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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Farmington, New Mexico

    Default Israeli acute paralysis virus

    That's what they're saying.

    Apparentyly Delaware online broke an embargo on releasing the press release thingy. Anyway, we should have lots of news by day's end.

    And for the record, the story corroborates what Jim Fischer has been saying.
    Last edited by Barry Digman; 09-06-2007 at 01:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS

    A glimmer of hope?

    >"Preliminary research shows some bees can integrate genetic information from the virus into their own genomes, apparently giving them resistance, Sela said in a telephone interview. Sela added that about 30 percent of the bees he’s examined had done so.

    Those naturally “transgenic” honeybees theoretically could be propagated to create stocks of virus-resistant insects, Lipkin said."

    Teenage Mutant Bees to the rescue! If 30% of our bees can become resistant we'll be in luck. But that does not seem to reflect in the losses of 90% that were reported by the big commercial opperations.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Suffolk, VA


    Your link takes me to a traffic report?? I know that traffic makes me not want to go home either, but that's a new theory on CCD.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Austin TX USA


    ~May your hive thrive

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Farmington, New Mexico


    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Your link takes me to a traffic report?? I know that traffic makes me not want to go home either, but that's a new theory on CCD.
    Beats me. It worked this morning. I fixed the original with this link. Seems to be ok now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Mason, MI, USA

    Default new on CCD
    Just saw this and thought you might be interested.
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    GA, USA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Fredericksburg, Va


    It was just on the NBC News program on TV also.
    Bee all you can Bee!

