Claim: Climate Change will kill the bees

Only hardier species can adapt to global warming

Story submitted by Eric Worrall

Another claim that its worse than we thought – this time warmer temperatures are killing the bees.

According to Scott Groom, PhD student at Flinders University, mathematical modelling has connected changes in bee populations over the past 20,000 years across the South Pacific region, and exceptionally large declines in bee populations, with changes in temperature.

Groom says that prior to the ice age when temperatures rose, many bee species migrated to cooler areas, with only one hardy species able to adapt to the warmer temperature.
“They’re almost canaries in the coal mine, you can see that they’re going to be the first sort of species to be impacted by changes in climate,” Groom said.

The study, “Parallel responses of bees to Pleistocene climate change in three isolated archipelagos of the southwestern Pacific” can be found at the link below.

http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1785/20133293.abstract

Abstract

The impacts of glacial cycles on the geographical distribution and size of populations have been explored for numerous terrestrial and marine taxa. However, most studies have focused on high latitudes, with only a few focused on the response of biota to the last glacial maximum (LGM) in equatorial regions. Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the Quaternary. We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM. Our data therefore suggest that Pleistocene climate change has had major impacts across a very broad tropical region. While other studies indicate widespread Holarctic effects of the LGM, our data suggest a much wider range of latitudes, extending to the tropics, where these climate change repercussions were important. As key pollinators, the inferred changes in these bee faunas may have been critical in the development of the diverse Pacific island flora. The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops.

I don’t have access to the full text, so I don’t know whether other possible causes of population crashes, such as bee killing Varroa mites, were considered.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varroa .

Varroa mites were originally discovered in Asia, but have since spread worldwide. Some bees are resistant to Varroa mites, because they have evolved hygiene behaviour, which removes and kills the mites.

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176 thoughts on “Claim: Climate Change will kill the bees

  1. I remember being in West Timor discharging petrol and paraffin, and there was a wild bee colony on the little cliff just a few hundred yards from the dock. The local youths made pocket money from climbing the cliff and gathering the honey. We bought some and it was the sweetest thing we’ve ever tasted, although we had to filter out the bees feet that came in the honey. Well, you never know how often the bees washed their feet.
    West Timor is not a cold place.

  2. My son is a beekeeper in Rhode Island. This past winter killed off his hive. ‘Nuff said.

  3. do a TV series about bees dying, and see how many watch.

    There is such a thing as alarm overload (crying wolf), and the threshhold of response is raised, necessitating a higher level of alarm. Ho will they achieve that, because we are at alarm saturation already.

  4. Honey bees are a European import. The Native Americans saw honey bees as a sign that the White Man was closing in on their lands. The loss of honey bees in North America would return that part of the ecology to how it was pre-occupation/invasion (PC thinking, right?).

    The perfect climate, the perfect environment, the perfect ecology, was the one you had before you were old enough to recognize the negatives.

  5. For the love of God. Why don’t these clowns make it easy on themselves and us by just tell us what climate change WON’T affect.

  6. Clear case of “find something that’s already happening”, “attribute it to my cause”, and prove your cause is true by letting nature run its course.

  7. Well, no shortage of theories, most of them anti-human.
    May vary with location.

    But last I heard the most plausible causes of substantial deaths in North America were parasites.
    Antidotes included squeaky clean housekeeping (bee keepers tend to just re-use hives without cleaning, some went away from plastic parts for reasons I did not grasp) and taking extra steps to avoid exposure to chemicals (to minimize stress on bees thus maximize their own resistance to parasites).

    A large proportion of beehives are moved around to pollinate different crops at the optimum time, such as fruit orchards. Farmers can coordinate with Beekeepers to spray chemicals when bees are elsewhere.
    Even static hives can be somewhat protected by only spraying in calm conditions, often at dawn, that’s done for general reasons anyway, bee exposure is then only from contact with flowers. (I don’t know when spraying is needed, if at other than flowering time then contact exposure will be minimal as bees will be visiting other fields at the time.)

    This forum may have old articles on that.

  8. What? South Pacific islands, and no mention of bees drowning because of rising sea level?

  9. As with other such scary claims, the obvious question is: how did the bees not succumb to warmer temperatures in the past? And why is it that only future temperature increases, and not those of the past hundred fifty years, will kill them off?

  10. Gee, I wondered how the bees coped in the Eemian interglacial, 125,000 years ago, when average temperatures in the tropical zone was 2 C higher than it is today.

  11. “Only hardier species can adapt to global warming”

    Maybe so. When it hit 13F in Seattle in early February after a warm January, the majority of the native pollinators in my yard were wiped out. Fortunately a hive of native bees survived under the eaves of my shed or I would have spent the spring in the orchard with a paintbrush!

  12. Time to invest in Honey Futures…..the kids ain’t gonna know what a bee looks like.

  13. So let me review, shall we? 1) They can accurately count bees over the past 20k years. 2) They can accurately determine temps in placed w/o ice cores and stuff for the last 20k years. 3) There were variations in temps, large ones, all before human activity.

    Only one of those I can believe… and I’m pretty sure I’m not looking at it in the way the author would hope?

    Another classic example of “let’s get funding for something we wish to study by tying it to Global Warming.”

  14. My bees like warm weather much better than cold weather. I lost a hive this past, very cold, winter, but beekeepers who live far north of me successfully overwinter bees. One of the regular speakers at our beekeepers association is an entomologist at the University of Kansas who studies tropical bee colonies in South America and Africa, where bees seem to do just fine.

  15. To Paraphrase Robert Armstrong (as Carl Denham in “King Kong”, 1933): “Oh no, it wasn’t the climate. It was mathematical modeling killed the bees.”

  16. Ah whatever…

    maybe they can add this to the list of things that are used to strip you of your private property rights ; and that does include intellectual property. hint hint, wink wink.

  17. “ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom comments, “Along with many other folks not deeply involved in this subject,I just assumed , based on the widespread media reports, that there were serious problems with bees dying en masse. Indeed, just being outside in the spring seemed to reinforce this. It sure looked like there were fewer bees around in the last few years. Or were my observations colored by the news? I guess, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, this explanation is at least as plausible as any of the others. Maybe more so.”

  18. Honey bees are busy in my garden and don’t mind that I work beside them. There are many species of bees and pollinators in my garden, along with many predatory insects, including Red Wasps. The wasps and I continue a truce of some years, as they live in a small hole in my workshop wall and come out each Spring to prey on Tomato Hornworms and the like. They don’t whack me and I don’t whack them (fingers crossed.) They are a very curious species, as every time I bring in a new flat of plants, or materials to expand the beds, or any tools or anything new, really, they fly around closely inspecting the new presence in their world. Their behavior makes me think that there is far more intelligence and memory possessed by such small creatures than we know.

  19. We enjoy an incredible diversity of life on planet earth. Over millennia the climate has varied by +/- 5 degrees or more. I can only conclude that wildlife adapts and evolves to meet changing conditions – so why the fuss??

  20. “Here’s hoping it wipes out those killer bees. The author of this article was likely pushing that story a few years ago.”

    The ones that came from Africa?

  21. “They’re almost canaries in the coal mine, you can see that they’re going to be the first sort of species to be impacted by changes in climate,” Groom said.

    Now where have I heard about these global warming canaries? This PHD student has a lot to learn.

    Hold onto your hats.

    Geographical Research – 30 October 2006
    Abstract
    The Canary in the Coalmine: Australian Ski Resorts and their Response to Climate Change
    The Australian ski industry represents a ‘canary in the coalmine’. Globally, it is one of the first and most visibly impacted industries by the risk of climate change….

    Time Magazine – July 11, 2008
    “The corals will be the canary in the coal mine in terms of the effect climate change will have on our oceans.”

    The Economist – Nov 11th 2004
    Like a canary in a coal mine, the hyper-sensitive polar regions may well experience the full force of global warming before the rest of the planet does.

    North Denver News – 16 February 2010
    Trout are one of the best indicators of healthy river ecosystems; they’re the aquatic version of the canary in the coalmine,” says NRDC’s Theo Spencer….

    WCTV – Aug 08, 2009
    In a telephone interview with CNN, Josberger called the unprecedented glacial melt the “canary in the coal mine.

    ENS – July 13, 2009
    He told the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, “Our national park units can serve as the proverbial canary in the coal mine,…

    Orange County Register – Aug. 13, 2010
    “That glacier is a little bit like a canary in a coal mine,” he said. “In the northern part of Greenland there are a lot of elements that make it sensitive to climate change.”

    Phys.Org – July 1, 2008
    Like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, penguins are sounding the alarm for potentially catastrophic changes in the world’s oceans,…..

    NPR – 18 June 2007
    …..Turnbull calls Perth the “canary in the climate change coalmine,” a city scrambling to find other sources of water for a growing population. The city is riding a wave of economic prosperity fueled by China’s insatiable appetite for Western Australia’s natural resources……

    The Australian – Opinion – 1 December 2009
    Turnbull’s agony is the canary in the coalmine, signalling the beginning of the era of climate change politics….

    Brisbane Times – April 7, 2007
    The Great Barrier Reef could be dead in 20 years …….Prof Hoegh-Guldberg said the reefs were like a “canary in a coal mine” for other vulnerable areas of the environment,…..

    Parsons Behle & Latimer- Summer 2007
    The Canary Initiative was so named because the City of Aspen views itself, and other communities which are economically dependent on winter snow for recreation and summer snow pack for water supply, as the “canary in the coal mine” of global warming.

    Kennebec Journal – September 7 2013
    Dragonfly in mud a canary in coal mine for our times
    …Creatures that span the ecological chasms between very different ecosystems are in peril from human-induced climate change and its ripple effect…

    Howie Neufeld, Ph.D. Professor of Plant Physiology Appalachian State University – 2013
    Will Global Climate Change Affect Fall Colors?
    …Although less brilliant fall foliage displays may not rank high on the list of concerns about global change, those muted colors could be the canary in the mine shaft telling us that these shifts….

    The Register-Guard – 22 September 2013
    Changing chemistry of seawater poses lethal threat to marine life
    Dwight Collins, owner of Newman’s Fish Co., shucks Pacific oysters he sells at his shop in Eugene. The oysters—these from Yaquina Bay—could be the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” in indicating changes in ocean acidification, he says.

    Kearney Hub – September 10, 2013
    Hub Opinion Climate change, illnesses connected
    As she bicycles across the nation, California physician Wendy Ring sees herself as a canary in the coal mine. She’s sounding a warning,….

    Bangor Daily News – Sept. 15, 2013
    Organizers of a seven-year butterfly survey of Maine agree, wondering whether the scarcity of the monarchs could be “the canary in the coal mine”…..And climate change is likely a cause, deMaynadier said, creating more icy rain rather than snow…

    nurseweek.com – June 26, 2000
    It’s the East Coast counterpart to the canary in the coal mine: three crows, all infected with West Nile virus, found dead recently in New York and New Jersey….Experts attribute the upswing in exotic diseases to several factors, including global warming, global travel,…

    globeandmail.com – January 22, 2009
    Global warming kills old-growth forests at stunning rate
    Dr. Nathan Stephenson, also of U.S. Geological Survey, described the most recent findings as “a canary in the coal mine.”…

    hamptonroads.com – March 11, 2011
    At Portsmouth exhibit, artists caution against environmental disaster
    Ronald Reagan’s face is the darkest. He blamed global warming on vegetation and said, “Let’s not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards.”

    U.S.News & World Report – December 23, 2010
    Global warming may present a threat to animal and plant life even in biodiversity hot spots
    In this case, the lemur plays the role of the canary in the coal mine…

    Herald Times Online – April 10, 2009
    Global warming will make it hot for Indiana corn farmers
    …in the 10-page document. It focused on corn, calling America’s main cash crop “the canary in the coal mine,” which is susceptiple to lower yields caused by rising tempeatures…

    Toronto Star Newspapers – Mar 21 2007
    “This mayfly represents the canary in the coal mine,” said Henry Frania, an entomologist associated with the Royal Ontario Museum….sewage waste to rising amounts of toxins produced by micro-organisms that are living longer because of global warming.

