90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The World Impact Of The Bee Die-Off

The trouble with bees.  Their die-off is now global.  We follow the bee problem around the world.

If bees go, we all know, humans are in trouble.  And a lot of bees have been going lately.  Huge die-offs.  Colony collapse.  All over.

The bottom line issue, of course, is that bees pollinate a big chunk of the crops that feed us.  In China now it’s gotten so bad they are hand-pollinating blossoms in orchards.  Doing by human hand what billions of bees once did.  Talk about unsustainable.

New or old  breeds of bees may save the day, but the biggest of those are killer bees.

This hour, On Point:  the latest on the lives and deaths of bees.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Markus Imhoof, Academy-Award-nominated director and screenwriter of the new documentary, “More Than Honey.”

Eric Mussen, extension apiculturist at the University of California Davis.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Scientists Take Swat at Honeybee Loss — “Paul Campanis lost half of his beehives on his 16-acre Nashville farm this winter. Nashville gardener David Davies has seen so little honeybee activity this spring that he’s resorted to using a paintbrush to pollinate his tomato and squash plants. The nation’s honeybees are dying off in record numbers and researchers, including at the University of Tennessee, are scrambling to figure out why.”

Reuters: Honeybee food may contribute to U.S. colony collapse -study — “Bee keepers’ use of corn syrup and other honey substitutes as bee feed may be contributing to colony collapse by depriving the insects of compounds that strengthen their immune systems, according to a study released on Monday.”

NBC News: ‘Killer bees’ leave Texas man dead, woman in serious condition — “A Texas man was stung to death after he drove his tractor into a pile of wood that concealed a hive of 40,000 “killer bees,” authorities and family members said Sunday. Every inch of exposed skin was covered with stings on the body of Larry Goodwin, 62, of Moody, Texas, family members told NBC station KCEN of Waco.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Unterthurn

    Monsanto seeds are the culprit and they should be treated like the tobacco companies whose products caused cancer. Monsanto should have to pay punitive settlements to bee keepers and be forced to give their profits to R&D. The politicians who took their lobbying bribes should be openly published in all types media outlets.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Any evidence to your claims?  Sounds like you are making it up out of whole cloth.

      • jefe68

        There is some concern and it’s early days into the study, that GMO plants are producing steril pollin and pollin with pesticides in them. When the flower pollen becomes genetically modified or sterile, the bees will potentially go malnourished and die of illness due to the lack of nutrients and the interruption of the digestive capacity of what they feed on through the summer and over the winter hibernation process.

        Interesting to note that Monsanto bought Beeologics in September 28, 2011.

        Since 2007, Beeologics has been studying CCD, as well as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), for the purpose of coming up with intervention-based ways to mitigate these conditions.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Interesting.  Thanks.

          Is there enough GMO to affect the entire bee population?  Should we be able to show clear correlation to bee population decline and heavy GMO usage?

          • mozartman

            Sure, we need to study cause and effect on many issues, but sometimes we cannot be 100% sure.  We have strong suspicions and lots of evidence, but not 100% conclusive.

            I cases such as climate change and now CCD, we should stay safe and heed the warnings form many scientists and others even if we don’t have all pieces of the puzzle.  better safe than sorry and in those cases we would be very sorry.  

            The problem with those two issues is that powerful monetary interests work against a solution.  They’d rather milk the cow for as long as possible even if they know that over time, they will be in trouble too.  But short term profit motives drive our economic system which is a major flaw.  We scold other countries for corruption, yet our system of legal corruption, aka campaign financing is just as bad.  We just put lipstick on a pig.  

            years past, the tobacco industry clung to some studies that were in their favor even though everybody knew by then that smoking causes cancer.  yet they extended the life of their franchise and still do. The same happened with catalytic converters in cars that were resisted for years by car makers and the fuel industry.  Same for lead – cannot be done we were told.  

            if we wait until the last shred of evidence is in that CCD is in part caused by mono cultures and GMO seeds, it’s too late and we may have to hire thousands of Mexicans to pollinate our almond trees by hand.  

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            wheat corn and soy almost all GMO these days

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      and punative damage to all the people harmed by consuming them

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Please support a massive world wide birth rate reduction education program ! Zero, is a nice round number !

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      many countries are seeing population decline

  • LinRP

    This old Indian proverb applies here:

    Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.

    Add to that “when the last bee has died.” And, yes, I’m thinking about Monsanto and the other corporate poisoners. No doubt the new pesticides have a HUGE role in this very serious issue.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Consider replacing your usual chemical purchases with natural products.

      “45 Uses for Lemons”

      http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2013/05/45-uses-for-lemons-that-will-blow-your-socks-off-2667534.html

       
      “How to garden with vinegar”http://www.wikihow.com/Garden-With-Vinegar

      “Top 10 uses for vinegar”http://www.diynetwork.com/decorating/top-10-uses-for-vinegar/index.html

      I use vinegar to kill the grass growing in the cracks in the sidewalk. It is safe to use around wildlife and pets and it works. Only use during a dry spell. The rain reduces its’ effectiveness.

      “21 uses for Epsom salt”
      http://wellnessmama.com/8509/21-uses-for-epsom-salt/

      • Jud

         castile soap and olive oil in a windex bottle will kill spider mites, aphids, and a lot of other things

        aspirin, and willow water activate the natural defense systems of plants

        organic soil amendments build up soil microbes that suppress disease and help to build strong defense systems in the plant.

        biochar is also shown to help build stronger soils and plants… less insect damage better nectar

  • TyroneJ

    If in fact the honey bee die off is global, then the cause can’t be due to things like feeding corn syrup and other local food source issues. A global die off even makes pesticide use very unlikely as a cause. A global die off requires either a self propagating cause, or a global cause.

  • northeaster17

    This show should be the lead today. No bee’s, no food

    • jefe68

      Not true. Grains are not pollinated and there are ways of growing root vegetables without seeds. Such as garlic and onions. You can also collect seeds from carrots and beets.

      But you are correct in assuming that a lot of food we consume is pollinated by bees, the list is stagering.

      • nj_v2

        Perhaps you meant to say that grains are wind pollinated.

        Of course, grain crops are pollinated.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I blame the Army of the Tewlve Monkeys.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      There are only eleven monkeys now. One died of monkey colony collapse.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    1. Are there small areas of the world where bee populations are increasing? If so, where and what are the possible reasons.
    2. What flowers do bees favor ?
    3. Are the bee predator populations increasing or decreasing ?
    4. We know that frog populations are dwindling as are other populations. Is there a relationship at play ?
    5. When I was a boy, insect populations, horse flies, mosquitoes, lady bugs, grasshoppers, praying mantises, etc., were much more visible in cities. Many cities have used spraying programs to control mosquitoes. Is there a chain of causal effects at work here ?
    6. About 3 years ago I had a praying mantis on the hood of my car, that was about 10 inches long, or more ! Might evolutionary forces be forcing bees and other insects to react to prey and environmental forces by modifying their genomes ?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i dont know about the rest but i bet you could look them up. #6 is an obvious “yes” all species are constantly “modifying their genomes” as a result of envirionmental pressures

  • AC

    this has been going on forever it seems – what sorts of efforts were already used, by who and why did they not get good results? best to learn from what doesn’t work….

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Yes, your are right to bring this up. We have been hearing about the bee die off for years and yet, the public has not been told how we might be of help.

      • northeaster17

        I’ve heard of a bee keeper who suffered from several years of die outs due to mites. He always found a few surviviors in the hives though. He was eventually able to start some resistant hives with these surviviors. Turns out the survivors were fastidious groomers, more so than others, and that may have helped.

        • 1Brett1

          That’s interesting.

  • John Cedar

    The hive is corrupt but prosperous, yet it grumbles about lack of
    virtue.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Is anyone in congress working to raise concern over this?

    Not that they can do anything about this; I’m just wondering if they are doing their jobs on this serous issue or are they being paid not to by corporate lobbyists?

    • Wahoo_wa

      I hear the anti-bee corporate lobby is HUGE in DC…LOL

      • TomK_in_Boston

        The pesticide lobby ain’t no LOL

        • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

          My point exactly…. Didn’t think I had to spell that out for tea party Luddites … I underestimated their ignorance or the power of right wing propaganda to blind them.

    • Jasoturner

      Studying bees sounds too much like studying pond scum.  Must be expensive and silly research we should do away with.  We’re tired of those smart talking college boys getting rich off of our tax dollars.

      If only America would learn to trust the invisible hand and get out of the way…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Well, I don’t know about “paid not to”, but let’s look at whose lobby doesn’t worry about this (and correct as needed):

      I’m guessing the agribiz for grains, cotton and soybeans don’t have to care.

      But what about mega fruit and veg farms (and nuts, since they grow on trees), especially in the Inland Valley in CA? That’s a place with a high concentration of farms.

      How monocultured are they w.r.t. pollination?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      not unless they are muslim bees if they were we would have a record of each bees activities and get to the bottom of this

  • Wahoo_wa

    The bees that are used to propagate crops in the U.S. are European Honey Bees which are clearly not native.  They were introduced by the colonists in the 17th century.  Killer bees are also an imported species.  There are several common plants that are native to North America that are in our diet including corn, tomatoes and potatoes.  Clearly there were/are native pollinators here in North America.  Are these native pollinator species affected by  colony die-off?  If not it could be another “the-sky-is-falling, the-sky-is-falling” scenario.

    • northeaster17

      The honey bee is certainly not native but it has been our most affective pollinator. Not a situation to be taken lightly.

      • Wahoo_wa

        I am not saying “take it lightly.”  I am suggesting that there are alternatives that could and should be explored in a news magazine program in lieu of the apocalyptic viewpoint that is so often On Point’s leitmotif.

        • northeaster17

          Fair enough. But I still enjoy a good apocalyptic rush every once in a while.

          • Wahoo_wa

            LOL..understood.  I tend to listen to several news outlets.  They are all alarmists these days.  The truth is always somewhere in the middle.  In this case I tend to give greater weight to my friends who make a living farming.

    • jefe68

      There are bumble bees in the US, which is the native species you are thinking about. As well as butterflies and some moths.

      That said this is a huge problem.

      • nj_v2

        There are thousands of native, North American bee species.

        • jefe68

          True, but not many of them like the night shade flowers. Bumble bees do.

    • nj_v2

      Potatoes and tomatoes are native to South and, perhaps, Central America but your broader point is important.

      Native bees tend to be very efficient pollinators, even, potentially of agricultural crops, but their biology, life cycle, and habits make them difficult to manage in agricultural settings.

      • Wahoo_wa

        Tomatoes are native to Mexico.  Potatoes are from around Peru.  Many berries are native to North America.

    • Wahoo_wa

      Surprised to hear Tom talk about native bees as a possible solution at the very last minutes of the program. It seems odd not to look into native species as a solution.

    • Dandhman

      Some native bees such as Orchard Mason bees are already used AS MUCH AS THEY CAN. problem is: they’re active only for a little bit of time and only in spring. There are similar limitations on the other native bees. I agree Wahoo_wa use them more. However there are no replacements for the Honeybee

  • Yar

    Maybe we should also be talking about the potato famine, white nose syndrome, climate change, loss of habitat, feeding 7 billion people, and the acidification of the oceans.  See, it is easy to get overwhelmed and just give up, the problems seem too many and to complicated.  But we can make a difference; today during your show I plan to extract honey from a couple of hives to sell at a new farmers’ market that opens tomorrow night on the public square in Somerset Kentucky.   
    When communities come together to support local agriculture, they build a collective immunity against the world’s problems, they have the ability to trade work over time with each other and not have their work stolen by global business or the financial industry. Local food has been the staple of the family table for thousands of years.  To think we can replace local food with large scale mono-culture and achieve sustainability is both ignorant and arrogant at the same time. The web of life requires that all things balance. The earth will return to a balance, whether humans are part of the balance or not depends on how we react to current changes.  The more we attempt to control through added complexity, the less likely we are to survive in large numbers.  I can’t solve the world problems, but I can offer a sweet alternative as part of the solution. Come to the Market on Main, I hope to have honey for sale. The price is high, but I am selling it below what it costs me to produce it. ThanksRay
    Solar Place Farm.https://www.facebook.com/MarketOnMainKY?fref=ts

    • 1Brett1

      Sweet! Well put, Yar!

      • Yar

        Only have 7 frames that are capped and ready to extract.  One of my hives died out.  I expected as much as I had a huge die off of bees in early May.  I sent some samples off for testing. I haven’t heard the results yet.  I am at the mercy of the state for testing, as a small beekeeper I can’t afford to pay the lab fees. Even then, pesticides that kill bees are deadly in the parts per billion range maybe even less than is detectable by lab instruments.  Bees really are an indicator species.  Other native pollinators are also sensitive to pesticides, where bees are dying so are other species of insects.  Frogs are threatened as well.  Every wonder if that headache was caused be the same things that are killing the bees?  Where do we fit in the web of life?

        • 1Brett1

          I feel as though bees are giving us a warning…will we have to wait to heed that warning until other species in mass amounts suffer severe damage to their existence?

    • twenty_niner

       I agree with the sentiment, but if we lose industrial agriculture, there’s no way 7 billion people are going to survive on this planet.

      • Yar

        We have fewer people in food production today than any other time in history in contrast to hunter-gatherers where everyone participated.  Today farm families only make up 2 percent of the US population.

      • Jud

        I’m calling BS. Look into the hundreds of thousands of indian farmers that are returning to Ayurvedic farming practices and seeing HUGE increases in productivity and profit. We have millions out of work, and technology is scaling down the size and inputs needed for high density farming operations. Individual farmers on small plots utilizing aquaponics and newer technologies will easily out compete traditional industrial agriculture.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          aquaponics is pretty great

  • 1Brett1

    Might bees be the proverbial canaries in the coal mine? I find it interesting that much of the talk surrounds their being pollinators, as if our main concern is how well they will continue to do for us. There are many, many excellent pollinators of many other species; the bees, however, might just be giving us a message we choose to ignore, and that might be where our main conversation should lie. 

