Wild bees: MIA

Discussion in 'Celebrate Biodiversity' started by dino, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. dino

    dino Active Member

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    The small city which is my home is in the midst of Alberta's two million hectares planted to canola. I guess we may hear something in a few weeks if that crop doesn't get adequately pollinated.

    By now, tree fruit will have either set- or not- in our important fruit-producing regions. And I've heard & read nothing.

    So I really have only my own eyes on my own backyard (and those of others like me) to help try to "read the signs".

    My home is likely a bit more than three kilometers from where the closest honeybee hive would have been sited this last month. So I guess I'm asking: why are our wild bees MIA? We're in a river valley with a pretty large floodplain; we therefore have more treed land than most. Lots of bee-habitat, seems to me.

    My prunus trees had a wonderful flowering this year, with good pollination weather. But I can't recall seeing more than two or three bees at any one time. Fruit set is very poor: 1/3 or less, I guess.
    OTOH, my red currant has set fruit pretty well ! Without benefit of bees, though.

    Only bright spot: the wasps I've jousted with for a very long time- are also MIA.

    From what I can gather, Imidacloprid is the chief suspect. Alberta is just coming out of a pretty worrysome drought. And I think it taught us not to look, necessarily, for a single blow; but to look for the harm a combination of punches can do. Our trees, weakened by lack of water, were then hammered by air pollution and hot sun. Then came the leaf-rollers and chewers, and bark borers.
    So it seems to me that our bees may also be taking combination punches: air / water pollution, virii, mites *plus* insecticide. Throw in microwaves & cell phone towers for good measure.
    Finally, I guess I'd ought to mention: greatly reduced numbers of small birds and amphibians.

    I'd like to hear what my fellow hobby-gardeners, & farmers, and orchardists think.

    Dino
     
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    A similar discussion on bee disappearances is available in the members-only area of the forum, but at the request of the poster of this message, I've moved this back to a readable-by-the-public area.
     
  3. dino

    dino Active Member

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    Thank you, Daniel. That's very kind of you. While I'm nothing that ends in "ologist", I'll try to open the case for the wild pollinators.

    Over in the chat about honeybee disappearance, Chuck cited a couple of fascinating articles, one from ScienceDaily. I wonder if others noticed another article there: "Wild Bees Make Honeybees Better Pollinators". (?) The assertion was that wild bees (when present in number) act as gadflies to tame bees making them work harder / faster.

    The researchers were even able to quantify the economic benefit of such wild bee behaviour. Valuable information.

    Almost all the gardeners I've spoken to this spring about bee-service (or the lack) are pretty much putterers like I. And I can't perceive- to be brutally frank- any interest in whether the bees they're seeing are tame, feral, or wild.

    It seems to me that it makes a great deal of difference. But I'm very unsure of my view. And I'm hoping my fellow-gardeners (you don't have to confess to being putterers!) will put me straight.

    I question the plight of our *wild* pollinators. Because they don't (normally) figure directly in any person's or corporation's net worth, they're more easily overlooked. The city next-door is spraying against mosquitoes pretty energetically. I'm guessing there's a hotline to beekeepers on the city perimeter to move their hives in coordination with the spraying. That strikes me as reasonable and fairly simple.

    B u t... who warns the wild pollinators to fly out of harm's way ?

    Dino
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  5. dino

    dino Active Member

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    <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curati...s/decline.html>

    Thank you for that citation, Michael. I quote the summary:

    "If it were necessary to identify the single most important factor to have affected the decline of British bumblebees then this study helps by showing that it is the loss of open habitats rich in certain kinds of food plants that is the most likely candidate. More precisely, it may not be necessarily a reduction in the number of species of flowering plants at a locality that is important, but rather a decrease in the abundance of the most rewarding food plants."

    Yes. I think we're all agreed: critter populations wax and wane with the quantity / quantity of available feed. Virginia deer (whitetail) have followed sod-busters across America, displacing others (e.g. mule deer), as they go. Greater Prairie Chicken and Woodland Cariboux disappear wherever their very specialized feed / cover disappear.

    I have quite some difficulty with excluding air & water pollution, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides from consideration as perps (as this study has done).
    Notice that the timeframe runs all the way back to the 1960s, the time when the hammer came down (in the USA) on DDT. The study doesn't even wonder what effect DDT may have had on Britain's bumblebees.

