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Thread: Is CCD a myth?

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  1. #1
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    Cool Is CCD a myth?

    I pose this question based on information another beek pointed out to me. If u look at the USDA numbers for hives in the U.S., there has never been a significant drop in numbers of hives posted. Every year for the past 10 to 15 years the numbers alter in the 200,000 range from year to year. It has been that way since before CCD began being reported. Is the USDA just making guesses at numbers of Hives? I ask this because I know that the numbers reported for Mississippi are totally erroneous. The USDA reports regularly that Mississippi has 18,000 hives. How do they come up with that number? I know one beek in Mississippi that has over 18,000 hives. In Mississippi u are not required to register your hives, so are they just guessing? The Mississippi Dept. of Ag. regularly posts that during the season Mississippi has around 31,000 hives and during the winter it swells to around 160,000 hives. Has anyone here ever experienced CCD? Just wondering why u heard of 50 to 90% losses of hives, yet no numbers to support those claims. Just thought this might be something interesting to discuss.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    It sounds to me like you are saying accurate reporting of colonies is a myth. The USDA is reporting, for example, 30% losses for 2010/2011, not limited to CCD cases. When you hear of 90% losses, that obviously is not a national average and I don't know of anyone who says it is. In any statistical survey, there always will be high and low figures reported by individuals. That's part of how averages are determined.

    I've never lost a hive to CCD that I am aware of, but it would be the height of silliness to offer that as proof of a "CCD myth." It will take a lot more than some fuzzy idea of statistics to make some beekeepers I know question the CCD losses they've sustained.

    It's out there.

    Wayne

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    Last year my mentor had 56% losses overwintering his hives...he blamed CCD
    That said, I didn't know enough then, and probably don't now, to have ruled out other potential causes, but CCD and SIDS have a ton in common...I.E. when a hive or baby dies, and nobody can immediately tell why, it must've been CCD/SIDS. They're not really disorders, or syndromes, as they're named...so much as a statistical category to throw everything unknown into; in my honest, educated, far more than just an "opinion."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    Quote Originally Posted by casinoken View Post
    Just wondering why u heard of 50 to 90% losses of hives, yet no numbers to support those claims.
    This may help
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0004071

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    " is ccd a myth"

    Nope... just the person staring back at them in the mirror.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    Another thought that I should've posted earlier...as you said, the MS D of A reported hive numbers being much higher as winter approaches, most likely form beeks making splits/nucs. The reason why the numbers aren't continuing to spiral upwards is that many of these splits/nucs either die themselves, or are used to replace other colonies that died, over the winter...thus accounting for the "steady" numbers you are seeing. Understanding that, it seems that, if anything, the steady numbers do more to prove CCD, rather than disprove it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    What about feral hives? Those numbers are only hives that beekeepers have, right?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    The high winter numbers are from beeks that ship hives all over the country for pollination services bringing them back. Mississippi is one of the top producers of queens and packages due to our mild winters. Wayne, u stsed that the USDA reported 30% losses for 2010/2011, however if u look at the number of hives from the previous year their reporting number is nowhere near 30%. As a running average, the USDA reports that there are approximately 2.4 million hives nationwide. If u look at the annual reort numbers for th past 15 years they range between roughly 2.1 and 2.6 million hives, with variations annually, up or down, usually averaging around 200,000 hives. To have a 30% loss of hives, u should see that years number drop by roughly 700,000 hives, and I haven't seen that big of a drop in any year from the USDA.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    If you had 100 colonies in 2010, experienced 30% winter losses andpurchased 30 packages you would again report that you had 100 colonies in 2011. That is why the number of reported colonies remains relatively constant.

    Since the population increases every year, we cannot conclude that the reports of human death is obviously a myth.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    Don't get me wrong, I believe CCD exists, however if someone who had never heard of it were given the annual report numbers from USDA and asked if they saw in the numbers where and if a major disaster hit the beekeeping industry, they would have to say no, because the numbers never bear out any major changes as they would if there were a 30% loss in one year. As I stated when I started this thread, I believe the USDA simply puts out bogus numbers in their reports. Another efficient government agency.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    I think the federal government makes a good attempt at their reports. I know in my case they are relentless until you give them what they want. Are they accurate? More a case of garbage in garbage out as I see it, many beekeepers refuse to fill them out and quite often some fly under the radar and the government is never aware of them. If you have never dealt with a county FSA office they may not know about you. I think they are probably useful in showing trends more than highly accurate numbers.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    Quote Originally Posted by casinoken View Post
    I pose this question based on information another beek pointed out to me. If u look at the USDA numbers for hives in the U.S., there has never been a significant drop in numbers of hives posted. Every year for the past 10 to 15 years the numbers alter in the 200,000 range from year to year. It has been that way since before CCD began being reported. Is the USDA just making guesses at numbers of Hives? I ask this because I know that the numbers reported for Mississippi are totally erroneous. The USDA reports regularly that Mississippi has 18,000 hives. How do they come up with that number? I know one beek in Mississippi that has over 18,000 hives. In Mississippi u are not required to register your hives, so are they just guessing? The Mississippi Dept. of Ag. regularly posts that during the season Mississippi has around 31,000 hives and during the winter it swells to around 160,000 hives. Has anyone here ever experienced CCD? Just wondering why u heard of 50 to 90% losses of hives, yet no numbers to support those claims. Just thought this might be something interesting to discuss.
    it real guy , or Poland wouldn't ban this company http://www.naturalnews.com/036010_Po...o_GM_corn.html

