
from Forbes:
Bad Buzz For Bayer
A documentary on the declining population of bees worldwide is causing a migraine for German drug company Bayer. In Vanishing of the Bees, which opened in British theaters this month, beekeepers blame neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides produced by Bayer ( BAYRY.PK - news - people ), for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder. They theorize that neonicotinoids disrupt bees' navigational abilities, making them dizzy and unable to find their way back to the hive. There's more at stake than honey on your cereal. Without bee pollination, a third of the earth's food crops would fail. ...


If only the bees had cellphones, equipped w/ GPS.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 1, 2009
from London Times:
Every species on the planet documented in new report
Almost 10 per cent of known species are threatened with extinction, according to the first comprehensive study of the world's wildlife. Polar bears, whose habitat is threatened by melting ice, and Tasmanian devils, which have been pushed to the brink of extinction by a cancer, are just two of the tens of thousands of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians that are in danger. The report, The Number of Living Species in Australia and the World , published by the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), says that 9.2 per cent of known animal species are endangered by habitat loss, climate change and other pressures. More than a fifth of of all known mammals are endangered, as are 29 per cent of amphibians and 12 per cent of birds, according to the study, the result of an international effort to catalogue every known current and extinct species of plant and animal. ...


It'll be nice to have that catalogue handy when we rue the loss of these species...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 30, 2009
from Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Enthusiasts aren't souring on oldest form of agriculture
Honey is in deep trouble. You could call it the Apocalypse of the Bees. Late in 2006, beekeepers in North America noticed that worker bees were suddenly disappearing from their hives. Without worker bees to attend to the brood, to maintain the hive and gather nectar to turn into honey, the colony will collapse, hence the term "colony collapse disorder." The beekeeping industry was devastated. Colony loss in North America for 2006-2007 was 32 percent; for 2007-2008, 36 percent; from Sept. 2009 through April 2009 the rate of loss dropped to 29 percent. "Oh, we've been hit by CCD," said Hughes, "and also by the South African hive beetle. I lost half my hives in one year, and now we're down to about 80 from 300." "It's unquestionable that the beekeeping industry is facing very serious problems," said Richard Underhill, president of the Tennessee Beekeepers Association. "And it goes back beyond CCD. Bees have been declining in numbers for about 20 years, due to a variety of predators and viruses and to environmental conditions, like chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. CCD, of course, is the most obvious and sudden and visible of the issues." ...


More sales of high-fructose corn syrup! What a boon to farmers!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Sep 26, 2009
from Guardian (UK):
UK warned as plague of bee-eating hornets spreads north in France
For five years they have wreaked havoc in the fields of south-western France, scaring locals with their venomous stings and ravaging the bee population to feed their rapacious appetites. Now, according to French beekeepers, Asian predatory hornets have been sighted in Paris for the first time, raising the prospect of a nationwide invasion which entomologists fear could eventually reach Britain.... If confirmed by further testing, the find will raise fears that the spread of the bee-eating Vespa velutina is no longer limited to the Aquitaine region near Bordeaux, where it is believed to have arrived on board container ships from China in 2004, and the surrounding south-west.... Neither pesticides nor traps have proved particularly effective, largely because the creatures nest high off the ground in trees. The Vespa velutina has no natural predator on European soil. ...


Not to worry -- their food supply will eventually just run out.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 9, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Pesticides blamed for killing bees
In recent years bee populations around the world have plummeted, with British bee keepers losing a fifth of hives over last winter. But the cause of the sudden decline has not been identified. Now a new study by the insect research charity Buglife and the Soil Association has claimed the decline was caused in part by a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids. The "systemic" chemical, that kills unwanted insects by getting into the cell of the plant, is widely used on farms in Britain for crops like oilseed rape and the production of pot plants.... The new study brought together a number of peer-reviewed pieces of research. It concluded that neonicotinoid pesticide damages the health and life cycle of bees over the long term by affecting the nervous system. "[Neonicotinoids] may be a significant factor contributing to current bee declines and could also contribute to declines in other non-target invertebrate species," the report read. ...


