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#20769 - 04/23/07 06:00 PM Vanishing honeybees
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Go to work, come home. Go to work -- and vanish without a trace. Billions of bees have done just that, leaving the crop fields they are supposed to pollinate, and scientists are mystified about why. The phenomenon was first noticed late last year in the United States, where honeybees are used to pollinate $15 billion worth of fruits, nuts and other crops annually. Disappearing bees have also been reported in Europe and Brazil. Commercial beekeepers would set their bees near a crop field as usual and come back in two or three weeks to find the hives bereft of foraging worker bees, with only the queen and the immature insects remaining. Whatever worker bees survived were often too weak to perform their tasks. There have been other fluctuations in the number of honeybees, going back to the 1880s, where there were "mysterious disappearances without bodies just as we're seeing now, but never at this magnitude," Berenbaum said in a telephone interview. Honeybees are not the only pollinators whose numbers are dropping. Other animals that do this essential job -- non-honeybees, wasps, flies, beetles, birds and bats -- have decreasing populations as well. But honeybees are the big actors in commercial pollination efforts. For the full article: Click Here. One of my colleagues heard that cell phones may interfere with honey bee navigation. I couldn't find anything to confirm it but if it is the case we are about to get an opportunity to trade food for cell phones.
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DA Morgan

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#20771 - 04/23/07 06:28 PM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: DA Morgan]
soilguy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/28/05
Posts: 414
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: DA Morgan
One of my colleagues heard that cell phones may interfere with honey bee navigation. I couldn't find anything to confirm it but if it is the case we are about to get an opportunity to trade food for cell phones.


I heard that too, but so far I think that idea came from some kind of brainstorming session or glib conversation that was overheard by a reporter. I heard it twice as a quick "teaser" on NPR and on one of the three networks' news programs. No further explanation was given.

If the problem is cell phones, why couldn't they have figured that out back in the days when I considered cell phones a sign of humanity's impending downfall? Why now, when cell phones have become a vital part of me making a living?

Now if they can blame it on text messaging, that's a different story. I doubt I'll ever have a hankerin' to text someone.
_________________________
When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
--S. Lewis

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#20779 - 04/23/07 11:57 PM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: soilguy]
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England

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#20781 - 04/24/07 12:42 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: Blacknad]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Whatever the reason, we have sent a heap of redoubtable aussie bees to California to help pollinate the almond trees right now. They will then go all over the States and further contingents will be sent throughout the growing season to help with the various friut crops. These little heroes will never be able to come home because so far no one knows why the bees have died. If it is cell phones then the poor little things will probably die too, but I thought that any immature bees still in the hives were all infested with many different viruses.

You are right DA, honey tastes better than cell phones.

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#20791 - 04/24/07 03:02 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: Ellis]
terrytnewzealand Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
From Dan's summary:

"Billions of bees have done just that, leaving the crop fields they are supposed to pollinate, and scientists are mystified about why."

Happened in NZ too but scientists here blamed varroa mite. Maybe not the only problem. Far fewer honey bees in the last few years but bumble bees are much more common. Presumably less competition from honey bees. Native bees are doing well too but they don't pollinate introduced crop plants so efficiently. In fact I read somewhere that NZ's flora has been profoundly influenced by the fact our native bees have short tongues.

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#20793 - 04/24/07 03:29 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: terrytnewzealand]
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
<rhetorical statement>
There's a joke there somewhere.
</rhetorical statement>
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#20804 - 04/24/07 07:51 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: DA Morgan]
terrytnewzealand Offline
Megastar

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1031
Loc: Whangarei New Zealand
Any joke I can think of is mildly naughty, in the Carry On vein.


Edited by terrytnewzealand (04/24/07 07:52 AM)

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#20862 - 04/25/07 05:31 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: terrytnewzealand]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Do bees navigate back to the hives at a certain time everyday? If so, one solution might be to shut cell tower transmissions for a specified span of time daily.
What do you think?

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#20864 - 04/25/07 05:52 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: ]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
I was going to suggest that the bees are probably going home at the same time that everyone in the train carriage is phoning home to tell the entire world they are on the train so that idea may not work---but the thought of those short-tongued bees has completely distracted me!!

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#20882 - 04/25/07 09:29 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: Ellis]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
I can't believe it's cell phones anyway, but they do "go home" in the evening (but make many trips during the day, so....)

But c'mon:
There have been other fluctuations in the number of honeybees, going back to the 1880s, where there were "mysterious disappearances without bodies just as we're seeing now, but never at this magnitude," Berenbaum said in a telephone interview.

"The main hypotheses are based on the interpretation that the disappearances represent disruptions in orientation behavior and navigation," said May Berenbaum,

Hmmmm, something to do with the brain.

A mysterious ailment called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is causing agricultural honeybees around the country to abandon their hives and disappear.
Theories about what causes the malady range from a rouge protozoan to new chemicals or a soil fungus, but no one knows for sure.

Many diseases affect the brain.
Toxiplasmosis infects mice and causes them to lose their fear of cats.
...and schizophrenia in people....

