Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Killer Bees Resistant to Colony Collapse Disorder in Southwest - Tougher Bee

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:28 PM
Original message
Killer Bees Resistant to Colony Collapse Disorder in Southwest - Tougher Bee



'Killer bees' seem resistant to disorder

Although experts are stumped about what's causing the colony-collapse disorder die-off in U.S. commercial beehives, there is some speculation that Arizona's famed Africanized or "killer bee" wild-bee population is somehow immune.

Dee Lusby's bees are doing fine. Actually, they're doing better than that, says the owner of Lusby Apiaries & Arizona Rangeland Honey of Arivaca.

Lusby has 900 hives of "free range" organic bees spread out over ranches from Benson to Sasabe.
"I've only lost one or two, maybe three (hives) out of every 30 or 40 hives," said Lusby.
She's not surprised by her good fortune or the modern commercial beekeepers' hive-mortality rates.
Lusby has a hunch the disorder is the result of a number of factors, including the use of pesticides, bee-growth formulas, artificial food supplements, breeding for size, inbreeding all or some of which may make them susceptible to mites, viruses and fungi and maybe even some strange side effects from feeding on genetically modified crops.

Breeding for size is a major factor, Lusby believes. She says the commercial honeybees are now too large to feed on some of the very plants that historically may have given them immunity to diseases and parasites. They're simply too big to get into those plant's flowers, she says.
And the man who takes the bees out of Bisbee, Reed "The Killer Bee Guy" Booth, says he's not surprised Africanized bees are thriving.

Booth started out with beekeeping to make retail honey and honey mustard, and branched out to do bee removals after the Africanized bees invaded Arizona in the early 1990s. He says he gets one to five eradication calls a day from around Cochise County during warm weather.
"It's going to be a banner year for bees," he says.

"The Africanized bees are somewhat more resistant" than the European honeybees, he says of the aggressive, slightly smaller wild bees that produce bumper crops of honey and bad press. "But they're somewhat resistant to anything, probably including nuclear war."

Booth says he switched from European bees to wild Africanized bees not long after they spread through Arizona.

"I used to have two sets of hives," says Booth. "But I got tired of going down and either finding my European bees Africanized or dead. I gave up, so, Killer Bee Honey."

http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/176000


So the bees in Arizona are the tougher African Bees and are "resistant" apparently. So that's a variable in Arizona...

Interstinger and interestinger
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. So basically
Commercial aviaries have screwed up bees the say the rest of the food production industry has screwed up our food.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. Now explain why Arizona honey bees aren't experiencing CCD?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Because they are Killer Bees and much tougher than European bees.
The African bees took over Arizona and interbred with the Euros a long time ago - so there are few pure Euros left in the state, probably New Mexico too.

The organic honey bees don't get enough imidacloprid to be a problem. (they are situated far away enough from ag and towns typically).

It's a tougher bee.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Dem, there are honey bees in Arizona too.
And those are the kind they used for pollinating crops, they're not experiencing CCD. There are also killer bees, and other kinds of wild bees in california and in Texas, and they do have problems with CCD.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Hold the Phone, Bornagin, AZ honeybees are dying! It just started later!
Edited on Tue May-29-07 03:00 PM by Dems Will Win
Mysterious bee deaths threaten agriculture
Corinne Purtill
The Arizona Republic

Apr. 16, 2007 12:00 AM

Beekeeper Dennis Arp pulled a sheaf of honeycomb from a hive in a Mesa citrus grove, shook off the bees and peered through his veil at the orange blossom honey oozing out.

This year, Arp's Mountain Top Honey Co. is on track to produce only about half as many bottles to sell at farmers markets around the state.

Arp's bees started dying in mid-November.





A mysterious disorder killing honeybees across the nation has spread to Arizona. And it's delivering another blow to the state's $11.8 million beekeeping industry, which was racked by Africanized bees and other pests in the mid-1980s and 1990s.

Up to 90 percent of the honeybees in commercial colonies from Pennsylvania to California are dying suddenly. No one knows why.

Fewer bees means less honey to sell and fewer colonies to rent to farmers who need them to pollinate their crops. Dead bees already cost local beekeepers thousands of dollars this winter in lost pollination opportunities.

On a grander scale, the bee die-off poses major threats to agriculture. Up to one-third of the nation's food supply depends on bee pollination.

No one in the state is tracking the problem, and beekeepers say they feel helpless against the threat to their livelihoods.

Arp, 55, had planned to rent 1,000 colonies to California almond growers at $135 per colony. Practically overnight, he had fewer than 700 available - a loss of roughly $40,000.

