You are hereNot Just Honey – Colony Collapse Disorder

Not Just Honey – Colony Collapse Disorder

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By EWMI - Posted on 09 May 2007

by Albert Persohn
In the 70’s amid an evolution vs. creation debate a Canadian paper published a cartoon of two men sitting on a jet liner.

The one was reading a book with a title like; “The Origins Of The Species”. The other commented to him: “I’m not so

concerned about where we came from, but I am really worried about where we are going”. Religious Futurists, especially

In the 70’s amid an evolution vs. creation debate a Canadian paper published a cartoon of two men sitting on a jet liner. The one was reading a book with a title like; “The Origins Of The Species”. The other commented to him: “I’m not so concerned about where we came from, but I am really worried about where we are going”. Religious Futurists, especially Dispensationalists tend towards a certain numbness regarding pressing environmental issues which should receive prompt attention. Covenant Eschatologists’ worldview is driven by a need to preserve and nurture the world successive generations will inhabit. A recent series of troubling stories point us again towards the environment.In the 70’s amid an evolution vs. creation debate a Canadian paper published a cartoon of two men sitting on a jet liner.

The one was reading a book with a title like; “The Origins Of The Species”. The other commented to him: “I’m not so

concerned about where we came from, but I am really worried about where we are going”. Religious Futurists, especially

In the 70’s amid an evolution vs. creation debate a Canadian paper published a cartoon of two men sitting on a jet liner. The one was reading a book with a title like; “The Origins Of The Species”. The other commented to him: “I’m not so concerned about where we came from, but I am really worried about where we are going”. Religious Futurists, especially Dispensationalists tend towards a certain numbness regarding pressing environmental issues which should receive prompt attention. Covenant Eschatologists’ worldview is driven by a need to preserve and nurture the world successive generations will inhabit. A recent series of troubling stories point us again towards the environment.There are several critical issues affecting us today, which receive too little attention. One of the worst is that of Depleted Uranium the other equally as troubling is the story of the disappearance of the Honey Bee. We shall address the latter today.

Stories began to reach some media sources about massive bee die offs in March of 2007. Keepers were seeing incidences of “rapid colony collapse” at an alarmingly high rate earlier this year. This has occurred in the past but never at this rate. Global warming, cell phones, pesticides, bacteria, fungus and mites have been blamed. Some ominously suggested that GM crops which now produce pesticides might be a contributor.

“While losses, particularly in overwintering, are a chronic condition, most beekeepers have learned to limit their losses by staying on top of new advice from entomologists. Unlike the more common problems, this new die-off has been virtually instantaneous throughout the country, not spreading at the slower pace of conventional classical disease.” (1)

It seems some governments have been aware of this since this time or earlier. The University of Guelph has begun a study into this phenomenon.

“We had up to 90 per cent hive loss in Niagara and these are important not only for the honey industry but for the pollination impact in the tender fruit sector," Mr. Hudak said.” (2)

First Coast News in Arizona reported problems in Arizona early this April as well:

“Arp, 55, had planned to rent 1,000 colonies to California almond growers at $135 per colony. Practically overnight, he had fewer than 700 available - a loss of roughly $40,000.” (3)

The New York Times picked up the story late April. This is from the Age but originated with the NYT:

“MORE than a quarter of America's 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost - tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives.”

The loss of a significant portion of the bee population affects more than our honey supply. In the aptly named “Please Lord Not The Bees” we read:

“The beekeeping industry underpins the American agricultural industry to the tune of $US 15 billion or more. The picture is similar in many countries, especially in the West. Honey bees are used commercially to pollinate about one third of crop species in the U.S. This includes almonds, broccoli, peaches, soybeans, apples, pears, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries. Other insects, including other kinds of bees, may be used to pollinate some of these crops, but only bees are reliable on a commercial scale. If the bees go, we will see a change for the worse at our local supermarkets.”

Did you read that? One third of our crop species rely on bees for pollination.

Seth Borenstien writes in “Honeybee Die-Off Threatens Food Supply”(6) that colony collapse disorder occures every few years. He also states that our friend the honey bee is more delicate than many other creatures. The problem has been reported in Europe and Asia as well but may be overstated.

If the following statement is to be believed we may have a been seeing the impact of GM tinkering on the bee colonies in question:

“While honeybees in most of the United States are disappearing, the Mayor of Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, the Honorable Dr Bob Wynne—who is also Raja (leader of the Global Country of World Peace) for the central domain of Vedic America—has reported that bees are congregating in large numbers around their extensive organic and Vedic Organic crops.

