Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bees in the New York Times - an addendum

I'm really pretty excited about the story that appeared in the New York Times today about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). I already posted about it once today, but I thought I'd post again about what a good job of presenting science this article does. First off, they could have said that "scientists have decided that CCD is caused by a microbe", but instead, they demonstrated the experiment that shows us that, which is much more powerful:

Mr. Hackenberg, the beekeeper, agreed to take his empty bee boxes and other equipment to Food Technology Service, a company in Mulberry, Fla., that uses gamma rays to kill bacteria on medical equipment and some fruits. In early results, the irradiated bee boxes seem to have shown a return to health for colonies repopulated with Australian bees.

“This supports the idea that there is a pathogen there,” Dr. Cox-Foster said. “It would be hard to explain the irradiation getting rid of a chemical.”
Nice experiment. Thanks for showing us. Secondly, they actually give us reasonable data, instead of sensational data. Compare for example how Spiegel showed us how many bees have been affected:
In isolated cases, says Hederer, declines of up to 80 percent have been reported. He speculates that "a particular toxin, some agent with which we are not familiar," is killing the bees.
Well, sensational, but not quite useful. How many bees have actually been affected? Could be 80% of bees in the U.S., or could be one farmer lost 80% and most lost none. This is sensational, not useful. Now notice how the New York Times presents the same data:
More than a quarter of the country’s 2.4 million bee colonies have been lost — tens of billions of bees, according to an estimate from the Apiary Inspectors of America, a national group that tracks beekeeping.
Thank you. That means something, and we've actually been told how many bees are affected, rather than taking the highest number presented, it's showing what is occurring (and showing that the numbers are quite large) without sensationalizing it. We need more reasonable reporting on science. I look forward to finding more articles by Alexei Barrionuevo. I hope they're all this good.



RD said...

Thanks for the update and new information, Factician. I think the pathogen lead was the most obvious one, and now that there's some science to back it up, I think that makes the most sense.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you quote Spiegel out of context to prove your point of sensational journalism.

The full quote should be, "Manfred Hederer, the president of the German Beekeepers Association, almost simultaneously reported a 25 percent drop in bee populations throughout Germany. In isolated cases, says Hederer, declines of up to 80 percent have been reported. He speculates that "a particular toxin, some agent with which we are not familiar," is killing the bees."

By eliminating the first sentence, you cherry pick your citation to fit your agenda.

In fact the Spiegel article data matches the NYT data. ~1/4 of the bee population has died in both Germany and the USA.

Upon rereading your blog, I'm not even sure what you are trying to say. Is the point of the article that Spiegel is sensational, or that pathogens are responsible for CCD?

The Spiegel article makes several attempts to link CCD to GM crops. They even use experimental evidence that the GM crops produce an AIDS-like effect upon the bees. Spiegel explains this in the article in the following quote, "The study concluded that there was no evidence of a "toxic effect of Bt corn on healthy honeybee populations." But when, by sheer chance, the bees used in the experiments were infested with a parasite, something eerie happened. According to the Jena study, a "significantly stronger decline in the number of bees" occurred among the insects that had been fed a highly concentrated Bt poison feed."

Are you indirectly arguing that GM crops are not to blame for CCD?

Some additional explanation is required.


The Factician said...


With regards to several of my posts, I'm trying to make several points about the Spiegel article.

They don't give numbers that are easily comparable. They say that farmers have lost "up to 70%" on the east coast of the U.S. and "up to 60%" on the west coast. They say that farmers in Germany have lost "up to 80%" of bees. How can we compare these numbers? The author is giving us the largest figures in each case, though he does tell us that Germany as a whole has lost 25% of their total bee population, he buries it in sensational details about farmers who have lost more. That's my first point, his presentation makes it nearly impossible to gau ge the size of the problem (is it huge? or did one farmer lose 70% of his bees, and the rest lose none?).

My second point is that Germany effectively doesn't grow BT-corn. The amount of corn that they grow (less than 0.06%) is effectively none. Now that we have the information from the New York Times, we can tell that CCD is affecting American and German bees at similar rates. That seems like a pretty good experiment to me. One country grows BT-corn, the other country doesn't. Both are experiencing CCD. That suggests *very* strongly that BT-corn is not the cause.

The *only* piece of data that Spiegel presents is not terribly useful. They interview researchers who show that BT *can* cause death in bees in the presence of a parasite. "Of course, the concentration of the toxin was ten times higher in the experiments than in normal Bt corn pollen. In addition, the bee feed was administered over a relatively lengthy six-week period." So, in short: If you give bees BT had rates 10 fold higher than they would ever get it over a longer period than they would ever get it, they might become more susceptible to a parasite. However, in Germany, they almost certainly *never* come into contact with BT-corn. Ever.

Hope this helps clarify for you.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the response.
I also found your post from April 2, 2007 which clarifies your opinion on GM crops.
I like your blog. I look forward to more posts.

