. Energy News .

The real reason to worry about bees
by Staff Writers
Indianapolis IN (SPX) Sep 17, 2013

Some of the leading theories about the cause of CCD include the use of certain pesticides, parasites, diseases and overall hive nutrition. Beekeeper and other organizations are pushing to stop the sale of certain neonicotinoids, insecticides that some regard as the main culprit of CCD.

Honeybees should be on everyone's worry list, and not because of the risk of a nasty sting, an expert on the health of those beneficial insects said here today at the 246th National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society.

Set aside the fact that the honeybee's cousins - hornets, wasps and yellow jackets - actually account for most stings, said Richard Fell, Ph.D. Despite years of intensive research, scientists do not understand the cause, nor can they provide remedies, for what is killing honeybees.

"Some estimates put the value of honeybees in pollinating fruit, vegetable and other crops at almost $15 billion annually," Fell said. "Without bees to spread pollen from the male parts of plants to the female parts, fruit may not form. That would severely impact consumers, affecting the price of some of the healthiest and most desirable foods."

Farmers use honeybees to pollinate more than 100 different fruit and vegetable crops around the country in an approach known as "managed pollination." It involves placing bee hives in fields when crops are ready for pollination.

"The biggest impacts from decreased hive numbers will be felt by farmers producing crops with high pollination requirements, such as almonds. Consumers may see a lowered availability of certain fruits and vegetables and some higher costs," explained Fell.

He discussed the ongoing decline in honeybee populations in the U.S. and some other countries - a condition sometimes termed colony collapse disorder (CCD). Although honeybees have been doing better in recent years, something continues to kill about 1 in every 3 honeybees each year. He spoke at a symposium on the topic. Abstracts of other presentations appear at the end of this press release.

"There is a good bit of misinformation in the popular press about CCD and colony decline, especially with regard to pesticides," Fell said. He is an emeritus professor of entomology at Virginia Tech, and an authority on colony decline in bees.

"I think it is important to emphasize that we do not understand the causes of colony decline and CCD and that there are probably a number of factors involved. Also, the factors that trigger a decline may be different in different areas of the country and at different times of year."

Some of the leading theories about the cause of CCD include the use of certain pesticides, parasites, diseases and overall hive nutrition. Beekeeper and other organizations are pushing to stop the sale of certain neonicotinoids, insecticides that some regard as the main culprit of CCD.

However, Fell said that would be premature. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reviewed the situation and concluded that there is no scientific evidence that the neonicotinoids are causing serious problems with bee colonies.

Honeybees are not the only species of bee that can be used in managed pollination. If colonies continue declining, Fell believes that there will be an increase in the use of other species, including the bumble bee and alfalfa leafcutter bee. There are, however, measured declines in these species' populations as well. In addition, they are not as easily managed for pollination as the honeybee.

"The major advantages of using honeybees are ease of movement, both in and out of orchards or fields, as well as the ability to manage colonies for higher populations. Honeybee colonies can be moved from one crop to another in a single season, something that cannot be done easily with bumble bees or solitary bee species such as the alfalfa leafcutter bee," explained Fell.

"If we can gain a better understanding of the factors causing honeybee decline, we may be able to apply this knowledge to protecting other species."


Related Links
American Chemical Society
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Get Our Free Newsletters
Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear


New weapons on the way to battle wicked weeds
Indianapolis IN (SPX) Sep 17, 2013
A somber picture of the struggle against super-weeds has emerged as scientists described the relentless spread of herbicide-resistant menaces like pigweed and horseweed that shrug off powerful herbicides and have forced farmers in some areas to return to the hand-held hoes that were a mainstay of weed control a century ago. The reports on herbicide resistance and its challenges, and how mo ... read more

Astrium Services targeting geo information business growth

Using digital SLRs to measure the height of Northern Lights

After a Fire, Before a Flood: NASA's Landsat Directs Restoration to At-Risk Areas

JIB Antennas Will Support Ship ID Capability Being Added to Canadas RADARSAT Constellation Mission

Raytheon GPS Launch and Checkout capability receives Interim Authorization to Test

Location services grow for smartphone users: survey

Galileo's secure service tested by Member States

European Union countries in test of home-grown GPS system

Heavily logged forests still valuable for tropical wildlife

US slaps high dumping tariffs on Chinese wood products

Mangroves bring wildlife back to Senegal coast

Amazon deforestation due in part to soybean growing

Sharing the risks/costs of biomass crops

Indy 500 race cars showcase green fuels

Researchers Read the Coffee Grounds and Find a Promising Energy Resource For the Future

Professor and student develop device to detect biodiesel contamination

Schneider Electric targets Japanese Mega Solar market with its local PV inverter station

NRL Achieves Highest Open-Circuit Voltage for Quantum Dot Solar Cells

City of Livermore and Chevron Energy Solutions Celebrate Innovation and Sustainability

Soitec Launches Solar-energy Module Featuring Over 31 Percent Efficiency

Ireland connects first community-owned wind farm to grid

Windswept German island gives power to the people

Moventas significantly expands wind footprint

No evidence of residential property value impacts near US wind turbines

Calculating the true cost of a ton of mountaintop coal

Ukraine designates 45 coal mines for sale in privatization push

German coal mine turns village into ghost town

India's 'Coalgate' deepens

Bo Xilai verdict to be issued Sunday: Chinese court

Hong Kong couple jailed for 'inhumane' abuse of Indonesian maid

Democrats lose out in Macau elections

Dalai Lama says China's Tibet policy now 'more realistic'

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement