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  1. #1
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    Default Media over dramazation

    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  2. #2
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    As with everything it gets hyped.

    "California's almond industry alone contributes two billion dollars to the local economy, and depends on 1.4 million bees which are brought from around the US every year to help pollinate the trees, he added."

    But I thought that guys made a living on pollinating the Almond crop. With only 1.4 million bees being rented, who can make a living on 46 hives?

  3. #3
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    Mountaincamp, I noticed someone else on another thread picked that up too, about the 1.4 million bees...

    Bluegrass thanks for posting the article, I would have probably missed it otherwise.

  4. #4
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    It's getting out of hand...I have had several friends ask me what I thought about all the bees vanishing; how are you supposed to answer that when they have already seen it on TV and read about it in the papers? I just keep saying "oh its nothing"
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  5. #5
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    Bluegrass,

    very well said,

    All the news I have read here in Calif, is poor keepers crying foul. Some here on Bee source have said that I'm irresponsable by not buying into this ccd.

    We will see how much is fluff. There are some new methods of detection so we will have to wait and see.
    Keith

  6. #6
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    keith sezs:
    All the news I have read here in Calif, is poor keepers crying foul. Some here on Bee source have said that I'm irresponsable by not buying into this ccd.


    tecumseh replies:
    does ALL really mean all or does this suggest that keith reading list is extremely limited? Is this non media hype? no matter what the answers I would suggest that you seem extremely insensitive to those folks and families that depend on honeybees for their livelyhood and have for generations.

    as a general rule in regards to debate: folks with limited information and no legitimate argument to contribute to the debate quite typically resort ot nit picking small details to demean some other persons contribution.... this is the rhetorical equivalent of knee capping your opponent.

  7. #7
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    Tec, no disrespect, but everybody is entitled to their opinion. I was a media major in a past life and I don't buy into this hype either. You always have to consider the source of the story when reading or hearing something....Did you notice the AFP (French Press) symbol at the top of the article and the referance to Frances problem in the 90s because of pesticides? Why would they care about our bee problem here???? Because they made a killing off of it when it was happening to them!!!
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  8. #8
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    and none taken bluegrass.... I do appreciate your tagging your expertise/experience since in my small mind not all opinions are equivalent.

    for example... I have dug myself into hot nuclear reactors, but I would be quite unlikely to take the opinion of some journalist when I took that little job on...on the other hand if I wished to write a small article on beekeeping I don't suspect my first contact would be a nuclear engineer.

    please explain how the french (and no I did not recognize the significance of the symbol-and thanks for pointing that out) 'made a killing' on this prior episode?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post

    please explain how the french (and no I did not recognize the significance of the symbol-and thanks for pointing that out) 'made a killing' on this prior episode?
    I was not refering to the french as a whole, Just the french press...They would not be covering this story if it had not sold papers when it was their story. 1. I haven't ever seen them cover any other US agriculture issue before. 2. They don't really care about any other issue in the US, so why this? The AP is the gold standard and here is what they have published about honey bees for the past several months. Sorry link did not work...go to AP and search archives....they have not even covered CCD once.
    If you look at yahoos other news stories you may note that most are from the AP. But this one they had to get from France! I am not saying that CCD is not an issue, just that we have to watch what we learn about it and the source of thaqt info..The increase of CCD posts shows me that alot of people on here are consuming alot of media hype and getting worried.
    Last edited by bluegrass; 04-08-2007 at 07:34 AM.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  10. #10
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    Whether anyone here has experienced the loss of their colonies from CCD or Disappearing Disease, those who have have. To scoff at their loss as nothing is close minded and insensitive.

    Those of us who have lost hundreds and or thousands of colonies really want to know why. Those of us who haven't need to sit back and listen for the results to come in and then react accordingly.

    IMO.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  11. #11
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    You know, one thing I have noticed regarding the CCD threads on this forum is that the guys/gals that are most affected by CCD don't appear to share the details of their troubles. I am sure there are lots of reasons for this, one of which is time. I watched that Map someone set up for people to report CCD for MONTHS and know one with significant losses identified them on it all the while I was looking. I read the CCD threads on a somewhat regular basis and there was a whole lot of speculation and again, very little cold hard facts about how many keepers, hives, severity, etc.

    Now, maybe I missed some significant data because after awhile I just didn't pay close attention any longer because it didn't impact me in a significant way. I will say that if there are others are like me, I think we haven't been sensitized enough by those who were affected.

