Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

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Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby deja vu on Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:47 pm

Bees and other pollinating insects are worth 153 billion euros (220 billion dollars) a year,
thanks to their help in growing fruit, vegetables, oil crops, coffee, cocao and spices, a
French study has found.

Pollinators account for 9.5 percent of the value of worldwide agricultural production,
according to France's National Institute for Agricultural Research (Inra).

http://www.dailyspain.com/special_Det.php?NewsSpecialID=812
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Re: Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby fishandchips on Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:04 pm

Beeswax and bee pollen are retail commodities themselves! Also, without the bees' pollination, some flowers would not bloom well at all.

I'd miss cherries if the cherry blossoms did not carry on to fruit development. There was some "buzz" earlier this year about bees being stolen somewhere in the world, as well as bee colonies just dying (electromagnetic fields created by cellphone towers are thought to be responsible).
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Re: Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby CielOnTap on Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:39 pm

Jan 17, 8:44 PM EST
Beekeepers fear sting of imported Australian hives

By GARANCE BURKE
Associated Press Writer
ATWATER, Calif. (AP) -- Beekeepers who are battling a mysterious ailment that led to the disappearance of millions of honeybees now fear the sting of imported Australian bees that they worry could outcompete their hives and might carry a deadly parasite unseen in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has allowed shipments of Australian bees to resume despite concerns by some of its own scientists.

Australia had been airfreighting the insects across the Pacific for four years to replace hives devastated by the perplexing colony collapse disorder. But six weeks ago the Australian government abruptly stopped the shipments, saying it could no longer be certain the country was free of a smaller, aggressive bee that has infested areas near the Great Barrier Reef, U.S. officials said. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/D/DISAPPEARING_BEES?SITE=MDSAL&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2009-01-17-20-44-13

Is a price hike possible for honey and beeswax products due to the shipment stoppage? Poor bees and their keepers: they have much to carry on themselves.
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Re: Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby CielOnTap on Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:40 pm

Late in perusing my weekly email summary of the latest stories appearing in The Economist, I noticed that American bees are in the news again: there are too many of them. The question is were there too few of them before when news of a bee shortage was creating headlines?

The bees are back in town
Mar 5th 2009
From The Economist print edition
ImageCorbis
The economic crisis has contributed to a glut of bees in California. That raises questions about whether a supposed global pollination crisis is real

AT THE end of February, the orchards of California’s Central Valley are dusted with pink and white blossom, as millions of almond trees make their annual bid for reproduction. The delicate flowers attract pollinators, mostly honeybees, to visit and collect nectar and pollen. By offering fly-through hospitality, the trees win the prize of a brush with a pollen-covered bee and the chance of cross-pollination with another tree. In recent years, however, there has been alarm over possible shortages of honeybees and scary stories of beekeepers finding that 30-50% of their charges have vanished over the winter. It is called colony collapse disorder (CCD), and its cause remains a mystery.

Add to this worries about long-term falls in the populations of other pollinators, such as butterflies and bats, and the result is a growing impression of a threat to nature’s ability to supply enough nectar-loving animals to service mankind’s crops. This year, however, the story has developed a twist. In California the shortage of bees has been replaced by a glut.

Bee good to me
The annual orgy of sexual reproduction in the Californian almond orchards owes little to the unintended bounty of nature. Francis Ratnieks, a professor of apiculture at Sussex University who has worked on the state’s almond farms, says the crop is so large and intensively grown these days that it has greatly surpassed the region’s inherent ability to supply pollinators. Decades ago, when there were fewer almonds, farmers could rely on pollination just from the beekeepers who live in the Central Valley. Now, they have to import migrant apian labour. http://www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13226733&fsrc=nwlbtwfree
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Re: Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby CielOnTap on Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:47 pm

Swiss beekeepers declare war on destructive mite
by Jeremy Allen
Geneva - 08 April 2009 | 09:05
Swiss beekeepers are mounting a campaign to eradicate a parasite believed to be responsible for the decimation of bee colonies, while offering courses for beginners on how to manage their hives better. The action comes as bee populations, falling around world, decline by 18 percent in Switzerland in 2008, alarming experts who say 80 percent of fruit and vegetable crops depend on the insects for pollination.
Image
Experts believe the Varroa mite is wiping out the bee population © ALP

Switzerland’s beekeeping organizations are stepping up their attempts to fight a huge decline in bee colonies that has worsened in recent years. The phenomenon is a worldwide concern, decimating populations of the insect in the United States, China, and other European nations.

Experts link the decline to a Varroa mite, a 1.5 millimetre parasite that feeds on bee larvae. “We don’t know everything but there is pretty strong evidence that the Varroa plays a critical role in the decimation of bees,” Robert Seiber, editor of the Swiss Bee Journal, told Swisster.

Seiber said it is still not clear exactly how the mite kills off bees. “For instance it is possible that a virus spreads from one bee to another via the mite.”

Seiber said that high temperatures last winter (2007 to 2008) may have also influenced the impact of the mites.
Mites
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Re: Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby pretzels on Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:49 pm

Next time you reach for the honey to spoon into hot beverages, baking or barbecue basting sauce, think of the work that went into making the honey. Even the flowers have to cue their scents to get the insects to notice them. Clockwork.

