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  • The billion bee phenomenon

    Anyone else heard about this? Einstein once said, without bees, mankind will only live for 4 years.... whatcha think peeps?

    Worker bees take off
    By Deborah Zabarenko
    REUTERS NEWS AGENCY
    Published April 24, 2007
    Advertisement
    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 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 also have 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. The worker bees that survived were often too weak to perform their tasks.
    If the bees were dying of pesticide poisoning or freezing, their bodies would be expected to lie around the hive. And if they were absconding because of some threat -- which they have been known to do -- they wouldn't leave without the queen.
    Since about one-third of the U.S. diet depends on pollination and most of that is performed by honeybees, this constitutes a serious problem, says Jeff Pettis of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service.
    "They're the heavy lifters of agriculture," Mr. Pettis said of honeybees. "And the reason they are is they're so mobile, and we can rear them in large numbers and move them to a crop when it's blooming."
    Mr. Pettis and other analysts have gathered outside Washington for a two-day workshop that started yesterday to pool their knowledge and come up with a plan to combat what they call colony collapse disorder.
    "What we're describing as colony collapse disorder is the rapid loss of adult worker bees from the colony over a very short period of time, at a time in the season when we wouldn't expect a rapid die-off of workers: late fall and early spring," Mr. Pettis said.
    Honeybees are used to pollinate some of the tastiest parts of the American diet, Mr. Pettis said, including cherries, blueberries, apples, almonds, asparagus and macadamia nuts.
    "It's not the staples," he said. "If you can imagine eating a bowl of oatmeal every day with no fruit on it, that's what it would be like" without honeybee pollination.
    The problem has prompted a congressional hearing, a report by the National Research Council and a National Pollinator Week set for June 24 to 30 in Washington, but so far there's no clear idea of what is causing it.
    "The main hypotheses are based on the interpretation that the disappearances represent disruptions in orientation behavior and navigation," said May Berenbaum, an insect ecologist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
    There have been other fluctuations in the number of honeybees, going back to the 1880s, when there were "mysterious disappearances without bodies just as we're seeing now, but never at this magnitude," she said.
    In some cases, beekeepers are losing 50 percent of their bees to the disorder, with some suffering even higher losses. One beekeeper lost 40,000 bees, Mr. Pettis said. Nearly 30 states have reported the disorder, with billions of bees simply gone.
    Some beekeepers supplement their stocks with bees imported from Australia, said beekeeper Jeff Anderson, whose business keeps him and his bees traveling between Minnesota and California. Honeybee hives are rented out to growers to pollinate their crops, and beekeepers move around as the growing seasons change.
    Honeybees are not the only pollinators whose numbers are dropping. Animals that do this essential job -- other bees, wasps, flies, beetles, birds and bats -- have decreasing populations as well. But honeybees are the big actors in commercial pollination efforts.
    "One reason we're in this situation is this is a supersize society -- we tend to equate small with insignificant," Ms. Berenbaum said. "I'm sorry but that's not true in biology. You have to be small to get into the flower and deliver the pollen.
    "Without that critical act, there's no fruit. And no technology has been invented that equals, much less surpasses, insect pollinators."
    ‘Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately controlled. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of men.’ - Woodrow Wilson

  • #2
    I heard about this last week on Bill Maher. Pretty damn scary. I've heard a myriad of things that could be causing it, but there's still some uncertainty it seems.

    Comment


    • #3
      Apparently it's only the honeybees that are affected by this. The other species of bees are still okay. That much being said, it's still a Bad Thing. Makes you wonder what other side effects are technology is having that be don't know about.
      Light a man a fire and he will be warm for a short while. Light a man afire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

      Comment


      • #4
        yea this is some crazy stuff. those little guys do so much for us but we don't even think about it. i say we construct a giant honeybee out of cellphones. i heard that the frequencies of cell phones are throwing the little guys radar off and they can't find the hive again. i'm sure all the pesticides and other chemicals aren't helping any either but hopefully they can pinpoint what is wrong here.

        "There's something about turning the pages of a book or magazine and the felling of rubbing your hands across the words."

        This is my pen tool. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My pen tool is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My pen tool without me is useless. Without my pen tool, I am useless.

        there is no grey area when it comes to 1 color logos.

        Comment


        • #5
          this is insane. yet there are people in washington, right now, who think global warming and climate change is a myth, or even a good thing.

          i don't understand how you can be alive in this century, and still not think we're in trouble.

          however, i was watching "planet earth" on disco last night, and during a commercial, bank of america said they had pledged something like $20 billion over the next few years:

          http://www.bankofamerica.com/environment/

          it's a start. not much, but all we need are for more of these fortune 500 companies to change the way they're doing business. and what drives that change?

          consumers. sending emails, writing letters, buying products -- and not buying products. all about the commerce, but if green becomes the norm and not just a trend, we have a chance.
          Remember: Wherever you go, there you are.

          Comment


          • #6
            someone brought up a good point in another forum I was on about the Cellphone myth, if that is truly the reason, then why has Asia not stepped forward with dwindling honeybees? they have more cellphones then any other country in the world.

            something to ponder.

            also, mojo, I agree with you, esp with the banks. I recently (a couple years ago) left wells fargo after 15+ years of being with them because of a check that was cashed in a wells fargo, but somehow took them 5 days to process, thus leading me to overdraft my account by $800. after fighting with several different heads at different banks they only reversed $300 of it. So I closed my account, went with Desert Schools and LOVE IT. After some research on banks, I recently found out that Wells Fargo alone, makes upwards of 80 billion a year on overdraft fees. that made me ****ing sick to my stomach, talk about beating someone when there down. anyways, I think all major fortune 500 companies should have to throw some change into the pot to make this planet better. Esp when you consider the CEO's of these banks are making more then most people can fathom, I just think its fair if they kick a little bit in to help the green.

            <end rant>
            ‘Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately controlled. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of men.’ - Woodrow Wilson

            Comment


            • #7
              [quote=mojoprime]i don't understand how you can be alive in this century, and still not think we're in trouble.
              quote]

              the people that are in power now are suckin on big oil so they dont want to here about any of it

              "There's something about turning the pages of a book or magazine and the felling of rubbing your hands across the words."

              This is my pen tool. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My pen tool is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My pen tool without me is useless. Without my pen tool, I am useless.

              there is no grey area when it comes to 1 color logos.

              Comment


              • #8
                read up on the Caspian pipeline, and of course haliburton and enron. shit like this just doesn't happen without years of plannin either..... okay.... here just read this...

                http://www.john-loftus.com/enron3.asp
                ‘Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately controlled. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of men.’ - Woodrow Wilson

                Comment


                • #9
                  apocolypse.
                  www.jackiecreative.com

                  People who live in glass houses sink ships.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    it's gonna take the green movement to become mainstream, so that people do it without thinking about it. like calling someone on your cellphone or downloading music. you don't think about it, you just do it.

                    i saw a neat thing in one of the lawn and garden circulars in sunday's paper, that's a flowerpot made of peat. just plant the whole damn thing, water it and go.

                    that's what's needed. so that our disposable economy and society become sustainable.

                    kurt vonnegut: Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
                    Remember: Wherever you go, there you are.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Don't mean to be the teacher here, but is there anyway to link this topic to design?
                      Broke or just cheap? Read my list of free open source alternatives to Adobe Creative Suite software.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Honeybees don't tend to harm anyone unless you give them a good reason to and they do a good purpose. If there's one thing that needs to be wiped out, it's wasps. Most worthless insect ever to ruin you from opening a window or enjoying a nice day on the porch. They exist solely to annoy or attack.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          asparagus and
                          You don't need honeybees to grow asparagus. It grows by runners and you eat the young stalks before it flowers...

                          I'm sure it's the cell phone towers. I've been blaming those for my apparent early onset of alzheimers...what were we talking about?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SurfPark
                            Don't mean to be the teacher here, but is there anyway to link this topic to design?
                            I can start a contes—er...friendly poster campaign to promote awareness of this (serious) calamity between us designers. The theme can be what you think is driving the honeybees away. I personally think its a combination of global warming throwing their "clocks" out of whack and the pesticides that are breeding some neurological issues in them.

                            I can infuse design in darn near any topic.


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                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SurfPark
                              Don't mean to be the teacher here, but is there anyway to link this topic to design?
                              If a lack of honeybees causes all of the crops to fail, humanity will die a slow death of starvation and there will be no one left to pay us to design creating an even bigger scarcity of jobs in the industry.



                              Originally posted by Seapony
                              I personally think its a combination of global warming throwing their "clocks" out of whack and the pesticides that are breeding some neurological issues in them.
                              I'm going to blame daylight savings time.
                              Light a man a fire and he will be warm for a short while. Light a man afire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

                              Comment

                               
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