    USA Today – May 31, 2006
    Sea change coming for Everglades; Florida village stands as ‘canary in the coal mine’
    In April, an analysis led by Duke University climate researcher Gabriele Hegerl examined climate sensitivity, an indicator of how temperatures will respond to this doubling of greenhouse gases…

    New York Times – December 14, 2010
    Scientists See the Southwest as First Major U.S. Climate Change Victim
    “I consider them the first dying canary in the coal mine. … There is more and more evidence that climate changes are going to be felt in the Southwest early and deeply.”

    USA Today – 30 May 2005
    Gray wolves could emerge as a “canary in the coal mine” of global warming by suggesting how climate change will affect species around the world, researchers say…

    680News.com – 9 Dec 2009
    Canada’s winter athletes asking Harper to help find climate solution
    The Olympic silver medallist from Canmore, Alta., says her sport is a canary in the coal mine for climate change…

    BBC – 9 November, 1998
    Black guillemot are like the proverbial canary in the coal mine”, says Dr Divoky. They and similar species “are an excellent indicator of climate change,…

    YubaNet.com – March 8, 2005
    Report Shows Clear Warming in Trends across Northeast
    …This is very clearly the canary in the coal mine in terms of climate change for this region,” he said…

    Sun Sentinel – June 25, 1997
    Environmentalists Call For Clinton To Aid ‘glades
    “We’re like the canary in the coal mine here,” said Joette Lorion of the Everglades Coalition, referring to the once-popular use of canaries to warn coal miners of toxic gases…

    Christian Science Monitor – March 4, 2010
    Waters around the Florida Keys are nine inches higher than a century ago. Efforts to battle rising sea levels make the Keys ‘a canary in the coal mine,’ an indicator of what other areas might need to prepare for.

    businessGreen – 05 Aug 2008
    Many observers regard the global ski industry as the canary in the coal mine for economies attempting to come to terms with the risks posed by climate change…

    New York Times – July 19, 2010
    Lake Superior, a Huge Natural Climate Change Gauge, Is Running a Fever
    “The Great Lakes in a lot of ways have always been a canary in the coal mine,” Cameron Davis, the senior adviser to the U.S. EPA on the Great Lakes, said last week.

    The Environmental Magazine – October 31, 2004
    “In this case,” the scientists wrote, “a change in climate triggered the outbreak of a highly lethal infectious disease.”….Jasper Carlton, director of the Biodiversity Legal Foundation, told High Country News that he believes that frogs and other amphibians are the proverbial canary in the coal mine…

    WWF – 21 August 2003
    American pikas are like the ‘canary in the coal mine’ when it comes to climate change,” said Dr Catarina Cardoso, Head of WWF-UK’s Climate Change Programme.

    The China Post – April 12, 2007
    “In relation to global warming, the wine industry is the canary in the coal mine because it’s one of the most sensitive indicators of climate change,” said Richard Smart, a respected viticulturist and author on wine grape growing.

    Science Direct – February 2011
    Abstract
    Canary in the coalmine: Norwegian attitudes towards climate change and extreme long-haul air travel to Aotearoa/New Zealand
    Accelerating global climate change poses considerable challenges to all societies and economies……

    The Environmental Magazine – 4 May 2008
    Hawaii is a remote island chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and relies on imported oil for 90 percent of its energy needs. This spikes the rates of oil, gas, and electricity, and makes the islands vulnerable to disruptions in supply. It also makes them the canary in the coalmine…

    Daily Telegraph – 12 November 2007
    Many fear that tiny Orme is the canary in the coalmine, the desiccated shape of things to come in a country in which experts say water…

    Space Daily – 1 October 2009
    “These countries (in Southeast Asia) in a way are the canary in the mine, they’re the ones that will be confronted by the impacts of climate change if we fail to reach an agreement in Copenhagen,” UN Climate Chief Yvo de Boer told AFP….

    CBS News – 11 February 2009
    “The building is that canary in the mine that we can see and appreciate in terms of the change,” said study author May Cassar of University College, London. And the canary is beginning to look decidedly ill. The study concluded that higher temperatures and humidity will speed up the corrosion of the Eiffel Tower’s ironwork,…

    IPS News Agency – 28 August 2009
    Africa is the canary in the mine of global security, as climate change threatens to redraw the maps of the continent and the world.

    Dallas Morning News – 13 March 1996
    “We need congressmen who read books about air and global warming and … about complex systems,” he said, calling the Grand Canyon a “canary in the mine…

    FinalCall.com News – May 5, 2008
    A NPR story on Haiti’s food crisis referred to Haiti as the “canary in the mine” and that the rest of us must heed the warning.

    Economist – Jan 27th 2011
    Las Vegas, gets 90% of its water from this one source. That is why Las Vegas is a canary in the mine shaft, as Pat Mulroy, the boss of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, puts it…

    Disaster News Network – October 30, 2006
    The rest of the nation should pause and read its future in the cards Nebraska is holding, Ott says. “I guess you could say ours is to play the role of the canary in the mine, to be a warning signal, like the melting ice caps, for the rest of society,” she writes…

    CNN – March 16, 2009
    The problem is that on the Carteret Islands, a horseshoe shaped scatter of small islands around a central lagoon, nowhere is more than 1.2 meters above sea level. If anywhere was the canary in the mine forewarning us of the disaster predicted…

    Daily Mail – 7 December 2009
    …The researchers warned the Galapagos was a ‘canary in a coalmine’ indicating what the world could expect from global warming….

    Proceedings of The Royal Society – 2 November 2010
    Abstract
    Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics
    …..Other explanations may include epigenetic-mediated programming of growth and energy-allocation patterns owing to any number of environmental cues such as stressors, resource availability, release from predation or climate change [27–31]….

    The Nevada Daily Mail – 15 July 2007
    Scientist warns of songbird depopulation
    As she puts it, the metaphor of the canary in a coalmine has never been more apt. Songbird depopulation….

    Scoop Independent News – 14 December 2007
    Gore’s words are like the canary in the mine shaft and if we ignore his call for action any longer ~ and the artic ice melt accelerates ~ the canary will have already died and our long term human survival will be in jeopardy….

    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – 5 October 2013
    …For decades, the research institute at Zurich University has monitored 30 mountain glaciers around the world. Because they are so visible, and measurable, institute director Wilfried Haeberli says glaciers are the best natural indicator of climate change. They are like the proverbial canary in the mine shaft,…

    Courier – Journal – Louisville, Ky. – 18 June 2006
    SERIES; GLOBAL WARMING; ‘Canary in the mine’
    The Courier-Journal TOOLIK LAKE, Alaska In the tundra-covered foothills north of the Arctic Circle, researchers at a government-funded camp have a front-row seat to global warming.

    New Zealand Herald – 13 May 2006
    The critical mass for change remains elusive – for now. As such, the SUV remains the canary in the coalmine. “There’s something going on,” says Toprak…

    ABC – Broadcast Monday 18 November 2002
    Environment groups are the canaries in the coalmine, sounding the alarm in a new report. But what are doctors and the government doing about it?….

    Sydney Morning Herald – 26 October 2006
    The bee has highlighted itself as an ecologically sensitive marker,” Dr Claudianos said. “It’s the equivalent of the canary in the coalmine.”

    Mongabay.com – January 11, 2006
    Because amphibians have highly permeable skin and spend a portion of their life in water and on land, they are sensitive to environmental change and can act as the proverbial “canary in a coal mine,”

    Monterey County Herald – February 10, 2009
    Birds shifting north, study shows
    WASHINGTON — When it comes to global warming, the canary in the coal mine isn’t a canary at all. It’s a purple finch.

    The Toronto Sun – March 13, 2009
    “People went down the coal mine and they used a canary as a barometer of when the air quality in there was bad,” Ewins said yesterday. “This is what the polar bear is, it’s the canary in the global coal mine.”

    GREENandSAVE, LLC – 14th January 2010
    It did provide a focus for what we were seeing. Obviously Tuvalu is the canary in the coal mine for climate change.

    Hollywood Reporter – 3/28/2012
    The Maldives is the canary in the world’s carbon coal mine…

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Aug 29, 1996
    Butterflies flee to beat the heat
    “It is an excellent climate sensor – a canary in a coal mine.””….

    Scientific American Guest Blog – January 20, 2012
    The Canary in the Himalayas

    Grist – 10 Dec 2009
    Just as Australia is the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the environmental affects of climate change, a national election waged over cap-and-trade will….

    Nature – 16 April 2009
    “”The mountain pine beetle outbreak and the climate signal associated with it is the canary in the coal mine about future disturbances. It’s caused jurisdictions to perk up and take notice,” says Carroll.”

    Eureka – 27-Jul-2011
    “”The 2007 fire was the canary in the coal mine,” Mack said. “In this wilderness, hundreds of miles away from the nearest city or source of pollution,”

    Thomasville Times Enterprise – October 23, 2009
    Developing countries around the world are vulnerable to more frequent and severe droughts or flooding, and increased insect-borne disease. The carbon contribution from these people is miniscule and yet they are the “canary in the coal mine.”

    NBC News – 11 Mar 2013
    Canary in a coal mine
    The entire population of Emperor penguins, Chinstraps and Adelies live in Antarctica — if the ice continues to retreat those species are at risk….

    cognoscenti.wbur.org – Apr 02, 2013
    Agriculture is the canary in the coal mine for climate change. This has been true throughout human history and we see it today with commodities like maple sugar and honey,…

    USA Today – March 28, 2013
    “Once we had the canary in the coal mine; now we have the oyster in the ocean,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says….

    Forbes – 4/04/2013
    As Ric Rhinehart, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, puts it, “Coffee is the canary in the coal mine for climate change.”

    Pacific Sun – March 18, 2013
    If so, the canary in the coal mine might turn out to be a mussel in a tide pool.

    USA Today – 11/25/2006
    Appalachian Trail could be ‘canary in coal mine’ for eastern U.S.

    The New Zealand Herald – Oct 12, 2005
    “The Amazon is a canary in a coal mine for the earth. As we enter a warming trend we are in uncertain territory,” he said.

    arirang.co.kr – Sep 22, 2010
    The walrus serves as a similar indicator as a canary in a coal mine.

    The Active Times – Mar 01, 2013
    Moose are “the canary in the coal mine,” Doug Inkley, a senior scientist at the National Wildlife Federation, told USA Today.

    Public News Service – February 6, 2013
    The New England lobster, under threat from disease and invasive species, may be the “canary in the coal mine” of climate disruption, according to a new report….

    Canadian Press – May 8, 2009
    Shrimp can provide valuable insight into broad changes in the marine ecosystem, according to a new study that found the spindly crustaceans serve as canaries in the coal mine when it comes to warming waters and the health of fish stocks.

    Natural Resources Defense Council – May 14, 2010
    Lizards – the next canary in the global warming coal mine

    Huffington Post – November 19, 2009
    Bats: The New Canary in the Coal Mine?

    San Diego Coastkeeper – 9 September 2010 08
    Like a canary in a coal mine, this plankton is very sensitive to contaminants in the water. When the phytoplankton gets stressed or dies, the amount of light emitted is reduced,…

  22. Well they can’t be talking about honeybees – a cold winter can wreak havoc, as the this winter did to mine and many other michigan apiaries.

    The abstract has keyword “Lasioglossum” and halictine bees, the sweat bees, so I’m assuming that they are referring to smaller non-social “native” pollinators.

    Interesting that this report has nothing to do with our current CO2 “emergency” – just that bee populations change as the climate changes. Well duh. So does everything.

  23. I guess using “mathematical modelling” obviates the need to actually talk to beekeepers.

  24. Jimbo….here in UK we’ve closed our coalmines…canarys are endangered here as a result…damn this climate change.

  25. “We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM.”

    This isn’t about any current crashes. THE BEES ARE DOING JUST FINE NOW.

    “The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops.”
    So based on more computer models of what they think happened in the past, they think that the populations could crash.

    Did I mention that based on the short abstract, this study has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CURRENT STATE OF THE BEES ON THE ISLANDS?

    TROPILAELAPS mite, varroa mites, and tracheal mites are all far more threatening to bees. As well as nosema, collony collapse, pesticides…oh and JAPANESE HORNETS! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ1eAM8CChc

  26. These sorts of studies are the inevitable result of perverse economic incentives. If you’re a scientist and want to do a study on bees (and get paid for it), simply add a climate change angle and, presto, instant funding!

  27. Is there only one bee species that can survive in hot climates? African bees came from hot, humid climates but seem to have few problems with less humid climates. However, they aren’t well adapted to the cold and I’m pretty sure we’ve seen studies that say more global warming will further the spread of Africanized bees.

    I live in Las Vegas and at every farmer’s market there are many booths selling local honey from bees here in the Mojave desert. So clearly bees can live in hot, dry climates as well.

    Once again we’ve discovered there’s academia and the wonderful models they love to create and then there is the real, physical world will works on an entirely different set of rules.

  28. Canaries WTF…Nurse, NURSE – pass the AK47 quick

    Bees…time to dig up the old monks I think? Here in UK they suffer alright, likely from not enough over winter feed. And that frost thing at the right time to catch them out. Add in the odd disease.

    Since we via the EU have f*cked up farming so much, nobody cares it seems. Or sort of cares.

    Old Bombus seems to do alright here.

  29. As a beekeeper I call this pretty much hogwash. We all know our bees will prefer warmer summers and milder winters. Bees are, or have been, a pretty hardy bunch. Colony collapse disorder is happening worldwide ( but most prevalent in the continental US ).
    There are a number of reasons for this and they are all compounded by each other. Sure there is a parasite problem, but your normal healthy colony can usually fight this off. However the use of more and more varied pesticides and fungicides is reducing the bees ability to fight disease and infestation. An auto immune deficiency if you will. ( Pettis et al Crop Pollination Exposes Honey Bees to Pesticides Which Alters Their Susceptibility to the Gut Pathogen Nosema ceranae )

    People like Doug Proctor should be careful what they wish for. $30Bn of US agricultural economy relies upon the pollination of bees. Without them things like the California almond crop would collapse in short order. The irony is that it’s the very practices of this agriculture are killing off the colonies that it relies upon for its very existence.

    A warmer climate is the least of the bees worries and would probably be one less stress upon them. There is a very great danger that we are going to lose the majority of colonies in the short term future. 60% of commercial US colonies have already died in the last decade or so.

  30. Bees dying is just more evidence that the climate is warming, and that man is doing it with CO2. The greater the disaster, the stronger the proof. That’s Post Modern Science.

  31. When I read “mathematical modelling” my BS meter pegged. Did this paper come from one of those DIY paper generators?

  32. Jimbo, you should have just listed what ISN”T a canary in the coal mine, would have been a much shorter list for sure!

  33. i must be reading this backward from everyone else. The study says:

    We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM.

    In other words:

    Cold = less bees
    Warm = more bees

    ??

  34. Reminds me of a chilly spring day in Italy’s Cinque Terre some 25 years ago. My friend and I were hiking along the shore, and the footpath was covered with bees, you just could not help stomping on them. Apparently, they had left their hives in the morning, when it had been warmer, and as the thermometer fell below some critical temperature, they could not move their wings fast enough any more to stay in the air and thus dropped to the ground.

    That must have been an extreme weather event, brought about by global warming.

  35. This paper is an example of the terrible impacts of dimming: Climate obsession has dimmed the intelligence of the authors, editors and peer reviewers. They are now dullards who are incapable of critical thinking, and in their dimness are only able to repeat the mantra, “worse than we thought”.

  36. As a beekeeper myself, this article seems way off-base. Bees are native to warm environments, and the bee species most favored by beekeepers come from warm Mediterranean environments. These species are stressed by cold winters – one of the reasons that Russian bees are becoming popular in North America even though they are less honey-productive.

    Given the difficulty collecting data about current bee populations it seems inconceivable we could extrapolate anything useful about the Pliestocene!

    I think a much more immediate threat to bees is the suspected impact of neonicotinoid pesticides.

  37. davidmhoffer says:

    May 9, 2014 at 9:24 am

    i must be reading this backward from everyone else. The study says:

    We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM.

    In other words:

    Cold = less bees
    Warm = more bees

    With apologies for stealing someone else’s joke:

    Tiljander, baby, Tiljander. You haven’t heard? Down is the new up.

  38. Jimbo,

    Be fair now, there are many species of canary….

    Luuurve your work by the way…

  39. Little known fact …

    Western honey bees are not native to the Americas. American colonists imported honey bees from Europe for their honey and wax. Their value as pollinators began to be appreciated by the end of the nineteenth century. The first honey bee subspecies imported were likely European dark bees. Later Italian bees, Carniolan honey bees and Caucasian bees were added.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beekeeping_in_the_United_States

    Econtalk had an interesting episode on bees, beekeeping and Coase …

    Wally Thurman of North Carolina State University and PERC talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the world of bees, beekeepers, and the market for pollination. Thurman describes how farmers hire beekeepers to pollinate their crops and how that market keeps improving crop yields and producing honey. Thurman then discusses how beekeepers have responded to Colony Collapse Disorder–a not fully understood phenomenon where colonies disband, dramatically reducing the number of bees. The discussion closes with the history of bee pollination as an example of a reciprocal externality and how Coase’s insight helps understand how the pollination market.

    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2013/12/wally_thurman_o.html

  40. @ Jimbo – The proliferation of canaries you have documented goes a long way to accounting for the global warming cacophony. It reminds me of the old civil service adage “When everything has top priority, nothing has priority.”

  41. Abstract – 2012
    Global Honey Bee Viral Landscape Altered by a Parasitic Mite
    Emerging diseases are among the greatest threats to honey bees. Unfortunately, where and when an emerging disease will appear are almost impossible to predict. The arrival of the parasitic Varroa mite into the Hawaiian honey bee population allowed us to investigate changes in the prevalence, load, and strain diversity of honey bee viruses. The mite increased the prevalence of a single viral species, deformed wing virus (DWV), from ~10 to 100% within honey bee populations, which was accompanied by a millionfold increase in viral titer and a massive reduction in DWV diversity, leading to the predominance of a single DWV strain. Therefore, the global spread of Varroa has selected DWV variants that have emerged to allow it to become one of the most widely distributed and contagious insect viruses on the planet.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6086/1304.short

    The report was later covered by the BBC.

    BBC – 7 June 2012
    Honeybee virus: Varroa mite spreads lethal disease
    A parasitic mite has helped a virus wipe out billions of honeybees throughout the globe, say scientists.

    A team studying honeybees in Hawaii found that the Varroa mite helped spread a particularly nasty strain of a disease called deformed wing virus.

    The mites act as tiny incubators of one deadly form of the disease, and inject it directly into the bees’ blood.

    This has led to “one of the most widely-distributed and contagious insect viruses on the planet”

    The findings are reported in the journal Science.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/18339797

    Maybe international trade caused the global bee population crash. Global warming has nothing to do with it. The 0.8C rise over 140 years can’t do it. Summer to winter temperatures in some northern countries can vary from -10C up to 30C. There is your clue.

  42. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/04/11/science-collapse-disorder-the-real-story-behind-neonics-and-mass-bee-deaths/

    “Colony Collapse Disorder—it sounds catastrophic and frightening. The Genetic Literacy Project’s Jon Entine separates fact from fiction.
    It’s estimated that over the past five years, some 30 percent of bees in the United States have either disappeared or failed to survive to pollinate blossoms in the spring. That’s about 50% more than the rate expected. The problem is direr in some other countries. In Spain, recent data indicate a loss close to 80% of beehives. On the other hand, in Canada and Australia, there is no sign of Colony Collapse Disorder.”

    Australia and Canada have no sign of CCD and they are similar in climate?

    “Groom says that prior to the ice age when temperatures rose, many bee species migrated to cooler areas, with only one hardy species able to adapt to the warmer temperature.”

    Australia has over 1,500 species of native bee!

  43. I quit reading after “PhD student.”

    He can use “PhD” after he’s earned it, not before.

  44. I would like to know how they actually counted the number of bees on South Pacific Islands over the last 20,000….oh computer modeled bee populations. Sounds like the next video game on Nintendo, Billy the Bee’s Adventures and War on Climate Change.

    “Groom says that prior to the ice age when temperatures rose, many bee species migrated to cooler areas, with only one hardy species able to adapt to the warmer temperature.” Everyone knows that 20,000 years ago, prior to the ice age when temperatures were rising, bees were migrating to glaciated areas because bees LOVE ice. Obviously all I can do is make fun of this junk.

  45. Bees have been around way over 100M years and here is a link to the discovery of one in amber from over 100M years ago, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/10/061025-oldest-bee.html, which was the Mid-Cretaceous Periodca. 120 to 90 Million Years Ago
    which even NOAA admits was much warmer than today. From NOAA:

    Data from many sources. The Mid-Cretaceous period is one period in the geologic past that stands out as distinctly warmer than today, particularly at high latitudes. During the mid-Cretaceous Period, 120-90 million years ago, fossil remains of plants and animals believed to inhabit warm environments, were found at much higher latitudes. Breadfruit trees apparently grew as far north as Greenland (55° N), and in the oceans, warm water corals grew farther away from the equator in both hemispheres. Cretaceous period occurred far enough in the past that continents were in different positions, with different mountain chains and shallow seas in some places that do not exist today.

    Too bad that these bees will be wiped out after so long a run!

  46. I suppose the rising temperatures will be perfect for wasps. The author missed a trick here

  47. davidmhoffer says:
    May 9, 2014 at 9:24 am

    i must be reading this backward from everyone else. The study says:

    We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM.

    In other words:

    Cold = less bees
    Warm = more bees
    ======
    You’re right David……….rapid expansion after the last glacier maximum….when it got warmer

  48. Jimbo says:
    May 9, 2014 at 8:51 am

    “They’re almost canaries in the coal mine, you can see that they’re going to be the first sort of species to be impacted by changes in climate,” Groom said.

    Now where have I heard about these global warming canaries? This PHD student has a lot to learn.

    Hold onto your hats…
    ________________________
    Good job!

  49. …but it don’t matter anyhow….
    Even Berkeley says there’s been no global warming over there in 15 years…..

  50. Jimbo says:
    May 9, 2014 at 8:51 am
    Hold onto your hats…
    =======
    ROTFL…..excellent Jimbo

  51. Perhaps this post-grad student is tkaing tips from the lobster kid who made up a study claiming to show lobster cannibalism is due to climate change and not a wells documented behavior?

  52. Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the Quaternary.

    I have been told that global warming would be felt strongest at higher latitudes, towards the poles, in winter and at night. Will these bees feel it?

    I am just glad to see the folks and bees of Fiji are finally bucking the devastating effects of Fijian global warming.

    Fiji Sun – February 23, 2014
    Kadavu women thrive in bee-keeping
    …..Similar feedbacks were also provided by the President of soqosoqo vakamarama Yakita, Karalaini Tubuna, who said the 23-member group which started in 2009 was prospering…..

    http://www.fijisun.com.fj/2014/02/23/kadavu-women-thrive-in-bee-keeping/

    =================================

    Nature World News – Oct 26, 2013
    Invasive Plant Species a Boon to Bees in Fiji, Suggests New Biodiversity Opportunities
    ….. new research on an invasive plant species in Fiji suggests that while it may be invasive, it’s also beneficial to bees on the island, causing a positive ripple effect that contributes to the overall biodiversity there……

    Hodge and his colleagues’ research is published in the open-access Journal of Hymenoptera Research.

    http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/4625/20131026/invasive-plant-species-boon-bees-fiji-suggests-new-biodiversity-opportunities.htm

  53. Speed says:

    I stopped reading after, ” … mathematical modelling … “

    Why?

    Mathematical modeling can be abused, as regular readers here know. It can also be used appropriately, as regular readers here know.

    Dismissing something on the sole basis that it uses mathematical modeling is an absurd rule.

  54. Outstanding effort on the part of the researchers! I’ve been trying to work out for years how to get someone else to pay for me to cruise the islands of the South Pacific. Tying bee research to global warming hadn’t even crossed my mind. Kudos for their imagination.

  55. http://www.aussiebee.com.au/beesinyourarea.html

    One may wonder why insects may have problems adapting to climate change on small islands. After all there is no where to fly to when things get hot.
    It is interesting to know that the South Pacific was only colonised by Man perhaps the earliest in 1300 BC. Its really hard to island hop so to move to better environments.
    Perhaps bees ,like earlier man ,had the same problems of transport.
    The native bees of Australia thrive in hot climates and move to hot areas,they being wiped out by cold.
    They are mostly found in Queensland and the Northern territory.
    This is a particular problem for the Australian Native Bee keeper of Tetragonula carbonaria, a small friendly native stingless bee.
    That’s because if you live in Sydney their habitat is all north starting in the warmer Hawkesbury Valley, so they cannot easily handle cold in the western suburbs of Sydney, needing their hives to be heated.
    I have been working on a safe heater using a low voltage transformer and LED lights purchased from Bunnings, a hardware store, to get them through winter.
    Its good to see someone researching bees.
    My own POV is that such research is necessary in case something wipes out the European Honey Bee, which from its Northern Hemisphere Climates has adapted well to the Australian harsh hot dry land, where it follows settlement.
    Practical steps can be taken, such as building bee walls

    http://www.studiogblog.com/shop-for-garden-products/shed-other-garden-buildings/encouraging-native-bees-with-insect-walls/

    And starting native bee hives.
    There are many things that kill off European Bees

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/09/28/3592935.htm

    It seems a loss of genetic diversity is not one of these.
    Perhaps if native bees on small South Pacific, sea locked islands, inbred too much and lost genetic diversity, they failed to adapt to changing environment.
    Judging by what we have in Australian bees, they are a robust group which have adapted to, and thrive over a continent as big as Europe, ranging from hot tropics to deserts, alps and temperate rainforests.
    They must share with the European honey bee the attribute of a diverse set of genes.
    There are few barriers to out breeding native bees, there must be such barriers on Pacific Atolls.
    I think our native bee population, if left alone and not sprayed with insecticides,will adapt and do well if Australia heats up a bit.
    After all, it already does this.

  56. With the exception of davidmhoffer May 9, 2014 at 9:24 am, all commenters and the post author Worrall seem incapable of reading — but are excellent at brainless knee jerk condemnation.

    Please read this sentence from the Abstract again:

    We show that all three island [bee] faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM.

    The LGM (Last Glacial Maximum) was the coldest point in Earth history since the Karoo Ice Age of 240 million years ago. To reiterate, a mere 20,000 years ago this planet was colder than at any time in roughly the last quarter of a billion years.

    Researcher Scott Groom found evidence that the LGM was worldwide. The incredible LGM cold even affected the tropics. It wasn’t colder than a dead penguin just where you live today, it was colder all over. It was so cold it wiped out bees in the South Pacific (which is tropical and buffered by oceans).

    Indeed, paleobotanical research in South America has found evidence that the LGM altered plant communities in the Equatorial Amazon, shrinking rain forests and expanding dry tropical forests.

    It was really really cold at the LGM; colder than bees had ever experienced. The Order Hymenoptera originated in the Triassic, a very warm era after the Karoo Ice Age. Bees, like all land animals, had never ever ever been so cold — at the LGM, a mere 20,000 years ago.

    Warmer is Better for all living things, including bees.

    Does any of this compute? Do you get it yet? Nobody is claiming that global warming will kill off the bees. Just the opposite. Please read carefully before spontaneous jerking.

  57. Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the Quaternary.

    I am just glad to see the bees of Samoa are finally bucking the devastating effects of Samoan global warming.

    Here is something interesting. It concerns something called ‘climate change’ which might as well be short term weather fluctuations over a few years.

    Could the above researcher on bees be referring to the early flowering of plants causing bees to eventually move to higher ground after the LGM?

    Portraits of Resilience
    Too Many Bees, Not Enough Honey
    Can we blame climate change for bees dying?
    Bees, bees everywhere. The number of bees in Samoa has increased, however most of them are dying. What’s to blame? Can we blame climate change for that?

    Bill Moore, a beekeeper, said he has way too many bees due to way too many “false triggers”. A false trigger is when a flower opens up and lets the scent of pollen go out and then closes because it is not the right temperature. Now because the temperature is changing the flowers are opening 1-3 months before and after September. The flowers used to always open in September……

    http://www.manystrongvoices.org/portraits/stories.aspx?id=5202

  58. Dang! They aint nuthin that climate change caint due. ‘Ats mighty powful stuff.
    I guess them African bees probaly wuz able to adapt tho.

  59. I don’t know when that last article was written. It could have been 5 years ago for all I know. Maybe the local climate has changed again.

  60. To Eric Worrall – What is the source of your comments from the press release and in particular of the “canaries in the coal mine” quote?

    The quotes from the press release clearly contradict the findings reported in the abstract. As some have already noted above, the abstract says that the bees died off as the area moved into the last glacial maximum (that is, as it got colder) and expanded rapidly after (that is, when it got warmer again). This is no surprise since all bees (but especially European honeybees) are tropical creatures. Bees thrive in warmer climates.

    European honeybees suffer from many maladies. In my opinion, they are in order of priority:
    1. The aging out of beekeepers to care for them (until very recently, I was among the youngest members of my local bee club)
    2. The loss of habitat – partially to urbanization but probably more to the edge-to-edge planting practices of modern monoculture. Fields of corn and soybean are essentially green deserts to a bee.
    3. Parasitic mites and other recently introduced pests (tracheal mites in the 1980s, varroa mites in the 1990s and now small hive beetle)
    4. Pesticides from a variety of sources (including new research about the unintended effects of fungicides on bee digestion and about adverse effects from “inert” components)
    5. Almond pollination (which has very recently become the dominant factor in the life of the about 50% of colonies that are trucked across the country for pollination and which results in high concentrations of stressed and vulnerable colonies)

    Not only is climate change not on that list, it would be on the reverse list – very good for the bees if true. They like it hotter than we do.

  61. Doug Proctor says:
    May 9, 2014 at 8:11 am
    Honey bees are a European import. The Native Americans saw honey bees as a sign that the White Man was closing in on their lands. The loss of honey bees in North America would return that part of the ecology to how it was pre-occupation/invasion (PC thinking, right?).

    The perfect climate, the perfect environment, the perfect ecology, was the one you had before you were old enough to recognize the negatives.

    You’re right, it sounds like an something the greens would want. Much of our agriculture depends upon bees and huge sectors of our food production would collapse if they bees die off. This would hurt the “Big Ag” industry and could help reduce the population because of scarcity of food.

    BTW: Earthworms are also not native to North America — they’re another European import!

  62. When harvest time comes guess what they’ll blame? Global warming!

    Woodtv.com – March 15, 2014,
    Long winter kills bees, could affect crops
    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Another victim of this long winter could ultimately affect your next trip to the grocery store.

    During the winter, honey bees cluster together and vibrate their wing muscles to stay warm. However, becuase this winter has been so long and cold, the honey bees have eaten up all the stored honey and might starve to death or freeze to death…………..

    90% of our bee keeps have lost most of their bees this winter in this area,” Lam said…….

    http://woodtv.com/2014/03/14/long-winter-kills-bees-could-affect-crops/

    ====================
    Madison.com – 24 March 2014
    Harsh Iowa winter kills off up to 70 percent of bees
    DES MOINES — The buzz in the bee community isn’t good following the harsh winter conditions experienced throughout much of the Midwest.

    Iowa bee experts estimate an upward of 65 to 70 percent of the state’s honey bee population didn’t survive the past cold season.

    This is probably the worst year we’ve seen for the bee population,” said Bob Wolff, a volunteer beekeeper at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids.

    http://host.madison.com/business/harsh-iowa-winter-kills-off-up-to-percent-of-bees/article_82a9e532-bd42-5708-a333-88e9c5787e95.html

    Cold kills too.

  63. It’s becoming clearer every day, that we are living in a computer animation recreation.

    Obviously, enough unprecedented catastrophic climate change calamities have occurred that life on earth became extinct eons ago.

    Nothing could have survived all these sequences of catastrophic events.

    And I’m beginning to wonder if there are enough climate melodies left, to fully occupy all of the otherwise unemployable US post doc fellows, that are being churned out by the education system.

    Maybe they will soon be on the endangered species list.

    So some of these Pacific atolls are going to have no bees at oll by the time they end up being flooded by acid sea level rise.

  64. Anecdote alert: A local beekeeper once told me that a nearby large scale honey producer lost most of his hives over winter because he had taken too much honey during his last Autumn rob of the hives.

  65. Further info on Ontario in particular and Canada in general:

    http://www.ontariobee.com/sites/ontariobee.com/files/2013%20CAPA%20Statement%20on%20Colony%20Losses%20-%20final.pdf

    Again — it does not seem like Climate Change is the issue.

    Conclusion:
    The mortality level for honey bee colonies over the winter of 2012/2013 was high (28.6%). This follows a year of decreased colony mortality. It should be stressed that it is important to look at the long-term, multi-year trend of winter mortality in Canada (figure 1). Although it is also important to consider variation, by region and between beekeeping operations it is clear that the level of colony mortality has been at a high level for several years.

    Responses from provincial surveys indicated that weather, poor queens, weak colonies in fall, nosema and ineffective varroa control were reasons that beekeepers are suspecting for the high wintering losses. Clearly the impacts of pest, pathogens and environmental factors continue to be a challenge to commercial beekeepers across Canada. There are a variety of strategies that have been pursued to address these challenges including applied and basic research, pest and pathogens monitoring, responses to pesticide incidents through incident reports and data collection, regulatory authority to address bee pests and pathogens that may threaten the industry, advisory and extension services to beekeepers promoting best management practices. It has become obvious that the future of beekeeping will depend on a multi-factorial approach to address the risks associated with honey bee health and wintering honey bees in Canada

    fwiw

  66. Here is one UK summer insect that has been devastated by heat. It’s worse than we thought.

    Daily Mail – 16 September 2013
    Butterfly sightings QUADRUPLED during summer heatwave compared to last year’s washout
    • Sightings of small and large white butterflies rose 300% on last year
    • Peacock butterflies were second most common to be spotted – up 3,500%

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2421670/Butterfly-sightings-QUADRUPLED-summer-heatwave-compared-year.html

    ===========================

    National Farmers Union – 12 Aug 2013
    Butterflies thrive on farmland during heatwave

    http://www.nfuonline.com/about-us/our-offices/south-east/latest-news/butterflies-thrive-on-farmland-during-heatwave/

    I remember hot UK summers. There were always more bees and I keep wondering why?

  67. Global warming seems to be good for the canary population. They seem to be migrating towards the coal mines.
    There are way too many assumptions that have to be made to be able to take this study seriously.
    Even if we take it seriously, are we all supposed to adopt Amish lifestyles because a warmer planet might possibly endanger bees in Samoa, Vanuatu and Fiji?

  68. Jimbo says:
    May 9, 2014 at 8:51 am
    “They’re almost canaries in the coal mine

    ——————-
    headlines that will be coming.

    Global cooling is the canary in the coalmine that indicates changes in climate are happening.

  69. Jimbo says: (May 9, 2014 at 8:51 am)

    Holy similie Jimbo! Who knew? Those coal mine canaries are busier than a one-armed hooker at a Secret Service convention on free handjob night! At least Global Warming is good for coal mine canaries — those suckers are multiplying faster than bunnies on Viagra.

  70. mpainter says:

    “There is such a thing as alarm overload (crying wolf), and the threshhold of response is raised, necessitating a higher level of alarm. Ho will they achieve that, because we are at alarm saturation already”

    This is a profound statement. I think they made a “catastrophic” blunder with Holdren doing his video presentation connecting global warming to extreme cold and claiming that we should expect to see more of it.

    Some of those in the brainwashed trans about global warming and climate change had a WTF moment as they realized how absurd this sounds, surrounded by extreme cold much of the Winter.

    Granted, this part of the US and into parts of Canada were at the epicenter of the globally extreme cold anomalies(from a pattern similar to the Winter of 1976/77) and this administration was desperately in need of new damage control propaganda but this was their dumbest move ever.

    However, linking extreme cold and predicting more of it from global warming is not only a bad sales pitch……….it causes some to no longer trust everything else that they were believing because that was based entirely on trusting that same source.

    Even an Ice Age won’t shake the faith of many people and many sources from that side were celebrating this video because it now provided even more ammunition for their side that had them covered for even 1 more weather extreme…………………bad idea!

    People can believe that global warming would hurt polar bears, crops, frogs, bees and every creature on the planet, as well as cause floods, droughts, tornadoes, cyclones and every extreme type of weather but making a special video presentation with your climate change science guru that claims global warming is causing the “Polar Vortex” to be displaced and will cause more extreme cold was, for some folks, like telling them to put on sunscreen to avoid the damaging rays of the sun, instead of taking an umbrella with them…………… on a rainy day!

    http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/01/john-holdren-video-polar-vortex

    If you want the weather maps from the Winter of 76/77, go to the link below. You can start with whatever date you choose. I like to start with 1976-11-01-00 which is the start of November 1976. Advance by using the + above the day and go forward by 24 hours for the next 3 months.
    Don’t worry about the end date unless you want to do a loop. Advancing manually is best so you can pause as long as you want to study a map or even go back to see the previous day(s).
    Have fun watching the “Polar Vortex’ drop way far south even more often than it did this past Winter. In the Winter of 1976/77, California was also suffering with a severe drought.

    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/ncepreanal/

    BTW, the reason I believe we have been having much colder Winters and the Polar Vortex dropped south with recent Winters featuring some strongly -AO/-NAO’s(though some of our most extreme cold this year that hit farther west, did not have the -AO/-NAO in place at that time) is because we are in the part of a natural cycle similar to where we were in the 1970’s.

    The influence of the natural cycle featured more warming in the 80’s/90’s and has flipped to become an influence towards cooling and harsh Winters.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PDO.svg

    I wonder how many bee colonies were killed from the cold this past Winter?
    For the first time in 20 years, my butterfly bushes, crape myrtles, bamboo, hydrangea’s and some roses were killed to the root.

    A lot of bare spots with new sprouts coming up this Spring. My landscaping and the wildlife in this area sure did much better when we were having global warming in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

    Our heating bills? I think a lot of people had even bigger WTF moments seeing them.

  71. Next Headline: Global warming, sorry, Climate change, causes elephants to fly, according to computer model.

  72. 1830English (or German) bees survive rapid climate change to Australia. Hopes for industry to thrive.

    Northern Star – 28 February 1930
    BEE CULTURE
    Experiments in W.A.
    As far as is known bees were first introduced into Western Australia in 1830, the following entry in the list of cargo brought by the Tranby which left England on September 9, 1829, and arrived in Western Australia in January 1830. “One Hive of Bees by Goo. John son.1 ‘ These doubtless were the Black English or German bees……

    http://tinyurl.com/lm984u4

  73. I get tired of these computer “studies” that produce “data” where none exists. Also tired of trying to make fun of such seemingly worthless waste of research funds.

    Those islands were likely uninhabited much more than 1,000 years ago. So there’s no human observational data to support such claims. Also, those islands have plenty of pollinating bird species. I’d be surprised if bees mattered much, or even if there ever were many species.

    These paywalled papers have to live or die by their abstract.

    And this abstract screams; ho hum ! A total waste of dead trees.

    And you are going to have a hard time making a case for catastrophic warming of small dots of land surrounded by vast oceans.

    This thread is a good candidate for the circular file.

  74. We have been warned by ‘experts’ of the demise of the bumble bee,having a large garden I begin to see a few in the early spring. This year I am seeing the most I have ever seen in the 35 years of
    ownership.perhaps an ‘expert’ can explain.

  75. Every species we like (e.g. bees, bears) will be harmed by climate change. Every species we dislike (e.g. mosquitos, poison ivy) will be increased by climate change. It’s magic!

  76. Yup, pretty much anything bad that can happen will and nothing good can come out of it. Go wonder, if this was not the case then it wouldn’t be news. If it is not gory and scary (or sex) it doesn’t sell news.
    Hey Anthony, what’s with the smiley at the bottom of all pages?

  77. OK, so if a few degrees warming is going to kill almost all the bees, when why do bees currently exist in various climates ranging from hot climates near the equator, to very temporate climates extending far away from the equator.

    On the presumption (yes just a presumption) that Global Warming is happening, why would it wipe out many bees who currently live in a wide variation of climates?

  78. Why hasn’t someone produced a study showing Global Warming will devastate the carpenter bee population? Inquiring minds want to know.

  79. GUYS, THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT COLD KILLING THE BEES…
    ..AND THE BEES DID BETTER WHEN IT GOT WARMER

  80. Latitude says:
    May 9, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    GUYS, THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT COLD KILLING THE BEES…
    ..AND THE BEES DID BETTER WHEN IT GOT WARMER

    Shh. We’re spontaneously jerking here. ;)
    No seriously, I think we’re just reacting to the press release.

  81. How was this possible in Australia? Next time you hear that global warming is killing European bees you can show them this.

    European honey bee (Apis mellifera)
    European honey bees have been present in Australia for about 190 years, but their distribution and abundance has increased dramatically over the last 80 years. The actual number of feral colonies is unknown but they are patchily distributed being least abundant, if not absent, from alpine areas and inland areas away from water. European honey bees visit the flowers of at least 200 Australian plant genera and interact with a wide diversity of native flower-visiting animals.

    http://www.environment.gov.au/topics/biodiversity/invasive-species/insects-and-other-invertebrates/invasive-bees

    =====================

    The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is an exotic species that was introduced into the Australian environment over 170 years ago…………..
    They are a particular nuisance during summer months when they seek water to cool their hive.

    http://museum.wa.gov.au/explore/online-exhibitions/cockatoo-care/feral-bees

  82. Maybe this is the crux of the confusion:

    Groom says that prior to the ice age when temperatures rose, many bee species migrated to cooler areas, with only one hardy species able to adapt to the warmer temperature.

    Did he actually say that in connection to his work, or did the reporter just mix it all up?

  83. Jimbo (and others) … having to work around all those “canaries in the coal mine” makes it very hard to get any constructive work done.

    By the way, how do all of you find the time to read and comment on all of this???

    DonM

  84. Lasioglossum bees are small, ground nesting solitary bees. They don’t make honey or live in hives. The populations are reported to have crashed during the LGM, during the cold. Sea level was also much lower. This is not an hysterical “CAGA” sort of Climate Change paper, but one dealing with effects during real climate change. I wonder whether it was perhaps caused more by reductions in plant growth and thus floral resources during this time? Was this time not also a period of more drought?

    It is very tiring that everyone immediately assumes European honey bees are the only bees in existence (and your “killer” bees are simply a strain of this species). Varroa is a parasite of honey bees (of various Apis species) but has no effect on solitary bees. The world is also not dependent on European honey bees for food – very few of your food calories come from honey bee pollinated crops in most westernised diets (hint – try wind). Bombus species are bumble bees.

  85. They are talking about “climate change” getting colder
    =====
    “The impacts of glacial cycles on the geographical distribution and size of populations have been explored for numerous terrestrial and marine taxa. However, most studies have focused on high latitudes, with only a few focused on the response of biota to the last glacial maximum (LGM) in equatorial regions. ”
    ———
    …….they are studying the effects of cold weather on the tropics
    ———–
    “Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the The impacts of glacial cycles on the geographical distribution and size of populations have been explored for numerous terrestrial and marine taxa. However, most studies have focused on high latitudes, with only a few focused on the response of biota to the last glacial maximum (LGM) in equatorial regions. Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the Quaternary. ”
    ———-
    ………..the most recent of the glacier periods….they are looking at how it effected the tropics
    ———–
    “We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM,”
    —————-
    ………massive declines during glacier periods
    ———–
    ” followed by rapid expansion post-LGM”
    ————–
    ….followed by rapids increases in populations after the glacier periods when it got warmer
    —————-
    “Our data therefore suggest that Pleistocene climate change ”
    —————
    …….when it’s colder
    ————-
    “has had major impacts across a very broad tropical region.”
    —————
    ….the cold/glaciation periods had major effects on the tropics and was not local to the NH
    ————————–
    ” While other studies indicate widespread Holarctic effects of the LGM,”
    ——————
    …..while other studies indicate widespread northern latitude effect
    ————
    “our data suggest a much wider range of latitudes, extending to the tropics, where these climate change repercussions were important.”
    ————-
    ……….our data suggest the cold effected the tropics
    ———-
    ” As key pollinators, the inferred changes in these bee faunas may have been critical in the development of the diverse Pacific island flora. The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios ”
    ————
    …not warmer, they are talking about future climate change scenarios getting colder
    ———-
    “may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops.. We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM,”
    ———–
    …..massive population declines during glaciation
    —————
    ” followed by rapid expansion post-LGM.”
    ——–
    ….followed by rapid expansion between glaciation when it got warmer
    ———–
    ” Our data therefore suggest that Pleistocene climate change has had major impacts across a very broad tropical region. While other studies indicate widespread Holarctic effects of the LGM,”
    —————
    ………..our data shows that glaciation periods were not local and had major impacts over broad regions of the tropics while other studies indicate widespread northern latitude effects
    ——–
    ” our data suggest a much wider range of latitudes, extending to the tropics, where these climate change repercussions were important.”
    ———
    …..got it?…..it was cold enough to effect bee colonies in the tropics, not local
    ————
    ” As key pollinators, the inferred changes in these bee faunas may have been critical in the development of the diverse Pacific island flora. The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops.”
    ———–
    …future climate change scenarios that would effect bee faunas in the tropics = colder = glaciation

  86. Mark Bofill says:
    May 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm
    Did he actually say that in connection to his work, or did the reporter just mix it all up?
    ====
    I think Eric said it……. ;)

  87. A better PhD study would be an examination of how climate change killed science process and critical thinking.

  88. I love the compilation of Canary meets coal mine quotes!

    I just happened to be flipping through an “Action Research” textbook before doing this web-browsing.

    This coincidence of these two intellectual things made something clear to me:

    In the 1940s, Frankfurt-School Marxist Kurt Levin coined the term “Action Research.” You can google all of this.

    The idea of action research is that we intellectual people should not just waste our time developing scientific findings, in hopes of them somehow eventually morphing into public good, but we should help the process along.

    In action research, your goal is to find problems to solve – usually some local oppression – then join the local oppressed community and use researchy methods to ACT – to CHANGE things.

    Making things better is all good and fine. Shortening the time span from discovery of knowledge to benefit-reaping is all good.

    The thing that occurred to me in reading the repetitive canary/coal mine quotes is that, beyond social sciences, the ethos of action research has a firm hold – it seems like we cannot think in any other mode than having any and all research be some valiant David-Vs-Goliath battle fighting off imminent tyranny or destruction.

    This fits wit the observation that struck me a few years ago that every nature show has gone from Wild Kingdom isn’t nature fascinating and cool to Will the Wolf Survive the Imbalance in the Local Ecology?

    We edumacated people have been brainwashed that we are desperately staving off disaster right and left – at least in our imaginations.

    The canary-coal mine claims are so daft it hurts to read several in a row. Are we that brain-dead nowadays? I think so. Thanks, again, you Reds.

  89. Irrespective of what may have been spouted in the press release, this paper has nothing to do with the honeybee Apis mellifera and nothing to do with global warming. So any and all comments relating to honeybees are without merit. I guess sometimes Mosher is right – you should read the paper or at least the abstract before commenting, but it seems only a handful of commentators (e.g. Latitude, Warrick, Mark B, MikeD, davidmh) bothered to do so.

    I read the paper: it presents an analysis of the haplotypes (different kinds) of the barcode region of COI (a mitochondrial gene) of native solitary/subsocial bees (Halictidae) on Pacific islands. Groom et al. infer a genetic bottleneck that may have been coincident with the last Glacial Maximum – when Pacific islands may have been much drier (extreme cold isn’t suggested). So, possibly, when the glaciers were at their last maximum it was a tough time to be a native bee on a Pacific island.

    The study is a house of cards, but may have some explanatory value. The fact that the authors seem to have let it be hijacked by a alarmist press release is depressing, but pretty standard operating procedure for any science that can be twisted into a political statement. That is the travesty here, not the paper. Well, the other travesty is the lack of rigour in most commentators – no wonder many scientists that might be more sympathetic to WUWT turn it off.

    Note to Jimbo – European Honey Bee is still doing well in Australia because we don’t have Varroa – yet. Hawaii is the only other place I can think of that can say the same.

  90. DonM says:
    May 9, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Jimbo (and others) … having to work around all those “canaries in the coal mine” makes it very hard to get any constructive work done.

    By the way, how do all of you find the time to read and comment on all of this???

    DonM

    I prepare such lists and keep them for future use because I KNOW some idiot will come out with a global warming canary in a coalmine. I’m sure there are a lot more. The sources I used were wide ranging as the Google search engine does not necessarily list items in their new archives, scholar as well as the internet archive.

  91. DaveW says:
    May 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm
    …………..
    The study is a house of cards, but may have some explanatory value. The fact that the authors seem to have let it be hijacked by a alarmist press release is depressing, but pretty standard operating procedure for any science that can be twisted into a political statement. That is the travesty here, not the paper. Well, the other travesty is the lack of rigour in most commentators – no wonder many scientists that might be more sympathetic to WUWT turn it off.

    If you think people are going to read every single paper that pops up on WUWT then you have been smoking something. Alarmist press releases and drivel is like an avalanche – people have got stuff to do like earn a living instead of sitting behind climate models and pressing ENTER. Don’t blame commenters, blame the communicators because Warmists themselves say they need better communication.

  92. DaveW says:
    May 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Irrespective of what may have been spouted in the press release, this paper has nothing to do with the honeybee Apis mellifera and nothing to do with global warming. So any and all comments relating to honeybees are without merit. I guess sometimes Mosher is right – you should read the paper or at least the abstract before commenting, but it seems only a handful of commentators (e.g. Latitude, Warrick, Mark B, MikeD, davidmh) bothered to do so.

    I read the paper:………..

    I did not read the paper because when I tried I got this:

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  93. Mike Dubrasich
    With the exception of davidmhoffer May 9, 2014 at 9:24 am, all commenters and the post author Worrall seem incapable of reading — but are excellent at brainless knee jerk condemnation.

    Read what I posted a little more closely Mike.

    From the Abstract:-
    The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops.

    There was another link which was accidentally not included in the post, a link to an interview with the author of the study, Scott Groom:-

    http://www.foodmag.com.au/news/bees-akin-to-canaries-in-a-coal-mine-for-climate-c

    Groom says that prior to the ice age when temperatures rose, many bee species migrated to cooler areas, with only one hardy species able to adapt to the warmer temperature.

    “They’re almost canaries in the coal mine, you can see that they’re going to be the first sort of species to be impacted by changes in climate,” Groom said.

    So yes, Scott is saying that extreme cold can kill bees. But he is also saying that temperature changes predicted by some model simulations of climate will also kill bees.

    Since I don’t have access to the full text, I can’t see exactly what he said in the study, but from the abstract and the interview, Its obviously worse than we thought… ;-)

  94. old construction worker says:
    May 9, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Global warming is turning elephants into flies? Big problem. What happens if they can’t reach the ground before they evacuate?

  95. DaveW says:
    May 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Irrespective of what may have been spouted in the press release, this paper has nothing to do with the honeybee Apis mellifera and nothing to do with global warming……

    I am sure you saw the press release but it does not appear on this page of WUWT. Why should commenters have to Google to find it (if it exists)? You should aim your fire somewhere else my friend.

  96. Mike Dubrasich looks like he is incapable of reading. He said:

    this paper has nothing to do with the honeybee Apis mellifera and nothing to do with global warming.

    He said we should have read the abstract at least. But that’s all I can do when it’s paywalled. Here is something in the abstract he said we can’t read.

    ……..
    The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops.

    PS I did not say the paper had anything to do with Apis mellifera. I was simply showing how bees can come from Europe to Australia and thrive. If you used your brain you would see exactly where the heck I was coming from. Read and THINK first.

  97. I meant to bold

    this paper has nothing to do with the honeybee Apis mellifera and nothing to do with global warming.

  98. Here is the press release from http://phys.org/wire-news

    …Current diversity, however, remains under threat: “The bad news is that these rare lineages found at higher altitudes will be susceptible to further change,” Mr Groom said.

    If it continues to warm, they’ll have nowhere to go.”….

    http://phys.org/wire-news/160989093/bee-genes-tell-a-tale-of-climate-change.html

    It was Groom himself that spun it into global warming, while Mike tells us the paper has nothing to do with global warming. Mike also tells us that we can’t read. REAAAAAD that Mike.

  99. Jimbo – unless I accidentally plagiarized Mike D, I think you are attributing something I said to him.

    No need to get hot under the collar, I wasn’t picking on you, just noting that the lack of Varroa explains why Apis mellifera is still doing well in Australia. I thought you might be interested.

    The front end of this comment thread is way off track and any biologist reading those comments would have to think that no one knew what they were spouting about. This is supposed to be a science-based site. Some care when commenting isn’t a bad thing and I’m sticking to my comment.

  100. COMPARE AND CONTRAST.

    DaveW says:
    May 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Irrespective of what may have been spouted in the press release, this paper has nothing to do with the honeybee Apis mellifera and nothing to do with global warming. So any and all comments relating to honeybees are without merit. I guess sometimes Mosher is right…

    But what’s this I see and READ?

    …Current diversity, however, remains under threat: “The bad news is that these rare lineages found at higher altitudes will be susceptible to further change,” Mr Groom said.

    “If it continues to warm, they’ll have nowhere to go.”….

    http://phys.org/wire-news/160989093/bee-genes-tell-a-tale-of-climate-change.html

    If you are going to quote me then do just that. Nowhere did I say that the paper had anything to do with Apis mellifera. Mosher is sometimes right when he says people don’t read. The PHD student who wrote the paper made it into global warming in the press release itself! Yet DaveW wants to blame commenters. Well how about that folks!

    I end my case. Good luck with your snearing attitude, I hope you have learned something today.

  101. Nonsense! More models without reality. We live in northern Vermont and have kept bees for the last 9 years. We lost our first hive that tipped over in 70mph winds accompanying a normal spring storm dumping the hive into the April snow. We lost a second hive that was overrun when it was not strong enough to withstand a stronger nearby hive. The biggest losses are cold winters followed by bears. With one exception we have had Siberian bees that were raised in Vermont or Quebec that normally resist cold weather well. Varroa mites have not been a problem with our Siberian bees because of hive hygiene and varroa treatment. Bear predation is a problem for our neighboring beekeepers in Vermont despite electrified fencing and alarm systems. This winter almost every beekeeper in Vermont lost their hives due to spells of extreme cold followed by rain and warm weather through January. We had a strong hive going into the winter and left them with plenty of honey. We did not re-queen as we probably should have because it was such a strong hive. In our case the hive swarmed and left in January- probably heading for Florida.

    The various state agriculture departments are still tallying the losses.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/compound-eye/2014/03/17/2013-2014-winter-honey-bee-losses-are-likely-to-be-large/

  102. Hmmm, bees have been around so long that many plants have adapted to depend upon them for reproduction. Suddenly it’s the end of world (EOW)?

  103. Eric Worrall says: May 9, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks for the missing link – it explains some of the confusion about honey bees since the Food article has a picture of honey bees, the ABC report it is based on may also show a honey bee (if so, it is a melanistic one) and neither reporter seems to understand the difference between Mr Groom’s bees and the honey bee

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-07/bees-key-climate-change-research-flinders-university/5435502

    Mr Groom certainly was anxious to put about the ‘canary in a coal mine’ meme.

  104. Jimbo says: May 9, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    “Yet DaveW wants to blame commenters.” – yep, when I put my foot in my mouth it is my fault and I use the same standard with other commentators.

    “Good luck with your snearing attitude, I hope you have learned something today.” Well, I already knew that commentators tend to talk past each other and are more likely to indulge in invective than reasonable discourse, so I haven’t learned anything here except that you are thin-skinned. Thanks for the information. Honestly, I thought you might be interested to learn why bees are doing well in Australia. My mistake. Sorry.

  105. This is how you get funding and past peer review even if your paper has nothing to do with present or future global warming. See Groom the PHD student’s name and the LGM. Funny how ‘global warming’ slips in here AND in the press release he was quoted in above.

    Native bees in the South Pacific – taxonomy, diversity, conservation and potential roles in agriculture
    A project coordinated by Mike Schwarz (Flinders University), Scott Groom (Flinders University), Mark Stevens (South Australian Museum), Mary Taylor (Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees, Fiji), and Posa Skelton (Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme)

    …..Importantly, we found that for Homalictus species in Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu, there were parallel responses to historical climate change, and in each archipelago there was a massive decline in population sizes, corresponding to the Last Glacial Maximum when climates became colder and dryer, with major “bounce-backs” in population sizes as temperatures warmed……

    If global temperates increase in the future, these older, relictual, species are likely to become highly threatened as their thermal tolerances are exceeded……

    When combined, our results suggest that pre-human pollination biology in the SWP has been strongly influenced by past climate change, and that future pollination biology in this broad region will be strongly impacted by both recent introductions of exotic species as well as further changes in climate.

    http://apscience.org.au/projects/APSF_10_7/apsf_10_7.html

  106. Mr Groom said that as the climate warmed, species of bees that successfully evolved to live in the cold found it necessary to retreat to the contracting reaches of mountain rainforests to survive, while a smaller range of species that showed an ability to adapt to warm conditions thrived.

    Current diversity, however, remains under threat: “The bad news is that these rare lineages found at higher altitudes will be susceptible to further change,” Mr Groom said.

    “If it continues to warm, they’ll have nowhere to go.”
    ====
    We call that a bad evolutionary choice…..

    But the good news is….the vast majority of species….the ones holding the genetic diversity that gave rise to the small rare lineages…….are doing great!

  107. They need to study what is going to happen to these important species when the planet starts to cool.

  108. “So any and all comments relating to honeybees are without merit.”

    Okay Jimbo, I reread my original comment and the sentence above was poorly phrased, especially in consideration of Eric’s missing link that does show a picture of honey bees and an article that confounds them with the Groom bees. I meant ‘without merit to the discussion about the Groom et al. paper’. Probably I should have said ‘So any and all comments relating to honeybees are not relevant to this paper.’ I apologize to anyone who made interesting comments about honeybees and I had no intention of singling out any individual, especially not Jimbo whose comments I often appreciate and learn from.

    I’ve reread the paper again (can’t post it without violating copyright) and it really doesn’t have anything to say about global warming or the success of any bees in adapting to CAGW. That is all handwaving. In my opinion this paper could have been published without any mention of climate change other than the hypothesized relationship between apparent genetic bottlenecks and the last glacial maximum – genetic data (even if only from one gene), a lack of information about bees in the South Pacific, and replicated design (three island groups) make it acceptable, although probably not to the Proceedings of the Royal Society without the CAGW malarky. The paper may have uncovered a signal relevant to the effects of the Last Glacial Maximum in the South Pacific, but the inference is weak.

    So this is yet another example, as if we needed any more, of how CAGW poisons all it touches. It demonstrates that even people who are specialists on tiny bees that most people have never heard of on islands in the middle of nowhere feel the need to drape themselves in the mantle of saving the world. Yet, it is undoubtedly human modification of the islands including the introduction of exotic bees, pathogens and plants that will have the greatest effect of native bees on these islands. So, again, the real world problems will be ignored in favour of the endless rewards for waving the bloody shirt of CAGW.

  109. DaveW says:

    May 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm
    ===========
    Yep, I figured I would let the thread play out.
    Let cooler heads prevail.
    And they finally did !
    The things bees could tell us, if only they could talk.

  110. Some nasty and snide comments floating about here. I based my comment previously on the fact that it was being stated that the bee was to be held up as an indicator or ‘canary’ of climate change. I wanted to comment that climate is currently the last of the bee’s worries right now ( thinking honey bee populations but not excluding others )
    I read what I read and didn’t jump to any knee jerk reaction over global warming. I simply think that if what’s being posited is that the fate of bees can be tied to and shown as an indicator of climate changes then it’s hogwash.
    Those of you who are better educated might consider teaching the half-wits amongst us the errors and gaps in our understanding rather than scoff and pat each other on the back because you figured out some readers ‘did not get it’.

    Some of the language used in this thread would get you a punch in the eye in my polite society.

    If the site wishes to prevent incorrect reactions based upon little to no reading then perhaps titles such as “Claim: Climate change will kill the bees” ought to be avoided.

  111. DaveW says:
    May 9, 2014 at 5:47 p
    Thanks Dave for making things clear.
    I was a bit hurt to see a spray about how no one read the abstract.
    I am no where near a paleontologist but had no problem seeing the article was essentially about glaciation and tropical zone cooling without an ice sheet.
    Without reading the full document it is clear that such atolls would end up having poor genetic diversity and bees would fail to adapt to climate change so would see bee species death once warming occurred.
    As many commentators pointed out, cold kills bees.
    I thought this was all self evident.
    Looks as if the press and the ABC picked up on it, as did bloggers here.
    Just like the species Darwin did not examine on the Galapagos because they were already extinct,bees without genetic adaption and diversity go the same way.
    It still remains that native bees in the continent of Australia are diverse with no need to die out because of increased temperature rise, as they already exist across the temperature extremes.
    They appear to be genetically robust.

  112. Lewis P Buckingham May 9, 2014 wrote:
    “I have been working on a safe heater using a low voltage transformer and LED lights …..to get them through winter.

    Lewis: LEDs produce virtually no heat. You should be using incandescent lamps if they are still available in Oz. Here in Canada the alarmists managed to have the sale of 100W and 75W incandescent bulbs banned, with lower wattages to follow. One of our stupider laws (along with the banning of 2,4-D herbicide (which leaves grass alone) while allowing the continued sale of glyphosate (which kills everything)).

    Ian

  113. Us plant pathologists don’t find much effect from insecticides, including nicotinamides, but we do know the bad effects of “miserable” summers and harsh winters combined. Brett Keane

  114. Jimbo says:
    May 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm
    …..

    http://apscience.org.au/projects/APSF_10_7/apsf_10_7.html

    ———————————————————————————-
    After a short search I came upon the same site and the same conclusions as you did. Thankfully I read through all the responses and found yours before I wrote this.

    It seems that the decline of bee populations in the SWP has very little to do with AGW and more to do with warming since the LGM, the retreat of the endemic species to higher altitudes in order to adapt to the higher temperatures, and the introduction of foreign species of bees.

    “In summary, our study leads to four major conclusions: (i) bees comprise a very recent element in SWP ecosystems; (ii) endemic bees in the SWP have shown parallel massive responses to recent changes in climate since the Last Glacial Maximum; (iii) the oldest bee species in the SWP now appear to be mostly limited to very high elevtion mountains, where they are vulnerable to increases in global temperature; and (iv) a large proportion of bee species in Fiji, Vanutu and Samoa have been introduced by humans.”

  115. Bees they retreat to hives in winter. And fed sugar and water by apairists. But they don’t have long lives. I have some St.John[‘s wort shrubs in my garden, and they love these. If one strays into my house, I catch it, and let it go. If there is no pollen for them to get, then – that will slowly starve them. You don’t see many bees in the Arctic or antarctic. One of the organic methods for aphids, is spray the plant with 1 tblespoon of sugar to one litre of water. The Bees came along and really enjoyed themselves, but did’nt eat the aphids, other insects do that. We experimented but it was an interesting result. In the Guyra tomato farm, they grow nice tomatoes under glass in all seasons, but people are hired to hand pollinate the tomatoes. They wanted to import bumble bees but were not allowed.

  116. The idea of bees dying off as a result of climate change is obviously enough to stir up a hornet’s nest – honest and polite debate doesn’t deserve knee-jerk, dismissive retorts, especially when one makes an honest misinterpretation. Much like alcohol, the anonymity and remoteness of internet boards makes for puffed-out chests in spite of possible greater insight or scientific knowledge. I see it a lot on the other side of the aisle and have traded barbs before realizing I’m just pissing into the wind; it’s a shame to see it here and I don’t care which side started it – it’s weak. I applaud Dave W. for making the effort to retrace and clarify his intentions and observations. It’s a science blog after all, not a ESPN comment board.

  117. What is an ESPN comment. I applaud those who offer scientific graphs and maps. But I can agree or not agree if my own experience in the field contradicts them. We can object to some of these pseudo scientists, because quite honestly, climate change alarmists grab at some form of research that is so biased it is laughable.

  118. There is a natural bacilicus for use on larval stage insects, that eat flowering plants. It gives them a stomach ache. Pretty sure it affected bees since its use coincides with supposed decline. Also, have to wonder how bees survived the mwp and before it, the rwp since these times were much warmer for longer than now.

  119. J. Fujita says:

    May 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm
    ============
    Points well taken.
    Now, do you have anything to say ?, or am I just supposed to feel guilty now ?

  120. Ian L. McQueen says:
    May 9, 2014 at 7:15 pm
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    We don’t have the sort of problem with cold as you Canadians.
    Under shelter of gum trees you don’t even get frost where I live, yet that’s enough to wipe out a stingless bee colony with air temperature of -1C degree.
    The hive can be mounted in a polyurethane foam box and the bees will cement their doorway more if it is cold.
    They rejoice in the warmth.
    You must appreciate then that if a native stingless bee were to experience a cold winter on a glacial period atoll in the South Pacific, and was running short of nectar, all it would need is a hail storm or a strong cold wind and rain and it would collapse.
    Since their flight distance is less than that of the European honey bee the chance of a swarm reaching another atoll and thriving would be cut down.
    This would also lead to local inbreeding and the slippery slope to local extinction.
    It is well recognised, at least for readers of these pages, that cooling causes more storms and cyclones, thus cutting down these bees’ chance of long term survival as the dice was loaded against them.
    The survivors being cold adapted and locally inbred, would then struggle to survive a warming epoch that favoured other species, including Man, who eventually colonised the atolls during the Roman and Medieval warm periods.

    The idea of the led’s is that they do not give off more than 12 watts of heat, which, in an insulated box with little convection would get the bees through.They are low voltage DC and so comply with local regulation for outside DIY low voltage lighting, although the lights would be inside the insulation.
    They do not fail suddenly and are unlikely to cause fire or a shock hazard outside, where the colony is kept.
    The use of incandescent lamps for heating small animals is a useful one, particularly with birds.
    Discussion of the future of lighting is OT although would be good if a blog were put to it.
    In Australia you can still buy round and candle incandescent lamps with tungsten filaments in small wattages, but as for you, 75 and 100 watt lamps are gone.
    Thanks again for your thoughts, which would well work in a really cold climate.

  121. bushbunny says:
    May 9, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Never said one cannot disagree but rather that it’s rare where ridicule and/or haughtiness help get a point across. There are the fundamentalists who will remain obstinate no matter what but there are fence-sitters here that are trying to discern scientific honesty. Oh, and ESPN comments are just about who can trash talk the best, never mind who’s right.

  122. u.k.(us) says:
    May 9, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I don’t possess the level of scientific acumen of the many contributors here but my geology and engineering degrees help me see the forest from the trees – mainly the difference between correlation and causation. I do enjoy observing human nature when it comes to posting on climate blogs – sometimes the way one makes a point is almost as important as the point itself… something alarmists are learning the hard way. I don’t know why you’d feel guilty.

  123. u.k.(us) says:
    May 9, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    J. Fujita says:

    May 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm
    ============
    Points well taken.
    Now, do you have anything to say ?, or am I just supposed to feel guilty now ?
    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    As you say, ‘Points well taken’. I agree with Fujita that most of the comments are just “knee-jerk, dismissive retorts”, especially since I have read the original research by the authors of the article published by the Royal Society.

    Since I don’t have access to the Royal Society article as published, only the abstract, my comments are directed towards the motive behind why the RS is publishing this article. Their motive, as outlined in the abstract, is clearly to link the decline in bees to present climate change. As such, this is a gross misrepresentation of the original article, which clearly states that the native bee population, as the climate warmed coming out of the LGM, relocated to the higher altitudes, and that current declines in native bees is due mostly to the introduction of foreign bees. They also stated that further declines in the native bee population could be expected with continued climate change since the higher temperatures would force them out of their current ranges.

    This is where everything explodes. The whole story of declining bee populations and their potential impact on our food production can fill entire volumes of literature. In this case, the emotional impact of the threat to our food supply is being exploited by using the decline of an inconsequential pollinator, whose decline started when the LGM was reached and has been exacerbated by the introduction of invasive pollinators. The original research conducted by the authors is entirely valid, but it has been corrupted by linking it with spurious claims that AGW will lead to further declines in the native bee population and threaten our food supplies, when in fact the native bee population has almost entirely been replaced by bees introduced to the regions for the purposes of increasing the production of honey.

  124. This is a real can of worms. I thought they had done paleontological studies on the bees, but the data supplements (the paper itself is paywalled) show that it is all done by phylogenetic reconstructions.
    However what they seem to have overlooked is that sea-level at the LGM was about 115 meters lower than now, uniting most of the concerned islands and greatly narrowing the straits between the others. The result of this would be unification of populations that had been separated for c. 100,000 years and a general homogenization of their gene pools. Then the Ice-age ends c. 15,000 years ago, bee populations are once again separated by water barriers and start to re-differentiate, aided by differential selection due to differing conditions on each island.

    By the way it was colder temperatures that were supposedly killing the bees, not warmer. As far as I can see there is no trace in their cladograms of any untoward effects of the previous, considerably warmer interglacial c. 125 000 years ago. Actually some insular bee populations may well have died out then since sea-levels were slightly higher than, probably making some smaller islands unsuitable for bees.
    However these would have been re-colonized as sea-levels declined, and extinct populations of course leave no direct traces in a cladogram (though their existance can sometimes be indirectly inferred if they hybridized with still-extant populations).

  125. westcoasttiger says:

    May 9, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    ..” I don’t know why you’d feel guilty.”
    =================
    Well, you couldn’t, because I don’t.
    (Any misunderstandings understood, or not).

  126. DaveW says:
    May 9, 2014 at 3:04 pm
    Irrespective of what may have been spouted in the press release, this paper has nothing to do with the honeybee Apis mellifera and nothing to do with global warming…….

    The abstract says:

    ….We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM…….
    The magnitude of these responses indicates future climate change scenarios may have alarming consequences for Pacific island systems involving pollinator-dependent plant communities and agricultural crops…….

    Show me where anyone said that the ‘paper’ has anything to do with Apis mellifera? Here is how I introduced my comment.
    “How was this possible in Australia? Next time you hear that global warming is killing European bees you can show them this. ” The ‘this’ referred to the subsequent extract from an article about the bee being introduced from Europe nearly 200 years ago. I just wanted to point out an example of a European bee surviving ‘rapid’ climate change between export and final arrival in Australia. THAT IS ALL.

    The abstract has EVERYTHING to do with global warming since it mentions “POST-LGM” and “future climate change scenarios”.

    DaveW says:
    I read the paper:

    Most here have not read the paper because it is PAYWALLED.

    DaveW says:
    The fact that the authors seem to have let it be hijacked by a alarmist press release is depressing,…..

    One of the authors was quoted on the press release itself. One could also say that Groom was guilty of hijacking the press release. Here is Groom in the press release.

    …Current diversity, however, remains under threat: “The bad news is that these rare lineages found at higher altitudes will be susceptible to further change,” Mr Groom said.

    If it continues to warm, they’ll have nowhere to go.”….

    http://phys.org/wire-news/160989093/bee-genes-tell-a-tale-of-climate-change.html

    Finally I am aware of the following, but since Groom mentioned future ‘climate change’ and speculated on it’s impact in the paper’s abstract AND the press release then it’s fair game?

    Abstract
    …………Here, we examine how population sizes of key bee fauna in the southwest Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa have fluctuated over the Quaternary. We show that all three island faunas suffered massive population declines, roughly corresponding in time to the LGM, followed by rapid expansion post-LGM………

  127. Jimbo says: May 10, 2014 at 2:13 am

    Well, I suppose I should just ignore your ill-mannered rant, but you know Jimbo, you are acting rather like an arse. Please do me the favour of ignoring any of my future comments. I will certainly scroll over any over yours.

  128. Thanks to all the commentators who got off the honey bee jag and concentrated on the actual paper and what it may or may not say about the threat of climate change to bees. The only thing that I would add is that I don’t think colder temperatures per se have anything to do with the results. Tropical Pacific islands should not have been very cold during the last glacial maximum, but a colder climate may have been drier and this may have resulted in reduced habitat for the halictid bees on the islands. The current populations may be restricted to the higher elevations because of thermal stress, or because of human habitat alteration in the low lands and competition with introduced species (that is usually how the similar distribution of island bird endemics is interpreted). In short, lots of handwaving, but no real data. Unfortunately, this is true of most of the CAGW literature.

  129. tty says:
    May 10, 2014 at 12:13 am

    ‘This is a real can of worms. I thought they had done paleontological studies on the bees.’

    I assumed they had done this also.
    The time has come for us Australian Taxpayers to insist that publicly funded Australian Universities stop paywalling their research.
    Science needs to be for all as a discipline of enquiry, particularly if we are paying for it.
    Otherwise it may end up being the plaything of a self elect.

  130. DaveW says:
    ….. In my opinion this paper could have been published without any mention of climate change other than the hypothesized relationship between apparent genetic bottlenecks and the last glacial maximum – genetic data……

    Bingo! Had they not mentioned FUTURE climate change impacts (speculation) we would not be discussing it here. It is mentioned twice with Groom quoted making the claim in the abstract and press release (hijacked).

    Thanks for clearing up you initial statement. By the way I’m glad you like my arse. ;-)

  131. DaveW says:
    May 10, 2014 at 2:57 am

    Thanks to all the commentators who got off the honey bee jag and concentrated on the actual paper and what it may or may not say about the threat of climate change to bees. The only thing that I would add is that I don’t think colder temperatures per se have anything to do with the results. Tropical Pacific islands should not have been very cold during the last glacial maximum,…

    Maybe not but that last sentence above reminded me of something I read a week ago. It was published in 1995. It is a press release about a paper. I can’t find the paper or abstract.

    Study Finds the Tropics Can Cool
    ….The results indicate that the mean annual temperature during the last ice age was 5.4 degrees C plus or minus 0.6 degrees C (8.6 degrees F to 10.8 degrees F) lower than today, suggesting that equatorial South America did cool significantly at low altitudes, the scientists said. …..

    Studying groundwater in aquifers in Texas, New Mexico and Georgia, the Lamont-Doherty scientists have also found similar ice-age cooling almost 40 degrees north of the equator. Combined with evidence of snowline and vegetation zone shifts in South America, the evidence appears to show that “a broad zone from 40 degrees S to 40 degrees N had cooled more or less uniformly by at least 5 degrees C (9 degrees F)” during the last ice age, the scientists said.

    Whether adjacent oceans cooled similarly is still an open question, but the debate heated up last year when Thomas Guilderson and Richard Fairbanks of Lamont-Doherty presented evidence that the tropical ocean was 9 degrees F cooler during the last ice age. They analyzed strontium and calcium isotopes preserved in corals off Barbados, which serve as a thermometer recording sea surface temperatures 20,000 years ago, when ice sheets covered the poles.

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/record/archives/vol21/vol21_iss2/record2102.16.html

  132. Here is an earlier abstract by Groom. The abstract is absent of speculation about future climate change impacts. I don’t know what the full paper says as it looks like it’s paywalled. So imagine if this was featured on WUWT, I doubt there would have been such friction among commenters.

    Abstract – 3, September 2013
    Highlights
    Diversification of Fijian halictine bees: Insights into a recent island radiation
    •The most abundant native bees in Fiji represent a single Pleistocene colonisation.
    •Basal clades are mostly restricted to higher elevations with low haplotype diversity.
    •A single recent clade, however, is extremely abundant with high haplotype diversity.
    • This abundant clade experienced a major population increase following the last glacial maximum.
    • Extant bee populations do not reflect early Fijian ecosystems.
    …………….Our results indicate that bees have not been important pollinators of Fijian ecosystems until very recent times. Post-Pleistocene climate change and anthropogenic effects on Fijian ecosystems are likely to have greatly transformed pollinator suites from the conditions when those ecosystems were first being assembled.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1055790313001735

  133. I live in NE Colo. Springs. For some reason, we have very few honey bees near our home (and our fruit trees suffer because of that). Don’t think global warming is the cause — it’s always been that way since our house was built in 1999. I like bees because their usually very friendly — not like wasps. When I was in grade school, I was always being stung by wasps — think they asked my mom if I could come out and play with them. And wasps HURT when they sting. We do have quite a few bumblebees out here, which are also non-aggressive. We had a bumblebee nest in our front grass near a flower garden. I’d just wait until night to cut the grass over the nest. When the grass got too long, they’d have problems finding the nest entrance. Other than that, I could be working in the garden a few feet from the nest, and the bees ignored me — felt like they knew I was supposed to be out there.

  134. I got an Orchard.
    I got bees.
    I got mason bees.
    I got leaf cutter bees.
    I got bumble bees.
    But I got few honey bees.
    Not the tempratur whot am killin dem but the dam insecticide’s
    The insecticide’s used by the gardeners to pro tect dem dailyers.

  135. Had a beehive decades ago. Still look at flowers to get an idea of how well they are doing. Since the “decline”, honeybees populations vary dramatically yr to yr, from mostly absent to normal. This yr in western Maryland numbers are close to normal, even tho the winter was relentless.

  136. only a few focused on the response of biota to the last glacial maximum (LGM) in equatorial regions.
    =============
    I live out on a rock in the middle of the ocean in the equatorial region………..

    The only thing that affects our bees is cold weather……..

    When a front comes all the way down here…and it’s cold enough…there’s dead bees everywhere

  137. Jimbo says:
    May 10, 2014 at 3:25 am

    Thanks for finding a link.
    Its my recollection that the tropics did not cool as much as the poles, but nevertheless they did cool during the last ice age.
    All you need to kill bees is a cold snap superimposed on that.
    As latitude pointed out earlier, when that happens the bees fly out not to return to the hive as their metabolic rate falls below sustainability to fly.
    There then being too few worker bees to forage, feed larvae and maintain the hive heat, the colony collapses.

  138. If there is a bee out there, it will find me and sting me. I kid you not. I was sitting by a pond one evening next to a guy I was kinda hot over. The only thing that crawled up my shirt was a bee. And yes it stung me. There are still plenty of bees around because I am still getting stung. Guys…step up your game.

  139. Pam, that was sad. I know when I was preg I was attending the garden in a long dress, picked up a hapless bee that I sat on later. Didn’t hurt me that much. I like bees, but my ex was terrified of them and waved them dramatically away, stupid B. They say bees like people that like them.

  140. Lewis P Buckingham says: May 10, 2014 at 3:02 am
    “The time has come for us Australian Taxpayers to insist that publicly funded Australian Universities stop paywalling their research.”
    I absolutely agree. Publications by US Government employees are not paywalled thanks to one of those rare Acts of Congress that actually benefit the taxpayer. I think Australia should do the same and extending it to all government-funded research would be a good thing.

    Lewis P Buckingham says: May 10, 2014 at 3:24 pm “All you need to kill bees is a cold snap…”
    This is true of honeybees that live in hives where they maintain the temperature well above ambient, but not likely for solitary bees. Halictid bees live at ambient – usually a single female makes a linear nest in a cavity and provisions a series of cells one by one. They are living at or near air temperature all of their lives. Cold weather may restrict their foraging, and they might starve during a long cold spell, but a cold snap won’t knock them off like happens to honeybees.

    Jimbo points out some research indicating cooling in the Tropics during the last glacial age, but if the rainforests survived, then I doubt freezing conditions were common in the Tropics except at high elevation. Could be wrong, though, I often am.

  141. I had a swarm that were interested in my air brick outside my bedroom. I called in specialist help. He said if I didn’t stop them, I’d have trouble in the double cavity of my house.
    No bee will depart the hive until after the queen vacates. I tried insecticides, no avail, (they are immune of most household insecticides, but putting a water hose on them got them worried and fell to the ground. The next day they had all disappeared. But there was some worries about a mite killing hives. And when bees are imported to Australia they are checked by customs and checked for disease, I think before exporting one has to have clearance before being imported by different countries. But cold weather seems them disappear as their are generally no flowers or plants they can collect pollen off.
    How did they get that South Pacific data? Who counts bees with any sought of accuracy. Of course they don’t like cold weather, but they survive for the next spring and summer from stored honey or sugar and water.

  142. Regarding the tropics in Northern Australia. The last glacial period, saw fewer rainforests, a lower tree line and no Monsoon belt. On the separation from PNG, the local Aboriginals stayed around the river and creek lands that emerged and sea PNG was joined and so was Tasmania from the mainland. But correct me, they didn’t have hive bees before colonization they were imported. Wild bees don’t sting, and their nests were robbed of honey by Aborigines. Australia was certainly not ice bound with only a 5C lower temps.

  143. The whole thing about fake “canary in a coal mine” scenario is that people are attempting to develop a litmus test that they can attach to something that people really value, to cause interest int he outcome. The fact is no one cared about the canary as long as it was alive. But we care about bees, glaciers, etc, a lot more. And everyone wants to tie it into their field so their field gets the attention. Canaries though, well there’s no canary lobby.

  144. I honestly think these prophets of doom, are not only politically tainted with hidden agendas, but are like the prophets of doom in ancient times. One would not offer a paper to someone to peer review if you didn’t know they would be likely to reject it. I choice little club of fraudsters.

  145. This story and the majority of subsequent comments have completely misinterpreted the research. If you want to read the paper, email the author and they will send it to you!

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