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Bees: The Threatened Link in Food Security ENCORE

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Honey Bee on Winter Aconite. Credit: Tie Guy II/ flickr

Honey bees help pollinate 1 in every 3 bites that we eat… They are vital in our agricultural industry and essential for the survival of the almost 7 billion people who inhabit this planet. And, as the world’s population continues to grow, so does our reliance on honey bees. Unfortunately, most pollinating insects throughout the world are endangered today, including the honey bee. On this edition, we’ll discuss the honey bee’s fight to survive amidst a rapidly changing landscape filled with pesticides and parasites. We will also learn the latest about colony collapse disorder and hear from beekeepers, researchers, and gardeners who are trying to protect them.

Featuring:

Hannah Nordhaus, author of the Beekeepers Lament- How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed the World; Gretchen Lebuhn, San Francisco State University professor & founder of The Great Sunflower Project; John Miller, migratory beekeeper; Brian Johnson, University of California, Davis’s entomology professor; Bill Rhodes, David Hackenberg, beekeepers; Dee Lusby, Organic Beekeeping discussion group founder; Dennis Van Engelsdorp, Penn State University entomology scientist; Vince Rosato, Great Sunflower project participant; Khaled Almaghafi, beekeeper & Bee Healthy Honey Shop owner.

Special thanks to the producers of Vanishing of The Bees and Claire Schoen.

—WEB SEGMENTS—

The Great Sunflower Project

Esther Manilla reports on a citizen-led effort to count bees, in order to assess the health of our local environments.

Bee Rescue Service Makes a Housecall

Khaled Almaghafi is not only a beekeeper, he rescues bees when other people want to have them removed.

 

For More Information:

Vanishing of the Bees
The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America
XERCES Society
Bee Healthy Honey Shop
Harry Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at the University of California at Davis
The Great Sunflower Project
Organic Beekeeping Society
Attracting Native Pollinators
Hannah Nordhaus
Gretchen Lebuhn
Dee Lusby

Articles, Blogs, Reports and Videos:

EU bans GM-contaminated honey from general sale
Globalisation and agriculture industry exacerbating bee decline, says UN
As bee colonies die, beekeepers face challenge finding replacements
Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves
A STICKY BUSINESS: Dakota’s Busy Beekeepers
The Almond and the Bee
As honeybees decline, beekeeping booms By Candace Krebs
Forget climate change – the bees are buzzing off
How sweet it is – The economics of beekeeping in Oakland
The Silence of the Bees

Music:

Everybody Loves the Sunshine – Roy Ayers

 

Author: IreneFlorez

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3 Comments

    • Great news, thank you Zach!

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  1. Thanks for your interest, but an empty colony 3 hours after being full is not the place to find the problem, because the “stressed” dead bee from an otherwise functioning colony is not examinable, when it is missing by the millions. The radio episode focused little on the neurotoxic effects of Imidacloprid, and the wider pesticide family known as the neonicotinides. These compounds are soaked into seeds, which leaches into soil, and persist for years. More importantly they get expressed through the entire plant, including the pollen, and mess with the navigational capacity of the bees. no wonder they can’t find their way back to the colony three hours later. It is not stress or artificial feeding, it’s navigation that results in CCD. Wash state dept of ecology has publically searchable data showing large amounts of these compounds in rivers and streams, and every “Bt” GMO corn crop in the nation uses neonicotinides. Guess all you want, but if the hive is empty, it is not a million stressed bees that suddenly got some virus or fungus and all of the sudden died at once (?away from the colony, makes no sense). it is a million bees that left without navigational capacity to return to the stressfull conditions described in the radio piece. If you leave out the neonicotinides, ( which where not studied in developing bees or for bee safety in systemic forms it is currently employed, and neurotoxicity and navigation were not endpoints) then you are following …not leading. I’m not an expert but I am a scientist and I this is my opinion based on what I currently know, which was not adequately covered in your piece because I feel it is the root cause of the problem. I challenge you to do a follow up piece where the hypothesis is that “neonicotinides are definitively not the problem with CCD”, and your quest to do that will lead you to the same conclusion as mine.

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