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Bug Science

Vanishing Honeybees Will Affect Future Crops 322

Posted by kdawson
from the bee-gone dept.
daninbusiness writes "Across the US, beekeepers are finding that their bees are disappearing — not returning while searching for nectar and pollen. This could have a major impact on the food industry in the United States, where as much as $14 billion worth of agriculture business depends on bees for crop pollination. Reasons for this problem, dubbed 'colony collapse disorder,' are still unknown. Theories include viruses, some type of fungus, poor bee nutrition, and pesticides."
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Vanishing Honeybees Will Affect Future Crops

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  • It sucks. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frakir (760204) <ockhamrazor@nospam.yahoo.com> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:16PM (#18170224)
    Albert Einstein's: "if bees were to disappear, man would only have a few years to live".
    Bees pollinate about 60% of crops in US and Europe. Note that exact same disappearing colonies fenomenon happens in Portugal and Poland.
    We are doomed.
  • Traveling hives (Score:5, Insightful)

    by John Jamieson (890438) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:24PM (#18170372)
    I find it difficult believe that roving hives are still allowed. Sure it saves a bit of cash, but the potential effect it has on the spread of disease and parasites(that afflict bee's) should not be overlooked.

    Again, we sell of future potential for short term gain.
  • by bladesjester (774793) <slashdot&jameshollingshead,com> on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:31PM (#18170512) Homepage Journal
    None of this, by the way, provides any insight into why a slashdotter would keep bees, which is a mystery better left unexplored.

    Because honey in the comb is a wonderful thing? There were beehives on my family's farm when I was a kid.
  • by SevenHands (984677) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:31PM (#18170516)
    An interesting question to ask. How many crop fields in the affected areas are growing genetically modified crops? Didn't we see results in the past where genetically modified corn caused majorities of Monarch butterflies local to the corn fields to die.

    I know, I know. GM food is safe. heh.
  • Humor? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wilson_6500 (896824) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:33PM (#18170560)
    It's interesting to look at how many of the above responses are lame/decent attempts at humor.

    Is this because there's nothing in the article for us to all argue about, or because everyone thinks this is funny? What if herds of cattle started vanishing mysteriously out of fields, or cell colonies for research mysteriously all started to plate really poorly?

    Maybe the topic just lends itself to jokes--I had to try pretty hard to not make a cattle abduction joke up there.
  • Re:please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CaseyG (97275) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:37PM (#18170622) Homepage
    I hope you have learned from this that there can be no sarcasm so obvious that it will not be taken seriously.

      -c.
  • Re:Humor? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dave562 (969951) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:46PM (#18170776) Journal
    It's interesting to look at how many of the above responses are lame/decent attempts at humor. Is this because there's nothing in the article for us to all argue about, or because everyone thinks this is funny?

    When a superior man hears of the Tao,

    he immediately begins to embody it.

    When an average man hears of the Tao,

    he half believes it, half doubts it.

    When a foolish man hears of the Tao,

    he laughs out loud.

    If he didn't laugh,

    it wouldn't be the Tao.

  • Re:lifestyle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xonstantine (947614) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @02:58PM (#18171006)
    What does it say about our current lifestyle when even the bees are over stressed?

    It says some people don't wait for the investigation or the science to start before they pronounce a verdict. The idea is more or less "Behind every bad thing happening in the world, the US must be responsible for it, and if not the US, then surely humanity." I'm not sure this says anything about our current lifestyle, considering the research and investigation has barely begun. But don't let that stop you from rushing out to make a conclusion.
  • Re:Humor? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by merreborn (853723) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:01PM (#18171084) Journal

    It's interesting to look at how many of the above responses are lame/decent attempts at humor.

    Is this because there's nothing in the article for us to all argue about, or because everyone thinks this is funny?


    This is slashdot.org, not beedot.org. There aren't many people here with knowledge of the beekeeping industry. If this was about CPU fabrication, you'd see a thread full of detailed discussion on operations per cycle and whatever else.

    Instead, it's bees, so all we can do is crack bee jokes. Lack of knowledge => lack of insightful commentary.
  • by unity (1740) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:09PM (#18171212)
    "Like most of the un-funny posts to this article already"
    --I really wish it was possibly to filter out the posts modded "Funny". It would reduce the noise on /. so much that it might even be worth reading again. Everybody wants to crack one liners. It's all complete drivel. I guess when people have nothing intelligent to say, they rely on trying to be funny.

    "The problem stems from the Killer Bees infiltrating a colony of another type of bee and wiping out the colony. Since the killer bees do exhibit the same food gathering and other critical behaviors to pollination, the lost colonys have a bigger impact. I can see the fungus, virus, pesticide and other aspects causing problems in climates farther north but I would not doubt that Killer Bees could be a large contributing factor to this problem."
    --I doubt it, if it was case of Killer Bees wiping out a colony, I would think that there would be evidence. ie: thousands of dead bees around the hive. From what I have read (this article and another few a couple weeks ago) the bees are just "disappearing", no sign of what happened. Here is a link somebody else posted on another blog: National Geographic: Bees Battle Hornets from Hell [nationalgeographic.com]
  • by suitepotato (863945) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:10PM (#18171226)
    The scientific evidence not to mention the history of man long long long before industry shows conclusively that Earth has been much warmer in the past and also much colder. It has had varying cycles since long before we got here and it will be varying long after we get hit by a car while admiring our digital watches.

    Whether or not we arrived on Earth, it was DEFINITELY going to get warmer than even now, and it was going to do it right around now, then go into another glacial. The Earth hasn't been Mayberry RFD for all eternity until we showed up.
  • by gurudyne (126096) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:19PM (#18171402)
    I read an article about a similar scenario that is happening in Colorado. Some species of beatle is eating the redwoods.

    Redwoods? In Colorado? Redwoods in California/Oregon I would believe. Reddish somethings in Colorado I would believe, but not redwoods.

  • by mark3748 (1002268) on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @03:28PM (#18171528)
    Yes, it is a religion [crichton-official.com]

    I've said it before, [slashdot.org] and cited references, that global warming hasn't been proven. Instead of warning labels on textbooks concerning evolution, they should put them on textbooks about global warming:

    "Warning: Global Warming is not a fact, it is just a theory"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 27, 2007 @05:27PM (#18173696)
    Reasons for this problem, dubbed 'colony collapse disorder,' are still unknown

    Seems pretty obvious that its GM crops and the incredibly toxic pesticides that the GM crops are immune to.
    Damage the ecosystem and lots of creatures leave, some you want to leave and many that you don't.

    I know someone that is a professor at a UK university, a consultant to Monsanto, consulting on GM crops.
    I met him once at his house. He told me GM crops were safe. 5 minutes later he told me he grows his own
    vegatables organically (i.e. uses no chemicals whatsoever). I asked him why. His answers were weak and
    unconvincing. The conclusion is clear, he doesn't believe that GM crops are safe.

    GM crops - just say no.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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