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Bees Aren't The Only
Polinators Missing

By Carl F. Worden

Maybe this is just a very strange coincidence with the massive disappearance of the Honey Bee, but my Hummingbird population is quickly dwindling. Normally at this time of year in the gorgeous and verdant Rogue Valley of Oregon, I have to mount three Hummingbird feeders to nourish a normal population of about 40 birds at my home alone.
I have maybe four left, and this is the height of the breeding season. Today, my wife, Liz, saw one particularly large Hummingbird flying erratically, as if disoriented.
This Spring yielded a bounty of wild flowers, due to the late, wet weather that continues even today. We change out the sugar water in our feeders regularly if not emptied in the normal time frame, because if left too long, the sugar water ferments and can cause harm to a Hummingbird's liver.
When we first heard about West Nile Disease, we were told that the only members of the bird family susceptible to it were in theCorvus realm, meaning Ravens, Crows, Jays, Magpies, etc.  Most recently we read that Robins and House Wrens were also susceptible to West Nile. What about Hummingbirds?
When West Nile first infected the Rogue Valley, people were finding dead Jays and Crows all over the place. Now I'm concerned that if Hummingbirds are also susceptible to West Nile, the perfect place to spread the disease among them would be a Hummingbird feeder.
Just to be safe, and because the Hummingbird population has dropped so drastically at my home, we are going to sterilize our feeders and put them away for the season, but before that, we'll have our feeders examined for the West Nile Virus.
Our Honey Bees have been replaced by another breed of flower-feeding bee that is completely different, but just the other day I did spot what appeared to be a regular European Honey Bee on some flowers in the back yard.  It was the first I've seen in about two years, but I cannot discount that it came from a commercial hive.
I intend to research this matter further, and will let you know what I find. Any information you might have would be very welcome.
Carl F. Worden

Pam Rotella
Hi Jeff,
With regard to your hummingbird article: http://www.rense.com/general76/beesan.htm
Did I find this old Wash Post article on pesticides toxic to sucking insects on your site originally, or was it another alternative news board? Anyway, I wonder if toxins targeting sucking insects would also affect sucking birds:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/09/ AR2007050900597.html
"Diana Cox-Foster, an entomologist testifying before the House subcommittee on horticulture and organic agriculture, raised concerns about a class of pesticide now in broad use and known to be highly toxic to bees. Synthetic versions of nicotine poisons, they include the popular imidacloprid, used extensively as a systemic pesticide on sucking insects. It was banned in France after authorities there claimed a link between its use and honeybee disorientation."
Also, here's another interesting link on an upcoming "Wal-Mart" art museum:



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