February 15, 2007

First it was birds, now it’s bees

Filed under: Uncategorized — girlyswot @ 7:53 am

Something’s happening to bees in the US. In the last couple of weeks, beekeepers in 22 states have lost up to 80% of their colonies. They don’t know why. They just disappear over a couple of days until the a beekeeper opens the hive to find the queen and a few bees left. It’s been described as ‘startling’.

To give you an idea of the scale of the loss, one beekeeper alone lost 2,000 hives each of which contains 50,000 bees. That’s 100 million bees. Multiply that across the states…

In the US it’s also going to affect food crops. Commercially, the bees pollinate almonds, apples and blueberries.

And guess what? They’re also reporting significant bee losses in some European countries as well. In Italy, one beekeeper, Giuseppe Miranti believes that it’s climate change to blame for dramatic bee losses in his region. Because of changing temperatures, flowers are blooming at different times and bees are having trouble adapting. Bee parasites also live longer and are more persistent in warmer weather.

Tipping point anyone?


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