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Old 02-24-2012, 08:30 AM   #1
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bumblebee The important life of bees

The important life of bees
University expert, local beekeeper warn of decline
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 12:00 am
by Debra Neutkens
Staff Writer

The important life of bees - Press Publications/Kanabec.com: News
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According to Spivak, the decline of bees can be traced to post-WWII when agricultural practices turned to monocultures of crops.

Clover, a critical feedstuff for bees, was left out of corn and soybean rotations in vast Midwestern fields and replaced with synthetic fertilizers. Use of insecticides, pesticides and fungicides became widespread, which are detrimental to bees. Corn by the way is wind pollinated and soybeans self pollinate, so no need for bees.

In 2006, there was a massive die-off, Spivak said. Up to 90 percent of colonies were killed in one season. “It was unheard of. What caused it? A confluence of factors including habitat loss, pesticides and disease…
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:21 AM   #2
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The cause(s) of honey bee mortality that appeared to increase sharply in 2006 remain difficult to pin down with no single 'smoking gun' to blame, about all that can be said is that multiple factors seem to be involved - see Colony collapse disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - current overwinter losses appear to be in the 30-35 percent range (Honey Bee Colony Losses in the U.S., Winter 2010-2011 | Horticulture and Home Pest News). What also seems to be missing in all these discussions are (1) that honey bees are an alien/introduced species, and (2) the importance of native pollinators.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:37 AM   #3
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The cause(s) of honey bee mortality that appeared to increase sharply in 2006 remain difficult to pin down with no single 'smoking gun' to blame, about all that can be said is that multiple factors seem to be involved - see Colony collapse disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - current overwinter losses appear to be in the 30-35 percent range (Honey Bee Colony Losses in the U.S., Winter 2010-2011 | Horticulture and Home Pest News). What also seems to be missing in all these discussions are (1) that honey bees are an alien/introduced species, and (2) the importance of native pollinators.
Yes, I've asked here before why such concern is shown for alien bees when our primary interest is in native species. The most memorable sentence in the above article is that the bees like creeping charlie in the lawn!!! My nemesis is creeping charley!

Having said all of this, I'm sure that the reasons for the decline in the honey bee populations are detrimental for the native populations also. I'm not defending the pesticide users - let's be clear on that...
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:59 AM   #4
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The most memorable sentence in the above article is that the bees like creeping charlie in the lawn!!! My nemesis is creeping charley!
Same here - has anyone had any success with controlling this weed organically?

I'm not defending the pesticide users - let's be clear on that...
Neither am I - I just feel that pesticides make such a convenient 'whipping boy,' that other factors may not be given their due...
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