Friday, February 1, 2008

We Are Not Going To Make It.

Something is happening to us, , something big, consequential, alarming.

Bees and flowers are as vital a part of the intricate web of life as we ourselves are. No bees, no flowers." And the impact goes far beyond direct bee products like honey and wax.

Three-quarters of the world's 250,000 flowering plants - including many fruits and vegetables - require pollination to reproduce. The economic impact of the decline in bees could be disastrous. If we lose our respect for these miraculous and mysterious insects, it is at our peril.

Honey Bee Disappearances

There are no bee bodies; they simply all disappear, all adult bees are simply gone, sometimes leaving a queen and a few young hatched workers. This is unheard of, since normally a bee colony will do almost anything to protect its queen. The hive is left intact, with capped cells of honey and bee bread.

Another unusual factor is that bees sensing a dying colony nearby aren’t going in right away and killing the other bees and robbing the hive of honey, like they usually do for example when the bees have died of parasites or disease.

Diana Cox-Foster, a professor of entomology at Penn State University, has been working on the problem for months now. She says the die-off is unprecedented, and she’s made some dramatic discoveries. For example, the normally resilient bees she dissected showed traces of not one or two diseases, but nearly every disease known to affect them over the past century. They had all the diseases at once, a sign their immune systems have been compromised.

"The bees are immuno-compromised, being stressed somehow,"she said. Some could be related to the severe weather swings we’ve seen over the past few years. But many questions remain unanswered.

She and the other scientists working on the CSI-style case don’t think this is just a cyclical thing. It’s uncommon, unusual, and frightening to everyone associated with the often-overlooked industry. No one is sure just how bad it will be when the hives are opened in late march.

"Where does milk come from?" The bees pollinate the alfalfa, which feeds the cows, which give the milk. Honeybees are one of the main links in our world. They really need to be nurtured.”

Albert Einstein made the statement.
If honey bees become extinct, human society will follow in four years.” He was speaking in regard to the symbiotic relationship of all life on the planet. All part of a huge interconnected ecosystem, each element playing a role dependant on many other elements all working in concert creating the symphony of life. Should any part of the global body suffer, so does the whole body. For life is all one: as big as the world, and as small as the honeybee!

The entire world now faces a decline of native pollinators. Over 100 species of birds and more than 80 mammals that pollinate are considered threatened or extinct by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), a network that includes scientists, experts, government agencies and non-governmental organizations from around the world.

Read more.....

The mysterious deaths of the honeybees threatens global fruit and vegetable production – Year 2006

Honeybees have been mysteriously dying across the world and in the United States alone, they are losing between 50 and 90 percent of their honeybees over the past years, perplexing scientists sending honey prices higher and threatening fruit and vegetable production or the agriculture industry.

Beginning in October 2006, beekeepers from 24 states reported that hundreds of thousands of their bees were dying and their colonies were being devastated.

In December 2006, beekeepers' associations, scientists and officials formed the "Colony Collapse Disorder," or CCD.working group, in hopes of identifying the cause and solving the problem of CCD.

Most of the beekeepers who have recently reported heavy losses associated with CCD are large commercial migratory beekeepers, some of whom are losing 50 percent to 90 percent of their colonies.

Moreover, surviving colonies are often so weak that they are not viable pollinating or honey-producing units. The Agricultural Research Service, said that although his agency has a variety of theories as to what might be causing CCD, it believes stress on the bees might be the major motive.

We believe that some form of stress may be suppressing immune systems of bees, ultimately contributing to CCD."

The main four types of stresses that were identified were migratory stresses, mites, pathogens and pesticides.

According to the National Agricultural Statistic Service, honey production declined by 11 percent in 2006, and honey prices per pound increased 14 percent, from 91.8 cents in 2005 to 104.2 cents in 2006. These statistics are based on numbers collected mostly before the true impact of CCD was noted. Its effect will be more noticeable when the 2007 statistics are collected.

But this is not a new problem. Over the past two decades, concern has risen around the world about the decline of pollinators of all descriptions. During this period in the United States, the honeybee, the world's premier pollinator, experienced a dramatic 40 percent decline, from nearly six million to less than two and a half million.

If honeybees numbers continued to decline at the rates documented from 1989 to 1996, managed honeybees ... will cease to exist in the United States by 2035!

Read more….

Recent studies in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have shown that bee diversity is down 80 percent in the sites researched, and that “bee species are declining or have become extinct in Britain."

The studies also revealed that the numbers of wildflowers that depend on pollination have dropped by 70 percent.

Which came first, the decline in wildflowers or the decline in pollinators, has yet to be determined. If bees continue to die off so would the crops they support and with that would ensue major economic disruption and possibly famine.

“There have been cases where there have been these die-offs of bees before, but we have never seen it to this level”.

The weather is having a major impact.“ Over the course of the season it was too wet, too dry, too hot and too cold, all at the wrong times.

Understanding the Bees

Bees store honey every autumn — a hive needs 60 pounds to survive the winter — but with this year’s warm weather, they ate a lot, and beekeepers had to supplement with sugar syrup.

While a few crops, such as corn and wheat, are pollinated by the wind, bees help pollinate more than 90 commercially grown field crops, citrus and other fruit crops, vegetables and nut crops. Without these insects, crop yields would fall dramatically and some tangerines and pecans would cease to exist.

California has the biggest almond groves in the world, supplying 80 percent of the nuts on the market. They currently have to import millions of bees to pollinate the groves.

There are several unusual things about the phenomena and one common factor that cannot be attributed to be the direct cause but may be an “aggravating other conditions” factor and that is temperature fluctuations.

No single cause drought chemicals/pesticides, mites, bacteria, a fungus or virus seems to be common to all the events or even indicated as a cause in any single event.

Extreme weather and temperature fluctuations seem to play a major role stressing the bees and weakening their immune systems.

What is Happening?

Much of the world's food supply is being threatened by the unfathomable vanishing of honeybees.

Crops must have pollination. Honeybees transfer pollen which is a vital function for plant reproduction. Humans and ecosystems cannot survive without pollinators which are being lost around the world at a troubling rate. This is a serious matter and requires prompt global attention.

For several years, honeybee colonies have been dying out. The causes are uncertain.

Authorities are striving to understand the sources of the alarming disappearance of honeybees in the U. S. along with other countries such as Europe and Asia.

Honeybees are disappearing across the world. Areas of Iran and countries like Italy, Poland, Greece, Switzerland, Portugal, Germany and Spain.

Half a million to a million colonies in the U. S. out of 2.4 million colonies have died this winter (2007). Racheal and varroa mites have jeopardized the bee industry since the 1980s. Several honeybees show evidence of mite damage, but around twenty-five percent of the deaths this year cannot be ascribed to mites.

Experts are looking at genetically modified foods, mites, pathogens, pesticides and electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, habitat destruction, and global warming. It is critical for the world's agriculture to find the cause of this problem. Crops worth billions of dollars, rely on these pollinators.

Most people have no idea of the role that bees play in our food supply. Hired beehives, pollinate over a third of America's crops. Without pollination, there would be few if any crops, plus the many flowers they pollinate.

Growing populations have heightened the importance of honeybees in our world's food supply. Humans have destroyed the wild pollinators by ravishing the area they needed to live, replacing their habitats with houses, office buildings and shopping centers.

"Honeybees are dying off because of expounding human populations and its destruction to our natural ecology."

Despite the fact that humans tend to feel superior in every way to the animals and plant species around us, without those other forms of life we cannot survive.
We are all connected in this world. When species (like honeybees) start disappearing around the world, something has gone terribly wrong.

“We are heading toward extinction." Extinction sure doesn't sound good, does it?

Remember, we are all connected. Thus, if the bees die, than flowering plants don't get pollinated. Many fruit and vegetable plants are flowering plants. So, it stands to reason that our food sources might become decimated.

All told, this would cost our country billions of dollars right off the bat. And that's not even really considering the other animals out there that survive because of plants that require pollination from honeybees. In other words, the circle of life would be disrupted.

The effect of disappearing honeybees due to GLOBAL WARMING:-
Hundreds of millions or even billions of people could die along the way from disease, starvation, heat waves, floods, droughts, and more.

Global Warming has already negatively impacted bio systems and conditions for several species. What's more, if the temperature rises another Celsius degree between 400 million and 1.7 billion people won't be able to get enough water, allergic pollens will increase, and some amphibians will go extinct.

However, if the temperature were to rise another degree from there- which it will unless we start to do something about this globally- then about 20 to 30 percent of the world's species would near extinction.

With all of the environmental changes we're experiencing, "mass extinction is a real possiblity," according to scientists. It's important that as a society we begin to realize how everything in our world is connected.

How Can We Help – Practically NOTHING!

Sorry to disappoint, but right now we can’t predict exactly how global warming will affect the environment and agriculture. One thing that we CAN expect is that farmers in Africa where the climate is already hot will face severe problems growing crops if the weather becomes even hotter.

Read this report from FAO.

