Monday, October 29

Colony Collapse Disorder

Girly glitter comments from
I'm posting tonight because I will be with the grandsons much of the day tomorrow. The boys are off school for a Professional Development Day.

I had intended to post this for Monday, but since my husband hit the deer, I posted the pictures of the van and that story instead. This is one of grave importance and I hope if you don't already know about colony collapse disorder that you will gain some knowledge here today.

Sunday night on 60 Minutes, professional beekeeper David Hackenberg, explained that last November, he found 400 hundred of his beehives empty. There were still eggs and larvae inside the hives, but not one single bee. Crawling on his hands and knees, Hackenberg tried to find dead bees. There were none. It seemed his bees had simply vanished off the face of the Earth.

Hackenberg has been in the beekeeping business for 45 years. He has never seen anything like this before. All year 'round he loads his beehives onto flatbed trucks and travels the US in order to provide bees to farmers to pollinate their crops. Unfortunately, he has lost two-thirds of his 3,000 beehives, which he fears will put him out of business. He's not alone! Beekeepers all over the US have reported similar problems. Some have lost 90% of their hives to what scientists are calling "Colony Collapse Disorder."

Hackenberg knows if the same thing that happened last November happens again, he has lost his livelihood. Last year he lost thousands of dollars and had to replace the hives that he lost. He doesn't believe he can survive such a loss again and he's not the only beekeeper who is in this predicament. In one year, a third of the honeybees in the US have flown into oblivion or died of Colony Collapse Disorder.

A task force of scientists have been gathered by the US government to look for the reason behind Colony Collapse Disorder. They are looking at such factors as poor nutrition, a virus, parasites and pesticide use. The leader of the efforts for the Department of Agriculture, Jeffrey Peltis stated, "I don't think it's going to come down to a single factor. We're not going to be able to pin all of these losses on either one factor or even maybe one combination of factors."

Professor Maria Spivak of the University of Minnesota says, "Either there is not enough food or its contaminated. Then they come back to the nest and the nest is contaminated with disease or mites and so their whole environment is not healthy." Spivak believes the bees are telling us that they can't live in our environment because it is toxic.

What people don't realize is that without bees, mankind cannot survive. People in America can't comprehend that without bees fruit and other crops cannot be pollinated. Without being pollinated, nothing grows. There would be a serious food shortage in North America because it takes crops to put food on the table.

Bees pollinate all fruits and other crops such as alfalfa. Without bees, it's doubtful that mankind will survive.

To let you know how ignorant people can be, (I'm using the word ignorant in its correct context here) a waitress in a truck stop told my brother (who's a truck driver) she didn't care anything about the farmers. He asked her where she thought she would get her food. "Oh," she said. "I'll just buy it at the grocery store."

Having been raised on the farm and being very knowledgeable about where food comes from, my brother almost fell off his chair. "Where do you think the grocery store gets their food?" he asked her. She replied that she had never really thought about it. When she needed food, she just went and bought it.

It's time that the governments of Canada and the US start to think about what is in store for us if our environment doesn't cease to be polluted. We are breathing in toxins everyday, as are all of the creatures on Earth. We need to stop global warming. We need to stop using pesticides. We need to be good stewards of the Earth and value it. Without it we will become extinct, as surely as the dinosaurs did thousands of years ago.

Man is the only animal on Earth that is willing to poison himself. Other animals take care of their dens and the environment in which they live. Mankind is going to self-destruct if he doesn't wake up and it will only be because of his lust and greed for the almighty dollar. For that is how man thinks these days. He is greedy for power and wealth, no matter the sacrifice.


  1. I am very grateful to you for all the wisdom you share my friend.

  2. Denise,

    Thanks very much. I appreciate your kind words and your regular visits, as well as your emails.

    Blessings, my friend.

  3. Your wisdom is great!

    As we live in an agricultural area, I am familiar with the beekeeper's and their plight.

    It saddens me what man has done to our beautiful planet.

  4. Yes, just go into the grocery store when you need food. Okay! She must have skipped class that day.

  5. Cynthia,

    It saddens me but also annoys me because nothing is being done about it. I often wonder if there will be anything left for my great-grandchildren.

  6. edge of design,

    My brother was appalled and I couldn't believe my ears.

  7. Frank, our friend who use to take care of the farm, and I were having the discussion of the plight of bee YEARS AGO before all others were living in obvilion (waitress). Now it is really CRITICAL and finally the government is gonna STUDY IT. Fortunately, their have been scientist who have been working on the problem and maybe now they will get some funding.
    For awhile I raised bees with another fellow and I was always amazed how gentle they are. I have pictures of them on my fingers.
    Also, bee stinks have been used on some people with constant pain and arthritis.
    be sure to stop by when you come to tn.
    peace be with you

  8. Excellent post, Mary. I remember seeing a story on the news about the bees disappearing not so long ago...Something terrible in nature is definately happening to them - whether it is a virus/disease or contamination man-made or by chemicals I don't know, but I'm thinking that it may be a combination of all. Nature - our planet - cannot continue to withstand the constant expansion, intrusion and drain on her natural resources. Creatures suffer - and I believe that one day, so will humans.