    Salvation is at hand, though, says the Breezi Publishing Company here:
    http://www.farminguk.com/index.asp?show=newsArticle&id=4029&country=

    Operation Bumblebee, a joint venture of Sainsbury's & Syngenta (and Britain's farmers), will be mounted on the news that "Over the last 30 years the humble bumblebee has been in steady decline and recent research shows their populations are down by a worrying 70%."

    According to Breezi, " Operation Bumblebee could increase the bumblebee population by a staggering 600%." =-O .
    Their plan calls for the distribution of desirable wild seed to 500 farmers sufficient to seed 600 hectares.

    Dino
     
  6. dino

    dino Active Member

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    The more I read on the subject of pollination. the more I am struck by its exquisite complexity.

    My subject-line is troubling me. Not that I'm unsure that my wild bees were missing in action when needed to pollinate my prunus / malus trees in late May. They surely were missing. I just can't say *what* was missing.

    My home is in Zone 3 in central Alberta. We have a generous variety of weather. We are a bit north of the northern boundary of the Great Plains. At this time we have only some four hours of darkness nightly. We are only moderately influenced by Chinooks (winter winds which blow warm air through Rocky Mountain passes) which do crazy things with weather in south-western Alberta & further south.
    Sufficient precipitation is reliable.

    WRT our climate, there is one more thing worth noting. Spring comes on at a full gallop! There is none of that subtle, gradual change of seasons as one sees in, say, Westfalen. On April 15th, one's snowshovel is still close to hand. On May 1st we quite often are enjoying fine weather in shorts and tee-shirts. But the soil may still be so frozen a shovel won't pass. By May 10th, fruit trees may well have passed the best time for transplanting. A large part of our fruit tree bloom occurs in the last week of May.

    At a full gallop ! Which explains to me why bumblebees are not part of this consideration. Numbers just can't build fast enough to contribute substantially in the early pollination. Only yesterday, for the first time, did I see (still only several) bumblebees working on my raspberries and in a fresh patch of clover.

    Also, I don't think that the missing wild bees are mason bees. From what I gather, their range ends in Zone 5.

    So, since native chokecherry and saskatoon weren't designed to rely upon Asian honeybees for pollination- we stand them aside.

    And what's left are the miner bees (the earth-dwellers): Andreninae (?), Collitinae (?) & Halictini (??). These are cited as the miners most useful to orchardists in Maine, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. How valuable they are in Alberta, I haven't seen.

    But, I guess that those are the missing bees. Not sure, though, if Sherlock Holmes would concur.

    I'll be glad to read any / all comments. And I have some specific questions:
    1. Miner bees, favouring holes dug in south-facing clay banks, and being early risers (like mosquitoes): are they particularly endangered by mosquito spraying?
    2. What would chances be of successfully propagating mason &/or miner bees in my backyard this far north?
    3. What's with red currants? I never see a bee over a centimeter long on them; yet my fruitset was so heavy a considerable amount of full-sized fruit has been sluffed. :-\

    Dino
     
  7. dino

    dino Active Member

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    Will some kind soul please identify this (native?) bee for me? It may be a member of one of the lost tribes I seek.

    It's slender and some 13 mm long. Doesn't tarry; but I got a good look a few days ago as it worked the tiny flowers on my goutweed. Most striking is the two yellow dots at the front of the back of the abdomen which replace what would otherwise be the first (of four?) yellow (between black) cross-stripes.

    http://tinyurl.com/yprd5j


    My problem is that in google images, attra.ncat identifies this image as "osmia ribifloris". But when I go looking for a picture of osmia ribifloris, it looks very different.

    Dino
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hi Dino,

    That's a hoverfly (Syrphidae), not a bee at all! Hoverflies are also important pollinators, and their larvae are valuable aphid-eaters.
     
  9. dino

    dino Active Member

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    Michael:

    Thank you very much for informing me.

    That hoverfly was certainly living the fat life, for I have a merry mix-up of rather primitive flowering plants (even horseradish!). Plus, pour l'Assiette Principale: a fairly unlimited supply of aphids (red currant).

