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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    Cam - I know for us in the past we have seen some our Grade one yards, ones that really thrived during the season, be the yards that suffered higher winter losses. We deduce among other things, more bees, more mites, more interaction with other bees afield, more virus, more bees, higher use of stores. I'd be interested to hear what you find? We had one really great yard we no longer use to winter because we realized it was a cold air drain and in an area very near the Catherine Welands south of Seneca Lake. That yard consistently had high losses due to moisture and cold. Have you considered this?
    This was the first winter I used this yard for overwintering. I have considered the cold/moisture drain. It sits on a north facing slope, but is wide open to the sun. Bees have done great there for a couple years. I do suspect mites and their virus issues, maybe nosema problems but most of the bees I checked under my scope had no nosema. Survivors in that yard are strong. Since I didn't treat these nucs [on purpose] I believe they got so strong that mites were abundant and took their toll on the winter bees. Guess I need to revisit not treating strong nucs. I have some weak nucs in another yard doing pretty well. I post the results from Beltsville when I get them.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromnessbees View Post
    I have no losses to report.

    Neonicotinoids are not used where I keep my bees, and with the exception of one small nuc which died of isloation starvation I have never lost a single colony during autumn, spring or winter, if a queen fails I unite with a nuc.

    The few losses I have had were swarms where the queen failed to mate or due to queens that became drone layers at old age.

    Bees without pesticide challenge need very little looking after (mainly food, varroa control, swarm control), there is no reason why they should dwindle away to nothing.
    No losses to report? Then you don't have very many hives and you actually take your losses by combining or addressing poor queens. You must live in quite an isolated and nonagricultural part of Scotland. Perhaps on an island?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    My main objection to this single-minded focus on a single class of pesticides is that it neglects all of the other problems facing bees and other pollinators.

    From what I've observed, loss of habitat is overwhelmingly the greatest threat to pollinators, including honeybees. Finding locations for yards with good numbers of floral sources that honeybees will use, and especially finding locations with a high diversity of floral sources, continues to become increasingly difficult.

    I think the widespread use of broadleaf herbicides and herbicides to eliminate any and all "weeds" is at least as imminent a threat to bees as insecticides.

  4. #84
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    Amador County, Calif
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    3,166

    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    From what I've observed, loss of habitat is overwhelmingly the greatest threat to pollinators, including honeybees. Finding locations for yards with good numbers of floral sources that honeybees will use, and especially finding locations with a high diversity of floral sources, continues to become increasingly difficult.
    Very well said, Kieck
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  5. #85
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post

    I suspect he has a few other things on his mind right now - like financial survival - as opposed to organising pollen samples to be taken from his dead hives. I have no experience of what a migratory bee-farmer has to do at almond pollination time, but I would assume he is working 12-16 hour days and not getting much time to think about anything else.
    So if there has been no investigation into the death of the hives, how did you come to the determination that it was agricultural neonicotinoid use that killed off the hives?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #86
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    Columbia, Missouri, usa
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    I live in the center of Missouri and the drought last summer was even worse than the official report. Depended which cloud you were under. It was just too hot and dry for the bees to forage.
    I came thru last spring with 8 of 8 hives and started 12 more nucs during the summer. Bad timing. Even though I fed sugar all fall, they did not store enough to get thru the winter. Bottom line- between robbing and me combining nucs and hives, I think I still have 12 total.

    Wish I knew how this "bee-farmer" was able to get 3000 + hives strong for the move to CA.
    Charlie

  7. #87
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    On youtube videos, they feed substitute pollen patty when there is no forage available. And also syrup in the cold
    weather. To grow the bees even during the winter time is to FEED, FEED, AND FEED! This is what I learn from the beekeepers here. In a warm climate like Hawaii and Florida, their bees will still make broods. For example, I patty feed since Nov. into the early Spring. This is a hive that was queenless after 2 died and only one frame of worker bees left. They are brooding nicely now but still so cold outside. But I am not sure where the bee farmer is from to grow his hives. Might be from Florida I suppose.