  • 1Brett1

    How pervasive was the mite problem that was discovered a few years ago? Does that account for the lion’s share of the problem? 

  • John_in_Amherst

    Colony Collapse disorder is a world wide problem, and for most of the world, severely curtailing neonicitinoid pesticides is seen as a a big part of the solution.  Europe has done just that.  US agrichem businesses are leading a drive to thwart regulation here.  Perhaps they see this as a threat to their profits, or a potential market of some sort?  Whatever the excuse, the notion of “conservative” once again does not mean taking action to conserve resources (bees), but rather to take a glacially slow pace when regulating a potentially disastrous threat to the environment in order to preserve corporate profits.

    Another possible problem is the fact that bees have been shown to react to the minute electric fields surrounding flowers, and modern society has recently seen an explosion of cell phone coverage that leaves us awash in electromagnetic radiation. 
    Yet again, we are seeing a case of human technology advancing faster than human understanding and wisdom. 

    A fundamental compulsion in people is to sacrifice for their children, so that they may have a “better life”.  Nearly every parent does this in.  It is tragic beyond comprehension that we cannot seem to take a broader view and slow our “progress” and reduce immediate comfort and convenience for the sake of figuring out solutions to environmental problems, thereby preserving the natural world for our kids.

    • Jeff Fabijanic

      While I agree with you that we should be wary of those that would place personal/corporate profit over long-term benefit, some of the specific ‘usual suspects’ for CCD you point out have been pretty much debunked by actual scientific study.

      For instance, the evidence for neonicotinoid complicity with CCD is pretty thin/non-existent. Ie, CCD in the large California bee population started in the winter of 2004, a season *prior* to the introduction of neonicotinoids to that state. And the suspension over the last few years of neonicotinoid spraying in a few european countries (prior to the new full EU ban) has not affected bee health problems in those countries.

      Otoh, there are plenty of studies showning that other pesticides *known* to be harmful to bees are far more commonly found in plant tissues/pollen (eg flubendiamide, indoxacarb,spinosad, and various pyrethroids). I would certainly want researchers to continue to examine the effect of neonics in the field, but I would be wary about fixing the blame for CCD on this one agent.

      The electrical field theory of CCD has (and continues to be) researched, but as of yet, I’ve never seen any solid in-field evidence that it is real.

      • John_in_Amherst

         Point taken on neonics, but I wouldn’t dismiss their role, or that of the other pesticides you note.  Ditto the role of introducing Bt toxin genes into crop plants.

         As for the electric field theory, see :  http://www.npr.org/2013/02/22/172611866/honey-its-electric-bees-sense-charge-on-flowers

        True, no hard & fast link is established, but if the minute electric field of flowers influences bees, it stands to reason we should take a hard second look at the effects of the electromagnetic soup we swim in on these exquisitely sensitive creatures.

        Sadly, one of the “culprits” in the ongoing drama of humans adversely impacting the environment is simply the facility with which pathogens such as mites can get around due to human activity.  Calamities from white nose syndrome in bats (from spelunkers bringing fungal spores from Europe to N. America, then moving them around here) to pythons wiping out Everglades mammals are due to transportation of a specie into a novel niche by man.  

  • Jeff Fabijanic

    Dr. Randy Oiver (biologist, professional beekeeper, and writer for American Bee Journal) talks about the case for a GMO/CCD connection at his website:

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/sick-bees-part-18e-colony-collapse-revisited-genetically-modified-plants/

    Reader’s Digest version: GMOs don’t appear strongly correlated with CCD. There may be secondary effects (eg the heavy use of GMOs may correlate with decreased food diversity for bees leading to nutritional deficits that affect colony health.)

    Dr. Oliver’s site and articles seem very balanced and rational to me, and I would recommend them to anyone who wants to separate some of the hype from the on-the-ground reality. (another reader’s digest – he suspects CCD is the result of not one villian, but multiple conflating stresses  – poor nutrition, Varona mite, Nosema fungus, and secondary effects from fungi/miticides used to treat them).

    • jefe68

      It would seem that if the bees are suffer from a nutritional deficit that they would be more prone to the multiple stresses you mentioned.

      • Jeff Fabijanic

        Right, but the nutritional deficiency isn’t because of any biological aspect of the GMOs themselves, but because their use is correlated with less diverstity of other types of forage for the bees (ie fewer weeds).

        To put it broadly  – it may not be the roundup, nor the roundup resistant crops, but rather the secondary result of a lack of dandilions, timothy or clover in fields that is doing in so many large commercial hives.

        If this is the case, then getting rid of GMOs or any specific herbicide will have no real effect if they are just replaced with other agents that allow for widespred monocrop agriculture. We’ll just be chasing that dragon’s tail forever.

        • jefe68

          Monocrops are a recipe for disaster in the long term. 

          It’s clear that something is wrong. 

          GMO’s are a recent development and seems to me to be a very different thing then hybrids and it’s not looking as if it’s a good thing, except for the corporations such as Monsanto who are making huge profits.

          • Jeff Fabijanic

            There may be very good reasons to be wary of GMOs (and admittedly there may be some advantages too – other than corp profits).

            All I am pointing out is that there is little/no evidence of a causual link between CCD and GMOs. To assert otherwise just makes the whole anti-GMO debate seem less legitimate, which I suspect you would hardly think of as a good outcome.

          • jefe68

            Agreed. There is not enough evidence, yet. And you’re right about some advantages to GMO crops, such as drought resistant crops.
             

  • Coastghost

    Oh, not to worry! We’ll have pollinating drones working for us soon, to hell with the bees. Progress, ho!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Killer bees are doing OK?
    This dude was killed the other day with 3,000 stings.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/huge-swarm-killer-bees-attack-texas-man-3000/story?id=19314956

    • jefe68

      They are not used for pollinating crops.
      You are aware that there are a lot of wild bees in the world. Bumble bees are wild. From my understanding here this is about honeybees which are domestic in nature and what is effecting them seems to be only related that type of bee.

  • E. Martin

    A world-wide phenomenon that is not being discussed is that of man-made frequencies.  Electromagnetic (EM) energy is naturally occurring everywhere in nature and in the Universe.  All life responds to EM energy in one way or another, and to one degree or another.  I suspect that if you attempt to correlate the bee decline with the propagation of wireless devices, they would in fact correlate.

    The problem is finding unbiased and accurate research data, but it is out there.  I found an interesting study in England many months ago (sorry, I don’t recall the specifics) that strongly suggests that bees will abandon their hive when certain minimum levels of man-made EM frequencies are introduced.  One such source of EM energy that they used in their study was a DECT phone base in (or on?) one hive, but not in another that’s several feet away.  The hive with the phone base was abandoned while the other was not.

    Think about the cell phone that you carry around with you.  It uses microwave frequencies to communicate with the cell towers that make up the wireless network.  Microwave frequencies are also used to cook food, which is flesh, which is what all life is made of.  While the amount of microwave energy used in cell phones is less than a microwave oven, it is nonetheless having an effect on you as an organism.  I for one can feel the energy in my head when I have my phone up to my ear, and it’s very uncomfortable.

    Other sources of man-made frequencies (in addition to wireless phones) that are becoming more and more common in everyday life include WiFi networks, BlueTooth devices, satellites, traffic monitoring systems, radio (AM/FM/CB/police/etc.), airport security scanners, medical scanners (X-Ray/PET/etc.), and the list goes on….

    It would interesting to know what’s happening with bees around the world in areas with relatively little man-made frequencies.  How about other species that may be adversely affected, that we aren’t yet aware of?  What about Human health problems due to EM energies?

    • mozartman

      Noooooo – not my iPhone!

      • E. Martin

        Sorry to be the bearer of bad news ;-)

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      I would think that it would be possible to test for such an effect.

      • E. Martin

        It is, and has been (such as the study in England that I mentioned).
        One issue, however, is that EM radiation is everywhere, so controls might be harder to come by than in most other studies, such as smoking risks – there are lots of people who don’t smoke and therefore become your control group.

        That said, we can know definitively what effect it’s having on us through careful, thoughtful, honest testing.

    • BenGjones

      There is no evidence and no peer reviewed scientific paper which shows EM radiation of the types used in mobile telephones. Your concerns are common enough in folk stories to have a mention on rationalwiki under their CCD entry:
       ’A widespread belief persists that the spread of the disorder is due to either cell phone towers or genetically modified crops (or GMOs, genetically modified organisms). These beliefs are still clung to by hard greens, by those who believe cell phone signals pose a threat to health, and by conspiracy theorists who believe GMOs are part of a corporate conspiracy (usually attributed to Monsanto) to control the food supply.’

      • E. Martin

        If this was an established fact, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion; my comments are those of a free-thinker, and an engineer with an excellent understanding EM energy.

        To put it in scientific terms: At t=0 (i.e. before something is understood), there are no studies, experiments, or peer-reviews – only theory and speculation.  Consider also how many times the most adamant scientists throughout history have been wrong; please don’t let the lack of scientific evidence ever prevent you from expressing your thoughts!  Moreover, please don’t ever be lulled into thinking that what the scientific community is telling us is accurate if your gut/intuition tells you otherwise.

        By waiting idly by for a conclusive study on the subject, we run the risk of irreversible damage.  How long did it take before we got the truth about smoking?  How many people died as a result of misinformation and denial about the dangers of smoking?  Don’t underestimate the power of corporate and governmental influence on scientific studies and their conclusions.  You might retort with “conspiracy theory,” but there’s been many cases of such malfeasance.  Moreover, simply by conjuring the words “conspiracy theory,” people are conditioned to laugh and dismiss what someone is saying – as though conspiracies don’t exist.  Only the unconscious are susceptible to this – think for yourself everyone!

        One more thing, let’s not forget that science grants don’t grow on trees and are at the discretion of the ones that dole them out.  Many research grants are controlled by the government and by corporations (or “foundations” that are under corporate control).  This fact alone seriously undermines true, unbiased science!

        It’s time to stop taking the word of the “authorities” (on any given subject) and question everything as individuals.  Look where complacency has gotten us in the past!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/geoengineering-runaway-climate-change-and-the-poisoning-of-life-on-earth/

    Read this and weep. Until humans accept responsibility for poisoning the planet & change our over-controlling ways it will only get worse for all life on Earth.

    • northeaster17

      Once DDT was banned fisheries and many birds came back. Is this something simalar brought on by our peculiar need to wipe out Dandelions and other such fauna?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

        For reasons that seem appropriate at the time, overkill methods of eradication & control are often the first resort of humans. Intolerance of “weeds” & “pests” are only part of the problem. Where does this intolerance come from?

        Commercials depicting pristine. emerald green, short-cropped lawns as the only acceptable form of grass, for example, brainwash people into feeling that it’s both their right & responsibility to kill off everything else. It’s great for giant chemical corporations & smalltime landscapers but, ultimately, it’s wholesale murder of all else that is wild & natural.

        • Dandhman

          Yes! everyone applies grub killer & fertilizer without a second thought.

          • nj_v2

            Not everyone.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

            Many of the pest & weed killing chemicals, routinely applied by ignorant, irresponsible people, cause cancer & neurological disorders in rats & humans, as well.

            Seldom do consumers read the warnings on these products. They’re no longer indicated by the old skull & crossbones graphic & usually in teeny tiny print.

            I sincerely doubt that so much poison would be haphazardly used by so many homeowners if they knew that their pets & children (and themselves) would get sick from it. But, maybe they would still do it anyway to achieve an obsessive image of the “perfect” lawn. Hard tellin’, not knowin’. Folks are not getting any smarter, that’s for sure.

  • terry7

    Please ask your guest:  I have heard that in Europe, where laws banning problematic pesticides have been passed, the bees are coming back.  Is that true?  What do you know about about these pesticides?

    • Jeff Fabijanic

       No, it does not appear to be true.

      • http://www.facebook.com/barry.i.levine Barry I. Levine

         EU only banned neonicotinoids recently – January. Too soon to tell.

        • Jeff Fabijanic

          Actually several countries, including Germany, have had temporary bans on neonics for a few years now. No evidence it’s made a difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1354854909 Scott Blaufuss

    I live in Acton, MA and each year I have honey bees all over my sweet clover in my lawn. This year? No honey bees.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbarneson Jeff Barneson

    We lost our one hive last winter when the temperature in Cambridge hovered around zero for several days.  Not treating the hive for Varroa Mites left them smaller in number than previously.  We’ve just put in new box of bees with a new queen.  These came up by truck from Georgia and – I’m told – are part of the same genetic line of Italian bees that have been in North America for decades.  Seems like we need more diversity in this line but how do we bring in a strong line that is safe?

  • ToyYoda

    Finally we are talking about this. If its not a weather catastrophe , we seem to only talk about environmental problems when someone releases a book or a film.

  • Wahoo_wa

    Why should the government be the great problem solver here?  It’s a perfect opportunity for those interested in apiology to do a private study and profit from the results of the study.

    • jimino

      So who or what is stopping anyone from taking advantage of this great opportunity?

      • Wahoo_wa

        Nothing….that’s the point.  Well…except for those who are expecting to be “saved” by government for every single aspect of their life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markhgiese Mark Giese

    Bee keepers that ship there hives could at least use a better shipping method that allowed the bees to fly out into the shipping container to feed on artificial food sources as well as defecate/urinate.

  • Jayne

    Okay, I know about this and have been following this.  I buy organic and don’t use chemicals in my yard or house.  WHAT CAN WE DO???? TELL US so we can turn this around

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      you should get a hive for the yard

  • Jim

    Correct! African bees are very very dangerous

  • AC

    these killer bees sound like the nazis of bees!

    • jefe68

      Oy vey.

      • AC

        i know, i shouldn’t say that, my hub’s german – he hates that word.
        maybe i should have said they are die-hard eugenics believers…?

        • Dandhman

          They’re merely a different subspecies AC.  The number of deaths by “Killer Bees” is far less than… car accidents per say. They create problems living with us, nothing more.

        • jefe68

          I’m not sure why you see an analogy to a vile human ideology and a type of bee.

          Have you ever seen what happens if you disturb a hornet or wasp nest? 

          A few hundred pissed off yellow Jackets is nothing to trifle at. And unlike bees they can sting multipul times and some wasps bite as well.

          • AC

            i think we just have diff senses of humor.
            i find that nature either develops mutual, symbiotic relationships or horrendous wars for dominance. i just don’t disassociate man from nature, so sometimes i draw conclusions i think are funny, but not to everyone!

          • jefe68

            You think that nature develops mutual symbiotic relationships or horrendous wars for dominance?
            This was the root of your humor?

          • AC

            Sorry, I tried to reply but it’s above this. I have an old iPad that’s temperamental….:(

          • nj_v2

            It’s not an either/or situation with regard to the nature of interspecies relationships.

            The direct and indirect intereactions can be any combination of positive, negative, or neutral. And they might vary with time and context.

            Explained here:

            http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/direct-and-indirect-interactions-15650000

          • AC

            Argh! It was a joke, but now I feel like you’re taunting my cynical self, I submit to you, I have often felt that conscience decision making does not seem to be a trait one associates with humans ….!
            Sometimes I think people make decisions out of group pressures, ignorance or fear- not necessarily ‘conscience thought’….
            I know you hate me now, but here, for fun, maybe.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcvmJTH84KA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

          • AC

            Oops. That was for Jefe68, who is surely cursing my tasteless sense of humor. Interesting link tho!

    • Dandhman

      Just remember that Brazilian beekeepers think that they’re the best thing to ever happen to them since they do well in the tropics where European bees weaken and fail

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1679115276 Randy Fink

    What about the fact that the EPA is planning on allowing higher levels of pesticides in our foods?  Comment is due by the end of this month.  http://www.care2.com/news/member/633537945/3574928

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1679115276 Randy Fink

    Is this related to the Monarch butterfly dieoff? 

    - Randy

    http://news.cornell.edu/stories/1999/04/toxic-pollen-bt-corn-can-kill-monarch-butterflies

  • TyroneJ

    This year my apple trees outside of Boston were pollinated, as near as I could tell, by bumble bees. In years past, they were pollinated by honey bees.

    • Jeff Fabijanic

      Here in new England, unless you live near a large commercial grower, you are probably not seeing domesticated honey bees on your apple trees, but rather similar looking wild bees (ie mining, cellphane , hornface or mason).

      Wild bee numbers have not experienced the recent rapid fall seen in domesticated populations suffering from CCD. (Although they have declined steadily over time due to habitat loss and other stressors like polution etc).

  • Dandhman

    A former beekeeper would like to add a word.  It’s very fascinating to see the general public react with fear to honeybees.  In many locations in suburbia beekeepers have faced hostility by those who falsely believe that honeybees are a threat to their health.

    The plain fact is:
    1) Honeybees do not sting away from the hive except if they get crushed under barefeet.
    2) the vast majority of stinging incidents involve Yellowjackets (a wasp) and the general public can’t tell the difference between wasps and bees
    3) Many people who fear that they are allergic to bees/wasps actually aren’t. Swelling is the normal physical reaction to venom.

  • Trond33

    Ultimately, it seems colony collapse is attributable to human activities.  I see it as another way the human race flirts with extinction by killing our own environment.  One way or another, we will force nature to cull our unsustainable populations.  

    • Dandhman

      I agree, Anna Sewell wrote that “Ignorance is the worst thing in the world besides wickedness.”  Its our disconnect from what’s really happening that’ll do us in!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Cherubini/1601054549 Paul Cherubini

      In all regions of the USA there are beekeepers that have healthy, thriving bees. They control varroa mites well and keep their bees well fed with pollen and nectar supplements during periods of the year when nectar flows are poor.

  • santabarbara4

    I live in Santa Barbara, CA and for years when I take walks on the beach, I see so many bees “walking” on the beach toward the water it seems.  They look like they are on their way to the water, but then they are drowned by the surf.  I’ve tried to pick them up and move them back toward the hills but they seem to be weak and can’t hold onto leaves or sticks to be moved.  Whats happening here?  Anyone know?

    • Dandhman

      In hot weather, santabarbara4, honeybees collect water to cool the hive. They don’t care if its fresh or saltwater. btw judging by where you live they’re probably Africanized, yet they haven’t stung you. Away from the hive even ”Killer Bees” show little inclination to sting. 

      • santabarbara4

        But why do you suppose they are “walking” on the beach and not flying?

        • Dandhman

          My theory is: they’re chasing the water the wave retreats. Then they get wet when they’re surprised by it returning. Then they have difficulty flying.

          Of course I can be wrong, I haven’t seen the bees so I don’t even know if they’re honeybees, and I’ve never kept bees close to the sea.

          make no mistake though, wet bees can have great difficulty flying.

          • santabarbara4

            Thanks – interesting!

          • http://www.facebook.com/barry.i.levine Barry I. Levine

             Maybe they are “lost”. Nicotinoids, implicated in colony collapse, impair their ability to navigate.

          • santabarbara4

            Thats what it looks like actually – that they are lost.  They are moving in an aimless way and then the surf surprises them.  Thanks alot – poor bees and poor feet of the people at the beach who step on them!

  • Dandhman

    A word to everyone here who’s afraid of pesticides on our crops & what it means to bees, Do you put pesticides (weed ‘n feed) on your lawns?

    Lawns are the largest irrigated “crop” in the country and pesticides and fertilizers are over-applied to them for no reason except aesthetics.

    I appeal to everyone here to stop making our lawns useless and even harmful to bees.  Dandelions & clover are important to honeybees!

    • Jud

       I went organic two years ago. The first year was rough. Then our yard looked the same as everyone else’s. It takes a while to rebuild soil systems that aren’t being fed with pesticide/fungicide/chemical rotations… but after a couple years the results are really worth it. I’ve learned a lot about zeriscape/native flowers and I have to say I really like the new look. Butterflies, hummingbirds, dragonflies – tons of bees. I go out on to the porch and you can immediately hear the hum of thousands of bees.

      I would encourage people to go organic and look for bee friendly ground cover. St. Augustine grass here in Florida is just awful for the environment. Consider replacing with Perennial peanut or sunshine mimosa … which are legumes, have lower water requirements, do not get tall enough to mow, and can provide nectar sources for the bees. They are more attractive and less time consuming to boot!

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      weed and seed contains herbicide

  • Bob_Glennon

    USDA is helping farmers develop pollinator habitat through its Farm ill conservation programs administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency. The Xerces Society and other non-government organizations and university staff have served as partners who have helped to shape the programs and the technical standards and specifications that guide the USDA employees who implement those programs. A program on habitat restoration would be a good idea. Contact Mace Vaughn of the Xerces Society at mace@xerces.org and Doug Holy of NRCS at doug.holy@wdc.usda.gov.

