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Bee Murder Mystery Solved

 
 
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 03:54 pm
http://images.nymag.com/images/2/home/10/10/07_bees_560x375.jpg
http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/10/they_figured_out_who_was_killi.html

Quote:
Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.

Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.

A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.


For the rest of the article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/science/07bees.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,637 • Replies: 7
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 04:06 pm
@tsarstepan,
Haven't read the article yet (thanks for link) but remember reading a fungus was probably involved. So, part of a tag team, eek. Molto interessante.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 04:06 pm
@tsarstepan,
Isn't that cool? I love the randomness of the brother still having the business card... (I mean he could've Googled the dude, but still.)

I hope a) they're right and b) they can now do something about colony collapse with this info.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 04:14 pm
@sozobe,
Our taxpayers' money at work:
Quote:
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

The process eventually was refined. A mortar and pestle worked better than the desktop, and a coffee grinder worked best of all for making good bee paste.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 04:23 pm
@tsarstepan,
Heh, yeah, that made me laugh.

But actually that was one thing I enjoyed about the article, how our taxpayers' money WAS at work. The technology sounds really cool, and I like it when stuff developed for one reason ends up having other applications.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 05:37 pm
@tsarstepan,
Did you see the NOVA show this week about the discovery of what is killing the bees? Very important progress is saving one of the most important life on the planet.

BBB
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 08:04 pm
I took a beekeeping class this summer. It's something I have wanted to do from 25 years.

There are all sorts of things attacking bees, including two varieties of mites. Some of the blame goes to western beekeepers feeding bees corn syrup. Bees need to be fed sugar at the start of the season before many flowering plants bloom. Some western beekeepers -- the ones that move bees around to service growers -- used corn syrup as a shortcut rather than making sugar syrup. The corn syrup develops mold. Perhaps what seemed like a mold was actually a fungus.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2010 08:13 pm
@plainoldme,
Mold and fungus are the same thing.
Interesting about the corn syrup.
0 Replies
 
 

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