April 28, 2009, 9:49 pm
Guest Column: Let’s Hear It for the Bees
By Leon Kreitzman

Gardeners know that plants open and close their flowers at set times during the day. For example, the flowers of catmint open between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.; orange hawkweed follows between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.; field marigolds open at 9:00 a.m.

In “Philosophia Botanica” (1751), the great taxonomist Carl Linnaeus proposed that it should be possible to plant a floral clock. He noted that two species of daisy, the hawk’s-beard and the hawkbit, opened and closed at their respective times within about a half-hour each day. He suggested planting these daisies along with St. John’s Wort, marigolds, water-lilies and other species in a circle. The rhythmic opening and closing of the plants would be the effective hands of this clock.

Plants have carefully timed routines determined by internally generated rhythms. In 1729, Jean-Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan, a French astronomer, put a Mimosa plant in a cupboard to see what happened when it was kept in the dark. He peeked in at various times, and although the plant was permanently in the dark its leaves still opened and closed rhythmically – it was as though it had its own representation of day and night. The plant’s leaves still drooped during its subjective night and stiffened up during its subjective day. Furthermore, all the leaves moved at the same time. It took another 230 years or so to come up with the term circadian – about a day – to describe these rhythms. Bees
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Re: Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby Speak-Ez on Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:12 pm

.

I would really like to know who wrote this article.

CielOnTap wrote:
The bees are back in town
Mar 5th 2009
From The Economist print edition

The economic crisis has contributed to a glut of bees in California. That raises questions about whether a supposed global pollination crisis is real

x Image not copied

AT THE end of February, the orchards of California’s Central Valley are dusted with pink and white blossom, as millions of almond trees make their annual bid for reproduction. The delicate flowers attract pollinators, mostly honeybees, to visit and collect nectar and pollen. By offering fly-through hospitality, the trees win the prize of a brush with a pollen-covered bee and the chance of cross-pollination with another tree. In recent years, however, there has been alarm over possible shortages of honeybees and scary stories of beekeepers finding that 30-50% of their charges have vanished over the winter. It is called colony collapse disorder (CCD), and its cause remains a mystery.

Add to this worries about long-term falls in the populations of other pollinators, such as butterflies and bats, and the result is a growing impression of a threat to nature’s ability to supply enough nectar-loving animals to service mankind’s crops. This year, however, the story has developed a twist. In California the shortage of bees has been replaced by a glut.

Bee good to me
The annual orgy of sexual reproduction in the Californian almond orchards owes little to the unintended bounty of nature. Francis Ratnieks, a professor of apiculture at Sussex University who has worked on the state’s almond farms, says the crop is so large and intensively grown these days that it has greatly surpassed the region’s inherent ability to supply pollinators. Decades ago, when there were fewer almonds, farmers could rely on pollination just from the beekeepers who live in the Central Valley. Now, they have to import migrant apian labour.

http://www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=13226733&fsrc=nwlbtwfree



That's some excellent writing. Very good, indeed. And in deed.

.
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Re: Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby CielOnTap on Tue May 19, 2009 4:24 pm

Not all bees are welcome and appreciated! Here's a reason to walk through your yard prior to cutting the grass: to discover objects left out, insect habitations, and litter.

Bees sting 74-year-old Texas man over 200 times
2 hours, 6 minutes ago
By The Associated Press

WACO, Texas - A swarm of bees attacked a 74-year-old Texas man as he mowed his lawn, stinging him more than 200 times.

Authorities in Waco said Harold Braun is in stable condition in hospital, one day after the attack in his front yard.

His brother, Al, says the victim was using a riding mower and stirred up the bees when he went over an area that had been covered by a rubber mat. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090519/world/bee_stings

Either this man is getting ice packs or he's taking pain medicine to cope with the ache of so many stings. Ouch.
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Re: Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby smitty on Fri May 22, 2009 2:52 pm

As an ex-fruit orchardist we really did count on the bees & payed so much each year to have the bee hives in our orchards along with full guarantee that we had not used any insecticite prior to the bee hives to also when they were doing their lovely business.

I read that the bee hives looked as if they would be small this year & many could not be rented out to fruit orchardists, but things have seemingly perked up.

After all in this area the cherries have come into blossom, peaches to Apricots have also showen their blossoms while Apples are in full swing right now, of the blossoms that is. In a while will be the time of the orchardist to go out & hand thin the fruit products & especially the apples with latter being by blossomes to actually the apples themselves. If all goes well THEN it will be time to harvest them by hand only & to not bruise them.

If you live not to far away from stawberry growers, best thing is to see if they will give you permission to pick them. After all it is hard to find someone to acltually pick all the stawberries, for rasberries are done by machine like blueberries though there is something about a low production of blueberries due to the COLD winter to spring days.
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Re: Busy and valuable: Bees are worth $220bln a year

Postby CielOnTap on Fri May 22, 2009 3:00 pm

Quince tree flowers have just blossomed at home and one of the large peony plants opened a flower here. Last week, I noticed two big bumblebees giving the tulips and other flowers in the front yard their attention.
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