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Author Topic: Honestly, I'm surprised there isn't mass panic  (Read 4302 times)
AgentMulder
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« on: June 09, 2008, 11:55:02 PM »

For the last year I've been reading about CCD. A lot of articles seem to quote the same statistics so much I think they're actually cut/pasting. So roughly 35% of US commercial pollinating honey bees dissappeared last year, right? And It increased this season, right? And they pollinate our food, right? And there's no sign of any turnaround in the population decline, right?

Well then aren't we talking about SERIOUS food shortages then? This seems to be a problem that is much more in our immediate future than the melting of the polar ice caps or California being submerged under water. Sure, news reports on it, but it's usually no more than a 3 minute report, yet entire news specials, magazines and congressional hearings are centered around global warming. Seems this CCD thing is even bigger. Of all the reasons I hear about food price increases (biofuels, poor harvests...), no one ever mentions that not as much food can be grown unless we have more bees. But no one here seems really panicked. Shouldn't we be?
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2008, 08:27:33 AM »

Sure maybe a lot of hives collapsed.  But they can be split and built up fairly quickly.  So far it has hurt some pocketbooks and businesses, but everything gets pollinated. 

Panic is the worst motivator.  Knowledge works much better.
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Rick
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2008, 09:28:22 AM »

Most of our calorie and protein sustenance is based on wind pollinated crops (corn, wheat) or self-pollinated crops (soy).

If bees totally disappeared, the supply of many fruits and some veggies would plummet, and cost for those would sky-rocket. It would be bad for health and the spirit, and it would cause a lot of economic pain.  In the medium to long run, our health would suffer from not having diversity in our diets.  But the articles that claim or imply that all our food is dependent on bees are wrong.  Also, the quote attributed to Einstein in many articles about the extinction of bees causing the extinction of humans is not documented to be from Einstein, nor is it necessarily correct.

Still, I'm a fan of bees and do think them very important. I'm worried about CCD.  More money for research is in order.  Let's look at the role pesticides, diseases, bee cultural practices, and the international movement of bees might play in this problem, and then take action to make things better.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2008, 09:44:14 AM »

A lot of our food comes from grass crops. Corn, wheat, rice, barley, oats. The bees do not pollinate these crops. Then our meat foods eat mostly the grass crops. Cows, chickens, pigs. Bees do not pollinate them either.

Then there are the crops that need pollinators to help them along. There are a lot of other pollinators out there besides the honeybee. Not as efficient but it still gets done. Then there is a huge number of things that are not considered pollinators, but they still cause pollination. Flies, wind, various beetles, birds. Just anything that walks across or brushes across a plant can cause pollination.

Food shortages and high cost are being caused more by growing crops for fuel. Fuel cost making it hard for the farmers to afford to grow anything. They are better off not growing anything than going broke trying to raise a crop. Fuel prices raising the cost of everything to compensate for the cost of shipping. Everything is moved by trucks.

Back to CCD. Seems it happens more to to migratory beeks than any one else. But others are going fine. And then the feral bees are also doing fine. Just look in the honeybee removal section and you see a lot of people getting a lot of feral bees. There is a beek around San Diego begging for people to take the bees off his hands because he has too many and is obligated to get more feral colonies. There is no need to panic because a few bees have died. More panic is needed over greed in the oil business and the lack of effort to produce alternate energy sources.   
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Trot
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2008, 01:10:17 PM »

Sure, everything said above is true and fine but. . . .
Those "grass crops" are not as self sustainable as some would like us to believe?!
Bees still visit them and pollinate them, only "officially" they don't - cause some research placed them in the wind or self pollinated category which by in large is true.
Take the latest bee loses in Germany where around 7,000 beekeepers lost all and some almost all of their bees due to corn seeds being treated by various pesticides produced by our friendly Bayer!
In France up to 50% of bees disappeared and same has happened in Spain, Austria, Greece, Slovenia, etc. . .
In England their Bee Keepers Association has excepted money payout from Bayer to advertise to it's members and public that pesticides are safe for bees, etc, etc...

http://affiliate.kickapps.com/kickapps/_Bayers-pesticides-endorsed-by-British-Bee-Keepers-Association/video/228447/34971.html?as=34971&WHOAMI=User&URL=http://affiliate.kickapps.com/34971/beesontoast

Now, that has happened on occasion or two before? (in France in 1999 where certain pesticides were promptly banned! But, resourceful marketing departments just add diferent names to the same poison and the world keeps on turning!)

