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Bee Mystery Deepens

Linda Howe will soon file a report on the current mystery of missing bees. This has been going on for about a year, when commercial beekeepers first began noticing that huge numbers of their bees were missing.

In New Scientist, Michael Reilly quotes bee expert May Berenbaum as saying, "Imagine waking one morning to find 80% of the people in your community are just gone."

Reilly reports that, "bustling colonies, tens of thousands strong, were emptying in a matter of days. Systematic searches for dead bees around the colonies mostly drew a blank." As we noted in an earlier story, piles of dead bees have turned up in swimming pools in some locations, but they mostly seem to have vanished into thin air.

European honeybees, the kind that pollinate our crops, are susceptible to several kinds of parasites. One of these killed about half the US bee population in the 1980s. Tests on the dead bees they have been able to find do not reveal that they died from pesticide exposure. In Linda Howe's report will quote a researcher who thinks these bees may be affected by genetically-modified crops.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

Here's another mystery: Who was the Master of the Key? And how can we follow in his footsteps?

To learn more, click here and here.

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