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Why are all the bees dying? Bee colonies across the nation are in serious decline. This new, unexplained condition has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). It is estimated that about a quarter of the 2.4 million commercial bee colonies across the nation have been lost just since last autumn, and in some areas the loss is almost 90 percent. The impact of this loss is enormous because honey bees are the primary pollinators of much of the nation’s food crops. Here in California, producers of almonds, apples, alfalfa, avocados, blueberries, citrus, tree fruit, and watermelons, among many other crops, depend on a healthy bee population for crop pollination. We need every bee! All bees come back to live on my sustainable farm in Sonoma County.

 

What can you do to help Honey Bees?
Plant Bee friendly plants
Report Bee Swarms
Buy Organic
Become a Bee Keeper!

 

Is an insecticide made by Bayer killing all of our bees? Is "Colony Collapse Disorder" just a label for a corporate cover up?

Below are articles from around the globe.

France & Italy ban neonicotinoids. In the past six years, a new group of nicotine-based pesticides have emerged called neonicotinoids. The most common is imidachloprid. Ironically, these were originally manufactured to be less lethal. But about four years ago, French and Italian beekeepers complained that imidachloprid crop spraying was killing their honey bees. So the French and Italian governments banned the nicotine-based pesticides.

Germany bans chemicals linked to honeybee devastation Germany has banned a family of pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees... The move follows reports from German beekeepers in the Baden-Wuerttemberg region that two thirds of their bees died earlier this month following the application of a pesticide called clothianidin."It's a real bee emergency," said Manfred Hederer, president of the German Professional Beekeepers' Association. "50-60% of the bees have died on average and some beekeepers have lost all their hives." Tests on dead bees showed that 99% of those examined had a build-up of clothianidin. Source/Full Story: The Guardian, May 23 2008

Jerry Hayes, Chief, Apiary Section, Florida Dept. of Agriculture, Gainsville, Florida:  "The interesting thing about the Colony Collapse Disorder is that bees are leaving the colony and not coming back, which is highly unusual for a social insect to leave a queen and its brood or young behind. They are seemingly going out and can't find their way back home.
Imidachloprid, when it is used to control termites, does exactly the same thing. One of the methods it uses to kill termites is that the termites feed on this material and then go out to feed and can't remember how to get home. And it also causes their immune systems to collapse, causing what would be normal organisms to become pathogenic in them (bees).

What 60 Minutes didn't air The cause is imidacloprid, plain and simple," said David Hackenberg, the beekeeper who was the subject of a 60 Minutes story that aired Oct. 28.Hackenberg, who has tended bees his entire adult life, said he told 60 Minutes about this imidacloprid theory in these same direct terms. After editing Hackenberg's comments, however, the venerable CBS program quoted some scientists who said they weren't sure, thereby leaving doubt in everyone's mind. Here's the background you need to understand: The primary product used to control grubs on your lawn, or insects on your fruit trees, or termites in your basement, contains a chemical compound known as imidacloprid, a synthetic nicotine, which is most commonly marketed as Merit. No one debates that imidacloprid is toxic to bees, yet Bayer, the exclusive patent holder from 1988 until this year, denies its product causes CCD. The cause of CCD has been greatly disputed. Everything from radio waves to cell phone towers were blamed initially, with the most recent high-profile theory involving Israeli acute paralysis virus that was detailed in a scientific paper released Sept. 4. Many beekeepers and other scientists, however, state that the Israeli virus is only a symptom and that imidacloprid is the true culprit. Products that contain imidacloprid other than Merit include Admire, Confidor, Connect, Evidence, Leverage, Muralla, Provado, Trimax, Premise and Winne. Though imidacloprid has been patented since 1988, . its use on American crops escalated significantly in the past three years, just as products containing diazinon came off store shelves. In the case of bees, the imidacloprid apparently does not directly kill the hives, but disorients the bees and causes them to disband — at least according to beekeepers who are closely observing bees' behavior. That's why, when Colony Collapse Disorder is the problem, no dead bees can be found near the hive. That, said Hackenberg and others, is the biggest indicator that imidacloprid is involved. Entire Story

Source: Environmental News Network

Is Big Business Killing the Largest Labor Force on the Planet? The majority of the pesticides held responsible for the bee demise are produced by none other than Bayer Company (yes, the aspirin maker). The toxic pesticides pulled by Germany are largely manufactured by Bayer. But Germany is not the first to make such a move. Back in 1999, France banned the use of imidacloprid, and rejected an application from Bayer for clothianidin this year. What does this business amount to for the corporate giant ? For Bayer, imidacloprid and clothianidin account for $1.25 billion in global annual sales. Source & Full Story from Lohasian

Many hives were found in Florida recently to contain high levels of imidacloprid. A patented chemical, it is manufactured by Bayer. Out out of those 14 hives only one survived. What follows below is taken from Wikipedia. Seriously consider the next time you put any of the below listed brands on your pet, crops or lawn. If you use Advantage on your cat or dog it is in your home already.

The most widely used applications for imidacloprid in California are pest control in structures, turf pest control, grape growing, and head and leaf lettuce growing. Other widespread crop uses are rice, grains/cereals including corn (maize), potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, fruit, cotton, and hops. Target insects include sucking insects (e.g. aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers and planthoppers, thrips, scales, mealybugs, bugs, psyllids, and phylloxera), beetles (e.g. longhorn beetles, leaf beetles, Colorado potato beetles, rice water-weevils, wireworms, grubs, and flea beetles), and others (e.g. lepidopterous leaf­miners, some diptera, termites, locusts, and fleas).

When used for seed treatments, it is sold under the trade names Akteur, Amigo, Baytan Secur, Chinook, El Hombre, Escocet, Gaucho, Gaucho Blé, Gaucho CS, Gaucho Maícero, Gaucho MZ, Gaucho Orge, Gaucho Primo, Gaucho T, Gaucho MT, Gaucho XT, Genesis, Faibel, Ferial Blé, Férial Orge, Imprimo, Manta Plus, Monceren Extra, Monceren G, Monceren GT, Montur, Prestige, Prestige M, Raxil Secur, Seed-one, Sibutol Secur, Yunta and Zorro FS 236.

When used on citrus, coffee, cotton, fruits, grapes, potatoes, rice, soybeans, sugarcane, tobacco and vegetables as an insecticide spray, it is sold under the trade names Admire, Confidor, Connect, Evidence, Leverage, Muralla, Provado and Trimax.

It is marketed as Premise for termite control and Advantage in the US and Europe for flea control on pets. It is also sold under the trade names Merit, Admire, Confidor and Winner, as well as Hachikusan (in Japan).

 

 

The EPA identifies
both imidacloprid and colthianidin as highly toxic to honey bees

An Ice Cream Company is wondering what is happening to the bees! Pollination is essential for ingredients in more than 40 percent of Häagen-Dazs flavors. For example, to produce our popular Vanilla Swiss Almond and Rocky Road flavors, we use more than one million pounds of almonds every year. Almonds, and are 100 percent dependent on honey bees for pollination.

A recent survey commissioned by the Häagen-Dazs brand showed that more than half of Americans are not even aware of the honey bee crisis.

honey bee

The Defense Department has funded projects to use honey bees to locate land mines and biological agents that may be used in chemical warfare.