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Posts Tagged ‘honeybees’

The deadly virus – fungus combo that seems to play a big role in colony collapse disorder:

Scientists & Soldiers

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I’ve been under the impression that the evidence was inconclusive about whether the proliferation of mobile phones is tied to colony collapse disorder, but a new study seems to find a correlation.  More research needed.  But the big question is:  IF mobile phone radiation is contributing to the decline of honeybees (and other pollinators), what are we prepared to do about it??

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/7778401/Mobile-phones-responsible-for-disappearance-of-honey-bee.html

bee phone

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From Popular Science:  “German Airports Using “Biodetective” Honeybees to Monitor Air Quality”.  June 29, 2010.

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-06/german-airports-use-honeybees-monitor-air-quality

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The bees have filled up the first hive box with comb and brood, and so a second hive box has now been added.  No signs of foulbrood, varroa mites or other infestations.  We think the queen made a special flight appearance while we were checking the frames, as a large bee with a very unusual buzz appeared.  Hopefully all are settled back into their larger, expanded home and doing what bees do.

second hive box

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Haagen Dazs launched a site to help the honey bees!  Click on the “how you can help” link to learn more about what you can do.  http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/

Haagen Dazs

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I’ve been reading Neil Gaiman’s novels lately (American Gods, Anansi Boys), and love his writing, so I was smitten with him even more when he posted a photo of his red hive on Twitter today.  🙂

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Despite the recent cold and rainy weather, the bee colony has been busy!  To this point, their food supply has been supplemented with sugar syrup, which helps maintain their nutrition while the spring blooms continue to appear.  Because flowers & trees bloomed earlier this year, there was ample pollen in the area, and we didn’t have to provide supplemental pollen patties, which is normal.  As soon as we approached the hive, we could see the bees were in a bit of a traffic jam, with the entrance reducer on the hive still set at it’s smallest opening.  As soon as we opened the entrance to its next largest setting, the bees didn’t hesitate to use it in greater numbers.  We carefully inspected the frames and found evidence of what appeared to be a healthy brood — many brood cells sealed and incubating larva, soon to be young bees!  The colony had not yet drawn comb on all of the frames, but the center ones were pretty covered in comb, and the yellow pollen color was apparent throughout.

May 23

We saw no evidence of foulbrood (identified by its foul odor) and no evidence of the varroa mite, two of the most common problems facing honeybees in Minnesota.  After the hive was closed and we took a lunch break, we returned for one last visit.  Sitting on the ground, just a few feet from the hive, I watched bees exit, hover in a circle just above the hive and then take off in a southwesterly direction.  I could also see others returning, and as they carefully landed and entered the hive, their rear legs were bulging yellow with pollen.  I couldn’t help but smile — what amazing little creatures!  I am in awe.

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