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Old 07-20-2007, 12:56 PM   #1
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Default Bee die off answer found

Asian parasite 'is the chief assassin' behind mass disappearance of honeybees
18th July 2007

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 for years.

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 said in an interview today.

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 hives.

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 conditions.

"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 per cent of Spanish hives are infected," he said.

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 (70p) a hive twice a year - but beekeepers first have to be convinced the parasite is the problem.

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.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=469350&in_page_id=1811&ito=1490
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:00 PM   #2
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But wait...I thought the science was settled and that this was due to human induced global warming, cell phones, George W. Bush and Brian Griese's dog?

Are you implying that there could be alternative explanations to those four when explaining everything bad?

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Old 07-20-2007, 02:04 PM   #3
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But wait...I thought the science was settled and that this was due to human induced global warming, cell phones, George W. Bush and Brian Griese's dog?

Are you implying that there could be alternative explanations to those four when explaining everything bad?

Duh. You forgot about Plummer!
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:32 PM   #4
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That's good they found the problem. Hopefully they can do something save them. Maybe some kind of cross breeding with the Asian bee.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:33 PM   #5
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Interesting. If true what can they do to deal with it? I don’t care about more expensive Honey -- but what percentage of crops in America depend on Honey bees to encourage pollination?
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:38 PM   #6
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Interesting. If true what can they do to deal with it? I donít care about more expensive Honey -- but what percentage of crops in America depend on Honey bees to encourage pollination?
about 30% i think i read somewhere. But i can't say that's a "fact"
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerrElway View Post
But wait...I thought the science was settled and that this was due to human induced global warming, cell phones, George W. Bush and Brian Griese's dog?

Are you implying that there could be alternative explanations to those four when explaining everything bad?

Global warming made the parasite, you fool!

Besides, the Cell phone theory was awesome because it employed pseudo science!
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:45 PM   #8
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I know a guy who owns a bunch of bees -- he shared about how he went to California with his hives in tow (from Montana) to some almond farms, after about 2 weeks he lost about 50% of his bees -- he left as fast as he could. He said they were making a comback now -- not sure how that fits with the parisite idea... at the time I thought that maybe there was truth to the cell phone idea --
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:50 PM   #9
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There are no shortage of other animals able to fill in that niche if the bee vacates it. It may take a while for them to catch up to demand, but such a sweet niche will be filled quickly. Birds and insects are constantly trying to buzz in on the bee trade all the time, the only reason they don't have much success is because bee's are pretty ferocious and effecient at swarming in and stinging the competition.
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Old 07-20-2007, 02:56 PM   #10
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There are no shortage of other animals able to fill in that niche if the bee vacates it. It may take a while for them to catch up to demand, but such a sweet niche will be filled quickly. Birds and insects are constantly trying to buzz in on the bee trade all the time, the only reason they don't have much success is because bee's are pretty ferocious and effecient at swarming in and stinging the competition.
I've never heard of birds and insects cross pollinating..Hmm new science is a wonder.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:00 PM   #11
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More illegal aliens.

So does this mean bees will have to start wearing condoms
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:07 PM   #12
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I posted this same thing months ago and people told me I was wrong and that these parasites have been around forever and they wouldn't be causing this mass die off.

WTF?
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:11 PM   #13
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I've never heard of birds and insects cross pollinating..Hmm new science is a wonder.
Check out how cross pollination worked in Hawaii before bee's were taken there.

Last edited by skpac1001; 07-20-2007 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:15 PM   #14
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I posted this same thing months ago and people told me I was wrong and that these parasites have been around forever and they wouldn't be causing this mass die off.

WTF?
No You said it was Mites.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:16 PM   #15
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Check out how cross pollination worked in Hawaii before bee's were taken there by europeans.
That works well for natural environments but is not efficient enough for a agricultural environment.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:18 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by TerrElway View Post
But wait...I thought the science was settled and that this was due to human induced global warming, cell phones, George W. Bush and Brian Griese's dog?

Are you implying that there could be alternative explanations to those four when explaining everything bad?

Actually, I think Bush may have been infested with the parasite when he was in Germany, and brought it back. Didn't change his socks, you see. Now he is going in to have his colon looked at. Is there a connection? You make the call....

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Old 07-20-2007, 03:20 PM   #17
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Actually, I think Bush may have been infested with th eparasite when he was in Germany, and brought it back. Didn't change his socks, you see.
That bastard
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:20 PM   #18
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That works well for natural environments but is not efficient enough for a agricultural environment.
Im not sure I understand the difference. How did you measure the effeciency level of something you just now learned about?
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:22 PM   #19
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Common sense tells you that millions of acres of crop lands cannot possibly get pollinized by a few migrating birds that happen to be flying over the landscape. Just an opinion.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by skpac1001 View Post
There are no shortage of other animals able to fill in that niche if the bee vacates it. It may take a while for them to catch up to demand, but such a sweet niche will be filled quickly. Birds and insects are constantly trying to buzz in on the bee trade all the time, the only reason they don't have much success is because bee's are pretty ferocious and effecient at swarming in and stinging the competition.
What kind of science is that. I call BS. I don't think bees attack butterflies if they are both pollintating flowers.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:26 PM   #21
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I posted this same thing months ago and people told me I was wrong and that these parasites have been around forever and they wouldn't be causing this mass die off.

WTF?
This is a different parasite. It's from Asia and made it's way over here.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:28 PM   #22
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Im not sure I understand the difference. How did you measure the effeciency level of something you just now learned about?
I have a degree in Agroecology from the University of Wyoming. These are not original or ground breaking thoughts you are having.
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:53 PM   #23
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I have a degree in Agroecology from the University of Wyoming. These are not original or ground breaking thoughts you are having.
Lol, when did I say they were? I basically got it from two books, The Song of the Dodo which covers the battle between birds's and insects in Hawaii against the invading Bee's, and Darwin's Finches, which talks about the dynamism and speed that animals can capitoize on newly exposed niches. Its true that whatever is taking over will be initially far less effencient then specialized bee's, but it is also true that the overwhelming demand will cause a population explosion and the new thing will do the job through sheer numbers. Your right, there is nothing new about this, its basic stuff, which is why its puzzling your threatened enough to trot out your degree.

Last edited by skpac1001; 07-20-2007 at 04:06 PM..
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:15 PM   #24
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Common sense tells you that millions of acres of crop lands cannot possibly get pollinized by a few migrating birds that happen to be flying over the landscape. Just an opinion.
If thats the impression I am putting out about what would happen, I can certainly understand your skepticism.
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:18 PM   #25
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The whole you just learned about was offensive and meant to be.

You are comparing a natural ecology to an ag ecology and saying what works in Papua New Guinea will work in Iowa.

Bees are the best pollinators on Earth. They can be transported easily. So if you have 10,000 almond trees to be pollinated you pay for bees to be brought in. When they are done they then go back to wherever they came from and collect a honey crop.

If you grow Almonds and there are no bees you can rely on birds or other less efficient means of pollination. At the same time you should start going to University of Phoenix so you can be ready for your new Job.
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