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  1. #1
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    Default Where Have All The Bees Gone?

    Funny this should get mentioned in Doctor Who - it's a real problem that could be ecologically disastrous, apparently:

    Pollution is dulling the scent of flowers and impeding some of the most basic processes of nature, disrupting insect life and imperilling food supplies, a new study suggests.

    The potentially hugely significant research funded by the blue-chip US National Science Foundation has found that gases mainly formed from the emissions of car exhausts prevent flowers from attracting bees and other insects in order to pollinate them. And the scientists who have conducted the study fear that insects' ability to repel enemies and attract mates may also be impeded.

    Already bees which pollinate most of the world's crops are in unprecedented decline in Britain and across much of the globe. At least a quarter of America's 2.5 million honey bee colonies have been mysteriously wiped out by colony collapse disorder (CCD), where hives are found suddenly deserted.

    The crisis has now spread to Europe. Politicians insist that CCD has not yet been found in Britain, but the insects have been declining here too, and the agriculture minister Lord Rooker has warned that "the honey bee population could be wiped out in 10 years".

    The researchers do not believe that they have found the cause of CCD, but say that pollution is making life more difficult for bees and other insects in many ways."
    (from The Independent)

    I've heard it mentioned elsewhere that bees are generally in decline.

    The honeybee decline, which is affecting domesticated and wild bee populations around the world, is mostly the result of diseases spread as a result of mites and other parasites as well as the spraying of crops with pesticides, scientists say.

    Among the greatest problems is the varroa mite, a bloodsucking parasite that attacks young and adult honeybees. Attacked bees often have deformed wings and abdomens and a shortened life span.

    "The varroa mite is also really effective at transmitting disease, particularly viruses," Frazier said. Left untreated, a varroa mite infestation can wipe out a bee colony within a few months.
    (from The National Geographic)

    So what can we do? If anything? What's going on with the bees?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  2. #2
    Pip Madeley Guest

    Default

    Keep watching Doctor Who and you'll find out.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Isn't it awful? People genuinely worried about the future of bees, and the only thing I could think of when I heard it on the news was, "Ooh, like in Doctor Who!"

  4. #4
    Pip Madeley Guest

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    Who knows, it may be the BBC's really subtle way of advertising Doctor Who...

  5. #5
    WhiteCrow Guest

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    Theres an interesting page on this in Wikipedia - CCD isn't really understood, but is thought to perhaps be caused by several different factor rather than a single one.

    Sounds like beekeeping might be a career worth looking into then.

    If I was a mad scientist I'd be working on my genetically engineered superbees.

    Alas all my mad scientist skills can manage is nuclear physics and frickin' "LASERS".

  6. #6
    Captain Tancredi Guest

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    Clearly nobody else listens to Sarah Kennedy in the morning, or you'd know that the disappearance of fig rolls from supermarket shelves has been attributed to the decline of the Anatolian Fig Wasp, which pollinates the fig trees of Turkey.

  7. #7
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    Default

    zzzzzz-zzz-zzzzzzzzzz-zzzz ( so long , and thanks for all the flowers)

  8. #8
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    Default

    One day the world's population will realise what's going on but by then it will be too late.

  9. #9
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    Default

    All the bees are in my back garden, winding up our cat!!!

    No, really, they are

  10. #10
    Captain Tancredi Guest

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    What bothers me most about imminent environmental disaster is not the prospect of it happening, but what happens in ten or twenty years if the scientists start to conclude that the planet's irreparably buggered and may not be habitable by humans within 50 years or so. So not the kind of catastrophe which causes mass panic, but the kind where it ceases to be worth planning for your retirement or having children and yet in the meantime you have to go on living from day to day.

    That said, the main causes of the decline in bees seem to be natural factors like parasites, with pollution making things worse rather than being a root cause. It may be that in a few years, a stronger mite-resistant bee appears, or that the plants which currently rely on bees for pollination attract another species to do it for them.

  11. #11
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    Default

    According to the news tonight, scientists have uncovered further information on what may be happening to the bees. They found an abandoned hive in New Jersey, which has marks on the inside walls reading "So long and thanks for all the pollen".

  12. #12
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    Default

    Are you saying they buzzed off?

    Because if you are I may have to take serious action.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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