  9. I am sooo sorry about your Hubby's van but I'm glad to read that he wasn't seriously injured.

    As for the bee situation,I have read about the plight of beekeepers in our local newspaper. A few years ago, a swarm actually made itself at home in the wall of our bedroom. We called an exterminator who came and destroyed the hive but I've always wondered if there could have been a way to remove the swarm and relocate them. I guess we'll never know.

  10. Lady Di,

    Yeah! Daughter's computer is working and the grandsons are being well-behaved. That means Grandma can check out her blog.

    That waitress astounded my brother and I couldn't believe it when he told me.

    Yes, bee stings can be beneficial to some. I was stung this summer by a yellow jacket. It's been years since I was stung and it did hurt for a few minutes, but there were no lasting effects.

    Interesting that you raised bees. I've never attempted it. Did you raise honeybees?

  11. Deborah,

    You are absolutely correct. Man will eventually suffer. We are already seeing the effects of all the toxins that are put into our food, the air and our bodies. I'm concerned what all this will mean for the grandsons and their children.

  12. Joan,

    Bees in the home are not good. They can be dangerous when their nests are in close proximity to humans. I do hope they weren't honeybees, but I suspect they weren't. Honeybees don't usually nest in houses.

    Right now we have a squirrel problem. Somehow (and we can't find out how) they are getting into the attic above our bedroom. They drive me crazy at night. I hate hurting animals of any kind, but unfortunately, they have to go one way or the other. We're trying to figure out a way to save them.

    Thanks for your kind words on the deer hitting incident. Much appreciated.

  13. Yes you could not be more correct!! What a good post!! Just wish that the right people would understand this. I got an email today similiar to this post. It says the same thing..if we don't shape up we are killing ourselves. I believe that is true. Thanks..
    Also thanks for stopping by and seeing my granddaughter, Madison at her first attempt in sewing..she did great..Sandy

  14. Sandy,

    Yes, Madison did a great job with her sewing. I was very impressed. I'm glad that she's having you teach her.

    Thanks for your comments on my post. Have a great week.

  15. I remember my husband telling me about the bee problem. It's kinda of scarey. I believe we need to trust in the Lord during times of trouble. Thanking the Lord for his creation, and Praising him for our food is another aspect that many Americans have forgotten about our planet.

    Thanks for the encouraging comment on my blog. I started my blog for friends and family far away, and to have someone take an intrest in it besides the memes has really made my day! Thank you! :)

  16. Mommy,

    Yes, the bee situation is very scary.

    Not many people give a blessing before the meal anymore. That was a tradition that I was brought up with. In fact, it seems that a lot of people aren't thankful for anything.

    Thanks for your comments. I did enjoy my visit to your blog.

  17. Mary,

    Like you I grew up in agriculture country so I understand food just don’t magically show up on the grocery store shelve. I think it’s not uncommon for many people in North America to not see the connection. And, not see the connection that their actions are causing many of today’s problems.

    My wife and I use to keep bees as a hobby when we lived on an island in Puget Sound in Washington State. One of my biggest regrets about moving to the rain forest of Southeast Alaska is that it is nearly impossible to keep bees here because of our sometimes endless rain. Bees not only need to get out to forage, but they will not defecate in their hives so days and days of rain makes it hard for them to survive. There are ways to build special hives for this climate so maybe some year I’ll try. Lots of people keep bees in the interior of Alaska, but as I understand they will not survive the cold winters so they need to be imported each year.

    I have been following this very bad news about the decline of bees for a couple of years now. I recreantly heard an interesting radio program on NPR. That program suggested that some scientist now think that it is a fungus that messes up the internal navigation system of the bees. So when they head out of the hive they can not find their way back and eventually starve. But, this is only one theory.

    Whatever the cause is of the decline in bees it could be devastating. North America already lost all its native bees when Foul Brood a disease that bees get was brought to North America from Europe when Europeans where colonizing this continent. That is why one of the most common bees in North America today is called the Italian, because it was imported from Italy to replace the bees that died off from Foul Brood.

    With global warming, over population, declining resources, air and water pollution, and on and on, this problem could end up to be one of the biggest if scientist don’t figure out how to stop it. As you pointed out we depend on bees to pollinate many of our agricultural crops. No pollination……… No food. It’s just that simple.

  18. Thanks for this informative piece. I have friends who grow bees, and I didn't know that until recently. They haven't apparently had this problem yet. I"ll make this available to them.

    The ignorant comment from the waitress just absolutely blows my mind!!

    I read about your husband's encounter with the deer. Thank the Lord he wasn't hurt badly! My husband's name is Dwight too, as well as one of my brothers.

  19. Marcel,

    I'm glad I invited you over. I've learned even more about bees from your comments. Thanks for going into such great detail. I am always learning and you pointed out many things that I didn't know.

    Thanks for the very informative comments. It's much appreciated. I enjoy visiting your blog as well. You have a beautiful place in the world.

    Blessings for a great week.

  20. Dawn,

    I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I am always interested in learning about what's happening in the natural world.

    Dwight isn't a very common name up here, but not sure about the rest of the world. His mother named him after Eisenhower, which seemed odd to me, as both Dwight and his mother were born in Canada.

