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  1. #1
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    Arrow At the end of the day with CCD......

    I have heard a good deal of researchers comment on whats been found in comb samples taken from CCD hives. Seems contaminated comb is found about everywhere. At least three researchers at the Pennsylvania State Bee Association fall meeting a few weeks back made comments on fluvalinate in particular, as well as about everything else, found at very high levels in CCD comb.

    I'm just throwing out an idea, but I could see this happening just the same. That at the end of the day, neonicotinoids will be found to be some nasty stuff. Something to be concerned with, something to take guard against. But its the compounding effect that this chemical has in combination with other chemicals, some illegally placed into hives, that turn this into a much deadlier concoction that made the losses possible.

    Yes, some will say that there are examples of bees on new comb being effected by CCD. Seems the dots and ducks are not clear on this CCD thing no matter what we look at. Nothing connects, and nothing is lined up perfectly.

    But this is one way that along with any finger pointing at the makers of neonicotinoid products, beekeepers and other chemical companies, blame will be spread out, liability lessened, and nobody wins.

    There are many examples of one drug or chemical having little negative impact. But add another, or even another, and the mixture turns deadly.

    Researchers are now tracking hives as they migrate across the pollination spectrum, taking samples, noting the chemicals, the sprays, and the impact of everything that could effect hives.

    But why? Isolating one particular chemical should be easy enough. But it seems that besides neonicotinoids, there seems to be contributing factors or compounding contaminates that some are now focused on.

    So will there be no one single source to blame? That perhaps neonicotinoids are lesser of a danger by themselves, but far deadlier when mixed with other chemicals?

    I said many months ago that not one clear item will be singled out. I still thinks thats true.

    Comments...

  2. #2
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    While the testing of pollen, comb, and honey samples taken from
    "CCD Hives" and "Healthy Hives" is not yet complete enough
    to allow publication of results, I think that MaryAnn Fraiser of Penn
    State has been very open about what they are finding, which
    seems to indicate fairly clearly that neonicotinoids or any other
    "suspect chemicals" simply don't have any impact upon, or clear
    connection to CCD.

    In specific regard to neonicotinoids, another significant clue that
    it does not seem to have anything to do with CCD was the widespread
    sales and use of neonicotinoid-based insecticides long before anyone
    saw any "CCD" symptoms.

    What they are finding is exactly what such analysis has been
    finding for years - a wide range of different pesticides and
    other contaminants at parts-per-trillion and parts-per-billion levels.

    Sure, it would be great to be able to blame some multi-billion dollar
    company for our problems, as we could take them to court and
    extract not just reimbursement, but also retribution.

    As for the combinations of chemicals becoming somehow more
    deadly, there was talk early on about some sort of toxic synergy
    between fungicides and pesticides, but before I could even
    ask for a detailed explanation of this highly entertaining theory,
    it was hastily withdrawn by the primary proponent.

    Bottom line, we are no closer to something akin to a clue than
    we were in April 2007. The entire summer was wasted on IAPV,
    but IAPV was found in about 10% of healthy hives sampled
    in 2002 through 2006, so the original IAPV claims were nothing
    but an artifact of testing only a very small set of 50 or so samples.

  3. #3
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    I'm inclined to believe that there are several forces at play here, most of which have been discussed and debated, that have all managed to "peak" at the same point on the time line. A combination of forces coming to a head simultaneously and then all of them being shoved under the CCD umbrella makes it nearly impossible to determine "the cause".

    This would explain in my mind why this same kind of sudden beekeeping disaster has occurred at different times in the past, prior to chemicals and pesticides.... perhaps an inevitable natural cycle in the culling of the weak.

    But I still look at neonicotinoids with suspicion as being at least one of the "current" contributing factors. Could it be that the damage to bees attributed to neonicotinoids is being masked by the intense focus on confirmed cases of disease, mite damage, or hive chemical abuse?

    I know that it has been widely used for years, prior to this current CCD crisis. But does anyone have solid data showing the "increase" in product sales which incorporate neonicotinoids over the past few years. Thinking back, I don't remember seeing neonicotinoids in lawn care products, potting soil, etc. I do today. Right now, if bees are anywhere near human activity they are probably exposed to it whether its in a rural or urban region. Several of my neighbors treat their beautiful lawns for grubs and other underground pests with .... you guessed it. And when dandelions and dutch clover show up in the spring, you'll find honeybees working the blooms. I know neonicotiniods have been around for a while but if their use recently has tripled or quadrupled and expanded out further into the urban areas, we can't shove them off the table and discount it as a problem simply because they were in use prior to CCD.

    I'm not pointing any fingers, but I'll sure keep my eyes open on this. Doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling, if you know what I mean.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #4
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    Jim and Mike,

    My comments were not really angled at whether neonicotinoids are or not at play. My thought process was along the lines of how does the makers of neonicotinoids, the EPA, and other agencies dissolve liability issues, if or when, even a small contributing factor is found to connect neonicotinoids.

    I know I have heard of some of the perpetual neonicotnoid bandwagon crowd mention lawsuits, etc. I think its a pipe dream. I'm not so sure at the end of the day there will be even enough proof or clout to even get some of this off the market.

    I think noenicotinoids are bad stuff. That beekeepers need to be selective in apiary locations, etc.

    I know my comments are cloudy or wishy washy. I guess what I am just suggesting, is the pattern I am seeing in that neonicotinoids may be found to be far worse off when combined with other chemicals. And many of these samples sent for testing from the very beekeepers who lost a lot of bees, show contamination of many chemicals. Some legal, and some not.

    Whether neonicotinoids is found to be a contributor or not....I see the foundation of shifting liability, thats for sure. That was my point.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    I'm not so sure at the end of the day there will be even enough proof or clout to even get some of this off the market.
    I'm afraid you are probably right. The only way I see that happening is if it was proven that there is a threat to "human" health. These products are extremely effective and are now so ingrained into our markets and processes that I don't see any possibility of voluntary backing off.

    I'm convinced you are correct in suspecting that chemical synergies with neonicotinoids are enhancing the problems we are seeing, and I think there could be other deadly combinations unrelated to hive chemicals that are at play. But I see no legal means to stop or restrict the use of neonicotinoids on the horizon. Because it probably is a "combination" that has fatal consequences, there may be no way to isolate neonicotinoids and prove they alone are the reaper.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #6
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    Questions for Jim;

    As I understand it, CCD can't be diagnosed by any present lab test, so its diagnosis is made from the totality of factors leading to the die off. Who is making the determination that a hive has perished from CCD vs other dwindling? A particular research group. the state agriculture agencies, or the hive owners?

    Has any seasonal pattern emerged?

    Are there new cases of bonafide CCD occuring now?

    In cases where bees are being forced to use Comb from CCD hives, are the new colonies succumbing CCD? If so, some, most, all? How does this compare to hives given CCD comb which has been irradiated?

    Have we seen CCD in AHB?

    Are there any commonalities in regions which have so far NOT seen CCD? What regions have not seen widespread CCD?

    I apologize if these questions have been answered elsewhere, but I wanted to pose them all together to someone who is on top of the literature.

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubhe View Post
    Questions for Jim;

    As I understand it, CCD can't be diagnosed by any present lab test, so its diagnosis is made from the totality of factors leading to the die off. Who is making the determination that a hive has perished from CCD vs other dwindling? A particular research group. the state agriculture agencies, or the hive owners?

    Thanks
    Anyone can make a diagnosis.
    You need no experience,
    Beekeepers with one day experience up.
    We all know that from day one beekeepers are proficient at diagnosing problems.

    You can make a diagnosis and post it to the survey which at
    the time given to the press a “fact“, shows CCD in 22 states,
    but NO idea who made these diagnosis.

    We diagnosing something that we do not know what it is.
    So it is convent to fit any colony mortality into the CCD
    diagnosis.

    Now we have a report that CCD is affecting inexperienced beekeepers.
    Now tell me HOW on earth has CCD evolved the ability to
    discriminate the ownership of a hive? Perhaps further suggesting
    that they are fitting mismanagement into the CCD diagnosis.

    Hysteria seems to be playing a part in the reporting also.

    Hearing also of AFB dead outs being blaimed on CCD
    to hide the real causes.

    Joe

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by naturebee View Post
    Now we have a report that CCD is affecting inexperienced beekeepers.
    Now tell me HOW on earth has CCD evolved the ability to
    discriminate the ownership of a hive? Perhaps further suggesting
    that they are fitting mismanagement into the CCD diagnosis.
    [laughing] . . .oh, you got me going on this one! Too funny! I'm sure we will be told that every hive has been confirmed by the "experts".

