Friday, August 31, 2007

where have all the honeybees gone?

This article I read reminds me of the song, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" It reports that over 50% of the honeybee population has just flat-out disappeared in the United States. According to an article from The Denver Channel in April 2007, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), where honeybees simply disappear from their hives and never return, is to blame for the decrease in number of honeybees in the United States. CCD has affected beehives in 24 states, including Colorado.

The article reports that the loss rate is 40 percent in some Colorado's 30,000 colonies. One beekeeper from the San Luis Valley in Colorado reported he started the winter with 6,000 beehives and emerged with only 1,000.

A German study shows that radiation from cell phones disorients the bees and destroys their ability to communicate because the signals disrupt the electromagnetic frequencies with which bees communicate and navigate.

(If you like geeky science articles, there is a fascinating one here about how electrical charges affect bee behavior.)

This is sad and scary. Every third bite of food we eat is pollinated by honeybees. Think about that. The disappearing honeybees are the equivalent of the canaries in the mine shafts. When they die, we're in trouble.


Norah said...

I've been wondering about that myself. The honeybees we have here belong to a neighbor, we're quite sure. Will have to read the articles to see what the cause might be...

Miss Paula said...

Oh no! I love honey in tea! This is not good. Maybe someone needs to invent little Bee cell phone towers!!