Conservation & Environmental Matters

----- Forwarded Message
From: owen
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2007 11:39:24 +0200
Subject: When bees disappear, will man soon follow?

Dear All
This is a fascinating article about CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) in
the US.
Can anybody on this list report the status of bee colonies in S.A.?
The main causes of CCD is being attributed to: infestations of 'mites',
the widespread use of herbicides, Industrial monoculture and the use of
Genetic Engineering in agriculture - and now also possibly influences
from Electro Magnetism (cell phone towers).

When bees disappear, will man soon follow?

Column: Shooting Dead Horses
Jean-Claude Gerard Koven
April 3, 2007

Last week I received an email from a friend reporting a sudden,
devastating collapse in America's bee population. The message triggered
an immediate unpleasant shiver through my body as I recalled the ominous
quote attributed to
Albert Einstein: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe,
then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more
pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

Being a bit skeptical, I assumed this was just another piece of alarmist
misinformation finding its way onto Internet distribution lists.
A few minutes' research not only confirmed the story, but made me
realize that
the problem is far from local. In official circles, the condition is
called either Fall-Dwindle Disease or, more commonly, Colony
Collapse Disorder (CCD).

The communication I received stated:
"Honeybees are flying off in search of pollen and nectar and simply
never returning to their colonies. During the final three months of
2006, a distressing number of honeybee colonies began to diminish from
the United States, and beekeepers all over the country have reported
unprecedented losses. According to scientists, the domesticated honeybee
population has declined by about 50 percent in the last 50 years.
Reports of similar losses to the honeybee population have been
documented before in beekeeping literature, but are widely believed to
have occurred at this scale previously only at a regional level. With
outbreaks recorded as far back as 1896, this is regarded as the first
national honeybee epidemic in U.S. history."

The topics grabbing headlines these days leave little room in the news
for the plight of an insect. What we fail to appreciate is that without
an abundance of bees to pollinate crops, the United States could lose as
much as 30 percent of its food supply. According to Zac Browning, vice
president of the American
Beekeeping Federation, "Every third bite we consume in our diet is
dependent on a honeybee to pollinate that food."

There is no doubt about what is happening - or its consequences if the
situation is not rectified. What remains murky is the cause.
According to Walter Haefeker, director of the German Beekeepers
Association, CCD has four possible causes: the varroa mite, introduced
from Asia; the widespread practice of spraying wildflowers with
herbicides; the practice of monoculture (a single crop covering a large
area); and the controversial yet growing use of genetic engineering in

However, it is the thinking of one of the cell phone industry's former
scientific hired guns that caught my attention. When George
Carlo, M.D., the celebrated author of "Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in
the Wireless Age" and current chairman of the nonprofit Science and
Public Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., weighs in with an opinion,
we'd all be fools not to listen carefully.

On a recent conference call, Dr. Carlo laid the blame for the sudden
demise (often within 72 hours) of entire bee colonies on the recent
proliferation of electromagnetic waves (EMF). He cited the startling
statistic that, at present, there are some 2.5 billion cell phone users
around the world. While this (plus the explosive growth of cell phone
towers) used to be the major concern, the problem has been significantly
exacerbated by the recent introduction of satellite radio. Imagine being
closeted in a confined environment filled with chain smokers; it would
be impossible for you to get a breath of clean air. It is becoming
equally difficult for you to avoid the now-measurable damage from EMF

Dr. Carlo commented that the constant electromagnetic background noise
seems to disrupt intercellular communication within individual bees,
such that many of them cannot find their way back to the hive. His
conclusions are confirmed by
a recent study conducted by three departments of Panjab University
(India), which has found that cell phone towers - the dominant source of
electromagnetic radiation in the city of Chandigarh - could well be the
cause behind the mysterious disappearance of butterflies, some insects
(like bees), and birds.

Andrew Weil, M.D., author of "Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum
Health," fully agrees: "Electromagnetic pollution may be the most
significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this
century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible."
In some countries, up to 10 percent of the population suffers from a
EMF-induced condition that Dr. Carlo and others call membrane
sensitivity syndrome.
In a recent
address to the Health, Social Services and Housing Sub-Panel in the
United Kingdom,
Carlo explained: "Originally, this type of condition was the result of
high chemical exposures; we used to call it chemical sensitivity. Now we
have identified the same type of condition in patients who are exposed
to various types of electromagnetic radiation. It is a medical problem.
People who have membrane sensitivity syndrome have internal bleeding.
They can be in a room where somebody puts on a cell phone, and they will
end up having an immediate reaction; they will go home and they will
bleed and in their stool they will have blood. This condition is very
debilitating. It prevents these people from being able to work; they
cannot earn a living, they have difficult relationships with their
children, their spouses give up on them. ... It is a very, very serious
medical problem."

The bees are the modern-day counterpart of the canaries that miners used
to carry with them as they descended into the mine shafts. If the birds
died, it was an early warning of a buildup of toxic gases in the mine.
When canaries die or bees disappear, we are being cautioned that we too
are in immediate danger. It is time to listen to the message nature is
telling us.
Denial - the favorite ploy of those whose profits are being threatened -
is no longer an option. As Arthur Schopenhauer said, "All truth passes
through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

I shudder to think of what will become of humankind if we linger too
long in stage two: "no more bees, no more pollination, no more plants,
no more animals, no more man."

Jean-Claude Gerard Koven is a writer and speaker based in Rancho Mirage,
Calif. He is a featured weekly columnist for UPI's (United Press
International) and the author of "Going
Deeper: How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes No Sense," recipient of both the Allbooks Reviews editor's choice award and the award for the best metaphysical book of the year. For more information, please
visit: C copyright 2007
Jean-Claude Gerard Koven