Are GM Crops Killing Bees?

Another possibility. (external - login to view)
U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Gale Buchanan announced...

"There were enough honey bees to provide pollination for U.S. agriculture this year,..."

Won't have to thin-out the gruel this winter.
Dreadful Nonsense
i think the frog thing is to do with too much sunlight radiation getting in.
We have a small garden in the back yard. The tomato plants have loads of flowers but no fruit yet. Usually by the middle of July we have loads of baby tomatoes. Maybe it was just the lousy June we had.
What's the latest on the bees? Can we worry less now or should we continue to be afraid? Anyone got a link with the latest?
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

What's the latest on the bees? Can we worry less now or should we continue to be afraid? Anyone got a link with the latest? (external - login to view)
I thought I had posted on this already here, but I guess not. Some researchers in the states have found two viruses that appears to be implicated in the die-offs. Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus and Kasmir Bee Virus. These are unknown to North American bee keepers, and the new research has only been able to confirm their presence in CCD hives. The IAPV showed better results:

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. (external - login to view)

IAPV is characterized by shivering wings in the bees. They will often die, just outside the hive. This summer, my father had a bumblebee hive below his front porch. I noticed a lot of bees were dieing just outside the hive as well. Every time I went outside, you could see probably 2-10 bees looking almost drunk, on the porch, on the walkway, all within about 15 feet of the hive.
Our changing sun and colony collapse disorder in bees (external - login to view)

23 03 2008

Ok, caveats first. 1. I know little about bees other than what I know from a couple of biology courses and Internet research. I claim no expertise in Entymology or in beekeeping. 2. I’ve stumbled across what I’m writing about below, and I’m posting it only as a catalyst for discussion. I could be totally wrong, but I see significant coincidences that merit discussion.
Colony Collapse Disorder in honeybees has made the news worldwide in this past year, while there are some junk science explanations out there, such as “Are mobile phones wiping out our bees (external - login to view)?” it would seem that explanation is unlikely.
There are a number of possible explanations that have been floated, including virus, mites, fungus, and even carsickness (external - login to view) (from hive transport) but not a one mentions anything about the things bee are most attuned to: the sun.
Readers will recall that I’ve posted this time series graph of the Geomagnetic Average Planetary Index (Ap) with notes to pay particular attention to what happened in October 2005.
(external - login to view)
click for a larger image
In October 2005, notice the sharp drop in the magnetic index and the continuance at low levels, almost as if something “switched off”.

I’m currently researching solar activity quite a bit in preparation for posting an upcoming article on solar to earth effects. While looking for an article related to geomagnetism, I came across an old article on bee navigation (external - login to view) from the Alaska Science Forum. The scientist that wrote the article said:
Numerous experiments have shown that birds and bees use the geomagnetic field as a backup system when overcast skies prevent navigation by the sun or the stars. Also, pods of magnetic grains have been found inside the skulls of homing pigeons and in the abdomens of bees. Scientists suspect this is no coincidence.
In the same search results on geomagnetism, this article also was in the list:
Is Geomagnetic Sensitivity Real? Replication of the Walker-Bitterman Magnetic Conditioning Experiment in Honey Bees. (external - login to view)

In the research paper done at Cal-Tech Pasadena, the researchers were able to replicate an experiment that showed how bees are sensitive to geomagnetism. In the abstract they conclude:
We conclude honey bees are sensitive to the geomagnetic field, that the signal processing for it is more complex than previously thought, and that a ferromagnetic transducer is compatible with all known behavioral data.
That gave me an idea, remembering something I’d read about colony collapse disorder in domestic bee colonies, I started searching for the quote I remember reading in articles on the subject last year. The quote was something along the lines of “The hive boxes are empty, it is as if the bees simply flew out to forage but never returned home”.

An article on colony collapse disorder in the New York Times from Feb 27th, 2007 (external - login to view) says something similar to what I remember:
Researchers say the bees are presumably dying in the fields, perhaps becoming exhausted or simply disoriented and eventually falling victim to the cold.
“I have never seen anything like it,” Mr. Bradshaw, 50, said from an almond orchard here beginning to bloom. “Box after box after box are just empty. There’s nobody home.”
Further research brought me to this February 11th 2007 article in Live Science titled Mystery Ailment Strikes Honeybees (external - login to view) which draws on AP wire reports. In that article were two nuggets of interest:
Although the bodies of dead bees often are littered around a hive, sometimes carried out of the hive by worker bees, no bee remains are typically found around colonies struck by the mystery ailment. Scientists assume these bees have flown away from the hive before dying.
And this:
In the meantime, beekeepers are wondering if bee deaths over the last couple of years that had been blamed on mites or poor management might actually have resulted from the mystery ailment.
“Now people think that they may have had this three or four years,”
It seemed to me that the common theme here was that the bees went missing, not that they were succumbing to disease at the hive.
Once thing is certain about bees: They are reliant upon the sun on multiple levels, not only for the photosynthesis and seasonal solar variation for the production of plant food, but also for navigation, which is critical to their foraging strategy. It is doubtful that there is any insect more attuned to the sun than the honeybee.
In this article on honeybee navigation (external - login to view), it is clear just how reliant they are on the sun for navigation. They appear to have primary and backup navigation systems, but the only one that doesn’t appear connected to the sun in some way are crude recognition of large landmarks. Of most interest to me for the purposes of this article is the fact that bees are sensitive to magnetism and can also see in UV light. It is believed that bees use pattern recognition of flowers in UV to pick out flowers from the maze of flora they traverse, for example in the photos below showing visible and ultraviolet:

Image credit: Western Kentucky University Bioweb (external - login to view)
The fact is the sun is changing, and we are going into a deep solar minimum. UV output has been clearly affected as shown in these comparisons of 2002 and 2006

Credit: Images courtesy of SOHO (NASA/ESA).
Note the difference in brightness and in the appearance of the Sun in the two images. These images were taken in a high energy UV band with a wavelength of 19.5 nm.
Here is where I’m going with this:
  • We are entering a deep and prolonged solar minimum. We have solar cycle 23 which is getting longer and longer, and cycle 24 which is late and may have had a false start. The sun is behaving differently than has been seen in recent solar cycle history.
  • Two significant components used for bee navigation have changed in the last 2-3 years, the ultraviolet output of the sun, and the geomagnetic index, which dropped sharply in October 2005 and remains low.
  • Our own earth generated magnetic field is weakening, and due for a pole flip in the next century or two.
  • Bee keepers report the problem has been that bee’s don’t seem to return to the hives, implying a navigation problem.
  • Bee keepers now think the problem extends further back than when it was first reported in the media in early 2007 perhaps “3-4 years”.
Given that UV and geomagnetics are both used in the navigation systems of bees, and given the clear change in these things and the reliance bees have upon the sun, it makes me wonder if perhaps the Colony Collapse Disorder may have a root in our recent solar history.
Bees have multiple navigation systems, but they may not bee accustomed to a drop in UV output and geomagnetic index occurring simultaneously.
Wild honeybee strains have seen significant solar changes over millenia and may be better able to adapt. But, our large worldwide stocks of domesticated honeybees may not be able to cope with the solar changes as well due to inbreeding and other genetic factors related to domestication. We’ve had a fairly stable and rising solar output during the rise of modern agriculture in the last century which has been aided by the domesticated honeybee.
WOW Walter!! Interesting research! Kudos to you for looking into this. Thanks alot!!

I don't know but it seems that our modern science and technology isn't really helping out the way it should. It seems it's doing the exact opposite. And not just for the honey bee but many other living things including humans.
Bee plague worsening, anxious keepers say (external - login to view)
Among the possible culprits are varroa mites, which kill bees and transmit viruses. Pesticides and insecticides, as well as the chemicals used to control the varroa mites, are being scrutinized to see if they are causing the problem. Migratory stress from being moved long distances also plays a role, Hackett said.

Posted Mar 24, 2008 04:29 PM (external - login to view) PST
SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view)

Note the potential cause left off the list; genetically modified crops.
Organically raised bees, that is to say bees known not to feed on GM plants, are not affected by Colony Collapse Disorder. The prevailing theory is that a gene spliced into plants to cause it to make its own insecticide migrates into the digestive bacteria inside the bee, turning their entire digestive system into an insecticide factory. (external - login to view)
Death of the Bees: GMO Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America

‘Commercial beehives pollinate over a third of [North}America’s crops and that web of nourishment encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples, cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees. Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops goodbye, to say nothing of the honey bees produce or the flowers they also fertilize’. (external - login to view)
I just gotta say Walter would blame the sun for the pharmaceuticals in our water supply, too funny. I can just imagine him on Jeopardy, he could write down his final jeopardy answer before the game even started and ring in first everytime with "what is the sun Alex?"

This colony collapse thing is weird, to be sure. Coupled with a few other fairly recent trends/phenomena we might actually screw ourselves outta having enough food for even a fraction of the population, since I would imagine the folks who likely have the least to do with the actual production of food will be the ones who have the means to hold on longest in the event of global famine (just a conjecture but it feels correct-ish)

We might be able to live without snow leopards and dodoes but bees going extinct is gonna HURT, hand pollinating a single almond tree would probably take a while, doing to every one will be this side of impossible, to say nothing of all the wild flora that would need to be dealt with.

Glad it's just natural progression and we have nothing to worry about
Quote: Originally Posted by mabudonView Post

Glad it's just natural progression and we have nothing to worry about

Perhaps you should move your thought to the "Things to worry about" thread.
I think Walters correct about the suns impact on global climate, if he says the bee problem may also be connected to the suns lack of activity lately the I'm inclined to listen. I read a little bit from a Russian climatologist last week and he said the planet is cooling, the Artic ice is thickening and he also pointed to solar activity as the biggest contributing factor. He also said to get used to wearing furs because we have a very good chance of entering a mini ice age similar to the last short one of five-hundred years that ended in 1850. Al Gore and David Susuki are corporate pawns and mouth pieces, they both work for the oil lobby.
Migratory Beekeepers Worry About Their Livelihood (external - login to view)
"Einstein's theory-- it's been, oh, a couple years ago-- was that within about four years, there would be no more food to sustain life anywhere on the planet, to pollinate orchards, pollinate everything out there," said Daniel McLaury, a migratory beekeeper from Montana.
Bees may be the fuzzy, buzzing creatures humans try to avoid, but without them, there would be nothing to pollinate our fruit, the plants livestock eat, the cane to make sugar, even coffee. "Without the bees, there is no life, there is no food to eat," said McLaury. "So we're going to get real hungry really soon without bees."

Posted Apr 8, 2008 01:19 PM (external - login to view) PST
SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view)

It is an established fact that pollen from genetically modified plants is harmful to insects. (external - login to view) Bees that are not exposed to genetically altered plants seem to avoid Colony Collapse Disorder. But as beekeepers are hired to transport their hives from farm to farm to farm, exposure to genetically modified crops becomes inevitable. (external - login to view)
Along with the latest tests by French scientists where lab-rats and mice developed cancer symptomes and liver and kidney problems after being fed with Monsanto (Mon863) corn - the **** seems to have hit the fan already.
Posted Apr 13, 2008 04:16 PM (external - login to view) PST
Category: SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view) (external - login to view)
Honey Bee Collapse Now Worse on West Coast (external - login to view)
Yes, that's certainly being looked at. In fact, I read an article the other day talking about some genetically modified crops that had the BT toxin in it (genetically modified crops with built-in pesticide) and they found that with the BT toxin, there are a couple of different toxins involved, and one toxin they found was actually opening up the cell walls of insects and animals to allow this second toxin in to affect it. So, we don't understand what we do - and places such as Monsanto.
So, we're going down a precarious path and we don't know everything. Unfortunately, we will make mistakes as human beings, but the repercussions as things grow and become more global and widespread is that the repercussions will be more severe and more dramatic.
SO, WHILE WE ARE PROMOTING A GM FOOD INTO THE FUTURE ON THE ONE HAND IN GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS, WE COULD BE KILLING THE VERY INSECT THAT KEEPS PLANTS ALIVE. Yes, but there again, if the seed companies can develop plants that don't need insect pollinators, and keep selling seed to the farmers, maybe that's the goal.

