Pollinator decline is not just a North American phenomenon, it is a World Wide cause for alarm. Life Without Honey Bees could be our children's future.
Honey bees as well as other flying pollinator insects are responsible for the beauty of Planet Earth. World Wide we as loosing seventy five percent of flying insects since 2008.
Within a recent report from pri.org, shows us that flying insect populations are crashing fast.
Dave Goulson, professor of biology at the University of Sussex confirms scientist fears with his new study. The problem is so concerning it could lead to an ecological collapse.
Dr. Goulson also points out that these insect pollinate most of the flowers, trees and food crops on the planet.
Seeing that the rusty patched bumble bee is already considered endangered, showing we are inching closer to life without bees.
Losing flying insects would spell our doom. Life on Eatrh would be changed so dramatically that even Monosanto could not save us.
So, we absolutely need to take this seriously.
Life Without Honey Bees...
Out environment and our food supplies depend on honey bees, bumble bees and other pollinating insects. All food crops in America today need honey bees to produce the abundance of fruit and veggies we enjoy. Not to mention the meat and dairy products we eat every day.
Lets debunk some myths and address our Unfounded Fear Killer Bees
I have been telling people for years that Killer bees is just a marketing tool for the Pest Control Companies. In fact exterminating honey bees is a half a billion dollar and year business.
Articles are written with only part of the story. Like, Two horses killed by angry swarm of killer bees. When the other side of the story is that the exterminator did his job wrong and got the horses killed.
Or how about, L.A. neighborhood under attack by swarms of killer bees. What is not reported is that the owner of the tree the bees were in tried to save a buck by spraying the hive with wasp and hornet spray.
All bees will protect their nest, including Bumble Bees. A swarm of bees has on hive to protect and therefore will not attack.
Even a swarm of killer bees are very calm when in swarm mode. It is when the nest is disturbed that trouble can start. This is true with any stinging insect.
Well I came across an report from Newsday read the full story.
Bees are not out to kill
Unveiling the myth of Africanised Part II
So why are people really afraid of Africanised bees? One reason is their predisposition to swarming. Many people have the misconception that swarming is how bees attack. Swarming is in fact the means by which bees find a suitable site for their colony. Workers scout for a suitable location, and when one is found, the queen along with 60 percent of the workers leave the colony to take up residence and establish a colony at the new site. The workers that are left behind care for the developing queen who will then lead their colony. So that swarming is actually good for beekeepers (once it can be controlled) as it creates more colonies and increases the honey production of the apiary.
However, the term “killer bees” is misleading since just as with European bees, Africanised honey bees are not out to kill but defend their colonies. Swarming bees are not aggressive as they have no colony to defend. They are also not physically able to sting since they have engorged themselves with honey in order to make the trip and found the new colony.
IrescueBee would like to thank Newsday for this report
IRescuebees and our associates are seasoned professional not a bunch of hobbyist. We can handle any bee situation safely and we do not run away.
Raising further concerns about the global food production system, a new study found that bees worldwide are being widely exposed to dangerous agricultural chemicals, with 75 percent of honey samples from six continents testing positive for pesticides known to harm pollinators.
"What this shows is the magnitude of the contamination," the study's lead author, Edward Mitchell, a biology professor at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland, told the Denver Post. He said there were "relatively few places where we did not find any" contaminated samples.
For the study, published in the journal Science, Mitchell's team of researchers examined nearly 200 samples for the five most commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides, or neonics.
Remarkably mega farms are still spraying this stuff, contaminating our food supplies globally. Lets continue.
"It is definitely scary for honeybees and other bees and useful insects," Aebi said. "We have up to five molecules in one single sample. From a risk assessment point of view, the evaluation of the risk is made from one single compound in one test organism. So the cocktail is not tested. Mixed effects should be taken seriously."
The impact on bees of continuing to use these pesticides is expected to have widespread consequences.
"In 2014, a global assessment of neonicotinoids concluded that their widespread use was putting the global food production system at risk," the Guardian notedon Thursday. An updated assessment that is slated to appear in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research found even stronger evidence that the insecticides are harmful, and reportedly concludes: "The consequences are far reaching and cannot be ignored any longer."
In the battle to keep your colonies healthy there is New Study Provides Hope Against American Foulbrood.
Foulbrood has become a beekeepers nightmare. When a colony is infected most will treat with antibiotics.
Sadly the medications do not work anymore. Basically, if your colony is infected you should burn it right away to save your other colonies.
Hopefully, it has not spread to other colonies. An easily spread bacterium that has and can wipe out entire apiaries.
New Study Provides Hope Against American Foulbrood excerpts taken from Entomologytoday.org read the full report..
She lifts the lid on her carefully tended hive and is greeted with a whiff of rotting flesh. Further inspection finds that the young bees of the colony, who should be plump, pearly-white larvae, have melted into a puddle of brownish goo at the bottom of their cells. This colony is infected with American foulbrood disease—most likely a death sentence.
If she’s very lucky, she may be able to save the colony with a course of antibiotics, but the drugs don’t always work, and the disease is highly contagious. To save nearby colonies from infection, the beekeeper may be required burn the entire hive, bees and all.
American foulbrood disease, or AFB, is caused by the Paenibacillus larvaebacterium, a difficult-to-control and highly destructive pathogen found worldwide. In a study published last week in the open-access Journal of Insect Science, Israel Alvarado, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), explore whether blocking the germination of P. larvae spores is an effective way to treat this infection...
Still, much works needs to be done before beekeepers can start using 5-chloroindole. A practical method to get 5-chloroindole to the larvae must be developed—for instance, as a food supplement for the colony. In addition, researchers must determine how long 5-chloroindole persists in the wax and honey stored by a treated colony. Nevertheless, it is a promising development in the battle against AFB. If the researchers find continued success, beekeepers may soon be armed with a more effective, less drastic treatment for AFB, and fewer bee hives will be sent to the burn pile..
European Beemageddon Warn French Beekeepers, as French authorities approve use of neonicotinoids
If foul brood, trachel mites, varroa mites and colony collaspe disorder are not enough, why not add five more things to diminish bee populations across the globe.
Battling to keep honey production up and honey bees healthy is heating up in France. Calling what the authorities done by allowing a new type of pesticide use across the country scandalous.
Here are just a few excerpts from a report published 10-20-2017 by The telegraph.
French bee keepers are up in arms over the authorisation of an insecticide they warn could sound the death knell of their already decimated bee population.
Bee hives have been hit in Europe, North America and elsewhere by a mysterious phenomenon called "colony collapse disorder". The blight has been blamed on mites, a virus or fungus, pesticides, or a combination of factors.
With the honey harvest in France down to just 10,000 tons this year - three times less than in the 1990s - the country's national apiculture union, UNAF, slammed what it called the "scandalous" authorisation of sulfaoxaflor, which attacks the central nervous system of insects...
Studies have blamed the chemical for harming bee reproduction and foraging by diminishing sperm quality and scrambling memory and navigation functions. It has also been linked to lower disease resistance. Neonicotinoids currently cover more than a fifth of French crops with 70 per cent of seeds from cooperatives already coated in the product.
Producers insist neonicotinoids are safe if used correctly. They also maintain that evidence linking these chemicals to a plunge in bee populations is flimsy and that the phenomenon is due to a number of factors, such as viruses and parasites.
In high enough concentrations, Naled can cause nausea, dizziness, confusion and even convulsions and death in humans. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these effects require exposure to naled at far higher levels than licensed professionals dispense during spraying.
They say that Naled kills the mosquito on contact but, where does the residue go and can it effect your bees. Hard to get the evidenced on that one.
