Honeybees are disappearing

stardust

Jedi Master
on http://english.pravda.ru/world/americas/20-03-2007/88467-honey_bees-0



A nation-wide honeybee crisis is under way in the United States. Lately bees have begun to rapidly disappear in 24 states across the country. For reasons unknown, bees are flying off in search of nectar and pollen and simply never returning to their colonies. The bee losses are reportedly ranging from 30 to 60 percent on the West Coast. The situation is even worse on the East Coast and Texas where beekeepers have reported losses of more than 70 percent.


Aside from producing honey, bees also pollinate a variety of plants used as food by humans. Each year bees pollinate an estimated $14 billion worth of seeds and crops in the United States, largely fruits, vegetables and nuts. The sudden mysterious losses are making beekeepers increasingly concerned about their livelihoods. Researchers say that they bees may die of natural causes; they may get disoriented or fall victim to mites. According to beekeepers, a loss under 20 percent is considered as normal in the off-season. Some beekeepers call the recent bee crisis a national tragedy, the first major affliction that befell the U.S. bee industry.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,� said David Bradshaw, a beekeeper. “My hives are just getting emptied. There’s nobody home,� Bradshaw added. The bees do not get back to their colonies. The biggest concern is that nobody seems to know why the bees keep disappearing.

Bees are extremely social insects; they never desert their offspring or bee queens. Researchers argue that bees are presumably dying during their search for nectar. A range of theories is also investigated, including a virus, a fungus, and poor bee nutrition. Researchers are looking into a group of pesticides that were banned in European countries to find out whether the chemical preparations (still used in the U.S.) are somehow causing damage to bees’ innate ability to find their way back home. According to yet another theory, the losses may have resulted from a massive attack by mites, which have repeatedly damaged bee colonies in the past.

The bees vanish as pressure has been building on the U.S. bee industry. The costs to maintain hives are continuously rising. The bee business becomes less profitable as a result. According to estimates by the Agriculture Department, the number of hives has dropped by a quarter over the last twenty years, and the number of beekeepers decreased by half. Beekeepers also have to tackle the problem of suburban sprawl as they search for areas where bees can forage for nectar to stay healthy and feel good during the pollination season.

A terrible epidemic breaks out in The Plague, a novel by Albert Camus, shortly after hundreds of dead rats are discovered all over the town. The recent bee mystery, already dubbed a “colony collapse disorder� by U.S. researchers, seems to somewhat resemble the situation described in the novel. We can only hope that the “bee plague� will not take shape of an affliction of global proportions.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta
Einstein said that if the honeybees would disappear, humanity couldn't live more than few years.


We got the same problem in France in the end of the 90th:

La mystérieuse disparition des abeilles

Article tiré du Figaro du 02 Novembre 1999

La production de miel est réduite d’un tiers a 90% selon les régions. Le ministre de l’Agriculture va se prononcer définitivement sur le sort du Gaucho, l’insecticide mis en cause.

Un peu partout dans le monde, les scientifiques s’inquiètent de phénomènes de "désorientation et de dépopulation massive des abeilles". Ils croient a l'offensive de virus jusqu’alors non pathogènes. En France, les apiculteurs soupçonnent un insecticide commercialisé sous le nom de Gaucho. Le fabricant, Bayer, conteste cette version .Le ministère de l'Agriculture, Jean Glavany, avait suspendu la commercialisation du produit en Janvier dernier, et doit prendre décision définitive prochainement après avis du Conseil d’Etat et de la commission des toxiques.

Malformations, lésions des systèmes digestifs et nerveux, troubles du comportement, convulsions. Les abeilles présentent aujourd’hui toutes sortes de symptômes qui révèlent un état de santé précaire. Certaines ne parviennent plus a voler, d'autres ne retrouvent pas leur ruche, d'autres encore, déformées par la maladie, sont refoulées par leurs congénères, qui ne les reconnaissent pas. Ces manifestations, déclenchées par des virus différents, provoquent toutes une baisse inquiétante du nombre des abeilles et l'effondrement de la récolte de miel.

