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bees and colony collapse disorder

                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Over the past several months there have been a couple of news blurbs about bees dying off. Tonight there was a 60 Minutes show on the overnight disappearance of thousands and thousands of bees from a bee keeper's hives down south.

Bees occupy an important niche in the ecosystem - the pollination that produces and sustains crops. They are dying off for some mysterious reason. Without them famine - worldwide famine if enough are lost - is a very real possibility. Frogs, like bees, are another nearly invisible living indicator of collapses in the ecosystem, at the bottom, that lead to massive failures across species (including our own). Frogs, too, have begun to disappear from their ecological habitats - an observation first reported about five years ago by concerned field researchers in South America, Central America and southeast Asia, three wet regions loaded with frog species.

The implications are staggering and call human choices about things like genetically engineered crops, pesticides, consumption and waste practices and overpopulation into question.

It is scary that "going Green" has been around for several decades now and is still struggling to make a difference and it gets even harder to implement green practices every few years as social complexity increases.

Anyway, these topics, political and sometimes unpleasant as they are, remind me why it is important to keep considering "Green concerns" and to keep trying to make "going green" easier instead of harder.

Is anyone else worried sick?

MJ Solaro


Joined: Feb 21, 2008
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
It's funny you should mention this. I was reading an article on the BBC just this morning talking about how an unseasonably mild February has caused many of the bees in the UK to emerge from winter hibernation too early, and start building colonies. They expect that they will all be killed off by frosts in March. It's only too easy to see how with a few simple weather changes, the patterns of bumblebees could be disrupted irrevocably.

We all understand the cascading impact of the extinction of bumblebees..

I do have hope though. I see first world nations like the EU and Australia stepping up their policies and their commitment to the environment. I see that all of the major candidates in our presidential race have a firm commitment to the environment and reforming our nations' policies. I see an unprecedented surge in technology around green in Seattle and the Silicon Valley: the best minds that were previously on the computer and internet revolutions have flipped a switch and are now determined to solve the problem.

And more importantly, I think more people are taking going green more seriously than ever before. Having been raised in a household where environmentalism was equated with satanic worship, I've watched a complete paradigm shift occur in my nuclear family. My dad installed solar panels on his roof last month, and my mom has started recycling for the first time in her life. They both want me to come over and give them energy audits and teach them how to cut back on their carbon footprints.

The situation is dire. There's no doubt about that. But when I see the way people around Seattle and the world are rallying, I have a great deal of hope.


Brave New Leaf - Everyman Environmentalism
http://www.bravenewleaf.com
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
"Albert Einstein once said "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left." Bees pollinate about one-third of humanity's food supply. Without them, we would have some serious food shortage problems. "

Around 1996 medical science began to study Einstein's (actual, preserved) brain to find out what accounted for his brilliance (see bottom of page) We are that interested in the originality, depth, and significance of his insights some 68 years after his major contributions. Insight into bees in the food chain was not his main field of intellect so I find it interesting he was concerned enough about bees in the food chain to think - significantly - about it during his lifetime when the non-green practices we inherited from that era were in full and unapologetic effect. The environmental movement only moved mainstream after WWII ("...only after the Second World War did a wider awareness begin to emerge." Wikipedia, the Common (Wo)Man's Reference).

Einstein died in 1955 and WWII ended in 1945 - ten years at the end of his life were of enough concern to him to elicit such a major (and previously unmentioned) insight into the sciences of Ecology and Biology. Would that we had more such inspired and singularly unique minds churning over the world's problems in all those Think Tanks.

The Doomsday Seed Diversity Vault (Svalbard Global Seed Vault) went into effect yesterday as well. Check out the website for the Global Crop Diversity Trust.

I think we are all (including the EU) a lot more worried than we let on...

And, maybe I'm wrong here, but it seems to me that politicians speak Green most ardently before their election, that state and federal green policies are too inefficient to be as effective as citizens would like them to be with no recourse to political redress for the problematic areas; that legitimate Green Concerns - like simplifying some of the complexity that technology wizards and the Tech Industry (among others) heavily endorse - have been heavily diluted by advertising trying to promote the consumerism of poseur natural products as Green when it is the antithesis of environmental awareness.

Seattle's condo craze, property inflation, skyrocketed cost of living (since the DotCom industry boomed and busted) and commitment to appearance over substance in its general policies of government belie its seeming commitment to improving the environment. But it was voted the "Best City to Ride a Bicycle" in a few years back...

