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  • #31
    Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

    As to the disappearing wild flowers? Could this be a which came first problem? Kind of like the chicken or the egg? Could it be we do not have as many wild flowers because we do not have as many bees to pollinate them so they can produce seed to make more wild flowers?
    We were put on this earth to help and take care of one another.


    • #32
      Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

      That is what I was thinking.


      • #33
        Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

        Is this is a purely American problem or is it worldwide?

        I've seen the story reported here in the UK
        BBC, News, BBC News, news online, world, uk, international, foreign, british, online, service

        but no mention of problems here or in Europe. Maybe it's because it's still cold here and bees won't be out and about? how soon will it have an effect on crops?


        • #34
          Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

          Originally posted by Susie View Post
          Is this is a purely American problem or is it worldwide?
          From post #28 above.....

          Many people would be surprised to know that 90% of the feral (wild) bee population in the United States has died out. Recent studies in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have shown that bee diversity is down 80 percent in the sites researched, and that "bee species are declining or have become extinct in Britain."
          The last 60 years have been rough on all pollinators. In the 1940s there were over five million managed colonies of honeybees in the United States. Today there are just over two million, and their numbers are declining, both in North America and worldwide.
          The entire world now faces a decline of native pollinators. Over 100 species of birds and more than 80 mammals that pollinate are considered threatened or extinct .........In southern India, nearly all of the native bees died in the 1990s when they became infected with an imported virus. In Iraq, smoke from the burning oil wells during the Gulf War decimated most of the country's bee colonies.
          "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation


          • #35
            Re: Crop-helping honeybees dying mystery deaths

            Originally posted by Corn View Post
            Cannot get the link to work. Is there another or Sharpe could you PM me the article or about what it reminded you of?

            Mass Butterfly Die-Off
            In Hainan, China
            From Patricia Doyle, PhD

            On the East Line Highway going toward Qionghai? I am assuming that this is the same area hard hit by H5N1.

            Sponsored in part by Elsevier, publisher of The International Journal of Infectious Diseases

            From Dan Silver Souce: Hainan SEZ News and Xinhua (Translated by submitter Dan Silver; edited)

            Thousands of butterflies die on the East Line Highway in Hainan Tens of thousands of beautiful butterflies have died and been scattered along the East Line Highway. This was personally seen by the reporters Liu Wei and Li Zhi yesterday morning [29 Jun 2005]. The cause of death of the butterflies has yet to be authoritatively explained.

            On 29 Jun 2005 at 11:00 a.m., the reporters drove along the East Line Highway towards Qionghai. From kilometer 8, the colorful dead butterflies were scattered along the road and began to attract attention. At first, the reporters believed that the butterflies had hit car windshields and died. But further down the road, there were more dead butterflies. By kilometer 12 the dead butterflies could already be described as numerous. At kilometer 12, the reporters got out of the car for a closer inspection. Every one or 2 meters along the shoulder of the road there were one or 2 dead butterflies. In some places they were relatively more concentrated, and some off-road sites had about 10 butterflies, most of which were dead, while a few were fluttering weakly and then died. The butterflies were of various sizes, some beautifully colored. The reporters discovered several dead butterflies in the grass past the guard rail. With each passing car, dead butterflies were carried by the wind and then dropped back down. As the reporters continued along the road there were numerous dead butterflies which did not thin out until kilometer 23. After kilometer 24 they were essentially not seen.

            The reporters asked 2 patrolling highway management personnel the cause of the butterfly deaths. They said they had never before encountered this kind of situation and that it might have been caused by excessive heat.


            Hainan is well known for its butterflies, and has been called the Butterfly Kingdom. There are 609 species of butterflies on the island, which represents about half the butterfly species of China. The Jianfengling rainforest has one of the world's biggest concentrations of butterflies and is sometimes known as the Butterfly Valley.