    • Dandhman

      Will this have anything to do with CREP or CRP land programs? (leased and put aside for wildlife) 

      • Bob_Glennon

        The Farm Bill programs include the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), but also includes the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). CRP has very limited signup periods (one month this year from mid-May to mid-June) and CREP in many states is limited to water quality seedings and plantings established along waterways and wetlands. EQIP and CSP apply to more land and have longer application periods.

        • Dandhman

          Thanks Bob_Glennon, Though hearing that this will be implemented under EQIP is a surprise to me

          The only examples of EQIP projects that I’ve ever seen were dealing with wastewater from barnyards and milking-houses.

          Glad to see it’s being used for pollinator protection too

          • Bob_Glennon

            When the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) expired with the last Farm Bill in 2012, NRCS dedicated funding in EQIP to wildlife and pollinator habitat. The current bills in Congress would dedicate some EQIP funding to wildlife and pollinator habitat. CSP has an ‘enhancement’ practice to encourage landowners to establish pollinator habitat. Most of the NRCS technical standards have been revised to include considerations for pollinator habitat and guidance on how to improve conservation practices for pollinators.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Cherubini/1601054549 Paul Cherubini

      Yes, develop infitessimally small amounts of pollinator habitat that won’t make a difference. That’s why neither the NRCS nor the Xerces Society has posted photos of their pollinator habitat restoration accomplishments – they’re laughably small in scale.

      • Bob_Glennon

        NRCS photos are on the NRCS web site photo gallery under ‘Plants’. In addition to the areas established as pollinator habitat, there are areas of wildlife habitat, range seeding, hedgerows, and shelterbelts that establish native plants with value to pollinating insects. I retired from NRCS 3 years ago, but over my 30 years of service, I saw many conservation practices that are commonplace now start small and their value was doubted. Practices like no-till farming, animal waste storage and utilization, the use of native plants for mine reclamation and wildlife habitat, and stream bank fencing and planting were thought to be too costly of have too few benefits to be effective. The NRCS-funded pollinator seedings will never mitigate thousands of acres of monoculture crops, but they are effective in supplementing habitat on small fruit and vegetable operations. Past of the strategy of volunteer conservation with landowners is working with ‘early adapters’ of technology and allowing their success to be transferred to neighbors.

  • I_walk_the_line

    I couldn’t comment during the broadcast. The beekeeper who was surprised the government is not very responsive perhaps hasn’t noticed the US government is extremely responsive–to corporations, including chemical companies. An example is the so-called Monsanto Protection Act.

    The lack of action regarding bees is one more symptom of the acute systemic rot our government suffers from. Institutionalized corruption is killing our country. We need fair elections so we can begin to have any hope of solving real problems through the government (which is supposed to be representative of the people). 

  • Dandhman

    Colony Collapse is only the most recent in a series of “plagues.” a short history as I understand it. (I’m not an expert)

    1950′s Emergence of American Foulbrood, Massive Bee die-offs

    50′s 60′s 70′s Era of MAJOR pesticide kills.  Farmers seemingly unaware and make very little attempt to avoid killing bees.

    80′s the trifecta. Tracheal Mites, Varroa Mites, Killer Bees
    this (I am told) is when wild European colonies in the US almost completely die off.

    90′s major scare with Small Hive Beetle still a considerable pest in some areas

    What’s next? how long can this continue?

  • Annie

    Another great program! I’ve heard and read a bit about this topic but learned a lot more today, especially from your guest, Eric, who kept his explanations refreshingly simple and understandable. Could have easily listened to more buzz about bees and Colony Collapse for another hour! Looking forward to seeing the entire “More than Honey” documentary.

  • John_Hamilton

    I haven’t listened to this show in a while, forgot about Tom Ashbrook’s hystericized interviewing style. Now I’m reminded of why I haven’t listened in a while. 

    Having said that, the matter at hand might be better addressed by broadening the context. We have an infinite-growth economic system that requires expanded output over time for its survival. It has to expand in order to survive. In order to ensure continued expansion corrupt government is required so that growing corporations have no restrictions on what they do. Otherwise, growth will cease, and the system collapses. We have a corrupt government, and it gets more corrupt every day.

    Because of this growth imperative, the ecosystem, including humans, is subjected to an increasing level of industrial pollutants and other intrusions. These intrusions, as killers of life, make future infinite growth increasingly problematic. In other words, the infinite growth system, in its zeal to grow forever, destroys the very source of its growth, the life forms that the Earth provides. 

    We could change, but won’t. At least we won’t until the system collapses, which it will, just like a collapsing bee colony. We don’t just have a corrupt government and corrupt corporations. The people are corrupt as well. 

    People are dependent on the system. If you think of the public as people living in Mafia neighborhoods, you get the idea. Something from outside has to come in and force things to change. In the Mafia’s case it was law enforcement and changing economic factors, like legalized gambling, cheap travel to Las Vegas, and spread of such things as drug trafficking beyond normal organized crime. 

    It is a contest as to what will cause our system to collapse first – economic mismanagement (corruption), climate change or ecological breakdown. Who knows? I suspect all three will act in concert. The task is too big for mankind to solve by its own wits and wisdom.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barry.i.levine Barry I. Levine

    I think you need to do more effective research prior to such a show. And I agree with the previous poster about a “hystericized interviewing style.” I must have heard the phrase “killer bees” 2 dozen times if I heard it once. What, a need to continously inject sensationalism?
      I also agree with the need to broaden debate. Is industrial style agribusiness sustainable?
       As far as research: how about:
    http://www.icmag.com/ic/showthread.php?p=5049261
    Most likely candidate: The nicotinoid Imidacloprid causes colony collapse. As little as 20 parts per billion. It’s in corn syrup fed to bees. Read the article. Looks pretty convincing.

    • John_Hamilton

      I wasn’t referring to the term “killer bees,” which has been used for decades to describe Africanized bees, and with good reason. They kill people.

      What I WAS referring to was Tom Ashbrook’s hyper-aggressive questioning style, which creates an air of either attack, argument or emergency when ordinary conversation is the task at hand. Terminology is not an interviewing style. 

      As for “debate,” I didn’t hear a debate or an implied need for debate. I heard a conversation about an ecological concern, hampered, but not irreparably, by the interviewing style, which I will leave unnamed in order to avoid further confusion. 

      And, while I’m at it, the information of the link above was included in the discussion. Listening, as with reading, is an acquired skill.

      • Tyranipocrit

         why does it have to be a debate?  all bees can kill–especially if ur allergic–why do you fell the need to africanize them?  get a grip.

        • John_Hamilton

          Whenever I hear or read “get a grip” a dim bulb goes off. Someone is trying to establish firm grasp of “reality” that others don’t possess. In other words, arrogance. Usually, and on the Web in particular, it is associated with inability to read, and where sound is involved, to listen.

          In this particular instance, it’s a bit hard to tell to whom the “get a grip” is directed. No one said anything had to be a debate, and no one expressed a need to “africanize” bees. They are called that for a reason. The reason is that they are bees that descend genetically and historically from bees that are native to the African continent, but somehow some of them got transported to the Americas, likely on a ship. They are different in that they are very aggressive and their stings are much more poisonous. No one has “africanized” them. Gads! I can’t believe I’m answering this.

