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  1. #1
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    Default The Last Beekeeper

    Watching the Last Beekeeper on Planet Green, they are showing commercial bee keepers traveling toCalifornia for Almonds and some of these people are losing 100's of hives for unexplained reasons in the span of two months. They interviewed one lady who lost 75% of bee's!
    Scarey!!!

    I wish all your commercial guys and gals the very best of luck!
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    No sympathy here for these comm. beeks. They are strictly profit maxing by
    what they are doing with these big pollination contracts at the expense of stressing their bees, who they are supposed to love so much, to death.

  3. #3
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    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    3 commercial beeks is hardly a scientific sample, but I was wondering if CBs from the north going to CA have more trouble than CBs from the south have going to CA?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    And what will you say to the almond grower who doesn't have bees to pollinate his almonds? Tough luck go into another business? California doesn't have enough bees to pollinate their corps that is why bees are taken to Cali. Are beeks paid to bring them there...sure they are. What about bees taken to blueberry, cranberry, squash, and many, many more crops for pollination? What would happen to our food crops if commercial beeks didn't move their bees to pollinate?

    I haven't seen the movie but most of the commercial guys I know don't lose many bees shipping them to California. As a matter of fact it keeps our winter losses down and we can split as soon as they arrive from California in the Spring. I don't buy the bees dying for "unexplained" reasons. Something killed them and I bet it was something simple like starvation, pesticide hit or moving the bees when it was cold and wet.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Alpha6 I have to agree with you that these sudden deaths of entire colonies can and eventually will be linked to the increased use of pesticides. The bee's are the unfortunate victims of the collateral damage that pesticides cause. I think also the veroa mites are also major contributors to the problem, weakening colonies and spreading disease from colony to colony. I have only had bee's for a year but knock on wood thus far they are pest free, there are no other hived bee's that I know of anywhere in a 5 mile radius so I only have to worry about my bee's getting infected from the few wild hives that may or may not be in the area.
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    And what will you say to the almond grower who doesn't have bees to pollinate his almonds? Tough luck go into another business? .
    If the biz of almond pollination is contributing to CCD then I say boycott almonds.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    I do not believe in CCD. I think it is a catch all for known reasons that bees are dying. There is a reason that nio nicotodes are banned in several countries in Europe and are freely used here in the US. Chemical companies have have a multi billion dollar business in these types of applications and spend hundreds of millions on lobbiest each year. It's simple math. So don't boycote almonds...vote in legislators that are going to do what is best for our nation and not what is best in their own interest. Additionally, there are other contributing factors to hives dying out. Certainly, mites, stress, etc can all contribute to the weakening of a hive. But a good beek will recognize symptoms and treat and care for his hives. Let us not forget bees are like any other creature. You have to know what is in your care and actually care for it. It's fairly simple.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Well I talked with some bee keepers in West Bend this spring, they had lost 60 of 150 hives due to CCD, I could be wrong but I don't think there are any almond trees in West Bend. So therefore I don't think that the CCD can be pointed at any one crop being pollinated. What I meant in my last post is that the use of pesticides has increased greatly in all aspects of farming. The more pesticide they spray the more resistant the pests become, so the pesticides get more potent. I think it could be compared to DDT and Bald eagles dieing off in the 60's-70's. The eagles were collateral damage to killing insects.
    Just my opinion....
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

  9. #9
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    Feb 2009
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    Pigeon Falls, WI
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    2,527

    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by JBG View Post
    No sympathy here for these comm. beeks. They are strictly profit maxing by
    what they are doing with these big pollination contracts at the expense of stressing their bees, who they are supposed to love so much, to death.
    WAKE UP! Since the introduction of the honeybee to this country they have been transported. Since our every expanding population has been growing so does the need for food and pollination. Beekeepers have been trucking hives for decades with minor losses until recently(except for varroa) there has been mass die offs of the honeybee.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    I am very awake and aware of just how much stress the almond crop puts on the bee population of the US. Since when has this always been the case of having so much bee population concentrated in one area of California? A great way to get a disease concentrated and spread nationwide. Regardless, here is an innovative group doing some CCD work.....
    http://www.beeologics.com/CCD.asp

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Boston, Georgia
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    466

    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by JBG View Post
    No sympathy here for these comm. beeks. They are strictly profit maxing by
    what they are doing with these big pollination contracts at the expense of stressing their bees, who they are supposed to love so much, to death.
    We should also shun those vicious beekeepers that allow some of their hives to die by leaving them in the cold WI snow all winter. I wonder what percentage of people that have 5 hive lose 2 every year. Isn't that 40% winter kill...sad.
    I am holding on to the hope I have inside... Kutless

