back to article MPs decry lack of honeybee action

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has given "little priority" to protecting the UK's honeybees, and wants the department to up its game in the face of a dramatic population decline. The PAC estimates the value of the pollinating insects as £200m a year to the …

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FAIL

late again

i wrote to my mp (John Bercow) about this 2-3 months back. defra's entire research into ccd was a single undergraduate doing a university project.

a friend lost 2 out of 5 hives to ccd, defra did not think it significant.

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Pint

Wow.

"National Bee Unit" (I can't wait for their next single with 50-Cent)

"BeeBase"

"Colony Collapse Disorder"

Someone had a rare old time coming up with names.

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Silver badge

Uncannily Similar, and therefore True?

"Bootnote

*The PAC does, however, state: "There is no evidence that the increased losses in the United Kingdom are due to Colony Collapse Disorder, which may involve a combination of factors including habitat, food supply and disease.""

Crikey, that Bootnote describes the reasons for Colony Collapse Disorder in Present Government and Civil Service Serviced Machinery......... as they try to implement Dodgy Advice and Foreign Recommendations.

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Coat

The buzzing...

The world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make is taking a stroll down his local high street.

As he passes by the record shop, a sign catches his eye: “Just Released – New LP -Wasps of the World & the sounds that they make available now!”

Unable to resist the temptation, the man goes into the shop.

“I am the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make. I’d very much like to listen to the new LP you have advertised in the window.”

“Certainly, Sir,” says the young man behind the counter. “If you’d like to step into the booth and put on the headphones, I’ll put the LP on for you.”

The world expert on European wasps goes into the booth and puts on the earphones. Ten minutes later, he comes out of the booth and announces,

“I am the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make and yet I recognised none of those.”

“I’m sorry Sir”, says the young assistant. “If you’d care to step into the booth, I can let you have another 10 minutes.”

The world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make steps back into the booth and replaces the headphones.

Ten minutes later, he comes out of the booth shaking his head. “I don’t understand it”, he says, “I am the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make, and yet I still can’t recognise any of those!”

“I’m terribly sorry, Sir” says the young man, “perhaps if you’d like to step into the booth again, you could have 5 more minutes.”

Sighing, the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make steps back into the booth. Five minutes later, he comes out again, clearly agitated. “I am the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make and yet I have recognised none of the wasps on this LP.”

“I really am terribly sorry”, says the young assistant………………….

“I’ve just realised I was playing you the bee side.”

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Unhappy

Is it really surprising bees are dying?! ...

Is it really surprising bees are dying?. For a start, the whole point of insecticides is to kill insects. Bees just happen to be useful insects, but are just as vulnerable to poisons as unusable insects. The poisons don't even need to kill the bees, just make the unwell enough to disrupt their lives so they die of other causes they can no longer resist in their unwell state. (Insecticides also affect the health of non-insect lifeforms so is it any wonder it also affects the health of other insect lifeforms?!).

On top of this we also have insect resistant GM crops. Is it any wonder this also affects insects?!

GM is all well and good in an air tight room, but as soon as its released into the open air and grown where insects can get at it, then is it any wonder it disrupts their health?!

On top of all this, we also have so called Farmaceuticals, where drugs are grown in fields. Is it any wonder that also disrupts the health of any animal that is even near the Farmaceuticals?! ... If it was just a huge vat of chemicals would it be such a surprise to find dead insects in it that had accidentally landed on it, or even just breathed it and died. Just because Farmaceuticals still look like normal plants doesn't mean its safe to eat (or even just touch) them like a normal plant.

Its one thing for GM to be safe for humans. Its entirely another issue (on a vastly bigger scale) for the health of all other creatures and even microorganisms that are also part of the food chain. Is it any wonder it disrupts entire food chains and also creates evolutionary biases that affect the balance of nature.

Its far cheaper to use an open air lab than an air tight lab. The greedy money people have rushed from pure research into full scale production with ignorant disregard for the wider health implications for other lifeforms around us. Is it any wonder this is disrupting the balance of nature?!

I somethings wonder what it will to take to get the message though to some people. But then with companies like Monsanto spending millions trying to convince (and brainwash) people GM is safe, (while counting their billions as they roll in), then its no wonder so many people fail to see the wider health implications of GM and insecticides etc.. After all, too much money to be made.

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Subsidy

How many bee hives could you buy with £500,000 per year?

Surely by offering free bee hives to people you would increase the number of bee keepers who would help with monitoring?

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Silver badge

£200 mil/year for the UK sounds very low

Unless they mean the immediate cost of crops lost and not the cost of imports to replace + businesses consequently damaged.

+ unquantifiable endless knock-on effects which could be interesting.

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Flame

Think of the bees

Just like ID cards abolished terrorism and the childrens' database eliminated child abuse - no sooner had the politicians issued the press release BeeBase cured CCD.

Now pick the most bloated, greedy and incompetent management consultancy (albeit having the sharpest contract lawyers) to implement it.

Phew - saved again by database BS! Who needs skilled people on the ground when you have a Department of Spin?

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Anonymous Coward

It is the mobiles and wifi

it is screwing up the bees.

Oh well, small price to pay, we still have treacle.

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Boffin

hive distribution

@ Subsidy: (a) you need to breed the colonies first, not such an immediate process. But doable. But (b) this puts hives in inexperienced hands, who'll notice trouble later than others, which means essentially helping to spread the disease (if fungus- mite- or similar vector is involved). Sounds risky to me. But once this problem is understood, beekeeping subsidies seem a good idea to me --- few take it up as a hobby, many stop.

@ MinionZero blathering about GM: OK, propose a logical link instead of the "of course" nonargument. For saying "surely, climate change will have an effect??" there's a half-mark available (pro: a clear change in the environment, a lot of nature stressed by sudden change in temp + humidity + rainfall, contra: honeybees have happily lived in most climates from scotland --cold&wet-- to central spain --dry&hot). For bullshitting about evil GM, you get a minus. All nattering about farmaceuticals, same thing. The question is a sudden rise, not spike, in collapses since 2006 (with all poisons being around for longer, globally distributed and used in different amounts, years, types). For example the neonicotinoids, not used in France since years yet as many collapses there als elsewhere. Try again. Or rather, don't.

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Jobs Halo

Too little too late?

I reckon they're just about gone, on the basis of how many I've seen this year (2) - and I have been looking for them all through spring and summer.

On the credit side there has been more activity than usual by bumblebees, but they're operating singly where honeybees work in thousands.

Steve Jobs, 'cos that's the end of the apples at the reception desk down in Uxbridge.

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