What causes CCD? Do pesticides kill bees? These are valid questions we hear a lot these days. But what if the truth is completely different, and the pesticides are merely dust in the eyes?
Of course anybody connected somehow to the bees, wonders what causes CCD. The possibilities are numerous and it’s quite easy to blame someone else. But who is blaming who here?
What is CCD?
It’s Colony Collapse Disorder. A highfalutin way of saying that bees are disappearing. Because this is the whole problem. Without knowing exactly why, bees are disappearing in mass. They simply don’t come back to the hive, and we don’t see them dead anywhere. The hives are left only with the queen, eggs and young honey bees. But all the foraging bees, the ones that leave the hive and normally come back with nectar and pollen, simply vanish.
The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. This is what CCD is.
What is even stranger is that the usual parasites, wildlife and other bees, that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, now refuse to come anywhere near the abandoned hives.
When did CCD start?
In 2006, when a big beekeeper from Florida reported that from its 400 hives, 360 were empty, abandoned by bees. From that moment, other complains were heard, too, in different parts of the US.
And things got worse everywhere. The loss of the 2012-2013 winter was of 45% of all hives across US. This is why the concern is huge!
It started in the US and spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and England.
Yet, the problem is not reported by all beekeepers. I have met beekeepers that have never heard about such a think like bees disappearing and leaving the hive empty. Most of them told me the weather is the one responsible for the bees’ deaths.
If we knew this, we would definitely fix the problem somehow. But we don’t. We only make suppositions. As any other creatures on Earth, bees can die from different reasons. (Assuming they eventually die somewhere, and don’t disappear into thin air, or are abducted by aliens…)
Among these reasons:
– Pesticides. They are supposed to be the prime cause, as there have been plenty of studies showing the bad effect pesticides have on bees and other insects, by altering their nervous system. Among them, neonicotinoids are the worse. And from all these, imidacloprid (produced by Bayer) is considered to have the highest toxicity to bees. The other two following are clothianidin (by Bayer) and thiamethoxam (by Syngenta).
– fungi and virus infections. The are some pathogens believed to be linked to CCD: Nosema Ceranae and Lotmaria passim, two newly discovered pathogens that attack the gut of honey bees. Researchers say the pathogens may not be the immediate cause of death, but an effect of something else that weakens the bees and makes them susceptible to the pathogens.
– radiation from mobile phones. Some people say these radiations interfere with bees’ navigation systems, preventing them from coming back to their hives. There are no evidence to back this up, yet it might be possible.
Dr. George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: “I am convinced the possibility is real.”
A Swedish research revealed that radiation from mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that today’s teenagers could go senile in the prime of their lives.
A Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10 years were 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumor on the same side as they held the handset.
Studies in India and the US have raised the possibility that men who use mobile phones heavily have reduced sperm counts.
Yes, the list can go on and on. We will surely know its effects over 40 or 50 years.
– EMF. ElectroMagnetic Field. The technologies we use today, from our everyday appliances, cell phones, even our cars, emit electromagnetic radiation & EM radiation that can penetrate and affect us, seriously compromising our health and disturbing our environments.
There is a whole movement that fights against overusing electronic devices, or that offer alternatives to protect ourselves from it. The effects of so many EMF around us are really BAD. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences concluded: “EMFs should be regarded as possible carcinogens.” There are more than 2,000 studies to support this theory.
Cellphones emit two kinds of EMFs – microwave electromagnetic radiation from the antenna, and more EMFs from the phone body. Both of them are harmful. 20-80% of the radiation from a phone’s antenna penetrates up to 2 inches into the adult brain.
Producers are telling us that the newer the phone, the better the technology and the fewer radiations. Well, we’ll wait for the studies to confirm it.
See here how EMF radiation influences our blood cells and other components.(source http://oscillatorium.com/id81.html)
There are many other factors that can kill the bees. But they are considered to be normal causes of bee death, as they don’t disappear, only get sick and die. A natural process, that cannot be included in the causes of CCD.
– parasites: varroa mite, tracheal mite
– predators: birds, skunks, raccoons, bears. Yes, Winnie, you too are to blame!