Hooray! It's not cell phones!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 31, 2009
from St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Researchers find a clue to honeybee deaths
Scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found a clue in the gut of honey bees that might help identify a deadly disorder that's killing off some of the world's most important pollinators. In bees affected by what's now known as a colony collapse disorder, or CCD, researchers found breakdowns in the factories, or ribosomes, that manufacture essential proteins. Healthy bees did not have as many ribosomal fragments in their guts as those affected by colony collapse disorder, according to the Illinois study, which was published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "They are overrepresented in CCD bees, significantly overrepresented," said May Berenbaum, a University of Illinois entomology professor and one of the study's authors. "The one consistent indicator of CCD across samples collected and in multiple times and in multiple places was the overabundance of ribosomal fragments." ...


Maybe we can get worker bees to stitch those ribosomal fragments back together!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 21, 2009
from Saanich News:
Bees are back as scientists uncover cause of colony collapse disorder
By the time it started to make headlines three years ago, colony collapse disorder had already wiped out thousands of hives across North America and Europe. Beekeepers and biologists were confounded as to a possible cause. Theories ranged from man-made disruptions, like cell phone radiation or pesticides, to natural causes such as solar flares, parasites or viruses.... While the science isnt completely settled, its increasingly pointing to a single-celled parasite, Nosema ceranae, as the prime cause... ...


'Least my cellphone is off the hook.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jun 6, 2009
from McClatchy Newspapers:
Deadly bat disease spreading fast, scientists warn lawmakers
A mysterious disease that's killing tens of thousands of bats in the Northeast is spreading so fast that it could reach California within five years, biologists and officials of the Agriculture and Interior departments told lawmakers Thursday. Never in my wildest imagination would I have dreamed of anything that could pose this serious a threat to America's bats," Merlin Tuttle , a biologist with Bat Conservation International who's studied the creatures for 50 years, told two House of Representatives subcommittees.... The disease, called "white-nose syndrome," makes bats awaken from hibernation prematurely and leave their caves. Freezing, unable to find insects to eat, they fall from the sky and die. ...


If this isn't one of the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse, then it's time to add one.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 18, 2009
from Salon:
Pesticides indicted in bee deaths
Gene Brandi will always rue the summer of 2007. That's when the California beekeeper rented half his honeybees, or 1,000 hives, to a watermelon farmer in the San Joaquin Valley at pollination time. The following winter, 50 percent of Brandi's bees were dead.... Brandi has grown accustomed to seeing up to 40 percent of his bees vanish each year, simply leave the hive in search of food and never come back. But this was different. Instead of losing bees from all his colonies, Brandi watched the ones that skipped watermelon duty continue to thrive. Brandi discovered the watermelon farmer had irrigated his plants with imidacloprid, the world's best-selling insecticide created by Bayer CropScience Inc., one of the world's leading producers of pesticides and genetically modified vegetable seeds, with annual sales of $8.6 billion. Blended with water and applied to the soil, imidacloprid creates a moist mixture the bees likely drank from on a hot day.... Imidacloprid and clothianidin are chloronicotinoids, a synthetic compound that combines nicotine, a powerful toxin, with chlorine to attack an insect's nervous system. The chemical is applied to the seed of a plant, added to soil, or sprayed on a crop and spreads to every corner of the plant's tissue, killing the pests that feed on it. ...


It's so shocking when insecticides kill insects.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 21, 2009
from Associated Press:
Honeybee shortage worries Japanese farmers
People working in agriculture are worrying that a nationwide shortage of honeybees used to cross-pollinate strawberries, watermelon and other fruits and vegetable crops will hurt harvests soon...an investigation by the Chiba prefectural government found that farmers in the prefecture had secured only about 70 percent of the needed number of honeybees....The farm ministry... began negotiations with Argentina to import honeybees from there. Butprofessor Jun Nakamura of Tamagawa University's Honeybee Science Research Center said Africanized honeybees, which are highly aggressive and sometimes attack humans, live in the northern part of Argentina. ...