    With that said, my heart goes out to those that have been affected from the small hobbiest to the big time commercial folks. God Bless

  12. #12
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    Tecumseh & Sqkcrk,

    I don't think any one here is down playing finiancal losses to beekeepers and we all feel for those who have losses.

    That said, I strongly feel that, ccd like symtoms have occured in the past.

    The news, and what gets in print: Myself, along with Duane (of Mann Lake ), and other good keepers have been interveiwed for CCD stories. Once in a great while does our views get in print. Most of what does get in print is the massive losses by keepers with a history of running sub-par bees.

    What I would like to see is a balanced story for once about this CCD probem. I think acting on feelings and hardship is what driving this story.

    Now the NHB is handing out money. NHB, BTW, is nothing more than a tax. Honey prices, aren't they great, just let the goverment sovle the problems. LOL

    I wonder why this county is running a defict. Tax and spend.

    Well enough said, Keith

  13. #13
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    Well Keith, hold on just a minute,

    CCD is causing losses in California. And as far as what I can gather from what I read here, and I trust the fellows I read have some knowledge about the whole situation, there is losses that cant be explained.
    This is what I am am understanding.

    If it only were so easy to blame sub-par bees. Or so easy to simply blame improper nutrition.

    I do agree there is a whole lot of spin going on here, and sometimes its hard to cut through the crap.


    But that said, whats your definition of "running sub-par bees"?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #14

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    I'm a journalism professor and do research on news media. The coverage of CCD is very typical of "the hype" the media puts on EVERYTHING they cover. This is especially true for TV media. The coverage is very shallow and they seek the classic news value of "conflict."

    I'm not taking away from the seriousness of the issue, but the thing you have to remember is you understand the hype this time because you are "in the story." You are a beekeeper. Just about everything the media covers has major inaccuracies and hype associated with it. (You just know it this time. Most of the time you don't cause you are an outsider.)

    Quint Randle, PhD
    Department of Communications
    Brigham Young University

  15. #15
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    Ian,

    But that said, what's your definition of "running sub-par bees"?[/QUOTE]

    Ian, when I monitor my hive for mite load, we do as follows:

    1) frames of live bees
    2) frames of sealed brood
    3) sticky board count per mite load per yard
    4) month & week of testing
    5) this BTW goes on weekly from July- Dec

    We have a formula for mite load, so the relationship between seal brood and volume of bees = # mite count.

    Now, if we have high sealed brood with lower live bee volume we re-calculate a different formula. Your mite kill is ONLY going to result in what's (mites) exposed at the time of testing so one needs to calculate accordingly.

    We also do this in the late summer with frames of brood and hive strenght, so to have the right number of YOUNG bees pulling us through winter months.

    The keepers that have had troubles, give me the (deer in the head light look) when I ask some of these (formula)questions. You must have some idea of relationship between bees, brood and month to estabish a mite count.

    I could go on, Ian, but you see where Im going with this.

    Hope your bees are doing well Ian,
    Keith

  16. #16
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    >>running sub-par bees

    Oh, I see. Your referring to the overall health of hives, not the actual bee type or breeding program etc.

    In that case, I understand your point.


    >>The keepers that have had troubles, give me the

    Is there a correlation between CCD hive losses, and the beekeepers mite management practices??

    >>Hope your bees are doing well Ian,


    Well yes and no.

    Had some varroa problems with a bunch of yards last fall.
    Moved my nucs out of storage, to a great week of flight, but have had a week of cold fall on us. I am afraid my smaller hives are dropping by the day and doubt I will have a chance to re-enforce them. And I am afraid this two week delay will knock the top of my split!
    Last year, I was making full splits by the 15th. **** good thing I fed them up last fall!
    Last edited by Ian; 04-08-2007 at 05:41 PM.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
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    Ian wrote:
    Is there a correlation between CCD hive losses, and the beekeepers mite management practices??


    IMO, I think it's over all health, Ian.

    1) mites
    2) nosema
    3) stress
    4)nutrition

    I think keepers need to take a minute and really evaluate their bees in this manner.
    We can not run like we did in the 80's any more.

    No longer can we move hives , pull honey , move, pull ect... to much stress on the bees these days.