Around Maharishi Vedic City last autumn, for example, were millions and millions of organic sunflowers, inundated with bees. 'Every single flower had a number of bees on it, and we don't know where the bees come from,' said Raja Wynne.” (7)

Further to this a group called “Network of Concerned Farmers” supports the notion that there are fewer bees around GM crops. Of course this kind of approach is their operating platform but it seems prudent to consider their comments.(8)

Harder to stomach (please pardon the pun) is: “Genetically Engineered Crops May Produce Herbicide Inside Our Intestines”

“Pioneer Hi-Bred's website boasts that their genetically modified (GM) Liberty Link corn survives doses of Liberty herbicide, which would normally kill corn. The reason, they say, is that the herbicide becomes "inactive in the corn plant." They fail to reveal, however, that after you eat the GM corn, some inactive herbicide may become reactivated inside your gut and cause a toxic reaction. In addition, a gene that was inserted into the corn might transfer into the DNA of your gut bacteria, producing long-term effects. These are just a couple of the many potential side-effects of GM crops that critics say put the public at risk.”(9)

This same group goes on to quote a Time article from 2002 that suggests that GM crops taint honey up to two miles away.(10)

Yahoo News on May 1 reprinted a USA Today article indicating our options if world bee populations collapse altogether:

"Creating healthier bees, with a good diet, better able to fight disease is the best thing we can do right now," Hackett says. Otherwise, "when you sit down to dinner, the question will be what sort of grain do you want - corn or wheat or rice - because that's about all the choice we'll have left."(11)

Too Much Hype or Pandoras Box?

We hope it is just hype. Perhaps next year we will hear that colonies have begun to return and the food supply will not be affected. If things continue we are in for a rough ride. Imagine the price of food if we no longer have access to plenty of apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe etc. Is it possible that GM crops are to blame? If so will anyone admit it in time? Can we reverse the course of science gone wrong?

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References

1

From Humans To Crops: Could Genetic Modification Be Killing The Bees?

Mar 11th, 2007 11:56 AM

http://www.raidersnewsnetwork.com/full.php?news=3585

2

Province to study mysterious bee losses

http://globeandmail.workopolis.com/servlet/Content/fasttrack/20070419/BE...

3

Mysterious Bee Deaths Threaten Agriculture

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/usworld/news-article.aspx?storyid=80221

4

Lost Bees A Mystery To Scientists

http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/lost-bees-a-mystery-to-scientists/20...

5

Please Lord, not the bees

http://www.coanews.org/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=1859

6

Honeybee Die-Off Threatens Food Supply

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070503/ap_on_sc/honeybee_die_off

7

Bees make a beeline for Vedic Organic crops: Mayor Wynne of Maharishi Vedic City, USA

http://www.globalgoodnews.com/environmental-news-a.html?art=117819832818...

8

Fewer bees in GM crops, study finds

http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/news_details.asp?ID=2105

9

Genetically Engineered Crops May Produce Herbicide Inside Our Intestines

http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/news_details.asp?ID=2778

10

Coexistence plans blown away by pollen drift

http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/news_details.asp?ID=2219

11

Deserted beehives, starving young stun scientists

http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/desertedbeehivesstarvingyoungstunscient...

tom-g's picture

Hey Al, (I know you Australians say "G'Day" but us Southern boys say "Hey".)

One night last week, at least I think it was last week, I was listening to "Coast To Coast AM" and believe it or not one of the guests was discussing this very subject.

His analysis was that the missing hives were almost strictly restricted to what he defined as commercial hives. He defined these as hives that are leased out in huge volumes and transported to the large commercial growers, not the local hives.

His observation was that it could possibly be due to the large artificial (plastic) form that is used to start the Comb in these hives. According to him this artificial form produces a larger Comb and larger commercial bees, these are the ones that are affected.

I, unfortunately, fell asleep during the program and so my understanding may be spotty. Have you heard anything like this and do you give it much credence?

EWMI's picture

Hi Tom,

I'll check, the easy way is to confirm if any organic hives use the plastic form. Many organics are reporting no Colony Collapse Disorder.

al

PS - Did you see the clip from China on the link I sent you?

tom-g's picture

Thanks, very, very interesting

Tom

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