Let me start off by saying that I do not think that all of the commercial pollinator services are as bad as these folks. You all provide a much needed and valuable service that benefits food production.
The folks I am talking about put out 4 hive colonies (usual couple of deeps with one having a honey super on it) in the spring right by my house on my neighbor’s property to help with the pollination of the cantaloupe crop. I would post the name of the offending owner but that to me is just not right.
Up until two weeks ago I had noticed less and less bees coming out of the hives. Yesterday afternoon me and my 9 year old daughter walked over to check them out. They have went from 4 strong hives to a skeleton of bees. One hive is doing somewhat decent, another looks on its last leg and the other two were dead as a hammer.
The two dead hives had top covers made of particle board which had gaping holes in them due to rot and the hive bodies had at least a ½” gap between them for ventilation. (seems a little to much space) Who knows…disease or pests could have killed them off but I have never once seen anybody check on the hives all season. Maybe even the owner of the hives got sick or passed away, I want to give them some benefit of doubt but if this is how they run their operation then I hope they go out of business since it gives all beekeepers a bad name in the long run.
I told my wife that I need to go and steal the remaining bees and see if I could get a viable hive out of them but I won’t since they are not mine.
It just ticks me off that some have so little regard for the industry they are in. Who knows maybe they might be missing some bees since it seems they could care less if they live or die.
For those of you who do it right….keep up the great work.