    That's very helpful. Today, trying (and failing) to track down a list of our main indigenous pollinators of Saskatoon Berries (amelanchier alnifolia Nutt.) and Chokecherries (prunus virginiana), I noticed a passing comment that flies are important.

    I'll value any comment. I wonder if perhaps here in (brisk) Zone 3 nature is better served by double-whammy insects (combo pollinator / predators) (?)

    Finally, best wishes for a non-submerged garden, Michael. Or good fishing !

    Dino
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks! Fortunately for me it's all been at the other end of the country, wet, but no bad floods, where I am.

    Couple of pics from the BBC:
    Day 1
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/oxford/content/image_galleries/flood_gallery7.shtml?9
    Day 2
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/oxford/content/image_galleries/floods_250707.shtml?12

    And the M50 Motorway a few days ago . . .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/herefordandwor...07/21/junction2_m50_ciaus_hawkins_406x304.jpg
     
  11. dino

    dino Active Member

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    That's slim, Michael. All those flooded basements and sewers.

    Lord, have mercy !

    And thank Him for small ones; the British humour we all admire is clearly "home-and-dry". From the BBC day 1 page:

    "Goldfish rescued from flood water."

    Dino
     
  12. T in TX

    T in TX Member

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    I live in Houston, and we have always had lots of bees. I saw a few this spring (and was relieved), but by late June they were all gone. Totally. Houston is like heaven for wasps and they are almost entirely missing, too. I've seen just a handful of red wasps and none of any other kind. Also, our large population of carpenter bees is completely gone; I haven't seen a single one of them all year. Even our butterflies, of which we usually have many, of lots of different species, are reduced to a total of maybe 5 monarchs and a couple of swallowtails all year.

    My citrus hasn't set a single fruit, and my neighbor's zucchini plants have set a total of two fruits. I'm not sure whether the honeybees we've had in the past were wild or not, but I would guess wild, as I'm inside the city and wouldn't think there are beekeepers nearby. Certainly the wasps, butterflies and carpenter bees were wild.

    I am surprised that there isn't more concern about this problem, and more discussion about the possible involvement of imidacloprid, which is now found everywhere, including the flea treatments I've been using on my dogs. (Not anymore)

    I guess I keep thinking that someone, somewhere will do something about this, but it doesn't seem to be happening.
     
  13. dino

    dino Active Member

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    Holy smoke, T. That's a bleak picture you paint. And I was feeling sorry for MYself with my 1/3-max fruit set !

    Repeating myself, I'm just a backyard putterer trying to "fix-what's-broke". So I truly (still) don't know what "native pollinators" are gone, or why.

    I am still asking for help searching for a list of pollinators important to prunus virginiana and amelanchier alnifolia (chokecherry & saskatoon). For those (locally) are very common, and flower (around 24 May) much like my cultivated malus and prunus.

    Here's a page on prunus serotina (80' tall American black cherry): http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/woodland/plants/wb_cherry.htm .

    Quoting: "The.. .. flowers attract honeybees, bumblebees, Halictid bees, Andrenid bees, Syrphid flies, Blow flies, and miscellaneous other flies.
    I'm inferring (I confess) that Halictid, Andrenid, and Syrphid figure large in the list of pollinators I'm searching. Comments, please ?


    To respond more closely to your observations, T; here are a few things I've dredged up.

    Imidicloprid, I have gathered, is on a tighter leash in France than anywhere else. I haven't searched French web pages; but suspect that if you want the down-and-dirty view on imidicloprid, that's be where to look. The English pages suggest that there's no safe minimum bee-dose; nor is there any recognized "full" recovery of exposed individual bees.

    Interestingly, Bayer was a central figure in the "last big thing" in insecticides: Carbaryl. While discovered in 1958 by Union Carbide, Bayer's (licensed?) product Sevin has been a massive best-seller. On carbaryl, theres a pile of pages. Here's one concentrating on human health concerns:
    http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8223/8223bhopal.html

    And another considering carbaryl's effects on all critters:
    http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pesticides/factsheets/Carbaryl.pdf .

    I bring up carbaryl to show that we didn't need to wait for Bayer to discover imidicloprid (in the mid-nineties?) for a deadly neurotoxin with which to hammer the wee critters into oblivion. Carbaryl was all set to go when called onto the pitch in the mid-sixties when use of DDT was brought to a screeching halt in continental-USA.

    T., the way you've described the disappearance of native pollinators in Houston, I don't see how the perp can be other than pesticides. I find that fascinating (in a ghoulish way). As I recall, cotton, rice, sugarcane & citrus are important Texan crops.
    Are commercial citrus growers not yelling? Or are they content to rely on imported honeybee hives while nuking with chemicals in between ?
    What's the weapon-of-choice on boll-weevils (was carbaryl, now imidicloprid, maybe?) ?
    And. In Houston, are folks alarmed enough about any insect-borne disease that they're yelling: "More insecticide, y'all !" ? Here in Canada, public alarm in fear of mosquito-borne West Nile Fever has caused a resumption of spraying. Pros & cons got pretty lively in Winnipeg, but spraying went ahead.

    On the value of pollination of commercial crops, here's an excellent article from the Edmonton Journal: http://tinyurl.com/3e3u8w
    This is the first clear signal as to possible canola crop reduction in Alberta. But still, not a peep about the consequences of hammering native pollinators. And this, despite the existence of a serious Government of Canada statement that canola growers will harvest more in the end if they let a quarter of their cropland grow up in weeds (or better yet, cultivate flowering native plants), rather than planting the last square foot to crop.

    The more I dig, the more I understand the concept of global village, T. That you live to the southern end of the Great Plains, and I at the north end really doesn't amount to a hill of beans; we're all in this village together.

    We're getting a rare British drizzle in central Alberta today; coming up on 24 hours; I think I'll take the pleasure of walking in it now.

    Dino
     
  14. BunkyX

    BunkyX Active Member

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    Just to add my two cents worth.
    I used to be surrounded by Citrus groves until about two years ago. Honey bees were never very prevalent in my yard. Once the citrus was removed they became non-existant. I helped they declining Mason bees by making nesting habitats for them. I took several sections of old weathered wooden fence post and drilled a series of 1/4" holes in them. Then I put a roof on them by using a screw hook to hold a piece of sheet metal on the top. I slightly bent the metal down to provide a drip edge. I then hung these from the eve of my porch and house. The number of Mason bees in my yard has increased drastically. And all my plants have had plenty of pollinators and less predators. While I admit it was/is time consuming to make these bee 'houses' it has been worth it to me.
    I also have a couple of water sources in my yard. A bird bath, a flower pot saucer with rocks for them to land on under a very happy plant, and two hummingbird feeders, one with just water in it for the 'bugs'.
    While I don't consider myself an 'Organic Gardener' I do see where the insects that we as gardeners need can use our help. As a global village we are destroying 'their' habitat to make 'our' habitat. Unfortnately we gardeners are the only ones that seem to notice the problems that are arrising from the folly.
     
  15. T in TX

    T in TX Member

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    Well, Dino, it IS pretty grim -- even scary, at least to me. If indeed the culprit turns out to be imidacloprid, it has taken very little time for it to do major damage, and maybe not just to honeybees. I've started asking people whether they've noticed the lack of honeybees or wasps this year. Most people say they don't notice bees one way or the other, but almost everyone I've asked has noticed the lack of wasps this year. Maybe because it's usually a battle to keep them from building their nests under house eaves and similar places, and because people tend to be very leery of them, people are noticing their absence.

    Bunky, I'm planning to make some bee houses myself. We are moving in a couple of months and I'm going to install a bunch of them there. I have a birdbath in the backyard here and clean and fill it every morning. Until this summer, there have always been bees there; this summer not a one for months now. Interesting that the citrus near you didn't attract bees. Mine was always a huge favorite for them, though I have a densely planted yard and there's nearly always something blooming that they liked. Right now the fennel, thyme, indigo and coreopsis are blooming and not a bee in the yard.

    Dino, most of the commercial citrus growers in Texas are down in the valley, the far southern part of the state, and cotton is grown elsewhere, too. I don't know how bees are doing in those places. I'm not even sure cotton is pollinated by bees. As for what is pollinated by native bees, I would think everything that evolved here (prior to the importation of honeybees) would be on that list, but I don't know what else might be.
     
