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  1. #1
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    Default The Results Of The CCD Conference

    The editor has chosen to post the article online in advance of
    publication of the Bee Culture issue in which it appears, so
    here it is, earlier than I thought I could post it online.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Thank you, Jim!
    Very well done, as always.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2005
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    Warne, North Carolina
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    Default

    Thanks Jim,

    Very nice article.
    ~What do you know there's so much to be done
    Count all the bees in the hive, Chase all the clouds from the sky~

  4. #4
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    6,624

    Default

    A well-written and thought-provoking indictment Jim. It went well with my morning's first cup of coffee.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  5. #5
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    Default

    Nice read Jim. Loved your byline.... some of us do very much like train wrecks and other assorted human drama.

    ps... I recently read an old article in one of those magazine I acquired from od frank that suggested florine (in the gasous discharge) from coal (mined in Montana) fired power plants were suspected as a problem some years back. can not really figure out how that might work... but the article did suggest some relatively low level (seemed like 10 ppb) of florine would be lethal to bee population.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2006
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    Default

    Jim,.....very well written article. Thanks for sharing that.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default

    Wow Jim. This should be printed in Discovery Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many other popular publications.

    Would you mind if I ran off a bunch of copies to give out to friends and customers?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #8
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    Dec 2006
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    Amador County, Calif
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    Default

    Jim, thanks for taking the time and effort to write that.

    But, "you knew that was coming" what I read was, WE NEED MORE MONEY.

    What if we took the two million hives or so and had THE BEEKEEPER donates two or three dallors per hive, which would be in a perfect world give you four or five million. Lets say we get half, two million.Maybe we could get the bee suppliers to ask for a small donation when keepers get there supplies?
    This maybe all sound good stuff, but I think it starts with us helping our own.I dont like asking for help when I see little from this bee industry to help it's self.
    Keith

  9. #9
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    Apr 2004
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    Central CA.
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    495

    Default

    Thanks Jim

    Jim

  10. #10
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    Jun 2006
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    Randolph County, Indiana
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    Default

    Great article. I know this thread isn't intended for speculation on the causes, but I do have to agree with those who believe this is a virus. If anyone has ever watched the TV show "House", they would have heard this before, "the symptoms never lie". So here are the theories that I have heard so far, and the evidence that either supports, or eliminates them.

    1. Pesticides - These are generally applied during the spring or summer. However the symptoms are showing up in the Fall and Winter. If pesticide laced pollen or nectar was the problem, the symptoms would have followed within 3 - 6 weeks. Three weeks being the time that it takes the new workers to emerge, and 6 weeks being the life span of a spring and summer worker bee. Populations would have declined long before fall or winter.

    2. Cell Phones - [Sigh] Give me a break! Cell phones have been around since what? The mid 80's, early 90's? CCD has been a problem for what? 1 or 2 years now? And shows up once every few decades. This also includes other absurd ideas such as fired power plants, gases for coal mining, a government conspiracy to destroy our food supply thus killing the lower and middle class only leaving the elite to inherit the Earth. These ideas are a great example of newspapers trying to sell more newspapers, and conspiracy theorists.

    3. Varroa mites - Big possibility, but this would only be an exasperating factor, not the actual cause. CCD showed up in the 20's and 60's, Varroa has been a problem since only the 90's. Besides that CCD only lasts one or two years. If Varroa is the cause, we would have seen CCD since the 90's and it would be every year, not just the last two years. However, Varroa could be a vehicle of transport for the cause. But some may say that chemical resistant Varroa are the cause. We have to then ask, what are the symptoms of a collapse caused by Varroa? Doe the bees disappear? Or do they simply die in the colony? Of the ones that die in the colony, are there visible symptoms? Would putting the empty equipment on another colony cause such a quick collapse? Clearly Varroa is not the single most important factor, its just the one we have been fighting and frustrated with for so long.

    4. Genetics - I doubt that half the bees have a gene that would all activate within two years of each other, killing half the bees out there. If bad genetics were a problem, the gene would have killed off the bees having that gene a long time ago. A killer gene goes against nature; it can not survive its self. However, genetics can play a role; some of the hives may be more prone to be affected by CCD, while others may be immune to it.

    5. Mold or Fungus - Hmm, Unless there is a strain of mold or fungus that showed up in the 20's, 60's, and now, then disappears after two years.... This would ignore the nature and biology of mold and fungus survival and reproduction. Some site that a fungus was found in all the hives that collapsed, but I have to counter with the fact that Nosema was found as well. Both of these are a bacteria and Nosema just like AFB is a bacteria that is found in every hive and infects bees that are stressed. A fungus is a bacterium as well. Just because something is found, that does not mean that it is the cause, just a possible suspect. But in any crime, the cops may catch a suspect, but if the criminal's fingerprints don't match the suspect's, the suspect is no longer a suspect.