This bee thing sounds like a good way to disseminate....

Viv la diversity

~SA
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#20906 - 04/25/07 03:46 PM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: DA Morgan]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Whether cell phones are the problem or not is not difficult to determine.
The problem started in the east coast, spread to the west coast and now is spreading to England and so on. Does this mirror the spread of the cell phone?
The Asian countries were the first to widely adopt the cell phone.
Have the honeybees been wiped out in Japan, Taiwan or Korea already - and no one noticed??
Unless someone can demonstrate a connection between the pattern of cell phone use and vanishing bee, I think we will have to look elsewhere for an answer.


Edited by japland (04/25/07 03:52 PM)

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#20911 - 04/25/07 04:12 PM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: ]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Very good observation, japland.

as I said: "Toxiplasmosis infects mice and causes them to lose their fear of cats. (what a successful vector)
This bee thing sounds like a good way to disseminate...."

...a disease that causes a small clustered population to scatter would be a very successful disease.

Ellis, probably a good thing your little heroes are not returning.

~SA
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#20947 - 04/26/07 07:23 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: samwik]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Sad though-we like our aussies to come home!

samwik--Is this post really suggesting a big huge conspiracy theory concerning deliberate spreading of disease?!! Probably not but what a great idea--this site really needs a conspiracy section!!!

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#20949 - 04/26/07 09:38 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: Ellis]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Sorry, no. I was only referring to the great conspiracy that evolution has inflicted on us.

smile
~SAM
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#20955 - 04/26/07 05:39 PM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: samwik]
Wolfman Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 264
Loc: Pago Pago, American Samoa
My dad first started using an apiarist on our vegetable farm in the mid-60's. We saw an increase in cucmber yields in the first two weeks. The Bees represent a major factor in crop yield.
I remember reading, back in the '60's, that Bee activity was affected by the prescence of Power Transmission Lines. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Cell Phone transmissions are to blame for the disappearance of Bees. Another example of the Arrogance of Man.

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#20959 - 04/26/07 07:47 PM Re: Vanishing honeybees
Mike Kremer Offline

Megastar

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: DA Morgan
Sorry, no. I was only referring to the great conspiracy that evolution has inflicted on us.
smile
~SAM

A conspiracy theory Samwick? You might be right.

First in all seriousness, I don't believe Cellphone waves are disorientating the Bees, either.
Since in California and elsewhere, Farmers have taken to renting out Beehives, which are then placed actually within their orchards to increase the fruit yield.

So how is it possible, that with their hive within a few yards of their nectar, the Bees are unable to return to their Hive?

I prefer to believe Bees become disorientated due to the chemical sprays they pick up thats been previously left on the flower buds.

As soon as Bees realise that they feel disorientated, they would refuse to fly back to their hive, knowing full well that not only would the Worker bees not let them in, but the workers job is to activily kill and throw out ill and dead Bees, as well as cleaning the nest of disease.

Chemical sprays are highly damaging to insects, also to humans.
Thats why the sprayers have to wear a mask.

The known natural disease of Bees, thats been around for dozens of years would be on the increase, since the worker bee's would be decimated, (they eat pollen) as well. Once the Queen dies, the whole hive, or whats left, fly away, probably to die. Since instinct tells them to look for another Queen.

Now for your conspiracy theory Samwick.
I find it amazing that no-one has mentioned that acricultural spraying could be a problem, even part of the problem.
Since its well known for years that insects, flys, spiders, moths, butterflies, even frogs, are dissapearing due to crop spraying.

The possible conspiracy is the $multi-million companys who supply sprays all over USA, and the rest of the world, have
deliberately made sure that Farmer dos'nt make adverse comments about the Company that he gets his sprays from, for fear that he may not get next years supply of spray, nor his next years supply of chemically treated seeds.

Meanwhile the $ Chemcal Co's are probably working quietly, and franticly trying to develop a more insect friendly spray?
Sound credible?

--------------------
"You will never find a real Human being - even in a mirror." .....Mike Kremer.
.
_________________________
.

.
"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#20962 - 04/26/07 08:44 PM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: Wolfman]
redewenur Offline
Megastar

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 1840
Wolfman: "Another example of the Arrogance of Man."

There's plenty of arrogance in our species, but I'm not sure that arrogance is a special factor in this case. We do what we do because we are what we are. Humans manipulate the environment. We always have done. It's how we survive. There's a difference between us and our chimp cousins, but I don't think there's much in it. There's still naivety and innocence rolled up in parcel of instincts.

(I can see room for controversy in that last sentence)
_________________________
"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler

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#20969 - 04/26/07 11:25 PM Re: Vanishing honeybees
Mike Kremer Offline

Megastar

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: DA Morgan
Sorry, no. I was only referring to the great conspiracy that evolution has inflicted on us.

smile
~SAM

You may actually be right about a conspiracy theory Samwick, My tongue in cheek explanation

follows below.

However, regarding bees homing instincts upset by Cellphones, I dont think their radio waves

effect them either.

Since in California, and elsewhere, Bee hives are often rented out to farmers, when they are

actually placed within their flowering orchards, in order to increase fruit yield.

So how could it possible, with the Bee hives placed in the field, within a few yards of their

nectar, that they are unable to return to their Hive?

I prefere to believe Bees become disorientated due to the chemical sprays they pick up thats

left on the flower buds.

Bees, like Ant work together as a team, each has their specialised place. When a Bee feels

disorientated, ill they refuse to fly back into their hive, knowing full well that the Worker

bees job is to not let them in, due to their chemical hyper-brain random activity. Prehaps

not being able to give the guard workers the ciorrect signals? The Worker Bee's other jobs

are to disenfect and clean the hive. of all germs, plus feed and look after the Queen.

Chemical sprays are highly damaging to insects, also to humans.
The orchard and crop sprayers have wear a mask. Have you ever watched a Wasp fly in circles

after being given a quick blast of Wasp killer?

The known natural disease of Bees, that has been around for dozens of years would be on

the increase
, since even the Worker bee's that feed pollen to the Queen would be

decimated, as well. Once the Queen dies, the whole hive, or whats left, fly away, probably to

die. Since instinct tells them to go look for another Queen.

Your Conspiracy idea, for what its worth, might well be due to the following scenario.

I absolutely believe that the $ Million Dollar Co's that produce the crop sprays
have a lot to answer for. it has been well known for years that agricultural sprays decimate

insect life. Butterflies, Moths, Birds, Spiders, even frogs, and Bees, are dissapearing due

to crop spraying.
But I have not found any item where they admit their sprays actually affect Bees, let alone

kill them?
Nor have any Farmers groups openly accused the Companys, regarding Bees alone.
could it be that the farmer is not only afraid of not getting next years supply of chemical

crop sprays, if he opens his mouth, but would not get his chemically treated seed for next

years crops either?
Mean while the Chemical Co's are lying low, feverishly trying to re-formulate a compound

which would be kinder the the bees, and enviroment.
Sound reasonable?

--------------------
"You will never find a real Human being - even in a mirror." .....Mike Kremer.
.
_________________________
.

.
"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#20970 - 04/26/07 11:30 PM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: samwik]
Mike Kremer Offline

Megastar

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
You may actually be right about a conspiracy theory Samwick, My tongue in cheek explanation follows below.

However, regarding bees homing instincts upset by Cellphones, I dont think their radio waves effect them either.

Since in California, and elsewhere, Bee hives are often rented out to farmers, when they are actually placed within their flowering orchards, in order to increase fruit yield.

So how could it possible, with the Bee hives placed in the field, within a few yards of their nectar, that they are unable to return to their Hive?

I prefere to believe Bees become disorientated due to the chemical sprays they pick up thats left on the flower buds.

Bees, like Ant work together as a team, each has their specialised place. When a Bee feels disorientated, ill they refuse to fly back into their hive, knowing full well that the Worker bees job is to not let them in, due to their chemical hyper-brain random activity. Prehaps not being able to give the guard workers the ciorrect signals? The Worker Bee's other jobs are to disenfect and clean the hive. of all germs, plus feed and look after the Queen.

Chemical sprays are highly damaging to insects, also to humans.
The orchard and crop sprayers have wear a mask. Have you ever watched a Wasp fly in circles after being given a quick blast of Wasp killer?

The known natural disease of Bees, that has been around for dozens of years would be on the increase, since even the Worker bee's that feed pollen to the Queen would be decimated, as well. Once the Queen dies, the whole hive, or whats left, fly away, probably to die. Since instinct tells them to go look for another Queen.

Your Conspiracy idea, for what its worth, might well be due to the following scenario.

I absolutely believe that the $ Million Dollar Co's that produce the crop sprays
have a lot to answer for. it has been well known for years that agricultural sprays decimate insect life. Butterflies, Moths, Birds, Spiders, even frogs, and Bees, are dissapearing due to crop spraying.
But I have not found any item where they admit their sprays actually affect Bees, let alone kill them?
Nor have any Farmers groups openly accused the Companys, regarding Bees alone.
could it be that the farmer is not only afraid of not getting next years supply of chemical crop sprays, if he opens his mouth, but would not get his chemically treated seed for next years crops either?
Mean while the Chemical Co's are lying low, feverishly trying to re-formulate a compound which would be kinder the the bees, and enviroment.
Sound reasonable?

--------------------
"You will never find a real Human being - even in a mirror." .....Mike Kremer.
.
_________________________
.

.
"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#20974 - 04/27/07 03:12 AM Re: Vanishing honeybees [Re: Mike Kremer]
Ellis Offline
Megastar

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Sorry- can't do the blue link thing but in the Melbourne Age this morning a new theory on this topic---Fungus!

Nosema ceranae no less. It has been found in dead bees and in the hives as well as 2 other fungi and half a dozen viruses. The phenomenom is being described as Colony Collapse Disorder! and the researcher says he is not sure that this latest fungus is THE culprit or not. There have been losses in England and Canada and a quarter of the 2.4 milion colonies in the US.


Well done Mike---admirable theory! Unfortunately only too plausible.






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