Scientists Search for Clues To Bee Mystery

Posted on February 24, 2008  Comments (5)

Honey Bees Give Clues on Virus Spread by Carl Zimmer

Now, as farmers wait anxiously to see if the honeybees will suffer again this spring, the true cause of CCD remains murky. Skeptics have raised many reasons to doubt that Australian viruses are to blame. In Australia, bees that get Israeli acute paralytic virus don’t get sick, and the country has had no reports of CCD. And in places where honeybee colonies are collapsing — Greece, Poland, Spain — there are no imported Australian bees. These are not the sort of patterns you’d expect, the skeptics say, if Australian viruses were killing American bees.

Whether scientists look inside a honeybee or look at the entire biosphere, nature is proving to be awesomely intricate. In the oceans and the soil, metagenomics is revealing millions of different kinds of microbes, with an almost inconceivable diversity of viruses shuttling between them, carrying genes from host to host. But we have almost no idea how these menageries work together, either in the biosphere or inside a host like a honeybee — or a human. Many of the microbes that metagenomics is revealing are entirely new to science. As genetic databases fill with DNA sequences from millions of new species, our scientific wisdom lags far behind.

How true. Watching as scientists try to work out what is going on with Colony Collapse Disorder is a great lesson in how scientists search for answers. As I stated earlier much of science is not about simple obvious truths but a search through confusing signs to try and determine what is going on. Answering why, is not always so easy as it appears when someone has already found the answer and posted it online.

Related: Virus Found to be One Likely Factor in Bee Colony Collapse DisorderBee Colony Collapse DisorderMore on Disappearing Honeybeesmost Carl Zimmer related posts

5 Responses to “Scientists Search for Clues To Bee Mystery”

  1. Ed Mickol
    February 25th, 2008 @ 6:56 pm

    I’m researching a possible connection between the recently-introduced nanoscale particles (found to be as toxic as nickel in animal model tests) which are used by chemical companies like Bayer and BASF, etc. in such things as the plant growth regulator “Primo MAXX” (used on golf courses, etc.) and the fungucide “Banner MAXX”, etc., and their possible accidental absoption/ingestion by pollinating honeybees, resulting not in a toxic reaction, but causing a kind of electronic signal “jamming” of the bees’ own natural magnetite nanoparticles used by them as the “needle” for their homing “compass”.

    The primary symptom of Colony Collapse Disorder is that: when the bees are released to pollinate crops, they fly away and never return to their hives.

    Which could indicate a failure of their internal homing device/bio-compass “mechanism”.

    Exactly what an artificially introduced into the environment nanoparticle “disruptor” could cause.

    I wondered if you have come across any research into this possibility?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. CuriousCat » Laws of Physics May Need a Revision
    March 8th, 2008 @ 8:53 am

    An interesting puzzle that illustrates how scientists attempt to confirm our understanding and real world results…

  3. Curious Cat Science Blog » The Life of the Queen Bee
    October 21st, 2008 @ 1:20 pm

    “Effectively, however, her duty is as an egg making machine. She can lay bout two thousand eggs a day in the spring…”

  4. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake Photos
    January 9th, 2009 @ 11:01 am

    Facts about the Great Salt Lake: It is the largest U.S. lake west of the Mississippi River, the 4th largest terminal lake (no outlet) in the world…

  5. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Honeybees Warn Others of Risks
    August 9th, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

    “They trained honeybees to visit two artificial flowers containing the same amount and concentration of food. They left one flower untouched, making it a ‘safe’ food source for the bees…”

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