[ExI] walking bees

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sat Jun 2 10:35:34 UTC 2007

On 6/2/07, The Avantguardian wrote:
> I find this topic perfectly appropriate with regards
> to a transhumanist list. Colony collapse disorder is
> most certainly an existential risk due to our high
> reliance on the honey bee for pollination. Something I
> noticed when I moved up here to Olympia, WA, is that
> spookily there are no honeybees to be found. All the
> bees buzzing around here are bumblebees and mason
> bees.
> Unfortunately, I don't know how quickly these
> alternative pollinators can pick up the slack, since
> for years we have been crowding them out with our
> inbred domesticated bee strains.
> CCD is quite a puzzle. There are about half a dozen
> theories floating around but some are more feasible
> than others. But the "experts" are stumped so its time
> for us to step up.  Global warming, pesticides, GM
> crop pollen, and radiation (cell phone or UV) seem
> unlikely reasons to me. They don't jibe with some very
> important clues:

I'm not a bee expert, but as you say there is plenty of speculation
around among the beekeepers.

One point is that beekeepers expect to lose hives every winter. This is normal.
But total losses are up to five times normal levels. CCD is only a
part of the problem.

Losses due to mite infestation are also common, but the bees die in
the hives. And there is increased occurrence of this also.

The volunteer beekeeper hopes the new hives can survive three plagues
decimating the world's honeybee population: parasitic mites, bacterial
infections, and the mysterious phenomenon known as Colony Collapse
Disorder, discovered last year. The center's attempts to keep outdoor
hives failed repeatedly between 1996 and 2002, said Rye city
naturalist Chantal Detlefs, mainly due to mite infestations.

He suspected something was wrong in January, when he noticed his bees
weren't leaving their hives on the unseasonably warm days. He found
four of the colonies dead inside their boxes - probably from mites, he
said - but four others apparently succumbed to Colony Collapse

"The hives are full of honey and there was a queen and a few bees in
there, but the rest disappeared," he said, noting that no other bees
have gone near the fully stocked hive, either.

But even without Colony Collapse Disorder, which has not yet had a
significant impact on the Lower Hudson Valley, beekeepers still battle
resistant mites and bacteria, as well as cheap honey flowing from
China and other countries.

"If (CCD) is cured tomorrow, the bee industry would still be operating
in crisis mode," Calderone said. "They've kind of got it coming at
them from a number of different directions."

Hauk, who said his natural methods have kept winter colony losses to a
15 percent average over 10 years, compared with the 40 percent
reported by commercial beekeepers, opposes the use of pesticides,
herbicides and fungicides, along with taking too much honey from the

"The bees have been terribly exploited, trucked around, all their
honey taken. It's not surprising that their immune system is breaking
down rapidly," he said. "We are in serious trouble. The bee is not a
being that should be commercialized."


See - it's all the fault of the free market exploitation!   ;)


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