Posted Apr 13, 2008 09:25 AM (external - login to view) PST
SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view)

... if the seed companies can develop plants that don't need insect pollinators, and keep selling seed to the farmers, maybe that's the goal. (external - login to view)
The Bees Die...The Planet Dies (external - login to view)
am speaking about the extermination of the bees - on which depends 80 % of the pollination of cultivated plants - by Imidaclopride which Bayer sells under the name of Gaucho to the farmers to coat seeds and to protect them from certain diseases... This product paralyses insects such as bees which cannot return to the hive and they therefore die. When they do succeed, the honey which results from it is toxic (because it's poisoned). In less than three years, 450 000 hives were thus lost and production of honey fell from 45 000 tons to 25 000 tons in France. In Alsace, bee-keepers are regarded as disaster victims because of the Bayer products. In addition, it should be known that in Europe, approximately 4 000 vegetable species have their life assured thanks to pollination by bees.

Posted Apr 28, 2008 10:10 AM (external - login to view) PST
SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view) (external - login to view)
Honey Bee Crisis Could Push Food Prices Even Higher (external - login to view)

Food prices could rise even more unless the mysterious decline in honey bees is solved, farmers and businessmen told lawmakers Thursday.
"No bees, no crops," North Carolina grower Robert D. Edwards told a House Agriculture subcommittee. Edwards said he had to cut his cucumber acreage in half because of the lack of bees available to rent.
... The cause behind the disorder remains unknown. Possible explanations include pesticides; a new parasite or pathogen; and the combination of immune-suppressing stresses such as poor nutrition, limited or contaminated water supplies and the need to move bees long distances for pollination.

Posted Jun 27, 2008 08:20 AM (external - login to view) PST
Category: ECONOMY (external - login to view)
, Category: SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view)

Note the one potential cause they are careful NOT to mention; genetically modified crops. Yet it has been known since 1999 that pollen from genetically modified crops can harm beneficial insect species. (external - login to view) (external - login to view)
Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? (external - login to view)
Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?...
Posted Jul 6, 2008 03:38 PM (external - login to view) PST
Category: SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view)

This is a false trail, and no doubt the "experts" making this claim are well-funded by partiess with something to hide.
But consider.
All cellular telephones are just radios. Very low power radios. And we have been pouring out radio waves all over the planet for over 100 years! Indeed, with the advent of cable TV, satellite, and directional antennas making communications more efficient, if anything the total amount of radio energy being pumped into the environment has declined in the period since the end of WW2, where 50,000 watt stations slamming their way across the globe were the norm. So, if cellular phones were the reason for the colony collapse disorder, why have we only seen the effects in the last few years (the same time that genetically modified crops have come into widespread use)? (external - login to view)


Last edited by quandary121; Jul 23rd, 2008 at 04:22 PM..
What's the buzz about all our missing bees? (external - login to view)
Meanwhile, America has a more perplexing bee problem. Colonies there really are disappearing. There is even a name for it - collapsing colony disorder (CCD) - and it is getting worse.
"There is no explanation for it as yet," said Mr Inson. "The bees just abandon their hives and vanish. There is no sign of disease, no sign of anything. "Oh, there have been theories. Climate change hasn't been dismissed, but the notion that electrical impulses from mobile phones were affecting the bees' navigation was quickly dismissed."

