The Biggest Myth About the ‘Bee Apocalypse’

By Ross Pomeroy

In 2006, an ominous term entered the public lexicon: colony collapse disorder. The mysterious, somewhat vague word describes instances where entire colonies of honeybees abruptly disappear, leaving behind their queens. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) has since fueled claims of an ongoing “bee apocalypse,” which summarizes the perilous plight of our pollinator pals.

But despite panicked claims of an apocalypse, managed honeybee colonies in the United States have actually been rising since 2008. In fact, as of April 2017, U.S. honeybee colonies are at their highest levels in more than 23 years! According toUniversity of Sussex Professor Dave Goulson, perhaps the foremost expert on bees, the trend is the same globally.

Herein lies the biggest myth of the “bee apocalypse”: that there actually is one. Fret not, bees aren’t going extinct anytime soon. Our food supply is not imminently imperiled.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. @OP – The Biggest Myth About the ‘Bee Apocalypse’

    This sounds like a propagandists’ hyped strawman “Apocalypse”, (akin to the mythical global-warming “alarmism” beloved of scientifically illiterate denialists) – belittling the real problems, and reputable scientific studies, of invasive species, pests, diseases and insecticides which are are threatening many wild pollinators, and causing colony collapse in commercial hives!

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/09/uk-will-back-total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides-michael-gove-reveals

    UK will back total ban on bee-harming pesticides, Michael Gove reveals

    Research leads environment secretary to overturn government’s previous opposition, making total EU ban much more likely

    The decision reverses the government’s previous position and is justified by recent new evidence showing neonicotinoids have contaminated the whole landscape and cause damage to colonies of bees. It also follows the revelation that 75% of all flying insects have disappeared in Germany and probably much further afield, a discovery Gove said had shocked him.

  2. Meanwhile – back in the realm of reporting real science, rather than misleading cherry-picked hyped articles!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-suffolk-42354947

    Neonicotinoids at ‘chronic levels’ in UK rivers, study finds

    Rivers across the country are “chronically polluted” with pesticides believed to pose a threat to bee populations, a report has found.

    The River Waveney on the Norfolk/Suffolk border was found to have the highest levels of neonicotinoids in the UK.

    The River Wensum in Norwich, and the River Tame in the West Midlands were also named among the most polluted.

    A growing number of studies have linked the pesticides to problems for bees.

    According to figures from UK monitoring data by the European Environment Agency, 88% of sites in Britain were contaminated with neonicotinoids.

    The Angling Trust, the charity Buglife, and The Rivers Trust said eight rivers in England – including the Ouse, Somerhill Stream, Wyke Beck, Ancholme, and Sincil Dyke – exceeded recommended chronic pollution limits.

    The River Waveney’s pollution limit was exceeded for a whole month, they said.

    The study said the three toxins of concern were imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam, which are used in farming and waste water treatment plants.

    Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, said: “We are devastated to discover that many British rivers have been heavily damaged by neonicotinoid insecticides.

    @OP – In fact, as of April 2017, U.S. honeybee colonies are at their highest levels in more than 23 years!

    According to University of Sussex Professor Dave Goulson, perhaps the foremost expert on bees, the trend is the same globally.

    “It is vital that action is taken to ban these three toxins.”

    @ above BBC link:- Prof Dave Goulson, from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex, said just a teaspoon of imidacloprid was enough to give a lethal dose to 1.25b honeybees.

    Which is a rather different message to the misleading one in the OP!

  3. RealClearScience is a shoddy site, founded by a libertarian, Alex Berezow, who believes Obama was far left. The site declares itself moderate and there to counter “left bias that riddles the media”. It sports Templeton Foundation adverts for me indicating the kinds of right wing visitor probably expected.

    It wages active war against its detractors.

    Describing himself as ideologically neutral or moderate, Berezow nonetheless descibed President Barack Obama as being on the “far Left” when promoting his book, Science Left Behind at the American Enterprise Institute on Oct. 24, 2012.

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