Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?
I suppose I am an optimist. I dont see an industry in decline as much as an industry in flux. I have been doing this commercially for 40 years and the beekeeper has ALWAYS had challenges but for most of the time it was massive losses from foliar spraying and low commodity prices. Years ago beekeeping organizations were lobbying for indemnity
Originally Posted by rhaldridge
programs for spray loss and commodity price supports. With the arrival of varroa, high grain prices and the resulting loss of bee pasturage the challenges have shifted to how to raise a honey crop and where to place your hives so that they have enough forage to stay strong. The growth of the Almond industry in California was a huge game changer. In the matter of a few years rental prices went from $30 to almost $200 and the demand for well over a million strong hives was suddenly needed. At the same time honey prices shot up from the .70 range to $2.00 a lb. For those beekeepers able to raise even a 60 lb. crop and have a strong hive to rent out the next February the rewards are huge. I know many beekeepers who have done very well indeed. The incentive is there so, yes, I have confidence that the industry has a good future but only for those willing to change and evolve with it.
The differences between my operation and the Adee's? Well we share some similarities in the migratory nature of our operations but I cant speak about the specifics of their treatment regime because I have no knowledge of what they do and if I did I wouldn't feel free to discuss it in a public forum. I would speculate, though, that there are most likely at least some differences in philosophy and management practices. This I will say, though. I have the greatest respect them as both people and as beekeepers. As I said before the experiences of others that I am aware of "run the gamut". Some have struggled but I know of more than one story of beekeepers whose bees have thrived in the past year.
At the risk of reiterating what I have previously asked in this thread and have yet to get an answer. I will ask one more time. Why should I expose my operation to potential losses of 90% or more? What's in it for me? As near as I can tell treatment free bragging rights here on Beesource is about the only upside and the loss of what my family has spent decades building up is the downside. Currently 4 families live off the income from our operation and we are doing just fine thank you.
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney