Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More Bees if You Please

Unexplained Mass Die-Off Hits German Hives

By Andrew Curry

Bees in the German state of Baden-Württemburg are dying by the hundreds of thousands. In some places more than half of hives have perished. Government officials say the causes are unclear -- but beekeepers are blaming new pesticides.

Bees in southern Germany have been dying off in their hundreds of thousands.
Zoom
AP

Bees in southern Germany have been dying off in their hundreds of thousands.

In Germany's bucolic Baden-Württemburg region, there is a curious silence this week. All up and down the Rhine river, farm fields usually buzzing with bees are quiet. Beginning late last week, helpless beekeepers could only watch as their hives were hit by an unprecedented die-off. Many say one of Germany's biggest chemical companies is to blame.

In some parts of the region, hundreds of bees per hive have been dying each day. "It's an absolute bee emergency," Manfred Hederer, president of the German Professional Beekeeper's Association, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Fifty to 60 percent of the bees have died on average, and some beekeepers have lost all their hives."

The crisis hit its peak last weekend. Beekeepers from Germany's Baden-Württemburg reported hives full of thousands of dead bees. The worst-hit region, according to state officials, was along the upper Rhine river between the towns of Rastatt and Lorrach. The Rhine valley is one of Germany's prime agricultural regions.

Regional officials spent the week testing bees, pollen, honey and plant materials to look for the die-off's causes. The Julius Kühn Institute in Braunschweig, a federal research institute dealing with agricultural issues, set up a special hotline for beekeepers to send in dead bees for analysis.

@ Spiegel
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More about the CCD that will not go away. The conspiracy nut in me says the Illuminati is causing this to reduce the worlds population by introducing a toxin into the air in contrails. The scientist in me says there is not enough of an understanding into how bees operate to understand why this is happening.

We understand little about the internal workings and what makes them work in those little bugs and most likely there is some kind of toxin involved causing their little systems to wad up inside, like a turd that will not pass. I witnessed a honey bee in trouble on the ground the other day stroking his bee abdomen over and over forsaking standing, just kind of flopping side to side, really felt sorry for the little guy with the pollen sacs on his back legs loaded and in obvious distress.

Funny how such a little creature is responsible for so much. This points out the necessity of being good caretakers of the planet we call home and respecting the life in all forms that are on it instead of pillaging and plundering it.

We need to be respectful of all life, not just our own, for we are not here alone.

If we refuse to do so we will meet our own demise as parasites of the only life sustaining planet within light years, I do not think we want that to happen.

.

31 comments:

Hajji said...

Den,

I'm going to try and get the folks at GOT BUGS? , our ETV Radio program, to discuss this today.

With hive failure and die-offs happening in far-flung places around the globe, it is more important than ever to keep all scientists asking the questions that will lead us to the real answers.

These folks from Clemson and USC have helped me a bunch with control of our perennial "Far Ain't" problems, my "Orange Oak Worm" issue and keep the panic over "Brown Recluse" and "Black Widow" down to a minimum. (there's very few actual instances and the spider's benefits outweigh the dangers by a longshot)

I'll see if I can't get an e-mail questing in...and I'll call, as well.

-T

micki said...

Climate change -- facts & myths

Hajji said...

Well,

Just got off the radio with the "Got Bugs" guys...

They entusiastically proclaimed their bafflement at "Colony Collapse Disorder", admitted to hearing theories as wide-ranging as "pesticides to aliens."

They were hesitant to talk about GM crops, (weren't sure about effects, although they've "heard things") said that the bee colonies in the region didn't seem to be much effected, even though they've heard more a few reports of a lack of wild honey bee sightings this spring.

Bee-Keepers, however are reporting bumper crops, especially clover-honey producers.

They mentioned that the cooler nights and high winds of late in my neighborhood might account for less activity than normal in wild populations.

But at least they're talkin' and the listeners might be thinkin'...

...and since these guys are top bug experts in this under-educated reddest of necks and reddest of states, maybe, just maybe there'll be more minds sawing away at the problem.

Thanks for bring it up, again, one and all!

-T

micki said...

Apiculture site -- good info on bee problem

DEN said...

Hajji, got the Bug folks on but must have missed you, I'm at work so I keep getting interrupted for work stuff, imagine that.

One guy has bats? lots of them? yipes!

Bookmarked the site for future reference.

DEN said...

On non-bug related issues:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Tuesday it dropped charges against a Saudi who U.S. officials say intended to be the "20th hijacker" on September 11 but sent five others to trial for allegedly planning the 2001 attacks.

A Pentagon appointee who oversees the U.S. war court at its Guantanamo Bay military prison did not say why she rejected the charges that prosecutors sought earlier this year against Mohammed al-Qahtani.

She dismissed the charges "without prejudice," a distinction that allows the U.S. government to try to bring charges against Qahtani again.

