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New clue found to disappearing honey bees

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Topic by Bob posted 08-25-2009 at 10:23 AM 1139 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bob

1427 posts in 2355 days
hardiness zone 3b

08-25-2009 at 10:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource colony collapse bees

WASHINGTON — Researchers have a new clue to the collapse of honey bee colonies across the country — damage to the bees’ internal “factories” that produce proteins. Theories about the cause of bee colony collapse have included viruses, mites, pesticides and fungi.

The new study of sick bees disclosed fragments of ribosomal RNA in their gut, an indication of damage to the ribosomes, which make proteins necessary for life, according to a study in Tuesday’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

RNA, which is made from DNA, is central to protein production.

The sick bees suffered an unusually high number of infections with viruses that attack the ribosome, the researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported.

“If your ribosome is compromised, then you can’t respond to pesticides, you can’t respond to fungal infections or bacteria or inadequate nutrition because the ribosome is central to the survival of any organism. You need proteins to survive,” May R. Berenbaum, head of the department of entomology at Illinois, said in a statement.

The researchers said the varroa mite, which was accidentally introduced to the U.S. in 1986, is a carrier of picorna-like viruses that damage the ribosomes.

The mite may act as a tipping factor leading to ribosome breakdown, the researchers said.

The study was funded by the Department of Agriculture.

On the Net:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: http://www.pnas.org

-- I want to believe in a lot of things but, in the meantime I have to deal with the truth



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Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1870 days
hardiness zone 5b

08-25-2009 at 06:50 PM

Researchers have suspected the varroa mite but now it seems they have some compelling evidence. I will read more about this, thanks for finding and sharing this information.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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Bob

1427 posts in 2355 days
hardiness zone 3b

08-25-2009 at 09:15 PM

This is very important research. I have been trying to folllow it for the last couple of years.
With the bees we are toast.

Bob

-- I want to believe in a lot of things but, in the meantime I have to deal with the truth

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Rog

80 posts in 2163 days
hardiness zone 8b

08-26-2009 at 05:30 PM

That is why everyone of us needs to let their yards grow with clover and let the flowers grow and not use pesticides to control nature. Vinager and a propane torche do the trick in weed control for me…......or as Robin does let the goats eat…..

-- Listen quitely and nature will tell you what to do..Open your eyes widely and you will be amazed..

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Bob

1427 posts in 2355 days
hardiness zone 3b

08-26-2009 at 05:50 PM

Actually Rog, it’s thought to be a virus carried by the variola mite.

This time it has little do do with pesticides.

Isn’t it great to have scientists discovering the real reason for problems rather than burning a few witches when the crops fail?
;-)
p.s. In this particular case a specific miticide may be in order to stop this disease.
Bob

-- I want to believe in a lot of things but, in the meantime I have to deal with the truth

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mario1360

921 posts in 2022 days
hardiness zone 5a

08-26-2009 at 07:21 PM

bring on the chemists, its urgent…..thks bob….

-- south shore montreal, zone 5a, whish it was 9

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Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1870 days
hardiness zone 5b

08-26-2009 at 09:27 PM

I admit, I am a novice beekeeper with much, much to learn. From what I have read about bee colonies, there is a complex ecology and an incredible balance that has evolved inside a bee hive. In a healthy hive, scientist have found dozens of kinds of benign and beneficial mites, just as many other tiny insects, thousands of beneficial or benign microorganisms, some of which bees cannot live without and some scientist believe keep other pathogens in balance.

Everything a beekeeper adds to a hive messes with that delicate balance, such as – essential oils (can interfere with sense of smell and block bees communication as well as kill off potentially beneficial organisms) – organic acids (kill microorganisms, tiny insects and benign or beneficial mites, and acaracides which kill insects but kill mites even faster) – antibiotics which kill the microflora most of which is either beneficial or benign and useful in maintaining the balance and crowding out pathogens – sugar syrup – even feeding bees sugar syrup encourages pathogens and is detrimental to many beneficial microorganisms in a hive

I praise scientists for researching the cause of the colony collapse disorder but I am very leery about introducing a new chemical into a hive. Bees have thrived for millions of years. I would rather try other means, such as creating a beehive that is closer to a hive a bee colony would construct in the wild. One area that interests me are studies relating to the use of comb drawn by the bees themselves rather than using preformed combs for the bees to fill. It seems that beekeepers using this system are not having the same problems with the varroa mites as beekeepers using preformed comb. I am curious, do any of the GT beekeepers just provide a foundation and let the bees create their own comb?

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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Bob

1427 posts in 2355 days
hardiness zone 3b

08-26-2009 at 10:19 PM

That’s a great primer for us novices Robin.
You packed a lot of good info and sound judgment in just a few sentiences.
My primary concern with whatever is decimating the bee colonies is that it is acting like a pandemic in that the poor bees are trucked literally from one side of the continent to the other.
This ultimately will wipe out any diversity they have and make the remaining gene pool susceptible to a single pathogen.
I find that alarming.

-- I want to believe in a lot of things but, in the meantime I have to deal with the truth

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Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1870 days
hardiness zone 5b

08-27-2009 at 07:07 AM

I share and understand your concern, Bob. Without honey bees our way of growing food will definitely change to man’s detriment. Keep thinking and asking questions. Humans can be incredibly creative. We can find solutions if we slow down and try to think like a bee, just like a good gardener tries to think like his plants. I know that may sound cliche, but I hope you understand what I mean.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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Bon

7374 posts in 2387 days
hardiness zone 5a

08-27-2009 at 07:16 AM

Why does accidentally introduced always make my blood pressure rise?

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

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Radicalfarmergal

4296 posts in 1870 days
hardiness zone 5b

08-27-2009 at 07:33 AM

Bon, I was looking into articles from National Academy of Science that Bob posted above (great site, Bob!) and I found a very interesting article on the evolutionary impact of invasive species if you want to check it out…
It is definitely increasing as humans travel and trade around the globe more frequently and more quickly and yes, it is something we should know about and try to prevent.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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Bob

1427 posts in 2355 days
hardiness zone 3b

08-27-2009 at 08:00 AM

Good article. I have book marked it and will re read it on the week end.
One of the most damaging effects of this invasive impact is that the gene pool is becoming reduced so that any attempts to restore the flora and fauna of the past becomes diminished as each dominant invader takes over.
Mr. Gore and his disciples think that we can tax our way to salvation but in reality it will take a much broader and deeper education of the human population to understand and co-operate with each other if the current path is to be turned.
Unfortunately, we cannot legislate Ma nature.( or is that “fortunately” ?)

Bon, good point about “accidently”. I think the word they should have chosen was “carelessly”

Bob

-- I want to believe in a lot of things but, in the meantime I have to deal with the truth

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