Confrontés a ce problème, il y a deux ans, les apiculteurs français ont mis en cause le Gaucho. un insecticide vendu dans soixante-dix pays mais tout nouvellement utilisé sur le tournesol. Pure coïncidence, dit le fabricant, Bayer.
 

rrraven

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
may be it has to do with the fact that bee keepers have to ,by law,re-queen theire
hives every 2 years with mail order queens?I remember reading some where that
queens keep the "memory"of the hive which are all her offspring and the memory of the land and thats why we get drought because the mail order queen does not know
the land like a wild bee would. RRR
 

Azur

The Living Force
I've come across this too.

Seems that the only bees they know are disappearing are social type bees, i.e. those that live in hives. In Canada social bees only make up 25% of the entire bee population. Of those bees that they found dead, they never mention if all of them are from hives or solitary bees or a mix.
 
Y

Youngfox

Guest
Perhaps reducing a larger phenomenon to a small fraction of a bigger picture....

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
The Independent

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.
 

ark

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Perhaps someone fluent in German would like to summarize for us this article:

http://agbi.uni-landau.de/material_download/verhalten_elmagexp.pdf
 

ArdVan

Jedi
6 beehives were exposed to radiation of cordless phones (DECT @ 1900MHz) and 6 other beehives were not. (page 15)

The pilot study says that there was a difference of weight (page 18,19) and size of the the honey combs between the group of bees.

But they say also that a "Mann-Whitney U-Test" didn't show any difference (5%-Level) between the two groups of bee. (page 19)

On page 20 are diagrams about the time bees needed to return back to their hives. The bees submitted to radiation needed much more time to return if they ever came back (red) compared with the normal bees (green).
 
C

crazy croc

Guest
I have to agree with AZUR about the problem seeming to affect hive builders more exclusively. I live in an area which is literally plagued with yellow jackets every summer. Worst being in July. Last summer, I saw only a handful of these bees the entire season. Usually I would say that one would encounter at least a dozen in an afternoon. I also have a family of carpenter bees living in the front part of my garage which have nested there for the past 8 years or so. They didn't seem to be affected and they are not hive builders. Regarding the cell tower radiation, I have had a huge tower just a block away for years now and the bees never thinned out because of it. They just literally disappeared last summer and I haven't seen one yet this year although it's still a bit early but we have had a few hot days when they would have come out if they were around.
 

Rockimedes

The Force is Strong With This One
On a semi-related topic: A scientist by the name of Barbara Shipman found evidence showing that the dance bees do to notify the other members of the colony where the food is can be veiwed as a 2-dimensional projection of a 6-dimensional object called a flag manifold...I don't know enough about manifolds yet to grasp the full implications of this (if there are any) but I thought it was a wonderful surprise nonetheless. I found a short audio interview if you are interested at http(ss)www(d)npr(d)org(s)templates(s)story(s)story(d)php?storyId=1037184
or go to www.(dot)synchronizm(dot)com(slash)blog for a bit more info.
 

ark

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Thanks for the link. It so happens that I know quite well what are flag manifolds (it relates to "twistors" and some works of Roger Penrose). Most interesting if true.
 
A

Anders

Guest
ark said:
Perhaps someone fluent in German would like to summarize for us this article:

http://agbi.uni-landau.de/material_download/verhalten_elmagexp.pdf
I had a look at the article and thought it might be worth writing to them to ask if they have an english version or abstract, as it would require good understanding of academic German in order to summarize it. The article is in regard to the effect of EM exposure to bees at various wavelenghts, but you probably got that part of it as well.

If no fluent German speakers present themselves, it would be worth sending an email to the researchers and asking for an english version.

OSIT

Anders
 

alwyn

Padawan Learner
Does anyone know if the bees are dead, or not returning to the hives? Seperate issues, that. (My decidedly romantic interpretation is that the bees are going on strike, and refusing to live in boxes that are carted all over...) ;-)
If they are not returning, then they are getting lost, perhaps due to the microwave frequencies interfering with their communications.

I live in a rural and wooded area. We have cell towers, and bees, both honey and bumble type. I have not noticed a drop in the numbers of bees; on the other hand, I deliberately overwinter vegetables that go to flower and seed early in the spring, and plant bulbs and things to feed the critters. I think perhaps the culture of mono-cropping so dear to the corporate farmer may be an issue.

Just my decidedly uneducated two-cents worth.
 