Sure, bees can be split.  But, how often and how many times can this be done? Any kind of increase calls for certain financial resource?  If one is in the red one year, perhaps two, the only splitting done will be by the bank and they will not be splitting no hives - let me assure you. . . .
In Europe alone, the loss of hives can be counted in seven figures. (Just compare the number of hives in US ten years ago - to those of today?)
Over there beekeepers are nervously awaiting the "bloom" of corn - cause the bees will collect the pollen and the same fate will befall them again! 
Now, I challenge anybody to try to split a split in the fall and take them through the winter!

About shortage of food in relation to bees?
Not many (thanks' God) are concerned...  Perhaps this is a good thing, cause the last thing we need is riots on the streets? (Although they are already happening, only they are not of our concern, cause they are happening on the other end of the world?)
IMO, this is all fullish thinking!? 
In the long run it will hit us all.  The production of crops for fuel is just a start! A scape-goat? A clever money-grab without a solid - proven base!?  (They even make vehicles now that can run on E-85 only where to get a gas station that has it? The stuff is so expansive they only mix it with gas, at a rate of 10% - tops!)
It is the manipulation of global markets and profiteering by the wealthy few, that is perhaps causing more harm than the loss of bees and all other contributing factors put together?  Money mongrels are using the bees, or the loss of them, for their own gain!
The price of fuel is going up and nobody is going to stop it.
Production of bio-fuel E-85 is just a game the rich are playing.  (Fact is that to produce one liter of E-85  - it  actually takes about 7 litres of oil to do it !?)
Now, does that make any economic sense - what about the environmental - the bigger footprint . . ?

Fact is, that big money is being made and nobody has the political will or the ability to stop those wheels from forever spinning away. . . .
Our cost of food has about doubled in the last year and the true correction has not even started yet! Not on our side of the pond?
North America don't have a clue about the meaning of "not have" much less of being hungry, or knowing what it feels like to go in the supermarket and see the shelves completely bare?!
(Nation's mentality is that one simply goes in the store and gets it. Most have no real clue from where and/or what it takes to put food on their table!?)

I will put it like this:  The UN has some some numbers which no matter how expertly can one turn/juggle them - they just don't add up...
Take any country in the third world and double up the price of their food!  In most of those places - food can not be had in comfortable quantities at any price. (Even our well intentioned aid does not get where it's needed.  The powerful and the rich, the corrupt - they are the ones who get it and they are the ones who benefit from it...)
Now, in countries where is now the norm to pay $5.00 for a day's supply of food - perhaps they can handle the increase?
In the countries where it takes $2.50 for one day of meagre food - double that and you are flirting with disaster!?
Now, the reality is - that every day about a billion people are already near - or are starving! 
Another equal or most likely greater number of unfortunate people get by with a meagre $1.00 for a day of sustenance. . . .
For those poorest of the poor - 2.00 dollars per day might as well be the moon!
Now, for those, there is no answer - much less any hope at all. . ? !

For us?  Well, we can cross our beefy arms at our bulging waistline and wander how much impact the bees have on all this mess - if any?!
The true answers are dealt to us individually, on a daily basis. . . .
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2008, 03:57:29 AM »

... but everything gets pollinated.

Tell that to my tomatos! 

TN is down to less than 10% of the hives it once had... but on the upshot, I've seen at least 2 news stories about N.C.'s bees making a comeback.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2008, 08:21:07 AM »

... but everything gets pollinated.

Tell that to my tomatos! 

TN is down to less than 10% of the hives it once had... but on the upshot, I've seen at least 2 news stories about N.C.'s bees making a comeback.

My tomatoes aren't pollinated by my honeybees grin  Never had a problem with them, honeybees aren't all that good for tomato pollination anyway.  The cherry trees, on the other hand...the native pollinators were insufficient for those, just too many flowers at one time.  Now that I have bees, my cherry trees have 1/2 the branches that it did from all the cherries breaking branches. rolleyes
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Rick
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2008, 11:18:41 AM »

Keep in mind, too, that honeybees aren't native pollinators.  Everyplace in the USA is just fine without honeybees except for the farms that need mass pollination.  I do like to have the honeybees around, though Smiley

Native pollinators can take care of everything except for the the mass, focused pollination.  I know in my area we have plenty of native pollinators.

Rick
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Rick
Jerrymac
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« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2008, 11:42:39 AM »

There are a lot of plants not native here also.
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