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Bees in crisis, yet WA State does not see it

Honeybees working a frame & clustering around the queen (with red dot).
Photo by Thomas Mani, owner of the Yelm-based Bee Forever Apiary.

– “State Agriculture rejects county bid to restrict insecticide use”
“The state Department of Agriculture has rejected a petition from the Thurston County Commissioners calling for a partial ban on a class of insecticides linked to high mortality in honey bees.

In a letter sent Thursday to the county commissioners, agriculture department director Bud Hover said there is not enough evidence to suggest neonicotinoid insecticides are a significant factor in the decline in bee populations.

The commissioners had requested a countywide ban on ornamental use of this class of insecticides at the request of the Olympia Beekeepers Association, which reported a substantial decline in bee colonies in 2012,” quoting John Dodge in The Olympian.
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– “Beekeeping Industry ‘Doomed’ — Might We See Destruction of Food Supply Before the End of This Decade?”

“For several years now, scientists have been struggling to determine why bee colonies across the world are disappearinga phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD).

As reported by Dan Rather, the US has recently experienced the highest loss of honeybee populations so far, with most of the nations beekeepers losing anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of their bee population.

Honeybees are perhaps one of the least recognized workers in the agricultural industry. They contribute $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the US economy alone, as a full one-third of the American food supply depends on them pollinating crops.

Just about every fruit and vegetable you can imagine is dependent on the pollinating services of bees. Apple orchards, for instance, require one colony of bees per acre in order to be adequately pollinated. So, unless the mysterious disappearance of bees is reversed, major food shortages could result.

California Almond Orchards Threatened by Bee Loss

As discussed in Dan Rathers report, 80 percent of the worlds almonds come from Californias central valley, an 800,000 acre area of almond orchards that are 100 percent dependent on bees pollinating the trees. Surprisingly, almonds are the number one agricultural product in California.

Once a year, in late winter, 1.5 million bee hives from around the country are delivered to these orchards where the bees pollination efforts take place over the course of just a few days. Its the largest mass-pollination effort in the world.

This year, however, the unthinkable happened. Many of the 6,000 orchard owners simply could not find enough bees to pollinate their almond trees, at any price… One of the beekeepers featured in Rathers report is John Miller, President of the California state Beekepers Association. His family has tended bees since 1894,” quoting Dr. Mercola.
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Posted by Steve on June 18, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink

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