[ExI] walking bees

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Jun 5 07:52:46 UTC 2007

On 6/3/07, spike <spike66 at comcast.net> wrote:
> The buzz in beekeepers' discussion (sorry {8^D) has been that nosema is seen
> in the sick hives, along with a bunch of other viruses and other diseases,
> but the prevailing thought is that they are getting all these other things
> because they are already weakened by something else.  These would then be
> opportunistic infections.

I found this article written by an entomologist -
the guy who wrote the Wikipedia entry on CCD.


He blames Colony Stress.

But the leading hypothesis in many researcher's minds is that colonies
are dying primarily because of stress. Stress means something
different to a honey bee colony than to a human, but the basic idea
isn't all that alien: If a colony is infected with a fungus, or has
mites, or has pesticides in its honey, or is overheated, or is
undernourished, or is losing workers due to spraying, or any other
such thing, then the colony is experiencing stress. Stress in turn can
cause behavioral changes that exacerbate the problem and lead to worse
ones like immune system failure. Colony stress has existed, in various
forms and with various causes, as long as mankind has kept honey bees,
so it could indeed have happened in the 1890s. Many modern
developments like pesticides or mite infestations can also cause
stress (in fact, many of the things theorized to be involved can cause
stress, so it's possible multiple factors are contributing to the
problem, not just one). Unfortunately, stress is difficult to quantify
and control experimentally, so it may never be possible to prove
scientifically that colony stress explains all this year's deaths.


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