Anyway, could be worse than Seattle - could be Detroit!

Fr: Einstein's Brain
After the removal of the brain, Dr Harvey cut it into 240 fine sections and embedded it in celodin to allow
for microscopic examination. After the discovery of parts of the brain in a cider box in Dr Harvey’s living
room in 1996 by Steven Levy, the remaining pieces of the brain were presented to Dr Elliot Krauss, chief
pathologist at Princeton Hospital.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
This researcher thinks genetically modified crops...segues into that whole Svalbard Global Seed Vault thing.


(online)
Are GM Crops Killing Bees?
    By Gunther Latsch
    Der Spiegel

    Thursday 22 March 2007

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


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Current situation of bees' decline
In 2001, Bayer also brought a judicial case against Maurice Mary, one of the leaders of the French association of beekeepers for disparagement of the chemical Imidacloprid. The action was dismissed by the judge in May 2003.

In 2003, agricultural Minister Jean Glavany again extended the suspension of the use of Imidacloprid on sunflower seeds.

In spite of a 4 year ban already on sunflower seeds treatment, a significant drop in bee individuals is still observed. Beekeepers were cited as saying the measure was insufficient, as studies found that Imidacloprid left a residue which meant that even after two years, plants sowed on the same spot as the crop originally treated contained traces of the product.

Some also suggest that the bee colony losses could also be due to the use of imidacloprid on corn as well, or by the replacement of it by another systemic insecticide called Fipronil. Indeed in May 2003, the DGAL (Direction Générale de l'Alimentation du ministère de l'Agriculture ) indicated death of bees observed in the south of the country had been caused by acute toxicity by Fipronil (as the active chemical in the systemic insecticide called Regent), while it was recognised Imidacloprid had no responsibility in the bees death. Some national field studies are currently under way (2003) to assert the responsibility of Imidacloprid.

A similar battle is occurring in Nova Scotia, where beekeepers are accusing Imidacloprid used on potatoes for massive losses of bees needed for blueberry pollination.[1]
-from wikipedia

The most widely used applications for imidacloprid in California are pest control in structures, turf pest control, grape growing, and head and leaf lettuce growing. Other widespread crop uses are rice, grains/cereals including corn (maize), potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, fruit, cotton, and hops. Target insects include sucking insects (e.g. aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers and planthoppers, thrips, scales, mealybugs, bugs, psyllids, and phylloxera), beetles (e.g. longhorn beetles, leaf beetles, Colorado potato beetles, rice water-weevils, wireworms, grubs, and flea beetles), and others (e.g. lepidopterous leaf­miners, some diptera, termites, locusts, and fleas).

When used for seed treatments, it is sold under the trade names Akteur, Amigo, Baytan Secur, Chinook, El Hombre, Escocet, Gaucho, Gaucho Blé, Gaucho CS, Gaucho Maícero, Gaucho MZ, Gaucho Orge, Gaucho Primo, Gaucho T, Gaucho MT, Gaucho XT, Genesis, Faibel, Ferial Blé, Férial Orge, Imprimo, Manta Plus, Monceren Extra, Monceren G, Monceren GT, Montur, Prestige, Prestige M, Raxil Secur, Seed-one, Sibutol Secur, Yunta and Zorro FS 236.

When used on citrus, coffee, cotton, fruits, grapes, potatoes, rice, soybeans, sugarcane, tobacco and vegetables as an insecticide spray, it is sold under the trade names Admire, Confidor, Connect, Evidence, Leverage, Muralla, Provado and Trimax.

It is marketed as Premise for termite control and Advantage in the US and Europe for flea control on pets. It is also sold under the trade names Merit, Admire, Confidor and Winner, as well as Hachikusan (in Japan).

-from wikipedia

                        


Joined: Sep 13, 2010
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
"own South" might be the clue .. about two hundred million tons of pesticides are dumped on cotton each ten years .. it ends up in our rivers and streams .. our food chain .. I write this from memory and could be wrong but it will point us in the direction I am headed.

Cotton fiber is half as durable as industrial hemp, takes twice the water to raise, must be fertilized to the max, depletes the soil, and requires huge amounts of chemical spectra.

