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Colony collapse

To take my mind off more trivial things (in the grand scheme of all things, everything is trivial), I was thinking about the bees in my garden, wondering if their hive had a chance and I started to do some research to see what was new with CCD. Last I heard, something like 30% of the US’s bees had fallen from it.

I found this article, where it gives a number of 1.1 million colonies (each colony has tens to hundreds of thousands of bees) died last winter. Bees are very suseptible to disease, illness and bugs like many species are, but they seem to be at most risk of dying from something called “Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus”, which is transmitted by mites and other bees. Another article gives information about IAPV that doesn’t paint a good picture for bees worldwide, and claims that 50-90% of US colonies have died:

IAPV was first described in 2004 in Israel where infected bees presented with shivering wings, progressed to paralysis and then died just outside the hive. Importation to the U.S. of bees from Australia began in 2004, coinciding with early reports of unusual colony declines.

So the virus seems to come from Austrialia, but there’s no cases IN Australia, according to this CNN article, possibly because the mites that transmit them are a Northern Hemisphere problem.

Snopes isn’t sure if Einstein actual said it, but many people believe it to be true anyway:

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.”

Since many world crop depend on bees to pollinate, if they disappear, it would go along with it that food does too.  Scary stuff.

One Response to Colony collapse

  1. Barbee' August 3, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    Hi Amy, this is a good article/post. I appreciate your delving into the information and passing it along to the rest of us. I did a post about it 2 or 3 weeks ago, and had good response from readers. Someone in Europe thought it was not a problem there! It is a problem everywhere, and that just goes to show that not everyone is aware of the problem. I had not seen that quote, thank you for passing it on.

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