Editor's Note: I originally published this on January 10th 2012, but the greenies never stop, and with the unscientific actions by the EU to ban neonicotinoids I am posting it again.
Starting in 2007 the world became inundated with articles about something called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Every newspaper in the country had headlines such as, “Are GM Crops Killing Bees?”; “As Bees Go Missing”; “Why the Honey Bee Decline?”; “Who Killed the Honey Bees?”; “Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons!”
What was worse was the rhetoric used in these articles such as; “If the tireless apian workers didn't fly from one flower to the next, depositing pollen grains so that fruit trees can bloom, America could well be asking where its next meal would come from.” Then there were articles quoting Einstein as saying; “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.” While it is true that Einstein was a brilliant physicist, he turned out to be a zero as an entomologist. We have to understand that the European honey bee is an introduced species. How did all the plants, fruits, vegetables and grain crops get fertilized in the America’s before that?
This became an issue in 2007, but CCD was already going on for some time and it appears that we aren’t all dead. I will admit that I haven’t been feeling well lately, but since my wife insists that I get up and go to work every day, I think that clearly settles it…I’m definitely alive and so are seven billion other people on the planet. I don’t want to be hasty mind you, but I would really like to take a speculative stab at this and say; these claims of agriculture disasters are being promoted by greenie scaremongers and scientific fraudsters, and might be ……just might be……a bit premature!
The ‘theory’ I liked best was from the Devic Kingdom. Never heard of that? Here, let me fill you in. There was this lady who was capable of channeling “intuitive information on the microcosm and the macrocosm [regarding] world events, natural disasters, public figures…..and more”; and she was in direct psychic communication with the Devic Kingdom of bees. She says; “What is necessary to sustain the life of the bees is recognition of their role and appreciation of their work and the necessary factors to support their life.”
She went on to say that the bees are in “trauma due to the mistreatment of their species”; explaining that all of these missing bees is a result of a revolt by the bees in “protest they are being captured and made to work for humans”, “and the bees are angry’ and ‘will not remain where they are being mistreated in so many different ways.’”
She reports that they are also upset about Genetically Modified plants and pesticides and will not return to their hives until these “injustices” are fixed, and only those who “support organic, natural and gentle methods will be allowed visits from the bees”. Furthermore, we must appeal “to the angelic rulers of [their] kingdom; the Devic forces who control the comings and goings of various species on this planet. And [they] must have strong assurance that immediate changes are forthcoming.” Isn’t it fortunate that they speak English too?
I also thought it interesting that they were going to stay away from their colonies until they got what they wanted. Isn’t that sort of ….well…..suicidal on their part? So, according to this woman it appears their plan for straightening everyone out is to eliminate themselves from the planet? Wow…..good plan! Now we know who is molding the thinking of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Angels from the Devic Kingdom!
I would imagine that some might think that she might be a bit of a loon, but how can someone question this woman who claims to be in psychic communication with the Delvic Kingdom any more than one questions the sanity of the entire green movement? When you read the greenies demands as to how we need to become one with the biosphere and abandon all that has made our modern well fed lives possible you have to admit; they both are saying the same kind of insane things, only one of them disguises it better.
Colony Collapse Disorder is the official nomenclature for something that is going on in honey bee colonies in many parts of the world; and at the beginning there was a great deal of speculation, but no consistent or verifiable scientific explanation for this.
What was causing bees to simple start dying or disappearing from their colonies? First of all we have to understand that CCD isn’t anything new or unusual. We have had regular occurrences of this forever. This may have been the worst, but it still isn’t unique and there are some common descriptions as to what happens.
Initially the finger of blame was pointed at things being done by and created by…..people! As one “expert” panel stated; this was “The faltering dance between honeybees and trees is symptomatic of industrial disease.”