Hemp has a better fiber than cotton, never needs fertilizer or chemical spectra and grows on half the water. If planted in Mendocino County California .. every pot grower there would go broke .. its pollen will remove the trip from the cannabis. THC is manufactured by our bodies as well as Cannabis and we could not think without it .. it is the juice our nerves fire in.

This is why we raise cotton .. jail pot smokers .. let drunks kill .. our government is run by big business and guess what they think of permaculture?


If you get too far from the stone age .. things go haywire.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
alexisavoire wrote:Is anyone else worried sick?


A little.

There are quite a few sorts of bee. Some of the solitary species are extremely resilient.

Einstein must have known of the existence of bumble bees, but maybe not orchard mason bees etc. As a physicist, he was used to cutting variety down to its essence, then extrapolating as far as possible from that essence, a technique that doesn't work as well in ecology.

That isn't even touching the subject of lepidoptera, bats, birds, etc.

Native populations of pollinators are worth about $3 billion to California agriculture alone. If honeybees were to suddenly vanish, it might be decades before we learned enough about insectiary borders and shelter belts to completely make up the difference, but I guarantee there would not be a total, worldwide crop failure within the segment of crops that honeybees can pollinate. Released from competition with honeybees, some varieties of native pollinator might even explode in population, especially with such a large economic incentive supporting their care. Farmers also respond to ecological realities, and any species that truly depends on honeybees might find itself suddenly replaced by species that can be pollinated by other means.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Dave Miller


Joined: Jun 08, 2009
Posts: 398
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
    
  10
Re: Native bees, the first publication in this list (Farming for Bees: Guidelines for Providing Native Bee Habitat on Farms) is a great resource for farmers:

http://www.xerces.org/guidelines/

I have had success attracting mason bees using bundles of teasel and bamboo stems: http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=520.msg32511#msg32511

Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
A little.

There are quite a few sorts of bee. Some of the solitary species are extremely resilient.

Einstein must have known of the existence of bumble bees, but maybe not orchard mason bees etc. As a physicist, he was used to cutting variety down to its essence, then extrapolating as far as possible from that essence, a technique that doesn't work as well in ecology.

That isn't even touching the subject of lepidoptera, bats, birds, etc.

Native populations of pollinators are worth about $3 billion to California agriculture alone. If honeybees were to suddenly vanish, it might be decades before we learned enough about insectiary borders and shelter belts to completely make up the difference, but I guarantee there would not be a total, worldwide crop failure within the segment of crops that honeybees can pollinate. Released from competition with honeybees, some varieties of native pollinator might even explode in population, especially with such a large economic incentive supporting their care. Farmers also respond to ecological realities, and any species that truly depends on honeybees might find itself suddenly replaced by species that can be pollinated by other means.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15273
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
My understanding is that colony collapse disorder is caused by lots of things.  It is three or four things from a list that will cause CCD. If you do just one or two, the bees may survive, but pile on enough and the bees cannot survive:

1)  bee genetics

1.1)  bees are bred for the sake of getting skillions of bees to sell as opposed to something resembling survival-of-the-fittest

1.2)  Same sort of thing for the queens

1.3)  Drones are killed for all sorts of reasons which leads to a similar problem.

1.4)  people are buying bees that are bred thousands of miles away, instead of bees that have done the survival-of-the-fittest thing in their own area.

1.5)  swarms should be encouraged

2) cell size:  bees are being provided the comb or with comb templates that are slightly larger than what they would naturally create.  This makes for a bigger bee that can carry more honey and has ben shown to increase honey production.  It also elongates the amount of time a bee larva is in the cell.  This longer time gives the mites more time to become full fledged mites.  And mites are wiping out hives.  There is also speculation that a bigger bee is a weaker bee.

3) chemical mite control:  kills a lot of mites and a few bees.  The bees that are left are weaker.  After all:  the chemical is an insecticide and bees are insects.

4)  moving hives:  moving a hive a few thousand miles stresses the hive.

5)  feeding bees sugar water instead of honey.

6)  the use of insecticides on crops.  Bees visit those same crops and bees are insects.

7)  monocrop:  Hives are often parked in a massive orchard with nothing to eat but what they can gather.  A monocrop will usually keep them alive, but they won't be as healthy as if they have a variety of nectar to gather.

  Stop opening the hive:  Every time you open the hive to inspect it, you stress the bees. 

9)  hives near the ground are not the way wild bees do it - and it adds a lot of dirt and damp to the hive - plus has more opportunity for interacting with other critters.