The experiment was done with DECT which (according to the paper) pulses at 100 Hz. This frequency was considered as close enough to the vibration that honeybees use while doing their "dance" (between 200 and 300 Hz) that it could interfere with this type of communication. Maybe these scientists should read http://www.cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php?topic=4059&p=2 where they will learn that DECT indeed pulses around 100 Hz, but also around 200 Hz, around 300 Hz, and up to 500 Hz. So it is not close to the range. It is within the range with which bees hum while doing their dance.

But DECT has been used for several years, and we seem to be up to a very new phenomenon (the winter of 2006 – 2007 to be more precise).
Maybe another hint we can use is the fact that the problem is far worse in the US and that the UK seems to follow.

From: http://www(dot)newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2007/03/06/millions_of_bees_die_are_electromagnetic_signals_to_blame.htm
Stressed out bees? What, all of a sudden bees get stressed out? What about bees in other countries? They don’t seem to be having a problem at all.
Disoriented bees? Ah, well this is a possibility. But what would make them disoriented? Perhaps it is the 250 HZ signals being pumped out of GWEN stations all over America. This signal makes people angry, so that they support the administrations idea of going after Iran and violence in general. It works great for mass manipulation of opinion. Unfortunately, the same signal will induce a misdirection of up to 10 degrees in the navigation ability of the honeybee. They go away from the hive and never come back because they can no longer find it. That’s why it’s only happening in the US.
250 HZ, smack in the middle of the range honeybees use, and it also makes people angry. But is GWEN only operational since last winter ?

Continued …

15 April 2007: Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.
They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.
Has Europe implemented a similar system as GWEN ?

Or is HAARP becoming operational big time?

Most of the hives were simply found empty, which has caused a high factor of weirdness behind the eyes of beekeepers. Other bees or even parasites seem to shun the almost empty hive with nothing but a hungry queen and few workers. This seems to point to some toxic build up in or around the hive.

And the bees that are found back, are infested with lots of micro organisms, many of which have been known to be behind stress related illness, which results in a declined immune system. The EM pollution could directly result in stress, but I have also found one hypothesis wherein a declined immune system could be triggered by increase of NO production. Overproduction of NO results in inflammation.

From another forum: http://freepage.twoday.net/stories/3375463/


This is a potentially devastating phenomenon for agriculture (food) and biodiversity, and whilst presented as new, goes back some years, and is in many other countries.

It was featured in the UK's Independent and BBC radio today:
http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/wildlife/article2314202.ece

It's interesting that the interpretation of the bees left in the hive being so diseased is immuno-suppression.

Now this is interesting: if Nitric Oxide Synthase [ http://omega.twoday.net/search?q=Nitric+Oxide+Synthase ] is affected by EMF in mammals, maybe it is in insects too? Because this is one of the really big trails: NO plays so many vital roles, and affects many regulatory systems, including the immune system. Then I turned up this:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10883802&dopt=Abstract

Impairment of olfactory discrimination by blockade of GABA and nitric oxide activity in the honey bee antennal lobes.

Behav Neurosci. 2000 Jun;114(3):514-25

* Hosler JS,
* Buxton KL,
* Smith BH.

Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1220, USA.

Honey bees readily associate an odor with sucrose reinforcement, and the response generalizes to other odors as a function of structural similarity to the conditioned odor. Recent studies have shown that a portion of odor memory is consolidated in the antennal lobes (AL), where first-order synaptic processing of sensory information takes place. The AL and/or the sensory afferents that project into them show staining patterns for the enzyme nitric oxide synthase, which catalyzes the release of the gaseous transmitter nitric oxide (NO). The results show that pharmacological blockade of NO release impairs olfactory discrimination only when release is blocked before conditioning. Blockade of GABAergic transmission disrupts discrimination of similar but not dissimilar odorants, and does so when the block occurs before condition or before testing. These results show that GABA and NO regulate the specificity of associative olfactory memory in the AL.
And than there is also the unbridled use of GMO’s in which the US excels. Most of the GMO’s are made resistant to the pesticide (universal toxin is a better description), glyphosate, better known by the name RoundUP.

