Thursday, August 07, 2008

Where's the Buzz?

SnaggleTooth's Marigolds 2008
Today I saw the first black n yellow hornet in my yard this summer.
I've seen alot of the large, fuzzy Bumble Bees, but I've not seen one Honey Bee all year so far. Usually, they'd be all over the clover on the lawn, n I'd have to dodge them on the pathway into work. The Buzzy World is changing.
All bees are not created equal. Hornets n wasps are famous for being territorial. Some species such as Yellow Jackets, which had stung me when I was young, are notorious for being territorial. Don't threaten their hive area, or you'll be in for it! Always watch for their nest holes on the ground as you walk. Hornets n Wasps are always more noticed in August here, especially when there's been dry outdoor conditions. It's been years since I've had any problem with hornets. I even caught a wasp in my home with a cup n released it outside unharmed last year.
Bumble Bees are very curious n friendly, altho loud n intrusive. They want to check out every move you make. If you make them uncomfortable, they will do a circling dance to warn you in advance. They're easy to avoid, if you don't disturb their food collection job, that is. There's one who lives near the huge Ecclesiastical Tree in my backyard who chases me out of his zone every time I hand mow. I understand his concern, respect his right to be alive, n I listen.
Bumble Bees pollinate plants as honey Bees do even tho they don't live in hives or make honey. They seem to intimidate the hornets from taking over the same areas they frequent. I found a really frightened one in my house this spring. Mischief probably gave him a bat or two before I got there. She likes to play with bugs, but prefers beetles. I folded the Fuzzy-Buggy into a newspaper, n freed it out on the deck.
Honey Bees are needed to pollinate plants, n produce honey, most notably clover honey, which many people consume. They're also responsible for producing many food crops of fruit n vegtables. Without them some plant species could become extinct, n some foods would be off the menu.
I'm allergic to bee strings, but I'm not in the least afraid of Honey Bees. Unless they are directly threatened, they'll go about their food collection, n pose no threat.
Live n let Live is my policy. I never, ever slap at a bee. They are smart n understand a theat, specializing in movement signals. I even get angry when those around me think they're doing me a favor by killing them. There's no need to destroy them simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. God created them as he did us, n they exist for a reason.
Several months ago when I had trouble going to sleep, I ended up watching a PBS program about Honey Bees. The program highlighted a problem I didn't realize was getting to a critical point on our planet. Honey bees are dissapearing at an alarming rate. In the USA, about one-third of all Honey Bees are now gone. Even Bee-keepers for hire to pollinate crops are having trouble keeping hives going.
The Honey Bees are suffering from a disease known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Ever wonder what would happen if bees decided not to work for the good of the hive? This is it. The worker bees are born, have no program to follow, just fly away n never return with the nectar for the honey combs. The hive falls apart. No one attends a queen or raises a new one. It's every bee for themselves, no giving directions to the good flowers, no community, no life plan. Live for two weeks, work to feed just yourself, then pass away alone.
It's truelly frightening to contemplate of the implications of this issue. The most sophisticated insect communicator gets an Alzhiemer's mentality. The cures for human diseases from yet unknown plant sources may die out before discovery without one season's pollination. Nations full of people may starve. The entire planet will be affected. The Honey Bee could become extinct if this insect illness isin't stopped.
The cause of the Colony Collapse Disorder is up for debate, n being feverishly researched. There's a fungus which may contribute to the condition. (parasite Nosema ceranae),
Perhaps one of the many viruses present in most bees may have something to do with it, although only affecting some of the infected, according to the labs studying the entomology question. (Quote: Dr Cox Foster "DNA samples...found... Aspergillis fungus and the parasite Leishmania. Israeli virus (IAPV) correctly predicted collapsed hives more than any other factor."), Another factor is probably a long-term affect of pesticide use. Scientists also question the limited plant species diets of the bee Keepers hives doing major crop pollinations. Those scientists interviewed thought the problem is likely a combination of these factors. Then there's genetically engineered foods, the Earth's magnetic field, radiation, cellphones, n perhaps more yet unthought of factors to isolate n disprove.

SnaggleTooth's Canterbury Bells 2008I had personally noticed the absence of Honey Bees in my travels before watching the PBS program. But until I took the time to listen to this information, I'd never considered their absence to be a problem which would detrimentally affect me, along with everyone else. Ever since I saw that program in June, I've been wanting to write a piece to raise awareness. I'd also like to keep informed of the research conducted to find a cause n cure before the problem causes food-chain calamity n irreversible extinctions.
I have nothing against Honey Bees. Live n let live. Work for the good of the hive.
Live long n prosper...
Most of my info here comes from personal life experience reseach. Hive Confusion/Colony Collapse info came from the program airing on PBS. (PBS NATURE - Silence of the BEES, October 28, 2007, 8:00 P.M.)
-other links to puruse:


At 9:20 PM, Blogger Shelley said...

you have convinced me that I don't have honey bees, just wasps, hornets and yellowjackets and bumblebees and anything else that flies.
Today a dragonfly came by me and I wanted to jump up in the air.

its a fear... i still hate bees. I cant even look at them under glass.
but i agree with you.

At 2:12 AM, Blogger Snaggle Tooth said...

Xray, yours are gone too, eh? Believe me that Honey Bees are harmless compared to all their cousins.

I forgot to mention that the aggressive Africanized Bees ("Killer Bees") haven't yet been affected by this illness either-

At 12:03 AM, Blogger Anastasia said...

I'm glad to see another person writing about CCD, and I hope my post on the subject was a helpful information source. You might want to do a little more research into the subject, though.

As I mentioned in my post, leading scientists such as Dr. Cox have shown that things like GM crops and cellphones are not the cause of CCD. During her seminar at Iowa State, Dr. Cox went so far as to put these theories in the same category as claims that the rapture is causing bee deaths.

At 3:29 AM, Blogger Snaggle Tooth said...

Anastasia, Thankyou for your comment. I do realize many factors I listed are being discounted. However, I'm not so quick to toss items out of contention for roles in the effect. On the PBS site there's one commentor who's convinced the magnetic field of Earth is causing the malfuction. That would mean we could do nothing!
I hope a way to stop this can be found before it's too late...


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