(anybody have more?)



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Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 4841
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
181
I've also heard that the colonies tend to be kept too small by restricting the queen to one relatively small brood chamber.  The bees can't build a big enough population to buffer them through hard times. 


What is a Mother Tree ?
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
paul wheaton wrote:(anybody have more?)


I can almost always speculate. Here are a few:

Destruction of wild bee habitat means populations of bee pests, and predators/diseases that would control such pests, decline in the surroundings. Fewer natural population controls allow pest populations to explode un-checked.

Recycled wax accumulates oil-soluble compounds, perhaps including long-lived pesticides or endocrine disruptors that tweak larva development when exuded from brood comb.

Odd soil micronutrient content due to long-distance irrigation and chemical soil amendment might not affect plants too badly, but might become a serious problem within a population that is dependent on pollen for most of its micronutrients.

Shortages of propolis due to monoculture might prevent hives from being sealed effectively.

Langstroth hives aren't shaped to allow mites to fall out of the hive.

Abundant irrigation might lead to watery nectar, and a poor EROEI when you account for the effort of drying that nectar into honey.

Insects that die by human intervention, especially due to pesticide sprayed on plants, might be more likely to leave long-lasting corpses which spread disease to bees.

The female parent  of many varieties of hybrid crop, is a line bred to be male-sterile, so as to thwart self-pollination and allow hybrid seeds to be produced cheaply. This might lead to a large field that produces very little pollen, and so, protein-deficient bees.
Jeff Mathias


Joined: Feb 19, 2009
Posts: 121
Location: Westport, CA Zone 8-9; Off grid on 20 acres of redwood forest and floodplain with a seasonal creek.
    
    1
paul wheaton wrote:
(anybody have more?)


Okay I realize this might not be a popular thought however I am pretty sure honeybees are not native to the Americas at all. Perhaps along with some of your other reasons this is nature also trying to correct an issue we are not yet aware of, or sound a warning we don't hear or understand yet.

In a way current day beekeeping is more like mono cropping than not as diversity in the honeybee population is not really increasing and until the collapse native bees were becoming scarce due in part to direct competition from the honeybees. Native bees in my area and it seems many others are making a come back despite the collapse though. I am not sure why but that is significant for me. The mites like aphids seem to me to be a tool of nature or a warning sign.

Jeff


"Study books and observe nature. When the two don't agree, throw out the books" -William A Albrecht
"You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." - Benjamin Franklin
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3099
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
I might add transgenic maize to the list of honey bee problems.  maize is wind pollinated, but honeybees do collect maize pollen*.  if that pollen happens to have Bacillus thuringiensis toxin in it, there will likely be problems for the bees who eat it.

I would also add to the list: bad attitude.  beekeepers and farmers have been trying to exploit bees for a while now without really looking out for the bees' well-being.

I have noticed, at least where I'm at, that feral honeybees seem to be doing alright.  there isn't a whole lot of large scale agriculture going on close to me, though, so I imagine the load of biocides in the environment is at least a bit lower than places with more ag.

early on in the thread, this figure was mentioned:
alexisavoire wrote:
Bees pollinate about one-third of humanity's food supply.


I don't know if "bee" in this case means "honeybee" or includes all of the 20,000 odd species of bee.  at any rate, I think that figure gets thrown around a lot because it makes a good headline.  it may be true is that one third of our food crop species are insect-pollinated, but there are very few plants that are pollinated exclusively by honeybees.  have a look at the wikipedia list of crop plants pollinated by bees.  I can't imagine that's an exhaustive list, but I only found four plants on the list with only honeybees mentioned as pollinators, and I'm skeptical about those four.

which brings up the point that justhavinfun makes: crop plants originating in North and South America did not co-evolve with honeybees so they are very unlikely to require honeybees for pollination.  and nowhere on Earth are honeybees the only available pollinator, except where other critters have been exterminated.  further, honeybees aren't even very effective pollinators.  they're popular because they're easy to move around to vast monoculture orchards where wild organisms aren't exactly encouraged.  so this colony collapse business may ultimately be a positive turn of events: if the honeybee colonies aren't around to be moved onto farms that need pollinators, those farms will have to diversify and take other steps to make habitat for pollinators to live on site.  or maybe I'm being too generous toward industrial agriculture and they'll just come up with some new and vile way to solve this problem without honestly examining their damaging practices.


*learned that from Jacqueline of Friendly Haven


find religion! church
kiva! hyvä! iloinen! pikkumaatila
get stung! beehives
be hospitable! host-a-hive
be antisocial! facespace
Mike Turner


Joined: Sep 23, 2009
Posts: 154
Location: Upstate SC
    
    1
Around here, when the honeybee population collapsed, the populations of bumblebees,  and other native pollenators quickly built up to replace them.  Despite the near absence of honeybees in my garden for the past 8 years, I have no lack of pollenators in my garden.  One problem with some of the native solitary bees such as miner bees, are that they are active and collecting pollen to stock their nests for only a short part of the summer.  But others, such bumblebees and sweat bees are active most of the summer.  The big advantage of honeybees over the annual colonies or nests of the native pollenators is that their colonies are perennial, so they actively collect pollen as long as conditions are warm and dry enough for them to forage, even early and late in the season when native pollenators can be somewhat scarce.
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3099
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
in my region, a lot of the native critters are out both earlier and later in the year and in the day than honeybees.  our mason bees do have a really short season in the Spring, though.
Dave Hunter


Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 25
I truly appreciate the thoughts and comments that have gone on in this forum.  You have the right idea and correct stance...  we need to do something with native insects.

Here's a picture of a vision that my company is taking on. 

Honeybees aren't doing well.  I hope this truly turns around, but overbred critters tend to have multiple issues.

I have started a grassroots campaign to raise mason bees in the Pacific NW with about 600 gardeners.  These mason bees will be sold to local pollinators and/or orchards when numbers get large enough...  probably 2 years from now. 

I will be starting similar operations in Oregon, Northern CA, Idaho, etc soon.  Other native insects will follow.

I'm the owner of a new company found at crownbees.com.  Not that i'm pitching any product being sold there, but rather, i'm trying to find like-spirited people to spread the word that native insects are a viable solution.  My website has multiple experts brought together to have things as easy as possible for gardeners/orchard managers to try themselves.

We need to consider the use of native insects rather than place all of our bets on the honeybee...

Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
woodinvilledave wrote:Not that i'm pitching any product


I think it would be OK if you were.

I'm encouraged to know that at least some people are putting resources into projects like this, and I'd like to thank you for sharing some specifics.
Dave Hunter


Joined: Sep 17, 2010
Posts: 25
Thanks Joel.  Help me track down like minded people in your local CA network.  My intent is to make this a rewarding venture for anyone associated raising native insects to offset the honeybee decline.

A couple of things are needed.  These people:
- would need to be self motivated to make a difference
- might have to reach out to garden communities/clubs for help raising bees
- are in it for the long haul.  This will be fun and rewarding, but it's not just a passing fad.

If you know of anyone, have them track me down through my website crownbees.com

I hope that soliciting help to "do" things is within the realms of permaculture's guidelines. 
Al Loria


Joined: Apr 21, 2010
Posts: 395
Location: New York
Woodinvilledave,  I wish you lots of success in your endeavor. 

In the northeast we are having big problems too.  My neighbor has given up with her honeybees after losing colonies for the past few years.  This year I did not see one honeybee at the flowers or trees.  We did manage to attract plenty of bumblebees with the addition of new plantings especially to benefit bees.  Also, bumblebees are fun to pet.


Al
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15273
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
colony collapse disorder solved!

It has taken me several days to finish editing this video, but it is finally done!  I have footage of Jacqueline Freeman, author of the upcoming book "Bees, the OTHER Way" and two conventional beekeepers that care for thousands of colonies.    I also have lots of pictures shared by lots of people all over the internet.  And "12 things to prevent colony collapse disorder"



http://www.youtube.com/paulwheaton12#p/u/0/6MusqTKZ83I

Please help my little video by:  giving it a thumbs up, add to favorites, comment, subscribe and please become my youtube friend.  And forwarding this message would be a big help too!

Many thanks!
Valerie Dawnstar


Joined: Dec 07, 2009
Posts: 165
Location: North Central New York
    
    2
Great video, Paul!  You are getting really good at that!  You have created an enlightening and persuasive chronicle.

Furthering Permaculture next to Lake Ontario

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Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2676
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  72
Jacqueline's knowledge comes across clearly and with a beautiful wisdome---well done!


Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
Lisa Paulson


Joined: Apr 17, 2010
Posts: 254
It was a little sad but enlightening to see the difference between someone passionate about the bees and those that derive their income from them.  It's a good video, thank you.
Wyatt Smith


Joined: Feb 19, 2010
Posts: 111
Location: Midwest zone 6

Nice video.

My bee mentor tells me that swarming is one of the best things that can happen to a queen.  Her body undergoes tremendous change as she stops laying eggs and prepares to fly.  Then she leaves the dark hive and flies into the air on a sunny day.  It may seem to her like being reborn.  When she starts a new hive she is considered a "Royal Queen", she is likely to live to be 5 years old and maintain a strong colony.  A queen who never swarms is likely to live 2 years.

My mentor watches for swarming very closely.  The first move of the swarm is usually 30 ft or so away from the hive.  He tries to catch it right there and put it in a new box.  He believes the duration of swarming is unimportant, as soon as the queen leaves the old hive the important thing is done. 

A store bought queen is like a pawn on a chessboard, expendable.  But, if she makes it to the eighth row (swarming) she is promoted to a "Royal Queen"
Brice Moss


Joined: Jul 28, 2010
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
    
    2
awesome vid
and you've finally forced me to become a you tube member so I can comment and vote on your bloody vids
look out for echoslopes
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15273
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
brice Moss wrote:
awesome vid
and you've finally forced me to become a you tube member so I can comment and vote on your bloody vids
look out for echoslopes


It's amazing how that sort of thing is a big help. 

The weird thing about this video is that I find myself in a really weird state.  I was sure it was going to get 100,000 views - maybe more than a million.  And after a week it got 4474.  I've developed this irrational anger that it didn't go further.  And while I am usually debating with myself about which video or article to do next, I'm not doing that.  I need to somehow shake this off.

Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 4841
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
181
I can't understand why it hasn't been more popular - it was a brilliant video in my opinion.  I watched it and 'liked' it and linked to it from a science forum that had a recent thread on CCD.  I guess it's a case of leading a horse to water but not being able to make it drink. 

Maybe you just have to be patient and give it time.  Lots of time.  You're ahead of your time Paul - the rest of the world has to catch up a little. 
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15273
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Burra Maluca wrote:


Maybe you just have to be patient and give it time.  Lots of time.  You're ahead of your time Paul - the rest of the world has to catch up a little. 


That gave me a good laugh!  Thanks Burra!

I tried submitting it to a few more spots.  Including lots on reddit.  We'll see what happens. 

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15273
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Yet more evidence pops out:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/exclusive-bees-facing-a-poisoned-spring-2189267.html
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15273
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Podcast review of movie "Vanishing of the Bees"
Todd Hoff


Joined: Mar 14, 2011
Posts: 62
Great video and podcast, thanks. We are getting our first non-local hives later in April so it's interesting to see the different perspectives. We'll definitely get our hives up off the ground and try a no chemical approach. Feeding bees honey instead of sugar sounds good if you have honey, but otherwise it's not cost effective. Our bees will live off a polyculture and we are making efforts to grow more beneficial plants for them. It made me realize though that we can't control the chemical habits of our neighbors within a few miles of our house. Hm....

And as a content producer I grok getting mad when people don't flock to the content you've so lovingly prepared, but you can't fall in love with your content. What becomes popular is so hard to predict you just can't get worked up about it. Keep producing good content, monetize to the best of your ability, and we have to hope it all works out.

On the podcast it was funny to hear you guys talk about how the media didn't cover the story well at all. You guys realize you are the new media, don't you?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15273
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Yes, we are the new media.  And I do have a CCD video out.  And I do say lay out a plan on how to eliminate CCD.  But the rest of the media keeps on singing the doom song.

Feeding bees their own honey is super cheap once the colony is established.

Toxic neighbors:  that's a really tough issue.
Todd Hoff


Joined: Mar 14, 2011
Posts: 62
Sorry if was unclear, the new media comment wasn't about your take at CCD at all, it was an observation about how the function of the media is shifting from the traditional centralized sources to smaller more knowledgeable more passionate sources, like you! So what the media does or doesn't cover is becoming irrelevant as the real reporting starts flowing though social networks.