In 2016 they sprayed most of the south's incorporated areas to combat Zika. This year I notice that most of our removals had low brood patches and most of the colonies were dry. Hardly any honey.
We have gotten the same story from Texas to Florida. Could the Zika spraying cause this, I don't know. Story comes from KHOU.com
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – County health officials say the public should not fear the spray being used to control the mosquito population in Harris County.
Aerial spraying to combat the mosquitoes is scheduled to begin in Harris County on Thursday evening. The operation may take more than a day.
Harris County Public Health says the rain left behind created large areas where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. The U.S. Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing will fly a modified C-130 cargo plane to conduct aerial sprays.
The plan is to spray 600,000 acres, mostly outside of the City of Houston limits... As an extra precaution, beekeepers may wish to cover their colonies to prevent bees from exiting during treatment.
The importance of honeybees isn’t just about bees or honey. Because a third of global food production is reliant on pollinators, many of the most common fruits and vegetables are dependent on some aspect of the honeybee pollination process.
For example, almonds are 100 percent reliant on the honeybee. In fact, the relationship between bees and almonds is symbiotic. Almond trees require cross-pollination to grow, and male bees move pollen between the plants, helping them to thrive. In return, almond pollen is considered a natural form of food and nutrition for bees.
Apples, avocados, and blueberries are also extremely dependent on the honeybee’s pollination skills. For avocados, while there may be only one seed in the entire fruit, more than 20 pollen grains are needed before a flower can produce one. Honeybees are also more efficient at pollinating when it comes to apple and cherry orchards compared to nectar collectors, which helps these delicious fruits mature so we can enjoy them.
THE COST OF LOSING BEES
Losing the honeybee doesn’t just mean fewer almonds and apples for our salads and treats, it means big bucks for the U.S. economy. Because so many of the foods we eat every day are dependent on pollinators for production, losing a major player in the game like the honeybee would be devastating to our food economy.
The financial impact of losing the honeybee population would be greatest in the almond industry. Combining the sale of almonds and wages of those employed to help maintain them (earning an average pay of $20,000 every year), the almond industry adds roughly $5.9 billion to the U.S. economy. The cost of the production of apples adds over $2.9 billion every year, and the broccoli and onion industries each contribute well over $800 million to our economy.
Today, 1 in 12 jobs across the country are directly connected to agriculture. In total, the honeybee contribution equates to well over $16 billion dollars a year and helps employ hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S.
Breaking News: Hurricane Irma Wipes Out Most of Florida Citrus
Hurricane Irma, the largest Alantic storm in recorded history took aim at Florida recently. Running up Florida's west coast her brutal winds took out seventy percent of southern Florida's citrus groves.
Florida is second only to Brazil in citrus production. Beekeepers in the state produce twenty seven million pound of honey each year.
We have not seen the extent of the damage she has done to Florida's Ag, let alone the beekeeping Industry in the state.
Grower group says Irma caused 50 to 70 percent citrus loss in portions of South FloridaHurricane Irma caused losses of 50 to 70 percent of Florida's citrus crop in portions of South Florida, according to the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association.Oranges and grapefruit were hard hit by the storm, but there also were impacts to fields in the south and central areas where other crops grow, particularly strawberries and tomatoes.
Based on reports from the field, it's estimated that there's a 50 to 70 percent crop loss in South Florida, depending on the region," said Lisa Lochridge, a spokesperson for the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association, a trade group representing growers across the state. "Losses are less going north."
On Monday, CNBC was told preliminary assessment of the storm showed up to 30 percent of some major crops such as grapefruit had losses, according to estimates by Joel Widenor, a meteorologist and co-founder of Commodity Weather Group.
In an interview Wednesday, Widenor said CWG didn't revise its initial estimates, but he added that "the ground crews will have a much better feel for it. Certainly, it could be higher than what we were saying."