          • Tyranipocrit

            are you serious? you are a waste of time. Please go back and read what you are saying–analyzing quite pedantically every little thread, every little word–to do what–discredit me. Try having a discussion about the topic rather than picking apart grammar and giving long winded explanations of idiomatic rhetoric. i will say it again–get a grip. Your arrogance is shinning. Please dont deflect your issues on me.

            the other tactic of conservative windbags and teabags is to cry looney. But I say if a man runs around naked crying looney–who is the looney. Dont waste my time. I have important things to do. If you want to discuss the issue thoughtfully I am happy to do so–but dont be like that–dont be an ass. You have no friends do you? I dont have time to respond to nonsense. Give me conservation and I will respond. Please–dont wast my time.

          • John_Hamilton

            A lot of words. My interest timed out. I responded to what was written in the English language, taking the meaning to be what was in print. As for “Give me conservation and I will respond. Please–dont wast my time,” this is more “conservation” than is deserved. You seem to have a lot of time to “wast,” “dont” you?

          • Tyranipocrit

            I know what an “Africanized bee” is–i dont need your explanation big head. Maybe you should ask why the term is used and the language that surrounds it. Or wern’t you aware that the government uses brainwashing techniques in the media–in very clever ways. Dont be so obtuse. Dont be so naive. They do this with invasive species quite a bit–giving them stereotypical and racist personality traits of the host country or region. The Brown nosed snout butterfly coming form Mexico–is described with a all the hateful stereotypes of racist Texans and Arizonians (ironically, the brown butterfly is not invasive–it is following natural migratory patterns and pushed north by changing climates–and the “Mexican” was in the southwest long before white americans–the border crossed them thru illegal and imperialistic murderous war.) The Zebra mussel in the great lakes is described with all the negative connotations that come with Asians–and the Chinese in particular. The “Africanized” (Americanized) bee is described with all the language in the KKK handbook. is it a coincidence? An overactive imagination? NO. Its a reflection of a racist people and psy-ops performed on American people. Often hand in hand with immigration/labor debates.

  • James Noce

    I sent an email to Dr. Mussen asking that he consider the following hypothesis.  Because of pesticides, the DNA of bees has been altered and many cannot now find their way back to their hives.  That is, they have lost their mapping ability. This would explain that observation that many bees are found simply flying around, running out of energy (i.e., they are lost) and ultimately dying.

    • Milstar

       But that doesn’t explain the massive die offs that happen within the colony. If you watched the segment above you would see them sweeping piles of dead bees from the hives. 

      • Tyranipocrit

         yes it does–why doesnt it? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/lori.cerny.7 Lori Cerny

    I grow a variety of flowers, including native varieties, to attract any bees.  I’ve seen a reduction in bees, but they seem to have been replaced by many other pollinators, such as, ants, flies, and wasps. 

    By the way, the plants which attract the most bees in my yard are: loosestrife (considered invasive), tall phlox, rudbeckia (black-eyed susan), and clover. 

    Perhaps there should be a website which lists bee-favorable plants?  And didn’t Eleanor Roosevelt lead a program to plant flowers across the nation?  Today, all I see are highway medians filled with grass.  Even my neighbors have been removing flowers and plants and replacing them with evergreens – to have something “green” during the winter and reduce their home maintenance.   

  • Guest

    DEVASTATING!! WHERE IS THE BIG BEEHIVE IN MY OLD CEDAR TREE???????

  • Marge Wickes

    DEVASTATING!!!! WERE  are THE BEES in my old cedar tree???

    • jefe68

      I have to ask, do you have any idea of the life cycle of bees? What most likely happened is the hive swarmed.
      Or they were attacked by wasps. Which is not uncommon.

  • Michele

    Perhaps this is the same issue impacting song birds.  The bird population has practically disappeared in New England in just the last 5-7 years.  Why do humans always ignore the damage we do through chemicals use?  When our we going to LEARN???

    Wouldn’t the pesticides used on maple trees impact maple syrup and ultimately humans who ingest the product?

    • burroak

      Good point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/karen.lavallee.56 Karen Lavallee

    so much destruction.  they just will not be happy until they kill everything – including us.  kfl

    • Sy2502

      Who’s “they”?

      • jefe68

        That’s simple, corporations that are more interested in the next quater profits and not the long term.

        • Sy2502

          Hand waving much? I hear they have a sale on tin foil hats…

          • Tyranipocrit

             u better get one then pyscho

        • myblusky

          People support the corporations by purchasing their products. Let’s face it, the human race just let’s everything pass us by and we blame everyone else then nobody has to take responsibility and nothing changes. If people really wanted to make the sacrifices required to make changes in the world then the world would change, but we are all just a little too lazy and unorganized for that.

      • Tyranipocrit

         you

  • Tyranipocrit

    pesticides, fungicides, insecticides…and GMOs—dont forget the frankenstein food crop in america and china–it is NOT safe for us or bees.  Electro-magentic radiation on top of it–our civilization is unsustainable–yet all you apathetic asses want to call those who see it and understand it–lunatics in tin foil hats.  You are “they” and YOU need to be incarcerated.

    All GMOs and Pesticides need to be outlawed.   those who need them –MUST go to jail.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      will they be fed organic prison food?

      • Tyranipocrit

        why should tehy–they claim GMOs and pesticides are perfectly safe–so let them eat it. Unitl it is all used up of course–we should not use it after that–the environment is the concern after all. lets ee if they still think its safe when all these frackers in prison are coming down with cancer and brain tunors and other conditions. it will be a great experimnent to prove the facts. A demonstration.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          frickin frackers

  • Tyranipocrit

    this is the most racist conversation i’ve ever heard. nonsense

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.mcinerney.56 Laura McInerney

    Sad story, but I believe reversible if we just use some common sense. Reduce our use of pesticides, reduce over-harvesting their hard earned stores (it takes one bee her entire lifetime to make ONE TWELFTH of ONE TSP of honey), and reduce limiting food sources through aesthetic cultivation of landscaping and acres of homogenous orchard types that limit the variety of blooming flowers at different times. Plants popular in landscaping (azaleas, tulips) are toxic to bees while plants “discouraged” in landscaping (clover, dandelions) are very important food sources.  While pesticide use should continue to be well examined, we can all do a LOT to help them without passing the blame on to others. They only forage for 2 miles — so the most important factors in their environment may be right in your back yard.

  • Lori_lof2013

    It is very disturbing after having worked so hard on my yard to make it organic, chemical-free, bird, butterfly, bee friendly, to sit and watch a disoriented honey bee die right in front of me.  My little yard is my statement to be a responsible human being and do what I can to contribute to the good, but it will not fix what the rest of my neighbors are doing. It will take everyone working together to get a grip on this huge problem. I have seen very few bees so far this year and usually in June it is alive and buzzing with bees after the Lamb’s ears.  I think this problem is even much worse than we know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1682215075 Saundra Romero

    We need to stop using toxic chemicals in our yards and gardens; chemicals produced by companies such as Monsanto. Say no to Roundup and other such weed killers. Their killing doesn’t stop with the plants. We’re next.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/April-Morgano/1072375664 April Morgano

    My name is April and I am the founder of the 2 Let It Bee, Inc – The Honey Bee Revitalization project. Our project has been around now for almost 5 years/4 years of actual beekeeping. 

