New suspects found in honey bee colony collapse.

Tim Benzedrine

Prankster Possum
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Hmmm. Insect forum or watering hole? On one hand, the article concerns insects. On the other hand, it's about science and stuff, which probably suits the watering hole. On the other other hand, I spend more time in the WH. So I guess I'll put it here. Er, what was I here for again?...oh yeah, the bee thing!

Fungus and virus combo causing hive collapse
 

DrJ

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I was actually discussing this issue over the summer with some colleagues. Interesting stuff! Thanks for providing an update!
 

Louise E. Rothstein

Arachnobaron
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New suspects found in honey bee colony collapse

I attended a meeting at the Organic Gardening Club.
The speaker reported that nicotine-based insecticides can disorient bees
so badly that they are unable to find their way home.

She also mentioned an Asian virus that has (also)been detected here: but
although both viruses and mites are known to be bad for bees colony collapse disorder just didn't happen before toxic "property maintenance" did.

And there may be additional evidence:
Several of the club members are beekeepers whose bees are supplied with daily access to unpoisoned properties.

They don't have colony collapse disorder...

And I believe that I know why not.
 

Toirtis

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I was actually discussing this issue over the summer with some colleagues. Interesting stuff! Thanks for providing an update!
Amusing...I discussed it with some colleagues earlier this year myself, and spent much of an afternoon discussing it with my fiancee just this past week.

The update is interesting, especially as we were postulating all sorts of potential causes.
 

mitchnast

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Well, I'm just going to throw my 2 cents in and suggest an observation.

See, I've noticed that bees congregate at irrigation ditches where there is an access of duckweed, they alite on the duckweed to drink the water at the surface.

The most duckweed congested water, would be the water with the highest concentration of nutrients (from agricultural runoff) and would most likely be stagnant, or at least not receiving much new water from scources other than agricultural runoff. This would be most attractive to bees.

this would also be most condusive to the concentration of residual pesticides.
It might also be reasonable to assume that pesticides would be at higher concentration nearest the surface where the water is much warmer (and therefore has a greater capacity for dissolved chemicals) due to the sun shining on the duckweed. The bee would expend moisture during an active day, but not the residual pesticide, creating a concentration.

Bees are more likely to gather at irrigation ponds and ditches on hot days, when the water is warmest near the surface, while foraging. this would lead to a gradual buildup of pesticides in the colony in honey storage, and in the feeding of larval and juvenile bees, and then so-on through subsequent generations.

I would think it is reasonable to assume that pesticides will continue to accumulate in these ponds where agricultural nutrients also accumulate, and it is reasonable to assume that bees will regularly be a staple accessory of agriculture associated with pesticide use.

just a theory, Go out on a hot day to a duckweed-covered ditch near a farm. and see the bees for yourself.
 

Vespula

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Hmm. Wierd. I'd just been discussing CCD with a professor of mine the other day... {D
 

Cheshire

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They don't have colony collapse disorder...

And I believe that I know why not.
So...you have a wild guess based only on a tenuous correlation and your only experience with beekeeping is attending one meeting in a group whose members tend to do their best to instill chemophobia in the public?

Your argument hinges on the observations of a few chemophobic beekeepers who say that this problem didn't happen before 'toxic property maintenance'. I don't really know what that means, but I'll assume it's little more than pesticide/fertilizer fear mongering.

Well, I worked for the USDA for about a year as a beekeeper. At our peak in the season, we had well over 500 colonies. We stored the frames in napthalene, we used pyrethroids and formic acid to control mites and put a handful of different fungicides on the bees multiple times during the year.

No CCD. Hell, we'd constantly have to split the colonies to prevent them from swarming...and even then we'd get about two or three a month which got away from us.

Correlation isn't necessarily causation. If I were to accept your argument, I would also have to accept that ice cream can protect you from car crashes because there's generally a rise in car crashes at times of the year when ice cream sales decrease.

I've talked to entomologists who study the phenomenon and they require far better evidence than the weak correlations you've brought up above...I'll trust what they say.
 

Louise E. Rothstein

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New suspects found in honey bee colony colony collapse

Dear Cheshire:

The "pesticides" that spared the bees you were working with are not the chemicals that have been implicated in CCD.

The speaker I mentioned never made indiscriminate accusations.
Neither did the people in the Organic Gardening Club.
They spoke of specific evidence against a chemically related group of pesticides that you may have not encountered.

I believe that both their observations and your own tell the truth:

Bees do tolerate SOME chemicals:but not all of them.
 

Cheshire

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Dear Cheshire:

The "pesticides" that spared the bees you were working with are not the chemicals that have been implicated in CCD.

The speaker I mentioned never made indiscriminate accusations.
Neither did the people in the Organic Gardening Club.
They spoke of specific evidence against a chemically related group of pesticides that you may have not encountered.

I believe that both their observations and your own tell the truth:

Bees do tolerate SOME chemicals:but not all of them.
That's not what you said, but OK. You made a mention of nicotine-based pesticides (?) and then went on about 'toxic property management'. I'll assume you mis-spoke.

The only pesticides I'm aware of which have been implicated in CCD are neonicotinoids, and there's about as much evidence for their involvement as any other culprit.
 

Louise E. Rothstein

Arachnobaron
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New suspects found in honey bee colony collapse

Dear Cheshire:

"Neonictinoids" are probably "nicotine based pesticides."

There were NO instances of the specific syndrome that is called colony collapse disorder before those chemicals came into widespread use.

Had there been equivalent correlation between ice cream sales and car
crashes there would have been "extra" car crashes in EVERY community that sold "extra" ice cream...and EVERY community that had NO ice cream sales would have soon encountered NO car crashes.

Not even one.

Anywhere.

Ever.

Had there really been equivalent correlation...
The above scenario would have really happened.
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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Dear Cheshire:

"Neonictinoids" are probably "nicotine based pesticides."

There were NO instances of the specific syndrome that is called colony collapse disorder before those chemicals came into widespread use.

Had there been equivalent correlation between ice cream sales and car
crashes there would have been "extra" car crashes in EVERY community that sold "extra" ice cream...and EVERY community that had NO ice cream sales would have soon encountered NO car crashes.

Not even one.

Anywhere.

Ever.

Had there really been equivalent correlation...
The above scenario would have really happened.
Dear Louise,

Colony collapses have been documented as far back as 1869, well before neonicitonoids came onto the market. They crop up every so often, and this is by no means the first time we've seen anything like CCD. This report is from a group which studies the phenomenon.

Furthermore, there has not been a rebound of honeybee numbers in areas where neonicotonoids have been banned. Because the putative mechanism for disorientation is intoxication in non-lethal doses, we'd expect to see a quick recovery if those were the culprits because the pesticides would eventually break down. We don't see that pattern, therefore this is not a good potential explanation.

My argument still stands. Correlation is not neccessarily causation. Your logic is flawed and your sources know nothing at all about honeybee biology, pesticide toxicology, CCD or honeybee pathology. You'd do well to dig up some recent articles and begin reading rather than listening to fearmongering organic cooperatives which tend to be crappy sources of information.
 

Louise E. Rothstein

Arachnobaron
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New suspects found in honey bee colony collapse

I stand corrected.
I did fail to notice that "equivalent correlation" would have been more likely
to STOP car crashes whenever more than a "crucial" amount of ice cream is sold in a district than to cause more of them.

But it is untrue that "colony collapse disorder" occurred before chemical proliferation did: the earlier "die-offs" did NOT leave intact honey reserves that healthy bees from neighboring colonies refused to eat,touch,or take.

This behavior is brand new.
It is sufficiently "different" to differentiate colony collapse disorder from
the earlier "die-offs" that you spoke of.

The ineffective "bans" on suspected chemicals were enforced on paper:
They may have ONLY been "enforced" on paper.

Or other chemicals may have been substituted for them.

"Organic" property owners DO enforce bans on suspected chemicals.

They do NOT substitute other chemicals.

And some of them are breeding bees.
It is true that weather,mites,etc. really don't care who is organic.
Although such problems do bother "organic" beekeepers the affected bees' honey stores tend to be missing by spring or acceptable to healthy bees.

This isn't the aftermath of colony collapse disorder.

Its repellent honey remains distinctive.
 
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