Posted Jul 23, 2008 09:58 AM (external - login to view) PST
Category: SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view)

In 1999, Nature Magazine published a study that proved pollen from transgenic crops was harming beneficial insects. (external - login to view) But of course the companies that are behind GM crops are wealthy and powerful, spend billions in advertising, and so the GM link to CCD is dutifully ignored by the corporate media. (external - login to view)
NATURE | Silence of the Bees | The Importance of Bees | PBS

An entomologist and a beekeeper discuss honeybees' crucial role as pollinators and the possibly devastating effects of the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder, with vibrant close-up shots of bees in action.

From the "NATURE" season premiere "Silence of the Bees," airing on PBS Sunday, October 28 at 8 p.m. (check local listings). Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham narrates "NATURE," the Peabody and Emmy award-winning series produced by Thirteen/WNET New York for PBS. Major corporate support provided by Canon U.S.A. Inc. and Toyota. For more information, visit (external - login to view)


The Silence of the Bees

FEATURE ARTICLE - March 19, 2007 (external - login to view) by Hannah Nordhaus

Scanning electron microscope image of a bee loaded with pollen. DARWIN DALE/PHOTO RESEARCHERS INC.

The perilous existence of a migratory beekeeper amid a great bee die-off

By the time John Miller realized just how many of his bees were dying, the almonds were in bloom and there was nothing to be done. It was February 2005, and the hives should have been singing with activity, plump brown honeybees working doggedly to carry pollen from blossom to blossom. Instead they were wandering in drunken circles at the base of the hive doors, wingless, desiccated, sluggish, blasé. Miller is accustomed to death on a large scale. “The insect kingdom enjoys little cell repair,” he will often remind you. Even when things are going well, a hive can lose 1,000 bees a day. But the extent of his losses that winter defied even his insect-borne realism. In a matter of weeks, Miller lost almost half of his 13,000 hives — around 300 million bees.
When it happened, Miller was in California’s Central Valley, where each February, when the almond trees burst into extravagant pink-and-white bloom, hundreds of beekeepers descend with billions of bees. More than 580,000 acres of almonds flower simultaneously there, and wild pollinators such as bumblebees, beetles, bats and wasps simply cannot transport enough pollen from tree to tree. Instead, almond ranchers depend on traveling beekeepers who, like retirees in Winnebagos, winter in warm places such as California and Florida, and head north to the Dakotas in the summer, where fields of alfalfa and clover produce the most coveted honey.
This annual bee migration isn’t just a curiosity; it’s the glue that holds much of modern agriculture together. Without the bees’ pollination services, California’s almond trees — the state’s top export crop — would produce 40 pounds of almonds per acre; with the bees, they can generate 2,400 pounds. Honeybees provide the same service for more than 100 other crops, from lettuce to cranberries to oranges to canola, up and down the West Coast. Miller likes to call the annual pilgrimage of the beekeepers the “native migrant tour,” and he likes to call himself the tour’s “padrone.” He has thinning brown hair and an eternally bemused expression, and he never stands still. He is an observant but rebellious Mormon, and he doesn’t look the part of the flannel-and-rubbers-clad beekeeper: His usual uniform includes surf shorts, a baseball cap, running shoes and a race T-shirt. (He has run 25 marathons.) Miller, who is 52, is not the biggest beekeeper in the United States, nor is he the most politically connected — South Dakota’s Richard Adee, with his 70,000 hives, wins that distinction. (external - login to view)
Bee Colony Collapse Mobilizes Federal Rescue Effort (external - login to view)
July 3, 2007 (ENS)

Two bills now making their way through the U.S. Senate are aimed at reversing the decline in the nation's population of honey bees.
more.... (external - login to view)
Organic Bees Surviving Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) (external - login to view)
Celsias May 15, 2007

I know this won’t come as a surprise to many of our readers, nor to the many organic beekeepers that have been commenting on our posts, but there have been several reports of organic bee colonies surviving where the ‘industrial’ bee colonies are collapsing. Here is the latest to come to my attention:
more.... (external - login to view)
Costa Rican honeybees are having really tough year (external - login to view)
By José Pablo Ramírez Vindas of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Honeybees are taking a beating in Costa Rica, although the exact nature of the problem is uncertain. Some beekeepers blame El Niño, the Pacific weather phenomenon.
more.... (external - login to view)
Bees Vanish, and Scientists Race for Reasons (external - login to view)
By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO (external - login to view)
NY Times – April 24, 1007
BELTSVILLE, Md., April 23 — What is happening to the bees?

More than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost — tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping. So far, no one can say what is causing the bees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives.
more.... (external - login to view)
Earth Day Cometh and Earth Day Goeth And Where have all the Bees Gone? (external - login to view)
Earth Day Report by Captain Paul Watson

Founder and President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (1977-
Co-Founder - The Greenpeace Foundation (1972)
Co-Founder - Greenpeace International (1979)
Director of the Sierra Club USA (2003-2006)
Director - The Farley Mowat Institute
Director -

Mystery of the Dying Bees (external - login to view)
March 7, 2007 - Cosmos Online
by Benjamin Lester

Something mysterious is killing honey bees, and even as billions are dropping dead across North America, researchers are scrambling to find answers and save one of the most important crop pollinators on Earth. more.... (external - login to view)
Mystery Ailment Strikes Honeybees (external - login to view)
Sunday, February 11, 2007

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - A mysterious illness is killing tens of thousands of honeybee colonies across the country, threatening honey production, the livelihood of beekeepers and possibly crops that need bees for pollination. more.... (external - login to view)
Shooting Dead Horses (external - login to view)
Jean-Claude Gerard Koven
Rancho Mirage, California

Honey bees are suddenly vanishing all over the world. According to Albert Einstein, this is a certain signal that humankind may not have much time left. Is nature giving us final notice that we’re in serious trouble?more... (external - login to view)
Are GM Crops Killing Bees? (external - login to view)
By Gunther Latsch
March 22, 2007

A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. The consequences for agriculture and the economy could be enormous. more... (external - login to view)
Honeybees Vanish, Leaving Keepers in Peril (external - login to view)
By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO (external - login to view)
NY Times (Business) - February 27, 2007 (external - login to view)
I dont believe it. I need more links.
More youtube vids!
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

More youtube vids!

What's honey being traded at? Could be time to dump.
Honeybee deaths reaching crisis point
'Britain's honeybees have suffered catastrophic losses this year, according to a survey of the nation's beekeepers, contributing to a shortage of honey and putting at risk the pollination of fruits and vegetables. The survey by the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) revealed that nearly one in three of the UK's 240,000 honeybee hives did not survive this winter and spring. The losses are higher than the one in five colonies reported dead earlier this year by the government after 10% of hives had been inspected.' (external - login to view)
Genetically Modified Crops Implicated in Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (external - login to view)

  • SCIENCE/HEALTH (external - login to view)
As the disappearance of honeybees continues, researchers are trying desperately to discover the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). General concensus at this point is that there is more than once cause and the latest culprit may be genetically modified crops. This is one area of research being neglected as mainstream scientists insist GM crops are safe.

Webmaster's Commentary:
We covered this topic before, and I observed that there was a huge rush to pin the blame on pesticides and mites, but that the pesticides and mites had been around for quite a while but CCD has started up just when GM crops were introduced into farms, and that bees fed with non GM pollens were immune from CCD.
There is a great deal of money at stake, and the history of the

behavior of American pharmaceutical companies when a lot of money is on the line is not encouraging.

There is a great deal of money invested in GM crops, and hence a great deal of pressur eto NOT investigate whether pollen from GM crops is the cause of CCD, even though GM pollen has already been shown as harmful to benign species. (external - login to view)

Genetically Modified Crops Implicated in Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder | War On You (external - login to view)

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