Fear porn, how bad beekeepers help create the myth that honeybees are in danger

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  • Wed, Oct 02, 2019 - 12:00pm

    #1
    borderpatrol

    borderpatrol

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    Fear porn, how bad beekeepers help create the myth that honeybees are in danger

We have all read the headlines, news clips.  Bees are in danger, CCD and a host of others problems are decimating our apiaries.  We need more funding and  research or else we will lose 40% of our food pollinated  by our beloved honey bee before it goes extinct.  Kinda sound like the climate change hysteria to me, how about you?   As a beekeeper(successful one at that) for eight years or so and with around 50 colonies I think I have the experience to tell you, “don’t believe everything you read” about our beloved honey bee.  Sure, many beekeepers lose many colonies overwinter. Many lose colonies to pests and diseases despite treating with the latest and greatest treatments recommended by the best university and corporate interests have to offer. What they won’t tell you is that biggest threat to the bees is the beekeeper.  That’s right, the beekeeper is the biggest threat to our beloved bee.  You see, despite all the pesticides and herbicides  flooding our environment, the biggest threat to the honey bee is a parasite called the varroa mite.  The varroa mite in addition to sucking the life out of the bee, is also a host of many infectious agents.  This inability of beekeepers to keep the varroa from overtaking our apiaries is by far the biggest threat they face.  So instead of following natures best plan to manage every problem they face, they use science instead.  The type of science that relies on a band aid approach instead  of addressing the core of the problem.  Natural selection, i.e., selecting bees that remove or groom mites from a hive is how nature solves this problem and ones that can’t, die.  Except, most beekeepers don’t embrace natural selection and would rather buy bees that don’t have this trait and treat for mites and create cycle of weak bees and strong mites by using chemical treatments and pesticides that only kill a portion of the mites.  The other problem beekeepers (migratory ones) face is abusing their bees by placing them in mono cultures (like almond farms) devoid of a variety of forages and laced with high concentrations of chemicals used in the practice of “conventional ag”. Colonies that leave these areas when their service is no longer needed tend to be very sick. Imagine having only ONE food source for 4 to 6 weeks or so.  My apiaries are booming, can’t keep up most of the time and have little in the way of disease, mites or other health problems.  Sound practices like rotating out old wax and selecting queens for varroa resistance are a must, and if not done, one will be complaining also that bees are in trouble.

  • Wed, Oct 02, 2019 - 04:42pm

    #2
    MKI

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    Fear porn and myth creation

I have the experience to tell you, “don’t believe everything you read”

Thank you for posting this. Even were I to disagree on the status of bee populations I appreciate educated skepticism. Your comment reminds me of when I hear fear porn regarding oil supplies then think: the US uses 70% of our oil for transportation with 65% for cars and most of that luxury waste.

Kinda sound like the climate change hysteria to me, how about you?

Yes, it’s very similar, especially the fact 99% of us have no clue about either and are just are following our pre-concieved opinions. But at least bees haven’t gotten too political yet. Climate change, OTOH, must be the acme of fear porn. Even the name “climate change” is a bizarre setup…who could argue against the fact that climate “changes” and that man has at least some effect on the earth’s environment?

band aid approach instead of addressing the core

Humans are simply this way..no way to change us, I’m afraid. We have a bias for fear which served us well in prior days…

  • Thu, Oct 03, 2019 - 01:02am

    #3
    Doug

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    Insects and climate change

I’m happy to read about your experience with bees.  I know a beekeeper who has thousands of hives that are transported around much of the north east.  He has no systemic problems.

From my purely observational perspective, I see lots of honey bees both in my current semi-rural neighborhood and in the rural property we recently sold.  Plus, there are many other pollinators around our and our neighbor’s gardens.  Give them flowers and they appear.

Another reported insect problem, the supposed disappearance of monarch butterflies.  There did seem to be a marked decrease for several years, but in the past few years they are back in abundance.  We have always encouraged milkweed growth on our property, but in the last year we planted swamp milkweed, their preferred species.  We have so many caterpillars this year that they came close to devouring the limited number we planted.

On the other hand climate change is real and pervasive.  There are two inescapable facts.  First, the physics of greenhouse gases have been well known for over a century.  Second, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is greater by a substantial margin than at any time in over a million years.  We ignore that our peril.

On yet another hand, I acknowledge that my windshield kills far fewer insects than in years past.

  • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by Doug.
  • Thu, Oct 03, 2019 - 03:18am   (Reply to #3)

    #4
    borderpatrol

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    re: Insects and climate change

Glad to hear your local beekeeper doesn’t have systemic problems also. It sure seems to that I get less insects on my windshield also. I’m not convinced on the belief that carbon is the greenhouse gas that could be causing climate change. Methane maybe, carbon on so much cause it’s percentage in the atmosphere. It’s only 0.04 of atmosphere. I believe if humans are causing a change in the weather it would be thru deforestation. We have a lot less trees and more deserts than a hundred years ago and a bunch is caused by improper grazing that was done before there were even automobiles. Carbon tax is a end user tax like sales tax so the consumer just pays it. Were does carbon tax go? It’s traded on CBOE andoes nothing to regreen the earth. It’s part of the fear created by elites through the club of Rome to get even richer and have even more control. Look up Gabe Brown, a farmer in North Dakota the is sequestering incredible amounts of carbon on his farm by using cover crops and no till.

  • Thu, Oct 03, 2019 - 04:45am   (Reply to #3)

    #5
    robie robinson

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    re: re: Insects and climate change

True, beekeepers are the bees biggest threat.

We have natural cell size, let them swarm(trap, or try to trap, the swarms) Let the hive raise and choose their own queens. Infracedure, ie.pick up whole hive and put the super under the hive with frames having no foundation(Warre fashion).

Our observations over many years; small bees, fast pupation( faster than varroa?)they are more aggressive, quicker to swarm.

  • Thu, Oct 03, 2019 - 05:31am

    #6

    Quercus bicolor

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    Bees and monarchs

There’s a very healthy bee hive in a hollow white pine just in the woods beyond my yard.  They love my fruit trees and various wildflowers and shrubs I have planted.  The neighbors have a bit too, but most of the traffic on warm afternoons is between the hive and my plantings.  It’s been this way for 10 years.  Only a few neighbors on my street treat their yards with pesticides and only 1 within 500 feet of my property.

As for Monarchs, I agree they have rebounded some here in Eastern NY in 2018 and 2019, but no where near the numbers in the early to mid 90s when there would be a steady stream of them migrating toward the SW on warm fall days.

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