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View Diary: eSci: New Cause of Bee Colony Collapse Disorder Found (100 comments)

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  •  Honeybees are the foreign invaders here. (3+ / 0-)

    Apparently, A. borealis and native North American bees have evolved together over millennia such that the impact on pollinator populations is minimal.  Now, an introduced species threatens to upset the apple cart.  This demonstrates that even a potentially beneficial introduced species can ultimately bring negative consequences.

    •  Honeybees in North America for over 400 years (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akmk, Jay C, flowerfarmer, jayden, ZhenRen, myboo

      Honeybees were prevalent throughout the old world, and were brought to America by Jamestown settlers back in the 17th century.  DNA studies indicate the possibility that the Spanish brought them to Mexico over a hundred years before that.

      Within 200 years, the European Honeybee Apis Mellifera had colonized all of North America south of the 48th parallel.  

      I'm not sure about the conclusions of the Author's premise that parasitic attacks are responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder  Studies in Europe have come very close to identifying the smoking gun for CCD.  The onset of CCD has been linked to the introduction of niconitoid pesticides, which FDA and Dept of Agriculture studies have shown to create neurological damage in Honeybees.  This damage, when coupled with other parasitic and viral loads, is the leading candidate for CCD.

      Germany has recently banned the use of niconitoids, and the Royal Beekeepers Society of Britain is actively lobbying for the same.  Time will tell if this really is the cause.  

      It's worth noting that losses to CCD occur predominately in hives with commercially bred queens.  Monocultured queens may be part of the problem here, as recent studies by NC State University have shown that feral (wild) honeybee colonies may be resistant to CCD.  Several more years of genetic research are needed to verify this connection.

      Anecdotally, there seems to be a link to modern agriculture when it comes to CCD.  Commercial pollinators who make a living hiring their hives out to farmers have incurred much greater losses to CCD than those experienced by backyard beekeepers.  It is thought that urban colonies, not exposed to commercial pesticides/herbicides, may have an advantage.  I can personally vouch for this with my own beehives, and those of other hobbyists.

      "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed." - A Lincoln

      by railsplitter on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 04:34:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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