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Colony collapse disorder

The Silence of the Bees - A Look at Colony Collapse Disorder

Thursday, December 13, 2007 by: Dr Emily A Kane
Tags: colony collapse disorder, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Beekeepers all over the United States have been experiencing record losses of honeybees, according to Organic Consumers Association. Some states have reported up to 70% disappearance of commercial bee populations since November of 2006. This trend is not reversing.

Researchers are investigating the causes of this mysterious and massive disappearance of bees. The problem has an official name: colony-collapse disorder (CCD), and is also occurring in Europe, to a lesser extent.

Why are bees important? "Honeybees are responsible for one of every three bites of food we eat. Each year, they pollinate 14 billion dollars' worth of crops and seeds in the U.S. alone. Their total decimation would be catastrophic from the local to the global level - failed businesses, skyrocketing food prices, unsustainable labor costs, and depleted supplies of fruits, nuts, vegetables, plants, and more," says Paul Shaeffer of ENN (Environmental News Network).

Honeybees pollinating crops, such as corn and canola, add an estimated 5 billion dollars to U.S. agricultural income by boosting yields and quality. Therefore, many farmers became deeply concerned when beekeepers in most states started to report the mysterious colony collapses.

Researchers have developed at least six distinct reasons for the mass deaths of the bees, including a virus (bee AIDS), GMO crop exposure, pesticide exposure, mites, cell phones, and, believe it or not, bees "wearing themselves out creating crop circles" (which, this researcher postulated, would explain two mysteries simultaneously).

Beekeeper Dave Hackenberg, of Lewisburg, Pa., rents out his bees as migrant laborers, shipping hives around the country as crops come into flower and need pollination. Like baseball teams, his and many other big bee operations retire to Florida for the winter to get their workforce in shape for the stresses of the upcoming season.

But when Hackenburg checked on his hives there last November, he found that they were not recovering at all.

Non-organic bees are routinely exposed to pesticide exposure, genetically modified crops, and the common practice of moving conventional beehives over long distances.

In contrast, organic beekeepers across North America are NOT experiencing colony collapses. Organic beekeepers avoid pesticides and toxic chemicals and strive to use techniques that closely emulate the ecology of bees in the wild.

Imagine the scenario where food production is drastically reduced. What if humans began to experience "colony collapses?". It would probably be the only way to save our Earth; unless we all, quickly, commit to not polluting, only eating organic foods, avoiding plastics and drugs and voting for leaders who insist on prioritizing planetary health.

For the full story see (www.organicconsumers.org/bees.cfm)

About the author

Dr Emily Kane is a practising naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist. For more info see www.DrEmilyKane.com

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