Sunday, April 5, 2009

Scientific American Update on Bees

(I've gotta bee me)

Scientific American's April 2009 publication has an update on our honey bee troubles, known as Colony Collapse Disorder. An excerpt follows below, but the 'are-you-freaking-kidding-me-no-duh' italics at the end are mine:

" single culprit has been identified. Bees suffering from CCD tend to be infested with multiple pathogens, including a newly discovered virus, but these infections seem secondary or opportunistic much the way pneumonia kills a patient with AIDS. The picture now emerging is of a complex condition that can be triggered by different combinations of causes. There may be no easy remedy to CCD. It may require taking better care of the environment and making long-term changes to our beekeeping and agricultural practices."

I'm glad it's finally getting reported that way in a mainstream publication, even if organic, local, small-scale beekeepers have been saying the very same thing since the beginning of the crisis. Despite the article's publication in corporate-friendly, Big Ag-friendly Scientific American, the article dares to briefly take on honeybee nutrition, criticizing fencerow to fencerow planting, monocropping, and suburban lawns- all of which are food deserts to bees. It also has some words about pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. I certainly hope this article gets noticed.


chaiselongue said...

Let's hope this article does get noticed. I think Scientific American is widely read outside the US too, so perhaps the obvious (to us) idea, that if you damage the environment you damage its inhabitants, will get through to the mainstream worldwide. There still seem to be plenty of bees here in southern France, but I've heard that CCD is a problem in the UK.

Verde said...

I'll bet someone suggests we have to study this a little further before jumping to conclusions.

d. moll, said...

Hmm, I think CCD is happening in places other than just beehives.

Rabbits' Guy said...

It's probably a dastardly plot by a megalomaniac who holds the patent on artificial honey. Hopefully Dirk Pitt and NUMA will be on this pronto.

Right after they solve the Spartan meltdown :<(

chaiselongue said...

I couldn't resist the Butterfly Award, which I'm forwarding to you. As I don't usually join in these blog games, I'm not sure what to do with it, but it's on my blog!

PJ said...

I have a mason bee house and Irecently made a post on my gardening blog about my bumble bee encounter, so we have bees.

The first year I put the mason bee house up it was almost full as were all the holes in the experior brick of my little house. The previous owners had all kinds of "art" up and the masons love using the holes for incubating larva.
The next year, not so much, last year, not so much. I'm afraid to look this year. We'll see.

Happily The White House had a honey bee swarm problem. I think that's a good sign. You can get the link on Cute Overload.