...but be sure not to tell anyone...we are trying to be secretive about this you know.
my fingers are tied!
Les is a close associate her in N.M. I had no idea he had a pesitcide kill-off he never mentioned it. Roundup-up in an organic orchard ?? I have never heard of such a thing. I knew he lost a lost of bees last winter but this is certainly news to me.
But we know about the club house!
Seriously, what role do you ascribe to geographical location? My conclusion is that TF is easier to accomplish in some locals and that stocks are not yet commercially available that can survive everywhere. I recognize that you have speakers at your conference from all over - what are your thoughts on the conditions needed (or desirable) to succeed in TF beekeeping? (Success in this instance meaning that the bees over winter, thrive, and produce surplus honey for the beekeeper to harvest)
Bees aren't meant to survive everywhere. Hives are not meant to move. They're meant to survive in one place.
...but you can't have bees.
Don't you oppress me!
You can't have bees....you haven't got a bloom!
....with apologies to Monte python and the people's liberation front
So while I can certainly see that it may be best for honey bees that colonies live out their lives in one location, the reality is that there are many people who rely on income produced with the help of migratory honey bees. That isn't going to end tomorrow. And some primarily honey producers chase the bloom too.
Solomon - are you saying that migratory pollination, and the practice of following the bloom for honey production are practices that are bad for honey bees and should be stopped?
It should be stopped. We are taking everything the land can produce. And when it can't produce any more we pour junk on it to take away any natural competition from the crop we are trying to maximize. It is not sustainable. Eventually something will collapse (CCD?) and there will be nothing. At least for a while. Nature will repair herself after we are gone. In the mean time what happens to those who are left? I think this is way more problematic for our future than Global Warming.
If you think about it, we humans are in a hive. And it has contaminated wax in it, and we are treated with antibiotics, and there are Varroa and beatles. But we cannot change and we work like the worker bee until the hive is gone.
Unless we change, it's over. Maybe not in our lifetime, but in the next 200 years, there will be a collapse.
But hey, that is not our problem, right?
I would recommend reading this thread:
....lots of specifics of some of the bad practices (in your back yard, andrew) from reputable sources...as well as discussion on the market aspects.
Remember, "the industry" wants honey to remain a commidity...all things labeled "honey" of equal value. Who benefits? Well, if there is a consumer perception that honey is "pure", and you can buy cheap imported or domestic "honey" produced with low labor costs and questionable practices (ie. honey supers on with full HFCS feeders on top in the blueberries) and sell it as "pure honey" to a trusting american consumer, then you win big...this is the packing and importing end of the industry, as well as some of the larger domestic operations with "low labor costs".
Beekeepers with higher costs and a higher quality product (via testing, practices, etc) can't compete in a commiditized system...Imagine you are still in school, and you are taking a class. At the end of the semester, the teacher asks the class if they would rather have the entire class graded on a pass/fail basis, or with letter grades. If you are getting an A, you want letter grades (why would you want to get the same "pass" as someone who deserves a C-?)......If you are getting a C-, you are going to want a "pass". The lower the quality honey you are selling, the bigger the incentive to have all honey considered equal.
Suppose a super being took over the earth and saw all the food stores we have that they could use to fuel their space ships. They look at all the fat Americans and others around the world and decide that they could skim 30% of our stores. Of course the weak would die and everybody left would slim down some. Then the space being thinks well maybe they could live on less if we injected them with this protein substitute. So they take another 5%. Along comes a drought, flood or fire (natural occurrence) and the stores are wiped out that year so the human population in that area crashes. So now the supper beings have to collect a few humans from the areas that survived and start over in the stricken area to rebuild the population so they can make more stores.