We’re still losing our bees–to the mysterious plague known as CCD or colony collapse disorder AND to pesticides. We not only need bees to pollinate our crops, we need BATS too (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to these incredible Linda Howe reports). Recent declines of bat populations caused by a new wildlife disease and fatalities at industrial-scale wind turbines could lead to substantial economic losses on the farm.
Living creatures are dying all over the Earth. Honey bees have been dying for a long time now and the populations of four different species of North American bumblebee have declined. A new study found that fungus infections are more likely to kill off these bees more than they affect other bee species. This has been going on for over 5 years (subscribers can still listen to Linda Howe’s report on Colony Collapse Disorder).
In 2008, the USDA ordered a report on the impact of massive bee deaths on agriculture and the causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD), but some of the results of this report may have been kept SECRET. On PhysOrg.com, Kim Kaplan quotes researcher Edward B. Knipling as saying, "Honey bees are critical to US agriculture, with about 130 crops depending on pollination to add more than $15 billion in crop value annually. (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show). It is vital that we find a way to deal with CCD. This report is an important measure of what we are learning about this serious problem."
Bees are disappearing due to colony collapse disorder (CCD), but the ones that are still flying are great navigators, able to wend their way home through complex landscapes after visits to flowers far removed from their nests. But bees are more like humans than you might expect: Some (but not all) have memory problems that increase with age. To test how old bees adapt to a changed home location, researchers trained bees to a new nest box while their former nest was closed off. Groups composed of mature and old bees were given several days in which to learn the new home location and forget about the old one.