We love skeptics. We don't have any time for cynics.
Like you, we are in the agriculture business. My customers rely on bees, perhaps your honeybees, to pollinate their crops. Just because I'm not a professional beekeeper does not mean that I have nothing to lose by ignoring the problem. Here's the plain truth, as painful as it is. It's obvious that beekeepers do not have the resources for solving the problem, or even defining it. The MAAREC scientists and others are not much help either. Where do you go? What reasoning and science should you follow? Or should you just wait and hope for the best?
Right now, beekeepers have no cure and no hope of a cure.
The CCD Solution we make is not a cure, it's a solution for your hives in a field where there is nothing else available that has proven to work. It IS based on hard science, real science, not foo-foo and woo-woo posing as science. We don't make snake oil or silver bullets. We make real science work for you. Real science.
The essence of CCD is that it is an environmental and bee management problem, or, more precisely, a symptom of mismanagement in the beekeeping industry and the accumulation of environmental toxins, poisons and chemicals in honeybees that create what MEDICAL science defines as a "Threshold Disease".
Perhaps you've heard the phrase?
A Threshold Disease is the end result of a series of insults, disorders, syndromes (a collection of disorders) and diseases (a collection of syndromes). It is the disease that ultimately kills the organism.
For example, if you suffered from various degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heard disease, a dysfunctional liver and maybe cancer, none of which alone would probably kill you in the short run, and you end up in the hospital, odds are (and anyone with medical experience, such as myself, can confirm this), you will die from pneumonia. Your immune system simply collapses and a common cold turns deadly.
The same applies to CCD. We must view it as a Threshold Disease, symptomatic of a group and series of problems leading up to disaster.
The most recent information on CCD that I have seen points to at least 100 environmental toxins now common in honeybees. This compares to the latest scientific study that found over 250 environmental toxins and chemicals in cord blood of newborn human babies.
Humans are much tougher than honeybees but will probably also eventually succumb to a type CCD. Most certainly, many of the toxins in humans have been liked to cancer and the six most common degenerative diseases.
So you see, it is not out of the realm of reality that honeybees should accumulate toxins. All organisms in Nature do. Believing that some virus causes the death of honeybees is not likely to lead to a cure for CCD. A virus, if it is a virus that they find, simply is the last in a long line of problems that causes the bees to collapse.
And generally speaking, there is no cure for viral diseases.
Now, here is something I'll bet you don't know. Have you ever heard of the science of epigenetics?
Epigenetics is the study of the "second gene sequences" in all organisms. Think of the genome as a computer. Think of the epigenome as the computer program that runs on the computer.
If you do an Internet search, start with Wikipedia.
What happens with the epigenome is that epigenes wrap around or attach themselves to DNA sequences in a body. In any number of ways, they manipulate, guide, shut off, turn on and generally, mechanically or chemically dictate, to a greater or lesser degree, what the specific gene is supposed to do. Epigenes can be chemical compounds, hormones, enzymes or any number of other substances. They can actually completely turn off a gene. Or turn it back on. They can be removed if necessary, in many cases.
The epigenome is roughly six times the size of the genome DNA structure. (The prefix "epi" means "on top of").
When scientists finally investigate and identify the epigenome of the honeybee, hopefully they will identify the specific epigenes that are causing CCD or the factors that lead to CCD. Inasmuch as epigene substances are solely environmental in origin, this leads us inevitably to the only conclusion that environmental factors and honeybee mismanagement, not the genome or a bacteria, virus or fungus, is the culprit.
The only solution, partial, temporary or complete, we have available to us lies in changing the environment in agriculture and industry to eliminate those factors that weaken immune systems in honeybees (and other pollinators that are also dying), those toxins, chemicals and, in the case of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt corn, for example), toxic bacteria and in changing your honeybee management practices to a clean and more natural management system that no longer stresses bees.
This problem is complex and difficult to define, refine and execute. The problem is huge. Within the beekeeping community, you will have to do your best to change your practices that stress your bees to the point that their immune systems collapse. That means no moving bees from Florida to California and a myriad of other practices listed in our CCD Solution package including no more hybridizing or artificial fertilization of queens, no more preformed cells in brood chambers, placing your hives at least 24" off the ground, providing them with perennial insectary flowering plants in orchards where only trees are available and a long list of other practices that are deleterious to this insect, your business and agriculture.
We face exactly the same problem in our business. The use of chemicals and poisons, not to mention genetically altered crops, is killing the environment and putting farmers out of business for lack of a viable, profitable and safe alternative.
Extension agents and universities are of absolutely no help at all. (Their practices and advice for agriculture and viticulture have put so many farmers out of business, we now call them as Extermination Agents.)
What we offer for you is not THE cure, or A cure, for CCD, but a way we think, based on experience, for you to protect your bees and hives, along with common sense management suggestions that are healthier for honeybees, more likely to strengthen rather than weaken your hives and, when taken together, don't have a negative impact on your income.
We make products that change the environment to a more suitable place for honeybees. We've been making these products for 8 years with enormous success in agriculture, orchards and viticulture.
For example, we make a product called Fungus Interruptus™ that stops the growth of pathogenic fungi instantly. It is not a fungicide. One drop treats a 30' diameter circle. It requires a lengthy explanation as to why it has been called 'the best fungal preventive in the world" by Dr. Phil Wheeler, and I would be glad to go into it with you at some future time, perhaps at one of seminars in 2008. Spray it on your hive and it instantly stops pathogenic fungal growth in the hive. This is something you can easily measure by simple observation. If you like, you can conduct petri dish experiments to also prove it works. We have.
