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Thread: CCD thoughts

  1. #1
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    Default CCD thoughts

    Last night I heard Dr. Dewey Caron speak at a meeting. Afterwards I had a chance to chat and ask some rather pointed questions. Keep in mind I did not tape him or write every word down. But the points are as follows. He made mention that....

    1)As of this time, all samples tested for ANY pesticide poisoning has come back negative. Although nothing is "Off the table", talk (rumors) such as those with neonicotinoids are at this point baseless.

    2) He feels that at the end of the day, it will come down to several componenets all playing together to make the CCD outbreak. (stress, nutrition, suppressed immune system, mites, etc.) That the possibility of ANY single source item, such as a chemical, is not likely.

    3) He feels that eventually what will come out of this is "general recommendations", that will help beekeepers perhaps minimize risk and potential in the future as he put it "For the next time."

    4) He did note that mites have now been shown to not only break down the bees imminue system, allowing viruses we know about to breakout, but that the v-mites are vectoring their own viruses. (An area that we do not fully understand. What "other" viruses do v-mites carry and possibly transmit?)

    My own thoughts....

    Next Wedneday, a formal congressional hearing will take place. The beekeeping industry is seeking funding on levels never even imagined before the CCD problems took hold. I could make comments on "follow the money", and "its all politics", etc. I feel that the industry is in need of help and if support can be found, I only hope that its for a "bigger bang" than what we have recieved prior to this from the industry.

    I see no quick solution or final study being published anytime soon. No one is going to shoot the golden goose at this point. There is money to be had, research to be funded, and programs to continue. I know its a REAL problem we are having. There are those who have lost alot. I don't want to minimize that. But if anyone is looking for a smoking gun, let alone one produced anytime soon, it will not be coming.
    Last edited by BjornBee; 03-23-2007 at 05:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    Assume that it is 4 things. Migration, Mites, polluted comb and nosema. If you remove one of these and the bees go back to where they were--then the removed item will be considered the "cause." 4 investigators could each remove a different item and each "prove" that they had found the problem. The answer may be unknowable in the usual sense. I have to stop now...I'm giving myself an anxiety attack.

    Dickm

  3. #3
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    Suppose the answer is just the sum total of stresses applied to the hive. Hypotheticly you could have just four stresses needed and twenty or thirty active stresses occuring in the population. If this were the case then using the 4 stress experiment and getting results by removing one would lead to a false answer because it would only apply to colonies in which other critical stress factors were absent. This is the problem with controled experimentation, all variables need to be considered and as many as possable removed, resulting in tunnel vision.
    doug

  4. #4
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    I think the posts before me pretty accurately describe my thoughts for the most part. I am confident, like every bane in the past, at some point I will suffer this too. I don't believe it is a new thing, I don't think there is any magic bullet to prevent it outside employing the exceptional beekeeping practices which have become necessary for survival over the past decade or so.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    Next Wedneday, a formal congressional hearing will take place. The beekeeping industry is seeking funding on levels never even imagined before the CCD problems took hold. I could make comments on "follow the money", and "its all politics", etc. I feel that the industry is in need of help and if support can be found, I only hope that its for a "bigger bang" than what we have recieved prior to this from the industry.

    I see no quick solution or final study being published anytime soon. No one is going to shoot the golden goose at this point. There is money to be had, research to be funded, and programs to continue. I know its a REAL problem we are having. There are those who have lost alot. I don't want to minimize that. But if anyone is looking for a smoking gun, let alone one produced anytime soon, it will not be coming.
    Did you get any indication on who is going to be asking for the money or where it might be headed? Or timing?

  6. #6
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    Looks like the hearings are now rescheduled for Thursday, 3/29/07

    There MAY be audio broadcast over the net, but it seems that it
    will not be webcast with video, nor will CSPAN carry the hearing
    on TV.

  7. #7
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    Some well though out points were made here on this thread.

    I hate to see the bee industry looking for hand-outs every time something doesn't go right.

    I feel for those who have losses, but this is nothing new.

    In the abj oct ( pg. 843) issue, I showed pictures of me feeding pollen in the third week of August, this was not normal in CA. Beekeepers that were paying attendtion to there hives did just fine this winter.

    We need to get back to being responsible for our own actions or lack of.

    Keith

  8. #8
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    I agree with your thoughts Keith on having to be responsible for our actions or lack of. I don't think the industry has had their hand out every time something has gone wrong nor should it. That being said managed colony counts have been decreasing since the end of WW II and beekeeper numbers are on the decline. These numbers speak for themselves.

    Jean-Marc

  9. #9
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    Allocation of a little more money for [SIZE=6]research[SIZE=2] is not
    a "hand out".

    If you look at federal funding for the various bee labs, the funding has
    been "flat", no increase, not even for inflation. So, the labs have been
    caught in a "death spiral", where paying decent raises to researchers
    and the rising costs "taxed" upon them for things like "rent" and "janitorial
    services" to the USDA eat up the budgets to the point where they simply
    have no money to do actual research. All that talent, and no budget
    for any serious work.

    No one expects a government "hand out" to beekeepers, that would be a
    very surprising outcome.

    But who would object to the tiny drop of USDA's budget allocated to
    pollination becoming a slightly larger tiny drop?

    Back in 2002, when the USDA "forgot" to fund the Bee Labs, I ran
    the numbers and found out that the total cost of all bee-related
    items was something like 0.005% of the USDA budget.

    I'm not going to feel even a little bit guilty if the press coverage of
    CCD results in congress deciding to increase funding for research,
    as they have not even given "cost of living" increases to the Labs,
    and it should be clear to all that these guys are spending money to
    look at CCD that was not in the budget, possibly taking money away
    from planned work that needs to be done.

    [/SIZE][/SIZE]

  10. #10
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    How many hand outs did I miss??? I was'nt aware we got any of late , but we are such a large and well organized group.
    I am glad Keith has identified the source of my losses and my friends around here , lack of responsible beekeeping.
    Where there are fruits and nuts there are beekeepers!!!

  11. #11
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    Boy, I see I struck a nerve here, GOOD.

    Jim, you get back 20 cents for every dollar spent when our goverment is involved.

    This months Bee Culture page 63 PROJECT APIS M.
    Look, read and learn.

    Florida keeper, you don't think there are hand outs for keepers??? FSA office NAP & DISASTER, HELLO anybody home!!!

    Keith

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Jarrett View Post
    Beekeepers that were paying attendtion to there hives did just fine this winter.
    Keith
    This is far from accurate. Where is there a correlation on amount of attention given versus CCD (or whatever you want to call it)? I know of a couple of cases where the beeks were in their colonies weekly trying to fix whatever was causing the problems, to no avail. Perhaps a certain TYPE of attention might make a difference but it takes RESEARCH to figure out what types. Blanket statements blaming the victim might make some feel superior, but this only works until it happens to them.

    Jim absolutely nails this one. Honeybee research is underfunded, especially when taking the importance of the honeybee to agriculture into consideration. Perhaps the best thing to come out of all the media attention is a renewed committment to our beelabs.
    Sheri

  13. #13
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    dickm sezs:
    4 investigators could each remove a different item and each "prove" that they had found the problem.

    and then:
    The answer may be unknowable in the usual sense.


    tecumeh replies:
    well if they were rigorous scientist they never prove anything... the idea in regards to hypothesis testing is to disprove the null hypothesis. which is not the point really... what should be the goal of an organized scientific effort is to determine different components (and significance where possible) of the syndrone.

    unknowable only if you still insist on one cause.

    jim fischer adds:
    All that talent, and no budget for any serious work.

    tecumseh replies:
    exactly... sounds like how research is done here... nice building but no money to actually do the science.

    this entire episode sure does suggest that the infrastructure for confronting problems is experiencing serious problems.

  14. #14
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    mr jarrett adds:
    Jim, you get back 20 cents for every dollar spent when our goverment is involved.

    tecumseh replies:
    now what does that mean??? or are you simply suggesting the research pays no dividends?

    johnk and sheri adds:
    Perhaps a certain TYPE of attention might make a difference but it takes RESEARCH to figure out what types. Blanket statements blaming the victim might make some feel superior, but this only works until it happens to them.

    tecumseh adds:
    I would be highly surprised if certain cultural practices (why the suggestion about the return to terramycin?) were not part of the problem and part of the solution.

  15. #15
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    No one in Oregon has suffered from CCD that I am aware of, although we show up on the map of affected states. (???)
    That said, I have to agree strongly with Mr. Jarrett on one point.
    We suffered a bit of a drought out here last fall and those that really cared for their bees wintered well.
    I poured the light syrup and buried them in pollen patties in August last year.
    This coincided with fall meds which I believe is a good combination.
    It was a real brown-out in terms of nectar at that time.
    We pull our honey supers earlier than most to bulk up for winter.
    Our bees went to California looking better than they have ever looked that early in the year.
    Also, they wintered HEAVY with feed.
    I can't split them fast enough!
    On the other hand, there are some that routinley pull honey in mid to late Sept and, SHEZAM!! Dere aint no stores and looky at all of them friggin mites!!!
    ......
    I am totally in Mr. Jim Fischer's camp in regards to (among other things) funding for research.
    Maybe it takes a disaster to wake people up to the value of our bees.
    I'm for grabbing every cent for the bee labs that we can shake loose.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  16. #16
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    Harry,

    Your signature quote
    "If you can't explain it you're not qualified to defend it"

    I think the same about CCD.

    I think you guys in Oregon had the same weather that we had in CA last year, the worst flows in forty years.

    I think nutrition, both mites, nosema, and stress due to wether conditions and mites are the REAL cause.

    This, I feel strongly, is 90% of the problem of this so called CCD.

    I wish the CCD camp would call it what it is.

    The keepers that did winter well had a good program for their area.

    Some keepers in my area didn't winter well, I asked them what their fall program was, One pound patty, store brought & two gallons of corn syrup.

    Gee, I wonder why their bees didnt winter well!

    Here's what I did, Aug on, Twenty pounds pollen sub, 5 gals of straight surcose with Fumagillin-B . Mites treatments, month of july- Nov. Couldn't make the CA state convention becuase of this, BUT some that are crying CCD made a week stay in Tahoe AND the AHPA convention! IMAGIN THAT.

    Keith

  17. #17
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    Keith, we are all glad to hear that your hives are doing well, but
    your self-congratulatory tone is both premature and 100% fact-free.

    You sound like the guy in the old joke who banged pans together
    to keep the tigers away from a small Midwestern town - when told
    that there are no tigers in North America, he says "Well, this
    certainly IS working well, isn't it?"

    We don't know that "poor management practices" have anything to
    do with CCD, and given the wide range of large and well-run operations
    affected by CCD, it is presumptuous in the extreme to make any
    claims that you:

    a) Know the root causes ('cause you clearly don't)
    b) Have an approach that prevents/avoids the problem

    Many of us have no AHB, no foulbrood, no detectable nosema,
    no chalkbrood worth treating, and so on. This does not say that
    we have stumbled upon tactics that prevent these problems, it
    merely indicates that we have bees that have not been exposed
    to these problems. Not yet.

    Your comments are irresponsible, misinformed, self-aggrandizement
    that add nothing to the group's understanding of the actual problem.

  18. #18
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    Given the reports of hives dying full of honey and brood, it seems strange to attribute CCD resistance to feeding pollen substitute and sugar water.

  19. #19
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    Jim, How do you know his (Kieth) bees were not exposed? What is it exactly that you think they were not exposed too? You say nobody has a clue, then suggest that his bees were not "exposed". Exposed to what? Please explain.
    Last edited by BjornBee; 03-26-2007 at 08:14 AM.

  20. #20
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    Jims writes,

    "Banged pans together"

    Gee Jim, this sounds like the CCD camp, does'nt it???

    Jim thinks self-congratulatory on my part.

    I am only explaining what's working in my and other operations, far more than the CCD camp is doing.

    Keith

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