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  1. #1
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    Default 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Dan Rather's team produced this 30 minute documentary from California's Almond groves, describing the current bee-disaster - with one bee farmer describing losses of 60% - many more losing 30-50-% of their hives.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ5ri...ature=youtu.be

    One bee-farmer says: "this may be the last year for large-scale beekeeping in the USA."

    Every year, some 1,500,000 bee colonies are trucked from all over American to pollinate 825,000 acres of Almond trees in California's Central valley. The Almonds are the most valuable single crop on earth and generate more cash than California's wine and tourism industries combined.

    Since 2006 there has been a catastrophe among the bees with roiughly 30% of America's bees dying each winter with the scientific evidence pointing overwhelmingly toward neonicotinoid pesticides used on corn (maize), oilseed rape. soybeans and cotton, as well as on the almonds themselves.

    This year there has been an even greater disaster with some beekeepers losing up to 60% of their colonies. One beekeeper lost 10,000 colonies out of the original 13,000 healthy colonies he took to the Almonds.
    This represents $millions in the loss of the bees themselves and $millions more in loss of cash income from almond pollination contracts ( each hive is worth $150 - $200 in pollination contracts).

    Veteran CBS Anchorman Dan Rather reports on this agricultural disaster, which has not only crippled the almond crop, but destroyed many of the bees which are needed to pollinate apples, blueberries, watermelons, pumpkins etc, right across the country.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    I wonder how much these diebacks have to do w/ last Summers drought, causing starvation?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    The voice of the beekeeper is not enough, when the almond growers and other fruit farmers start losing out and prices at the stores go crazy then maybe changes can happen.

    I agree with one line in the special, " it's not rocket science, its more complicated."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    I've seen pictures of the almond groves. Nothing for miles and miles but almond trees. I would call that a very sterile landscape. How can a bee expect to survive in that type of environment? Two weeks out of the year there is food and then nothing else. IMHO they need to leave natural hedgerows where there is other forage when almonds aren't blooming and let a natural bee population build. Bringing in 1.5 million hives per year is just exacerbating the problem by spreading disease from hive to hive and across the country. Plus, it has to stress out the bees being locked in a truck for days at a time. I don't think that is what God had in mind when He made the bee.
    My 2 cents!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Eric, right now God is locking my bees inside their hives for the next two or three days w/ rain and cool temperatures. I guess your are refering to travel stress on the colonies of bees. We have been moving bees for thousands of years. Maybe not on semis and such great distances. But we do do it successfully. Trucking bees may be part of the problem, I guess. But, I still wonder about what happened in the environment during the last 12 to 24 months.

    If someone could figure out what killed the colonies that died and why others have not, that wouyld be valuable information. So far, I believe we are grasping at straws.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    . But, I still wonder about what happened in the environment during the last 12 to 24 months.

    If someone could figure out what killed the colonies that died and why others have not, that wouyld be valuable information. So far, I believe we are grasping at straws.
    Mark, a day or two ago, I saw a piece on the Watertown Fox affiliate about Ted Elk, who I imagine you know. He was pretty gloomy, and said he was losing 35 to 45 percent of his hives every year. Do you know what he believes is killing his hives? The story was pretty light on details.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    ericweller, This was my first year in the almonds and you can't see reality from a picture. There are ground cover plants blooming in the orchards and this year the bees made some honey. After the almonds there was lots of fruit trees blooming along with mustard and some other plants I haven't had time to look up yet because i'm dealing with hives full of bees.I only split half of my hives down there and should have done them all. So far I haven't seen any disease and there was four different people in the two orchards wear I was at. Also i'm not sure about the truck idea as the ones stopping by my house[the local rest area]only get a couple hours sleep and are back on the road. When I picked up mine I left at 3:00 am and got home the next morning at 2:30 am. I did get a nap for a half hour in the after noon. I'm not sure how the big guy's handle the work load and the stress but I plan on learning it in the near future. So until you get a small sample of pollination your thoughts are some what uninformed. I have to go now as i'm loading bees to head to the pears tonight.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Two drivers.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    I've seen pictures of the almond groves. Nothing for miles and miles but almond trees. I would call that a very sterile landscape. How can a bee expect to survive in that type of environment? Two weeks out of the year there is food and then nothing else. IMHO they need to leave natural hedgerows where there is other forage when almonds aren't blooming and let a natural bee population build. Bringing in 1.5 million hives per year is just exacerbating the problem by spreading disease from hive to hive and across the country. Plus, it has to stress out the bees being locked in a truck for days at a time. I don't think that is what God had in mind when He made the bee. My 2 cents!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Every year, some 1,500,000 bee colonies are trucked from all over American to pollinate 825,000 acres of Almond trees in California's Central valley. The Almonds are the most valuable single crop on earth and generate more cash than California's wine and tourism industries combined.
    I don't believe this is true. Maybe if you add the word legal, or honey bee pollinated crop. I suspect the pot crop is worth more: http://www.neontommy.com/news/2010/1...out-14-billion
    http://westernfarmpress.com/tree-nut...ued-prosperity

    Tom

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    Every year, some 1,500,000 bee colonies are trucked from all over American to pollinate 825,000 acres of Almond trees in California's Central valley. The Almonds are the most valuable single crop on earth and generate more cash than California's wine and tourism industries combined.
    It's hard to believe anything in the report when there are outright lies in the opening paragraph.

    The California wine industry was worth about $20 billion in 2011 and California tourism brings in about $95 billion a year. While the almond industry only brings in about $4 billion.

    I wonder why they always have to lie about these numbers. It really destroys the credibility of the report.

    Tourism: http://www.visitcalifornia.com/media...e%20Update.pdf

    Wine: http://www.wineinstitute.org/resourc...ics/article639

    Almonds: http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_...01205almpd.pdf

    Oh and agriculture disaster? What disaster?:

    A record 2,600-pounds-per-acre yield has been projected by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service for the 2011–2012 California Almond crop, an increase of 200 pounds per acre, or 8%, over the previous yield-per-acre record set in 2008–2009. The California Almond objective forecast for the 2011–12 crop year is 1.95 billion meat pounds, which is based on 750,000 bearing acres. Overall, shipments were up 13%, reaching 1.668 billion pounds and marking the fifth consecutive year of record shipments across domestic and export markets.
    Dan Rather has lost his mind.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by Nabber86 View Post

    Oh and agriculture disaster? What disaster?:

    Dan Rather has lost his mind.
    I have high skepticism as well. Dan Rather is an entertainment personality, not a journalist. The 'apocalypse' story is a dependable ratings getter, whether it is Y2K, global warming, dying seals, extinct bees or whatever. I'm not saying there isn't substance to any or all of these stories, but you won't get close to the truth of the matter via popular media.
    I was at a lecture this winter by Dennis vanEngelsdorp, http://entomology.umd.edu/directory/...svanengelsdorp
    who made the comment "I haven't seen a verified case of CCD in the US for two years."
    This is not to deny the testimony of commercial beekeepers who are losing hives, only to say that one prominent scientist is saying whatever killed them off, it wasn't CCD.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by ersatzS2 View Post
    I was at a lecture this winter by Dennis vanEngelsdorp, http://entomology.umd.edu/directory/...svanengelsdorp
    who made the comment "I haven't seen a verified case of CCD in the US for two years."
    This is not to deny the testimony of commercial beekeepers who are losing hives, only to say that one prominent scientist is saying whatever killed them off, it wasn't CCD.
    When you really don't know what killed your colonies blaming CCD is rather easy. People need to learn how to say "I just don't know." or "I am not certain."
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    I get the impression that most of those making fun of the video didn't actually watch it. Whatever you think about Dan Rather, if you say there isn't a serious problem, or that the problem is being sensationalized, you're also saying that a lot of pretty good beekeepers are liars.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    I believe that there is a problem, but sensationalism and presenting false data is not the way to solve it. It never is.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  16. #16
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I get the impression that most of those making fun of the video didn't actually watch it. Whatever you think about Dan Rather, if you say there isn't a serious problem, or that the problem is being sensationalized, you're also saying that a lot of pretty good beekeepers are liars.
    Many of us pay close attention to the data as it becomes available.
    What does Dan Rather bring to the table?

    deknow
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Apologies - that quote was not from Dan Rather or the video - that was from me. I picked it up from an American article about the issue and just assumed it was correct. I stand corrected. Dan Rather would not have made that mistake.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    Apologies - that quote was not from Dan Rather or the video - that was from me. I picked it up from an American article about the issue and just assumed it was correct.
    And what is the next part of your original post that you will retract?

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    Veteran CBS Anchorman Dan Rather reports on this agricultural disaster, which has not only crippled the almond crop, but destroyed many of the bees which are needed to pollinate apples, blueberries, watermelons, pumpkins etc, right across the country.
    If the current almond crop has indeed been "crippled", don't you think the almond growers would know that? Instead, that is not what almond growers are reporting:
    Observers are reporting that almonds around the region are developing well under the influence of the generally beneficial weather conditions experienced over the past week. Almonds of all varieties are well into the differentiation process, with three to four sizes visible; the largest of these are breaking free from their jackets while the smallest are being shed from the trees.

    http://almondinsights.com/blue-diamo...-march-25-2013
    Gee, "almonds around the region are developing well" doesn't exactly fit with your theory, does it?

    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Nabber86;917930]It's hard to believe anything in the report when there are outright lies in the opening paragraph.

    The California wine industry was worth about $20 billion in 2011 and California tourism brings in about $95 billion a year. While the almond industry only brings in about $4 billion.


    We seem to have contradictory information:

    Associated Press Report:
    http://news.yahoo.com/almonds-rising...--finance.html

    "In 2011, for the first time, the value of California's almond crop surpassed the state's iconic grape industry to move into second place, behind dairy, as the state's top commodity. Almond producers increased their productivity and their orchard sizes, and shipments more than doubled over the past 10 years, according to the California Almond Board. During the 2011-2012 crop year, California farmers brought in $3.9 billion in revenue.

    Almonds also became the top export, outpacing dairy and wine, mostly due to increased demand from Asia and a weak dollar, almond producers say. Two-thirds of the almonds produced today are shipped overseas.
    "

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Eric, there is not enough forage to sustain the bees for a full year or make a marketable honey crop. I went down monday night and picked up my splits and they had new honey in them. They are going to the pears tonight and when they get done there I will put them on wild blackberries until mid July. Then they will come home and sit on clover and rabbit brush until winter. As I stated earlier this is my first year at trying to make money and the experience in Cali. might just be a lucky year but so far it's been great. I don't have many answers for the above article because i'm to new to the bee world [i'm starting my 6th year] but out of the 50 hives I lost last year it was my errors/laziness that caused them. I don't doubt pesticides cause some of the problems as well as moving bees around the country but I think allot of the problems people face are self inflicted.

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