Friday, May 04, 2007

What's Up with the Bees?

Several reports from around the country are talking about the pending disaster within the bee population. For some uknown reason large perecentages of bee colonies are dying off and this could prove to be financial crisis for the agriculture industries that rely upon them for pollination, including fruits and vegetables.

Arizona Central
BELTSVILLE, Md. - Unless someone or something stops it soon, the mysterious
killer that is wiping out many of the nation's honeybees could have a
devastating effect on America's dinner plate, perhaps even reducing us to a
glorified bread-and-water diet.Honeybees don't just make honey; they pollinate
more than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops we have.Among them: apples, nuts,
avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers. And lots
of the really sweet and tart stuff, too, including citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi,
cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons.


But not in Illinois - News-Gazette

URBANA – Honeybees are dying off in massive numbers all over the nation,
threatening crop production – but Illinois is a notable exception.
"We've
escaped so far," said May Berenbaum, head of the Entomology Department at the
University of Illinois, as well as author of several insect
books.
Therein lies a great advantage.

"I think we stand to gain a lot by looking at where this has not shown
up," she said.
Illinois is one of a handful of agricultural states that have
not been bedeviled by colony collapse disorder, in which up to 90 percent of the
bees in the hive have died off recently, and
inexplicably.

Arlyn Hopkins of Dadant Inc. in Hamilton, which has operated in
the
bee industry for 140 years, hasn't seen any problems with Illinois
honeybees."We're as busy as we've been," he said. "It's a problem all around
us, but not here in Illinois."

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