how capitalism saved the bees

By CrLaan on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 - 10:11am


newsbuoy's picture
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Posts: 324
The Geshtalt of Bee Coloney Collapse

The Koch Neo-Libertarian trolls over at Reason would like you to focus on bees and completely forget about the context. Habitat, darlings, it's about habitat. Human habitat especially don't you think?

Perhaps CrLaan could recommend a chapter from



borderpatrol's picture
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Posts: 10
I thought article was spot for commercial beekeepers

I'm a newbie beekeeper, only three years and thought article was spot on. Over wintered bees are still having a tough go in my area and it's not just one thing, pesticides both those in agriculture and for treatment, mites, hive beetles, foulbrood, poor beekeeping practices, and habit loss and issues that aren't getting better. Things that are improving are improving genetics, better beekeeping practices for some beekeepers, better education and knowledge thru sources like the internet. There are also some good bee clubs out there that really know their stuff. Unfortunately, there are your typical folks that aren't open minded and create hostility and discontent on people that really want to become better beekeepers. On a sadder note, I haven't seen a single monarch butterfly this year.

apismellifera's picture
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Posts: 61
I think not~

Seems a very selective use of evidence about the alleged benefits of capitalism on the bees.  The author neglects to mention neonicotinoids and other systemic insecticides, along with their interactions with commercial fungicides as a major cause of bee mortality.  The classically capitalist manufacturers of those substances seem perfectly content to externalize the larger costs of their products.

And one of the main reasons, if not the main reason, that bee diseases spread so rapidly nowadays is commercial, migratory beekeeping, where sick hives infect others before everyone packs up and moves on to new locations.  I think almond pollination in CA is notorious for this.  It's a crazy way to grow food, especially when you count all the energy it takes to truck bees thousands of miles. Hard to think of a less sustainable, less resilient food system.  

A quibble, too-- I do not believe that even most "commercial beekeepers are migratory" as the article asserts.  Most don't truck their hives around extensively, with the exception, perhaps, of local pollination.  But that's a far cry from the Florida -> Maine route or anything similar. 

He also writes as if the problems with bee mortality have been solved.  They haven't.  Maybe "managed" but not solved.  Queens could often last 3 or 4 years in the old days of beekeeping, now you're doing well if you can get two years.  A system that requires constant human interventions to prevent massive losses is not a stable system, it's fragile. 

Keeping bees was once fairly simple-- you could check once in a while, add new frames to the top of a hive during major nectar flows, and sometimes harvest a hundred lbs. of honey per hive with relatively little effort.  That just ain't gonna happen today. 

Mark me down as unconvinced. 

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