Fertilizers are a major source of nitrous oxide emissions. FAO can’t stop farmers from using fertilizers. Plants take nutrients from the soil when they grow and if those nutrients are not replaced, the soil becomes degraded and sterile. But fertilizers, especially nitrogen fertilizers, have been overused in many countries. They have contaminated the soil and polluted the water.

One way FAO helps countries reduce nitrogen fertilizer use is by promoting conservation agriculture. This helps cut greenhouse gases in two ways. First, it uses plants to cover the soil all year round, and this extra groundcover helps absorb carbon dioxide. Second, it reduces the need for nitrogen fertilizers and this prevents nitrous oxide from entering the atmosphere.

Livestock production accounts for a significant amount of the world’s methane emissions. When animals like cows, sheep and goats digest their food, they belch methane. It sounds funny, but after all, there are millions of animals on the planet.
Get this: about 80 million tons of methane a year enters the atmosphere because of animal digestion. In 2030, it is expected to rise to 128 million tons.

Livestock play a huge role in feeding the world and providing incomes to farmers. So FAO isn’t about to tell its members to stop raising livestock, and it certainly can’t stop animals from belching. For farmers, especially poor farmers in developing countries, this means more income and a chance to escape hunger and poverty. For the Earth, it means not as many animals are needed to meet the global demand for animal products, and less methane is belched into the air.

Also, expanding livestock production is one of the main forces behind the destruction of tropical rain forests, especially in Latin America. Clearing and burning forests releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

Rice cultivation
Rice cultivation contributes another 20 percent of methane emissions. We can’t stop people from growing and eating rice any more than we can stop animals from digesting. But there are ways of growing rice that can reduce methane emissions.

Global Warming is likely to cause a significant decline in world agricultural output, with poor countries in Africa set to be hurt the most, a group of farm experts As a result, policymakers must take into account food issues when dealing with climate change, a report by the International Food Policy Research Institute said.

World agricultural output is projected to decrease significantly due to global warming, and the impact on developing countries will be much more severe than industrialised nations," said the report, released in Beijing.

"Africa is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of its high proportion of low-input, rain-fed agriculture, compared with Asia or Latin America."

While hundreds of millions have emerged from poverty through better agricultural techniques, rising standards of living mean that more grain is being used to produce high value products like meat and diary products, the report said.

This in turn makes grain prices rise as demand grows, making it harder for poorer people in the developing world to fulfil their daily food needs. Due to rising oil costs, the production of biofuels as an alternative energy source was also adding to dramatic changes in the world food situation, which "will adversely affect poor people in developing countries," the report said.

The group called on developed nations to lower trade barriers on farm products and reduce biofuel production, while developing nations needed to invest more in their farming infrastructure.

"Surging demand for feed, food and fuel have recently led to drastic price increases, which are not likely to fall in the foreseeable future. The days of falling food prices may be over."


In order to increase crop yields, insecticides and herbicides are regularly used all around the world. Without this treatment, Hundreds of millions of dollars would be lost in crop annually. Today, studies have shown that children and fetuses suffer more of pesticides effects than do adults because children's bodily systems are still developing. Children are much less able than adults to detoxify most pesticides and herbicides. Pesticide effects in the unborn and in infants can have lifelong damages as:

a) low birth weight and birth defects;
b) interfere with child development and cognitive ability;
c) cause neurological problems;
d) disrupt hormone function;
e) cause a variety of cancers, including leukemia, kidney cancer; brain cancer, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

For instance, the risk of neurological or behavioral problems following early pesticide exposure extends through puberty, as the reproductive system, nervous system, and brain continue to grow.

Read more….

Governments Stockpiling Essential Goods

The Malaysian government plans to stockpile essential goods which includes rice and cooking oil will be set up to ensure that prices and supply will be stable at all times. An agency called the National Stockpile will be set up under the National Price Council.

National warehousing and distribution centres would be set up throughout the country .This is part of a three-pronged government strategy to soften the impact of rising prices on the cost of living due to escalating oil prices worldwide. (or actually stockpiling in face of global warming crisis?)

"Malaysia’s inflation rate is the lowest in the world and this mirrors the government’s efforts in keeping the prices of essential goods low,” (Is this THE REAL factor?)

Malaysia, like China, caps prices of some everyday commodities to contain inflation after wheat, soybeans and palm oil soared to their highest ever. The country's inflation probably reached a 10-month high in December as food costs surged and floods disrupted supplies in parts of the country.

India, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are among countries that have sought to control food prices to curb inflation and avoid social instability. China froze energy prices this month, tripled price-fixing fines and added curbs on increases for meat, eggs, cooking oil and noodles. India cut the import tax on edible oils four times last year, and limited exports of rice, wheat, corn and lentils.

Rising inflation is a big concern to all governments – perhaps more so to Malaysia’s.

Malaysians spend nearly a third of their disposable income on food, far more than the average American, who only uses less than 10% of his income on food.

While stockpiling might be socially expedient, its economic efficacy is questionable.

If anything, Malaysia’s hefty fuel subsidies should provide pointers on how costly attempts to curb market forces can prove to be. Fuel subsidies have risen to an estimated RM16 billion a year; including power, water and food subsidies, the Government is believed to spend an estimated RM35 billion to RM40 billion yearly on subsidies. Last year’s national development budget was RM48 billion. (approx. 1 US$: RM3.3)


Food Stockpiling is primarily use for state of emergency and war. Are we actually going to face a BIG crisis in future?

It does not make economical sense… to combat local price increase with stockpiling?

(It will enrich middle-man or suppliers who will eventually gain enormous profit over the food stockpiling initiatives. Remember –it’s for the whole nation needs)

It will take more than stockpiling to get the better of market forces.


A more practical solution is to use the money and invest on food farms globally to ensure consistent supply and suppressing price increase.

Islam and Bees

Do you know how important a food source the honey, offered to man by Allah by means of a tiny animal, is?.

It is generally known that honey is a fundamental food source for the human body, whereas only a few people are aware of the extraordinary features of its producer, the honeybee.

It is noteworthy that the amount of honey stored by the bees is much more than their actual need. The question which comes to the mind is why this "excessive production", which seems to be a waste of time and energy is not stopped?

The answer to this question is hidden in the verse which states that the bee is "taught" so by the Lord.

"And your Lord taught the honey bee to build its cells in hills, on trees, and in (men's) habitations; Then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord: there issues from within their bodies a drink of varying colours, wherein is healing for men: verily in this is a Sign for those who give thought." (Surat an-Nahl (The Bee), 68-69)

Bees innately produce honey not only for themselves but also for the human beings. As a matter of fact, bees, like many other beings in nature, are offered to the service of man. Just like the chicken laying at least one egg a day although it does not need it, or the cow producing much more milk than its offspring needs.

Honeybees are one of science's great mysteries because they have remained unchanged for millions of years. For a pound of honey around 2 million flowers are visited by the bee.

An important ingredient that the plant provides the bee is pollen. With special pollen traps, the beekeeper can collect the pollen. Today, pollen is called a "super food" by many health advocates. Pollen is very high in trace elements and vitamins. Gram for gram, it has 50% more protein than beef.

There are at least 20,000 species of bees. The best known and most carefully studied is the honey bee. This is because we like the honey. There are prehistoric cave paintings, 8,000 to 15,000 years old, which depict people robbing bee hives. Beekeeping seems to have begun in ancient Egypt, perhaps 2400 BC. It flourished as an industry throughout Europe and the Mediterranean.

Bees are very important to man—not just for the honey and wax, but also in pollinating plants. Crops such as alfalfa and clover, and fruit trees, such as the apple, cherry and peach, will not produce abundantly without bees. What a remarkable system.

"God made the apple and cherry blossoms bright-colored and fragrant to attract bees to maintain the species, but what a delight for us. A spring time feast for our eyes and nose. Then we get to enjoy the honey that, in a splendid and intricate system, the bees produce from the contents of these beautiful flowers.”

The miraculous beneficial properties of honey, so beautifully ex-pressed in the holy Qur'an and Sunnah 14 centuries ago expose the reluctance of modern science to accept and exploit this 'traditional remedy'.

In addition, the Prophet (pbuh) said:

"Honey is a remedy for every illness and the Qur'an is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Qur'an and honey." (Bukhari)

In recent years, scientific support is beginning to emerge confirming the beneficial effects of honey on certain medical and surgical conditions. These effects may be summarised as follows:

Antibacterial and antifungal properties
These properties of honey are well established. Undiluted honey inhibits the growth of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, certain gut pathogens and fungi such as Candida albicans. At a concentration of 30-50%, honey has been shown to be superior to certain conventional antibiotics in treating urinary tract infections. The exact mechanism of the anti-microbial effect of honey remains obscure. Low pH, osmotic disruption of pathogens and the presence of bactericidal substances, collectively called inhibine may all play a part.

Anti-diarrhoeal properties
At a concentration of 40%, honey has a bactericidal effect on various gut bacteria known to cause diarrhoea and dysentery such as Salmonella, Shigella, enteropathogenic E. coli and Vibrio cholera. In one study, honey given with oral rehydration fluid was shown to reduce the duration of bacterial diarrhoea in infants and children.

Wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties
Honey is of value in treating burns, infected surgical wounds and decubitus ulcers. Honey is very viscous, enabling it to absorb water from surrounding inflamed tissue. For example, a study in West Africa showed that skin grafting, surgical debridement and even amputation were avoided when local application of honey to wound promoted healing, whereas conventional treatment failed.

In another study, wound healing was accelerated by application of honey in women who had undergone radical vulvectomy for vulval cancer. Also, it has been suggested that honey may be useful in the treatment of chronic, foul smelling ulcers seen in leprosy.

Anti-tussive and expectorant properties
These anti-cough properties of honey are related to its capacity to dilute bronchial secretions and improve the function of the bronchial epithelium.

Nutritional properties
Honey is composed of sugars like glucose and fructose and minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulfur, iron and phosphate. It includes B1, B2, C, B6, B5 and B3 vitamins changing according to the qualities of nectar and pollen sources. Besides; copper, iodine, iron and zinc exist in it in small quantities.

Also, several kinds of hormones are also present in its content.

Honey is widely available in most communities but its medical potential remains grossly underutilised. Its mode of action remains incompletely understood and the healing properties of honey in other clinical and laboratory situations requires further evaluation.

So it’s God’s inspiration to build the hives, to eat from the fruits, and to create the honey. It’s God’s inspiration and overall design. Bees appeared perhaps 100 million years ago, coinciding with the appearance of the first true flowering plants. In God’s beautiful system, the flowers and the bees are dependent on each other. The color and smell of the flower is not for man, although we can and should enjoy it. It’s to attract the bees to insure the flower’s survival. And if the flower didn’t produce nectar and pollen, the bee wouldn’t survive.

So next time we gulp down that liquid maybe we can be grateful for all that went into producing it and realize the numerous favors of Allah on us. They travel about 50,000 miles. At the first step the liquid is like water, which is then fluttered upon by their wings till a sweet liquid is left. They then suck it and by using their special glands convert it into honey. Once ready the honey is packed into its special compartments in the hive and sealed with wax thus becoming secure.


There are a variety of reasons why the bee populations may collapse. One of the most unusual reasons is that the bees' orientation skills can be thrown off due to interference with magnetic fields (when magnet gets hot it loses it's magnetic field and if earth gets hotter?).

We know something is coming or is already here that could mean the complete and utter destruction of our species, so what are we going to do about it? Nothing.

That’s right, nothing. And the way we—mankind—are acting we deserve exactly whatever calamities befall us. Mankind has perhaps the single most unique and valuable tool for survival of any species that has ever existed on this earth—the ability to foresee and react to FUTURE events. To allow what we think or know is going to happen far into the future to influence our actions.

All other species can only react to the environmental changes as they occur. The species that can adapt to the changes fast enough will survive the event and quite likely become entirely different species in the process, the rest will go extinct.

Mankind has not undergone a serious environmental stress in a very long time. I am talking about a stress so great it affects and jeopardizes our entire species. What form that stress will take can be predicted, there are only a handful of likely scenarios that can threaten our survival as a species, so preparing for them should not be that difficult. But we don’t do anything about it. Whole societies of people ignore the issue or pretend it does not exist. As a collective we seem barely willing to even talk about it.

We will go on fighting each other over in global conferences on reduction of gas emission and so on. We will go on fighting each other because the people “over there” don’t behave, think or shop the way we do. While we are busy scuffling with (killing) each other the years are slipping by, valuable time is being wasted. We don’t seem to be able to properly grasp what is coming.

Do you think the majority of people on the earth today will ever think that something that far off is worth worrying about and acting on now? How many generations will it take and how in-our-face obvious does the danger have to be before we wake up and begin to act?

When if ever will mankind as a majority begin to see survival of the species not only as a noble idea, but also as a sacred duty?

Some people really want and need there to be some meaning or purpose in life, some reason we are all going through this mess.

Think about this for a minute; if mankind goes extinct, everyone that has ever lived and everything they have ever done will all become completely meaningless in the grand scope of the things. Every battle won, every disease conquered, every sacrifice and every joy ever experienced might as well have never happened.

Our lives only have meaning to ourselves and to each other. When we are gone there will be no one left to figure out if our existence meant anything. As long as the majority of mankind only concerns itself with pleasing imaginary beings and limits the scope of its cares for the future to the end of our very short lives, we are lost.

We’re not going to make it.