    6. A Virus - This seems to make the most since to me. Just like the influenza of the early 1900's that killed millions then disappeared, this is likely a bee virus that simply runs it's course. A virus that is easily transmitted always infects the population, kills those that are unable to adapt or fight it off, then goes dormant for a period, then mutates, then repeats the cycle. Some mutations are worse then others, and this may be a bad one. The supporting evidence is the fact that other hives were infected by infected equipment placed on them, the quick kill, the dormant time between the 20's, 60's, and now, the two year epidemic period, and the difficulty in detection. If you understand what a virus does, you will notice that every symptom fits with a viral or bacterial infection.

    7. EFB - The symptoms do not match, unless there is a new strain. I think this idea is a case of desperation.

    Of course I'm open to rebuttals.

  11. #11
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    Default

    "A fungus is a bacterium as well."

    Someone needs to take a course in micro-biology. A fungus is definately NOT a bacterium.

    "Both of these are a bacteria and Nosema just like AFB is a bacteria....."

    Ditto as to your need for studies in micro-biology as illustrated by this statement. Nosema is actually a microsporidian fungi. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosema_apis)

  12. #12
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    Thanks Jim. A great job.

    dickm

  13. #13
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    Nosema is a protozoan.

    Dickm

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dickm View Post
    Nosema is a protozoan.

    Dickm
    "Microsporidia are parasites of animals, now considered to be extremely reduced fungi."(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsporidia)

  15. #15
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    Jim

    Your article was extremely well written and absolutely "hits the nail on the head". We all appreciate your efforts and opinions.

  16. #16
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    Gene,
    I read the reference after I posted. This was one thing I thought I knew as I got it from C Collison because I got it wrong on a master beek exam. It's not fair! Thanks for the help.

    Dickm

  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dickm View Post
    Gene,
    I read the reference after I posted. This was one thing I thought I knew as I got it from C Collison because I got it wrong on a master beek exam. It's not fair! Thanks for the help.

    Dickm
    Dickm,

    I don't know exactly when they changed the classification, it did use to be thrown in with the protozoan.

    Just as a side note, if you read the first link to Wiki on Nosema apis, you will learn that there is a second pathogen of Asian origin, Nosema ceranae that appears to be much more virulent and devastating to the EHB than Nosema apis. The symptoms are very close to those described for CCD. The fact that a majority of the CCD affected colonies tested positive for Nosema along with the fact that it requires molecular-genetic methods to differentiate the two, it could be reasonable to suspect Nosema ceranae as the CCD culprit (all the sterilization methods used on the CCD infected combs and equipment are among the only known methods to destroy Nosema ceranae spores as well).
    Last edited by Gene Weitzel; 05-16-2007 at 05:25 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default

    > Would you mind if I ran off a bunch of copies to give out to friends and customers?

    Of course. As I often say:

    "
    [SIZE=-1]All and sundry are hereby granted the right to download, save, print out, and distribute at bee association meetings, reprint in local newsletters with standard author credit, or submit them into consideration for any journalism award you choose. Just don't change a single word."

    [/SIZE]

  19. #19
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    Jun 2006
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    Randolph County, Indiana
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    Default

    "Someone needs to take a course in micro-biology. A fungus is definately NOT a bacterium."

    I stand corrected on that fact, thanks for clarifying what a fungus and Nosema actually are.

    My point is the cause has to be some sort of infection, this asian form of Nosema, a virus, or some other type of infection.

  20. #20
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    Nov 2006
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    Tacoma, Washington USA
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    332

    Default Hummmmmm...money, mo money

    I am willing to bet that all the reasearch has not reversed the forensics and looked at those who were not grabbed to see if that class had common factors, because if the factor (or factors) are not obvious in the victims, then the next step is to locate the non-victims of proximity and discern if there was a common thread in that group. Of course that would require gas money and interviews and a group of mono direction investigators having to consider hard evidence, real forensics in the field just like real police work.

    The Green River Task Force wasted vast amounts of time and money on good looking perps, when in the end the subject fit the profile, was pointed out early on, yet the evidence was skant. Lab work was the final step...after some great hunches by the FBI's John Douglas and some real detective work by some that were not out to be front page killer catchers. Some close to the victims, who were not grabbed, ID'd the perp.

    Our great Dr. Kepple "Almost" caught Ted Bundy. I almost caught the biggest trout ever too. Almost counts in horse shoes and hand grenades and H-bombs, but does little in CI. How many African bees in the US suffered CCD? No one can answer that and the reason they can't is no one looked. Absconding is a trait, so how would they know, the queen and a number of bees behind in AHB colonies, but no one looked. I have training in criminal investigation, at this point the evidence trail is incomplete. Do that, then hit the labs. Shoe leather before billfold leather.

    Chrissy Shaw

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