Monday, April 23, 2007

Wherefore Art Thou, Bee?

As much as I love this quote:
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."
- Albert Einstein
Some (here and here) are claiming it's a fabrication.

The attribution may be bogus, but the threat isn't. Bee populations throughout the world are disappearing. Why?

Ronald cites this article which claims it may be due to radiation from cell phones. The bees can't find their way back to the hive:
Are Mobile Phones Wiping Out Our Bees?

Melinda cites this German article which claims it may be due to genetically modified crops:
Are GM Crops Killing Bees?

Not only are they leaving the hive, and the Queen, and never coming back, but no one else wants that honey:
"The scientists are also surprised that bees and other insects usually leave the abandoned hives untouched. Nearby bee populations or parasites would normally raid the honey and pollen stores of colonies that have died for other reasons, such as excessive winter cold. "This suggests that there is something toxic in the colony itself which is repelling them." "
And this one:
Species Under Threat: Honey, Who Shrunk The Bee Population?

Which says that the few bees left are really, really diseased:
"... the few bees left inside the hive were carrying "a tremendous number of pathogens" - virtually every known bee virus could be detected in the insects, some bees were carrying five or six viruses at a time, as well as fungal infections. Because of this it was assumed that the bees' immune systems were being suppressed in some way."
CNN's article, Vanishing Honeybees Mystify Scientists wraps up with a disturbing fact:
"No technology has been invented that equals, much less surpasses, insect pollinators."
Photo: Homegrown

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