I just found this informarion on the meadmakers forum. But probably this is the forum it should be published. Looks scary. Have anybody noticed anything? I listened to mine two days ago, they were fine.http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/pressReleases/FallDwindleUpdate0107.pdfhttp://beealert.blackfoot.net/~beealert/surveys/index.php
UNDIAGNOSED DIE-OFF, APIS - USA (MULTISTATE)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 5 Feb 2007
From: Brent Barrett <firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Discovery News [edited]
Honey Bee Die-off Alarms Beekeepers
Something is wiping out honey bees across North America, and a team
of researchers is rushing to find out what it is.
What is being called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has now been seen
in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and way out in
California. Some bee keepers have lost up to 80 percent of their
colonies to the mysterious disorder.
Those are quite scary numbers," said Dennis vanEngelsdorp,
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's lead apiarist. Whatever
kills the bees targets adult workers, which die outside the colony,
with few adults left inside, either alive or dead. The disorder
decimates the worker bee population in a matter of weeks.
Aside from making honey, honey bees are essential for the pollination
of tens of million of dollars worth of cash crops all over the United
States. That's why almond growers of California, for instance, are
taking notice and pledging funds to help identify and fight the honey
Among the possible culprits are a fungus, virus, or a variety of
microbes and pesticides. No one knows just yet. On 1st inspection,
the pattern of die-offs resembles something that has been seen in
more isolated cases in Louisiana, Texas and Australia, vanEngelsdorp said.
"Right now, our efforts are on collecting as many samples as
possible," said vanEngelsdorp. Bees that are collected are carefully
dissected and analyzed to see what might have killed them.
Other researchers are keeping track of the problem using Google Earth
as well as cutting-edge hive-sniffing and eavesdropping technology to
investigate the problem.
"We're trying to sort out the myriad of variables," said Jerry
Bromenshank of the University of Montana and Bee Alert Technology,
Inc. "We've sent teams to Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and
California. The scenario was about exactly the same everywhere we looked."
The locations of the bees are put on a global database to see whether
there is any geographic pattern. Bromenshank also uses a
groundbreaking audio analysis technique that allows hearing specific
changes in bee colony sounds when specific chemicals are present.
Chemical air sampling in hives is also being planned, he said.
Just how bad the bee problem is right now is unknown, since the 1st
cases came at the end of 2006, and many colonies in northern states
are not active yet.
As spring awakens honey bee colonies, it will be vital for beekeepers
to send information to the scientists, regardless of how well or
poorly their bee colonies are faring, said Bromenshank. For that
purpose the scientists have put together a confidential beekeeper
survey on their website
"Beekeepers over-wintering in the north may not know the status of
their colonies until they are able to make early spring inspections,"
said Maryann Frazier, apiculture extension associate in Penn State's
College of Agricultural Sciences. "This should occur in late February
or early March . Regardless, there is little doubt that honey
bees are going to be in short supply this spring and possibly into the summer."
[Byline: Larry O'Hanlon]
[As this news article points out, bees are more valuable than as just
honey producers. They are essential for pollinating a multitude of
food crops as well as many of the trees, flowers and shrubs that we enjoy.
Bees can be affected by Foul Brood, Varroa mites, bronze bee mites,
and other parasites, fungi and viruses. Despite the importance of
bees, the research is not as energetic as it could be. - Mod.TG]