    We promote natural beekeeping and what I mean by natural beekeeping is NO CHEMICALS, NO SUGAR WATER – Our honey bees only consume their honey and pollen. We do not pull the honey; THEIR food supply off until the following start of the next blooming season.  We have people who donate their property to our project and here are our rules, we install usually two hives, the donor is asked not to use products around their property such as weed be gone, round up or any other products that WILL HARM ANY POLLINATOR that might visit their yard. Our hives DO NOT TRAVEL THE COUNTRY POLLINATING because it is my belief is stressful on them to criss cross the country and I do not want my bees to get a disease from other colonies. And the final requirement the honey bees need to be in a location that will have continuous and diverse pollen selection throughout the blooming season.  We encourage people to leave their dandilions in their yard, plant natural prairie plants or other flora and fauna to sustain the pollinators existence for years to come. Also, honey bee and other pollinators enjoy a cool drink of water. That is why they like your pools. If you want to do one small thing to help the honey bee and other pollinators especially during the summer months make them a drinking location. Take and shallow plate, bowl or old bird bath, place some river rocks or pebbles in it and pour some fresh water in it just about half way up the rocks. The rocks are so they won’t drown trying to get to that cool drink of fresh water. 

    Visit with your local beekeepers at one of their meetings if you would like to get more involved or find out how you can help us in our mission which is keeping our honey bees alive.

    Please visit our website http://www.2letitbee.com

    April Morgano

  • ExcellentNews

    The government is too busy helping Monsanto and other corporations sue small farmers, so there will be no help for beekeepers. In any case, we can make fake honey by mixing corn syrup with artificial flavors. It will come in shiny packages with colorful decoration ($1.99 per jar at WalMart!), and the peons wouldn’t know any better. Of course, there will always be real honey for the 0.01%…

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      the same sort of thing went on in nazi germany

      • Jack Wolf

        Read Hitlerland.  Its a review of documents, letters and books by Americans in Berlin during Hitler’s rise.  I read it for the history lesson, but received a lesson in mass psychology instead.  Very disturbing.

        I presume you read Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here, right?  I read that 30 years ago, and it has stayed with me since.   

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i have not read either but I love any information about what was like in Germany before and during the war.  how did the germans who got out of Germany before it was too late know to leave? I always wonder what they saw that caused them to uproot themselves because they knew something bad was coming. I am interested from a historical standpoint but more so from a self-preservation stand point

          • Jack Wolf

            They realized that they had already tactically lost and everyone knew but those in denial.  Like rats, they ran.  Business investment will do the same when they realize that most of the in-ground fossil fuels can’t be burned without killing them too.  They will get out while the going’s good and to hell with the rest of us souls, so to speak.

            That’s my take at least.

            But, back to Hitler.  The same thing would happen here too if the tables were turned.  There are king rats on all sides regardless of the country. 

            Oh, that’s another good book:  King Rat.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            I want to know how people who left before the invasion of Poland and earlier knew to do so

    • Jack Wolf

      Express your outrage in any way you can.  I’m a sick and old scientist, but I telephone and write letters, op-eds and blogs. And, I went to my first climate protest in DC last February.  I didn’t brave the cold for me, but rather for my kids.  They are totally screwed unless we can suck out CO2 from the air.  Global warming is increasingly affecting our food supplies, and unless we act immediately, we will be living in a Soylent Green world.

  • burroak

    A big, immediate concern; what is mother nature telling us? Bees, what’s next, the birds?

    • Jack Wolf

      I was raised along the Atlantic coast and Herring gulls were like pigeons.  In 2011, when vacationing in Lewes DE, they were totally absent.  We returned this year, and still no more Jonathon Livingston Seagull.  I suspect his ocean food source is gone, because of man’s activities

      And yet, no one notices.  I repeatedly asked different naturalists at local institutions what the cause was.  Granted they were all in their 20s, but they seemed totally unaware. 

      As to honey bees, I have only seen TWO so far this year, and believe me, my yard is full of bee loving bushes and flowers. 

      As an environmental scientist that specializes in soils and wetlands, I am not a specialist in wildlife.  However, I have no doubt that the 6th extinction is on, and that includes us. 

      I don’t think we have 20 years left. Here is a video by a prof at Illinois Inst. of Tech who outlines a 50 year plan for surviving climate change. No, it’s not a
      survivalist video, but a video to help the general public to survive.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SODaBMEJ2xQ&list=LLNgRohjTZJpbm94H1bKo6vw

      It provides vital information that the government should be providing, but isn’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    maybe we will learn from this gentle reminder that our lives are wholly dependant on other organisms. probably not though

  • Regular_Listener

    Why is not possible to download this broadcast?  Is there a technical problem that will get worked out soon?

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 16, 2014
A woman walks past a CVS store window in Foxborough, Mass., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. The nation’s major drugstore chains are opening more in-store clinics in response to the massive U.S. health care overhaul, which is expected to add about 25 million newly insured people who will need medical care and prescriptions, as well as offering more services as a way to boost revenue in the face of competition from stores like Safeway and Wal-Mart. (AP)

Retailers from Walgreens to Wal-Mart to CVS are looking to turn into health care outlets. It’s convenient. Is it good medicine? Plus: using tech to disrupt the healthcare market.

Apr 16, 2014
Harvard Business School is one of the top-ranked MBA programs in the country. Our guest today suggests those kinds of degrees aren't necessary for business success. (HBS / Facebook)

Humorist and longtime Fortune columnist Stanley Bing says, “forget the MBA.” He’s got the low-down on what you really need to master in business. Plus: the sky-high state of executive salaries.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 15, 2014
In this file photo, author and journalist Matt Taibbi speaks to a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors after a march on the offices of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York. There was a heavy police presence around the 42nd Street area as the demonstration began Wednesday morning outside. (AP)

Muckraking journalist Matt Taibbi sees a huge and growing divide in the US justice system, where big money buys innocence and poverty means guilt. He joins us.

 
Apr 15, 2014
A crowd gathers at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot before the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Saturday, April 12, 2014. (AP)

One year after the Boston Marathon bombing, we look at national and local security on the terrorism front now, and what we’ve learned.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
How Boston Is Getting Ready For the 2014 Boston Marathon
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

Boston Globe metro reporter Maria Cramer explains how the 2014 Boston Marathon will be different than races in the past.

More »
Comment
 
WBUR’s David Boeri: ‘There’s Still Much We Don’t Know’
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

WBUR’s senior reporter David Boeri details the ongoing investigation into the alleged Boston Marathon Bombing perpetrators.

More »
Comment
 
Remembering The Boston Marathon Bombing, One Year Later
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

One year after the Boston Marathon Bombing, we look back at our own coverage of the attacks and the community’s response from April 2013.

More »
Comment