Those Africanized honeybees are SUCH a bad influence!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 6, 2009
from BBC:
'No proof' of bee killer theory
Scientists say there is no proof that a mysterious disease blamed for the deaths of billions of bees actually exists. For five years, increasing numbers of unexplained bee deaths have been reported worldwide, with US commercial beekeepers suffering the most. The term Colony Collapse Disorder was coined to describe the illness. But many experts now believe that the term is misleading and there is no single, new ailment killing the bees. ...


I still say it's 'cause the bees are using their cellphones too much!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Feb 1, 2009
from London Times:
Plight of the humble bee
Native British bees are dying out -- and with them will go flora, fauna and one-third of our diet. We may have less than a decade to save them and avert catastrophe. So why is nothing being done?...Most people do now get the point about honeybees. Following the multiple crises that continue to empty the hives -- foulbrood, varroa mites, viral diseases, dysfunctional immune systems, and now the mysterious but globally devastating colony-collapse disorder (CCD) -- it is understood that the true value of Apis mellifera lies not so much in the sticky stuff that gives our favourite insect its name as in the service it provides as a pollinator of farms and gardens. If you add retailers profit to farm gate prices, their value to the UK economy is in the region of 1 billion a year, and 35 percent of our diet is directly dependent on them. It is an equation of stark simplicity. No pollination: no crops. There is nothing theoretical about it. The reality is in (or, more accurately, not in) the hives. The US has lost 70 percent of its honeybee colonies over the past two winters. Losses in the UK currently are running at 30 percent a year -- up from just 6 percent in 2003. ...


Honey, I ruined the planet... and there's no where to hive!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 27, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Supermarket chain bans use of pesticides in bid to save bees
The supermarket chain Co-op has banned foods grown using pesticides that harm honey bees.... The use of pesticides have been blamed for the collapse and yesterday the Co-operative announced it was banning any foods grown using the chemicals from their own range of fresh products.... Co-operative Farms -- the UK's biggest farmer with 25,000 hectares -- will also invite beekeepers to establish hives on its land as part of a 10-point "Plan Bee". ...


Hey Safeway, Giant, Kroger... whadda you got!?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jan 9, 2009
from Yahoo/AP:
Tangerine growers tell beekeepers to buzz off
Is it trespassing when bees do what bees do in California's tangerine groves? That is the question being weighed by state agriculture officials caught between beekeepers who prize orange blossom honey and citrus growers who blame the bees for causing otherwise seedless mandarin oranges to develop pips.... Beekeepers say that, with development in the state's agricultural regions, there already are a limited number of places to take the bees for feeding. "Our winter losses are increasing (because of colony collapse), and part of the problem is finding places to put bees where they have access to natural food, and citrus is part of that," said Gene Brandi, a Los Banos beekeeper and legislative liaison for the California State Beekeepers Association. [thanks, Janet!] ...


This is somehow like that orange-burning scene in "The Pips of Wrath."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Dec 6, 2008
from Science News:
Honeybee CSI: Why dead bodies can't be found
...Beehives across North America continue to lose their workers for reasons not yet understood, a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder. But new tests suggest how a virus nicknamed IAPV might be to blame for one of the more puzzling aspects of the disorderthe impression that substantial numbers of bees vanish into thin air. In tests on hives in a greenhouse, bees infected with IAPV (short for Israeli acute paralytic virus) rarely died in the hive. Sick bees expired throughout the greenhouse, including near the greenhouse wall...Outdoors, the bees could scatter across the landscape where the occasional dead insect wouldnt be easily noticed before scavengers found it. ...


If they'd listened to my idea -- fit each worker bee with a tiny GPS device -- they would have known this long ago.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 17, 2008
from Telegraph.co.uk:
The animals and plants we cannot live without -- five experts
Nearly 17,000 species are now considered to be threatened with extinction and 869 species are classed as extinct or extinct in the wild on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. In the last year alone 183 species became more endangered. Now, in the face of the growing threat posed by environmental changes around the globe, five leading scientists are to argue whether there is a single type of plant or animal which the planet really cannot afford to lose. The debate, titled Irreplaceable -- The World's Most Invaluable Species, will see five experts present the case for the world's most important animals and plants from a shortlist of five: primates, bats, bees, fungi and plankton. ...


We have to choose?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 28, 2008
from The Argosy:
Biosphere barely balancing
The environment appears to be swiftly falling to pieces around us. Though television commercials about carbon emissions, and reusable shopping bags signal greater awareness of the issues, our environment is in crisis, particularly our biodiversity. In the Americas alone, bats, bees and bananas appear to be in serious danger, which in turn threatens human life.... In a world where every ecosystem is connected and every species has an impact, losing biodiversity means a lot more for the human race than just having to shorten the 'B' section of the Children's encyclopedia. ...


But... but... but...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 21, 2008
from London Daily Telegraph:
Bumblebee decline threatens British countryside
The continuing decline in bees will destroy the British countryside as important iconic plants die without pollination, experts have warned. They are also key to a number of rare flowers including fox gloves, honey suckle and a range of wild orchids that cannot be pollinated by other insects. However bumblebees are in sharp decline. Of the 25 species found in the UK, three are nationally extinct and many more are seriously threatened. ...


Perhaps we could release animatronic bumblebees into the British countryside!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 18, 2008
from Natural News:
Cell Phones May be Wiping out Bees and Affecting Health of Humans
But one of the most popular theories is that electromagnetic radiation given off by cell phones and other hi-tech gadgets is causing this worrying phenomenon. The theory is that radiation interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing them from finding their way back to the hive, which is a hallmark trait of bees. And there is actual evidence to back this up. German research has long shown that bees change their natural patterns of behavior near power lines. In addition, a study at Landau University has found that bees do not go back to their hives when cell phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a "hint" to a possible cause. [Editor's note: from International Herald Tribune: "Good story for sure, except that the study in question had nothing to do with mobile phones and was actually investigating the influence of electromagnetic fields, especially those used by cordless phones that work on fixed-line networks, on the learning ability of bees. The small study, according to the researchers who carried it out too small for the results to be considered significant, found that the electromagnetic fields similar to those used by cordless phones may interrupt the innate ability of bees to find the way back to their hive."] (Thanks, Bud) ...


The subscriber you are trying to reach is not available in its hive.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Sep 13, 2008
from Dallas News:
Researcher says numbers of bumblebees declining, too
Ms. Colla took field surveys of bumblebees between 2004 and 2006 in southern Ontario, comparing the results with data gathered in the early 1970s. She could find only 11 species, down from 14, and of those 11, four were in decline.... The Xerces Society is assembling the data of approximately 30 scientists in North America to document the state of the bumblebee, which is also an important pollinator.... "You look at all their data, and what we see is really discouraging," says Scott Hoffman Black, the society's executive director. "It's a picture of a really drastic decline toward extinction." ...


Let's just genetically modify all those pollination-requiring plants to reproduce via spores.
That'll solve it!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 4, 2008
from Detroit News:
Stung by mysterious die-offs, Michigan beekeepers worry about impact
As beekeepers harvest honey this month, they face an uncertain future that could bring higher food prices as bees mysteriously continue to vanish from hives... Experts calculate a quarter of the estimated 2.4 million colonies across the U.S. have been lost in the last two years to colony collapse disorder. The reason -- or reasons -- remains unknown. The use of pesticides, a fungus, parasitic mites and even stress and the bees' diet are all theories. ...