            I have no idea what caused the death of these butterflies, what species they were, or whether the dead butterflies comprised more than one species. However, butterflies often migrate in large numbers and when they cross busy highways many are killed, as I have seen in northern Nigeria. It is well known that extreme weather conditions can cause mortality of adult butterflies, as has been recorded in the Monarch butterfly (_Danaus plexippus_). Butterflies do become infected with various pathogens, but death occurs in the larval stages. Possibly more information will be forthcoming on the species of butterflies dying in Hainan and the causes of such mortality. - Mod.MS

            Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
            Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at:
            Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
            Go with God and in Good Health


            • #36
              Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

              Wikipedia entry

              and Colony Collapse Disorder Working Group

               Apiary Sites 1.5 Basic Biology and Management of the Japanese Hornfaced Bee Pollination Contracts – 5.4 Moving Bees – 5.3 Pollination – 5.2 Bees and Bears – 4.10 Bee Diseases and their Control – 4.9 IPM for Beekeepers – 4.8 Varroa Mites – 4.7 Small Hive Beetle – 4.6 Wax Moth – 4.5 Stinging Insect … Continue reading "MAAREC Fact Sheets"

              and from the UK DEFRA

              March 2007 - Colony Collapse disorder
              Defra, the Welsh Assembly and the CSL are well aware of the serious colony loss affecting many beekeepers in the USA. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD, previously known as Fall Dwindle Disease and by other names) is of increasing concern in the USA, where reports of the disorder have been made from at least 24 states.

              It appears to be affecting commercial migratory beekeepers in particular. Signs of CCD appear to be the total collapse of bee colonies, with a complete absence of bees or only a few remaining in the hive. These are not unlike the signs of colony demise associated with heavy varroa infestation sometimes seen in the UK. Bee scientists in the USA are working to find the cause, but while factors such as poor nutrition, disease levels, stress from long distance transport of colonies for pollination of crops, and antibiotic use all seem common features, no specific cause has yet been isolated. Other factors such as pesticide use and toxins found in some plant pollens are being considered, as well as the feeding of High Fructose Corn Syrup and beekeepers’ ability to detect and identify pest and disease problems.

              Because of their vital pollination function, the loss of bees in the USA is raising serious concerns about the impact on agricultural and horticultural production, potentially leading once again to the requirement to import package bees from outside the USA, e.g. from Australia, for the pollination of California almonds.

              For more details of the disorder and the results of the investigations as and when they are produced please see the direct link from BeeBase to the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium (MAAREC) website

               Apiary Sites 1.5 Basic Biology and Management of the Japanese Hornfaced Bee Pollination Contracts – 5.4 Moving Bees – 5.3 Pollination – 5.2 Bees and Bears – 4.10 Bee Diseases and their Control – 4.9 IPM for Beekeepers – 4.8 Varroa Mites – 4.7 Small Hive Beetle – 4.6 Wax Moth – 4.5 Stinging Insect … Continue reading "MAAREC Fact Sheets"

              Situation in Europe Colony collapse is not unknown in Europe; recent examples in Spain and Portugal seem likely to have been caused by Nosema ceranae, a spore-forming protozoan parasite that invades the digestive tracts of bees. Beekeepers do expect that a few colonies will have died in their apiaries over the winter for a number of reasons such as impact of the Varroa mite, lack of food or management practices such as mistimed treatments, but the percentage of colonies affected is usually low.

              Action by CSL’s National Bee Unit The National Bee Unit (NBU) is monitoring the situation closely and is keeping in contact with scientists in the USA. Although it is very early in the year, with most colonies just becoming active and the inspection season just beginning, some beekeepers have reported colony losses to the NBU. These are not thought to be above the normal winter mortality expected. Any cases of significantly high losses will be investigated in depth by the NBU/CSL scientists and the bee inspectors.

              Beekeepers who have concerns about unusually high colony losses in their apiaries should contact their local inspector. Scientists and inspectors at the National Bee Unit are monitoring the situation and are in contact with experts in the USA and in Europe to learn about the latest results of the research into the possible causes of the Disorder and how it might be prevented here. The NBU is a member of various working groups in Europe investigating colony losses.
              Last edited by Susie; March 23, 2007, 05:19 AM. Reason: extra URLS


              • #37
                Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

                <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD align=left><NOBR>3/23/2007 6:00:00 AM</NOBR> </TD><TD align=right></TD></TR><TR vAlign=top><TD align=left colSpan=2><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD><TABLE cellSpacing=5 cellPadding=0 width=200 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD align=left width=200> </TD></TR><TR vAlign=top><TD align=left width=200>Growers in the Northwest who rely on honeybees to pollinate their crops have little to worry about this spring, beekeepers say. - Bob Krauter/Capital Press</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>NW bees looking good going into spring
                Little if any rental price increases seen

                John Schmitz
                Freelance Writer

                Despite the cavalcade of media attention given to the wholesale collapse of honeybee hives in certain parts of the country, it appears that Pacific Northwest growers who rely on honeybees to pollinate their crops don't have much to worry about this year.

                And unlike California almond growers who paid up to $200 a hive for bees this winter, growers in this corner of the country again will pay far less than that for the little pollen spreaders.

                "We're not being affected commercially by the disappearing bee syndrome," said Spokane beekeeper Jerry Tate, president of the Washington State Beekeepers Association. "Washington and Oregon, at least from what I'm hearing, are looking pretty positive."

                Fresh back from a state meeting in the Wenatchee area, Tate said he had a pretty good handle on the state of the industry east of the Cascades and that things "look pretty good. (Beekeepers) have recovered from any losses they had from early summer and were able to get into their sets in almonds."

                Tate, who runs about 150 hives, said there should be enough bees to handle pollinations in Washington this spring. "The availability of bees is looking really good," he said.

                As for prices, "Most of the people (at the meeting) were saying it would be fairly close to what last year's prices were," he said. "In the Wenatchee/Yakima area, they're not expecting any kind of significant price increases at all."

                Tate said in the Spokane area last year hives were renting for around $35 for all crops. "Most of our crop here is tree fruits," he said.

                "Just from me talking to beekeepers who have talked with other beekeepers, I would say there's not going to be a bee shortage in Oregon," said Portland-area beekeeper Torey Johnson, who took 300 colonies to California for the almond pollinations.

                He added, however, that nothing is set in stone. "I never say for sure when you're dealing with bees anymore," he said. "But I don't hear of anybody crashing."

                Johnson said a lot of the Oregon beekeepers he came across in California were "real happy" and not all that concerned about colony collapse disorder. He added that Washington bees he saw in California looked good, too.

                "It was a really good winter (for me). This is a year I can probably say I didn't have any mite kill," Johnson said.

                Johnson said he's using several of the new miticides and having good success with a new product from Dadant & Sons called Apiguard. "On top of that, mite loads were lower last year," he said.

                Johnson and other Northwest beekeepers won't be getting anywhere near the price for their bees in Oregon and Washington that they did in almond orchards.

                Whereas he got anywhere from $138 to $140 a hive in California, he'll be under contract this year from $35 to $40 a hive in cherries and apples, he said.

                "The bees here (in Oregon) look pretty darn good this year compared to the last couple of years," said Johnson's mother, Sheryl, owner of Ruhl Bee Supply in Gladstone, Ore.

                Johnson said although her packaged bee sales were about the same this year, she has been selling more packaged bees than usual to small, start-up beekeepers.

                "I see more and more people who are wanting to help the environment and to start in bees. I've had customers come in and take the beekeeping class because they want to help; they know there's a shortage of (feral) bees."

                Johnson said varroa mites could be weakening bees to the point where they're more susceptible to other pests and diseases.

                Tate, who sells a lot of packaged bees to small beekeepers, said although commercial beekeepers in Spokane came through the winter okay, "hobbyists in this area took a big hit this fall. They've been registering significant winter losses, right around 50 percent or more."

                He knew of only one commercial beekeeper with those kinds of losses. "In general, our commercials guys have been registering normal losses of right around 20 percent," he said.

                Tate said that in his area, operations that had a poor honey crop last year "seem to be hit the hardest by collapsing hives."

