« Update on Bee Disappearance | Main | Notes and News »

March 30, 2007

Bee Crisis Hearings yesterday

While the rest of us were watching or listening to Mr. Sampson tell all before the Senate Judiciary Committee, what may ultimately turn out to be a more important hearing was held by a House Agricultural subcommittee on Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the mysterious syndrome that is affecting the bee population.

As reported previously on this blog this could turn out to be a crisis leading to the end of civilization as we know it. As reported by CNN, the CCD crisis is apparently the culmination of significant decreases in bee populations over the last 20 years.

Over the past two decades, concern has risen around the world about the decline of pollinators of all descriptions. During this period in the United States, the honeybee, the world's premier pollinator, experienced a dramatic 40 percent decline, from nearly six million to less than two and a half million.

In 2005, for the first time in 85 years, the United States was forced to import honeybees in order to meet its pollination demands. [Dr. May R.] Berenbaum says that "if honeybees numbers continued to decline at the rates documented from 1989 to 1996, managed honeybees ... will cease to exist in the United States by 2035."

What isn't completely clear in the CNN article, but was covered at the hearings is that what we know about most are the effects on the domestic bee population. Because we humans haven't yet interacted with the wild bee populations, we don't have any idea whether CCD applies to wild bees, as well as the other various species that are also pollinators. Dr. Berenbaum's opening statement (linked above) goes into this in detail, and also supports increasing funding for the study of pollinators in general (both wild and domesticated).

Below the fold I've posted information about the Committee and the hearings, with links to the Opening Statements of the witnesses.

Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture

Dennis A. Cardoza, (D-CA) Chairman

Jurisdiction: fruits and vegetables; honey and bees; marketing and promotion orders; plant pesticides, quarantine, adulteration of seeds, and insect pests; and organic agriculture.

MajorityMinority

Thursday, March 29th – 10:00 a.m.
1302 Longworth House Office Building
Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture — Public Hearing.
RE: Review of colony collapse disorder in honey bee colonies across the United States.

Witness List:

Panel I

Panel II

Posted by Rob on March 30, 2007 in Conservation, Ecological/Cultural Sustainability, Oil Crops | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451d6f369e200d834f72dc053ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Bee Crisis Hearings yesterday:

Comments

Our media is stupid. They are too busy covering stupid stories, like Britney Spears.....when they should be concerned with matters like this. Thank you for putting this article on the web.

Posted by: Nathan | Apr 16, 2007 12:54:35 AM

I have brother that is a beekeeper and the last 3 yrs of losses are going to force him to find alternative work to provide for his family. If something isn't done to protect the American Bee Farmer, there will be none left after a couple of years. The Government needs to step up and help these people or we will severe consequences!!!

Posted by: jason | Mar 5, 2008 9:35:24 AM

Post a comment