I have found ALARMING interviews over here : http://www.omeganews.bravehost.com/folks_paying_attention_to_disappearance_of_u.s_bees.htm


10 min interview : some alarming introduction to the bee die-off followed with a potential link to the unbridled use of genetically manipulated crops in the US.
http://playaudio-345.com/play.asp?m=394902&f=PPDHPF&ps=13&p=1

10 min interview : why such low coverage by MSM. Also something about the potential impact on food production in the US (40% of food will have to come from China) :
http://playaudio-345.com/play.asp?m=394916&f=HRHWRW&ps=13&p=1

10 min interview :"Round up" oozing all over the place and a possible connection to … morgellon’s disease :
http://playaudio-345.com/play.asp?m=394919&f=RNZXBJ&ps=13&p=1

I agree 100%. THE SITUATION IS ALARMING !!! And nobody seems to care, which is even more alarming.
 

alwyn

Padawan Learner
Charles, thanks for this info. I am unable to listen to the audio portion of the links, as I have a very slow dial-up connection. (One of the joys of rural living.) The info about the GMO's is interesting, and perhaps why we are OK in Mendocino County...we passed the first (and perhaps only) law in the nation banning GMO's within the county. This legislation is currently under attack (natch) as they don't wan't anyone else following suit (pun intended).
 

Z...

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This was the opening post of the thread I opened on the other subforum:

They say Albert Anstein once said:
"Should bees dissapear humanity would survive no more then 4 years"


Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees
By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross
Published: 15 April 2007

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.

The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.

CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.

Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."

The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left".

No one knows why it is happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides, global warming and GM crops have been proposed, but all have drawbacks...
The Miracle Of The Bee
n 1923, a scientist named von Frisch published his famous work on the dance of the bee. When a bee discovers a source of food, she fills herself with the nectar and returns to the hive. She then performs what has been termed a dance which symbolically describes where the food source is. From this symbolic ritual, the other bees can find the source.

Not all bees have two parents. We have three classes: the queen, the female workers, and the male drones. The one special fertile female - the queen. There are other females but they do not produce any eggs. The male bees are produced by the queen's unfertilized eggs (in other words - no father). The females are produced when the queen has mated with a male - therefore she has two parents.

Interestingly, the family tree of a colony produces what we know as the Fibonacci sequence. A bee's ancestry fits the exact pattern:

great- great,great gt,gt,gt

grand- grand- grand grand

Number of parents: parents: parents: parents: parents:

of a MALE bee: 1 2 3 5 8

of a FEMALE bee: 2 3 5 8 13

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987 ..

As you may or may not know, the Fibonacci sequence is one of the major chords played by Nature in her symphony. Everywhere one looks there is the sequence displayed: view the construction of sunflowers, pinecones, pineapples, artichokes, apples, lemons, chiles, starfish, sand dollars, the iris, buttercup, daisies, and you could go on and on.


It is the proportion of living things. One author gives this definition: "The Fibonacci sequence actually begins with two terms, zero and unity, nothing and everything, the Unknowable and the manifest Monad. These are the first two terms. Their sum, another unity, is the third term. To find each next term, just add the two latest terms together. This process produces the endless series 0,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144 … At first glance we see a chain of numbers. But look beyond the visible numbers to the self-accumulating process by which they grow. The series grows by accruing terms that come from within itself, from its immediate past, taking nothing from outside the sequence for its growth. Each term may be traced back to its beginning as unity in the Monad, which itself arose from the incomprehensible mystery of zero.

This principle of ongoing growth-from-within is the essence of the Pentad's principle of regeneration and the pulsing rhythms of natural growth and dissolution." (Michael Schneider, A Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe)

In consideration of some of the myths surrounding our symbols, in general, bees have been thought of as messengers of the spirits. "Telling the bees" was a way to relay messages to friends and relatives who have passed over. In some folklore, the sudden presence of a bee represents the imminent arrival of a stranger.

Looking back to Eqypt, bees were considered tears of the sun-god RA. Here we see a relationship with the sun that we will see later. The bee hieroglyphic is a symbol of Lower Egypt. Because of the sudden appearances of bees they became symbols of death and rebirth. Bees also represented the soul. Honey was often offered to dieties.

