for Big Island
------ Forwarded Message
From: Three Ring Ranch
Subject: Superferry potential disaster infor for
The Big Island is now the last place on earth that
queen bees are safely bred free of the veroa mite
and the virus that is killing the majority of wild
bee hives in the United States and rest of the
world. No other place can supply queen bees to
repopulate hives which are required to pollinate
our food supply. People are not seeing the big
picture about Superferry. IF autos that might
contain even one infected bee arrive on the island
the breeding colonies for queens will be put at
risk. The mite is aggressive and now considered by
the Dept of Ag to be widespread on Oahu and Maui.
Please consider getting the word out ASAP that any
and all transport of autos on a rapidly moving
barge will permit the bees to get to the Big
Island. This is a matter for every person in the
country who likes to eat!
Ann Goody RN PhD
Culprit found in billions of bee deaths?
By Sandy Bauers
The Philadelphia Inquirer
DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES
These bees were delivered to cranberry growers in
Long Beach to pollinate spring blooms. Bees are
required to pollinate about one-third of the
nation's food crops.
* Archive | Bees' demise may imperil crops
* Archive | Mystery spurs bizarre theories,
PHILADELPHIA - Researchers have fingered a prime
suspect in a disorder causing massive die-offs of
honeybees, insects with the monumental job of
pollinating $14.6 billion worth of the nation's
fruit and vegetable crops annually.
After freezing bees, grinding them up, extracting
the DNA and using genetic sequencing to identify
every organism present, researchers have settled
upon a little-known virus discovered three years
ago in Israel.
There, symptoms of a mysterious bee malady came in
the form of shivering wings. The bees became
paralyzed and died. Thus the name: Israeli acute
paralysis virus, or IAPV.
Researchers aren't sure how the virus got to the
United States. They don't know how to cure it. Nor
do they know if it alone can account for colony
collapse disorder, which has killed tens of
billions of bees since last fall.
Beekeepers, scientists and public officials have
been searching for the cause of the disorder,
which surfaced in 2004 and was formally recognized
If scientists can prove the viral infection is
helping cause the die-offs, it could clear the way
for beekeepers to breed colonies genetically
resistant to the disease.
At stake is the food on the nation's tables.
Bees are required to pollinate about one-third of
the nation's food crops, including almonds,
cherries, blueberries, cranberries, pears,
strawberries and pumpkins. California's almonds
alone require about 50 percent of all the managed
bees in the country; the insects are loaded onto
tractor-trailers and trucked west every winter.
"What we have at present is a marker. We do not
think IAPV alone is causing this disease," said W.
Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection
and Immunology at Columbia University's Mailman
School of Public Health. "It may require IAPV plus
other stressors," such as mites, bacteria or other
What researchers do know is that IAPV was present
in bees that had succumbed to the new disorder and
that it was not present in healthy bees.
"The only candidate that was left standing at the
end of this rigorous analysis was, in fact, IAPV,"
said Lipkin, one of a team of researchers led by
Pennsylvania State University entomologist Diana
Cox-Foster and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Jeffrey Pettis.
Their findings were published in Thursday's online
edition of the journal Science.
Entomologist May Berenbaum, of the University of
Illinois, said the findings were "compelling."
But researchers from the U.S. Army's Edgewood
Chemical Biological Center in Maryland cautioned
that they had unpublished results in which they
found the Israeli virus in colonies that did not
experience colony collapse disorder.
By now, the ailment has affected 23 percent of
commercial colonies, causing losses of 50 to 90
percent of their bees.
Perhaps just as important as ruling in IAPV,
researchers were able to rule out other potential
causes of the collapsing colonies - from wilder
theories, such as disorientation because of
cellphone towers, to more probable ones, such as
genetically modified crops and pesticides.
Pesticides aren't entirely off the hook, however.
Researchers think they could stress a bee, making
it more vulnerable to a virus.
The genetic technique involved extracting all the
genetic material from the bees and running it
through an instrument that can "sequence" - or
read the letters and patterns of genetic code -
100 million letters at a time.
The instrument then compares the genetic sequences
in the sample with those of known organisms
compiled in a massive international database known
With the new equipment, what would have taken
years, "we literally do in days," said Michael
Egholm, vice president of research and development
at 454 Life Sciences, the Connecticut company that
did the sequencing.
In effect, identifying what organisms are there
and ruling out ones that are not gives biologists
a short list of suspects.
"To use the analogy of a crime," Egholm said,
"they know who was present at the scene, they just
don't know who is the murderer."
Lipkin said this and other new technologies have
the potential to revolutionize epidemiology and
the investigation of infectious-disease outbreaks
He said that if similar techniques had been
applied to the SARS outbreak in 2003, they could
have yielded a viral suspect "in as short as a
Typically, "we consider one candidate," he said in
a teleconference the researchers held Wednesday.
But with the new sequencing, "you simply ask
what's present," he said. "We have the opportunity
... to investigate everything that might be
associated with a given disease."
Scientists want to try to infect a healthy colony
with IAPV to see if the bees die, and they want to
learn more about how IAPV works.
Does it merely disorient the bees, making them
unable to find their way back to the hive? Or do
the bees sicken and then fly off to die, perhaps
as a complex protective mechanism for the whole
Researchers also are interested in a group of
Israeli bees that may have become resistant to
IAPV after incorporating some of the virus'
genetic material into their own.
For now, U.S. officials have not shut the nation's
doors to two potential avenues of IAPV: "packets"
of bees from Australia used to bolster U.S.
populations, and royal jelly from China used as a
nutrition supplement. For all they know, IAPV
arrived some other way.
------ End of Forwarded Message
More photos; more messages; more whatever. Windows Live Hotmail - NOW with