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    Gonzo, I make my sugar syrup with 2 quarts water, 5 lbs sugar, 8 teabags of caffiene free chamomile tea, and two fresh squeezed lemons. The lemons help to lower the ph and convert the sugar to more of what the bees are used to gathering. I checked the ph and it is very close to the ph of honey.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    @casinoken - than you are the second person to say such.... everytime i looked up sugar water online, there was never any mention of lemon...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    gonzo, I saw in a book where the breeder was describing making "invert sugar" by adding a few grams of tartaric acid (aka cream of tartar) to the syrup...in this case, it was being used for making queen candy, but I think it gets about the same point across...lowers the Ph so more of the sucrose sugars are broken down into non-crystallizing glucose & fructose. Once the sucrose has been broken down enough, the glucose+fructose syrup is nearly impossible to get to crystallize under normal circumstances (yes, I'm aware that it's possible, AND that "crystallized fructose" is sold in health food stores....but it's not likely to happen unintentionally). This helps with making queen candy for obvious reasons, and should help avoid bees from getting syrup-killed by having the syrup hyper-saturate & re-crystallize sugar granules on the bee.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    Sounds like you are inverting the sugar...sort of anyway. I usually invert some of the syrup I make each year, expecially if I think I may not use it all right away. It may or may not be all that benificial for the bees but it make me feel better

    http://wvbeekeeper.blogspot.com/2008...gar-syrup.html

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    "Most beekeepers have never seen it."

    True, and when you do, you will not be able to comprehend that there is anything so lethal and virulent.

    Yes, many other situations cause symptoms that are similar to, but not ALL of the CCD symptoms. Mite load, mild neonicinoid exposure, a lack of summer flow, etc; but they are nothing compared to the real thing.

    (Sorry SQKCRK, no mystery here).

    Crazy Roland

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post

    (Sorry SQKCRK, no mystery here).

    Crazy Roland
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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    I add a TBS of apple cider vinegar per gallon. More than anything to keep it from crystalizing. I keep the batches in the fridge until I need em. I try not to feed too much anyway, so that's why I'm more concerned about the crystalization.

    Back on the thread, I think that neonicontinoid pesticides make the absolute best sense for a cause of CCD. Just look at the cause and effect, even the smoking gun. I think there is serious concern with thinking it's a disease. There will be a "treatment" for the "disease" soon enough, and if the company that makes the treatment has any lobbying power, they're going to try to make it mandatory. Most healthy hives can handle foulbrood - especially if you recycle your old brood comb. I've never had it, but I've read the stories and the research on it. However, we have lot of folks scared not to load up their bees proactively with terramyacin.

    I have mixed feelings about the hype. On one hand, I have people pay me to do cutouts and trapouts and don't want me to harm a single bee. It's great because we get fewer people spraying pesticides to try to do it themselves. However, do you know of any other species out there that has 2 Million (and that's just colonies) in a country that considered endangered? What I tell people is, the honey bee is not a native of the US. There are over 2 million commercial colonies. However, you are doing a good thing. What is in danger is a feral bee that can handle the diseases and pests that have been brought into the U.S. By having me take care of your bees, you are sustaining genetic material that allows us to have a bee that doesn't need to be medicated just to survive.

    Rob.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Is CCD a myth?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    Back on the thread, I think that neonicontinoid pesticides make the absolute best sense for a cause of CCD. Just look at the cause and effect, even the smoking gun. I think there is serious concern with thinking it's a disease.
    Again please, PLEASE!!! RobWok, send evidence of your "smoking gun" to the USDA and they can all go home and we beekeepers can live in peace tonight knowing it is a direct result of poisoning and not a disease.

    We all want to be able to point to Bayer as the culprit and have them banned and our bees thrive for ever more. But no one, with all their wishful and definitively stated opinions, has yet seemed able to prove it. Who is up to the task? Please, someone? Anyone? Proof? Actual scientific proof and not merely wishful thinking? Anyone?

    Wayne
    Last edited by waynesgarden; 05-31-2012 at 10:37 PM. Reason: Misspelled "merely." Inexcusable to a former English major and proponent of Liberal Arts education.

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