In Hindu myth and iconography, the bee surmounting a triangle is a symbol of Shiva. Sometimes we see a blue bee on the forehead of Krishna, as the avatar of Vishnu. Kama, the god of love, like Cupid has a bow and arrows, and the bow string is made up of bees. In the yogic doctrine, where each chakra emits a different sound in meditation, the lowest chakra (muldhahara) emits a hum likened in the writings to a bumblebee. Note that the first chakra represents our strongest bond to the material world and Eros or Cupid in Greek philosophy is the natural impelling force towards sensual objects.

Further in the ancient Greek world, for the Orphics the bee symbolized the soul because they migrated in swarms. The second temple built at Delphi was said to be built by bees. The god of love, Cupid, is often pictured with bees or being stung. In the myth it is written that Venus says to her son after he is stung: "Thou too art like a bee, for although a tiny child, yet how terrible are the wounds thou dost inflict!" Periclymenus, one of the Argonauts, was granted by Posidon the power of changing his shape into a lion, a snake, or a bee. Throughout the Mediterranean the bee was also a symbol of Spring because it was associated with the blooming gorse (a broom) that turned the hillsides all over the region bright yellow as soon as the Sun's light increased. As soon as this happened the bee appeared. Here is another connection of the bee with the sun and with the idea of resurrection.

A fascinating connection regards the Rites of Eleusis. These mystery rites were widely regarded as the high point of Greek religion. They centered around the goddess Demeter who was the Great Mother deity. The myth regarded nature's seasonal death and resurrection and represented it in the story of Demeter, her daughter Persephone and her abduction by Hades. Persophone or Kore was sometimes called honey-like and the moon (among other reasons because the moon is also called a bull and Taurus is its exaltation). The rites were conducted by the Hierophant and Hiera, the Hierophantides (2 females) and the Panageis Priestesses or Milissae - meaning bees. The function of these priestesses is still not known.

There are coins from Ephesus from the 5th century B.C. that depict a queen bee as a symbol of the Great Mother. Ephesus was known throughout the ancient world for its temple to the Great Mother Goddess.

In the Roman Mithraic rites, there were different levels or grades of initiation. One was termed the Degree of the Lion. The neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry writes: "The theologians have used honey to symbolize many different things since it combines multiple powers, and is both cathartic and preservative in its effects. Many things are kept from rotting by honey and it clears up persistent wounds. It is sweet to the taste and is gathered from flowers by bees which incidentally are born from cattle. When they pour honey instead of water on the initiates in the Lion Mysteries, they call upon them to keep their hands pure of all that which is painful, harmful, or dirty …"
(Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs) Porphyry also says that souls coming into the world are "born from cattle, and the god who secretly impedes incarnation is "the cattle thief".
What could he mean by this statement - born from cattle? It seems that Porphyry is making an allusion to the Neoplatonic principle that souls descend into incarnation (the Many) and ascend back to the Monad (the One). The summer and winter solstice being the two gates (sometimes referred to as "mouths") in this process: the gate of Cancer (summer solstice) being the one through which souls descend and the gate of Capricorn (winter solstice) being the one for ascending. The key to Porphyry's statement is hidden in the astrological symbols. The sign of Cancer is ruled by the moon (Kore was sometimes called the moon and also Melitodes meaning "honey-like") Souls were thought to descend into incarnation from the lunar sphere. And the moon is exalted in the sign of Taurus, the Bull. Recall the Taurus symbol: the crescent crowning the circle. Thus, souls are born from cattle.

A story of eastern European origin probably derives from a time when many gods were worshipped, later being altered to conform with the Christian monotheistic concept:
The devil was spying on God when He was creating the birds and insects. God took a bit of mist from the air, spun it in His fingers and called out the name of the new creature, "Bee!" And so the first bee was brought to life. The devil was a bit confused by what he saw and thought that God had called the creature into existence by telling it to "Be!" So when he tried a similar trick, gathering up a bit of clay from the earth and mixing it with his own sweat he told it to "Fly!" Of course, in this way it was not another beautiful bee that was formed but the ugly and pesky fly that, ever since, has plagued humans as much as bees have benefitted them.

