Wednesday, May 2, 2007

More on the honeybee mystery

I've found some interesting articles online relating to missing honeybees mystery. Now that the mainstream media has milked the doom and gloom for all it's worth and moved onto a new scary plaything or two, the real journalists may get a chance to actually write insightful articles about what's going on. has some interesting pieces of info that adds to the missing bees mystery. An African bee expert, Garth Cambray, claims that, “constant inbreeding among North America’s 30 queens has weakened their genetic strength and caused them to become genetically useless.” The article states that honey prices in Africa are rising due to their stocks of honey being exported to America to overcome a shortage of 40,000 tons in the US market. This makes me wonder if the estimated loss of 25% of the North American population of honeybees can effect the price of all foods if there is a smaller crop output due to the problem? We are already seeing the increase in prices at the grocery store due to the higher fuel costs that ultimately get passed along to the consumer (us).

The York Daily Record is reporting an interesting theory that a commercial beekeeper in Franklin Township, Pennsylvania has to offer. Mike Thomas, owner of Bjorn Apiaries ponders whether or not nicotine based pesticides are at the root of the problem, "We've already been working these animals to death," he said. "But with the nicotine pesticides, the bees may finally be saying enough is enough." I tend to listen when an agricultural businessman comes up with theories. Their livelihood is centered around knowing and understanding arcane details of their trade. Spend an hour or two talking with an old farmer and you’ll understand what I mean.

I wouldn’t want to be a farmer in Georgia this year. Here it is early May and they are dealing with a severe draught with no end in sight, a late freeze which damaged crops, higher operating expenses due to the ever rising fuel costs with no peak price in sight and the possibility that their crops could be smaller because honeybees have mysteriously vanished.

No comments: