Colony Collapse Disorder

The New York Times is reporting that in 24 states beekeepers are noticing that

their bees have been disappearing inexplicably at an alarming rate, threatening not only their livelihoods but also the production of numerous crops, including California almonds, one of the nation's most profitable. ...

Now, in a mystery worthy of Agatha Christie, bees are flying off in search of pollen and nectar and simply never returning to their colonies. And nobody knows why. Researchers say the bees are presumably dying in the fields, perhaps becoming exhausted or simply disoriented and eventually falling victim to the cold.

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This is from a newsletter that I belond to and it really got me thinking, reading & researching.. After reading this I searched google with honey bee and imidacloprid as the search peramiters and what I found was astounding to say the least. It now has me wondering if this alone or moreso with mite strips could be the cause... Anyone wanting more info, please drop me a line, BlackCatHoney@hotmail.com or 413-626-7136
Richard & "PupSter" owners of Black Cat Honey (www.BlackCatHoney.com)

RE:
Is CCD really just starting in 2005/2006? Previouswork on imidacloprid?

I have been following the latest theme with interest, and had been wondering when imidacloprid would be raised.

When I was an undergraduate student in 2002, I worked with Dr. Jim Kemp and Dick Rogers in Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick (Eastern Canada) investigating possible reasons (incl. diseases, food sources, pesticides, management practices, among others) behind the
disappearance and overall decrease in honeybee populations in the Maritimes. What had initated their research in the previous year (2001) was the concern that imidacloprid, trade name Admire, used in furrow in potato fields, persisted in the soil and came up in the clover flowers two years later, which then killed off the foraging bees. I believe a similar concern with imidacloprid had been raised
in France under the trade name Gaucho and used on sunflowers.

My understanding is that beekeepers in the Maritimes noticed in the late 1990s or early 2000s that bees were disappearing/dying and colonies crashing unexpectedly, with some beekeepers having limited losses and some having almost total losses. They heard reports from
France of the similar symptoms, said that that was their problem too, accused imidacloprid and the producer (Bayer), who then got Jim and Dick involved in the investigation.

I found an old newspaper article on-line saying essentially the same thing: May 25, 2002 - National Post,
http://www.safe2use.com/ca-ipm/02-05-27.htm. You could probably find other sources too.

The background information I had heard and learned about in 2002, and in 2003 when I was only peripherally involved in the project, sounds just like what is supposedly only just happening this year in the US.
Now, I am new to the field and may be way off base, but to me this sounds like the same thing, so why are most of these reports saying this is a new phenomenon, happening either only this year or maybe last year too? Are these two different problems/scenarios, or is the media just having a field day with it this year?

Anyway, just another thought to mull over.

Victoria MacPhail
--
MSc Candidate
Dept. of Environmental Biology
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
vmacphai@uoguelph.ca
lab) 519-824-4120 ext. 56243
fax) 519-837-0442