More about missing bees

Joe Shaw
Sat, 19 May 2007 09:49:07 PDT
Hi Gang,

Carlo A. requested a link to the AAA Science article.  There is a link to 
the table of contents for the current issue (May 18, 2007), but the 
particular essay (The Case of the Empty Hives by Erik Stokstad) is a 
subscription-only article.  Older AAA Science material can be posted or 
accessed easily enough for educational lists like this one, but copyright 
law prevents posting of the full article at this time.
LINK:  Table of Contents, Science Magazine, May 18, 2007 (subscription 

However, Dr. Huang (at MSU) runs an excellent and professional Web  site on 
honeybees.  He provides updates on the colony collapse phenomenon.

Dr. Huang also provided a short update on the MSU IPM Web site.
LINK:  Honeybee CCD Update

Additionally, Science Daily carried a simlar story about a week ago.
LINK:  Bee Colony Collapse Disorder: Could It Be Parasites, Pathogens Or 

Dr. Huang reports:
"The symptom seems to be for bees simply to disappear. That is why initially 
peopled called it disappearing disease (or fall dwindle disease).  A colony 
with 30,000 bees checked one week ago - apparently healthy with lots of 
honey and pollen - suddenly has nothing, or a handful of bees with a queen 
left, but with lots of food and many frames of capped brood left.  Very few 
dead bees are found inside the hive or near the entrance.  Strangely, wax 
moths, small hive beetles, and robbing bees are slow in moving into such 
newly abandoned colonies - two to three weeks later - while normally they 
move into defenseless colonies right away.

I just attended an emergency conference in Washington, DC a few days ago and 
we had a brainstorming session on possible causes of CCD, what we should 
research and where to obtain the funding.  The short answer is that we still 
do not know what is the cause of CCD.  A list of culprits include nosema 
ceranae (a protozoan parasite that infects adult bee mid-gut), viruses, 
varroa mites, or a new pathogen.  Tracheal mites, pesticide use, various 
supplemental feeds are tentatively excluded. It is interesting that someone 
at the meeting reprinted an article published in 1897, complaining about the 
same symptoms seen in Colorado as what we are seeing today:  most workers 
gone with a queen and some workers with lots of brood left in colonies. That 
was prior to both the varroa and tracheal mites, prior to the use of 
neonicotinoids (and organophosphates and pyrethroids). "


Conroe TX
Some rainlilies popping up here and there in the yard. 

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