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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Hollywood, California, USA
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    2

    Default Research Project on CCD

    Hi BeeSource community,

    I have the unique opportunity to participate in a research project with the Canadian Light Source in Saskatoon. The Canadian Light Source operates the largest synchrotron in Canada that is used to analyze the molecular composition of substances.

    In order to get selected to participate in the research project, my team and our science teacher need to propose a project that will require the use of the synchrotron to test a hypothesis that leads to a new scientific discovery. My team is interested in proposing a project related to the Colony Collapse Disorder. We recognize the important role bees play in nature and especially in agriculture. We are concerned about the ecological consequences if the CCD persists. We are interested in using the synchrotron to look for pesticides, such as nicotinoides, in samples collected from the CCD-inflicted hives versus samples from healthy colonies. Those samples could be from bees, pollen, or honey.

    Would it be helpful to analyze bees, honey, or pollen for traces of pesticides?

    Anybody have any suggestions about another topic about bees, like the difference between urban and rural bees?

    Also, to use the synchrotron, I need samples of bees. Any suggestions on where to get bees (healthy, rural, urban, CCD-affected, etc.)

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Research Project on CCD

    The term "CCD" has not been well defined that I can see. Therefore, it does not help you state a clear hypothesis. Your lead educator should help you to refine a clear hypothesis and then construct a scientific test to prove or disprove your hypothesis. Don't forget to set up a control group.

    Hint: Presence of insecticide alone proves little unless it is in a form likely to be ingested, absorbed by, or inhaled by a honeybee in a dosage proven to be lethal or in some way harmful.

    I envy and encourage you as you work to take advantage of this opportunity. The real education cones from the design of the experiment. Great gun.
    Bristol, WI 7 mi N of IL 15 mi W Lake Michigan
    23 years Treatments as needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,606

    Default Re: Research Project on CCD

    pollen analysis is key. survey the countryside beekeepers and test and document the pollen coming into the hives in relation to the surrounding ag practices. I would be interested in your findings
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    195

    Default Re: Research Project on CCD

    Good thought, Ian.
    Bristol, WI 7 mi N of IL 15 mi W Lake Michigan
    23 years Treatments as needed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,136

    Default Re: Research Project on CCD

    Straight up, solving CCD is going to be way more difficult than you could ever imagine.

    There are many things can kill or impair a beehive including bacteria and viruses, pesticides, poor diet, varroa mites, beekeeper error, and the synergies between those things.

    The term CCD came into vogue to explain a higher than normal death rate of beehives, and in some cases financial compensation was available for these losses. After some years the financial compensation was largely scrapped and coincidentally the reported cases of CCD dropped hugely at the same time, with beekeepers tending to attribute hive losses to various known causes. Every year there are some beekeepers that suffer huge losses, the mystery being that other beekeepers operating beehives in the same area do not suffer similar losses. The only difference between the two lots of hives, being the beekeeper.

    Here is a link that may provide some food for thought on the subject. http://gallery.mailchimp.com/5fd2b1a...ng2013_opt.pdf
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,587

    Default Re: Research Project on CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Straight up, solving CCD is going to be way more difficult than you could ever imagine.
    Yep, especially since there haven't been any confirmed cases of CCD in a number of years. This according to Jeff Pettis.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Hollywood, California, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Research Project on CCD

    Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I will talk to my team about this and will most likely post new questions and thoughts here. If I get selected for the project, I'll get the results in Fall 2015, so I'll post them here, if you're interested.

    Also, does anyone know perhaps where to get bee, pollen or nectar samples and which ones would be useful for the experiments?

    Thank you!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,606

    Default Re: Research Project on CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Straight up, solving CCD is going to be way more difficult than you could ever imagine.
    Ya but to get funding or any attention he needs to tag CCD to his project, regardless of what we know. But these kind of projects can yield information very useful to us and other researchers.
    How many projects have studdied the pesticide levels in pollen across the country amoung varying farming practices? Not many, if any. There was a project here a number of years ago which I took part in which was looking for background lead levels in pollen and honey samples. They also looked for a number of pesticide levels in their analysis. Small study, yielded some interesting results.

    where to find pollen? You might have to do leg work for that. Lots of beekeepers are willing to help in projects like this but still, you will be doing the leg work. Taking your surrounding area of 100 miles might be doable. It just depends on how indepth you want to get...
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Guilford, NY
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Research Project on CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Yep, especially since there haven't been any confirmed cases of CCD in a number of years. This according to Jeff Pettis.
    From everything that I have read about CCD it is politically correct terminology for a number of things, poor beekeeping practices, pesticides (either in the hive fighting bee enemies or dusted on crops the bees pollinate), monocrop farming operations and just about any other thing that kills bees except possibly bears... bear damage is pretty obvious...

    Call me a skeptic but I think there is a lot more going on than just CCD. Bees have lots of enemies. Michael Bush dedicated an entire chapter to them in his book.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,743

    Default Re: Research Project on CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Yep, especially since there haven't been any confirmed cases of CCD in a number of years. This according to Jeff Pettis.
    Can you cite a link or reference? Who or what agency would it be that "confirms" cases of CCD?

    The reason I ask is that the local public radio has asked us to do interviews and in the emails the term 'CCD'
    was mentioned more than once. It has been my experience with reporters that they already have the story written in their heads and just want you to talk enough to harvest a couple of quotes that support their view. I'd like to do the interview in support of local beekeeping, not get sucked into some 'bees are doomed' scenario.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

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