                Sheryl Johnson said she has noticed that varroa mite problems seem to be the worst every two to three years.

                "Tracheal mites seem to be more of a problem for commercial beekeepers because of the stress (on bees)," she said. "There are a lot of things that affect commercial beekeepers that may not affect smaller beekeepers as much."

                One of those stresses, she said, is moving bees from crop to crop.
       is your first and best source for all of the information you’re looking for. From general topics to more of what you would expect to find here, has it all. We hope you find what you are searching for!
                "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation


                • #38
                  Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

                  Originally posted by AlaskaDenise View Post
                  If there is any truth to the theory that lack of wildflowers contributes to fewer bees, perhaps we can all plant wildflowers to increase the bee population.

                  I have no idea what it is about my house, but I have hives of wild bees and hornets hanging everywhere. The house is brick, but so are the neighbors' and they don't have this problem.

                  I have hives in my lawn furniture, and hives on the window sill and hives on the eaves.

                  I have thought of spraying, but I just don't have the heart to cover my house in insecticide. The neighbor's dog was badly stung last summer when my neighbor disturbed a hive in her fence post.

                  Ideas are gladly welcomed.


                  • #39
                    Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

                    Originally posted by Jody View Post
                    I have hives of wild bees and hornets hanging everywhere.

                    Ideas are gladly welcomed.

                    Hi Jody
                    If the bees are feral honey bees and you actually want to part with them you might want to call a local bee keeper and ask if he or she will take them for free. Another option would be to contact a local agricultural college or school in your area and see if they would be interested in taking them for free. If all else fails and you are in the US you can contact your County US Department of Agriculture Extension Agent and see what they have to say about helping you control the bee hives, wasps and hornets.

                    I would check to see that who ever comes for them is adequately covered by insurance. You have to be careful in this day and age.
                    Good luck
                    We were put on this earth to help and take care of one another.


                    • #40
                      Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

                      Reading Niko's post here I wonder if there is a link between Bt GMOs or other GMOs. I wonder if there is any correlation between the die offs of the insect life and areas where there are GMO crops?


                      • #41
                        Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

                        There are many who think there is a connection with GM crops. It's also tied to the problems with loss of biodiversity. The link in post 28 takes you to some of these references...

                        There is of yet no actual evidence linking bee deaths to GM crops; however beekeepers have made the following observation.

                        Most beekeepers are aware that Terramycin (aka oxytetracycline) no longer gives good control of American Foulbrood in many areas. This resistance started about the same time that genetically modified crops came out. Some think there is a connection. Tetracycline resistant genes were introduced into the first GM crops along with Roundup-Ready genes (according to Dr. Nasr, more recent GM crops don't have this resistant gene). Resistant AFB seems to be more common where GM canola and soybeans were first introduced.

                        The following information is known to be true but does not prove a connection.

                        Trypsin endopeptidase inhibitors and soybean trypsin inhibitors are found to be toxic to adult honey bees. Studies show that GM crops modified with modified with protease inhibitor genes inhibitors consistently have detrimental impacts and the glucanase enzyme modification to resist fungi also was found to effect bees detrimentally.

                        We do know that GM pollen get?s into beehives and is processed and spread by bees. There is concern that the introduction of GM herbicide tolerant crops, such as oilseed rape, will reduce still further the diversity and number of wild plants used by bees for nectar and pollen sources. Bees avoid fields sown with GM crops favoring non GM crops fields. That they can distinguish them may imply something.

                        The novel proteins or toxins produced by GM crops may also be in the pollen they produce. This means that honey containing GM pollen could pose a potential health risk. The researchers who studied this problem concluded that if GM pollen contained novel toxins or proteins it ?could pose problems, not only to man who consumes honey as a food, but also to bee populations which rely on pollen as the sole source of protein Researchers at Cornell University wrote a report about genetically modified corn plants and monarch butterflies. The corn was of a type that had been modified to produce an insecticide known as Bt toxin to protect it from the depredations of the European corn borer. By virtue of this modification, Bt toxin is also produced in the pollen of the corn plants.

