To understand CCD you must first understand bees. ANTHROPOMORPHISM is a word used to describe when someone
projects human characteristics or human reasons for animal and or insect behavior projected onto nature. For
instance a honeybee doesn't get mad and sting you, but rather honeybees have very small brains and doesn't scheme
or retaliate out of anger, but instead it stings out of response to stimuli. A great artist that made fabulous
sculptures out of wood and stone was asked how he did it. His answer was that he had to eliminate everything that
wasn't part of the face or statue, and when he was done the face or statue would be all that was left. That is
what beekeepers that work with nature do. We learn what elicits stinging behaviors and avoid those acts, and are
able to do more with the bees. We also learn such things as to use smoke and other things of the trade.
Unfortunately we cannot put ourselves in the position of what the bees experience in regards to somthing like our
use of Apistan strips to kill mites. Fluvalinate which is the active ingredient of Apistan is also present in
most hives of CCD. I would advise beekeepers to stop using Apistan and use something non toxic and yet dependable.
My instructor Dr. Norman Gary at U.C. Davis, said that if he could live a day as a bee he could know why bees do
certain behaviors, but unfortunately he can only observe and speculate. To me honeybees provide a window of
opportunity to a glimpse into what nature is about. There are three different bees; drones, workers and the queen
bee. Drone bees are all male bees and their only job is to play and mate. I have watched them do strange things
like fan their wings to propel themselves upside down across a puddle of water on their back for no other reason
than to goof off, unless it is hygienic as a way to eject mites or something. (I have to be careful not to project
anthropomorphism when describing this and some other behaviors). Drone bees do not have a father, but do have a
maternal grandfather. It is his mom's fault that he has no dad, because she can lay either male or female eggs
as needed. The eggs that are to become Drone are known as HAPLOID. Worker bees are female and at maturity remain
workers and never mate. Both the workers and the queen come from a DIPLOID egg. The queen bee after mating holds
sperm in a bag to use to make Diploid eggs and will never mate again. At mating she mates in the air with as many
males as are able. They do this at about 50 feet or so in the air. If a hive is doing well and not effected by
ants or other enemies of the hive and the queen bee is laying well, worker bees will be too busy to put a lot of
effort into guarding the hive. The older worker bees will hang around the hive as guard bees and the youngest
worker bees tend to the brood and queen, while the majority of the hive is busy foraging, and can communicate the
locations of the five requirements of bees by a waggle tail dance. The young bees must notice mites and other
enemies to be able to clean them from the hive. The queen bee is a queen bee because of her diet and care. She
matures to be able to mate and can live several years because of this royal jelly and care, whereas her sisters
the worker bees can only live up to about 6 months. Diseases and hard work can shorten their lives. Royal Jelly is
high in Pantothenic acid. When someone is too busy being a couch potato their bone system might not be getting
enough stimulation to absorb calcium regardless how much calcium is consumed with the couch potato person's diet,
and so develop osteoporosis. This allegory is a way of explaining what happens when foragers have no forage
available, the queen isn't stimulated to lay more eggs sort of like the homeostasis in a human being or any other
animal in nature. There are five things that must be readily available for foragers to forage. Clean water, nectar
to make into honey, pollen to make into beebread, sap to make into propollis, and a healthy safe location. The
honey is a carbohydrate and beebread contains proteins. Both contain various minerals. When honeybees are low on
the five things required to maintain their hives they rely on storage, as they are notorious hoarders. However, if
fed artificial replacements too long over too many generations of bees you end up with more and more problems.
Bees are selective, and that means a bee harvesting yellow star thistle honey nectar will not in the same season
harvest sage or mint nectar, but other bees will harvest other nectars in the same colony. What this causes is for
the bees to be forced to range further from the hive for variety. For instance if someone grows buckwheat the bees
will travel several miles to harvest it. There is something in buckwheat nectar that is extremely attractive to
honeybees once they begin working it. However buckwheat flowers are only open in the morning, and tend to be less
able to be foraged after the zenith of the sun at noon. This causes bees to return to the hive unable to locate
the type of nectar those particular bees were foraging. They do not forage but rather guard the hive until the
next morning. When diversity of forage is nearby the bees tend to stay local within a three mile radius or even
less, but if the hive is still healthy and diversity of forage is limited bees will search a greater distance from
the hive. If there is genetically engineered plants and insecticides in every direction it will effect the bees.
The only common denominator in CCD is insecticide build up, and because Neonicitoids have a very strong residual
effect they pose the greatest danger to honeybees. Neonicitoids as BAYER their manufacturer states, are
responsible for immune system suppression of insects, memory loss of insects, and absconding of insects, which are
the same symptoms of CCD. All systemic insecticides seem to be residual. Systematic means treating a plant seed or
other part of the plant to make the entire plant toxic. In studies most of CCD hives which had their comb wax
tested had numerous residual insecticides in the pollen and wax, and all had some sort of insecticide. Some had
been banned years ago and may have been used years later after the bans but more than likely it is the residual
effect of the toxins. Also residual toxins add up each time they are applied in a given area or each time a colony
is exposed. It is not uncommon to find 18 pathogens in the hives destroyed by CCD, which is due to their immune
systems failing BECAUSE OF RESIDUAL INSECTICIDES. These 18 pathogens are opportunistic factors rather than cause
factors. These 18 pathogens and cell phones and other things have been blamed long enough for the cause, but the
one common denominator in CCD is residual insecticide build up. Neonicitoids have a very strong residual effect.
So that is why I believe they should be discontinued and banned and replaced by less toxic non residual agents.
2007 podcast on CCD with Dr. Eric Mussen, Ph.D. UC Davis Depertment of Entomology Extension Apiculturist
Senator Diane Fienstein, is concerned for the honeybee, so I think she might help us. Anyone can please call her
at (202) 224-3841 in Washington D.C. and tell her you are a BEEKEEPER and concerned for healthy forage areas for
insects and the eradication of CCD, and also banning NEONICS.
The best to you!
P.S. It is later than you think
Imported Bees Not Source Of Virus Associated With Colony Collapse Disorder
Penn State ag dept. is doing about CCD
Apitherapy News: Italy Bans Pesticides Linked to Bee Devastation
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