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Christine98 Profile
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"Have Bees Become Canaries In the Coal Mine?"


Good article, well written and seems well researched:

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Feb/12/2012, 12:32 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: "Have Bees Become Canaries In the Coal Mine?"


Very good article, Chris. The operative paragraph is here:

The decline of bees has been in the headlines for several years, and theories to explain their deaths abound. But perhaps there is not just one single cause. University of California San Diego professor of biology James Nieh studies foraging, communication and health of bees. "I would say it's a combination of four factors; pesticides, disease, parasites, and human mismanagement," says Nieh. Bees might be weakened by having a very low level of exposure to insecticides or fungicides, making them more susceptible if they are attacked by viruses or parasites. "It's kind of like taking a patient who is not doing so well -- very weak, poor diet, exposing them to pathogens, and then throwing more things at them. It's not surprising that honeybees are not very healthy."

This pretty much sums up the situation. There is not one causative agent involved in the extreme challenge to honey bees or to other insects for that matter, whether or not they are deemed to be economically important to humans.

Agro-business will have to effect a sea change in its approach to crop production. Problem also involves herbecides. Consumers, with their insistence on cheap food, also contribute to the problem, since, chemical treatments make possible cheaper means of production.

Disease is another large problem, especially virile infections.

Parasites too play a key role. The parasitic mite, varroa destructor, after over 20 years since its introduction in the West, remains the godzilla of all parasites. It also seems to serve as a vector for a number of the viruses weakening honey bees.

Lastly there is the problem of mismanagement, what extends from factory farming conditions to a continued reliance on chemical treatment(s) for pest management. In brief our demands placed on honey bees is huge.

Not just one problem and so no single silver bullet.

Tere
Feb/15/2012, 5:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: "Have Bees Become Canaries In the Coal Mine?"


hey Tere,

I always think of you when the subject of bees comes up. I thought this might interest you and I'm glad it did.

Yeah, complexity, interconnectedness and the like. No surprise, huh?

Chris
Feb/15/2012, 6:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 


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