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May 9, 2014 | The mysterious vanishing of honeybees from hives can be directly linked to insectcide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world's most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear.

"We demonstrated that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering 'colony collapse disorder' in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter," said Chensheng Lu, an expert on environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health and who led the work.

Biodiversity Boosts Crops | Research from NC State University finds that blueberries produce more seeds and larger berries if they are visited by more diverse bee species.  Within the blueberry fields, the researchers identified five distinct groups of bee species: honey bees, bumble bees, southeastern blueberry bees, carpenter bees and a functionally similar collection of species that they termed small native bees.

"We think the benefit stems from differences in behavior between bee groups, in part depending on the weather," explains Dr. David Tarpy, an associate professor of entomology at NC State and co-author of the paper. For example, southeastern blueberry bees work well regardless of inclement weather, whereas honey bees only perform at their best on calm, warm, sunny days.

There is some research showing that having native, flowering plants near blueberry fields can increase native bee populations over time, but the researchers are now planning to see what role crop management can play in fostering bee diversity at crop sites.

 

NY TIMES | Study Finds Loss of Bees Can Affect Plants’ Ability to Reproduce 

July 22, 2013 By James Gorman

You might think this is a no-brainer. With the loss of honey-bees world-wide, we will have less flowers and less fruit production. We will have fewer flowers pollinated which would produce less seeds to repopulate that variety. 

Some scientist have postulated that other bee species would take over the pollination process. However, bees have areas of specialization where they select particular varieties of flowers to gather their nectar. We all know about Clover Honey and Orange Blossom Honey. But, do we really know all about the bees and how they benefit the ecology of plants?

  • Berry J. Brosi, an assistant professor at Emory University in Atlanta, and Heather M. Briggs, a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, both in environmental science, studied 20 plots of meadow at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Crested Butte, Colo., each about 22 yards on a side.

    As an outcome of their small trial study, they found the tall larkspur wildflower was not pollinated. This is the tip of the iceberg for many wild species and what we often call decline or going extinct. How many more plants will be lost due to our indiscriminant use of pesticides, insecticides and fungicides?

Healing Staphysagria | HINT: A plant remedy for healing after surgery. Staphysagria: If pain persists at the site of a surgical incision or after procedures that involve the stretching of a sphincter muscle. It is also indicated after surgeries involving reproductive organs (prostate surgery, hysterectomy, C-section, episiotomy) or the abdomen, stomach, and rectum (including hemorrhoids). Staphysagria may also help after operations on traumatic injuries, such as stab or bullet wounds.

May 2013 Bee and Monsanto News | Illinois illegally seizes bees resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup; Kills remaining Queens

The Illinois Ag Dept.  illegally seized privately owned bees from renowned naturalist, Terrence Ingram, without providing him with a search warrant and before the court hearing on the matter, reports Prairie Advocate News.

Behind the obvious violations of his Constitutional rights is Monsanto. Ingram was researching Roundup’s effects on bees, which he’s raised for 58 years.  “They ruined 15 years of my research,” he told Prairie Advocate, by stealing most of his stock.

A certified letter from the Ag Dept.’s Apiary Inspection Supervisor, Steven D. Chard, stated: “During a routine inspection of your honeybee colonies by … Inspectors Susan Kivikko and Eleanor Balson on October 23, 2011, the bacterial disease ‘American Foulbrood’ was detected in a number of colonies located behind your house…. Presence of the disease in some of your colonies was confirmed via test results from the USDA Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland that analyzed samples collected from your apiary….”

Ingram can prove his bees did not have foulbrood, and planned to do so at a hearing set in April, but the state seized his bees at the end of March. They have not returned them and no one at the Ag Dept. seems to know where his bees are.
The bees could have been destroyed, or they could have been turned over to Monsanto to ascertain why some of his bees are resistant to Roundup. Without the bees as evidence, Ingram simply cannot defend against the phony charges of foulbrood.

Worse, all his queens died after Kivikko and Balson “inspected” his property, outside of his presence and without a warrant.

Of note, Illinois beekeepers are going underground after Ingram’s experience and refuse to register their hives, in case the state tries to steal their private property on phony claims.

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