4 Mar 2007

bee afraid

The NY Times has a pretty ominous story about vanishing bees:

This winter, in more than 20 states, beekeepers have noticed that their honeybees have mysteriously vanished, leaving behind no clues as to their whereabouts. There are no tell-tale dead bodies either inside colonies or out in front of hives, where bees typically deposit corpses of dead nestmates.

What’s more, the afflicted colonies tend to be full of honey, pollen and larvae, as if all of the workers in the nest precipitously decamped on some prearranged signal. Beekeepers are up in arms — last month, leaders in the business met with research scientists and government officials in Florida to figure out why the bees are disappearing and how to stop the losses. Nobody had any answers.

Back in the early 90s, I remember hearing mutterings about problems with the UK bee populations, I remember virus infections being suggested, but it kind of dropped from the edges of the news just as quickly as it came in. It looks like the *crisis* has been quietly going on for some 30 years over here. There is more on this on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust website as well as some really pretty bee pics in the gallery.

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