  8. #88
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    Edinburgh, UK
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    So if there has been no investigation into the death of the hives, how did you come to the determination that it was agricultural neonicotinoid use that killed off the hives?
    I didn't - these are not my bees and not my experience. This is HIS account, not mine; I merely edited it into the third person singular for reasons explained earlier. Neither does his account say that it is ONLY neonicotinoids which caused this disaster; his account mentioned many other insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and insect-growth-regulating hormonds. The end result is 'pesticide soup' in the Midwest, which he 'hypothesises' led to his bees collapsind in California - 1500 miles away from where they stored the contaminated pollen and nectar. However, there are now so many research studies which confirm the absolutely deadly impact of hyper-toxic neonics, that on balance, he has come to this conclusion.

    For the record, Imidacloprid has been index-measured as being 7,600 times more toxic to bees than DDT and Clothianidin is of the same order of ultra-toxicity.

    Pettis's work - which confirms that of Dr Cedric Alaux's team in France, has been largely misunderstood - not surprising since the industry brought massive pressure to bear and carried out a full-scale campaign of disinformation about it.

    What that research clearly revealed was that ANY exposure to neonicotinoids cripples the bees's immune system, leading to death from varroa, viruses, bacteria, fungal diseases etc - AND LEAVES NO TRACE.

    The implication is that there is 'no safe level of exposure' to neonicotinoids. Any exposure damages the bees immune system and predisposes them to die of a whole range of pathogens.

  9. #89
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Is there some sort of Law Suit involved here? Is that why the secrecy about who this is?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #90
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    What that research clearly revealed was that ANY exposure to neonicotinoids cripples the bees's immune system, leading to death from varroa, viruses, bacteria, fungal diseases etc - AND LEAVES NO TRACE.
    Well, what you have said here doesn't really make sense to me. If there is no trace remaining, how was it determined that ANY exposure to neonics resulted in colony death?

    And since I've already asked once, I'll ask again. How do you explain the fact that my apiaries are surrounded by neonic corn, and the bees remain productive...and alive? Clothianidin has been used in my area since 2004. I asked the applicator what % of the corn in the valley has been treated with clothianidin. His reply...100%

    You can call me a shill if you want to, for questioning your hypothesis, but I will continue my questions until you can give me a logical answer...

    Considering that my non-migratory bees are surrounded by clothianidin treated corn, why are they not all dead?

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Is there some sort of Law Suit involved here? Is that why the secrecy about who this is?
    Absolutely not. My friend is just working at his busiest time of the year - on the almond pollination - and in the middle of a financial disaster. He has a whole crew working with him, and when I last skyped him, he was not getting much sleep. We have not discussed in detail, why he wants to remain anonymous for now - but he did indicate that 'he did not want the chemical companies on his neck at the busiest time of the year'. I think that he WILL decide to go 'on the record' as soon as his workload drops off, and presumably when he has managed to carry out any invcestigations that

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Well, what you have said here doesn't really make sense to me. If there is no trace remaining, how was it determined that ANY exposure to neonics resulted in colony death?

    You can call me a shill if you want to, for questioning your hypothesis, but I will continue my questions until you can give me a logical answer...

    Considering that my non-migratory bees are surrounded by clothianidin treated corn, why are they not all dead?
    Please read what I said carefully - I said I would not respond to people that I KNOW are industry shills - I was not referring to you. Your question is perfectly valid - and I don't have an answer. All I can tell you is I am surrounded by neonic treated OSR and my colonies have been dying each winter since 2003. My varroa control is highly effective, I get very low counts. My observations are 'fall dwindling' and abnormal supersedure of young, fertile queens.

    Here in the Uk bee losses are high and widespread and Chris Connolly's recent study from Dundee University found a geographic pattern; losses were high in the East of Scotland, which is where the neonic treated arable crops predominate, and they were much lower in the West, which is far wetter and mainly used for dairy and sheep pasture. Go figure- as they say over there.

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    From what I have found development of neonicotinoids was in the 1980's by shell and in the 1990's by Bayer. The appearance of CCD as I understand it is supposed to have been in 1996. I don't know the specifics on the wide spread use of neonicotinoids but this broad time frame does not look good for the pesticide. Basically their answer to the question "where where you on the night in question" is they where in the thick of it. They make the suspect list.

    Sir where you in the area when the insects was killed? Why yes I was. And what where you doing here? I was doing business with an associate of the victim. Um yes and do you have any weapons on you. Only this neurotoxin. I was delivering it to the associate of the victim. By the way what weapon was used in the killing. Well we have not determined that. no trace of any wounds. Poisoning is pretty high on the list though. So you have no idea what killed them. No none at all. Well I am certain it could not be a neurotixic insecticide, right? Oh certainly not. what sort of person would be foolish enough to think that. You have a good day sir an sorry to bother you.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    From what I have found development of neonicotinoids was in the 1980's by shell and in the 1990's by Bayer. The appearance of CCD as I understand it is supposed to have been in 1996. I don't know the specifics on the wide spread use of neonicotinoids but this broad time frame does not look good for the pesticide. Basically their answer to the question "where where you on the night in question" is they where in the thick of it. They make the suspect list.
    That hypothesis ignores the recorded almost identical "disappearing disease" and the Isle of Wright disease, long before the neonics were developed.

  15. #95
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Camero, I am aware that there are other times in the past that similar events have accoured. I am also aware that most books written a century ago do not include chapters or mention of diseases in bees. One such book directly addresses the issue of diseases in bees bay basically saying they do not exist. Other writing on animal husbandry included chapters on diseases for ay diseases known if they existed. It was as common a practice as it is today. So lack of such information is evidence that there was no disease to write about. Diseases in bees historically coincide with the use of pesticides. So although the entire history of diseases among honey bees cannot possible point at one specific pesticide it does point directly at them as a whole.

    This is an insecticide. bees are insects. It is doing what it was intended to do. These pesticides where developed to reduce the impact of pesticides on mammals. bees are not mammals. It is reasonable to expect a product to do what is was developed and intended to do. Any expectation otherwise is grandiose wishful thinking.

    This is a product intended to harm insects. that it does so including bees is the reasonable assumption.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #96
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    This is a product intended to harm insects. that it does so including bees is the reasonable assumption.
    The neonics are so much safer for all of us [including bees] than the organophosphates. They are designed to kill insects that feed on the plant. Their presence in pollen and nectar is a concern. However, I have not seen the massive bee dieoffs that I saw when hives had to handle spraying. It's a compromise, do we want cheaper, abundant food or do we want a pristine environment? I want both but don't believe that is possible at this time. Hopefully the next generation of pesticides will be better for bees and humans.

  17. #97
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    I didn't - these are not my bees and not my experience. This is HIS account, not mine; I merely edited it into the third person singular for reasons explained earlier. Neither does his account say that it is ONLY neonicotinoids which caused this disaster;
    That definitely was your implication, 90% of your story talked about neonicotinoids and other pesticides relating to bee death, but with absolutely no relevance to your story. Stories like this dont help beekeepers in the very least. I look at you as being an opportunist seeking out others mis fortune to benefit your agenda. You obviously are pushing an agenda boarderbeeman,

    Now, if you were un biased and reporting on the facts, and not drawing any conclusions, you may have gotten a warmer response from this forum. The fact of the matter is beekeepers are scared to their wits end. There are things going in agriculture that we very suspicious over, yet the science does not provide us the answers we expect. We are getting tired of agenda pushers, your SO 2008! NOW we are looking for the actual problems and trying to find solutions.
    We have government working on it, we have in field beekeepers working on it, we have agri business industry working on it, . ! Millions and millions of dollars spent on our lively hoods, to find a problem that is right under our nose. And the research is leading more so away from in field pesticide use.

    Guess what it is Borderbeeman ???
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #98
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    I agree that has been the common thinking. and that thinking is based upon reports. As recently as January of this year those reports are being shown to be flawed. Resulting in some countries restricting the use of some of the pesticides in some countries. so reduced use, a bit of caution being shown by some as questions arise.

