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The Honeybee Dilemma

>> Monday, December 8, 2008

Since so many of you seem very into bees (i.e. they backyard beekeeper here, the actual beekeeper here, and the bee lovers here, here, and here to name a few) I figured I would post the latest discoveries pertaining to CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder. This is what is causing the bees to disappear. We didn't know what was going on with the bees because there were no bodies to study.

At Penn State, the head apiarist (fancy science talk for bee genius) started doing research on these bees in greenhouses. Many theories had been tossed around as to what may have caused this. What it seemed to be, however, was something that not many people thought of as an option: A virus known as IAPV was to blame.

News of this spread quickly in the scientific community. Researchers stated that not enough work had been done to say for sure and then we forgot about those findings.

Then earlier this year a scientists finds that there are highly toxic levels of chemicals inside some of these bee bodies. In fact, they were able to find traces of pesticides in the wax and honey of these bees as well. Bees will go as far as they have to in order to reach food and if the food is covered in pesticides this can be transferred to the rest of the hive and product. Because of this, many beekeepers are asking farmers what, if any, pesticides they use before they rent out their bees.

What does this mean??? We have to protect the few bee colonies we have.

Photo: Honeybee on opening yellow flowers
Originally uploaded by Martin LaBar

Source article: here.


Wendy December 8, 2008 at 9:40 PM  

Another reason to stop using pesticides!

Mimi December 8, 2008 at 9:59 PM  

@ Wendy... scary, huh?

Cheryl December 9, 2008 at 12:15 PM  

Well done you....lovely bee person.....
A post close to my heart, as I am sure you know Mimi......

Pesticides, what are they? Never touch the horrible things.......save and cherish the bee I say........

Mimi December 9, 2008 at 1:02 PM  

@ Cheryl... I know YOU love bees, more than most, I think. Thank you for not using pesticides! The bees thank you, as well, I'm sure.

Jeanne December 12, 2008 at 10:25 AM  


I am currently reading "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson... a classic book that talks in great detail about pesticides and insecticides.

If you have not read this book, I HIGHLY recommend it! Based on this post, I am sure you'd like it.

It's not a "quick read"... as there are plenty of chemical names and such but it is so worth wading through the chemical names!!

There are some references to "Silent Spring" on my blog in previous posts.

I cannot say enough about this book. When I finish it, I plan to read "Our Stolen Future" by Theo Colburn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers.

There are some quotes on my blog from this book as well.

This is a great post!!! :)


Mimi December 13, 2008 at 9:28 AM  

@ Jeanne... I think I may have to start a POP-Sci Book club blog now! Thanks!

Jeanne December 14, 2008 at 8:39 PM  


"Silent Spring" is just an amazing book. It is so prescient. It was written a long time ago but it's so relevant now!

OK. What's POP-Sci?

Did you ever hear this quote??

Albert Einstein speculated that "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left."

Scary, huh? Without bees pollinating, many things get affected...


Mimi December 15, 2008 at 7:58 AM  

@ Jeanne... POP-Sci is popular science books. Books written for everyone, not just academics.

Einstein was right. Bees, beetles and butterflies. If any one of those ceased to exist, we would starve as a species.

ScientistMother December 16, 2008 at 1:34 AM  

OOh very interesting. keep us posted as I am very interested in the bee thing, inlaws being farmers and all, we understand the importance of bees!

Mimi December 18, 2008 at 12:41 AM  

@ scientistmother... I didn't know your in-laws were farmers! Cool. I will try to keep everyone posted.

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