  9. #9
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    > As I understand it, CCD can't be diagnosed by any present lab test,
    > so its diagnosis is made from the totality of factors leading to the die off.

    Yes, at present, we have only symptoms, and no "marker" or "test"
    with any predictive value.

    > Who is making the determination that a hive has perished from CCD
    > vs other dwindling? A particular research group. the state agriculture
    > agencies, or the hive owners?

    There is a consensus on the symptoms, but for reasons not clear, the
    USDA wants to claim that they want to publish (in a science journal)
    this list of symptoms, so if you ask the USDA to provide you with an
    official list of symptoms, they will tell you that the document is
    "in press". Very weird to want to "publish" something like that.

    > Has any seasonal pattern emerged?

    Other than the clear evidence that a good flow will cover up any
    number of problems, no.

    > Are there new cases of bonafide CCD occuring now?

    Sure are. Samples need to be run through the mill, and the
    samples keep coming.

    > In cases where bees are being forced to use Comb from CCD hives,
    > are the new colonies succumbing CCD?

    This aspect is unclear. If you looked at the data published in ABJ
    that was claimed to show that irradiation and/or acetic acid fumigation
    had a positive effect, the results had such wide ranges that
    it wasn't clear that the data supported the claim. The Penn State/USDA
    team bent over backwards to make the claim they made, so that they
    could justify the even more speculative claim that the proximate
    cause of CCD was "a pathogen", and thereby justify the work to
    go look for a new pathogen.

    Sadly, this point is still on the table for debate in my view, and in the
    view of everyone else who has no axe to grind.

    > How does this compare to hives given CCD comb which
    > has been irradiated?

    As I said, the whole "reuse of deadouts" issue needs to be rexamined
    if we are to make sense of it. I guess one could go back and look at
    Dave Hackenberg's hives. I sure hope that they know which hives
    were treated and which were ot.

    > Have we seen CCD in AHB?

    That's a good question. The problem is, how does one differ between
    the normal absconding of AHB and CCD? The way AHB is "kept" is kinda
    weird, in that empty woodenware is set out in a yard, and soon, swarms
    set up shop in each hive. Honey is harvested with great care, but
    no attempt is made to do any "management", as hives abscond all
    the time, and a new swarm will take their place. (Things are different
    for bees kept at higher elevations, one assumes that the cooler nights
    have about the same impact on the bees as Prozac does on humans.)

    > Are there any commonalities in regions which have so far NOT seen CCD? > What regions have not seen widespread CCD?

    I can't really talk much about anywhere except Long Island, NY, as I
    have first-hand knowledge of that area. It would be nice to get a
    count of reports by 3-digit zip code and 5-digit zip code, but I have
    not asked, and there would likely be grumbling about "privacy",
    as there are some 5-digit zip codes with only one beekeeper.

    I can say that Long Island has dodged the CCD bullet, with zero cases
    of anything that did not have a clear and compelling cause. We are
    all keeping out fingers crossed.

  10. #10
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    > I'm sure we will be told that every hive has been
    > confirmed by the "experts".

    I'm sure that Noah's neighbors indulged in much the same sort
    of laughter when he started laying the keel of a large boat in
    his backyard. Later on, I have to wonder who was laughing
    and who was not in the parable as it has been passed down.

    Perhaps Dick Marron will respond, as he gave up a few weeks of his
    time to help with some of the field sampling down in Florida.

    While I know that everyone was "trained" to assure consistent
    criteria, I was not there at that time, so I don't know the extent
    of the training given.

    I do now that the contrast between normal health hives and
    CCD-affected hives is pretty darn obvious when you look at
    them. It is almost as if you are picking out the deadouts in
    a yard, because healthy hives are launching hundreds of sorties
    per minute, while CCD hives look "dead". When you open the
    hive, you find no dead bees, lots and lots of apparently healthy
    brood, maybe a queen and a laughably small number of workers.

    These symptoms are very different from a merely "weak colony".
    This is a "M.C. Esher colony", you look twice, three times, as
    you can't wrap your brain around what appears to be an optical
    illusion. You wonder if the bees got a union, and are all out
    on lunch break.

