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Monday, March 09th, 2009 | Author:

This blog gets a fair amount of traffic, and this commentary on “colony collapse disorder” from a well-known pollination broker in California deserves attention. Also interesting is to read what he had to say about the idea of “beekeepers receiving government subsidies” almost 10 years ago in 1999. This topic is current again in the news.

–DNR

http://www.beesource.com/pov/traynor/bcdec2008.htm

DECEMBER, 2008 issue BEE CULTURE

Joe Traynor

The following is distilled from the reams of disparate dispatches from the CCD front. I have tried to condense this mass of information into a coherent whole. None of what follows is original — all has been expressed in one form or another by others.

When CCD first came on the stage in 2006-2007, a number of possible causes entered the stage at, or close to, the same time:

Drought in many areas
Difficulty in controlling varroa mites
Nosema ceranae (believed to be widespread since at least 2006)
Decreased bee pasture + increased corn acreage
Chemical buildup in comb
Neonicotinoid pesticides

A good argument can be made for any one of these as the main, or sole cause of CCD; a better argument for a combination of two or more. If only one of the above had occurred, it would have been much simpler to either designate or eliminate it as the cause of CCD.

Based on field reports, CCD can devastate a given apiary in a short period of time, sweeping from one end to the other, leaving previously populous colonies with only a handful of bees and a queen. Since rapid decline of an organism (consider, as many have, a honey bee colony to be an individual organism) is typical of a pathogen, current thinking is that a pathogen, either N. ceranae or a virus (or a combination of both) is the basic cause of CCD.

If a virus causes CCD, is it a new “super” virus, or one of the known bee viruses – Kashmir, DWV, APV et al. — or perhaps a mutation of a known virus to a more virulent form? We don’t know, but assuming that a virus causes CCD allows us to speculate on remedial measures.

Consider other CCD-like problems in humans and plants:

Target
Disease
Pathogen
Main Vector
Humans
Flu
virus
humans
Humans
Malaria
protozoa
mosquitoes
Humans
W.Nile virus
virus
mosquitoes
Humans
Lyme
bacteria
ticks
Citrus
Greening
bacteria
psyllid
Grapes
Pierce’s
bacteria
sharpshooter
Tomatoes
Mosaic
virus
aphids

In each of the above instances, the Target can withstand the Vector in the absence of the Pathogen – mosquitoes are a minor concern to us if they don’t harbor a pathogen; without a READ THE REST…

Friday, February 06th, 2009 | Author:

From Chris Heintz, Project Apis m, http://www.projectapism.org/

To All Beekeepers -

The Governor has ordered furloughs that will result in the closing of general government operations on the first and third Friday of each month beginning February 6th, 2009, and projected to end on June 30, 2010. CDFA headquarters and field offices, including our Plant Pest Diagnostics Laboratory, will shut down operations on the days specified.

CDFA facilitates quick movement of bee colonies at border inspections by providing identification services Monday through Friday, and as deemed necessary on weekends and holidays. Due to the furloughs and inability to schedule overtime, CDFA is forced to reduce the hours of identification services to Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the weeks with a furlough day. Please note that border stations will remain open.

This new schedule may cause delays beyond our control. The Governor and CDFA are committed to do everything possible to continue to facilitate timely movement of bee colony shipments. We will relay pertinent information as it becomes available. Please visit our site
at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/pe/InteriorExclusion/bees.html for updates.

The 2009 scheduled closures are as follows:
February 6 and 20
March 6 and 20
April 3 and 17
May 1 and 15
June 5 and 19
July 3 and 17
August 7 and 21
September 4 and 18
October 2 and 16
November 6 and 20
December 4 and 18

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Anyone have any comments about this? Relying on government for anything honey/bee related doesn’t seem to look promising. Any bee shippers have any reaction to this news?