"The only thing I had to do was put them on a truck, get them to California and they would have made it," Arp said, pumping a can of smoke to mollify the buzzing worker bees clinging to the hive. "But they didn't. They died."


The first reports of what is being termed colony collapse disorder surfaced on the East Coast in October. Reports of commercial bee colonies dying off en masse spread westward across the country. It also has been seen in Canada and parts of Europe.

Researchers do not yet know what is killing the bees. Stress, parasites, disease, pesticides and a lack of genetic diversity are all being examined as possible causes.

"If it keeps at the pace that it's going, in terms of how many bees are dying off, it could be huge," said Julie Murphree, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Farm Bureau. "You just could not endure this level of die-off in the colonies and then expect that we could have the same level of pollination."


Impact on agriculture


Dying bees could mean big trouble for agriculture in Arizona and beyond.

There are about 50 commercial beekeepers in Arizona, according to the state Department of Agriculture. A number of crops grown here depend on bees for pollination, including melons, squash, cucumbers and vegetable seed crops. Many beekeepers also raise bees for honey production.

Bee pollination is valued at roughly $15 billion annually in the U.S., according to a report about colony collapse disorder prepared for Congress. There are more than 2 million commercial bee colonies nationwide.

Bees pollinate alfalfa fed to cattle, as well as crops used for biodiesel.

It's not yet clear if colony collapse disorder will affect grocery prices. Although bees were far scarcer this year, Arizona farmers were still able to get the bees they needed to pollinate their crops. But rental prices were about three times higher than they were just a few years ago because of the bees' decreased supply.


Searching for answers


Colony collapse disorder is the latest in a string of problems to strike commercial bee colonies nationwide.

Mite infestations decimated colonies in the mid-1980s and then again in the 1990s. Africanized, or "killer," bees have infiltrated commercial colonies, producing a breed of bee that is too aggressive to work with.

But local beekeepers say that colony collapse disorder is one of the biggest crises they have ever faced. And, they say, there is no one to turn to for help.

"I thought we had a problem with mites," said Delmar McCann of Uncle Mac's Honey Co. in Laveen. "But compared to this, they're nice little fellers."

The Arizona Legislature deregulated the bee industry in the mid-1990s. As a result, the Arizona Department of Agriculture does not have the resources or authority to investigate colony collapse disorder, spokesman Ed Hermes said. No central agency is tracking reports of colony collapse disorder in Arizona.

Most of the research on colony collapse disorder is being done by a group of researchers, bee specialists and government officials based on the East Coast. Officials from that consortium testified before Congress late last month to ask for funding to investigate colony collapse disorder.

Arizona beekeepers say they need help - soon.

"Our researchers don't seem to be on top of (this) at all," said Kenneth Orletsky, beekeeper and former president of the Arizona Beekeepers Association. "I'm a very, very strong conservative. I don't want government in my business. (But) there are times when we the people choose to have help."

Arp bought new bees to replenish his losses. Last week he introduced the new queen bees to his hives in hopes his colonies will regenerate.


"I don't have all the answers," he said. "Really, I don't think anybody does."



Reach the reporter at corinne .purtill@arizonarepublic.com .

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/...


What say you now, BornAgin?? There were no reports because there was no place to report and track them!! (Problem = Republican deregulation)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. What evidence have you got...
to suggest that killer bees are more resistant to imidaproclid than honey bees?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Just the observation on the ground of the beekeepers there in Arizona
as reported in the article.

He even joked they were more resistant to anything even "nuclear war". Beekeepers have to do a lot of things to keep their hives healthy so the reporters accepted it as a professional speaking.

There is little money funding bees at all, much less killer bees, the states have had to haphazardly do it. So I have not found any study on African bees being resistant per se.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Did find this cool map of the spread of African Bees


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Well, which is it?
Arizona's got CCD problems?

Or they haven't got CCD problems because they've got killer bees?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Both - They have the CCD problems with the Euro honeybees - color them orange on the first map
But the Killer Bees are OK according to the people who keep them. And the Keepers believe their Africans are resistant.

That's the report on AZ. That's all she wrote...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. According to my stats, 2 out of three killer bees die earlier than expected.
Case in point:

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Uh-oh Dead Killer Bees, thanks for the pic!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. LOL!!
:spray:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
6. The hive in my apricot tree is doing fine so far. And they are nice, gentle
European bees. They let me approach closely and never make a fuss.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
9. Now this thread title is a cartoon waiting to happen. Or a Colbert rant.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Dems Will Win Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-29-07 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. BUZZ!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sun Sep 14th 2014, 11:27 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC