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"Bees are on the what now?"

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by TEG, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #1 TEG, Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
    Problems with honey bees...

    Should we worry about "saving the bees" as part of "saving the planet"? Just like with climate change, we may well have been upsetting a natural balance which may be coming back to haunt us.

    See this:
    If Bees Go Extinct, We All Do ~ usrbingeek’s musings
    Bill Maher: The Birds, the Bees, and Earth Day

    Have you watched what has been happening to honey bees around the world? It is not as if we have left them alone to do their own thing. We make artificial hives, and basically cultivate bees like farm animals in some cases to our own detriment.

    Check out this story on honey from China:
    Tainted honey from China tops FDA watch list

    And here where honey from China was sent to Australia, relabeled as Australian sourced and exported then to the USA:
    Honey Laundering reported from China through Australia into the U.S.
    China Honey Latest Food Safety Worry

    So, I don't exactly have a big point to this except to say that yes, we can cause global problems for each other that the earth doesn't just heal on its' own for us. From us extracting and releasing all the helium with reckless abandon to trying to give antibiotics to bee colonies, we have taken control of so many things on our planet, and it is up to us to make sure we do things rationally and clean up after. If we leave a mess we have to live in it.

    (Note, someone else renamed the title of this thread)
     
  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I have seen many stories on the dissapearing bees. The first time I heard about that bees were included in the bailout bill was when dissenters were mocking the provision.

    I found this.

     
  3. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    #4 bobw, Feb 11, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009
    The honeybee problem is a classic symptom of a monoculture. Honeybees were domesticated once. While they will hybridise with wild bees, (remember the Killer Bees?) most beekeepers try to avoid that.

    The real solution would be to find strains of bees that do not suffer from this problem and hybridize them with domestic honeybees.

    If the government doesn't step in too heavily, somebody who is already working on this will succeed.

    Ecology and economics are really two perspectives on the same subject. You cannot allow a monoculture in economics. This applies to government just as much as monopolies. An overly specialized economy will eventually crater.

    Look at what happened in the Soviet Union. Factories were faking the paperwork for the sales and purchases of non-existent assets according to the five year plan. They bartered unofficially for the things they really needed.

    It's not that government is run by fools and idiots, although it's hard to be sure that it isn't. It's that government brooks no competition. Look how NASA has been the cuckoo in the spaceflight nest, crowding out commercial and other governmental spaceflight until very recently. It took two spectacular failures to stop them.

    We also cannot allow a monoculture in science. Global Warming (Climate Change) advocates seem to have a lock on research grants.

    Shoot, my computer wants to restart after an update.

    What would you bet that the well publicised security problems in Microsoft products are simply the result of a near monoculture in operating systems?
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  5. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Cool,

    And in some weird way, nice to know that it was not another thing caused by man (hopefully).
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Well the fungus might not have been man caused, but the continued use of chloramphenicol (a toxic broad spectrum antibiotic) on the hives certainly was a man made problem.

    In recent years MDs (GPs in UK) have been trying to cut back on routine prescription of antibiotics. So many people have been treated with antibiotics when the problem was actually fungal/viral, but it was too time consuming or expensive to test to see what the real cause was, so antibiotics were used "just in case" in might be bacterial. Over the years this has backfired with the result being many strains of bacteria emerging that are antibiotic resistant.

    With the honey bees, people were being exposed to strong antibiotics because they were eating honey from hives treated with antibiotics that were improperly being used because the actual hive problem was a fungus.
     
  7. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    #8 bobw, Apr 17, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
    In addition, *all* the hives are vulnerable to the fungus because of the honeybee monoculture. The treatment is not a permanent fix. Fungi evolve almost as quickly as bacteria.
     
  8. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    Thanks for spinning off this thread, Doug.
     
  9. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    [FONT=Trebuchet MS,Bookman Old Style,Arial]"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left."

    This reminds me of the movie The Happening.

    snopes.com: Einstein on Bees
    [/FONT]
     
  10. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I wish the moderators would change the title of this topic to: What about the bees?

    I didn't name this topic... These posts were moved out of another thread.
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    What's wrong with the current title? It's descriptive and one of my favorite Simpsons quotes. I don't think "What about the bees?" is any better, not that it even really matters.
     
  12. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #14 TEG, Apr 21, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
    I didn't realize that was a Simpson's quote.

    EclipseZone - Eclipse Committer Profile Series: Kim Horne - September 2005
    Hopefully this topic isn't perceived as gibberish now...
     
  13. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  14. bobw

    bobw Tesla Reader

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    #16 bobw, Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  16. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #18 TEG, May 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
     
  17. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I DO keep bees here on my property. It's good for my garden, it's good for the environment, etc. There are *definitive* theories as to why colonies have been collapsing, ranging from blaming chemicals to waves from cell phones. As far as I know, the discussion is ongoing.

    The best thing you can do to help is to put a hive on your property. Even a small urban backyard can support a hive. Bees need about 5' around the hive to get up and over 'people height'. Bees don't require much attention. The other option is to check Craigslist. I've seen more than a few beekeepers look for a place to put their hives, with an offer to split the honey harvest with the property owner.

    Just something to think about. You'll have a significantly more productive garden with a hive tucked away - and it really is something simple to do to help out with this true crisis.
     
  18. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Plus you get to wear cool beekeeper hats.
     

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