News-in-Transition

12 September 2016

 - Everyone should support the humble bee. It's thought that every third bite of food we take is there because of pollination by bees. Honey, when raw and unprocessed, may even be used as a wound covering for burns and other injuries due to its antibiotic effect. Yet bees are in big trouble, and we still don't know all the reasons why. In the last decade, bee colonies are experiencing die-offs that have taken out a significant percentage of all the colonies in various areas.

Our growing concerns about the Zika, West Nile and other mosquito-borne viruses have led to the institution of mosquito control programs in many towns and cities in the U.S. One effective means of eliminating adult mosquitoes is aerial spraying with an organophosphate pesticide called Naled. Unfortunately, there's been collateral damage to many beneficial insects, including the honeybee.

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30 July 2016

 - Zimbabwe’s beekeepers won’t let you go near their forest. Hundreds of their beehives are hidden within a dense patch of forest along the river in the Mpudzi Resettlement, and the beekeepers watch out for the trees just as vehemently as their bees.

They need to, since the country’s forests have been dwindling rapidly due to tobacco farmers cutting them down for wood to cure their crop. With this practice, the bees’ habitat is also destroyed.

Now, more than 50,000 beekeepers are helping to protect the forests from overcutting in Zimbabwe, a practice that had become commonplace, not just from Tobacco farmers’ practices, but also due to frequent power outages in nearby urban and pre-urban areas.

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23 June 2016

 - Advocating for a ban on toxic pesticides that have led to massive bee die-offs nationwide, a truck filled with millions of the dead pollinators has trundled across the country to reach its final destination on Wednesday afternoon: the front steps of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The truck's arrival at EPA headquarters heralds a rally in which environmental groups, beekeepers, organic food advocates and others will "deliver over 4 million signatures urging an immediate ban on bee-killing pesticides" to the agency, writes the conservation group Friends of the Earth.

"Bees pollinate most of the world’s most common crops, including summer favorites like peaches and watermelon," said Environment America in a press statement. "But over 40 percent of U.S. honeybee hives die each year, costing the farming and beekeeping industry more than $2 billion annually."

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21 June 2016

37 million bees found dead after GMO seeds planted nearby - Over 37 million bees have been found dead in Canada after GMO corn was planted recently in the local area. 

 

According to local beekeeper, Dave Schuit, since the GMO corn was planted close to his farm he lost over 37 million bees (approximately 600 hives) as a direct result. According to reports, Schuit and other local beekeepers believe neonicotinoids, or “neonics” are to blame for the influx of bee deaths.

Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, two of Bayer CropScience’s most widely used pesticide, both contain neonics and have been linked with many large-scale bee ‘die-offs’ in both European and U.S. countries. However, despite the dangers associated with the use of this chemical, the pesticides are still regularly used and sold on the market.

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16 April 2016

 - You may already be aware how humanity is killing bees through a variety of methods.

In an earlier article The Top 4 Reasons for the Bees Dying Off, I discussed how neonicotinoid pesticides, GMOs, EMFs (electromagnetic fields) and geoengineering were all contributing to disrupting and killing bees, through phenomena like CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). Mankind is gravely endangering its own survival on the planet by injuring the bees like this, since we are all dependent on bees for pollination and our food supply.

Einstein famously said that humanity would only survive for 4 years if the bees were wiped out. There may well be more than 4 ways in which humanity is killing bees, but a recent interview with Gabe Cruz (a former cell phone industry worker who has become a kind of whistleblower and interspecies communicator) reveals that one of these threats may be the greatest of all.

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21 October 2014

The city of Carrboro in North Carolina is becoming an official Bee City USA, the third of its kind in the country, after Asheville, also in North Carolina, and Talent in Oregon.

Alongside the city's existing pollinator protection efforts, the Bee City USA plan—which was unanimously approved by the town's Board of Aldermen—will include promoting the use of native and sustainably grown plants to local residents, raising awareness about sustainable farming practices, and prominently displaying Bee City USA signage on entrances to the town.

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1 April 2014

 - Scientists have recently reported that mass extinctions of marine animals may soon be occurring at alarmingly rapid rates than previously projected due to pollution, rising water temperatures and loss of habitat. Many land species also face a similar fate for the same reasons.

But perhaps the biggest foreboding danger of all facing humans is the loss of the global honeybee population. The consequence of a dying bee population impacts man at the highest levels on our food chain, posing an enormously grave threat to human survival.

Since no other single animal species plays a more significant role in producing the fruits and vegetables that we humans commonly take for granted yet require near daily to stay alive, the greatest modern scientist Albert Einstein once prophetically remarked, “Mankind will not survive the honeybees’ disappearance for more than five years.”

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24 November 2013

Dezeen_Susana_Soares_Bees_Design_2 - Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees.

The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.

"Trained bees only rush into the smaller chamber if they can detect the odour on the patient's breath that they have been trained to target," explained Soares.

Scientists have found that honey bees - Apis mellifera - have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.

Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.

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24 October 2013

- The ancestors of modern carpenter bees may have vanished from Earth roughly 65 million years ago, around the same time the dinosaurs were wiped out, a new study finds.

Researchers examined the DNA of four types of carpenter bees -- belonging to the group Xylocopinae -- from every continent, except Antarctica, to search for clues about their evolutionary relationships. Peering back into the lineages of the bees, the scientists noticed something unusual with all four groups, beginning roughly 65 million years ago, at the boundary between the Cretaceous and Paleogene periods.

"We can track periods of diversification and stasis. There was a period where there was no genetic diversification happening for millions of years -- a real dearth of speciation. This is an indication of a mass extinction event."

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4 October 2013

Diesel pollution makes it harder for honeybees to find flowers

 - Bees are unable to find the flowers they need because of diesel pollution.

It turns out that the planet needs flowers and floral odours in order for all of life to survive.

Scientists from the University of Southampton said that their research revealed that diesel fumes change the odour of blooms, making it impossible for pollinators to find the nectar they need, and that this could cause a global food crisis for all species of plant and animal.

Honeybees use floral odours to find flowers that will give them the pollen and nectar that they require, and harming their ability to find the flowers they need damages the success and the well-being of the colony or hive, as well  many plant species which rely on the aid of the honey bee and other pollinators to reproduce.

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30 September 2013

bee

 - Researchers from Sweden announced on Friday that they have developed a new medicine to protect bees from diseases that kill entire bee populations in the US and in Europe.

They launched the drug in Russia today at an annual conference of beekeepers and have been working on the drug for ten years.

The drug, invented by microbiologists at Lund University, is cleverly named SymBeeotic and helps bees survive by greatly boosting their immune systems.

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27 September 2013

Balranald RSPB reserve, Scotland

 - Thousands of miles of British farmland could be turned into 'bee motorways' in a bid to boost the declining number of pollinating insects in the country.

The scheme would see farmers and land owners volunteering their fields toward a 3,000-mile corridor of plush grassland filled with wildflowers which encourage bees and other insects to migrate.

Others may receive a grant or bursary for allowing use of their estates.

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8 August 2013

 - Different flower traits attract different garden guests. Butterflies, for example, are partial to purple flowers, while bees are especially attracted to bright white, yellow, or blue. Bats prefer musty smelling flowers that release their scent at night, while pollinating birds show little attraction to fragrance.

NAPPC recommends that gardeners choose a variety of plants to provide nectar and pollen throughout the growing season, and suggests leaving some areas of bare ground for nesting bees. Above all, eliminate pesticide use, which kills the pollinators as well as the pests.

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