Comprehensive coverage

Billions of bees have not returned to their hives in the last six months

It is possible that the cellular radiation disrupts their path, or maybe something in the food supplements they receive? But the intensity of these phenomena has not changed in the last six months in large parts of the earth. A mystery in progress

Beekeepers in the USA report mass abandonment of the hives by the bees who do not return to them at the end of the day. Over a quarter of the 2.4 million bee colonies in the US have disappeared. These are tens of billions of bees. This is according to the assessment of the American Beekeeping Society, a national group that monitors the beekeeping industry. So far no one can say what caused the bees to lose their way and not return to the hive.
As with any great mystery, a number of theories were proposed to explain the phenomenon, and many of them seemed to the researchers to be taken more from science fiction than from science. Some blamed the disappearance of the crops for genetic adaptation, the broadcast stations of the cellular network, and the high voltage lines, or maybe it is a secret plot by Russia or Osama bin Laden to eliminate American agriculture? Or, as suggested in some mystic blogs, the bees' belief in the afterlife that God called them to come to heaven? The researchers have already heard all the theories.

"The number of theories is overwhelming," says Diana Cox-Foster, an entomologist (insect researcher) at Pennsylvania State University. Foster and Jeffrey Pettis, an entomologist from the US Department of Agriculture, are leading a study that tries to find the answer to explain the phenomenon they call colony collapse disorder, the name given to the bee queen syndrome.
"There is a clear urgency to solve the mystery," says Foster. "We are trying to move forward as fast as we can."
Cox-Foster and her fellow scientists recently presented their initial findings, and they focus on the most likely suspect: a virus, a fungus or some type of insect repellent. About 60 researchers from North America tried to filter the possibilities at a conference held last week. Some of them expressed concern about the speed with which adult bees disappear from their hives. Some colonies collapsed in a very short time - days. Others commented that beekeepers in European countries, as well as in Guatemala and parts of Brazil, are also struggling with a similar phenomenon. Genetic tests and post-mortem analyzes of the bees yielded no direction that could explain the great loss. A genetic analysis done at Columbia University showed the presence of many micro-organisms in collapsing hives or colonies of bees, and this shows that something is weak in their immune system. The researchers also found several types of fungi in the affected bees that resemble the fungi of AIDS or cancer patients.
In another study, at the North Carolina Agricultural Laboratory, the researchers scanned 117 chemical substances. In particular, the suspicion fell on a parts exterminator that France banned from use for fear that it causes the disappearance of the bees. So far, the phenomenon has been recorded in 27 states in the US. A survey of 13 countries showed that 26 percent of beekeepers lost half of their colonies between September and March.
Another study did not prove any connection between bee nutrition (artificial additives, and in particular genetically modified corn syrup given to bees between pollination) and the phenomenon, but further investigation is required.
Honey bees are very important to the human food chain. They are the main pollinators of hundreds of types of fruits, vegetables, flowers and nuts. The number of bee colonies has been declining since the 40s, even though the number of plants that depend on them for pollination, such as California walnuts, has increased. In October, around the time beekeepers began to experience the phenomenon, a study by the National Academy of Sciences revealed why American agriculture relies too much on one type of pollinator - the honey bee.
Now the researchers are pinning their hopes on the bee genome sequence study, which is accelerating. Computers can extract information from DNA and match pieces of genetic code to a particular creature. Fortunately, a project to decipher 11 honeybee genes was completed last year at Baylor University, giving scientists the vital head start to identify an unknown pathogen in bee tissues.

The British Independent (as quoted in an article in "Haaretz") explains that the results of the phenomenon, if it persists, could be horrifying because most of the crops in the world depend on bees that pollinate the plants and fertilize them. The British newspaper "Independent" quotes Albert Einstein who said that "if the bees disappear, the human race will be left with only 4 years of existence". Dr. Dewey Crone, an insect expert at the University of Delaware, says simply: "Without bees, there are no crops." According to Kroon the bees are not dead but simply disappear without leaving a trace.




Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.