Re: death by mobile phone?
- From: AL <lithar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 10:05:18 -0600
Neon John <no@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in[...]
First establish to a reasonable degree of scientific
certainty that this bee thing is even happening. Once you
do that then I'll posit some theories.
oh, it's happening.
This article made no mention of cell phones, which was the basis for your initial post.
Another article I read recently speculated sunspot involvement - hmmm...
If colonies are being decimated at an unusually high rate then agricultural spraying is a #1 likely cause. Although pesticide/herbicide spraying is supposed to be suspended during time when bees are foraging, unscrupulous or ignorant farmers won't heed the concerns of beekeepers. Many farmers I know would ridicule the concerns over spraying. Legal action can be taken to shut them down but that requires understanding the situation and catching the sprayer in the act.
One comment in the article that hints at the author's ignorance on the subject of bees refers to pollinators "frequently trekking around the country with their insects packed into 18-wheelers, looking for pollination work." Well before the pollination season begins these guys already have their agendas mapped out according to crop schedules and have their pollination contracts in hand.
The articles I've read so far tend to be long on hysterics and short on real information.
Beekeepers have for a long time battled against agents such as tracheal mites, varroa mites, american foulbrood (very bad), european foulbrood, sacbrood chalkbrood, nosema, wax moths and more recently the small hive beetle. Add to that the sometimes seemingly arbitrary "decision" of a colony to abscond, and beekeeping becomes a whole lot of guesswork, even for the experts.
It has become evident that some of the methods of treating hives against mites have produced a resistant form of mite that require yet another approach - mineral oil fogging or powdered sugar dusting, to name two labor intensive methods. Given that hives are treated with various chemical agents to fight other maladies, its not unreasonable to speculate other forms of resistance have developed are are beginning to appear in large enough numbers to be noticed.
I have never treated my hives chemically but I know the state agency that oversees beekeepers is pretty adamant that these treatments be administered - I don't like the idea of chemicals in my hives. As far as I can tell, compared to other beekeepers I know who do follow the treament regiments, my hive failure rate is pretty much on par with theirs - and I'm not out the money for the chemicals.
Pollinators must be inspected prior to departure and upon arrival in the fields and are pretty much required to follow each state's mandated hive treatments. The movement of hives serves to speed the spread of these problems around the country, to other bee yards and feral hives, thus the need for rigorous inspections. In recent years this movement of hives has raised concerns over the spread of Africanized bees - remember the media frenzy about the invasion of African bees? Seems I can recall a movie and an scene in the X-files that fed on the hype.
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