The beauty of this product is that it is engineered only to work on pathogenic fungi. The good, necessary and beneficial fungi are not effected at all. This is why we call it Ultra High Technology. Nobody else has it. Two drops on the OUTSIDE of your hive and it's done. You don't even have to open the hive to make it work.
We include another product that dries the area around the hive (our Drying Formula™), another that, in a sense, "strengthens", for lack of a more scientific term that would again, require too much space to explain to you, the flowers in the area (our Valerian Formula™) and another that brings the area around the hive up to an even higher standard, our Ultra Formula™.
Perhaps you misunderstood about the offer itself. The CCD Solution package is simply meant to provide you and other beekeepers with an opportunity to try these products for themselves to prove whether or not they work for your bees.
The $99 kit we offer has these four products in it along with instructions and suggestions for beekeepers and your farmer clients. If you bought the components of the kit separately, at retail, it would cost about $300.
The CCD Solution package is an INTRODUCTORY KIT. It is intended to introduce you to our products and prove for yourself whether or not it works for you. We sell our products all over the world in small spray bottles (2 oz) and in up to 20 gallon containers in bulk. Obviously, the price goes down dramatically as the amount purchased goes up so your assumption that at $99 you couldn't afford it, is misplaced. We sell to farmers who are looking for far less cost per acre than you can imagine.
The first step is to try it. Then, if you like the results, we'll negotiate a price that is fair and reflective of the amount you buy.
The CCD kit provides you enough product (with instructions) to treat up to 1.5 acres and 100-200 hives. That should be enough of a sample to prove or disprove it is beneficial for your business.
We're not trying to change all of agriculture, just help you protect your own hives.
We don't call it a "cure", only a "solution". A cure is going to take a lot of time and a lot of money. For now, all you can do is protect your investment.
Everything we sell at retail has a money back guarantee. If you are unsatisfied or it does not make your hives noticeably healthier, then send back what's left and we'll cheerfully refund your money.
Changing the environment and eliminating the practices that weaken bees are the keys to solving the CCD crisis. Neither you, I, nor any apiarist has the money or the clout to effect the massive overhaul of agriculture and industry that it is going to be required to save agriculture and the honeybee. But I'm sure you'll find that our CCD Solution kit can and will be of great help for YOUR hives.
Given the fact that scientists are not much closer to describing the problem, other than to list the toxins in honeybees and speculate about a virus that may or may not have come fro Israel or Australia, what else do you have going for you?
If you don't do something, you are going to be out of business and we all are going to be out of food. The health of YOUR business is effecting the health of MY business. That's why I took the time to investigate the problem and apply the same thinking, knowledge, wisdom and technology that makes us 30 years ahead of everyone else in agriculture.
Isn't it worth a try on that basis alone?
I have discussed our products, diagnosis and methods with the folks at Mann Lake and Dadant and both are interested in trying it next year. I have also discussed it in detail with beekeepers and they all agree it makes sense. You will too, hopefully, once you try it and see the technology, science and logic behind it.
Now, since 1993, we at GW Agriculture primarily focus on developing products and crop management systems for agriculture. When, after years of testing and field trials, we think a product is ready for the market, we offer it for sale. I have personally been in this business for 40 years and have the appropriate degrees and scientific training to be qualified to do this work.
We have been working with some beekeepers in western Maryland who last year, had the highest production and the highest quality of honey in their entire county. They have been using our products and methods for three years and are quite satisfied.
Since 1993, in viticulture, we have shown that our products and crop management systems can increase yield between 100% and 500% in vineyards, produce nothing but double gold medal quality winegrapes, completely eliminate diseases and pests in vineyards, lower operating costs by 50-75% and increase profits by 200-300%.
We are currently developing products and systems for eliminating Mexican mold in wheat. We just finished a 12 month program for the control, prevention and elimination of powdery mildew in Hawaii, a tropical environment where this fungus is endemic. We must do this without poisons or chemicals since this production is primarily baby greens for the restaurant business.
This success leads us to be consultants to an eventual 2,000 acre vineyard in Hawaii, which we will start next month. Without this technology, it is simply impossible to grow ultra premium winegrapes organically in this environment.
We expect our new Super Strength Fungus Interruptus™ to become the solution to the fungus that is attacking and destroying the common banana we all eat.
All our products are prepared in water with herbs and minerals, processed homeopathically - so powerful that only 100 ml. treat one acre. For example, Fungus Interruptus™ is made with water, quartz and Equisetum arvense. Nothing to hurt you or the environment, approved for certified organic, biodynamic and Wholistic™ farms.
They are and have been proven for many years, completely safe for honeybees and all pollinators, as well as for you. In fact, we sell FI as a way to stop toenail fungus. It works in just 3 days. It is the most effective product of its kind on the market.
So you see, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying it. We've been in business for 15 years. We are a reputable company with effective, safe products that you can count on to do what we say they will do.
We hope you will try them on your honeybees and give us feedback so if we can make our products perform better if they need to and we will do exactly that.
I understand and appreciate your skepticism. Who wouldn't be? We don't make snake oil. We don't offer "pie in the sky" solutions or "silver bullet" cures. All we have to offer is our hard work and dedication, excellent, proven products and management systems and a sincere, deep commitment to agriculture.
We work with farmers to develop effective systems to grow crops. We would be pleased and privileged to work with you as well.