Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Bees, the Bees

Like most of you, I imagine, I have received numerous communications on the 'disappearing bees', and on 'colony collapse syndrome', and suggestions that I ought to post on this. Well, there is not much point posting on media articles of questionable quality - one ends up doing the 'nevermind' post later (which I do when it makes sense). Some of these communications included a dubious quotation from Albert Einstein - I could imagine he was an enthusiast of bees, but the quotation seemed unlikely from anyone with any degree of scientific skepticism.

Another one was even more dubious with claims that the problem was cellphone technology, and that now the problem was spreading to Europe. Come on! Europe has been so far ahead of North America in cellphone technology implementation for years, so the spread would have to be the other way if this goofy argument made any sense.

I decided at least to wait and see what happened to my backyard apple tree. It bloomed wonderfully, and for a few days seemed unnoticed by pollinators (though it may be that the wind handles nicely any needed interactions, as there is another similar tree in my neighbour's yard about 10 metres away). Then bumblebees came. Well they are not honeybees, so one could continue to panic.

A day later the tree was full of honeybees. So one colony had not yet collapsed. And the tree is as rich in apples as it ever has been (though the squirrels are clipping the fruits off at a good clip).

So I suppose right at the start I could simply have gone to Wikipedia. In any case this post from Straight Dope tells the story.

Anyway, I am relaxing. Will try to find a real thing to be concerned about!

2 Comments:

At 9:54 AM, Blogger rondi said...

Does Melitta's father have any thoughts on this?

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Alan Adamson said...

Good question. He has been out of the business for a while now. And there was the awful mite infection that hit Europe a few years ago. In any case, I shall ask him next month when I visit.

 

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