Wasn't there a time when bees' overuse of cellphones was proposed as a cause?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 3, 2008
from London Daily Telegraph:
English honey harvest halved after catastrophic drop in bee numbers
The annual English honey harvest has dropped to half of its normal level this year, with the appalling summer weather compounding the effects of the sudden and unexplained collapse in the number of bees. Keepers, farmers and industry have held their first crisis talks over fears that the British honey bee population could be facing near extinction within five years. There are now fears that English honey could disappear altogether unless the dramatic decline in bee colonies is arrested. ...


If it was money instead of honey that was so threatened, you better believe there'd be a solution!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 27, 2008
from Popular Science:
New research finds higher-than-expected levels of pesticides in hives
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates agricultural pesticide use, but this regulation does not account for the interaction of these chemicals that inevitably takes place through the bees' pollination processes. Some of these combinations of pesticides have been found to have a synergistic effect hundreds of times more toxic than any of the pesticides individually, says James L. Frazier, professor of entomology at Penn State.... These changes include immune system blocks and disorientation, which may help to explain the CCD crisis of late. ...


Sort of like mixing gin and tequila.
Only lots worse.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 19, 2008
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Lawsuit seeks EPA pesticide data
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is refusing to disclose records about a new class of pesticides that could be playing a role in the disappearance of millions of honeybees in the United States, a lawsuit filed Monday charges. The Natural Resources Defense Council wants to see the studies that the EPA required when it approved a pesticide made by Bayer CropScience five years ago. The environmental group filed the suit as part of an effort to find out how diligently the EPA is protecting honeybees from dangerous pesticides..." ...


Just whom, do you suppose, the EPA is protecting?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 13, 2008
from Guardian (UK):
UK Honeybee deaths reaching crisis point
Britain's honeybees have suffered catastrophic losses this year, according to a survey of the nation's beekeepers, contributing to a shortage of honey and putting at risk the pollination of fruits and vegetables. The survey by the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) revealed that nearly one in three of the UK's 240,000 honeybee hives did not survive this winter and spring. The losses are higher than the one in five colonies reported dead earlier this year by the government after 10 percent of hives had been inspected. The BBKA president, Tim Lovett, said he was very concerned about the findings: "Average winter bee losses due to poor weather and disease vary from between 5 percent and 10 percent, so a 30 percent loss is deeply worrying. This spells serious trouble for pollination services and honey producers." ...


I think that honey jar is 2/3 full!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Aug 2, 2008
from The Daily Green:
Evidence That Pesticides Are Seriously Messing Up Our Honey Bees
"...They've found some incredible numbers taken from samples taken last year - one bee, a single, solitary bee, had 25 different insecticides hidden within her tiny body. And she wasn't even dead. The cleanest bee they found had only five insecticides. Only." ...


So, are we, like, gonna ignore that little cell phone she's using all the time to call her, like, honeybee-friends?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 23, 2008
from NaturalNews.com:
Colony Collapse Disorder Debunked: Pesticides Cause Bee Deaths
"The great mystery of bee deaths has been solved. Colony Collapse Disorder is poisoning with a known insect neurotoxin. Clothianidin, a pesticide manufactured by Bayer, has been clearly linked to die offs in Germany and France. ...


Oy. Trying to follow this story... it just gives me a headache!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 30, 2008
from Society for General Virology, via EurekAlert:
Bee disease a mystery
Deformed wing virus (DWV) is passed between adult bees and to their developing brood by a parasitic mite called Varroa destructor when it feeds. However, research published in the July issue of the Journal of General Virology suggests that the virus does not replicate in Varroa, highlighting the need for further investigation.... "[W]e still don't know exactly how these viruses are passed from the mite to the bee." ...


