Friday, April 20, 2007

No bees, No fruit

Bee colonies around the country have suffered huge losses this spring, according to beekeepers and farmers. Keepers have been opening hive boxes this spring to find all of their bees have mysteriously dissappeared, and no one is quite sure as to why. In some reports, and many as 50-90% losses have been experienced, leading experts to name this occurance Colony Collapse Syndrome (CCS). It's baffling scientists, due to the fact that the adult members of the hives are just missing, leaving juveniles and full food reserves behind.
Bees have suffered huge losses in the last decade due to the introduction of tracheal mites and varroa mites. As a result, farmers have been spraying miticides on their hives to keep off these pests. But mites can become resistant to chemicals in time. Scientists are finding unususal levels of toxicity and mites in the few carcasses found at empty boxes. Some believe what we're seeing is a toxic tipping point when sources such as spraying, chemicals in fields and in water are all added up. One support to this theory is that organic hives seem to be less effected by the phenomenon.
We can expect the price of fruits and nuts to reach an all time high this year, as farmers scramble to find pollinatiors for their crops, and answers to what has happened.
for the original feed at Market Farming
for audiocast at Air America

1 comment:

  1. I am going to make an unresearched, overheard comment: that the bees' disappearance has something to do with mobile telephone signals. I found your blog while testing google to find my own website, because MY NAME IS ALSO JENNIFER BERRY and I AM ALSO A GARDEN DESIGNER. But in England. Wild, eh? --Jennifer,