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A bad time to be a bee


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An estimated 200,000 honeybees were reportedly killed Saturday in California when vandals, in what’s being called a “senseless act,” doused them with diesel fuel.

 

Around 100 beehives containing Italian and Russian honeybees on a property in Prunedale were toppled over and the bees exterminated with diesel fuel between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, KSBW reported.

 

Property owner Mike Hickenbottom suspects it was his neighbors’ doing, as they had previously complained about the bees.

 

Hickenbottom said his neighbors told him their children were scared to go outside because the bees would freely fly around.

 

But he noted that the bees were never aggressive, telling the news station: “I go up around the bee boxes without any protective clothing on. I’ve never been stung.”

 

While surviving in 100 beehives on Hickenbottom’s property, the insects were owned and maintained by beekeeper Alfonso Perez. He leases the property during the winter and Perez leases the beehives to pollinate almond trees throughout California.

 

“Somebody came here and tipped over all the boxes and sprayed them with diesel fuel,” Perez told KSBW. “It killed a whole bunch of bees.”

 

The bees’ deaths will reportedly cost Perez more than $50,000 — which is his entire annual income, Hickenbottom claimed on a GoFundMe page he set up to help the beekeeper.

 

“Alfonso is very devoted to his responsibilities and has now suffered a tremendous loss of his very hard work,” Hickenbottom wrote on the GoFundMe, which as of early Wednesday evening has raised more than $15,000 of its $70,000 goal. “All money raised will go directly to Alfonso Perez to replace all beehives, honeybees, family obligations and endless hours of hard work.”

 

Perez and his wife, according to Fox 26, are expecting a baby next month.

 

A police report has been filed with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, which reportedly is investigating the incident.

 

A small Iowa town is buzzing after two young boys vandalized a honey farm causing $60,000 in damage.

 

The boys, ages 12 and 13, are facing felony charges following the Dec. 28, 2017, incident which left 500,000 bees dead, according to Sioux City Police Department.

 

The pair have been charged with criminal mischief, agricultural animal facilities offenses and burglary.

 

The three felonies carry a combined penalty of up to 10 years in prison and fines totaling $10,000. This case, however, is likely to be tried in juvenile court.

 

They're also facing one aggravated misdemeanor charge each of possession of burglary tools.

 

According to the Sioux City Journal, the two unidentified minors destroyed all 50 of Wild Hill Honey owners Justin and Tori Engelhardt's bee hives.

 

They feared the loss of their bees could put them out of business for good.

 

The suspects were not arrested until just under a month after the incident, which delighted Justin Engelhardt.

 

"It's huge, right? It demonstrates the professionalism and determination of the Sioux City Police Department and we couldn't be happier," he told the publication.

 

Although the crime occurred in a secluded area, local police were able to track down the underage duo with help from the public.

 

Authorities told the outlet they do not anticipate having to make any further arrests in the case.

 

A GoFundMe page was started for the Engelhardt's business. The crowdfunding site raised more than $30,000 in a matter of days.

 

Engelhardt told the outlet he believes so many people were buzzing about he and his wife's story because the public has become increasingly aware of the plight of the honey bee.

 

"Bees are critical and people are conscious of the fact that bees are having a hard time right now and facing some real challenges," he told the publication.

 

It's unclear when the suspects will appear in court again.

I can quote The Golden Girls for any situation in life . :)

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I just had a large bee hive removed from the casa. It wasn't cheap, but I didn't want to destroy it. Over the course of several days while we waited for the bee keeper to come, they would swarm occasionally, and it was unnerving, but it was still worth the wait. I think people are beginning to realize how rapidly the bee population is declining. Very sad...

the greatest beauty is

Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,

the divine beauty of the universe.

Love that, not man apart from that,

or else you will share man’s pitiful confusions,

or drown in despair when his days darken."

 

- Robinson Jeffers

 

B e l i e v e

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I just had a large bee hive removed from the casa. It wasn't cheap, but I didn't want to destroy it. Over the course of several days while we waited for the bee keeper to come, they would swarm occasionally, and it was unnerving, but it was still worth the wait. I think people are beginning to realize how rapidly the bee population is declining. Very sad...

 

Futurists opine when the honey bees are dead so are we --- they are responsible for pollinating numerous crops across the country and the world --- Be nice to the bees!

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  • 2 years later...

Enough already.

 

Now, deadly hornets from Asia that measure up to 2 inches long have been found for the first time in the US — and researchers are worried they’re colonizing.

 

The aggressive insects, nicknamed “murder hornets,” can wipe out bee colonies within hours and have stingers long and powerful enough to puncture beekeeping suits.

 

Beekeepers in Washington have already seen the hornets devastate their hives; Japan attributes 50 human deaths a year to the nasty buzzers, which have “teardrop eyes like Spider-Man, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger, and broad, wispy wings like a small dragonfly,” according to the New York Times.

 

Researchers are determined to keep the hornets in check.

 

“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Washington state entomologist Chris Looney told the Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”

 

giant-hornet.jpg

 

Giant, bee-eating hornets from Asia invade Washington State

December 23, 2019

 

A giant killer hornet from Asia that devours bees and dissolves human flesh with its sting has touched down in Washington State. This marks the first time the insect invader has been found in the region, according to a pest alert issued by the Washington State Department Of Agriculture last week.

