Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants
suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature
workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never
found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites,
wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left
behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned
The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all
American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of
its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East
I just asked an entomologist about this. He said that there are a couple
of things that might be happening: mites and/or wasting disease.
Apparently a similar thing happened about thirty years ago which was due to
wasting disease. He said that most of the bees in this country are of
Italian origin and when brought here they displaced the natural pollinators
that we had here. He seems unalarmed that the bees are disappearing and
seems to think that other pollinators will replace the missing bees and/or
we will engineer a better bee from this.
Great! First frankenfood and, now, frankenbees, just spiffy. Remember,
if you keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs,
perhaps you don't really understand the problem.
There have been other scientists that have long preached that technology
will save the day, such as Edward Teller (aka Dr. Strangelove) or those
knuckleheads that tell us that we can safely store "nu-cu-lar" (to quote
our President) waste for 20 thousand years. Uh-huh.
Those of you who are old enough, will remember that it took 3 years to
get thalidomide off the market, when babies were being born with out
arms and legs. Cigarettes were a clear and present danger but, you
couldn't PROVE that they were causing cancer. The FDA is over regulated
and underfunded and if you think they can quickly find something as
subtle as immune suppressing chemicals in the environment . . .
Why is everyone looking at me like that? I always foam at the mouth like
this and it was a perfectly good rant.
Anyways, check out
The part of the article that caught my eye was:
The disease showed a completely new set of symptoms, "which does not
seem to match anything in the literature", said the entomologist.
One(-O)* was that the bees left the hive and flew away to die elsewhere,
over about a week. Another (Two-O)* was that the few bees left inside
the hive were carrying "a tremendous number of pathogens" - virtually
every known bee virus could be detected in the insects, she said, and
some bees were carrying five or six viruses at a time, as well as fungal
infections. Because of this it was assumed that the bees' immune systems
were being suppressed in some way.
Professor Cox-Foster went on: "And another unusual symptom (Three-O)*
that we're are seeing, which makes this very different, is that normally
when a bee colony gets weak and its numbers are decreasing, other
neighbouring bees will come and steal the resources - they will take
away the honey and the pollen.
"Other insects like to take advantage too, such as the wax moth or the
hive beetle. But none of this is happening. These insects are not coming
"This suggests that there is something toxic in the colony itself which
is repelling them." . . .
And so it goes.
Yesterday I had four carpenter bees buzzing my wisteria and a Common
Buckeye butterfly flitted around the tea-rose. At least Pandora didn't
let hope out of the box.
Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
*Boy, I miss Molly.
While I'm all for the native pollinators to kick in, Dr. Frankenstein and
his cohorts should bow out on this one.
I saw alot of non-honeybees out here 2 years ago. A bit smaller than
honeybees. They were attracted to anything with a bright color including my
clothing. They loved the contents of the almost empty soda cans dropped by
the people building my house. Lack of rain and flowers drove their hunger.
Think long and hard about which pesticides you use, there is anecdotal
evidence to suggest the compound found in Merit a common turfgrass
pesticide (imidacloprid) may be a causative factor in colony collapse.
If I am not mistaken this was banned in France after beekeepers there
suffered tremendous losses.
Use the search terms "Gaucho bees" if you wish to read a bit more.
Here is a quote from one article that shows some of the economics of
This url is the source.-
The pesticide GAUCHO (containing the active substance Imidacloprid) is
produced by the German BAYER-group. With an annual turnover of more
than 500 million Euro this is the group´s top selling agricultural
agent. Critics assume that the high sales figures are the reason why
the company is contesting a ban on its use.
It's due to cell phones ;)
I don't know but look for the fruits and the nuts (politicians and media) to
Don't tell Al Gore - he'll blame global warming.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.