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Lost Bees

 
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 12:20 am    Post subject: Lost Bees Reply with quote

Bees are leaving the hive and never returning. What could cause this?

As a Biology undergrad, I worked under Professor James Gould and his graduate students during the summer. Gould was an ethologist -- a science of animal behavior. He showed that bees used UV rays in the sky, which because of clouds, provided a distinct "map" in the sky, in order to navigate.

Could this "map" be affected by recent changes in the amount of cosmic ray activity? This would dovetail with the theory of Hans Svensmark, the climatologist, who believes that global warming is entirely dependent on cosmic ray activity. This year, he showed in the laboratory that cosmic rays can interact with water vapor to create clouds. The low level clouds in the atmosphere regulate the amount of sunlight falling on the surface. Less rays -> less clouds -> higher temperature.

But I also thought, with these lessening cosmic rays, could there also be damage to the UV "sky map" that bees use? In nature, there can sometimes be very tight tolerances, especially if natural selection has been "given a break" by a long and stable period. If so, then most bees may not have the capability to deal with the lower powered sky map.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 2:32 pm    Post subject: Honeybees Don't Do Squat Reply with quote

Honeybees are eclipsed in the amount of pollination they perform by other species of bees: Pollen bees.

These pollen bees are not affected by colony collapse.

http://www.ebeehoney.com/Pollination.html

Quote:
Often, growers don't realize the amount of pollination that is performed by native bees, and signs of inadequate pollination are often misinterpreted as weather problems or disease. Dr. Suzanne Batra of the USDA's Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, Maryland conducted a three-year study to discover the natural mix of bees in a West Virginia forest (3). She found that, of the 1700 bees trapped in the first year of the study, only 34 were honeybees. This means that pollen bees were performing almost all pollination.


Sounds to me like beekeepers have been conning the farmers for years...
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brian-hansen
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Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd defnitely like to learn more about what is going on with the bees.

For now, I can add one data point. Yesterday I saw 2 bees. These are
the first bees I've seen this year. Keep in mind that I live in the suburbs
and have trees that have been flowering.

The bees I saw were in the yard of a friend who does a lot of organic
gardening. One of the bees was much smaller than usual.

-Brian
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far, at work, on a big rhododendron bush I saw one bumblebee.

One.

And in my apartment recently (an hour ago) I sprayed a big hornet-ish wasp and chased it out my window. Two days ago, I did the same with a more brown waspy looking thing, but killed it dead.

I have not seen any honeybees this year at all.

One question I have is that the reports only seem to focus on hives kept by beekeepers. Is anyone studying natural hives that occur in hollow tree trunks and so on?
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