Breaking News: ATHENS, Greece, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Greek experts have expressed concern for the unexplained disappearance of large quantities of honey bees.
UPDATE! Here's why they're dying!
Greek scientists are watching out for Colony Collapse Disorder, which refers to the mysteriously abrupt departure of worker bees from their hives, Kathimerini reported Saturday.
"We are on the alert. If CCD appears in Greece, the consequences could be massive," Agricultural University of Athens Professor, Paschalis Harizanis said.
The European Union relies on Greece, one of the world's biggest bee settlements, to produce 14,000 tons of honey each year. The country is the European Union's third-top producer of honey.
Colony Collapse Disorder has reportedly been a problem for the United States, Germany and Switzerland. --end
Albert Einstein once predicted that if bees were to disappear, man would follow only a few years later.
That hypothesis could soon be put to the test.
The most recent data seems to suggest that the bees are dying from a virus. But perhaps this virus is infecting the bees as a result of some other, more complex condition.
We will present data in this article on five possible causes which may be killing the honey bees: 1) The hybrid genetically altered plants developed by Monsanto (described below), 2) The possibility that cellphone radio frequencies may be hindering the bees from locating their hives, 3) The possibility of a virus and 4) The possibility that a mite could be infecting the bees. As more details are know we will post them. 5) The possibility of a virus.
There are 130,000 plants for example for which bees are essential to pollination, from melons to pumpkins, raspberries and all kind of fruit trees - as well as animal fodder - like clover. Bees are more important than poultry in terms of human nutrition. Bees from one hive can visit a million flowers within a 400 square kilometre area in just one day.
Reports are coming in from Europe and the Middle-East: Bees are disappearing! In some areas over 40% of the hives are empty. This is troubling because, without bees to pollinate plants, human life will end in four years. Bees are vital to our food supply. Approximately $14.6 billion worth of U.S. nut, fruit and vegetable crops depend on bee pollination. So where are the missing bees?
Nobody seems to know.
Jerry Bromenshenk, president of Bee Alert Technology, a research company affiliated with the University of Montana, says,
"One day, you look at the bees and they're good," Bromenshenk said. "The next time you look in the box, you take a second look, pull the cover off, and you might have a queen and three young bees trying to keep things going. If it was a pesticide or a virus, you'd expect to find piles of dead bees in the box, and in the bee yard. But this looks like someone swept the bottom board clean."
Bees that are sick usually do not trturn to the hive. This could be a natural behavior designed to protect the hive from infection or it could just be that the sick bees are unable to find their way back. In any case, they're gone.
With reports coming in about some type of scourge affecting honeybees, researchers are launching a drive to find the cause of the destruction. The reasons for this rapid colony collapse are not clear. Old diseases, parasites and new diseases are being looked at but the cause seems to be something new and devastating.
Over the past 100 or so years, beekeepers have experienced colony losses from bacterial agents (foulbrood), mites (varroa and tracheal) and other parasites and pathogens. Beekeepers have dealt with these problems by using antibiotics, miticides or integrated pest management. But this new problem is perplexing. 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.
One scientist claims, "It's like the bees have AIDS!"
Other reports are equally frightening. Scientists report 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.
While losses, particularly in overwintering, are a chronic condition, most beekeepers have learned to limit their losses by staying on top of new advice from entomologists. Unlike the more common problems, this new die-off has been virtually instantaneous throughout the country, not spreading at the slower pace of conventional classical disease.
John McDonald is a beekeeper in Pennsylvania. As an interested beekeeper with some background in biology, McDonald is extremely worried. He's looking at genetically manipulated crops as the possible culprit. Although we are assured by nearly every bit of research that these manipulations of the crop genome are safe for both human consumption and the environment, McDonald is looking more closely at what is involved here might raise questions about those assumptions.
The most commonly transplanted segment of transgenic DNA involves genes from a well-known bacterium, bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which has been used for decades by farmers and gardeners to control butterflies that damage cole crops such as cabbage and broccoli. Instead of the bacterial solution being sprayed on the plant, where it is eaten by the target insect, the genes that contain the insecticidal traits are incorporated into the genome of the farm crop. As the transformed plant grows, these Bt genes are replicated along with the plant genes so that each cell contains its own poison pill that kills the target insect.
In the case of field corn, one of the more populous plants, these insects are stem- and root-borers, lepidopterans (butterflies) that, in their larval stage, dine on some region of the corn plant, ingesting the bacterial gene, which eventually causes a crystallization effect in the guts of the borer larvae, thus killing them. What is not generally known to the public is that Bt variants are available that also target coleopterans (beetles) and dipterids (flies and mosquitoes). We are assured that the bee family, hymenopterans, is not affected.
That there is Bt in beehives is not a question. Beekeepers spray Bt under hive lids sometimes to control the wax moth, an insect whose larval forms produce messy webs on honey. Oddly, Canadian beekeepers have detected the disappearance of the wax moth in untreated hives, apparently a result of worker bees foraging in fields of transgenic canola plants.
Bees forage heavily on corn flowers to obtain pollen for the rearing of young broods, and these pollen grains also contain the Bt gene of the parent plant, because they are present in the cells from which pollen forms.
Is it not possible that while there is no lethal effect directly to the new bees, there might be some sublethal effect, such as immune suppression, acting as a slow killer?
The planting of transgenic corn and soybean has increased exponentially, according to statistics from farm states. Tens of millions of acres of transgenic crops are allowing Bt genes to move off crop fields. If there's a problem with genetically altered crops, we need to find out quickly. Governmental agencies need to hold investigations and devote their full attention to this problem before our food supply is irreversably destroyed, and along with it, our civilization.
Viewzone asked Monsanto to comment on the effect of their genetically manipulated seeds on honey bees but, thus far, they have not responded.
What do you think?
UPDATE: July 21,2007
SPAIN: July 19, 2007
MADRID - A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to
Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass
disappearance of honeybees in many countries, says a
Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon
The culprit is a microscopic parasite called nosema
ceranae said Mariano Higes, who leads a team of
researchers at a government-funded apiculture centre
in Guadalajara, the province east of Madrid that is
the heartland of Spain's honey industry.
He and his colleagues have analysed thousands of
samples from stricken hives in many countries.
"We started in 2000 with the hypothesis that it was
pesticides, but soon ruled it out," he told Reuters in
an interview on Wednesday.
Pesticide traces were present only in a tiny
proportion of samples and bee colonies were also dying
in areas many miles from cultivated land, he said.
They then ruled out the varroa mite, which is easy to
see and which was not present in most of the affected
For a long time Higes and his colleagues thought a
parasite called nosema apis, common in wet weather,
was killing the bees.
"We saw the spores, but the symptoms were very
different and it was happening in dry weather too."
Then he decided to sequence the parasite's DNA and
discovered it was an Asian variant, nosema ceranae.
Asian honeybees are less vulnerable to it, but it can
kill European bees in a matter of days in laboratory
"Nosema ceranae is far more dangerous and lives in
heat and cold. A hive can become infected in two
months and the whole colony can collapse in six to 18
months," said Higes, whose team has published a number
of papers on the subject.
"We've no doubt at all it's nosema ceranae and we
think 50 percent of Spanish hives are infected," he
Spain, with 2.3 million hives, is home to a quarter of
the European Union's bees.
His team have also identified this parasite in bees
from Austria, Slovenia and other parts of Eastern
Europe and assume it has invaded from Asia over a
number of years.
Now it seems to have crossed the Atlantic and is
present in Canada and Argentina, he said. The Spanish
researchers have not tested samples from the United
States, where bees have also gone missing.
Treatment for nosema ceranae is effective and cheap --
1 euro (US$1.4) a hive twice a year -- but beekeepers
first have to be convinced the parasite is the
Another theory points a finger at mobile phone
aerials, but Higes notes bees use the angle of the sun
to navigate and not electromagnetic frequencies.
Other elements, such as drought or misapplied
treatments, may play a part in lowering bees'
resistance, but Higes is convinced the Asian parasite
is the chief assassin.
Bees 'killed by mobile phone signals'
By Bonnie Malkin
Last Updated: 1:15am BST 16/04/2007
An unusually high number of honey bee deaths in Britain this year may be caused by radiation from mobile phone signals, say experts.
British beekeepers have called for further research following the release of a German study showing that radiation can interfere with bees' navigation systems.
In some cases, 70 per cent of bees exposed to radiation failed to find their way back to the hive after searching for pollen and nectar when a cellphone was placed in proximity to the hive. Research was conducted by Landau University and will be published soon.