Anonymous said...

Bees, Microwaves, Monsanto, & Marbles

By Philip N. Ledoux oldmanfromnh@yahoo.com
April 30, 2007

Educate Yourself readers,

There has been much to-do on the internet and the media actually did take it up about the "gone missing" bees. Actually nobody is finding any dead bees, the bees just become gone. I personally speculated that the pseudo-cell-phone-towers were ramped up to overcome ?the restlessness of the natives? and this was confusing the directional abilities of the bees to return to their hive. Al Gray came up with an idea (which I checked with my pendulum) that makes better sense. Here is what Al posted somewhere and sent to me in my private mail:

From: "Al Gray" captaindragonfarstar@yahoo.com
Captain's Log 29 April 2007 Part Two of Three.....

There is a problem with the bees. Notice, though, how the media has framed the discussion. They are describing it as a bee die-off, and pose the question "what's killing our bees"? That, of course, limits the discussion and leads us down a diversionary path. The bees are not dying! No one has reported finding dead bees. They report bees that have disappeared, and that's something altogether different.

The bees have not died, they have been driven away by a frequency, most likely from cell phone towers. And it's not something a mud ball or orgonite would stop, as it is, by itself, an innocuous frequency. But to the bees, it is a sound that irritates them and they have to leave. They're not dead, they just left the area where the frequency is being broadcast.

Monsanto is a year or two away from developing self-pollinating crops. Having bees in their test fields interferes with that, so they found a frequency that drives the bees away. It has gone beyond Monsanto's self-interest now and has become a weapon. Taiwan reports millions of missing bees, too.

The only defense that we are aware of now is to broadcast 439hz to counter the anti-bee frequency. This is serious, serious, stuff.

** End of posting **

MaryK Croft came up with the frequency during a morning trance before arising. It is a COUNTER type frequency which either neutralizes or changes some type of area broadcast frequency.

Apparently Monsanto has test plots or experimental plant plots much more widely distributed than we realize. What I am writing about I've checked with my pendulum, although my friend who double checks my work is busy chasing the Federal Reserve Notes to keep fodder on the table, did not verify my dowsing.

I wouldn't put anything beyond the twisted mentality of Monsanto and its researchers. Apparently they have had some success with self-pollinating plants; now they need to produce the salable seeds, and have solved the open field problem of cross pollination (usually hand pollination with plastic baggie to prevent cross pollination) by using a frequency that confuses the bees and prevents them from working in the Monsanto contracted fields. I wouldn't expect Monsanto to admit to anything!

Does any reader have (or even a friend of a friend have) equipment to measure an unknown frequency being blanketed in an area where Colony Collapse is known to be occurring? If annominity is needed, send the info to me or Ken and state clearly not to publish names, etc. My dowsing says that this 439 hz. Frequency is a COUNTER frequency that will null and void or cancel the effects of whatever frequency is being used.

Here is something that beekeepers might be able to do without investing in costly equipment. Thomas Lee Jacobs (Finland or Sweeden?) has developed a copywriten series of frequencies that heal via marbles. My understanding is that the technique is not copywriten (I do not want to step on any toes!) On this site (E-Y.org) is a frequency generator, install it and use it. Set the frequency to 439Hz with the speakers about 9 to 12 inches apart. Between the speakers set a tea candle. In the heat of the flame hold a glass marble with pliers using heat-gloves. As the marble heats and softens, it will absorb and hold the 439 hz. When the marble starts to soften, quench it immediately in room temperature water, that locks the frequency in. The real cost is in distributing the mini-frequency-broadcasters. How many are needed is anybody's guess. Probably placed in an orgonite piece in the center of a multi crystal (candy dish mold?). Possibly several in the center; the idea being that the orgonite and crystals will amplify the marble "generator." This would be needed to be planted in circles radiating from the apiary hives location. Dowsing should help in planting (locating) the devices.

By the way, do not blame me if you set fire to the room by carelessness in using a tea candle!! Use caution and common sense, they are not explosive in combination.

Another possibility is to somehow "dust" the bees with something in the order of ultra miniature quenched glass marbles. It would have to be like a powder, and set in a location where the bees would walk through it or rub on it when exiting the hive. The tiny grains having been batch frequency exposed and quenched would be on the bee itself, countering the disorienting frequency. I live where talcum power is mined. That material is too soft to work, it is softer than soapstone which is mined locally. Maybe a reader can come up with an idea that would be applicable. Crushed mica, quartz waste?

Philip N. Ledoux
Oldmanfromnh (at) yahoo (dot) com


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The Factician said...

To the person who pasted the article into the comments section:

1. Next time, please just paste the link. That's a huge wall of text you pasted in there.

2. I'm not sure your intent in pasting that, but wow. Just, wow. That's even better than the "bee rapture" theory. Thanks, you gave me a chuckle.