"More study is needed.
Well, um, yeah.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 2, 2008
from Guardian (UK):
Last flight of the honeybee?
Close on two million colonies of honeybees across the US have been wiped out. The strange phenomenon, dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD), is also thought to have claimed the lives of billions of honeybees around the world. In Taiwan, 10 million honeybees were reported to have disappeared in just two weeks, and throughout Europe honeybees are in peril.... "It's those new neonicotinoid pesticides that growers are using," he says. "That's what's messing up the bees' navigation system so they can't find their way home." ... With innocuous brand names such as Gaucho, Assail and Merit, these pesticides are used worldwide, from sunflower fields to apple orchards, lawns to golf courses. The chemicals they contain are an artificial type of nicotine that acts as a neurotoxin that attacks insects' nervous systems on contact or ingestion. ...


Neonicotine gives these bees too much of a buzz.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, May 25, 2008
from London Guardian:
So what's Plan Bee?
"In the last few months, the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA), which claims almost 12,000 members, has begun speaking words of doom. 'Nation's honeybees could be wiped out in 10 years' the organisation claimed in December." ...


Honey, I screwed up the planet.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, May 11, 2008
from The Milford Daily News:
Honeybee deaths still on the rise
"Colony collapse disorder started appearing in hives in the past two years and is marked by massive desertion and die-offs in bee yards. Theories on its cause range from microwaves from cell phone use to a combination of poor nutrition, varroa mites - an external parasite of honeybees - and stress. This week, a national survey of bee health from the Apiary Inspectors of America showed 36.1 percent of beehives were lost since last year. That's up from the previous year's losses of 32 percent." ...


To our knowledge no one has theorized that the drones are sick of slaving for the queen!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 18, 2008
from Bergen County Record:
Honeybees on rebound in North Jersey
"Honeybees are on the rebound in North Jersey. After a strange affliction known as colony collapse disorder devastated honeybee colonies nationwide and caused a 45 percent mortality rate in New Jersey a year ago, local beekeepers are reporting far fewer deaths." ...


Our bonnet has been full of bad news about bees but this news is the bee's knees!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Apr 12, 2008
from London Daily Telegraph:
Pollution is making flowers smell less
"Air pollution from power plants and cars is destroying the fragrance and thereby inhibiting the ability of pollinating insects to follow scent trails to their source, a new University of Virginia study indicates. This could partially explain why wild populations of some pollinators, particularly bees - which need nectar for food - are declining in areas around the world, from California to the Netherlands.... The result, potentially, is a vicious cycle where pollinators struggle to find enough food to sustain their populations, and populations of flowering plants, in turn, do not get pollinated sufficiently to proliferate and diversify." ...


Maybe the flowers need little gas masks.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 11, 2008
from Science Daily (US):
MegaBee Nourishes Beleaguered Honey Bees
... [A] new, convenient source of proteins, vitamins and minerals that bees need for good health. Bees can eat MegaBee as a meal or snack when days are too cold for venturing outside of their warm hive, for example, or when flowers -- bearing pollen and nectar, the staple foods for adult bees -- aren't yet in bloom. Better nutrition might be a key to reversing the decline of honey bees, Apis mellifera, in the United States. A mostly mysterious colony collapse disorder is blamed for losses of once-thriving colonies, as are problems caused by mites, beetles, Africanized honey bees, diseases and pesticides. ...


Sweet! A nutritional supplement for the bees.
We hope they have one for bats, soon. Not to mention all those wild pollinators. And the fishes, don't forget the fishes, and the songbirds...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 25, 2008
from 60 Minutes:
Honey Bees and Colony Collapse
"Normally, if there weren't soldier bees to protect a hive's honey, all the honey would be poached by bees from other hives in short order. But, this beekeeper said, "The hives are like a ghost town. The honey's there. The other bees won't touch it." He showed the honey, just sitting there in the dead hive." ...


The bee colonies are still collapsing; this week's 60 Minutes story may create help some buzz.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 13, 2008
from The Canadian:
Catastrophic Bee de-populations
"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." ...


Some suspect that the genetically modified pest-resistant plant pollen might be causing the bee problem. 40 percent of US fields are planted with the GM crops.
Gosh, insect toxins built into the plants -- why would bees be affected?
Whattaya mean, you didn't test for that?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Copyright 2009 The Apocadocs.com