Many guys use off label chems for mite control(a lot cheaper). Some have been doing this long before CCD(mites have been here since 1985). Many see very few losses year after year of using these chems. If they are that harmful for the bees why do they not die at the time of application. I'm not saying it's right to use(off label chems) them. IMHO they are not the problem.
Unfortunately I think you'll find that every nasty that can be applied to a crop is here... Ag is big business and they/we get what they/we want despite what LA and SF want most of the time as long as it stays out of the public eye.Can you even spray roundup there?
Well said BeeSlave
NUTRA-BEE feed supplements
Formic acid dosent build up in the comb like comphos and fluvatine right? (If I misspelled those I apologize).
What has changed in the past few years is GMO's(bt), Neonicotinoids, and thousands of acres of bee forage being eliminated and planted with these crops.
I know we're all suposed to be anti-gmo but one upside is that they require less sprays/toxins/pesticides/fungicides to maintain... Certainly not my favorite bee forage but since I'm slapping in patties full of artificial feed I guess I can't be real picky...
In the realization that Nicotine is harmful to bees in larger doses, does it stay only in vegetation or move to pollen and nectar?
Maverik, Taktik, Formic acid. I know a beekeeper in WI that uses all three of these(alternating) for the last 10 yrs or so. He averages only a 10% loss yearly. He has not made less than 150lbs per colony(yearly) of honey over the last 10 yrs. His main crop is from basswood and other non ag(fields) related forages. He also overwinters in WI and doesn't do any pollination.
I have heard (strickly rumor mill) that both the SC guy and the midwestern guy have significantly grown their operations and have continued to pollinate the almonds. The SC guys operation should not be too far from Sqtcrk's winter home.
I saw this film about a month or so before making the decision to build up to a commercial level. I had my wife also watch it when I approached her with the idea of building up to a commercial leve. I keep it on my DVR and re-watch it every so often.
Although I do intend to do some things different, I don't expect that I won't be touched by these problems. Instead, I've built heavy losses into my business plan.
You know, if someone was paying insurance on those 2000 hives, instead of getting a nervous breakdown, there'd been a fat 6 digit check in the mail.
I really liked the attitude and pov of the old fellow who was her friend. He had lived through hard times and knows how to get through and get along w/ whatever life troughs at him.
At the last beekeepers meeting/dinner, I sat across the table from him and his wife. Very NICE people, him and his bees are doing fine.
NAP insurance through FSA is $250.00 a year. It covers crop loss and I think livestock loss(not positive but working out details with local agency). Beginning farmers of less than 10 yrs. don't have to pay. If you lose your bees you lose your crop
Answer in post #7-So it is the ag chemicals creating the cocktail killing the bees.
When I started in beekeeping beekeepers did not share information. What we learned we learned the hard way and commercial beekeeping culled many wanna bees. Most of commercial beekeeping was controlled by beekeeping families and secrets were passed down. About the only way to really be successful was to work for different commercial outfits. Which was the way I started in summers. The information needed for success was not really found in books of the day as far as commercial beekeeping was concerned. I have been directly involved with outfits as large as fifty thousand hives.
Some of the largest and oldest outfits and beekeepers still keep secrets. In fact today even when they try to share what they have learned or share information gained from beekeeper privately paid for research many times the USDA-ARS ignores what is shared.
One issue has been if you do not have a PHD then surely you are of no use in solving the issue.
I was involved in one of the most earth shaking findings back in 2004. The beekeeper removed and eliminated all comb on which coumaphos & fluvalinate had been used. I did the same with mine as did others in our circle as soon as we saw the success he was getting!
We shared with the USDA-ARS and Florida Apiary service what we had learned. By the time of CCD in 2006/2007 our comb had been changed.
Only recently has Penn State started sharing our message. Kind of like new news.
This month you can read what we learned back in 2004 on page 21 of the December Bee Culture. "When Varrocides Interact" by Reed Johnson.
What we learned ( from testing) only applied to fluvalinate & coumaphos used on the same comb.
After clean comb is replaced you can rotate various treatments but NEVER use fluvalinate & coumaphos on the same comb. Those two are deadly to bees.
One very large beekeeper removed over 3 million frames simply because both had old comb on which checkmite and apistan had been used.
As the article by Reed johnson points out other varroacides do interact BUT none produce the effects coumaphos & fluvalinate did.
The real kicker:
What Penn State is missing is the problem is not beekeeper caused but caused by legal Checkmite ( still sold) used in combination with legal Apistan strips (still sold) and perhaps off label use of Mavric ( but in ways many were shown by the USDA-ARS while hives were crashing before Apistan was registered.)
The largest single cause of hive problems in the U.S. can be traced back to checkmite & apistan used together in my opinion.
It is what it is!
Read the article.
I have tried since 2004 to share the information contained in the article.
With clean comb you will be amazed at the difference. I was!
Nobody here likes essential oils?