    In short, you've seen nothing like it, I've seen nothing like it.
    It looks like nothing else, and it is like nothing else in clear,
    stark, and very compelling ways.

    But go ahead and laugh - when bees are just a hobby, it is all
    fun and games. One has a different view when one tends to
    deal with honey "by the drum" or "by the metric ton".

  11. #11
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    Now we have a report that CCD is affecting inexperienced beekeepers.
    Now tell me HOW on earth has CCD evolved the ability to
    discriminate the ownership of a hive? Perhaps further suggesting
    that they are fitting mismanagement into the CCD diagnosis.
    Well that's the point. Surely CCD researchers have to be able to apply some objective criteria in determining whether a hive succumbed to CCD. Leaving it to others who may not have the knowlege (or perhaps ulterior motives) sort of undermines the scientific method.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubhe View Post
    Surely CCD researchers have to be able to apply some objective criteria in determining whether a hive succumbed to CCD.
    How can they? The "researchers" and "experts" still don't really know what CCD is. They can see the aftermath and examine evidence, but they have yet to say they know WHAT caused it. Other ailments and pests could also leave behind similar evidence. "CCD" is nothing more than "Can't Confirm Diddly".
    To everything there is a season....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fischer View Post
    I'm sure that Noah's neighbors indulged in much the same sort
    of laughter when he started laying the keel of a large boat in
    his backyard. Later on, I have to wonder who was laughing
    and who was not in the parable as it has been passed down.
    Ah come on Jim, it was just a parable from eons ago. Besides, as it turns out, it was all about politics as the ark came to rest in the Capital.

    - Barry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    [laughing] . . .oh, you got me going on this one! Too funny! I'm sure we will be told that every hive has been confirmed by the "experts".

    Here it is Barry,
    Last paragraph.

    From Diana Cox-Foster herself!

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/bees/update.html

    “However, Diana Cox-Foster of Penn State University and a lead researcher on the team that discovered IAPV in U.S. bees says there are some reports now of CCD making a reappearance, though mainly in the colonies of less experienced beekeepers.”

    Joe ~ Derry, PA
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/H...neybeeArticles

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    --Perhaps Dick Marron will respond, as he gave up a few weeks of his
    time to help with some of the field sampling down in Florida.(Quote)

    I thought CCD was everywhere.
    CCD is so wide spread, but they need to travel across the
    country to get a sample.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubhe View Post
    Well that's the point. Surely CCD researchers have to be able to apply some objective criteria in determining whether a hive succumbed to CCD. Leaving it to others who may not have the knowlege (or perhaps ulterior motives) sort of undermines the scientific method.
    IMO, No they can not.
    I was encouraged by Jerry Boemnshank that my description of symptoms in my colonies in
    2006 was CCD, and to make a report out on his “internet CCD survey“. My inspector stopped by that season and stated that it was “positively drought related“, and most colonies in SW PA were exhibiting these same symptoms, but beekeepers keep reporting as CCD. So CCD symptoms are so ambiguous that many things can be determined to be CCD.

    Boy, I sure do miss all the new bee questions about queenless colonies, mismanagement, foulbrood ect, seemingly now under one category; CCD.


    Joe ~ Derry, PA
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/H...neybeeArticles

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    Once again Jim, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

  18. #18
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    I don't think researchers will solve this in aime sensitive relationship any more than any of the previous afflictions we as an industry have been fighting for years. My experiance with Dyce has shown me there is a huge difference between those in the study world who study other folks bees and those who are actually beekeepers and have a vested interest in eating and living inside via beekeeping. The science is only part (an important part yes) of the resolution as we find out time and again.

    My questions focus more on who specifically is and is not having problems (not name but practice), where are the bees coming from(spring loss replacement, increasese etc), where are they yarded, what management practices are in place, type of operation (pollination, honey production, migratory, stationary?, any chronic or acute disease pest problems in prior years.

    I see the ABJ talk article -25% of beekeepers suffered CCD, reference to previous losses documented in 1979, 4 distinct clusters supported with Bootstrap statisical data (???) California, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Israel. IAPV found (as a genetic indicator only) in 83% of CCD colonies! Articles citing nutrition, Stress, Cell Phone towers (my favorite!!) We've all read the articles, listen to the radio and TV interviews watched the pundits offer theories. I've spent the summer with customer after customer bringing me all kinds of CCD- CD's, article printouts and a billion questions about CCD.

    I can't offer any stunning analysis, theories or solutions, I don't have CCD(yet), haven't seen CCD (yet) and can't talk to anyone who has. I'd really like to hear from those 25% of Beeks who've actually had a problem so I can get input from someone who can respond and give any of the above! Someone not talking about just the science but someone who actually owns bees and talks bees. Maybe this has happend over my summer abscence?

    I think as a group we could examine this type of information, tie it in with the little science we have and start finding a real methodolgy to survive a trajedy or perhaps identify a travesty.

    Who here has suffered confirmed CCD? Anyone? Is there not one among us willing to share?
    Give us some front line background on your operation before, during and after! Let us ask some specific questions.
    Who knows someone 1st. hand who has CCD and can share non-personal information related to the experiance. That seems to be the meat of the issue to me at this point. Other than good beekeeping what do we need to do?

    Where's the CCD Map?

    In the infamous words of Pink "Is there anybody out there?"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    Who here has suffered confirmed CCD? Anyone?
    Joel, I'm still not clear on what "confirmed" CCD actually means. I'm not trying to be cocky here, but what exactly does it take for a collapsed colony to be certified as a CCD loss?

    [SIZE=3]*** Just to add a bit more information behind my question.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3]Last year I had 7 colonies set up at one of my yards on farm property here in Ohio. In late October, after the goldenrod flow, I inspected them and found that they had put up some stores during the flow but I wanted to feed more before winter set in. All of these colonies were loaded with bees and each had frames of brood in all stages.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3]I noticed after a couple weeks of feeding that the bees stopped taking syrup. Then about the third week in November I opened them up on a warm day and was absolutely shocked to find all the bees were gone… except for a dead queen and a handful of dead worker bees in each hive. I opened up some capped brood left behind and saw no evidence of brood disease. Also each hive had pollen and honey stores, but there was no robbing of any kind. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3]Sound like CCD? Yep, that was my reaction. I contacted Jerry B. and he was kind enough to spend some time talking to me on the phone about this, and he suggested that I add my info to the CCD survey. But at this point he certainly had bigger fish to fry in Florida. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3]So I had one yard where all the colonies fell apart within three weeks, and 3 miles away my other colonies are just fine. Same daughter queens. I had been treating all of them for mites with OA. All the equipment was the same age and type… all 3 year old or less comb. Never treated with any chemicals. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3]So now a year later I still have unanswered questions … was this CCD? Could it have been Nosema C. ? Did they get into Neonicotinoids from the farm activity? Was it T-Mites? Did they find bad pollen? Am I just a lousy beekeeper? [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=3]I wonder how many hundreds of other small hobbyist or sideliner beekeepers this has happened to? And how are we to know if it was CCD or not?[/SIZE]
    Last edited by Mike Gillmore; 12-02-2007 at 12:27 PM. Reason: *** Additional information
    To everything there is a season....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    IAPV found (as a genetic indicator only) in 83% of CCD colonies!
    IMO, this “indicator” could mean absolutely nothing.
    That could be like saying “83% of dead colonies were found to have dead bees”.

    Also, I see, that this “indicator” been upped to 96.1 %

    “One organism was significantly correlated with CCD: finding IAPV in a bee sample correctly distinguished CCD from non-CCD status 96.1 percent of the time.”

    Anyhow, we need to know more specifics here. So far, seems like unfinished or poor science. If the group did not include looking for IAPV in colonies with AFB and other stress factors, how do you know IAPV is not simply infecting ’all weakened colonies’ and not specific to CCD colonies?,,, and therefore naturally would found in stressed colonies such as CCD colonies. ,,,Just as dead bees are many times found in dead outs

    IMO, the high incidence of IAPV in CCD colonies suggest that IAPV is NOT as virulent
    as the percentages might “suggest”, or even that it suggests a cause for CCD.

    If you look at the elderly population and those with weakened immune systems, you might see a much higher degree of those folks dying from complications due to the common cold.

    That the common cold virus may be detected in a very high number of these deaths, this by no means indicates that the virus was the cause of death, but may be suggestive of a weakened host

    Joe ~ Derry, PA
    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/H...neybeeArticles
    Last edited by naturebee; 12-02-2007 at 10:54 AM.

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