– over-crowding, nutritional shortfalls.
– mishaps on mild winter days. What mishaps? Bad luck? Yes, it may happen. They may venture to fly away in a sunny day, and eventually get caught in the snow.
– sanitary issues. Yes, their poop. Usually, honey bees take “cleansing flights” to clear their bowels. But this cannot be done during winter, so they clean their bowels inside the hive. Of course, they can get sick in there!
– diseases: American Foulbrood (Bacillus larvae), European Foulbrood (Melissococus pluton), Chalkbrood , Sacbrood, Nosema, Chilled Brood, paralysis, dysentery.
Let’s talk about dysentery. Remember when I said honeydew honey is an amazing honey, with lots of antioxidants, polyphenols and enzimes and that is very good to treat constipation? I also said that beekeepers are not very enthusiast in making it. The high content of oligosaccharides, so many indigestibles and the lack of proteins usually found in pollen, is considered to trigger dysentery over winter.
After producing honeydew honey, beekeepers should fed the bees with protein supplements before winter, and remove all the honeydew honey left in the hive. If they get dysentery the whole colony can die.
Other causes of dysentery include:
– high moisture content in winter food supplies,
– excess of fiber or ash in honey reserves,
– close quarters (during winter, when they are forced to stay inside their small homes)
Beekeepers recommend feeding the bees a mixture of pure sugar and water, which produces very little waste products. A healthy bee poop should be of a light honey color.
There is no scientific consensus on what causes CCD.
As always, the debate is between the producers of the pesticides and insecticides, industrial agriculture and environmentalists and beekeepers. Scientists’ study speak loud and clear. Yet, they are not heard.
The main concern is not on the honey that disappears, but on our crops that will remain without pollinators. And everybody is citing Einstein, of course. Please read this, too: Einstein said: “If the bees disappear…” – Give me a break, Einstein!
What does the US do?
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) gives some advice at a small scale, but does not take drastic measures. They suggested the public to use caution when applying pesticides, and avoid applying them mid-day, when bees are most likely active. Also to plant nectar-rich native plants. Probably refering to people’s backyards…
What does EU do?
In 2013 they did something. Small, but it shows they were receptive and more nature-oriented.
They banned the use of 3 neonicotinoids on plants pollinated by bees, for 2 years, starting with 2013. The banned nicotinoids are: imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.
Yet, some countries from EU did not conformed (Romania, as an example).
The results so far? Farmers complained a lot on the pests invasion, which destroyed much of their crops. On the other hand, beekeepers cannot confirm a positive evolution of things, as the already infected land can hold the poison up to many years. How can anyone tell there is any difference in only 2 years? Well, at least is something. At least a point from where to start. A tiny difference must occur.
See here a video about the ban of 3 pesticides in EU.
As scary and unbelievable this could sound, all these disappearings make us think there is a whole new planet somewhere in the universe, that has to be populated before Earth is destroyed.
Don’t make a face, anything is possible. This can be done by aliens who are trying to populate their planet with our living creatures, or they are simply populating a new one.
Or, it can be done by humans. Our highly powerful people (maybe the CEO of a top pharmaceutical company??) who know what’s going to happen here (as they rule it) or as a back-up safety measure.
Could be. But let’s not exclude anything.
Ok, but why are the birds disappearing?
Yes, they disappear, too.
I was wondering if this always happened, but we simply could not have access to the information, because of the lack of Internet. Were this mysterious things always happening?
Do they happen only now, because of the distance created between our civilization, with technology and everything, and our raw nature? Meaning we, the people, somehow, are the only to blame for this?
Because we all know we actually changed a lot from it. There are less trees, the air is filled with a different kind, actually different kinds, of frequencies, not to mention the chemical pollution of it.
Or, as I already said, and sounded kind of creepy, somebody else is building a Noe’s Ark. A big one.
What do you think?
I know, common sense says paranoia!
Also these neonicotinoids are used all over the planet, yet the disappearance do not happen everywhere. Why is that?
If somebody else is taking honey bees to populate other places with them, this is because they know the true value of them, and of their HONEY. 🙂
Here is a detailed 25 minutes video on CCD and neonicotinoids: