Is the bee problem fixed now?

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Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Jorpho » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:25 am UTC

I haven't seen any news lately about Colony Collapse Disorder and how WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE because there won't be any more bees to do pollination. What happened? Was it just not as big of a deal as it was anticipated to be? Have the colonies stopped dying? Or did the media just move on to something else?

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Sharlos » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:26 am UTC

The media moved on, bees are still dying in droves.

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Josephine » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:48 am UTC

rule of thumb: use better news sources.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Jebobek » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:59 am UTC

I'm actually going into reserach on bees for the next few years. Thesis work. We're first going to measure the stress protein levels of bees before/after moving the hives around, see if they have more chemical stressors afterwards. In a separate study we are going to feed them chemicals (alcohol, perhaps smoke) and see how if their classical conditioning is hampered.

We get funding for playing with bees basically because of the CCD still being a problem. My personal belief: Its a big combination. Viruses, chemicals, and moving them around too much to pollinate. But what can we do? Pollinating crops pays off more than selling honey these days.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Technical Ben » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

Nice to know there are people like you out there Jebobek. You seem to be looking at the problem from all angles, and waiting for the results to tell you what is wrong/can go wrong. As suppose to saying "its caused by X" and testing for that before anything else (thus very likely to get a false positive result).
I hope you find out what is agitating those little fuzzy critters. (I nearly loled when I saw you are testing alcohol. Those darn drunk bees.)

My (bias :( ) opinion would be that it's environmental. There just seems so much more pollution, and sources there of, these days. Although virus/parasites are very high contenders. But AFAIK these alone do not seem bad enough to cause CCD.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:54 pm UTC

Wasn't there a culprit (maybe not the culprit, but *a* culprit) discovered, a virus that originated in Israel and spread or something?
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Jebobek » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:38 pm UTC

Many declare viruses such as IAPV (Israel acute paralysis virus) to be associated with colony collapse disorder, but cannot pin it down on that specifically as the cause.

CCD Is declared when the worker bees suddenly dissappear (leave the hive by a long distance, then die off). The queen is left with only a few workers, and starves to death.

Most of the viruses like IAPV results in the bees dying rather close to the hive. Something else (or something in addition) is causing the bees to "swarm" away randomly, then die.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Technical Ben » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

Is there any way to track the bees? Has this been done? Or do we already know they just die en-route to and from flowers?
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Talith » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:30 pm UTC

I've just finished reading the wiki article and I honestly hadn't realised it was this large of a problem until now. I was also under the impression that Varroa and Nosema were considered to be the largest contributors to the disorder but apprently it's alot more complicated than I imagined.

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Arete » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:45 pm UTC

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/nov/09/apiculture-hygienic-bees-francis-ratnieks


There's hope, but in the kind of "well, we saved the whales, but 90% of their population was already wiped out" kind of way.

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:01 am UTC

I recently read a Scientific American Earth 3.0 article on the topic. I'll type it out for you guys.

Scientific American wrote:     Honeybees have been dying in record numbers, yet many commercial crops depend on them for pollination. Entomologists who have been struggling to find an alternative now report that another be might fill the void.
     The blue orchard bee, also known as the orchard mason bee, is undergoing intensive study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture pollinating insects research unit at the Utah State University at Logan. James Cane, an entomologist there, says a million blue orchards are now pollinating crops in California. Like honeybees, the species can pollinate a variety of flora, including almond, peach, plum, cherry and apple trees. Unlike honeybees, however, they tend to live alone, typically in boreholes made by beetles in dead trees. In cultivation, the bees will happily occupy holes drilled into lumber or even Styrofoam blocks.
     The blue orchards rarely sting and, because of their solitary nature, do not swarm. They are incredibly efficient pollinators: for fruit trees 2,000 blue orchards can do the work of 100,000 honeybees. Their biggest drawback is that beekeepers can increase their population only by a factor of three to eight a year; a hnoey bee colony can expand from several dozen individuals to 20,000 in a few months.
     "We're still in the development stage" of applying the USDA's research, says David Moreland, CEO of AgPollen, which is supplying the blue orchard bees to the California almond industry. Last season local almond growers were paying up to $300 for enough honeybees to work an acre, 10 times what they paid a decade ago, making the blue orchard bees cost-competitive, albeit only barely. -Christopher Mims


So it aint all bad.

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Arete » Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:15 am UTC

Yes, it kinda is.

a) They are solitary
b) There are only a million of them
c) They each require something to burrow into - the major advantage of cultivating honey bees is their hive nature / ability for us to make nice small places for them to live in. Bumblebees are solitary as well, you know.
d) 2000 x3-8 per year vrs 20,000 in a month. YOU DO THE MATH.

On site, I had approx 36,000 wasps wiped out today. 7 nests.

1 million bees is akin to 0.001% of what is needed.


Also, you're not factoring ecosystem impact. Bees =/= machines. If you have 2,000 of them, compared to 20,000, and birds eat... oh... 10,000 bees a month. Where the hell are your pollinators now? Yes, you could kill off all predators, but then you're into massive other problems. Not to mention what happens to an ecosystem when that amount of biota simply vanishes and isn't available anymore. Einstein's apocryphal statement about death of bees and so on.

e) Attrition rates. Insects (especially hive insects) work on the principle of fast replacement / redundancy. Mason bees simply don't have this, which is why a number of the species are on the endangered list.


*sigh*


p.s.

We have all worked out the propaganda nature of "Scientific American" by now, I hope?

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Technical Ben » Thu Aug 20, 2009 4:59 pm UTC

Not far from the New Scientists "Fantasy" then?
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Jorpho » Thu May 21, 2015 5:17 am UTC

I came across this article today.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-entin ... 23626.html

Apparently the bees were never really dying after all, and a lot of the stuff in the news is just sensationalism?

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu May 21, 2015 7:00 am UTC

This is in no way related to anything else, but it is so unbelievable that I cannot resist putting it on a thread that talks about bees. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P7Q1ncgcoY Just to warn everyone, I will bet $100 that I will never see so many dead organisms by number and biomass again in my life.

Jebobek, I remember that the Mythbusters tested if vodka kills bees. I forget what the conclusion was. Clearly, you must buy a set of that season with grant money because it is critical, unbiased research. I also forget which season that episode was in, so you should buy all of them.

Technical Ben wrote:Nice to know there are people like you out there Jebobek. You seem to be looking at the problem from all angles, and waiting for the results to tell you what is wrong/can go wrong. As suppose to saying "its caused by X" and testing for that before anything else (thus very likely to get a false positive result).

I agree. A month or so ago my chemistry class was told to make and test soap, but my group could not do it. The professor told us to try again. You could say it was for scientific rigor, but I doubt he would have us repeat the experiment if we did 'get it right'. I think that is a problem with a lot of those pre-packed labs where about 4/5 of the scientific process is laid out and students are just filling numbers in. I thought of an experiment where I would purposely contaminate the chemicals a class was going to use in a lab and record how the student and teacher react. The tricky part would contaminating the chemicals after the teacher has one class (for a control group), but before the other class.

Technical Ben wrote:Is there any way to track the bees?

If we cannot track bees right now, we should submit a proposal to study if we can. The key is that you submit it to the Department of Defense, saying that perhaps the patterns bees fly in can reveal enemy hide-outs. This plan is 75% joke, 25% real because who knows, maybe it could work.

Arete, are you a bee keeper? I ask not because you used very specific numbers, but because you said, "On site ..." Also, I have been trying to renew my subscription to Scientific American, but (fortunately?) they have kept messing it up.

Are wasps a big problem for bee hives? From what I remember, wasp eat other insects and bees eat nectar, so they have separate niches. Bees also have a chemical in there blood that makes other bees attack with righteous fury, so it seems unlikely that wasps would try eating them often.

Do you or anyone else know of a better place to get scientific news? I am willing to pay quite a bit for 12 issues a year; my main interest is in long articles that explain a lot of details. When I read comic 1227, I thought that 30 pages on one article would be a fantastic dream come true.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu May 21, 2015 7:06 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:This is in no way related to anything else, but it is so unbelievable that I cannot resist putting it on a thread that talks about bees. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P7Q1ncgcoY Just to warn everyone, I will bet $100 that I will never see so many dead organisms by number and biomass again in my life. It put it simple, anything else may be violent, cruel and sickeningly disgusting, but insects are the only things I would describe as in a constant state of war.

Jebobek, I remember that the Mythbusters tested if vodka kills bees. I forget what the conclusion was. Clearly, you must buy a set of that season with grant money because it is critical, unbiased research. I also forget which season that episode was in, so you should buy all of them.

Technical Ben wrote:Nice to know there are people like you out there Jebobek. You seem to be looking at the problem from all angles, and waiting for the results to tell you what is wrong/can go wrong. As suppose to saying "its caused by X" and testing for that before anything else (thus very likely to get a false positive result).

I agree. A month or so ago my chemistry class was told to make and test soap, but my group could not do it. The professor told us to try again. You could say it was for scientific rigor, but I doubt he would have us repeat the experiment if we did 'get it right'. I think that is a problem with a lot of those pre-packed labs where about 4/5 of the scientific process is laid out and students are just filling numbers in. I thought of an experiment where I would purposely contaminate the chemicals a class was going to use in a lab and record how the student and teacher react. The tricky part would contaminating the chemicals after the teacher has one class (for a control group), but before the other class.

Technical Ben wrote:Is there any way to track the bees?

If we cannot track bees right now, we should submit a proposal to study if we can. The key is that you submit it to the Department of Defense, saying that perhaps the patterns bees fly in can reveal enemy hide-outs. This plan is 75% joke, 25% real because who knows, maybe it could work.

Arete, are you a bee keeper? I ask not because you used very specific numbers, but because you said, "On site ..." Also, I have been trying to renew my subscription to Scientific American, but (fortunately?) they have kept messing it up.

Are wasps a big problem for bee hives? From what I remember, wasp eat other insects and bees eat nectar, so they have separate niches. Bees also have a chemical in there blood that makes other bees attack with righteous fury, so it seems unlikely that wasps would try eating them often.

Do you or anyone else know of a better place to get scientific news? I am willing to pay quite a bit for 12 issues a year; my main interest is in long articles that explain a lot of details. When I read comic 1227, I thought that 30 pages on one article would be a fantastic dream come true.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Angua » Thu May 21, 2015 7:18 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Do you or anyone else know of a better place to get scientific news? I am willing to pay quite a bit for 12 issues a year; my main interest is in long articles that explain a lot of details. When I read comic 1227, I thought that 30 pages on one article would be a fantastic dream come true.

Shop around different scientific journals?
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby elasto » Thu May 21, 2015 8:51 am UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Arete, are you a bee keeper? I ask not because you used very specific numbers, but because you said, "On site ..."

Arete last visited these forums in 2011, so you might have a long wait for a reply.

(This thread is from 2009)

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 21, 2015 12:04 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:I came across this article today.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-entin ... 23626.html

Apparently the bees were never really dying after all, and a lot of the stuff in the news is just sensationalism?
That is an extremely damning article.

jewish_scientist wrote:Do you or anyone else know of a better place to get scientific news?
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon May 25, 2015 9:45 pm UTC

"It's weird how I'm constantly surprised by the passage of time when it's literally the most predictable thing in the universe." -Paris Hilton
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon May 25, 2015 11:21 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:"It's weird how I'm constantly surprised by the passage of time when it's literally the most predictable thing in the universe." -Paris Hilton

I have nothing to add to this but *Like* = D
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby SDK » Tue May 26, 2015 1:24 pm UTC

Not sure about that Paris Hilton attribute considering that's a direct quote from an xkcd comic.

On topic, I'm glad the bees are safe.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue May 26, 2015 3:01 pm UTC

If she's actually quoted it (I didn't check) it makes it so much better, though.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby brenok » Wed May 27, 2015 1:37 am UTC

Image

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Sizik » Wed May 27, 2015 4:03 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:If she's actually quoted it (I didn't check) it makes it so much better, though.


http://xkcd.com/1477/
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Copper Bezel » Wed May 27, 2015 4:17 pm UTC

No-no, if Paris Hilton had actually quoted the strip. I mean, either way, the misattribution is as funny as Abraham Franklin there.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 27, 2015 7:24 pm UTC

I keep reading the thread title like "what are we doing to get rid of the bees?"
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby drachefly » Thu May 28, 2015 1:38 am UTC

How the heck did Paris Hilton get involved in this topic anyway?

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu May 28, 2015 10:17 am UTC

drachefly wrote:How the heck did Paris Hilton get involved in this topic anyway?


Hilariously.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby freakish777 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:14 pm UTC

Sort of related:

http://phys.org/news/2013-04-high-fruct ... dwide.html

Though that study was done 2+ years ago (where as the HuffPo article came out in the past couple months).

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby p1t1o » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:35 am UTC

freakish777 wrote:Sort of related:

http://phys.org/news/2013-04-high-fruct ... dwide.html

Though that study was done 2+ years ago (where as the HuffPo article came out in the past couple months).


"...has found a possible link..." - Not exactly the most concrete of results, how many times have you read "possible link" and just laughed?

I'm not too familiar with the Huffington Post, how is its credibility? The article seemed convincing, if its not as much hype as it claims CCD is.

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby freakish777 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:36 pm UTC

p1t1o wrote:
freakish777 wrote:Sort of related:

http://phys.org/news/2013-04-high-fruct ... dwide.html

Though that study was done 2+ years ago (where as the HuffPo article came out in the past couple months).


"...has found a possible link..." - Not exactly the most concrete of results, how many times have you read "possible link" and just laughed?

I'm not too familiar with the Huffington Post, how is its credibility? The article seemed convincing, if its not as much hype as it claims CCD is.


HuffPo is credible, though they tend to skew towards politics. Of course correlation and causation aren't the same, but replacing Honey Bees natural food supply (containing vitamins and minerals) with high fructose corn syrup (mostly empty calories) almost seems like an obviously bad thing to do in hindsight, even if it isn't the primary reason for CCD being reported.

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby mathmannix » Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:18 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I keep reading the thread title like "what are we doing to get rid of the bees?"

Since the thread got reanimated to the top, I keep seeing it as "did scientists ever figure out how it's physically possible for bumblebees to fly [or is it still impossible with known physics]?"
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby p1t1o » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:11 pm UTC

freakish777 wrote:
p1t1o wrote:
freakish777 wrote:Sort of related:

http://phys.org/news/2013-04-high-fruct ... dwide.html

Though that study was done 2+ years ago (where as the HuffPo article came out in the past couple months).


"...has found a possible link..." - Not exactly the most concrete of results, how many times have you read "possible link" and just laughed?

I'm not too familiar with the Huffington Post, how is its credibility? The article seemed convincing, if its not as much hype as it claims CCD is.


HuffPo is credible, though they tend to skew towards politics. Of course correlation and causation aren't the same, but replacing Honey Bees natural food supply (containing vitamins and minerals) with high fructose corn syrup (mostly empty calories) almost seems like an obviously bad thing to do in hindsight, even if it isn't the primary reason for CCD being reported.


I'm sure there are many bad things we do to harm bees but "possible link" hardly stands up against the onslaught in the HP article - if CCD is a myth, then it doesn't look good for research purporting to explain an underlying cause.

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:55 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I keep reading the thread title like "what are we doing to get rid of the bees?"

Since the thread got reanimated to the top, I keep seeing it as "did scientists ever figure out how it's physically possible for bumblebees to fly [or is it still impossible with known physics]?"

That is solved. Mostly it appears that there are not sufficient similarities between how planes and helicopters fly and how insects fly. Ergo the formulas for planes and helicopters do not apply to bees.
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patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby mathmannix » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:00 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:
mathmannix wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:I keep reading the thread title like "what are we doing to get rid of the bees?"

Since the thread got reanimated to the top, I keep seeing it as "did scientists ever figure out how it's physically possible for bumblebees to fly [or is it still impossible with known physics]?"

That is solved. Mostly it appears that there are not sufficient similarities between how planes and helicopters fly and how insects fly. Ergo the formulas for planes and helicopters do not apply to bees.

Right, I thought it was just an urban legend that scientists didn't know how they flew, based on something someone said that it's impossible to model with a fixed-wing aircraft, but of course bees flap their wings (or whatever; they also have neither propellers nor jet engines). Oh wait, there was an xkcd about this... Right, there was already discussion of that when we went over 1186.
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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:43 pm UTC

Also, at small sizes the air doesn't behave the way it does in large scale. The viscosity of the air becomes one of the major factors, and air sticks differently to surfaces. AFAIK the bumble bee uses such effects to fly while an aerofoil looses most of it's aerodynamic properties (such as lift).
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

he/him/his

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Re: Is the bee problem fixed now?

Postby PM 2Ring » Tue Jul 07, 2015 2:48 am UTC

There's a little bit of info at Insect flight obeys aerodynamic rules, Cornell physicist proves.

As Neil said, at the small scale of typical insect wings & bodies air viscosity is much more significant than it is for typical birds & fixed-wing aircraft. In fact, when researches test large scale models of insect wings they typically flap these wings in a viscous fluid like mineral oil.

All wings create vortices in the air as they move. For fixed wing craft they are a minor annoyance, due to the drag that they induce, but at insect scale these vortices become very important because vortices in a fluid make it effectively more viscous. Or, as Lewis Fry Richardson put it:
Big whorls have little whorls
That feed on their velocity;
And little whorls have lesser whorls
And so on to viscosity.

So when insects hover, they aren't doing it just by creating lift via air pressure differential - the vortices they're "whipping" into the air make it thicker, which reduces their terminal velocity to almost nil.


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