And a final consideration to ponder. The archetypal idea of the Great Individual. This is he or she who "breaks away from the anonymity of the primordial collective." On the heavenly realm he becomes a god-figure and on the earth plane a god-king, shaman, wizard, or medicine man. He is the Pharaoh, the King signifying Great Man. He is the King Bee (as they thought this in ancient times). At a psychological level, this is a stage of god-identity - the human bearer of an immortal soul. The King has ritually transformed into a god by unifying all the soul's parts.
 

horse

Jedi
I started a garden and looked for plants that would attract bees, butterflies, and other benefical insects. I researched which plants and read in one of my gardening reference books that bees require nutrients from comfrey and alkanet. Over twenty books to go through, looked a bit but couldn't find the reference. Online I found this though:

hXXp://www.moongardening.cwc.net/ADDING%20TO.html
Is it possible to achieve similar results to comfrey stock with borage? The question is put by a new user of R J Harris's Moon Gardening. "I have lots of borage in my garden and the bees love it," she says. "It appears to be a similar plant, so I wondered if it would have the same effect as comfrey."
"No," responds Mr Harris. "Borage cannot supply the nutrients that comfrey supplies. What it does do terrifically is draw in not only the pollinators like the bees, as you point out, but also the hoverflies, which feed on the insect life that the garden is best without.

When I put comfrey and alkanet in my garden I had bees start a hive under my shed and they've been happy for six years now. Comfrey was a common garden plant but has fallen out of favor and is not allowed in some areas. When the mites started destroying bee colonies a couple years back, I worried about the hive under my shed but they come out every spring. The garden is full of bees, big ones and little ones. Even attracts butterflies, but I haven't seen Monarchs the last three years.
Now additional stresses are devasting bee colonies and the reasons aren't clear. Gentecially modified food crops contain higher levels of naturally occuring pesticides. Would our government tell us if GM crops were affecting bees? GM crops were blamed for a decrease in Monarch butterfly populations but the story was put out that it was loss of habitat in Mexico to blame.
I read the article about possible quantum effects on bees:

Link to article: hXXp://www.synchronizm.com/blog/index.p … -too-high/

From Digg.com:

27 million dead bees in a relatively small area should leave some physical evidence. Curiously, something similar happened 50 years ago...

Summary:

- Bees are sensitive to quantum fields in six dimensions
- The sun is a six-dimensional object and bees are interacting with it
- 50 years ago, the sun behaved in a similar way and bee disappearances were reported

I am interested in learning about quantum physics and while bees may be sensitive to quantum fields, I wonder if this might be more distraction from the problems our impact has on the environment. Bees have survived for thousands of years, adapting to the vagaries of our star. I would think beekeepers would know about a problem of declining bee populations even if the cyle was 50 years. Beekeeping has been going on for a long time.
On the practical side, spring to fall flowers for pollen and the comfrey and alkanet have attracted the bees. They've built their hive and continue to thrive in a bee friendly garden using no pesticides.


EDITS:

50 years ago the decline in bees was due to DDT. Monarch butterfly declines were also thought to be because of the lose of a weed they use for breeding, globe and milkweed thistle.

family Boraginaceae
genus Cynoglossum
common name comfrey

Comfrey helps the bees immune system. This wasn't commonly related information but rather obscure references in an heirloom garden book and a garden folklore book. Was lucky to find an online reference, and that too was a side note as if it was once common knowledge. Comfrey is mostly considered a weed. It has a long tap root which makes its hard to get rid of so where it's planted it usually stays. Comfrey has hairy leaves which are a skin irritant, I use long leather gloves to remove the dead foilage. Makes a great compost tea rich in pottasium.

You are what you eat - toxic and psychoactive honey at:
http://leda.lycaeum.org/?ID=16834

http://plantphys.info/Plants_Human/bees/bees.html
biology - chemoreceptors

http://www.ivyhall.district96.k12.il.us/4th/kkhp/1insects/honbeefax.html
chemo and dance

Since bees use chemical messages for navigation, I wonder if its just bad tasting food leaving a bad smell in the hive. EM waves may play a role, seems to bother whales and dolphins, and maybe gravity or cosmic anomalies are playing a role but I think its important to feed the pollinators a good meal before sending them out in the fields to work. Yank out some lawn and plant a wildflower garden, leave a few dandelions grow, quit using weed killers and pesticides.
 
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