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Thread: AP Honey bee crisis could lead to higher food prices

  1. #1

    Exclamation AP Honey bee crisis could lead to higher food prices

    WASHINGTON - Food prices could rise even more unless the mysterious decline in honey bees is solved, farmers and businessmen told lawmakers Thursday.
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    "No bees, no crops," North Carolina grower Robert D. Edwards told a House Agriculture subcommittee. Edwards said he had to cut his cucumber acreage in half because of the lack of bees available to rent.

    About three-quarters of flowering plants rely on birds, bees and other pollinators to help them reproduce. Bee pollination is responsible for $15 billion annually in crop value.

    In 2006, beekeepers began reporting losing 30 percent to 90 percent of their hives. This phenomenon has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Scientists do not know how many bees have died; beekeepers have lost 36 percent of their managed colonies this year. It was 31 percent for 2007, said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of the Agriculture Department's Agricultural Research Service.

    "If there are no bees, there is no way for our nation's farmers to continue to grow the high quality, nutritious foods our country relies on," said Democratic Rep. Dennis Cardoza of California, chairman of the horticulture and organic agriculture panel. "This is a crisis we cannot afford to ignore."

    Food prices have gone up 83 percent in three years, according to the World Bank.

    Edward R. Flanagan, who raises blueberries in Milbridge, Maine, said he could be forced to increase prices tenfold or go out of business without the beekeeping industry. "Every one of those berries owes its existence to the crazy, neurotic dancing of a honey bee from flower to flower," he said.

    The cause behind the disorder remains unknown. Possible explanations include pesticides; a new parasite or pathogen; and the combination of immune-suppressing stresses such as poor nutrition, limited or contaminated water supplies and the need to move bees long distances for pollination.
    As if food prices haven't gone up enough, now we have to worry about having enough food just to feed us all. I think it was Einstein who said "if the honeybees disappear, we won't be able to survive on this planet.
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    C-5/6, 7-9-2000
    Scottsdale, AZ

    Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.

  2. #2
    I heard a fungus is wiping out all the bananas, too.

    Keep reading the news and you'll actually want a nuclear holocaust, mega-volcano or meteor to put us out of our misery.

  3. #3
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    "If there are no bees, there is no way for our nation's farmers to continue to grow the high quality, nutritious foods our country relies on," said Democratic Rep. Dennis Cardoza of California, chairman of the horticulture and organic agriculture panel.
    He means "the plant foods our country relies on," but trust a politician to try to guild whichever lilly he's trying to sell us without stopping to examine the process and see how silly he sounds.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

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    Beekeepers in the United States have been plagued with a raft of problems over the last few decades. The africanization of honey bees in North America was just one such problem, and beekeepers dealt with it. But some of these new problems that have materialized have been particularly hard on beekeepers; they have brought many an apiarist to tears over them. We have known several long-time beekeepers who have simply abandon the practice of cultivating bees. They are frustrated and confused, tired, and no longer feel the same joy in raising bees. Farmers weep with them, and so do we.

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    Thank you Ala, for that stinging appraisal.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

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    ..........

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