The reality? This was entirely speculative, and even those who attempted to be open minded on this couldn’t help but throw in the idea that pesticides were a component. After all….we can’t leave those evil pesticides out of any finger pointing. As an example;
“German government researchers have concluded that a bestselling Bayer pesticide is responsible for the recent massive die-off of honeybees across the country's Baden-Württemberg region. In response, the government has banned an entire family of pesticides, fueling accusations that pesticides may be responsible for the current worldwide epidemic of honeybee die-offs.”Yet in areas of the world where these products were banned the die-offs continued. One ‘expert’ jokingly said;
“My favorite theory, which I throw out, is that the bees are out there creating their own crop circles, working very hard, physically pushing the crops down with their little legs. It fits. It explains the loss of bees and crop circles at the same time. At taxpayers' expense. I want credit for it."He was joking, but his joke wasn’t much dumber than some things stated seriously by ‘scientists’ and others; including the theory that this was a “plot by Osama bin Laden to destroy American agriculture”. However he went on to say;
“We're the ultimate cause in that we've changed the planet to suit our needs. We're running it to suit our needs and not to the benefit of all the organisms around us.”I wonder if he has been in contact with the Devic Kingdom also?
We need to get this. Every species that lives and thrives changes the environment around them. The only difference is that when mankind makes changes he can choose the changes; and he can correct any of those changes if necessary; and that is the problem. Who decides what needs changed? My personal view is that we need to give that choice over to the land owners. People who own land and property try to maintain it because it is theirs, and overall they will make the right decisions. This ownership of the commons mentality has always been disastrous.
There were genetically modified food scares, cell phone scares, immune response deficiencies, emotional madness, transportation stress, poor diet causing starvation, global warming and climate change (all attributed to mankind of course), pathogens and parasites. All of these except pathogens and parasites eventually proved to be nonsense as a cause of CCD, but it was all reported as serious “potentials” in various news sources.
This bring us to pathogens and parasites. The wild bee population was suffering as badly as the domestic populations from Varroa mites and tracheal mites. As for pathogens; it was reported “that analysis of honeybee samples collected between 2002 to 2007 showed that the virus, Israeli acute paralysis virus, had been circulating in the US for at least five years.” And in fact one researcher found two kinds of viruses that transformed the shape of wings or caused a disease only affecting queen bee larvae.
“First, it is not true that there has been a mysterious worldwide collapse in honey bee populations. In fact managed hives (which contain the bees which do the vast majority of our pollinating) have increased by a remarkable 45 per cent over the last five years. Lawrence D. Harder from the department of biology at the University of Calgary and Marcelo Aizen from Buenos Aires set about pinning down a couple of myths…….The bee disaster scenario is dependent upon data which is far too regional to take seriously and ‘not representative of global trends’. The truth is that there are more bees in the world than ever. They go on to say; ‘It is a myth that humanity would starve without bees.’ While some 70 per cent of our most productive crops are animal-pollinated (by bees, hoverflies and the like), very few indeed rely on animal pollination completely. Furthermore, most staple foods — wheat, rice and corn — do not depend on animal pollination at all. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinating. If all the bees in the world dropped dead tomorrow afternoon, it would reduce our food production by only between 4 and 6 per cent..... ‘Overall we must conclude that claims of a global crisis in agricultural production are untrue.’It appears that in spite of the fact that bees have probably been to most intensely studied insect in the history of mankind someone just happened to notice that a phorid fly, Apocephalus borealis, was parasitizing bees causing them to become disoriented and abandon the hives; a primary symptom of CCD.
“Three years ago, [a]biology professor looked for something to feed a praying mantis. He found some bees outside his classroom, placed them in a vial and forgot about them. When he looked at the vial a week later, he found dead bees surrounded by small fly pupae. A parasitic fly was feeding on the bees and had killed them.”This fly places its eggs into the bee’s abdomen. Later as the larvae grow inside the bees and they begin to lose control of their ability to “think and walk….. exhibiting zombie-like behavior by walking around in circles with no apparent sense of direction. Bees will leave “the hive at night flying blindly toward light…..It eventually dies and the fly larvae emerge.”
One research team"found evidence of the fly in 77 percent of the hives they sampled in the Bay Area of California, as well as in some hives in the state’s agricultural Central Valley and in South Dakota”.
It is clear that CCD has been going of forever. It is clear that pesticides can kill some bees, but that number is insignificant and cannot possibly explain the symptoms displayed by honey bee colonies suffering from this disorder. It is clear that fungi and disease are playing a major role. It is now clear that parasites are the number one major component in their demise, and they exacerbate the disease problem.
In conclusion it is clear that most of the scare tactics used are meaningless; we won’t starve; pesticides are our friend; the bees will return; the cause is most assuredly ‘all natural’ and the scaremongers will look for another reason to condemn humanity. I just hope we will have the good sense to ignore them.