  16. dino

    dino Active Member

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    Friends:

    First off, here's an excellent forum on our subject which I just stumbled on yesterdayday. Lots of good stuff:
    http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=4847&pst=425129&archival=1

    WRT cotton, it seems that pollination of cotton is much the same as that of alfalfa: you can get a crop without pollination; but to harvest seed, you need (insect?) pollinators. There is reference to honeybee hives set out in cotton fields, and also to intense pesticide application. So in cotton fields, as here in our canola fields, native pollinators, after honeybee hives have been moved to safety, are thanked for their service with clouds of insecticide.

    Here is a fascinating short piece on the history/prehistory of alfalfa:
    http://forages.oregonstate.edu/IS/AIS/enfpmain.cfm?PageID=256

    There are references elsewhere (I keep losing stuff) saying that no pollinator has been found which is as efficient as the solitary bee which evolved with alfalfa: Magachile rotunda Fabricius. And so, since 1976, our local Beaver Plastics has been producing "Mega Blocks" for the propagation of these bees.

    Beaver generously gave me a couple of these blocks; neighbours and I now have those set up under our eaves hoping for some action. These have a bit over 400 holes (3/16") per sf.
    They warned me not to get my hopes too high. This bee (commonly called alfalfa leafcutter bee) is a low-flyer, they say. However, they also say they'll be introducing a new panel next month for the mason bee (osmia lignaria, which they're calling Blue Orchard Bee). They say that's what I need; so I hope to have a couple of those set up early next spring. Perhaps one can even find an affordable way to get a small (starter) supply of bees.
    Neither of those bees above is native, of course. But that'll give me something to do while learning what the missing natives are, and how to propagate them.

    Here's the manual they'll be recommending for the Blue Orchard Bee:
    http://www.sare.org/publications/bob.htm

    Finally, may I please know what this insect is (hoverfly? sawfly?)? Pretty clever critter, I'd say. We were on tornado watch August 5th when I found it walking, not flying, on my garden patio. It's 10 mm. max, from nose to tail.
    http://clubweb.interbaun.com/oneone/deane/

    Dino
     
  17. Luv2Grdn

    Luv2Grdn Active Member

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    This spring I didn't see many bees or wasps. But right now with my Thistle globes and Hydrangea blooming. I see all sorts. Honey, bubble, yellow jackets, and those black and white hornets.
    I also go to a local farmers market and buy honey from a vender there. He said they haven't had a problem yet with there bees.
    Just thought I would let you know.
    This is the thumb area of Michigan.
     
  18. T in TX

    T in TX Member

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    Dino, I don't know what your insect is, but you might look around at
    http://www.whatsthatbug.com/

    Great place to identify "bugs" of all kinds.
     
  19. learningtogrow

    learningtogrow Member

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    Very, very happy you started this thread. And I mean to read all of it, really, once I get my kids into bed tonight! I am pretty much uneducated when it comes to bees BUT I know a honeybee when I see one because we had hives on our farm for many years. Anyway, I'm posting to say that I have a lot of bees in my yard right now (in South Edmonton). They are going nuts for my mint and catnip; I have a large patch. The bees are all different sizes and colours. There are even a few honeybees.

    I don't know whether these are the bees you want to encourage, but a certain grey and black bee lives in the rotting wood of my raised flower bed structure on the southside of our house, where it is very warm. I have been thinking I would like to shelter bees, as well, so I will indeed read the post in detail. But I wanted to add that there are lots of bees here at least for the moment; not sure though how early in the Spring they come out of the woodwork, so to speak.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  20. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Have just found this news item in "Times Online" 7/9/07

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article2402659.ece

    (click on the link above to read more)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2007
  21. dino

    dino Active Member

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    I'm "plumb happy" that all of you have chimed in. I've been studying this issue hard since June. And the more I learn (and my, oh my, there's a "passel" to learn!), the more I'm persuaded that my original assessment was right. That the "native pollinators" (a better term, I've learned than "wild bees") don't have any friends among our (government) regulators. The regulators get by, ignoring their importance.

    A Medici put it well (I've lost the source, now). Roughly: "What doesn't bring florins: don't give it a second thought."

    Internationally, in high academic circles, the issue is, indeed, being taken very seriously; it's just isn't sinking in with the regulators.
    So, in terms of group action, it's one more critical environmental issue to raise hell about.

    I'd like to repeat once more, please: the plight of the honeybee, an economic powerhouse, is a d i s t i n c t l y d i f f e r e n t i s s u e !

    Now the good news: there's lots of good we can do on our own properties, for the native pollinators. Here's what I can do.
    I have already put up "Mega Blocks", nests for alfalfa leafcutter bees. They are low-flyers, I'm told; raspberries and lower-growing plants will get good service; but not prunus, malus, etc.
    Beaver Plastics (near my home) have begun about now making blocks for Blue Orchard Bees. I hope to put some of those up in the early spring. They're greatly prized for orchard fruit.
    I can reduce pesticide use. This year I used none!
    Then, there's the deliberate leaving of soil bare and undisturbed: for the many wild bees which nest (lay their eggs) underground. I'm not clear yet on how best to do that.
    Finally, there's the "cultivation" of non-bee pollinators, and how to do that. I've learned to recognize syrphidae, of which I've seen lots- in many shapes and sizes. Their larvae seem to overwinter on fallen leaves of such as currants. So I presently have no idea if I should (as usual) do a late fall and early spring cleanup of my yard. Or just rename it Dogpatch.

    I'm off shortly for a couple of weeks in my Nova Scotia ancestral homeland. Perhaps having driven their orchardists mad with my questions, I'll return with something worth reporting.

    Best wishes,
    Dino
     
  22. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    dino we here in Calgary noticed the reduced number of bees this summer too. I choose to allow bees to nest on my property so have been fortunate. I have leaf-cutter bees under the back deck, wasps in the walls of the garden shed and white faced black hornets under the A in the A-frame. I had lots of bumble bees but I haven't been able to find where they're nesting in the neighbourhood. Have you heard anything more on phenomenon?
     
  23. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    The results of a study here in Ecuador on this subject were just published. Here, the bees seem to be dying of a virus. One of the contributing factors seems to be that repeated pesticide uses (both insecticides and herbicides) have weakened the bees to the point where an otherwise fairly harmless virus is debilitating bee populations. The larva die in their cells rather than hatching, and mature bees keep airborne until they die (rather than returning to the colony.) Apparently the virus in a new mutation of one of the 18 known viruses that could be affecting bees worldwide.

    There has actually been a fairly steep drop in the bee population in Ecuador in the past two years, since the study began. Apiculturists say that the virus has been affecting bees for the past four years or so, but that the effects have only been really noticable in the last two years. A new study is on to see if a cure or at least a path of contagion can be found.

    Full text of article (in Spanish) here.
     
  24. dino

    dino Active Member

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    Location:
    St-Albert, Alberta
    Lorax:

    "In search of the Truffula tree" Hmnm. That couldn't translate to "Chocolate Truffle Tree"? But, I suppose not, for everyone knows that they grow on the slopes of the Big Rock Candy Mountain.

    Thank you for your interesting post.
    We seem agreed: our "umwelt" likely is being brought low by multiple stresses. Some poetically refer to a "death by a thousand cuts."

    Now, I need to apologize for bad manners in not responding to Lhuget's December post. My weak excuse is that I had nothing optimistic to share- but lots of bad news. News of marine life this last year is just abysmal. The only critters that seem to be prospering are homo sapiens, squid, Canada Geese, and seals.

    Here in Canada's wheat belt farmers are gearing up for a get-out-of-debt crop year (if many can borrow enough to get crops into the ground). It's a very unsettled time. Due to Asian demand ("they" say), local supermarkets are asking +/- $1Canadian/kg for "ordinary" bread flour.

    And it strikes me that, in government haste toward economic growth/stability, the truth of the plight of our wild creatures is being suppressed. And I wonder if in the report you cited, Lorax (if I read correctly): it seemed directed towards Apicultores, and therefore toward their *honeybees*. I didn't notice a single reference specifically toward native bees; they were only included as an afterthought (it seemed to me). That's certainly the slant of almost all North American bee reports I've seen.

    I'd be interested to hear how your farmers and their production are faring. And perhaps you'd comment on your fishery ?

    And, of course, best wishes to all in the northern hemisphere for a superior pollination !

    Dino
     
  25. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Victoria Australia [cool temperate]

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