    Thanks for stopping by. It's always nice to see you here.

  21. Hello dear Mary...finally finished carving my pumpkins so now I'm visiting:-) I had read about the deer incident yesterday but didn't have time to comment...I just thank God that no one was hurt, well except the deer! It happens all the time over here too, mostly with moose in this area. The poor van, it's no wonder your hubby was so upset with all the damage!! As for this post, I've always said that man is his own worse enemy and the planet is suffering because of it. I had heard about the bees being scarcer and what a disaster that could lead to. It's really terrifying to think of where this is all leading to! Take care my friend!! xoxo

  22. Mary,

    Excellent article. I have been hearing about the devastation to the bee colonies for a couple of years, although the term Colony Collapse is one I've only heard in the last few months. That was a very good segment on 60 minutes.

    We have noticed a lot fewer honey bees around here in the last couple of years, but especially this year. We are going to be in a world of hurt if we don't figure out what is going on.

    I agree that the bees are telling us the environment is toxic. It's a bit ironic, for the last 10 or 15 years the doctors who have not dismissed multiple chemical sensitivity have been dubbing us the "canaries in the mine." I fear they are correct and the bees are an even a greater tragic example of what is to come if we continue to ignore how we poison the environment.

    Great article and commentary, Mary!

  23. Pea,

    Thanks for your kind words about the accident. The doctor believes that hubby has a torn cuff in his shoulder. He has to go back in a week or so if it's not healing. That is a small thing when we think of what might have happened.

    It is scary to think where global warming is taking us. Very scary indeed.

    I'm glad you have all of your pumpkins carved. The boys are carving theirs tonight.

  24. Yes, it is sad, Mary, what human kind has done to our own environment. So, so sad...

    Thank you for the informative post. I enjoyed reading it and learning all about the present danger for our bees, and initially, our own lives as we know them.

    Enjoy your time with your grandsons ;0)


    P.S. Love the beautiful graphic! You choose them so well ;0)

  25. Tina,

    Yes, it was a good segment on 60 Minutes. I learned a lot from it and wanted to pass some of the information along.

    I only saw a few honeybees this summer and we used to have thousands of them here. There are other kinds of bees, especially yellow jackets in large numbers.

    Our environment today is very toxic. I had never had sensitivities until last year and then had a reaction to the ink on newsprint and to anything that is made of petroleum that has an odour. It's no fun and I wonder sometimes how you cope.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a wonderful week.


  26. Michele,

    I keep wanting to spell your name with two "Ls" because that is the way my daughter's name is spelled, so I apologize in advance if I do this.

    Yes, the end of honeybees could have a HUGE impact on mankind. Some people don't realize that we need bees to pollinate orchards and other crops.

    I did have a good time with the boys, although we didn't do what we had planned because Jordan wasn't feeling well and was running a fever. Their computer was fixed so I was able to access my blog.

    Their Dad got home about 2:30 and Brandon and I went to Walmart and then to the farm. It was a beautiful day to be out and about.

    Thanks for stopping by my friend. I always enjoy your visits. Have a terrific week.

  27. Mary, Kelly will need the computer soon so I will have to come back tomorrow and read this...

    I have something for you at my blog! love you, Carolyn

  28. Carolyn,

    I will look forward to your visit tomorrow.

    Thank you so much for the lovely award. It is AWESOME!!! I'm honored.

  29. I heard about the honey bee's problems about a year ago and the fact that they are just not around anymore. I started really paying attention to my flower garden bee's and sure enough, I have alot of yellow jackets, but hardly any honey bee's. Thank you for this wonderful post and sharing it with others. We need to do all we can to bring our honey bee's back!

  30. I know there is a deffinate shortage of honeybees here. When I was younger I could stand under a fruit tree in blossom and watch thoudands of bees at work. This year I stood under my huge old apple tree for quite a while and did not see a single honey bee.
    There is definitely something going on and we need to get it fixed before as you say, there is no food.

  31. Paula,

    We didn't have many honeybees here this year either. It seems this is a problem all across North America. I haven't researched European countries to see if they are having the same problems.

    Thanks for your comments on my post. I enjoyed your visit.

  32. mountain mama,

    Yes, there is a definite shortage of honeybees. I remember as a child, Grandma's flower garden and the orchard were always buzzing with honeybees. The Earth if fighting back and it's time our governments woke up and smelled the coffee.

    Thanks for your visit. Enjoyable, as always.

  33. Well written and informative post. Thanks.

  34. Mary,

    What a great post! A wake up call to humans. Come to think of it, I haven't seen any honey bee's this summer, only bumble bee's.

    Thank you for educating us. We all need to do our part for the environment, don't we?

    Take care, and have a great Wednesday.


  35. vic grace,

    Thanks so much for your visit.

  36. Renie,

    There weren't many honeybees around here either. That's scary for me. I grew up on the farm where there were thousands of honeybees going about their business - in the fields, in Grandma's flower garden - anywhere there was nectar. Now, we see so few.

    I appreciate your comments on the article. I enjoy teaching people. Glad you enjoyed the article.