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Bee CCD To Bee Organic or not to Bee

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Free World Order

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Bee CCD To Bee Organic or not to Bee PostThu Jul 17, 2008 4:55 pm  Reply with quote  

Worsening epidemic of Colony Collapse
See Also:
ISIS Press Release 04/06/08
Ban GMOs Now

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho warns that further indulgence in GMOs will severely damage our chances of surviving the food crisis and global warming; organic agriculture and localised food systems are the way forward

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a growing scourge of honeybees has struck again this year. The United Sates Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported a 36 percent loss of colonies in managed hives over the winter, up 13.5 percent from the previous year [1]. USDA has yet to identify a single pathogen responsible for the disease, and has finally begun to study the interaction between pesticides and viruses or varroa mites as possible causes [2].

CCD is characterised by the complete absence of adult bees in the colonies with little build-up of dead bees in or around the colonies, but capped brood and food stores of both honey and bee bread are present, and are not immediately robbed by other bees. Attacks by hive pests such as wax moth and small hive beetle, if any, are noticeably delayed.

In a colony undergoing collapse, the workforce is insufficient to maintain the brood, and seems to be made up mostly of young adult bees. The queen bee is present, but the cluster is reluctant to consume provided feed such as sugar syrup and protein supplement [3].

The Institute of Science in Society has reviewed the evidence on the impact of pesticides and the synergistic interaction between pesticides (including Bt biopesticides now widely incorporated into genetically modified (GM) crops) and pathogens such as the fungal parasites [4-6] (Requiem for the Honeybee, Mystery of Disappearing Honeybees, SiS 34; Parasitic Fungi and Pesticides Act Synergistically to Kill Honeybees? SiS 35). That evidence was the basis for question to the European parliament urging immediate bans on the pesticides such as the neonicotinoid insecticides as well as GM crops containing Bt biopesticides [7] (Emergency Motion on Protecting the Honeybee, SiS 35).

In 2008, the German government took the extraordinary step of banning neonicotinoid pesticides (see Emergency Pesticide Ban for Saving the Honeybee, SiS 39).

Genetics of the honeybee

The honeybee genome has been sequenced, and while rich in genes for behaviour and learning relative to other insects, it is deficient in genes for immunity and the ability to detoxify toxic chemicals such as the pesticides [8]. The genes families involved in insecticide resistance in other insects are completely lacking. These shortfalls contribute to the sensitivity of bees to insecticides [9]. Bees have been found to have immune systems comparable to insects such as flies and mosquitoes, but with about one third less genes devoted to immunity than other insects. Insects immunity involves inducible synthesis of anti-microbial peptides and constitutive melanisation-encapsulation response to pathogens The reduced immune flexibility of the honeybee may be compensated by social activity such as hive cleaning [10]. When bees are challenged by a bacterial pathogen, genes in the head of the bee are differentially expressed, and show neuroimmune-behaviour interactions similar to those of vertebrates [11]. A dysfunction in both its immune response and behaviour triggered by exposure to pesticides could easily result in CCD.

The genetics of honey bees is now actively investigated. The male honeybee has 24 chromosomes (linkage groups) and mapping of the numerous genes has been achieved. Males are normally haploid, but diploid males are observed at low frequency. Worker bees and queens are diploid. One queen bee provides over 2 000 eggs per day; unfertilized eggs become males while fertilized eggs become workers [12]. Bee breeding has had some success, but complicated by the breeding habit of the queen, which copulates while flying to avoid inbreeding depression. The problem of inbreeding in honeybees has been studied for over fifty years, and before that, beekeepers have recognized the problem for centuries. The population genetics of inbreeding and homozygosis (too many genes existing as identical pairs) was worked out in 1950 by James Crow and William Roberts in [13]. Heterosis (hybrid vigour) in the honeybee was described in 1955 by Gladstone Gale Jr. and John Gower [14]. There has been no evidence that inbreeding contributed to CCD because the experienced beekeepers recognize the problem and overcome it by providing for out-breeding. However, it is clear that the toll of CCD may result in obligatory inbreeding due to shrinkage of the bee population, and that will accelerate the demise of the honeybee.
To bee organic

Organic farms are proving to be sanctuaries for the honeybee from the ravages of CCD. The honeybees are exquisite social animals perfectly adapted for pollination and honey making, but far too delicate to withstand the onslaught of systemic pesticides and GM crops. Regulators are slow to control the environmental insults to the honeybees and unprepared to act on the precautionary principle. Saving the honeybee may be among the most compelling reasons to shift comprehensively to organic agriculture [15] (Saving the Honeybee Through Organic Farming, SiS 38).
Disclaimer: all my posts are thought crimes and only IMO in the police state we all live in... UK is history, USA to RESIST?
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Free World Order

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PostThu Jul 17, 2008 5:23 pm  Reply with quote  

Dear Real Food campaigner,

It has been revealed that Government is looking into ways that GM
crops could be grown in Britain. This follows strong lobbying by the
GM industry. They are touting GM crops as a solution to the global
food crisis. But despite the lack of evidence it now looks like
Government might believe their spin.

Our new email action lets you tell your MP not to fall for the GM
hype. To take action please go to:

Thank you for all your support,
Disclaimer: all my posts are thought crimes and only IMO in the police state we all live in... UK is history, USA to RESIST?
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EPA is Hiding Colony Collapse Disorder Information PostSat Aug 30, 2008 4:39 am  Reply with quote

EPA Buzz Kill: Is the Agency Hiding Colony Collapse Disorder Information?
Natural Resources Defense Council, via Common Dreams, August 18, 2008

NRDC Forced to Sue to Get Public Records on Bee Mystery

WASHINGTON - August 18 - The Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit today to uncover critical information that the US government is withholding about the risks posed by pesticides to honey bees. NRDC legal experts and a leading bee researcher are convinced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evidence of connections between pesticides and the mysterious honey bee die-offs reported across the country. The phenomenon has come to be called "colony collapse disorder," or CCD, and it is already proving to have disastrous consequences for American agriculture and the $15 billion worth of crops pollinated by bees every year.

EPA has failed to respond to NRDC's Freedom of Information Act request for agency records concerning the toxicity of pesticides to bees, forcing the legal action.

"Recently approved pesticides have been implicated in massive bee die-offs and are the focus of increasing scientific scrutiny," said NRDC Senior Attorney Aaron Colangelo. "EPA should be evaluating the risks to bees before approving new pesticides, but now refuses to tell the public what it knows. Pesticide restrictions might be at the heart of the solution to this growing crisis, so why hide the information they should be using to make those decisions?"

In 2003, EPA granted a registration to a new pesticide manufactured by Bayer CropScience under the condition that Bayer submit studies about its product's impact on bees. EPA has refused to disclose the results of these studies, or if the studies have even been submitted. The pesticide in question, clothianidin, recently was banned in Germany due to concerns about its impact on bees. A similar insecticide was banned in France for the same reason a couple of years before. In the United States, these chemicals still are in use despite a growing consensus among bee specialists that pesticides, including clothianidin and its chemical cousins, may contribute to CCD.

In the past two years, some American beekeepers have reported unexplained losses of 30-90% of the bees in their hives. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops grown in America. USDA also claims that one out of every three mouthfuls of food in the typical American diet has a connection to bee pollination. As the die-offs worsen, Americans will see their food costs increase.

Despite bees' critical role for farmers, consumers, and the environment, the federal government has been slow to address the die-off since the alarm bells started in 2006. In recent Congressional hearings, USDA was unable to account for the $20 million that Congress has allocated to the department for fighting CCD in the last two years.

"This is a real mystery right now," said Dr. Gabriela Chavarria, director of NRDC's Science Center. "EPA needs to help shed some light so that researchers can get to work on this problem. This isn't just an issue for farmers -- this is an issue that concerns us all. Just try to imagine a pizza without the contribution of bees! No tomatoes. No cheese. No peppers. If you eat apples, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, squash, carrots, avocados, or cherries, you need to be concerned."

Chavarria has spent more than 20 years studying bees, and has published a number of academic papers on the taxonomy, behavior and distribution of native bees.

NRDC filed the lawsuit today in federal court in Washington DC. In documents to be filed next month, NRDC will ask for a court order directing EPA to disclose its information about pesticides and bee toxicity.

More information on CCD can be found at NRDC's web site.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.

CONTACT: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Josh Mogerman at 312/780-7424

Henwhisperer Today, 01:37 PM

Yeah, the pesticides and, let's not forget the consequences of GMOs. Studies have shown that the DNA from the GMO pollen jumps species barrier in the bee's gut and takes up in the yeast that lives there. Monsanto strikes again.
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