Murder and conspiracy charges against the five other men accused of planning the attacks, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, were approved, the Pentagon said. That means the men, all held at Guantanamo, must be arraigned within 30 days.

They will be tried together in proceedings that should start within 120 days. If convicted, they may face the death penalty.
@ Reuters
..................................

Must have good connections somewhere.

Hajji said...

Den,

I was the 2nd caller, right after "crawspace vermin" and right before "bat quano ruining my house."

Good show, this "Got Bugs" thing... We are also blessed with SCETV's Emmy-award-winning show MAKING IT GROW mig.org

I've learned so much from these folks about the plants in my yard that Jill has to stop me from reciting (and lapsing into the accent of) Roland Austin and his down-home wisdom regarding just about every leaf weed and twig sprouting up not yet consumed by the hooved ones.

Most of my lawn, now, is comprised of plants whose seeds are not digested by the many stomaches of our pets.

Go figgur!

-T

Hajji said...

...seeds that are in the feed, that is! You can name my grasses by reciting the content list off my donkey/goat feed bags...

Hajji said...

Now I'm off to Greenville Tech, to get myself all "learned up" about the new hospital computer charting system.

Hey, I'm setting foot on a college campus for a purpose other than a sporting event. That makes me slightly more likely to vote for Obama vs. Clinton and HIGHLY more likely to vote for Obama than McCain.

Education, from pre-school to post-graduate, should be priority #1 for all Americans. No more pricing higher education into the "Luxury-Only" status.

Our citizens are being out-competed by most other countries on the globe. Time to plug the "brain drain"!

-T

AP-Yahoo! Poll

Hajji said...

Now I'm off to Greenville Tech, to get myself all "learned up" about the new hospital computer charting system.

Hey, I'm setting foot on a college campus for a purpose other than a sporting event. That makes me slightly more likely to vote for Obama vs. Clinton and HIGHLY more likely to vote for Obama than McCain.

Education, from pre-school to post-graduate, should be priority #1 for all Americans. No more pricing higher education into the "Luxury-Only" status.

Our citizens are being out-competed by most other countries on the globe. Time to plug the "brain drain"!

-T

AP-Yahoo! Poll

Hajji said...

freaky...

DEN said...

Hajji, got bag-worms yet?

micki said...

350.org


Our goal for 350.org is simple. We want to bring together an unstoppable movement to spread the most important number on the planet. Scientists like James Hansen of NASA say that 350 parts per million carbon in our atmosphere is the very upper threshold of a safe human climate to avoid 'an entirely different planet.' That's a number the world needs to know - and we need your help spreading it.

Help us launch our website by taking action in your community with the number 350:

350.org

The heart and soul of 350.org will be actions taken by people like you all over the globe. In mid-June, we'll go live with a new website that will help people to do just that. We'll have plenty of text and materials to help people take action, but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. That's where we need your help.

We're going to need images of all kinds that convey what it means to 'take action to spread 350' - strong images, fun images, with a few friends or a few hundred. Remember to get the number '350' into your photo in an interesting way, and then email the picture to us at organizers@350.org.  Outside of that, it's totally up to you.  With photos of people in our cities and on our coastlines, building renewable energy projects, educating citizens, or hosting a gathering of friends - when we launch we want to show the world what we can do. Over the next month we'll collect your photographs and feature the most inspirational examples front and center on our homepage. These early action pictures will be catalysts for the rest of the world.

We're counting on you all to take action and help bring this movement to life, and in turn, you can count on us to help show the world the groundswell that is building for our climate, our friends, and our future. We'll keep you up to date as things move forward, and we look forward to creating something bold, powerful and wonderful with you all.

David B. Benson said...

I suppose this isn't premature

Top 10 Reasons Obama Defeated Clinton for the Democratic Nomination

Is it?

º¿carol said...

Micki, yes, Steve, Stephen and Elizabeth.

micki said...

Dr. B -- I guess the Huff Post is overloaded -- I can't get that article to move on the dime so that I can read it.

Maybe it's because I'm not an Obama supporter.

:-))

Or maybe it's my computer...

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- I suspect its HuffPo.

And I'm not actually thrilled either. Just the best of a poor to bad lot.

Though living in a Fascist regime...

Hajji said...

Den,

No bag worms yet... Last year's bumper crop was pretty awful. They seem to like the river birches along the perimeter of the open areas, so I keep a close eye and tear down their tents with a long pole, as soon as they appear.

There's plenty of trees around for them to inhabit, but I sure wish they'd develop a taste for Kudzu, instead! Creeping up the hill, a bit more this year... I hafta reconnoiter the back-side (of the hill) soon, just to make sure the horses and cows are doing their level best to keep the kudzu-monster at bay!

-T

David B. Benson said...

Horses and cows eat kudzu?

No accounting for tastes...

ò¿óarol said...

Gas $3.99.9 in town at noon.

Finally reached the $4.00 a gallon.

David B. Benson said...

It's not even (officially) summer yet.

