2014-11-30

the history of bee decline

11.30: summary:
. bees immune systems seem compromised
by both pesticides and by dietary changes
(HFCS replaces their honey).

2.20: news.health/
commercial bees spreading disease to wild bees:
Wild pollinators such as bumblebees (Bombus spp.)
are in global decline;
one cause of which may be pathogen spillover
from managed pollinators like honeybees
or commercial colonies of bumblebees.
. studies show that honeybee diseases
are indeed widespread infectious agents
[Nature 2014sciencenews.org 2014].

11.30: web:
. back in the 70's
Commercial honeybee enterprises began feeding bees
high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)[phys.org 2013].
. bees fed HFCS and are missing honey
are also missing the enzyme p-coumaric,
which turns on detoxification genes.
P-coumaric is found in pollen walls, not nectar,
and makes its way into honey inadvertently
via sticking to the legs of bees as they visit flowers
[phys.org 2013].

. around 1995-96, variant of the corn rootworm
outsmarted soy-corn rotations,
driving an uptick in insecticide use .
from then until 2012, U.S. corn cultivation
has gone from a crop requiring little-to-no insecticides
and negligible amounts of fungicides,
to a crop where the average acre is grown from
seeds treated or genetically engineered
to express three different insecticides
(as well as a fungicide or two)
before being sprayed prophylactically
with RoundUp (an herbicide) [ Pilatic 2012].

Since approximately 2006,
colony collapse disorder has emerged;
(a third of honey bee colonies in the US
have been lost each year since 2006,
in part due to Colony Collapse Disorder
[plosone.org 2012]).

. in 2007, a new class of fungicides (strobilurins)
were entering the corn farming market . [ Pilatic 2012]
. fungicides may promote fungal infections
[motherjones.com 20132014].