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Colony Collapse - Why are the bees dying and what is the impact?

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This problem, largely scientific, deserves its own thread. For the uninitiated, the honeybee population is suddenly and precipitously dropping off in North America, Europe and the UK and there is a major concern for the effect this will have on the food supply. The cause is currently unknown, but it's hypothesized to be something environmental, chemical, or possibly even technological. It could be mites, it could be a virus, it could be the genetically altered crops, it could be pesticides ... There is even a German study suggesting widespread cellphone usage may be screwing up bees' internal navigation systems.

Herald Tribunehas a good introductory article.
Google's roundup on news coverage
An Article in Science Daily yesterday talks briefly about a viral possibility.
An article at ZDNet about the Cell phone study.

Food for thought. Thought for food.
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Interesting. I know that bees have some very complicated behaviors and I suppose that under the right circumstances it wouldn't take much to interfere with that kind of a system in fatal ways. Though if it were cellphones I'd guess that they'd be dying off in places like Japan as well.

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I heard about this on consumerist.com I think. Yeah, it sucks, but I don't know if I buy the Cell Phone bit, I am sure those bees would have to be subjected to heavy doses of cell phone and wireless signals before it would effect thier systems like that. ALmost sounds like the "Cell phones cuase tumors" argument of 10-15 years ago. I also doubt that "global warming" would have anything to do with it either seeing as how we've only warmed up 1 degree Fahrenheit in the last 100 years (OMG WORLD IS ENDING!!!). I do believe it could be attributed to virul or parasitic, posssibly even from pollution. Either way, it does suck because they are essential to our ecosystem and I love honey.
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Long-term mobile phone use raises brain tumor risk: study
Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:00 AM ET

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The use of mobile phones over a long period of time can raise the risk for brain tumors, a new Swedish study said on Friday, contradicting the conclusions of other researchers.

The Dutch Health Council, in an overview of research from around the world, last year found no evidence radiation from mobile phones and TV towers was harmful. A four-year British survey released in January showed no link between regular, long-term use of cell phones and the most common type of tumor.

However, researchers at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life said they looked at the mobile phone use of 905 people between the age of 20 and 80 who had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and found a link.

"A total 85 of these 905 cases were so-called high users of mobile phones, that is they began early to use mobile and, or wireless telephones and used them a lot," the study said.

"The study also shows that the rise in risk is noticeable for tumors on the side of the head where the phone was said to be used," it added.

Kjell Mild, who led the study, said the figures meant that heavy users of mobile phones, for instance of who make mobile phone calls for 2,000 hours or more in their life, had a 240 percent increased risk for a malignant tumor on the side of the head the phone is used.

"The way to get the risk down is to use handsfree," he told Reuters.

He said his study was the biggest yet to look at long-term users of the wireless phone, which has been around in Sweden in a portable form since 1984, longer than in many other countries.
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See, these types of things really do bother me. I have a hard time getting worked up about global warming because it seems like complete bull. But things like this make me thing we need to change a few things. I have never been a fan of genetically altered crops (or anything genetically altered for that matter), we make all thses changes to grow things faster and more sufficiently without taking much consideration into anything else. I don't the idea is that radiation from the cells phones are causing this as the brain tumor argument was. They have very delecate navigation systems, I believe it is the cell phone signals that they believe may be throwing off the bees own signals. Not knowing much at all about bees or cellphone, I think it sounds like it could be a possibility. Anyway, IF it is due to cell phones I can proudly say I have contributed nothing to this issue! (Saying that kind of makes me feel better about owning an SUV), I have always hated cellphones and as of 2007 I still refuse to own one.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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Lets hope it is a virus or something... If it is caused by cellphones that would be really bad since that would be almost impossible to solve.
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Nah, it is easy to solve, "The Inconvientent Truth II: This Time Carbon Offset Shares Won't Save You!"

Coming soon to theater near you.






Which is better, all bees die and the ecosystem goes to hell - OR - We shut down the cellphone companies!!!!!!!!! YEEEEHAAAAAAAA!!!! No more freaks with plactic bugs in their ears!!!!