One of the major points of trouble seems to be that the radiations from mobile phones have passed from analog to digital in the last few years, which means they are pulsed at around 220 "packets" per second. That frequency is very close to the native frequency of the bees' hum, which has been measured to be in the range of 190 to 250 cycles per second.
About 2 years ago, on a program like "Discover", a spokesman for a group doing work for the Air Force announced that the Air Force was broadcasting microwave energy in such a way as to control weather in alien states that we are at war with. He did not explain how this was done or how it helped our efforts in war. This was in Dover, Delaware, near the Air Force base, on cable TV. An unused channel showed a graph which I believe showed AF personnel, when not on the base, a graph which appeared to depict this radiation, with a huge spike at about 17kilohertz, probably the main radiation. I am a retired research scientist and know that this microwave intensity is sufficient to fry protein. If all the Air Force bases are using microwave tower dishes to emanate this energy - presumable to satellites which redirect it to targets - there would be sufficient ambient leakage at ground level to damage protein. The bee larvae, sequestered in honeycombs, to be brought back into nature the following year, are essentially protein moieties, which were fryed by this energy. My name is Stu Kerestan and would like to hear your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jet Black Honey Bees
I noticed swarms of black honey bees and I was wondering if they may be some sort of mutation of the European variety? These are not wild Bumble Bees they are the same size and shape as the European variety. I was wondering if anyone else noticed them.
I recently went shopping at a local grocery store here in Austin Texas
and under the main entrance roof where the shopping
carts are. Along the front windows were hundreds of dead honey bees. I
looked around and saw two wasp and hornet traps (Victor Wasp and Hornet
Trap) suspended from the ceiling. It occurred to me that if only two
wasp and hornet traps could kill this many honey bees in one spot then
there may be a serious hazard to honey bees going on everywhere that
these products are used. The insecticide section of the store has Raid
and other manufacturer products labeled "Wasp and Hornet Trap". The
irony was that when I saw all the dead bees I did not see a single dead
wasp! The sheer number of dead bees I saw could easily account for the
whole population of worker bees in a single hive. If we consider that
there may be thousands of these traps out there killing the same volume
of bees then I think there may be a serious hazard to honey bees going
on. Please alert everybody you know to this potentially hazardous
situation. As you know, a huge proportion of our produce, and food
supply relies upon the pollenization of honey bees.
Has anyone looked into chemtrails as a cause of bee losses?
An internet search of chemtrails will give you lots of information and concern for all life-forms on the planet.
I think that in addition to placing this as a congressional priority, public think tanks should immediately be formed to figure out affective measures to get this information out to the general public. Any news coverage I've heard on the matter has failed to express the severity of the matter. And as far as my knowledge goes(though I'm not an agriculturalist), if the bee problem persists we as humans may experience the largest famine ever; and we may die off.
I recently saw you're article on the honey bee shortage. prior to seeing it this week while cutting my grass (and MANY dandelions) I noticed that I didn't see many bees. This prompted me to do a search online. WOW...
What can we do???
Edward S. Pollnac
I'm on an organic beekeeping list of about 1,000 people, mostly Americans, and no one in the organic beekeeping world, including commercial beekeepers, is reporting colony collapse on this list. The problem with the big commercial guys is that they put pesticides in their hives to fumigate for varroa mites, and they feed antibiotics to the bees. They also haul the hives by truck all over the place to make more money with pollination services, which stresses the colonies.
Most of us beekeepers are fighting with the Varroa mites. I'm happy to say my biggest problems are things like trying to get nucs through the winter and coming up with hives that won't hurt my back from lifting or better ways to feed the bees.
This change from fighting the mites is mostly because I've gone to natural sized cells. In case you weren't aware, and I wasn't for a long time, the foundation in common usage results in much larger bees than what you would find in a natural hive. I've measured sections of natural worker brood comb that are 4.6mm in diameter. What most people use for worker brood is foundation that is 5.4mm in diameter. If you translate that into three dimensions instead of one, it produces a bee that is about half as large again as is natural. By letting the bees build natural sized cells, I have virtually eliminated my Varroa and Tracheal mite problems. One cause of this is shorter capping times by one day, and shorter post-capping times by one day. This means less Varroa get into the cells, and less Varroa reproduce in the cells.
Who should be surprised that the major media reports forget to tell us that the dying bees are actually hyper-bred varieties that we coax into a larger than normal body size? It sounds just like the beef industry. And, have we here a solution to the vanishing bee problem? Is it one that the CCD Working Group, or indeed, the scientific world at large, will support? Will media coverage affect government action in dealing with this issue?
These are important questions to ask. It is not an uncommonly held opinion that, although this new pattern of bee colony collapse seems to have struck from out of the blue (which suggests a triggering agent), it is likely that some biological limit in the bees has been crossed. There is no shortage of evidence that we have been fast approaching this limit for some time.
Michael Bushm bee keeper
I became suspicious when deer feeding bans were becoming popular in N.J. I wondered why anyone would care if I threw some corn on the ground in the winter. Bird feeding was to be restricted to feeders being hung so many feet off the ground and had to have a ledge around it so that the deer couldn't have any. Hunters were allowed to bait them to kill them but the public would be fined. I asked myself what do deer eat? Corn, apples, pears, peaches to name a few. In the wild deer eat mostly corn grown by farmers. At one township meeting someone brought up the fact that deer feeding could be spreading Chronic Wasting Disease. I started doing some research on Corn and found that corn and soy beans have been genetically altered . Some topics to look up are: Percy Schmeiser, Mark Purdey, Mad Cow , Chronic Wasting disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Starlink and non Starlink corn Litagation, G.M. Corn scandal in Mexico, Sparks program in Wis. Hunting deer with a hand-gun, how many states have Chronic Wasting Disease, how many states grow corn, and soy beans , Phosmet, Organophosphates, Imidan, Vegans and other vegetarians at risk for prion disease, dumping corn in Cat Litter (World's Best cat litter) CRY-9, How many states have deer feeding bans?,Princeton and Milburn N.J. net and bolt,Mystery of thousands of birds fall from the sky in Esperance Australia, 1,000 ducks found dead in southern Idaho, Dead birds everywhere, Idaho, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Australia Turkey, SE Asia and Africa (Idaho Observer January 2007,New Corn Pest Control Approved by the EPA (EPANewsroom) Rense.com The chemical Industry Plays dirty. Dead Scientists and Microbiologists- Master List (many worked on chemical weapons, some worked on prion disease .) Perhaps the common denominator is Organophosphate and Phosmet! Just an opinion but I see a connection.
I think that one of the reason bees are dying is because they are intentionally killed as a request from the agricultural industry. Since bees are an integral part of plant life, the agricultural industry thought it would be a great way to profit by taking control over this aspect so that it would placed in the hands of the agricultural industry and proffit much in the same way as they did with Terminator Seeds.
First they destroy most bees, independent farmers die off and can no longer sprout, the masses panic and then they step on the podium and say "we have the solution to your problem". From that time on, everything must be purchased fom the industry, from seeds to plant and grow, to the pruducts themselves because only the industry would have the ability to grow plants. Everetyhing would be pattented and genetically modified.
The Agricultural industry is on the quest to make it so that every product that is grown would generate profits for the industry. No mystery here, they just pretend it is.
Statistics seem to show Poland and surrounding areas are most affected. Has anyone looked into the possibility of the nuclear reactor disaster at Chernobal might be the key source, possibly contaminating the soil, then plants and eventually causing radiation posioning to create bee "AIDS"? Just a thought.
Next-up News says that the bee`s are being killed by fungle infections brought on by the radiation mobile phones give off.
About 2 years ago my local council allowed a mobile phone and G3 mast next to one another into the conservation
area near my house.. I am electrically sensitivie and felt the sickly atmosphere which draw my attention to the fact
these instruments where in place two of my beautiful flowing catus died with in days and all the odd looking insects
and butterflies, in the so called consevations area have vanished to be replaced by Tick as the wasps vanished with
bees the bird population likewise vanished... The birds came back, but may be cause their is nowhere for them to
Is it possible that scientist can somehow introuduce safley into the bloodstream of the bee an injection of some type of serum that will be of an unplesant taste to the Varroa Mite.
For instance we use liquid applications of flea repellant on our dogs..
Why not use the same kind of applications for bees, or again Varroa mite injection repellants on bees.
If scientist can do this perhaps we can controll the future loss of bees.
Viewzone || Comments? || Could this be an imported virus?