Hajji said...

Benson,

It ain't just the animals... Humans, too are (thankfully) finding many uses, medicinal, culinary, craft, etc...

Nothing NEW about Kudzu, btw...just its explosive invasiveness in these parts...

One of the nicer things about living in such a rural area is the wonderous use of what's at hand especially by those who depend on it!

One man's trash is another man's treasure, they say!

I noticed Unleaded, Regular at $3.599 in town tonight...still $3.499 just down the road...

-T

David B. Benson said...

Thanks for the kudzu link, which states "Kudzu is readily consumed by all types of grazing animals, yet frequent grazing over 3 to 4 years can ruin stands."

The last part sounds like a good idea?

Hajji said...

Problem is trying to keep cows and horses from falling off the heights that kudzu was imported to stabilize. Goats and Llamas are better choices, but any trip up steep, mountain roads South of the Ohio and East of the Mississippi will show you Kudzu-Topiary figures where huge native stands of hardwoods and conifers used to be.

Maybe we should breed goats with legs shorter on the left side to clear the cliffs in one direction...and
shorter on the right to go the other way!

-T

DEN said...

Goats a leaning?

Bagworms ate my ornamental cedar trees, the foliage was so thick I did not notice them until the trees were half gone and saw them wiggling.

Kudzu-O-plenty around Atlanta too, like vines on steroids, awful stuff.

Hajji said...

gotta always ASSUME bagworms! 'specially on the ornamentals... like goats, they'd always rather eat something somebody paid $$'s for!

I'm outtie!

-T

DEN said...

For neophytes such as I Go ,HERE and check out the weirdest bug you have ever seen, bagworms.

DEN said...

I too must retreat from the frey,
to do this another day.

micki said...

It's too late, I suppose...

I know, I know...it's all politics and people make mistakes blah blah blah. But when Obama's campaign cut and pasted his "Great Lakes" plan on his "Oregon Plan," and promsied to help clean up Oregon's Great Lakes, I could overlook that "clerical error"....but when he is silent on old- growth forest protections, that's when I sit up and ask, WTF?

Both candidates say they will increase wilderness protections in Oregon, support forest thinning to reduce fire dangers and provide federal funding to back state efforts to improve energy efficiency and create "green-collar jobs."

There are some differences in detail. Clinton specifically says she will protect old-growth forests and backs Sen. Ron Wyden's plan to restore county timber payments. Obama's plan is silent on old-growth forests and says only that he will work to find a "meaningful, long-range solution" on federal timber payments to counties.

Too slippery for my taste....

micki said...

Okay, assuming for the moment that it's still considered "fair" to criticize the policies and votes (in the Senate or House) of presidential candidates, here is one concern of mine about Barack Obama's judgment and honesty.

I know a huge complaint is that the Clintons triangulated and cast aside Dem core beliefs in exchange for personal gain and small legislative gains. We shouldn't let that happen again, right?

In 2005, Darth Cheney met in secret (and it's still secret!) with oil, coal, and agricultural money-men to write an Energy Bill that, in essence, handed them control of our ENVIRONMENT on a silver-plated lobbyist platter.

At the time that the lobbyists' energy bill was crafted, it was publicized as one of the most egregious corporate giveaways in history. This bill lifted long-standing environmental protections that could slow global climate change and, in fact, the bill's particulars actually resulted in diminished regulations that would result in greater release of carbon emissions.

Approximately $2.5 billion in tax exemptions were provided in the bill for fossil fuel producers, including the coal industry; additionally, in included $1.6 billion for development of "clean coal" facilities.

Okay, so the bill also provided some support for renewable energy sources. But, in fact, the new funding for "alternative energy" expansion (which included natural gas and ethanol) was about half that which was provided for development of fossil fuel and coal power. Simply put, any gains provided in the Cheney/Lobbyist Energy Bill for renewable energy were lost by the expansion of fossil fuels.

Obama voted for the Cheney/Lobbyist Energy Bill. Not that it makes any difference at this point, but Hillary Clinton voted against it. (Incidentally, McCain didn't vote for it either.)

I've never been convinced that I can rely on Obama to do the right thing regarding the environment. I think he voted for this bill for political expediency as a very junior senator from an ethanol and coal state -- Illinois relies heavily on those two energy sources.

If he's the candidate of change, how can he explain this vote? I don't think he can. In fact, because of this vote, I have never seen him as the candidate of change.

No candidate is perfect, but he has a history of expediency that makes me wonder what people see in him. The 2005 Cheney/Lobbyist Energy Bill was pitiful and he voted for it, so I have never felt that he's the Real Deal. Nope. I trust Hillary Clinton more to push policies that would result in legislation that would be more beneficial to the environment.

We get what we deserve.

micki said...

...and don't tell me about his environmental votes. The Cheney/Lobbyist Energy Bill vote negates that, IMO.

His vote for it was a HUGE and pitiful slap in the face.