What’s Really Causing Them to Vanish?
What’s Really Causing Them to Vanish?
By Tseghai Kidane
Speaking of insects as small as flying honey bees, it’s interesting to grasp how complex their brain structure is and firm social structure they run.
"A hive can gather pollen and nectar from 1 up to 500 million flowers in a year, getting about million per gallon of honey. Typically, bees will only fly about two to two and a half miles from their hive, giving themselves over 12,000 acres to find nectar. If a source is farther away, however, the honey bee will sometimes fly up to ten miles at a speed of twelve to fifteen miles per hour. All of this energy spent by the worker bees which are all female. Besides the queen bee, which can lay 2,000 eggs per day and store male sperm for years, layers of different types of bees keep the colony going. In particular, there are the care taking or nurse bees, which intensively groom and decontaminate the returning workers, and generally care for the health of the hive. These care taking bees are there to protect all members of the colony, removing dirt, debris, and mites, fighting pathogens, and helping to care for the young. Without them, the hive can’t survive. Besides, the all important nurse bees, there are the guard bees, the heating and cooling teams, the cleaning squads, comb builders and honey processors, and of course the aging worker bees. All these bees are sisters, daughters of the same mother queen bee. Then, there are the males, the drones. They are the big, hairy, clumsy ones. A male drone just eats, does nothing its entire life, then, it mates with the queen, and immediately dies when its genitals snap off ”writes Rachel Carson.
These are the positive socio-biological aspects of honey making bees known so far and with regard to the ugly part unlike British socio-political structure where anybody can pick if there is any, it’s wished to be left up to the research biologist or entomologist in an exact term to discover, otherwise, they are smart enough again to bury their problem.
In addition, the fact that honey making skills, they are essential in cross pollination to the production of fruit, nut, vegetable & crops such as cattle, pig feed & cotton plant around the world. Their demise, Colony Collapse Disorder could lead to Civilization Collapse Disorder as a result of inadequate food supply and global economy.
For example, "Dave Hackenberg’s bees on the road for four days to reach the almond orchards of California’s Central Valley, they make a more than 5,000 Km journey from Florida. Each truck carries close to 500 hives, covered with black netting to prevent the millions of passengers from escaping. When the drivers pull over sleep, the bees have a break from the constant movement and wind speed, but there is no opportunity to stretch their wings. Their final destination is two hours north of Los Angeles. Every February the valley plays host to billions of honey bees as trees burst into blossom, extending to the horizon. The sandy loam and Mediterranean Climate are perfect for the cultivation of almonds, but there are no verdant weeds, wild flowers or grass verges, just trees that form what looks like an outdoor production line. In the cool hours after sunset and before sunrise, more than a million hives are loaded such as Hackenberg, who have travelled from the far corner of the US to take part in the world’s largest managed pollination event. The 60 million almond trees along the 800 Km route require half of all the honey bees in the US to pollinate them. By February 16, National Almond Day in the US, the trees are usually humming with the sound of busy bees. They crawl around on the petals to find the perfect sucking position. As they do so, their fury bodies are dusted with pollen. As they fly from blossom to blossom in search of more nectar, they transfer pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part, and so fertilise it. Not long afterwards, the plant’s ovaries swell into fruit, which by late August turn into precious oval shaped nuts ----."
The contentious issue one ought to concentrate on is: What‘s causing them to vanish?
As we go from the least possible to the most likely factors, there is a suspicion that almonds are threatened by mysterious which is the cause for their disappearance.
In an occasion, bee pathologist Dr Peter Neumann, points at a blood sucking mite named as varroa. His investigation reveals that it accelerates lethal viruses in honey bees and spreads them from bee to bee when it feeds on their blood acting as a part of the cause. In the US, genome sequencing techniques shows that the DNA of a virus called Israeli acute paralysis virus that was found in almost of the hives suffering from CCD and research hints that viruses can cause disease if bee’s immune system is weak. That is, when they are stressed as in the case of Hackenberg’s bees, bees need sleep just as humans do and bumping them in a truck, over work & long distance travel --- reduces resistance to disease.
Another, inescapable scenario would be: the use of pesticides notably like imidacloprid (IMD). It’s a neonicotinoids, a class of neuro active insecticides which are modelled after nicotine and can have related action at the nicotine acetylcholine receptor meant to control pests on crops.
A patented chemical, manufactured by Bayer Crop Science, sold under a variety of trade names including Kohinor, Admire, Advantage, Gaucho, Merit, ---.
This chemical product can have negative impact in their daily activities, for instance, their navigation system can be distracted so in their way home they can get lost & honey bees brilliant dance language can also be affected. They use to communicate with each other. Bees returning to the hive will tell their sisters where they were by doing a dance that points the location of the flowers in relation to the sun’s position.
As an example of eco- friendly, looking at the nicotine derivative chemical compound above and the use of smoking wood soot by a traditional bee keeper to drag them out temporarily without impairing their communication, orientation and memory skills permanently which I used to wonder & asked what a smart piece of work.
In silent spring that nature evolved over hundreds of millions of years to reach fruitful balance of the present. Using ever more lethal chemicals to battle insects and enhance farming yields threatens to undo that delicate balance. Why?
The piece wishes to provide an input which is thought it can make a difference & that was the main point behind the mission of the site when it was developed. Chemistry can build at the same time it can destroy if the founder fails to comprehend fully what the impact of the product in life at the beginning is regardless the idea that it will be presented to a team of biochemical or clinical trial.
" Mechanistic thinking is the underlying problem. The fatal flow of the old world view of the clock work universe is that it’s trying to understand life through an analogy that doesn’t explain a flower or the birds and the bees or the fragility of an ecosystem, life, biology and ecology are far more complex than a simple clock mechanism." William Barrett
In general, low doses of many chemicals can disrupt the signals that run the mind, the body and the reproductive system. This means using novel & toxic chemicals for farming, landscaping, and lawn maintenance could far more hazardous than it is thought. There is huge gap between proven science on low dose effects & the old public health standards for chemicals.
Hence, the public has right to complain test for long term safety and against the agency’s avoidance having full tests through temporary authorizations, relying on the manufacturer’s initial trial data to weigh the economic benefits against the risks, tipping the scales in favour of industry.
Chemistry on pesticides is in the comment section.
Also visit: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27264-bee-pesticide-study-furore-is-called-a-scandal.html#.VRmgLFLwv5o/
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