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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Originally posted by: C3PX
We shut down the cellphone companies!!!!!!!!! YEEEEHAAAAAAAA!!!! No more freaks with plactic bugs in their ears!!!!

That IS a pleasing thought

Fez: I am so excited about Star Whores.
Hyde: Fezzy, man, it's Star Wars.
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Anyone see the rise of the cybermen episodes in series two of the new Dr.Who?The one where all the people with the things in their ears are taken over and turned brutally into cybermen?
I was just standing in a shop today and there were about four people standing there with the little things in their ears with the little blue flashing lights on them and all of a sudden the cyberman solution didn't seem too unappealing.....
And after that maybe we can set the bees on them.

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If it were the cellphones (I'm not saying it is, I'm too new to the issue, as are most people, but it is one viable theory) would we be willing to part with them? After all, not many people had them ten years ago and we were just fine. What would the ripple effect be through the economy? The concrete loss of the entire wireless industry would be one major blow that would undoubtedly lead to a recession, but also cell phones have allowed business to operate at a faster pace. Would this have an effect on general productivity? My guess is that the economic effect would be massive. But would we be willing to take the hit given the choice between the food chain and wireless communication? What would we deem as more important? Survival of the food chain or economic pressure?

Makes me want to rent Soylent Green.
I am fluent in over six million forms of procrastination.
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It is discomforting to me with how very dependant on technology we are. I think it would be a good thing to take a step back by choice and with caution and planning rather than be forced back by some sort of disaster. We are getting to the point where electricity and electronic information is as vital and essential to us as water. That is what I meant by my "this time carbon offsets wont save you", if it came down to giving up cell phones there would be no squirming out of it for the rich folks. I think we could do it, but it would hurt. In fact, I would be totally if we decided to fight global warming and loose of bees by getting rid of technology all together and going back to oil lamps and horses. That would be a dream come true! Imagine, no more media? Something dumb like VT happens and we wont know about it for weeks or months, and best of all, no copycat nonsense. Ah, one can only dream...

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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I don't know if it's cell phones, either, but they have found similar links. It's pretty much confirmed now that naval sonar (since its implementation) is what has been causing most mass whale beachings.
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Super Mario Bros. - The Wicked Star Story
"Ah, the proverbial sad sack with a wasted wish."
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Originally posted by: C3PX
It is discomforting to me with how very dependant on technology we are. I think it would be a good thing to take a step back by choice and with caution and planning rather than be forced back by some sort of disaster. We are getting to the point where electricity and electronic information is as vital and essential to us as water. That is what I meant by my "this time carbon offsets wont save you", if it came down to giving up cell phones there would be no squirming out of it for the rich folks. I think we could do it, but it would hurt. In fact, I would be totally if we decided to fight global warming and loose of bees by getting rid of technology all together and going back to oil lamps and horses. That would be a dream come true! Imagine, no more media? Something dumb like VT happens and we wont know about it for weeks or months, and best of all, no copycat nonsense. Ah, one can only dream...


I don't know if we'd honestly be able to go back to the days of non-modern technology, especially if we simply cut it off immediately. Take transportation, for example. Over the course of the last century, towns and cities have become much more spread out due to the rise of the automobile making it possible for long-distance transportation, which just wouldn't be possible using a horse and buggy. And then there's data management. While it wouldn't be impossible, think of how difficult it would be to schedule several thousand students into a university by hand! Computer records make it possible to automatically tell if a student signs up for two classes in the same slot or doesn't have the prerequisites required to get into a class and make sure a class isn't overloaded (yeah, guess which level of education I'm currently undertaking, in case you didn't already know...). And, of course, there would be no OT.com and no Star Wars at all, for that matter. ^_~ I agree, though, that it is a bit discomforting how dependent we are on technology, but there really is no way to do it. It could either be cut off immediately, and civilization would collapse and have to rebuild itself. The only successful way to do it would take decades of regression. There's no way anyone would agree to that. Even if it was "outlawed" somehow, it would be about as effective as Prohibition. I would love a world without alcohol, but it's just never going to happen. Just like there was moonshine in the 1920s, there would be an underground technology racket if we were forced to regress back to a naturalized style of life. I'm not entirely against the premise, but I just don't think it's at all feasible.

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One day, maybe not in our lifetime, the world (or unfortunate sections of it) may be forced to do without technology, at least for a time. It will be interesting to see how it is handled.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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America. Let's say there is a nuclear attack, which is all to likely these days, even if the actual location of the hit is small there are ways they could potentially knock out electricity across the continent. If that happened, it could cause all sorts of grief for us. Mass panic, nuclear powerplants melting down, followed by a fun adventures with fallout. It could potentially be the sheer definition of terror with very few people actually dying from the bomb blast itself, and multiples of that amount dying in the following days, weeks, months, and even years. Of course we cannot say exactly what would happen in that event, but what I described is a small part of the general theory.

Also who knows what other events the future may bring us? Who could have foreseen this bee thing? I suppose there are other things that could render us without electricity.

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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Originally posted by: ADigitalMan
There is even a German study suggesting widespread cellphone usage may be screwing up bees' internal navigation systems.


Yahahahahahaha.

Harrison Ford Has Pretty Much Given Up on His Son. Here's Why

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Originally posted by: C3PX
America. Let's say there is a nuclear attack, which is all to likely these days, even if the actual location of the hit is small there are ways they could potentially knock out electricity across the continent. If that happened, it could cause all sorts of grief for us. Mass panic, nuclear powerplants melting down, followed by a fun adventures with fallout. It could potentially be the sheer definition of terror with very few people actually dying from the bomb blast itself, and multiples of that amount dying in the following days, weeks, months, and even years. Of course we cannot say exactly what would happen in that event, but what I described is a small part of the general theory.

Also who knows what other events the future may bring us? Who could have foreseen this bee thing? I suppose there are other things that could render us without electricity.


It WILL happen unfortunately. Electromagnetic Pulse Bombs are already a fact and, if set off, could render all electronics useless, very scary thought. Imagine being at work when suddenly you hear an explosion and then everything goes out, no lights, no computer, no phones, no modern cars, no nothing. It would make getting home a whole new adventure and you'd be trying to the get there wondering the whole time if your family is okay, because they couldn't tell you except by letter. Very scary to me.
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Originally posted by: ferris209

It WILL happen unfortunately. Electromagnetic Pulse Bombs are already a fact and, if set off, could render all electronics useless, very scary thought. Imagine being at work when suddenly you hear an explosion and then everything goes out, no lights, no computer, no phones, no modern cars, no nothing. It would make getting home a whole new adventure and you'd be trying to the get there wondering the whole time if your family is okay, because they couldn't tell you except by letter. Very scary to me.


Consider that most systems in every modern car are also run by computer chip now. Not simple mechanics and chemical processes like cars from the 70s and earlier. An EMP would likely take away your ability to drive home. For those with long commutes in sprawling suburban areas, we may be talking a couple-day hike just to get home.

Edit: Here's a fresh article on CCD.
I am fluent in over six million forms of procrastination.
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Cellphone lovers needn't worry. The telecommunications lobby will never allow them to be banned.

I'm afraid the "best" solution (which won't be good at all) will be genetically-engineered bees.

However, in practice you must take into account the “fuckwit factor”. Just talk to Darth Mallwalker…
-Moth3r

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It WILL happen unfortunately. Electromagnetic Pulse Bombs are already a fact and, if set off, could render all electronics useless, very scary thought. Imagine being at work when suddenly you hear an explosion and then everything goes out, no lights, no computer, no phones, no modern cars, no nothing. It would make getting home a whole new adventure and you'd be trying to the get there wondering the whole time if your family is okay, because they couldn't tell you except by letter. Very scary to me.


That would make a good story.
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It would.
Although I would probobly get home in my dads 1967 Buick Skylark Grandsport.