 

The nearly 2-inch-long flying terror was spotted on Dec. 8 by a resident of Blaine, Washington, who says they saw the insect buzzing around a hummingbird-feeder, WSDA reports. Entomologists later found the Calico-colored specimen dead on the property, which they confirmed was an Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) — the largest of its kind.

 

It’s an unusual find. Not only does the behemoth bug hail from Asia, but it usually remains inactive during the winter months. The hornet likely flew down from Canada, where the insects are a scourge, department spokesman Chris McGann told CNN. Justin Bieber wasn’t enough? Now Canada exports this!

 

The entomological interloper could decimate local beehives. Just one hornet can kill 40 bees in under a minute — a talent most famously showcased in a terrifying 2012 video of 30 hornets massacring 30,000 bees in Japan. And unlike native Japanese bee populations (which have an ingenious way of warding off hornet attacks), the US’ European bees have no natural defenses against the hornets.

 

News of the creepy crawly’s encroachment unsurprisingly set the internet abuzz, spawning a flurry of flamethrower memes and replies of “yikes” and “little hornets are bad enough.” “If you live where you can shoot, a shotgun works for removing single individuals from the air,” said one social media survivalist.

 

The hornets aren’t typically aggressive toward humans, according to the WSDA advisory. Nonetheless, the Asian hornet’s sting can damage human tissue and feels “like a hot nail being driven into my leg,” one Tokyo entomologist told Smithsonian Magazine. And in 2013, swarms of giant hornets killed 19 people in three months in China.

 

If stung, the pest report advises washing the site with soap and water, applying ice and using antihistamine cream. However, victims should dial 911 if experiencing multiple stings or a severe allergic reaction. Residents can also reduce the chances of getting stung by refraining from swatting at the giant hornets and properly disposing of food waste.

 

WSDA urges Washington residents to report hornet sightings to its Pest Program, preferably with photos attached.

 

asiangianthornetinhand.jpg

 

The latest buzz in the science world: Honeybees are dying of something that is freakishly similar to the coronavirus.

 

Bee populations around the globe have been decimated by a viral disease that creeps into hives via asymptomatic insects and spreads like wildfire, British researchers discovered. Their research even suggests the insects could benefit from social distancing.

 

The scientists found piles of bee carcasses outside hives infected with chronic bee paralysis virus, which causes severe trembling, flightlessness and death within a week, the Guardian reported.

 

The infection was once a rarity but has spread rapidly, according to the researchers at Newcastle University, who examined bees in 25 countries.

 

In Britain, for example, chronic bee paralysis virus took only a decade to invade 39 of 47 English counties and six of eight Welsh counties. In the US, the infection rate jumped from 0.7% in 2010 to 16% in 2014.

 

The findings, published in Nature Communications, suggests that the disease is twice as likely to infect commercially harvested bees — and that colonies not confined to the close quarters might fare better.

 

“You can’t do social distancing in a hive as easily, but you can manage it by increasing the space in there,” Professor Giles Budge told the website.

I can quote The Golden Girls for any situation in life . :)

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Deadly hornets from Asia that measure up to 2 inches and can wipe out entire honeybee colonies within hours have been spotted for the first time in the US.

 

The so-called “murder hornets” – which also are blamed for killing 50 people a year in Japan – have been spotted in Washington state. According to The New York Times, they can rip through a hive and kill a bee every 14 seconds.

 

But researchers are describing an interesting defense being employed against the menacing hornet: the Japanese honeybee. Bees in Japan have been known to form a ball around the invader and vibrate to produce heat, which can essentially cook a hornet to death. The report said bees can survive in extreme temperatures and can kill a hornet in an hour.

 

The Times reported that European honeybee – which are common in the US – try to sting the hornet, which proves futile due to their tough exoskeleton. A researcher told the paper that the Japanese honeybee learned to adapt through generations.

 

“Our honeybees, the predator has never been there before, so they have no defense,” Ruthie Danielsen, a beekeeper in Washington, told the Times.

I can quote The Golden Girls for any situation in life . :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Worldwide bee population buzzing back thanks to lockdown

 

Dwindling bee populations have threatened global food security and nutrition, but now they’re buzzing back thanks to the cleaner air caused by humans going into confinement.

 

Wild bees have benefited from the planetary lockdown after years of sharply declining around the world. Conservationists say a world without bees would be a nightmare and efforts should be made to preserve them after the pandemic is over.

 

“These creatures are vital to what we eat and what our countryside looks like,” Gill Perkins, chief executive of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, told the BBC. “They provide a whole ecosystem service.”

 

In the UK, bee specialists point to how officials have stopped maintaining highway shoulders, allowing bees to flourish in what are rapidly becoming lush habitats.

 

Fewer cars on the road during the lockdown has meant less air pollution which makes it easier for bees to forage. Emptier highways have also spared many of the estimated 24 billion bees and wasps killed on North American roads every year.

 

Bees are the world’s chief pollinators. They fertilize a third of the food we eat and 80% of flowering plants. Bees and other pollinating insects are worth about $150 billion to the world economy.

 

To bee or not to bee, that is the question...

I can quote The Golden Girls for any situation in life . :)

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