[ExI] (tt) (RawStory) Nearly a third of honey bee colonies died in U.S. last winter (fwd)

Tomasz Rola rtomek at ceti.pl
Wed May 8 17:49:28 UTC 2013

(So, perhaps we don't really need to worry about oil or polar bears - TR)




(... links deleted ...)

Nearly a third of honey bee colonies died in U.S. last winter


   By Agence France-Presse
   Tuesday, May 7, 2013 16:36 EDT
   Honey  bees  walk  on  a  moveable  comb  hive  at  the  Bee  Research
   Laboratory, in Beltsville, Maryland, August 22, 2007. (AFP)
   Topics: [33]honey bees cD- [34]us department of agriculture

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   Nearly  a  third  of  the honey bee colonies in the United States died
   this past winter, sharply higher proportion than a year ago, according
   to an official report released Tuesday.

   The  US  population of managed honey bee colonies fell by 31.1 percent
   in  the October 2012-April 2013 period, said the preliminary report by
   the  US  Department  of  Agriculture  in collaboration with the Apiary
   Inspectors of America and The Bee Informed Partnership.

   Bees  are vital pollinators in fruit and vegetable production and have
   been  dying  in  significant numbers in recent years, some stricken by
   Colony Collapse Disorder, the sudden loss of all bees in a colony. The
   cause remains unknown.

   The  just-ended  winter's  losses  were  42 percent higher than in the
   prior  winter, when 21.9 percent of the bee colonies died, but were in
   line with the average loss of 30.5 percent over the past six years.

   The  latest  findings  were  based  on responses of more than 6,000 US
   beekeepers  which  represent  almost  23 percent of the nation's total
   estimated 2.62 million colonies.

   The  beekeepers  said  that a loss rate of 15 percent was "acceptable"
   but 70 percent of them had heavier losses than that, the report said.

   There  were  more  colonies  that dwindled away, rather than suffering
   from Colony Collapse Disorder, which was not reported as a major cause
   of colony loss for the second straight year.

   One  key  difference  stood out in this year's survey, the researchers
   said.  Beekeepers  who  took  honey  bees  to  California to pollinate
   almonds  reported higher losses than beekeepers who did not take their
   bees to pollinate almonds.

   Almost  20  percent  of  the beekeepers who pollinated almonds lost at
   least 50 percent of their colonies, the report said.


   The  US  Department  of  Agriculture,  in  a report last week, said an
   investigation  into the decline in honey bee health has found multiple
   factors,  "including  parasites  and disease, genetics, poor nutrition
   and pesticide exposure."

   The   USDA  called  for  further  research  to  determine  risks  from

   "Acute  and  sublethal  effects  of pesticides on honey bees have been
   increasingly  documented, and are a concern but it is not clear, based
   on  current  research,  whether a pesticide exposure is a major factor
   associated with US honey bee health declines," it said.

   In  a  lawsuit  in  March  several beekeepers and environmental groups
   accused  the  US Environmental Protection Agency of failing to protect
   pollinators  and  challenging  practices  that  speed  to market about
   two-thirds of all pesticides.

   The  suit  seeks  to  suspend the EPA registrations of pesticides that
   have been identified as toxic to bees.

   Last  week  the  European  Commission said it would impose the world's
   first  continent-wide  ban on three pesticides which environmentalists
   say are killing the bees that pollinate Europe's crops.

   The  insecticides  -- imidacloprid and clothianidin produced by Bayer,
   and  thiamethoxam  by  Syngenta  --  are  used to treat seeds, and are
   applied to the soil or sprayed on bee-attractive plants and cereals.

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