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View Diary: The Buzz on Honey Bees (158 comments)

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  •  Were there ever die offs as big as 2012 before? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Marihilda

    were the historical CCD's (under other names) continuous for 6+ straight years?

    I didn't find that 2009 article stating that CCD occurred in history before neonics were invented therefore neonics are not the cause, to be convincing.

    Thanks for the discussion.

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Tue May 28, 2013 at 03:00:55 PM PDT

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    •  In numbers or percentage? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena, lgmcp, wonmug, Marihilda

      I'm sure it was bigger in numbers, 'tho I'm not sure about percentages.  And it's certainly more widespread, which I think it is an inevitability in a more globally connected world, especially when (as I mentioned above) there's a real problem of homogeneity among the bees we use in agriculture.

      But it's worth reading this short paper (pdf) to see how colonies have collapsed in the past.  Some of these are really dramatic and still unexplained - and with less geographic isolation than a hundred years ago, we may be more susceptible to seeing these effects wipe out more than just a single region.  The paper's already about 5 years old, and I think the issue's been explored more fully (and with more examples), but that's a good introduction.

      At any rate it's a striking topic, and worth following up on.

      Thanks for the discussion.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Tue May 28, 2013 at 03:34:05 PM PDT

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      •  I've been involved with bees for decades... (0+ / 0-)

        As to bee die-off history, when I was a kid (my father was a commercial beekeeper) I could throw a wild swarm in a box, do absolutely nothing more to assist them, and the hive would prosper for years.

        Nowadays if I hive a swarm, I'm lucky if it lives through the winter without giving aid of some sort.

        Previous die offs were not as persistent, were regional, and were short lived. Unlike those incidences, the latest die-offs have transformed the entire practice of beekeeping, which has radically changed in the last several years. Beekeeping is now a whole different world than it was when I was younger. And beekeeping has been global for decades. Sheez, queens (which carry pathogens like any other bee) have been shipped all over the world for decades. How do I know this? My father was an expert commercial queen breeder beginning back in the 50s, and shipped queens all over the world from Puerto Rico. While some diseases have more recently become global, it doesn't entirely explain the severity of the problems or why it is all happening at once.  

        Only people inexperienced with the changes over the years (observations which usually require owning more than a hive or two for several decades) would argue that the present situation is comparable to those other limited incidences.

        Not buying that, and the argument looks very much like confirmation bias.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:33:44 PM PDT

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        •  Anecdote versus data. (0+ / 0-)

          That's the extent of my confirmation bias.  

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Wed May 29, 2013 at 02:50:02 PM PDT

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          •  Dismissing everything as anecdotal... (0+ / 0-)

            is the refuge of people who are in denial.

            Have you ever even owned a hive of bees? Experience makes a world of difference in understanding what bees are faced with. Experience matters. Call it "clinical experience" if you will. But decades of experience are far more than anecdotal, in my view.

            Data is not always very useful if you have inadequate experience in how to interpret it. Reading flat, one dimensional papers isn't useful without some background knowledge, which you lack.

            Prove, with citations, if you will, that the limited die-offs historically documented are equivalent to the massive, year after year die offs of recent times.

            Cite the evidence, oh knowing one. Prove it.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:29:33 PM PDT

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            •  Not sure why you're attacking me on this point. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm trying to interpret the data as best I can.  If it put my faith in entomologists, it's not because I prefer their results, but because I understand the hoops they have to jump through to verify their use of the data, and that's something none of us can replicate on our own.  

              Since we were talking about Bug Girl in the other branch of this thread, I recommend this post of hers: "It's hard out there for a bee".  Maybe you'll disagree.  Maybe not.  Maybe you'll see why I put her experience + data analysis on a higher pedestal than experience alone.    She's an entomologist and a beekeeper.  She has anecdotes and peer reviewed literature.

              (You'd also find more to agree with than disagree in her summary of the pesticide issue.)

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:42:52 PM PDT

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              •  I've read all that... (0+ / 0-)

                and having read her pages led me to giving my response. She isn't as clever as she appears. And I detect a "free market" bias in her defense of the pesticides. She isn't neutral.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:27:13 PM PDT

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                •  Oh, lord. (0+ / 0-)

                  She didn't defend pesticides.  The quote you criticized wasn't hers, but from a guest post she admits she doesn't agree with entirely, but wanted to include for conversation.   If that's how sloppy your reading is...

                  "I detect a bias" is about as useful a critique as "I has an opinion", so... I guess that's it from me: I'm out.   Cheers!

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:39:57 PM PDT

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                  •  She certainly does defend the use... (0+ / 0-)

                    of the pesticides. Look at the larger pattern, the big picture of her message. Please cite where she states she would allow for a temporary suspension of the use of the neonics. She clearly does not. The notion that such chemicals must be accepted as harmless until proven otherwise is clearly a free market approach. A better approach would be to put the burden more firmly on the backs of the sellers of the product, forcing them to prove it is harmless before introduction fo the product. Bayer's own scientists admitted it was harmful to bees, but the information was suppressed.

                    Think about it... the logic is pretty clear.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:09:03 PM PDT

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