As for other crops, she said there was some damage in fields where other fruits and vegetables grow in the southern and central parts of the state, particularly tomatoes and strawberries. For example, she said plastic ground covering and irrigation systems got ripped up by the storm, and there's standing water in fields too.
"As a result, the tomato crop is expected to be light at the first part of November, but volume should build and we expect a solid December," she said. "Strawberry growers expect to be able to recover quickly and stay on their timetable to be harvesting on time."
There's still no official reports of economic loss totals from agriculture but it could surpass $100 million, as the value of Florida's citrus last year exceeded $1 billion. The most vulnerable citrus crop due to Irma is grapefruit because of its weight on the trees, although orange groves also suffered losses.
Another crop hard hit by Irma was Florida's sugar cane, which had a value last year of $561 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"The impact is shocking and will be felt for many months," USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. "In addition to efforts being made on the ground to assist producers, we have taken a hard look at our regular reporting requirements and adjusted them so producers can take care of pressing needs first and mostly deal with documentation and claims later."
Before Hurricane Irma, Florida was expecting to harvest more than 75 million boxes worth of oranges, according to the Florida Department of Citrus. "Due to the storm, we now have much less," said Shannon Shepp, the agency's executive director.
In an emailed statement, Lochridge said "Irma cut a powerful swath through the epicenter of Florida's citrus-growing region. The primary problem is that the excessive winds stripped the trees of fruit."
Some citrus-growing areas faced peak wind gusts between about 60 and 80 mph during Hurricane Irma.
According to government data, Central Florida's Polk County — located between Orlando and Tampa — is the state's biggest county in terms of citrus production, followed by Hendry, located on Lake Okeechobee's southwestern shore.
Lochridge said the devastating storm "uprooted trees, but that is not as big of a problem, which is good for the growers longer-term. Many groves are flooded, however, and it will take growers a while to get all of that excess water pumped out."
The standing water also can be a major source of diseases for citrus trees. Root rot endangers the health of the tree when the trunk stays moist for extended periods of time.
Hurricane Irma Wipes Out Most of Florida Citrus...
It is gonna take a long time to straighten Irma's mess up. And just as long to see the impacts on Florida's honey bee industry.
With their steep decline we can expect food shortages even in the U. S. Here is part of a report by Save on Energy. Read the full report.
The honeybee population has been in steady decline for years, and since 2015, their population has been declining at an even more alarming rate.
Between January and March 2015, nearly half of the honeybee population in Ohio was lost due to potentially 60 different factors, and more than a third of the honeybees in Illinois died. Between April and June 2015, between 2 percent and 19 percent of the honeybee populations across the entire U.S. died. During the summer months, nearly a third of the honeybees in Arkansas died, and between October and the end of December, 40 percent of the honeybees in Kansas had perished.
Between January and March 2016, honeybee populations were still on the decline, and almost half of the remaining bees in Oklahoma disappeared.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service and the USDA have recorded losses from 29% to 45% between 2010 and 2015. Despite the efforts of beekeepers across the country and research to understand these trends, between 12 percent and 18 percent of the honeybees in the U.S. were lost each quarter between March 2015 and March 2016.
DAMAGE TO THE HONEYBEE POPULATION
So, what’s causing all of this damage to the honeybee population in the U.S.?
The No. 1 stressor on honeybee colonies is varroa mites. Largely found in Florida, these mites feed off of adult honeybees and those unhatched or maturing (called brood). The mites actually develop on the honeybee brood, allowing them to overtake adult bees as they grow, and move from colony to colony by attaching themselves to agricultural workers and drones.
Other pests and parasites like tracheal mites, small hive beetles, and wax moths, as well as the disease nosema, are also having a negative impact on the health of the honeybee population. Hive beetles are native to the sub-Saharan areas of Africa but have been found outside of the region around nests of the honeybee.
Pesticides, weather, and diseases have also had significant adverse impacts on the honeybee population in the U.S., together accounting for over 20 percent of colonies lost in 2015 and 2016.