    Okay so we have a product that was developed and believed to be a better answer. Not a perfect answer. that is well and good. The question is still in the air. Is it a better answer. or dies it have a list of it's own problems just like every other answer has had.

    A world needs to be fed. that alone is a lot of pressure to fudge the opinions a bit.

    It is also true that bees are never going to be free of harm. Do I think the finger being pointed at this pesticide is being done so with some stretching of the evidence. Obviously to the point of ludicrous in some cases. Bees dying in California 6 months after being exposed to pesticides in the mid west. Okay that is scraping at best. outright harassment maybe. Maybe it is someone with one more scrap of evidence in the fringe of a large pile of more incriminating evidence also. I can't say.

    You seem to see this as a better answer. I am not so sure. I think it may be just another brand of poison.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Mal nutrition !
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #100
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    Default Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    That definitely was your implication, 90% of your story talked about neonicotinoids and other pesticides relating to bee death, but with absolutely no relevance to your story. Stories like this dont help beekeepers in the very least. I look at you as being an opportunist seeking out others mis fortune to benefit your agenda. You obviously are pushing an agenda boarderbeeman,

    Now, if you were un biased and reporting on the facts, and not drawing any conclusions, you may have gotten a warmer response from this forum. The fact of the matter is beekeepers are scared to their wits end. There are things going in agriculture that we very suspicious over, yet the science does not provide us the answers we expect. We are getting tired of agenda pushers, your SO 2008! NOW we are looking for the actual problems and trying to find solutions.
    We have government working on it, we have in field beekeepers working on it, we have agri business industry working on it, . ! Millions and millions of dollars spent on our lively hoods, to find a problem that is right under our nose. And the research is leading more so away from in field pesticide use.

    Guess what it is Borderbeeman ???
    First off - the only 'agenda' I have is that I am a beekeeper and conservationist who has seen 70% of his bees die in the last 5 years, repeatedly. I have also lived on this farm in the centre of a large oilseed rape and wheat area since 2001. This farm encompasses several thousand acres and has many, many miles of water-ditches. In the last 12 years I have never seen a frog, a toad, a newt or a tadpole of any kind in those ditches.
    But just two miles away - in sheep/ dairy country - I could be up to my boot-tops in frogspawn in any ditch I choose in a few weeks time. Similarly, we have witnessed a dramatic collapse in the populations of 19 common bird species on almost all arable farms across the UK and Europe. A recent report from the EU Commission says that 300 million birds have disappeared in less than 15 years, from a total population of 600 million.
    So: bee populations have crashed on farmland - not on mountain or woodland areas, nor on sheep and dairy farmed areas - bees living there are just fine; insectivorous bird populations have crashed on farmland - not on coasts, forests or mountain areas: frog, toad and newt populations have crashed in the same farmland areas.

    So that is my agenda. I want to know why this is happening. The best hypothesis that makes sense to me, is the global use of a family of hyper-toxic, highly persistent, highly soluble, INSECTICIDIES that have virtually erased insects from every farm field in America and Europe. No bees - because insecticides kill bees - they are insects; no butterflies or bumblebees, or lacewings, or ladybugs - same reason. No insectivorous birds because insect-eating birds need insects to feed their chicks; no frogs or toads because a. they need insects to eat and b. they have semi-permeable skins and their tadpoles are swimming in a cocktail of pesticides.

    I totally AGREE with you that SCIENCE IS NEVER GOING TO ANSWER THIS ISSUE - because the big money running the science is absolutely determined that it will never wander anywhere near the truth.

    But you say you know what the answer is??
    :
    "And the research is leading more so away from in field pesticide use. Guess what it is Borderbeeman ???[/"

    Please share it with us. Seriously - if you can explain bee losses, bird losses, amphibian losses - all on arable farmland but nOT on dairy farms or sheep farms, then the Nobell Prize is waiting for you. So seriously, do tell.

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