                        Cornell scientists found that when monarch caterpillars were raised on leaves dusted with Bt-containing pollen, many of them died. This however was a laboratory study and not one done in the field so it only points out potential and does not determine actual probability that this would occur.

                        The farm-scale evaluations (FSEs) of GM crops in the UK found. The cultivation of GM rape and beet seemed to damage biodiversity. There were fewer insect groups, such as bees and butterflies recorded among these crops.
                        "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation


                        • #42
                          Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

                          Bt toxin containing GM crops can hybridize with their wild cousins and create hybridized wild plants that now contain an insecticide!!!


                          "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation


                          • #43
                            Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

                            COLLAPSING COLONIES
                            Are GM Crops Killing Bees?

                            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.

                            By Gunther Latsch

                            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.

                            Walter Haefeker is a man who is used to painting grim scenarios. He sits on the board of directors of the German Beekeepers Association (DBIB) and is vice president of the European Professional Beekeepers Association. And because griping is part of a lobbyist's trade, it is practically his professional duty to warn that "the very existence of beekeeping is at stake."

                            The problem, says Haefeker, has a number of causes, one being the varroa mite, introduced from Asia, and another is the widespread practice in agriculture of spraying wildflowers with herbicides and practicing monoculture. Another possible cause, according to Haefeker, is the controversial and growing use of genetic engineering in agriculture.

                            As far back as 2005, Haefeker ended an article he contributed to the journal Der Kritischer Agrarbericht (Critical Agricultural Report) with an Albert Einstein quote: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

                            Mysterious events in recent months have suddenly made Einstein's apocalyptic vision seem all the more topical. For unknown reasons, bee populations throughout Germany are disappearing -- something that is so far only harming beekeepers. But the situation is different in the United States, where bees are dying in such dramatic numbers that the economic consequences could soon be dire. No one knows what is causing the bees to perish, but some experts believe that the large-scale use of genetically modified plants in the US could be a factor.

                            Felix Kriechbaum, an official with a regional beekeepers' association in Bavaria, recently reported a decline of almost 12 percent in local bee populations. When "bee populations disappear without a trace," says Kriechbaum, it is difficult to investigate the causes, because "most bees don't die in the beehive." There are many diseases that can cause bees to lose their sense of orientation so they can no longer find their way back to their hives.

                            Manfred Hederer, the president of the German Beekeepers Association, almost simultaneously reported a 25 percent drop in bee populations throughout Germany. In isolated cases, says Hederer, declines of up to 80 percent have been reported. He speculates that "a particular toxin, some agent with which we are not familiar," is killing the bees.

                            Politicians, until now, have shown little concern for such warnings or the woes of beekeepers. Although apiarists have been given a chance to make their case -- for example in the run-up to the German cabinet's approval of a genetic engineering policy document by Minister of Agriculture Horst Seehofer in February -- their complaints are still largely ignored.

                            Even when beekeepers actually go to court, as they recently did in a joint effort with the German chapter of the organic farming organization Demeter International and other groups to oppose the use of genetically modified corn plants, they can only dream of the sort of media attention environmental organizations like Greenpeace attract with their protests at test sites.

                            But that could soon change. Since last November, the US has seen a decline in bee populations so dramatic that it eclipses all previous incidences of mass mortality. Beekeepers on the east coast of the United States complain that they have lost more than 70 percent of their stock since late last year, while the west coast has seen a decline of up to 60 percent.

                            In an article in its business section in late February, the New York Times calculated the damage US agriculture would suffer if bees died out. Experts at Cornell University in upstate New York have estimated the value bees generate -- by pollinating fruit and vegetable plants, almond trees and animal feed like clover -- at more than $14 billion.

                            Scientists call the mysterious phenomenon "Colony Collapse Disorder" (CCD), and it is fast turning into a national catastrophe of sorts. A number of universities and government agencies have formed a "CCD Working Group" to search for the causes of the calamity, but have so far come up empty-handed. But, like Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an apiarist with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, they are already referring to the problem as a potential "AIDS for the bee industry."

                            One thing is certain: Millions of bees have simply vanished. In most cases, all that's left in the hives are the doomed offspring. But dead bees are nowhere to be found -- neither in nor anywhere close to the hives. Diana Cox-Foster, a member of the CCD Working Group, told The Independent that researchers were "extremely alarmed," adding that the crisis "has the potential to devastate the US beekeeping industry."

                            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.

                            The scientists are also surprised that bees and other insects usually leave the abandoned hives untouched. Nearby bee populations or parasites would normally raid the honey and pollen stores of colonies that have died for other reasons, such as excessive winter cold. "This suggests that there is something toxic in the colony itself which is repelling them," says Cox-Foster.

                            Walter Haefeker, the German beekeeping official, speculates that "besides a number of other factors," the fact that genetically modified, insect-resistant plants are now used in 40 percent of cornfields in the United States could be playing a role. The figure is much lower in Germany -- only 0.06 percent -- and most of that occurs in the eastern states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg. Haefeker recently sent a researcher at the CCD Working Group some data from a bee study that he has long felt shows a possible connection between genetic engineering and diseases in bees.

                            The study in question is a small research project conducted at the University of Jena from 2001 to 2004. The researchers examined the effects of pollen from a genetically modified maize variant called "Bt corn" on bees. A gene from a soil bacterium had been inserted into the corn that enabled the plant to produce an agent that is toxic to insect pests. The study concluded that there was no evidence of a "toxic effect of Bt corn on healthy honeybee populations." But when, by sheer chance, the bees used in the experiments were infested with a parasite, something eerie happened. According to the Jena study, a "significantly stronger decline in the number of bees" occurred among the insects that had been fed a highly concentrated Bt poison feed.

                            According to Hans-Hinrich Kaatz, a professor at the University of Halle in eastern Germany and the director of the study, the bacterial toxin in the genetically modified corn may have "altered the surface of the bee's intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry -- or perhaps it was the other way around. We don't know."

                            Of course, the concentration of the toxin was ten times higher in the experiments than in normal Bt corn pollen. In addition, the bee feed was administered over a relatively lengthy six-week period.

                            Kaatz would have preferred to continue studying the phenomenon but lacked the necessary funding. "Those who have the money are not interested in this sort of research," says the professor, "and those who are interested don't have the money."


                            • #44
                              Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

                              <table summary="Page Layout table" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="720"><tbody><tr><td style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 2em; text-align: center;">News from the House Agriculture Committee</td></tr> <tr> <td style="font-weight: bold; font-size: 1em;"> U.S. House of Representatives
                              Committee on Agriculture

