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  1. #1
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    Default CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Disease can unleash a weakness of unregulated free market capitalism. Epidemics resulting in labor shortages cause wage inflation creating an incentive for migration into the afflicted zones. This is the exact opposite of the quarantine measures that are necessary instead. Quarantine is therefore a legitimate area of economic regulation by government.

    CCD and beekeeping are a case in point. The labor of bees in providing pollination services for agriculture now demands a higher price due to CCD. The higher the price the further beekeepers are willing to travel to meet the demand. By now bees are being shipped clear across the country, thousands of miles. The more that bees from remote locations are brought together in outbreak zones, the worse the epidemics spread. We now have many epidemics flaring out of control simultaneously. Certain strains of pathogens in conjunction produce the CCD effect. CCD is not a disease itself; it is a symptom of regulatory failure.

    In the absence of restrictions, farmers and beekeepers are driven by competitive pressures and economies of scale to make decisions that endanger both industries. A farmer could keep bees which in isolation on his land would be less exposed to pathogens and parasites. This would give up the efficiency of specialization and require that he dedicate almost half of his land to bee forage crops such as clover that can sustain the bees. Beekeepers not only double their production with twice the hives, they benefit from economies of scale. Honey extraction and processing equipment require less labor and are more efficient the greater their capacity. This efficiency would be lost to the farmer-beekeeper. Beekeepers expand their operations until a greater number of hives can not be supported without moving them periodically to new pasturage. Provided they are legally allowed to, they are welcomed by farmers who can then expand and specialize themselves. This partnership between beekeepers and farmers gives both a competitive edge, forcing others to do the same. The result is that both scale up to unsustainable levels.

    Bees live in densely populated concentrations of tens of thousands of individuals. Humans do so as well, in cities. But humans pay close attention to sanitation and provide themselves with clean running water and flush toilets. One can not install flush toilets in a beehive. Humans used to live like bees but back then life expectancy was a third of what it is today. The hives in an apiary are packed in together like students in a college dorm. Universities get away with it because the students have had their shots, and because of antibiotics, fungicides, insecticides, miticides, and other miracles of modern science. Bees can not be vaccinated, they only live three weeks in the field. Bee colonies can not be treated during a honey flow. Humans could not live the way bees live without being decimated by epidemics. Neither can bees, as CCD demonstrates.

    Human quarantine has always been an important line of defense against disease. The Bible quarantined lepers and broke society up into quarantine cells by family with the triad of laws against adultery, fornication, and sodomy. The word quarantine was coined in Venice because of the plague. During plague outbreaks whole villages were sealed off such as Eyam in Britain. Ellis Island kept quarantine on immigrants through to the early 20th Century. Typhoid Mary spent decades in quarantine until her death in 1938. More recently during the early years of the AIDS epidemic, Cuba rounded up everyone who was HIV positive and held them in isolation. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/typhoid/quarantine.html

    In the 21st Century, although governments retain laws on the books, the popular consensus is that disease is no longer a threat and so quarantine measures are inappropriate. Perhaps this is true for humans, but disease is still a serious threat for bees and quarantine remains the only effective line of defense. At the Federal level it should be illegal to transport bees across state lines, which includes of course importing them from abroad. At the State level during an outbreak, like now, it should be illegal to transport bees across county lines. These are the laws that should have been in place from the start and without which our food supply is and will remain in jeopardy.

    Mobile beekeeping should not be allowed, and never should have been. This is a failure of government caretaker responsibility. The transition back will cause heavy losses that the victims of should be compensated for. Orchards will have to be cut down. Bee hives destroyed since they can not be responsibly sold during epidemics. Both farmers and beekeepers will have large scale equipment no longer appropriate for their downsized operations. Beekeepers are in a position now like that of fishermen. These industries collapse naturally if not curtailed by regulation. The bottom is less severe and recovery is faster if cutbacks are imposed by regulation rather than by the forces of nature. And of course, like fishermen, those whose involvement gets curtailed will complain strenuously although regulation is in their best interests.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    The real issue is this: many of the pests and pathogens that afflict bees are now firmly entrenched in the environment itself.

    There's no getting rid of them. So, it's like closing the barn door after the horses have bolted.

    However...,

    how can anyone prove that it is in fact Honeybees that are spreading these pests and pathogens across the country?

    Maybe it's the native pollinators that are doing it? They do migrate you know.

    Regardless, what you are advocating is simply impractical.
    Last edited by WLC; 01-31-2011 at 04:17 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Eek, Are you writing a Novel, along the lines of "Guns, Germs, and Steel" or "Collapse"? Interesting theories.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  4. #4
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Are the scientists who are members of the CCD working group and probably are most qualified to raise such an issue calling for the use of quarantines to help eradicate the disease?
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Eek, Are you writing a Novel, along the lines of "Guns, Germs, and Steel" or "Collapse"? Interesting theories.
    Very good books.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Very good books.
    Yes, they are, but they aren't fiction.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  7. #7
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Very good books.
    I agree, good reads.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    So eek, is this the case of all of our problems are caused by migratory beekeepers and all bee movement should stop?

    If so, how is this practical? People buy packages and queens from other states and other beekeepers.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  9. #9
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eek-a-beek View Post
    Mobile beekeeping should not be allowed, and never should have been.
    A minimum of research will show that evidence of CCD follows by more than half a century the advent of wide-spread "mobile beekeeping."

    You lost me with your comparisons of the natural clustering of the normal population of bees in a hive with overcrowded humans in a city and also your references to toilets in hives. Being a beginner, you may not have yet noticed how fastidious honeybees, even in booming hives of over 60,000 individuals, are in their toilet habits. Even in commercial apiaries, healthy hives do not somehow become slovenly in their habits due to the proximity of other colonies. As you gain experience, you will come to stop thinking of bees as horribly overcrowded individuals in a box but that the colony itself is a complex, living organism.

    I'm trying hard to picture a time in human history (or even pre-history) when humans lived like bees.

    The main area that I find faulty in your argument is your examples of human quarantines in which victims of illness were confined. To extend these examples to suit your conclusions, authorities should have prohibited the travel of all people, regardless of their health, across state or county lines. Though I may have perfectly healthy colonies and receive documentation to that effect, you would prohibit me from taking my bees to pollinate a blueberry field across the state.

    It's not going to happen.

    Wayne

  10. #10
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    As long as big-money crops need bees for pollination (read: almonds) there will be no quarantine.

    Money talks.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  11. #11
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    As long as big-money crops need bees for pollination (read: almonds) there will be no quarantine.

    Money talks.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Actually it is closer to home than that. There is no state in the Union that has enuf colonies w/in it's borders to sufficiently service the crops w/in those borders that need honeybees for proper pollination. I don't think that is too much of an exageration, if at all.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  12. #12
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    wow this is a bad case of cabin fever. cheer up spring is coming.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eek-a-beek View Post
    Beekeepers are in a position now like that of fishermen. These industries collapse naturally if not curtailed by regulation. The bottom is less severe and recovery is faster if cutbacks are imposed by regulation rather than by the forces of nature. And of course, like fishermen, those whose involvement gets curtailed will complain strenuously although regulation is in their best interests.
    Is this really a valid analogy? I don't see fishing out a wild stock of fish as the same thing as losing domesticated livestock to disease. We can repopulate an apiary relatively easily compared with trying to restore something as complex as the Grand Banks cod industry.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    And what about the very similar bee die offs that happened in the 19th and early 20th centuries? No migratory beekeeping back then. Secondly, bees travel, as witnessed by the migration of AHB from Brazil to the U.S. and from the Southwest to the Southeast. Do you propose to quarantine all bees to their hives? How about SHB? They travel also, and are moving farther and farther away from the initial infestation in FL. No amount of quarantine can stop them. Your hypotheses has some major holes for which there is no solution.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    If we wipe out the honey bees then we won't have any more problems with SHB.

    Alsolute and perfect solutions some times have problems.
    Last edited by Barry; 01-31-2011 at 09:32 PM. Reason: off topic
    Old Guy in Alabama

  16. #16
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Are you assuming that CCD entered this country with bees? We are sedentary and saw CCD in 2005. I will bet dollars to donuts that our CCD did not come from imported bees, but rather was spread by infected honey. IT will do no good to control the movement of bees if the movement of infected honey is not also controlled.


    Roland
    Last edited by Barry; 01-31-2011 at 09:33 PM.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I neglected to post the source material that prompted the post. Sorry! Here is the link and reference details with a few excerpts that are particularly germane.

    http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/full/75/24/7862

    Presence and Prevalence of Viruses in Local and Migratory Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in Massachusetts

    Applied and Environmental Microbiology, December 2009, p. 7862-7865, Vol. 75, No. 24
0099-2240/09/$08.00+0 *doi:10.1128/AEM.01319-09 Welch et.al.

    "...Movement of bees in migratory hives to different areas of the country and the fact that hives from multiple locations may be placed at close proximity to one another put these bees at a higher risk of encountering pathogens than bees in local apiaries, which are maintained at a single locale, or moved only short distances...."

    "...It is noteworthy that more variation in virus prevalence was present between the local bee populations. The migratory bees were more consistently infected and had a significantly higher prevalence of triple infections. This may be due to the differences in both exposure to pathogens that migratory and local bees experience and overall fitness of the hives as related to stress..."

    "...the increased prevalence of SBV in migratory bees suggests that these hives may be a source of this virus, potentially posing a threat to the health of local populations..."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Another qualm with proposal is where is the compensation for the losses going to come from? It is fairly easy to spend someone else's money, until you are the someone. Personally i feel that there are to many hands in my pockets as it is and don't like the idea of one more joining the crowd.

    Dan
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  19. #19
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    Solano, California, USA
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    Please,


    Please,


    Please,


    RECONSIDER.


    What is migratory beekeeping. From the roof to the porch?

    From the porch to the back yard?

    from the back yard to the neighbors?

    From the neighbors to the neighbors 3 blocks down.


    etc.......................




    NO, and I mean NO such attempts in the years I have kept bees has even been remotely successful.

    Within 30 miles of me there are 50 thousand hives based and hundreds of millions of dollars of crops pollinated. Unless you want to eat bread with no butter and apples with no seeds you might want to reconsider.


    HELP!!!!!!!


    and by the way....... I'm not big agribusiness.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: CCD quarantine measures are needed.

    I think the point Eek-a-beek and others are overlooking is this......high population density facilitates the spread of disease and parasites. Yes new bee pathogens and parasites are now firmly entrenched in our country and the cause of CCD is still a mystery. I believe it is not the practice of migratory beekeeping that is the villian here, but rather some of the current accepted management and transportation practices.

    Let's use the almond pollination scenario as an example. seems to be common sense if you gather thousands of colonies from all parts of the country in crowded holding yards for weeks before going to the almond orchards it is reasonable to expect disease and parasites would be easily spread amongst them. Then consider after almond pollination, these thousands of hives are trucked all over the country again. Thus further facilitating the spread of disease and parasites from possible infected hives.

    This problem of population density facilitating the spread of parasites and disease is a problem in other areas of ag production as well. beef cattle feedyards, dry lot dairies, layer operations, confinement swine operations all face similar challenges as those thousands of hives from all over the country gathered together in a holding yard.

    the pollination industry and migratory beekeepers are essential to our economy and food production. Perhaps the real challenge is to change the current methods of how migratory hives are managed and distributed. Quarantines are a reactive measure to an outbreak. They don't fix the problem. Changing management practices is a proactive measure to prevent the spread of disease and parasites.
    "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"...well that horse ain't got nothing on a bee.

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