  9. #9



    If a virus is killing off bees, is it safe for humans to consume honey, or bee pollen, or royal jelly? Are organic bees less vulnerable? What about all these other suggested causes of the bees’ “disappearing disease”? If you see some strange bee behavior, who you gonna call? We handle these questions and more in the wake of the journal Science’s latest study on Colony Collapse Disorder.
    Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, is characterized by the rapid disappearance of a bee colony even though there seems to be no reason for them to vanish. One week, the hive seems to be buzzing, with plenty of food. The next week, the bees are gone to who knows where. Scientists took note of CCD's rise a year ago and have suggested a range of causes for the phenomenon - including parasites, pesticide poisoning, global warming and the stress of the bees being moved around by commercial pollination operations.
    The latest research cites a correlation with another factor, the presence of a little-known virus that was first isolated in Israel. But the mystery has not yet been solved, and researchers say they still have more questions than answers. users had questions as well, and to answer them, I consulted research entomologist Jay Evans at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and reviewed my notes from past interviews. Here's a sampling of the frequently asked questions:
    I was wondering if there in any research on possible effects to humans. I personally take bee pollen every day for vitamins, minerals, amino acids, energy, etc. Believe it or not, I also take it as a possible antivirus [measure]. My children take daily spoons full of honey to help with allergies. Any thoughts? - William Brewer
    "Honey and pollen, and more recently royal jelly, have been ruled out for any human diseases," Evans said. He explained that the suspect virus in particular, known as the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, "is not on the radar screen for any disease outside of honeybees."
    Evans said honey can contain bacterial spores that cause botulism in human infants. "That very rarely gets into the honey from the plants," he said, and that's why experts advise against feeding honey to infants less than a year old.
    As for bee pollen and royal jelly, the virus may not be a concern, but some skeptics say those substances are of dubious health value and may bring on allergy attacks instead of warding them off. Bee propolis - the "glue" that holds the hives together - may have some health properties but also poses an allergy risk, according to the published literature.
    If there are no dead bees being found, then how can we say for certain they are dying? Can the Africanized honey bees and their migration into the United States be a contributing factor if not a cause? Do we know if regular honeybees migrate and, if so, do we know anything about the patterns or timing? How long exactly have we been keeping track of bee movements? If it is less than, say, 200 years, can we really rule out that this is just a pre-existing pattern? - Brad Schader
    "They're not finding the dead bees in high numbers, which actually is a good indicator of what's going on," Evans said. If, for instance, pesticides were the primary factor behind the flight of the honeybee, scientists would expect to find bunches of dead bees lying around the hive. Instead, it looks as if the individual bees just fly off and die.
    "Do they simply peter out and lose energy? Or do they actually get disoriented? Both of those have been tied to diseases in the past," Evans said.
    Bee turnover rates are typically high during the summer foraging season, Evans acknowledged. "In the summer, a 20,000-bee colony will completely turn over in about 30 days," he said.
    Penn State entomologist Diana Cox-Foster, the lead author for the Science study, provided some additional perspective in an e-mail. If statistics scare you, feel free to skip over these paragraphs:
    "A nationwide survey initiated in spring 2007 by the Apiary Inspectors of America (van Engelsdorp et al., 2007) suggests that a 17 percent loss of colonies is considered normal in an average year. This is astonishing, given that one would be hard-pressed to find another agricultural commodity that could sustain a 17 percent loss annually. This same survey also documented a recent increase in losses across the nation. An estimated 22 percent of beekeepers suffered CCD and lost on average 44.5 percent of their operation.
    "In Pennsylvania since 1930, bee colonies have regularly been inspected for disease; thus, data from Pennsylvania provide an ideal database to monitor changes in incidences of bee diseases. To determine the scope of CCD, Dennis vanEngelsdorp (the acting state apiarist with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture) in conjunction with Apiary Inspectors of America has conducted a recent survey of Pennsylvania beekeepers that reveals a significant number of colonies collapsing with CCD.
    "Among beekeepers owning 43 percent of Pennsylvania colonies and responding to the survey, the CCD-suffering beekeepers lost an average of 73 percent of their hives (ranging from 55 to 100 percent), compared with non-CCD suffering beekeepers who lost an average of 25 percent of their colonies (ranging from 18 to 31 percent). Of significance, those reporting CCD own a quarter of all bee colonies in Pennsylvania. These losses translate into limited pollination resources for Pennsylvania and increased costs to both growers and consumers.
    "In Pennsylvania, the current cost of pollination has increased by 50 percent and may increase even more as the 2007 season progresses."
    As for the Africanized honey bees, Evans noted that they've been around for a couple of decades in the American Southwest, and there doesn't seem to be any correlation between the onslaught of the "killer bees" and the rise of CCD.
    Domesticated bees have been having a hard time in recent years, not just because of the competition from killer bees, but also because of the spread of parasites such as Varroa mites. A cold winter here or a dry summer there can also deal a blow to bee colonies.
    "There are years, winters essentially, that are bad for bees - with maybe 30 percent mortality," Evans said. But Colony Collapse Disorder is a pattern of bee loss that scientists haven't seen much before.
    "These colonies where the bees just disappeared, two weeks before they were very robust. That points to someting new, as opposed to the winter losses that we've seen," Evans said.
    Cox-Foster theorized that bee disappearances may have arisen as an evolutionary adaptation to past virus infections: Something in the stressed-out bee might trigger an urge to flee or short-circuit its directional sense, in order to save the rest of the colony from infection.
    The bee death mystery was solved long, long ago. I have been shocked you and others in the media do not read more. Note the following [article]: "A parasite common to Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries... says a Spanish scientist.... the culprit is a microscopic parasite called Nosema ceranae. ..." - Stephen Stiltner
    Scientists did mention Nosema in the latest report, and I referred to it in my article as well. "It's all over the place," Evans noted. "Both species of that parasite are common in the U.S., and you can't make a strong correlation with the actual syndrome."
    There have been previous claims for a CCD-like syndrome called "disappearing disease," reportedly going back as far as 1915, and some entomologists have proposed that the malady is due to a combination of a Nosema-style parasitic attack plus a viral infection. "It's not inconceivable that they co-occur, and only when they're together is a cause and effect," Evans said.
    But taken just by itself, the presence of the Nosema parasite is "a pretty poor indicator" for CCD, Evans said.
    I recently read several articles about the honeybee die-off at the Organic Consumers Association that I found interesting. I would really like to know if it is true that "organic" bees are not suffering the die-off. - Cathy Evans

  10. #10


    "We tend to see this phenomenon more in larger commercial beekeepers who migrate," Jeff Pettis, a colleague of Evans' who worked on the latest study in Science, told reporters earlier this week. "So I think just by default, when you're organic-beekeeping, you tend to be a little more labor-intensive, and may not manage as many colonies, nor are you as migratory. I don't know, we've not looked in detail at that."
    I suggest you Google for "france bees termidor" and the chemical Fipronil. This chemical was found to be directly responsible for the bee die-off in France and they have banned it. I think the chemical companies are pulling the wool over our eyes and sending us on a wild goose chase for viruses when the real cause of the die-off is insecticides. - Jeff
    Cox-Foster said pesticides are "still on the table" as a contributing factor for CCD, and Evans agreed that Fipronil is a "serious chemical that's been shown to affect bees." Researchers are looking into the effects of a variety of pesticides, including a class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids.
    "It's not good for bees, for sure, and its usage has increased, but the usage hasn't increased in the past year enough to show a sudden effect, in my opinion," Evans said. "Again, it's one of those things that needs to be ruled out more before we ignore it."
    May I suggest the die-off is caused in large part by genetically engineered crops poisoning the bees. ... - Jim Dersch
    Cox-Foster said genetically modified crops were "low on the list" of suspects for the cause of CCD. "The evidence to date ... shows that bees feeding on pollen from transgenic corn had as good a survivorship or better survivorship than bees feeding on normal pollen," she said.
    When I read my first "disappearing bees" article (being a keen gardener), I was very much concerned about the bee die-off and over the last few years have paid very much attention to any other articles that I happened upon. Then I read an article stating that the bee is not even indigenous to the U.S. They originally were European bees that were brought over by people that settled here. ... I have to begin to wonder if the bee problem is another excuse for scientists to obtain funding and grants to stir up something that isn't something we need to worry about. Other insects, the wind, birds and the natural order of things help pollinate our crops and according to the article, bees were not a part of that natural process on this continent. I am a firm believer that our importation of non-indigenous animals and insects has affected our natural balance for the worse. - Carrie
    It's true that honeybees are not indigenous to the United States, but through the many years that the bees have been here, our economy has come to rely upon them for pollination (in addition to the honey). If all the honeybees were to disappear tomorrow, billions of dollars' worth of agricultural produce would be lost. Of course, scientists are looking at other means of pollination, including different species of bees. The situation may well change in the decades ahead - but adjusting to that changing environment will call for more research, not less.
    After finding many dead bees on my driveway and some just walking around, eventually dying as well, I wondered where they were coming from until I discovered a large beehive in towards the top of the canopy of a tree in front of my house. ... After reading your article, I thought that someone locally may be interested in studying this colony which may be carrying some virus. In writing your article, might you have a contact of someone in the Miami area that may be interested in this colony? - Fernando Horruitiner
    The best nearby resource would be the agricultural extension service - in your case, the Miami-Dade County Extension Office.
    If you have something you want to discuss with a knowledgeable community of beekeepers and researchers, Evans suggests joining the BEE-L discussion list. But as always with such forums, you'd do well to familiarize yourself with the list archives first.
    And if you have a humdinger of a question, Evans recommends getting in contact with Jerry Hayes, who conveniently hangs out at Florida's Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection. Hayes' column for the American Bee Journal, titled "The Classroom," is as indispensable for bee lovers as "Car Talk" is for car lovers, Evans said. You'll find plenty there about Colony Collapse Disorder and other bee curiosities.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    New York City


    This might interest some folks.
    Due to the hype surrounding the paper, online access is being
    made available before the print edition is available.

    Long story short, the paper is utterly meaningless,
    due to basic and fatal defects in "methodology".

    [SIZE=2] Fourth Down, No Yardage Gained (Bee Culture Oct 2007)
    Part 1 of the triology "Colony Collapse Disorder Disorder"

    [SIZE=2] Practical Implications For Beekeepers (Bee Culture Oct 2007)[/SIZE]
    Part 2 of the triology "Colony Collapse Disorder Disorder"

    [SIZE=2] World Trade, Realpolitik, and Beekeeping (Bee Culture Oct 2007)[/SIZE]
    Part 3 of the triology "Colony Collapse Disorder Disorder"

    [SIZE=2] A Beekeeper Reads the Paper (Bee Culture Oct 2007)[/SIZE]
    Part 4 of of the triology (no, quadrilogy!) "Colony Collapse Disorder Disorder"

    [SIZE=2] What Happens After What Comes Next (Bee Culture Oct 2007)
    Part 5 of of the triology (no, quadrilogy!) (nope, PENTALOGY!) "Colony Collapse Disorder Disorder"

    [SIZE=2] The Paper Itself (Science Aug 6 2007)[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=1][SIZE=2]The Paper Addressed Above[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=2] The Supplemental Materials For The Paper (Science Aug 6 2007)[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=1][SIZE=2]The Details For The Paper Addressed Above[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=2] The Press Conference Audio Transcript (Aug 5 2007)[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]WARNING: A 7 Megabyte mp3 File[/SIZE]

    And some older articles that also address CCD, some written long before
    anyone had any idea this sort of thing would happen.

    [SIZE=2]Trade + Bees = CCD (Bee Culture Sept 2007)[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Where it shown that the WTO did to beekeeping what Typhoid Mary did to New York city

    [SIZE=2]Tracking A Serial Killer (Bee Culture June 2007)[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Where it is noted that research on CCD is hampered by a lack of a leader, lack of a toxicologist, and a lack of money.

    [SIZE=2] Where Are We Going, And What's With This Handbasket? [SIZE=2](Bee Culture [/SIZE] Jan 2005)[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2][SIZE=1][SIZE=2]Our reporter hangs out at the intersection of science, politics, and beekeeping, because the inevitable train wrecks at that crossing are spectacular.

    [/SIZE][/SIZE] [SIZE=2] Apis APHIS [SIZE=2](Bee Culture [/SIZE] Dec 2002)
    [/SIZE][SIZE=2][SIZE=1][SIZE=2]Our reporter discovers a new species of bee while sitting in a conference room in Washington DC, an event that neither Ripley's nor Guinness has yet recognized for the remarkable feat that it was.[/SIZE]

    Last edited by Jim Fischer; 09-10-2007 at 03:04 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Knoxville, TN


    Thanks for posting that stuff, just read though the new to me material.

    Looking at the original Sciencexpress article, to me, it says what it says. It gets a little watered down with the news article summary in Science, then gets to be garbage by the time it gets to the general news media.

    I think the reason is, many people hear what they want to hear and conclude what they want to conclude. Part of science is built on % confidence in a hypothesis. % Confidence can measured statistically and it can also be subjective such as "the method (or sample size, or scientist, or etc.) used wasn't as good as method X, but better than method Y, and far better than no method at all". I can't calculate my confidence in the paper, but its much better than no info. in this area at all, brings new questions to light, and is a building block for something else.

    Many people don't care about science much less taking the time to read and find out what that paper really says. So you get people even on this thread saying or inferring things like, the the involved scientists are so incompetent they didn't even test imported Australian bees. Which is clearly untrue. If you read this thread or a number of the referenced articles you will see they tested imported Australian bees. To be exact, they found an average of 8x10 to the third RNA copies per bee of IAPV. I don't know what that means so they water that down in another article and say it was found in most Australian samples.

    People don't want to hear,
    "We have not proven a causal relationship between any infectious
    agent and CCD; nonetheless, the prevalence of IAPV
    sequences in CCD operations, as well as the temporal and
    geographic overlap of CCD and importation of IAPVinfected
    bees, indicate that IAPV is a significant marker for
    CCD." (Cox-Foster et. al.)

    What they do want to hear is,
    We answered the question game over, better yet its some new virus and we can't do anything about it and it has nothing to do with pesticides I can use at my convenience.

    This paper was about a virus as a marker of CCD, not about Neonicotinoids. Why should it mention much about pesticides? There needs to be a separate study looking at Neonicotinoids. And thats been stated clearly by the people involved in the paper, but when you have statements about that in the press conference followed up with a question about possible alien involvement, that pretty much tells the story right there. Many people don't want to hear it, they want to hear their favorite late night TV show, maybe they miss the X-files.

    So the scientist trudge on, shaking there heads, I would presume.

    That said, the press conference is still well worth a listen and has good info.
    Last edited by MichaelW; 09-10-2007 at 09:35 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Jose CA



    " get people even on this thread saying or inferring
    things like, the the involved scientists are so incompetent
    they didn't even test imported Australian bees. Which is
    clearly untrue."

    "Incompetence" is your word, not mine. The scientists are not incompetent, they found something under circumstances when the pressures to come up with anything new about CCD is intense.

    As to "what is clearly untrue", in at least one writeup was a specific statement that no packaged bees "off the plane" had been tested.

    > If you read this thread or a number of the referenced articles
    > you will see they tested imported Australian bees.

    We must be reading different content.

    - What they did was test resident alien bees which had been imported from Australia months earlier from two different suppliers. The bees had been used in the almond orchards and other pollination sites country wide.

    - What they did was check "the genetic sequences for bees collected over the past three years from 30 colonies that suffered a collapse and 21 healthy colonies. The presence of IAPV was found to be the best indicator for Colony Collapse Disorder, with a 96.1 percent correlation."

    It is not even known that the Australian queens were still resident in the hives that were initially populated by imported packages. Some/many may have been superceded (not unlikely given the experience of other packages Australian bee users). That muddies up the waters even further because IAPV could have come from any of the 20 or so drones that mated with each virgin.

    Since the scientists did not test airport-airport packages the conclusions are implicit not explicit i.e. suspicion not fact. That constitutes a blunder in the scientific and engineering worlds because no effort was made to prove the premise.

    Australian bees are either a source or highly susceptible and we won't know which until packages flown from Australia directly to the lab are found to have IAPV.

    If you can identify a reference anywhere which states that testing was done on imports shipped directly to the lab from Australia I would much appreciate your advising it.

    Those who wanted to see testing (and banking of samples) of imported bees so that there would be a method to identify and track issues have been proven correct. Instead of data to investigate/verify suppositions there is no way to track the history of events/incidents.

    The known behavior of IAPV "sets bees' wings shivering and eventually causes paralysis. IAPV-afflicted bees are typically found dead outside their hives." This does not match any of the symptoms for CCD, and another factor in this situation is dismissing that fact as a red herring in favor of a supposed genetic mutation (which nobody has even tried to prove exists).

    Interestingly, "....In Spain, thousands of colonies are said to have been lost, and up to 40% of Swiss bees are reported to have disappeared or died in the past year. Heavy losses have also been reported in Portugal, Italy and Greece. To date, the official view in the UK is that any reported collapses are the result of varroa, the parasitic mite which was introduced in 1992 into Devon...."


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