The Bees Knees

©R.McFarland

What are we going to do when there are no more bees to pollinate our crops? Our existence is intrinsically connected to the existence of our HoneyBee Sisters; failing to protect our bees is the equivalent of failing to protect our children…

“Honeybees, which are very important to agriculture, continue to disappear at alarming rates in the United States. And the cause of this disappearance is still elusive. While at least one recent study seems to point to pesticides as the problem, the US Agriculture Department has also found parasites causing general weakness among bee colonies. Producer Zulima Palacio spent some time with both scientists and beekeepers and brings us this story — narrated by Elizabeth Lee.”

 

Who Killed the Honey Bee? – Part 1

Whistleblower: Monsanto Wants to Kill The Bees To Make Way For Its Super-Bee

From Before It’s News – Soon to be whistleblower who worked for Monsanto will be releasing documents detailing how Monsanto planned to kill off bee colonies in order to introduce a “new and improved” species of bee that will only pollinate Monsanto crops.

Relevant: Monsanto buys company researching death of bees:

Learn More About The World-Wide-Web of Monsanto

New Monsanto Threat To Bees

Robo-Bees

 Investigators, primarily based at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will coordinate efforts with faculty from the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard and Northeastern University’s Department of Biology.

In addition, Centeye, a microelectronics firm in Washington, D.C., specializing in vision chip and visual sensor technology, will contribute technical knowledge.

Coordinated agile robotic insects can be used for a variety of purposes including:

  • autonomously pollinating a field of crops;
  • search and rescue (e.g., in the aftermath of a natural disaster);
  • hazardous environment exploration;
  • military surveillance;
  • high resolution weather and climate mapping; and
  • traffic monitoring.

These are the ubiquitous applications typically invoked in the development of autonomous robots. However, in mimicking the physical and behavioral robustness of insect groups by coordinating large numbers of small, agile robots, we will be able to accomplish such tasks faster, more reliably, and more efficiently.

Vision and Aims

The collaborators envision that the Nature-inspired research could lead to a greater understanding of how to artificially mimic the collective behavior and “intelligence” of a bee colony; foster novel methods for designing and building an electronic surrogate nervous system able to deftly sense and adapt to changing environments; and advance work on the construction of small-scale flying mechanical devices.

CBS-Tampa MICCO, Fla. (CBS Tampa/AP) – Florida officials are abuzz as to how millions of honey bees were killed in Brevard County.

Several beekeepers in the county have reported lost colonies this week. Charles Smith of Smith Family Honey Company told Stuart News Thursday he lost 400 beehives. He says the bees appeared to have been poisoned.

“I’ll never get completely compensated for this unless someone handed me 400 beehives,” Smith told Stuart News. “I lost the bees, the ability to make honey and the ability to sell the bees.”

State officials are testing the bees to determine what type of chemicals contributed to their deaths.

Experts say pesticides might be behind the lost beehives.

“The fact that it was so widespread and so rapid, I think you can pretty much rule out disease,” Bill Kern, an entomologist with the University of Florida’s Research and Education Center, told Florida Today. “It happened essentially almost in one day. Usually diseases affect adults or the brood, you don’t have something that kills them both.”

Monsanto Acquires Targeted-Pest Control Technology Start-Up

Beelogics; Sep 28, 2011
7:00am

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) today announced it has acquired Beeologics, which researches and develops biological tools to provide targeted control of pests and diseases. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Beeologics is focused on biological research. Current projects in its pipeline – including a product candidate being developed to help protect bee health – use a naturally-occurring process to provide targeted pest and disease control.

The expertise Beeologics has developed will enable Monsanto to further explore the use of biologicals broadly in agriculture. Monsanto will use the base technology from Beeologics as a part of its continuing discovery and development pipeline. Biological products will continue to play an increasingly important role in supporting the sustainability of many agricultural systems. Both companies expect that their combined research could provide farmers with novel approaches to the challenges they face.

Monsanto, which has proven expertise in managing a technology pipeline, will support the Beeologics team and its Technology Advisory Board in advancing its pipeline. Beeologics’ work to promote bee health will continue under Monsanto’s ownership.

About Monsanto Company

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world’s natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit:www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® atwww.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® atwww.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.

About Beeologics

Beeologics is an international firm dedicated to restoring bee health and protecting the future of insect pollination. Through continuous research, scientific innovation, and a focus on applicable solutions, Beeologics is developing a line of products to specifically address the long-term well being of the bees. With offices and laboratories in the United States and Israel, Beeologics brings together some of the world’s most recognized scientists in its field to help achieve its mission. To learn more about Beeologics, please visit: www.beeologics.com.

Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information: Certain statements contained in this release are “forward-looking statements,” such as statements concerning the company’s anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company’s actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals and animal drugs; the company’s exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory submissions, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company’s research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing, labeling and promotion; the accuracy of the company’s estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company’s ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture and animal drug business or the company’s facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company’s most recent Form 10-K Report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.

CONTACT | Kelli Powers (314-694-4003)

 SOURCE Monsanto Company

Mass Honeybee Deaths Linked to Insecticide

Agricultural chemicals may be partly responsible for the big die-off of honeybees inside the U.S., according to researchers at Purdue University. Entomologists have located the presence of neonicotinoid insecticides, which are used on corn and soybean seeds and are known to be “highly toxic to bees; we discovered them in ereally and ereally sample of dead and dying bees,” Christian Krupke, associate professor of entomology, told Purdue Daily. Except for organically grown crops, nearly all corn seeds planted in the United States are coated with neonicotinoid insecticides, leading to expopositive to honeybees foraging near corn fields.

Honeybees pollinate about 30% of all food consumed and contribute $15-20 billion a year in agriculture revenue for the U.S. The U.S. is currently losing about one-third of its honeybee hives efairly year. a couple of researchers (and pesticide manufacturers, such as Bayer) have maintained that the die-offs have been cautilised not by pesticides, but by viruses and fungi.

What’s Behind Illinois Stealing Local Hero’s Bee Hives? 

An Illinois beekeeper whose bee hives were stolen and allegedly destroyed by the Illinois Department of Agriculture has stirred up a hornet’s nest with his questions on why the state did this, and most importantly, what they did with his bees.

The state claims the bees were destroyed because they were infected with a disease called foulbrood.

But when the 58-year apiary keeper had his hearing—three weeks after the removal of his bees without his knowledge—the state’s “evidence” had disappeared, leaving more questions than answers about the raid on the beekeeper’s hives.

Some people, including the beekeeper, Terrence Ingram, suspect the raid has more to do with Ingram’s 15 years of research on Monsanto’s Roundup and his documented evidence that Roundup kills bees, than it does about any concerns about his hives.

Interestingly, the state’s theft targeted the queen bee and hive he’d been using to conduct the research. Full Story on Mercola