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Experts challenge wild bee near-extinction claim

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From Hank Campbell at Science 2.0:

Colony Collapse Disorder, the belief that honeybees, an important pollinator, are being killed off in droves, has been good for environmental fundraising but hasn’t had a scientific foundation.

Nonetheless, it has persisted for 10 years despite data showing that periodic die-offs in bees are as common, and therefore predictable, as solar cycles and California droughts. From the time that records of bees were formally kept, there were reports of mass die-offs without explanation, a thousand years before pesticides even existed. More.

Indeed. There are even superstitions connected with the humanly unpredictable ways of bees, including sudden departures and mass die-offs.

One problem is that extinction and serious declines feel like Armageddon and many people respond apocalyptically. Science becomes just another source of props for the doomsday scene.

Which is too bad because we really need to know far more about extinctions than we do.

See also: Bees, the New York Times, and claims about “truth”

Possible live Tasmanian wolf sightings? Sure, could be hoax, wishful thinking, or crowd psychology. But surprisingly, a number of animals believed extinct have turned up again in recent years. Extinction may take longer than we suppose.

and

Lazarus species: animals listed as extinct that turned up again.

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