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Re: Bees

My mason bees have been great here- they actually are better pollinators than honey bees. Also, i always have a handful of bumbles that take care of the tomatoes for me : )

Bonnie Holmes wrote:
Besides the drought, another possible reason for reduced crops...(Jim must have lots of bees around)...

Saw a disturbing program last night on Nature, followed up by an article in Organic, about the disappearance of honey bees.  I had seen mention of this problem earlier but didn't realize that the problem is not resolved.  The PBS program stated that 1/3 of U.S. honey bees have disappeared and that the problem is world-wide.  Since most foods are pollinated by honey bees, it leaves only wind-pollinated foods, such as wheat, corn, and rice relatively safe.  The magazine article pointed out that native bees still pollinate squash, tomato, and eggplant but even they are being reduced in population.

The PBS program also featured bee demise in Sighuan province in China...there are NONE due to pesticides...so the farmers hand pollinate the pear trees.  Right now, most of our beekeepers are replacing their bee stock with Australian bees but some scientists think some may have been contaminated by the royal jelly produced in China.

Possible causes include poor nutrition, pesticides, virus (especially the 1apv found in Israel), fungi and/or a combination of these.  When bees get sick, they leave the hive to protect it, which is one reason it has been difficult to find the dying and dead ones.  Interesting thing is that bee preditors also leave the hives of deminishing bees alone.

Bonnie Holmes
ETN Zone 7

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  • Follow-Ups:
    • RE: Bees
      • From: "Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT" <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>
  • References:
    • Bees
      • From: "Bonnie Holmes" <holmesbm@usit.net>

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