    I think every keepers has differant conditions to work with and has to find what the limit are.
    Keith

  18. #18
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    Default I sit and watch

    I think the media attention towards beekeeping and the relation of bee troubles and food on ones table is a worthy subject. My friend in the valley began with losses in the summer, but he was still unsure if his California losses later were mites or CCD. I also saw Keith's colonies in the pics and darn they looked real nice.

    I wrote heavy to Coast to Coast until they took up the story. The reason i did is that one million listeners got a chance to consider honeybees. I also asked Linda Howe to dig in and she did. Many of the possible links between nicotine based pecticides and synergetic actions i heard first from her.

    I also am now hearing the cries for money for research and as soon as that starts i figure there is motive. I do not plan to add to that kitty. I still need to send the beesource some money, this place deserves it. As for a great wad of cash to investigate a problem that has not clearly been identified i can not see as wise.

    I have been keeping bees long enough to recall the glory days when beekeepers (commercial) bought empty equipment and swore there were bees in it and pesticides killed them. It was from such actions from our own ranks that a legitimate program to help those with genuine losses was ruined. So there may be some suspect reports floating out there as well. I trust my friend, i know him, but i don't know many of the others and i can not say one way or another.

    In the end, i wait. If this problem is really worth all the hype will be determined in the long run. The dust bowl was real and there are still farms, even though many people suffered massive, even life ending losses. It is the nature of agriculture. Beekeeping is always a risky business, it depends on the weather and the weather is promised well to no one. Thus far CCD is not dust bowl level and i hope it does not get there. If this all passes in a year, those with wounds will do what they need to and the rest of us will wipe our brows and sigh in relief that we were spared. If this turns out to be a combination of toxins and gm, we have even far deeper problems than our bees. If this is viral, bacterial, fungal, the bees will have to answer it, chemicals are just another step for trouble to climb and it always does.

    True, only time will tell.

    Chrissy

  19. #19
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    keith sezs:
    That said, I strongly feel that, ccd like symtoms have occured in the past.

    tecumseh replies:
    I quite agree keith and have directly suggested the same any number of times to beesource people and folks on the street that ask about the problem (typically phased.. has this disappearing thing affected your bees). I find it curious that the stories that run seem to ignore this history.

    the keith sezs:
    The news, and what gets in print: Myself, along with Duane (of Mann Lake ), and other good keepers have been interveiwed for CCD stories. Once in a great while does our views get in print. Most of what does get in print is the massive losses by keepers with a history of running sub-par bees.

    tecumseh ask:
    I suspect what you are suggesting is that cultural practice (that's the culture in agriculture) is playing some part in this problem. at one time many bee keepers felt that 'leave it alone' strategy was the best method of keeping bees. slave labor honey prices (good for the bottlers, bad for the bee keepers) and a constantly increasing 'living wage' combined to encourage this strategy.

    for certain practices doing them in a prescribed way (for example the use of terramicin) may be almost impossible to accomplish given the quantity of labor available at the firm level.

    and I quite agree with you little list and I find it not so startling that one of the recommendation in regards to those affected is that terramicin has been added back as a recommended practice.

    I do NOT agree that some lone ranger will ride over the hill and cure this problem. One of the great changes I have witness in my life is that the infrastructure for confronting these kinds of problems has now been largely dismantled. The anti government types should be quite happy. The down side of this kind of strategy is that every time a new problem pops up there is NO ems to attend to the problem and the clues to understand the nature of the problem are likely brushed from the sand long before the calvary shows up.

    just my two cents....

  20. #20
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    Keith,

    I have been hearing beekeeper reluctant to package into the dead out equipment because of fears of this CCD happening again to their hives. The advice I have been hearing is that it restocking equipment now posses a potential risk to repeat losses, until they have things sorted out.

    But if your right, and it is merely a nutrition stress and overworked situation, then there isn't anything to worry about.

    I understand exactly what your saying, but...

    I keep seeing photographs, and hearing actual beekeeper stories, that some how leads me to think there is something else on top of what your claiming.

    Why does most all the worker force disappear a strong and booming hive situation. I have been seeing hives left with eight frames of brood! Now, in my mind the hive was working good til then. And I have heard this will happen within a weeks vuisit!
    And why is the hive left untouched for weeks after the bees disappearance? Don't you think this is unusual?

    I have had hives fail from alot of things, but nothing lost to the symptoms I am hearing from down south.


    I was at a bee symposium a few weeks ago, and they were mentioning the symptoms of the adult bee acted seemed to act similar to an infection with the Aspergilus fungi,
    Whats your thought on that?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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