                              Collin C. Peterson, Minnesota
                              </td></tr> <tr> <td> <hr style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); height: 2px; background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> </td></tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center;"></td></tr> <tr> <td> <hr style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); height: 2px; background-color: rgb(0, 0, 0);"> </td></tr></tbody></table> <table summary="Page Layout table" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="720"> <tbody> <tr> <td><!-- start date -->
                              </td> <td style="font-weight: bold;" valign="top">FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                              Thursday, March 29, 2007</td> <td align="right">
                              </td> <td><!-- end date -->
                              </td> <td style="font-weight: bold; text-align: right;" valign="top">Media Contact:
                              April Demert Slayton (202) 225-6872
                     </td></tr></tbody></table> <table summary="Page Layout table" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="720"><tbody><tr> <td> </td></tr> <tr> <td><!-- start title -->
                              </td> <td style="font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">
                              Subcommittee Investigates Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder<o:p></o:p>
                              </td> <td><!-- end title -->
                              </td></tr> <tr> <td> </td></tr> <tr> <td><!-- start text -->
                              </td> <td> <st1:city w:st="on">WASHINGTON</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">D.C.</st1:state> ? Today, Congressman Dennis Cardoza, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee?s Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture, held a hearing to investigate colony collapse disorder in honey bee colonies across the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">United States</st1:country-region></st1:place>.
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is characterized by the sudden die-off of honey bee colonies. The cause of CCD has not been determined, and the Subcommittee heard about the situation and its impact on agriculture from scientists and bee keepers, as well as a farmer who relies on bees to pollinate his crops.
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              ?I am deeply committed to raising awareness of CCD and its impact on American agriculture,? said Subcommittee Chairman Cardoza. ?Farmers and beekeepers across the country are dependent on honey bees for their livelihoods. It is imperative that we move swiftly to get to the bottom of this, before the problem becomes even more serious. The insight and perspectives we heard in today?s hearing will be very useful as we consider the next steps in addressing this threat to honey bees, and to the livelihoods of commercial beekeepers and crop producers.?
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              ?Honey bee pollination is vital to flowers and many fruit, vegetable, nut and forage crops, as well as forages and flowers. In addition, pollination from honey bees increases yield and food quality and creates billions of dollars of crop value for farmers. Agriculture has a strong interest in maintaining a sound supply of pollinators, and I encourage researchers to work closely with producers to find a solution to the current colony collapse,? said Subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Neugebauer.
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Witness testimony is available on the Committee website: A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website in 4-6 weeks.
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Witness List<o:p></o:p>
                              Associate Administrator Caird E. Rexroad, PhD, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Washington</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">D.C.</st1:state></st1:place>
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Dr. Diana Cox-Foster, PhD, Professor, <st1:placename w:st="on">Pennsylvania</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">State</st1:placetype> <st1:placetype w:st="on">University</st1:placetype>, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">University Park</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">Pennsylvania</st1:state></st1:place>
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Dr. May R. Berenbaum, Professor and Head, Department of Entomology, <st1:placetype w:st="on">University</st1:placetype> of <st1:placename w:st="on">Illinois</st1:placename> at Urbana-Champaign, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Urbana</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">Illinois</st1:state></st1:place>
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Mr. Paul Wenger, First Vice President, <st1:state w:st="on">California</st1:state> Farm Bureau Federation, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Modesto</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">California</st1:state></st1:place>
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Mr. David Ellingson, Commercial Bee Keeper, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Ortonville</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">MN</st1:state></st1:place>
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Mr. Gene Brandi, Legislative Chairman, <st1:placename w:st="on">California</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">State</st1:placetype> Beekeepers Association, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Los Banos</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">California</st1:state></st1:place>
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Mr. Jim Doan, Commercial Bee Keeper, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Hamlin</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">New York</st1:state></st1:place>
                              <o:p> </o:p>
                              Mr. Richard Adee, Legislative Committee Chairman, American Honey Producers Association, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:city w:st="on">Bruce</st1:city>, <st1:state w:st="on">South Dakota</st1:state></st1:place>
                              </td> <td><!-- end text -->
                              </td></tr> <tr> <td>
                              "In the beginning of change, the patriot is a scarce man (or woman, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for it then costs nothing to be a patriot."- Mark TwainReason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Thomas Paine


                              • #45
                                Re: Mystery killer silencing honeybees

                                I have been reading these reports with interest over the last few weeks and have wondered what the bee situation would be like at our summer home in France. The area we live in is famed for it's orchards of prunes, apples, nectarines and peaches and many of the fruit growers keep bees to help with pollenation.
                                We have just arrived back at our summer home in the Lot et Garonne, the area effected by the Asian hornets mentioned in a previous post and I have yet to see a bee. The peache and apricot blossom are long past but the plum and greengage trees are in full blossom, with not a bee to be seen on any of them. It has been an exceptionally mild winter in Europe so there should be no problems from that point of view.
                                Even more startling is the fact that the hives that were situated in our local wood all seem to have been taken away sometime since last Autumn. That might account for the disappearance of some of the honey bees, but, where are all the feral honey bees? It is currently 70 degs F and full sunshine, the garden should be alive with the hum of bees, yet it is not. No fruit set on the apricot that I can see and it should be by now.
                                Very sad and very worrying.
                                Last edited by Bois_de_Durou; April 5, 2007, 09:23 AM. Reason: spelling