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There are fears around the world that the humble bee could become extinct.

Over the past two winters, the US has lost 70 per cent of its honeybee colonies. In Britain, it is estimated that if the situation continues as it has been, the honeybee will be extinct in less than a decade.

ABC news online

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what can we do? will backyard hives and planting lots of flowers help do you think?

is it caused by leakage from genetically modified organisms? is it viral disease mutations? lack of flowers and water? pesticide critical mass?

I read the other day about a new bacteria that kills colonies - but this article mentions desertion instead.

I did a bee keeping course years ago but haven't got a hive. Apparently you can get native bee hives somewhere in Brisbane too..
While I was in NZ (2000) the Varroa mite had just been discovered and was causing havoc with the industry, it was recently confirmed (2006) to be in the South Island. Apparently Australia is the only country left that doesn't have this particular mite - yay there is something horrible we don't have...

It is a very scary thought that the bees could disappear, I simply can't imagine what would happen to the world if there were no bees left to pollinate most of our food, and the food the animals eat.
I've read about this bee problem before but I thought it was only happening in the US, it's scary that only Australia's not yet affected.
My family were debating whether to have pest control done for our home the other day, and I've commented that there appears to be a lot less insects althought we haven't done pest control for a few years. I was suprised I wasn't the only one who noticed, we haven't seen those black hairy caterpillers and butterflies in recent years. We've had less bees then last year too. More suprised that my parents actually didn't realize that we'll be domed if all bees died out.. ..
I just get the man to inspect for termites - as long as he doesn't find any no need to spray?
We have gheckoes- they are a bit messy but they eat everything else that might infest the house (cockroaches, spiders) and I think they're quite cute
the chemicals used for pest control are pretty bad for humans too
i wouldn't be surprised if our use of biocides and genetically modified organisms plus global warming are ganging up on our poor furry little buddies
As the native bees are stingless, maybe we should try to encourage them into our gardens and provide a suitable habitat. I guess they need a home to live in (hollow log maybe) and lots of food so flowers and nectar etc?

It is certainly very important to try to keep the bees alive any way we can, I think it is likely to be GM that is affecting them the most (although NZ has a particular mite that we don't) so we won't be far behind for long. When I get a chance I will try and find out where in Bne they are selling the hives Scarlett mentioned and get more information including costs.
That’s my take too, last time I only did the termite inspection, but my dad organised it this time round. My mother and I are against doing the pest control, but my sister and my dad wanted it done. Really after not having done pest control for several years I am really happy about the ‘pests balance’ at our place. I see a lot of geckos everyday, lots of ants on the outside walls which only get inside occasionally, and a few daddy long legs. Only get a small cockroaches once in a while, and I think that’s thanks to the geckos as we used to have bigger and more cockroaches plus redbacks and moths. There’s a wasps nest under the chair on the balcony and another nest outside my parents bedroom windows. The wasps and ants were killed during the pest control, and now I am concern about the livelihood of the geckos. If they move away or stave to death, I am afraid once the chemicals wear off all pests are going to come back in great numbers….
This looks like an informative site on native bees ~


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