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    JBG I agree with concetratating a huge percentage of the bees into one small area as a problem, and is a great way to spread disease quickly and efficently nationwide. Perhaps someday the hives will have to stay in California and will not be allowed to be transported across state lines. Similar to the Emerald Ash borer problem we are having here in midwest, and not being able to move wood from one county to another. May not solve the problem but could slow the spread of disease none the less.
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Also a good way to make sure AHBs get moved all over the US. I'm sure the
    Almond growers would not really mind AHBs doing the job if that is what it takes.
    I have a good course for them in Brazil if they want to learn about how to work
    AHBs commercially.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    omaha nebr. USA
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    494

    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    I don't care what size of beek you are!
    But untill you have gone thru the losses that were shown in the movie you have no idea what it is like to go into a holding or over wintering yard, lift the lid & have them boiling over with bees & a month later having nothing but empty boxes.
    I know of a good many beeks that lost hives & had no connection with any of the migritory guys for a hundred miles or so.

  15. #15
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    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Be care full , ChevyMax04. I have 2 yards within 5 miles of you. Both of them perished completely 3-4 years ago. They now have new bees in all new equipment. Trouble is closer than you think. Oh, and I do not migrate, so how did we get the "croop"?

    Roland

  16. #16
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    I do not believe in CCD. I think it is a catch all for known reasons that bees are dying. There is a reason that nio nicotodes are banned in several countries in Europe and are freely used here in the US. Chemical companies have have a multi billion dollar business in these types of applications and spend hundreds of millions on lobbiest each year. It's simple math. So don't boycote almonds...vote in legislators that are going to do what is best for our nation and not what is best in their own interest. Additionally, there are other contributing factors to hives dying out. Certainly, mites, stress, etc can all contribute to the weakening of a hive. But a good beek will recognize symptoms and treat and care for his hives. Let us not forget bees are like any other creature. You have to know what is in your care and actually care for it. It's fairly simple.
    A catch all for known reasons? Then why doesn't Dennis van Engelsdorp say so? He's a pretty smart guy and has spent lots of hours researching CCD. So, if anyone knows what the problem is or isn't I'd listen to him. And Medhat Nasr from Manitoba. He says that it's due to varroa from the outside and nosema from the inside which allows the viruses entry to the bees bodies.

    And what the heck did Sunderberg mean when he told the guy that maybe he liked his bees too much? Did he mean that he should maybe do something else, some other kind of work? Or that he shouldn't treat them so much? Or what?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  17. #17
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by soupcan View Post
    But untill you have gone thru the losses that were shown in the movie you have no idea what it is like to go into a holding or over wintering yard, lift the lid & have them boiling over with bees & a month later having nothing but empty boxes.
    In spring of 2006 I had 732 colonies. By the fall of 06 I had 400 some. By March of 2007 I was down to 100 colonies. I blamed poor queens, drone layers, nontreatment and ineffective mite treatment. Then I started hearing about CCD. I still have no idea whether CCD is to blame or not. Counting almost 100 five frame nucs, I'm up to about 560 or so colonies. Now if I can keep most of them alive this winter I'll have a chance to get back to around 800. Wish me luck.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #18
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    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Interesting link, JPG. I checked it out, and would encourage folks to bookmark it and use it. For that reason, here it is again: http://www.beeologics.com/ccd.asp

    there are several articles at this site that deal with the problems our bees are having.

  19. #19
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    In spring of 2006 I had 732 colonies. By the fall of 06 I had 400 some. By March of 2007 I was down to 100 colonies. I blamed poor queens, drone layers, nontreatment and ineffective mite treatment. Then I started hearing about CCD. I still have no idea whether CCD is to blame or not. Counting almost 100 five frame nucs, I'm up to about 560 or so colonies. Now if I can keep most of them alive this winter I'll have a chance to get back to around 800. Wish me luck.
    This is my point exactly Sqkcrk. No one can actually explain what CCD is...but there sure are a lot of explanations of what it isn't. "Well we can't say for sure it was the pesticide spray" You would think with all the research that is going into "CCD" someone could come up with something concrete...but then that would be an end to the funding...kinda like finding a cure for cancer.

    I do wish you luck...keep up the good work on your bees.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  20. #20
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    NE Calif.
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    Default Re: The Last Beekeeper

    Mark,I had 1016 pretty good looking hives in the summer of 2008. Did a lot of Fall feeding because of the drought,both syrup and pollen sub. By Jan 09 I only had 532 rentable hives for almonds.Lots of feed in the hives with a tiny cluster and queen. And a mountain of deadouts stacked up. CCD? PPB? Nosema C.?Kashmir BV?etc.? Who knows ,likely some of each.
    Everything has been restocked,at great expense.I've kept bees most of my life but my confidence as a beekeeper is the lowest its ever been...
    Good luck to all of us trying to keep our bees alive.

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