Bee Gone — Honeybee Disappearance ‘Canary in the Coalmine’

May 12, 2016

Honey-Bee2Chilly fog blankets my little patch of ground on California’s north coast this near-noon Thursday — rain forecast starting maybe tomorrow night, or Saturday, but supposedly this system lacks punch. Not much wetness expected.
Hopefully, sunshine this afternoon, but chances seem slim.

Gray environment, bordering emotionally on the Gothic…

And to further paint a sad canvas, some more ominous news this morning: Preliminary data released by the USDA shows 28 percent of US bee colonies were lost during this past winter, beekeepers experiencing ‘unsustainable losses’ due to it.
Seemingly worse, from April 2015 to March 2016, beekeepers lost 44 percent of their colonies, highest annual loss on record — the disaster no longer just a ‘winter’ problem, as the bees are dying off year round.

A lot of blame on pesticides, but something more sinister might be floating in the polluted wind.

Details from yesterday’s Guardian:

“It’s very troubling and what really concerns me that we are losing colonies in summer too, when bees should be doing so well,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, a University of Maryland bee scientist and survey leader.
“This suggests there is something more going on — bees may be the canary in the coalmine of bigger environmental problems.
“One in three bites of food we eat is directly or indirectly pollinated by bees. If we want to produce apples, cucumbers, almonds, blueberries and lots of other types of food, we need a functioning pollination system.
Bees, and the beekeeping industry, will suffer dramatically if we don’t have that.”

Read more about the survey at Science Daily.

And that CO2 rise I posted about yesterday, not-honey maybe for the bees — from Environment360 on Tuesday:

More than 100 previous studies have shown that elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide decrease the nutritional value of plants, such as wheat and rice.
But the goldenrod study, published last month, was the first to examine the effects of rising CO2 on the diet of bees, and its conclusions were unsettling: The adverse impact of rising CO2 concentrations on the protein levels in pollen may be playing a role in the global die-off of bee populations by undermining bee nutrition and reproductive success.

The greenhouse effect on the hive-rise…

(Illustration above found here).

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