Leo Laporte's new media model that he's creating with twit.tv might also work in this space. It routes around conventional media yet is a step above podcasts and youtube videos. Something like that would be interesting...
Al Loria


Joined: Apr 21, 2010
Posts: 395
Location: New York
An article I found about the global state of pollinators after listening to the Vanishing of Bees podcast.

http://myrmecos.net/2011/03/10/honey-bee-colony-collapse-disorder-in-context/

Not sure what to make of the UN graph other than this has been happening for along time.  If I am not mistaken DDT was used widely as a pesticide in the 50s and it was definitely banned in the US in 1972.  The graph shows a leveling off of the decline from 1974 to 1982 then a big drop again from parasitic mites after that. 

It also shows there has been an overall continuing decline since the high water mark of 1950.  Interesting...  Hard to make sense of it in the context of finding one determining factor leading to the decline of pollinating honey bees.  Although, I suspect, as Paul stated, that pesticide use is a big culprit.

Valerie Dawnstar


Joined: Dec 07, 2009
Posts: 165
Location: North Central New York
    
    2
Just received this from the ATTRA newsletter --

http://wsutoday.wsu.edu/pages/publications.asp?Action=Detail&PublicationID=25455&TypeID=1

Very short article but the interesting part was the end where the researcher had observed a shortened life span that had a devastating cascade effect on the hive.
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 4841
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
    
181
I just listened to the podcast, and, as I have a terrible short-term memory, I can't remember if it was corn or wheat you mentioned in relation to the way bees can 'brush against' them and contaminate themselves with pesticides, even though they aren't pollinated by bees.

It seems to be a common misconception that bees only gather pollen from plants that they pollinate.  It's not true.  Plants that are pollinated by bees tend to produce nectar to entice them in - that way they don't have to produce so much pollen as the bees will transport it to other plants of the same species.  But bees will also collect pollen from any easily available source. 

Round here, bees are shipped in not to pollinate crops, but to collect pollen from wind pollinated trees like eucalyptus.  If pollen itself is the crop, then it makes sense to collect it from wind-pollinated plants, which produce it in far greater abundance than insect pollinated plants do.

I've attached a couple of photos to show you what I mean - dozens of hives and not an insect pollinated plant in sight. 





Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2676
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  72
Just to be clear, the podcast should have a spoiler alert. The movie builds as a drama and a mystery and holds some of the juiciest potential solutions until the very end. The podcast discusses these right up front.

We previewed it for the Vanishing of the Bees Screening here in the Seattle area tomorrow night, April 16, 6 PM, hosted by Transition Woodinville at the Sammamish Valley grange.
                                                      


Joined: Aug 22, 2011
Posts: 1
Hey everyone! Can you all please take a few seconds out of your day and like this page for me? It is a documentary about the decline of the honeybees. I am working with Maryam Henein, one of the directors, on the promotion of the film. I would greatly appreciate the support.

Feel free to browse the page and check out the trailer!

Thanks

http://www.facebook.com/vanishingbees
Vanishing of the Bees
Vanishing of the Bees, narrated by Ellen Page, takes a piercing investigative look at the economic, political and ecological implications of the worldwide disappearance of the honeybee. The film also highlights the positive changes that have resulted due...See More
Page: ‎19,474 people like this.
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3099
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
just watched the trailer for Vanishing of the Bees.  first few blurbs were some of the same alarmist, unsubstantiated, and misleading statements we've been hearing for the last few years.  I'm not going to condemn the whole film, because I haven't seen it.  drawing attention to the detrimental impacts of civilization's bad habits is a good idea, but I think there's a good bit of confirmation bias that also needs to be examined.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6596
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
I have read several articles concerning CCD, and each one missed an important point.
If it was mites, or a disease, or many of the other possible causes they speculate on, there would be one telling sight:  dead bees in, or in fromt of the hive (the healthy bees push the sick ones out of the hive).  With CCD, this is never the case...just an empty hive.  Genetically inferior bees?  NOT.  That would result in sick/weak hives, not empty hives.

Money and politics are playing their ugly hand here.  The research in the US is being conducted by Penn State, who happen to be receiving millions of $$ in funding from BayerAg which has its US  HQ in the same town.  French studies have shown Bayer's Gaucho to be the cause, and had the product banned in France.  Their colonies began recovering the following season.

When we allow industry to finance "science", we end up with bogus science.

For a very analytical view of the problem (and causes) try reading "A Spring Without Bees" at your library.
http://www.amazon.com/Spring-without-Bees-Collapse-Endangered/dp/1599214326
 
 
subject: bees and colony collapse disorder
 
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