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  1. #21
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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?

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  2. #22
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    If that is the case and the bees can exist in a grove and have plenty of food, why are hives shipped in for pollination? I would think that it would be more cost effective to keep a few hives going in the groves year round than shipping them across country.
    I must be missing something critical.
    Yes, you are missing something critical? I don't know if I can explain what that is very well. But, one thing I will say is that Almond Growers are not beekeepers. They can't maintain the numbers of beehives necassary to pollinate their groves. And if they tried to AFB rates in CA would go up.

    Apple growers in NY used to own bees. They would buy packages in the Spring and restock their Winterkilled hives not knowing or understanding Bee Diseases.

    There is more. Others can add to the list of why not.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Dan Rather

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    In response to GM Charlie's ad-hominem attack on Dan Rather, which as usual was 'shoot the messenger - don't deal with the content of the report' - I append Dan Rather's entry from Wikipedia:
    ad ho·mi·nem adjective \(ˈ)ad-ˈhä-mə-ˌnem, -nəm\

    Definition of AD HOMINEM
    1: appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
    2: marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions

    Pointing out ones flagrantly erroneous data is a valid argument and not an Ad Hominem attack.

    Interestingly enough though, your last post is a perfect example of the argumentum ad verecundiam fallacy.

    And you don’t need to tell us, we all know who Dan Rather is. Opinion here, not ad hominem, he was one of the greatest newcasters in American history. The operative word being “was”.

    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  4. #24
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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 "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  5. #25
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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.

  6. #26
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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

  7. #27
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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!

  8. #28
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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.
    "

  9. #29
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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.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by Nabber86 View Post
    I believe that there is a problem, but sensationalism and presenting false data is not the way to solve it. It never is.
    One of the messages in the research I've done is that beekeepers are the red-headed stepchildren of the agriculture industry. There are only about 1600 commercial beekeepers in the country, according to what I've read, and they are not a powerful enough bloc of either voters or money to influence policy. So what can be done to motivate other voters to care?

    To judge by this thread, a lot of folks would rather nitpick facts that are not really relevant to the story than to pay attention to what the beekeepers in the story said. I don't much care what Dan Rather has to say about it, but I find it hard to ignore the things that actual beekeepers are saying. I don't care whether almonds are the number two crop or the number three crop in California. I do care that many highly skilled beekeepers are saying that this winter has been a disaster for them, and that they don't know what will become of their profession, if something isn't done to protect beekeepers. That's scary, and I'm just a hobbyist.

    I can understand that many folks who have not yet experienced these catastrophic losses would prefer to believe that it can't happen to them. That's a common theme in most of these threads. Before he got hit, John Miller attributed massive CCD losses to PPB-- Piss Poor Beekeeping. After he lost a few thousand hives, he got a bit more humble.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    California's 780,000 bearing acres of California almonds http://tinyurl.com/bqv6vug was still adequately pollinated according to this March 6 article: http://tinyurl.com/d44g639

    Blue Diamond Growers is by far the largest almond processor in California. Here are their "In The Field" reports for 2013: http://www.bluediamond.com/applicati....cfm?navid=101 No mention is made of any nut set problems caused by a lack of enough honeybees. The almond growers are much more worried about the yield impacts of cuts in their irrigation water allocations; e.g. http://www.bluediamond.com/applicati...orchardID=1402 "Growers receiving their water from the federal Central Valley Project have been advised that deliveries will be limited to 75% of contracted amounts"

    A couple years ago almond farmers in the western San Joaquin Valley were forced to let their almond orchards rot due to irrigation water cuts: http://disturbedsociety.com/wp-conte...t29-184673.jpg http://mountainrepublic.files.wordpr...ust-bowl-3.jpg

  12. #32
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by Nabber86 View Post
    I believe that there is a problem, but sensationalism and presenting false data is not the way to solve it. It never is.
    True, sensationalism and presenting false data will not solve bee health problems, but a few opportunistic beekeepers could potentially get rich via creating a donation supported dot org group and filing lawsuits: http://pollinatordefense.org/site/?page_id=674

  13. #33
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    One bee-farmer says: "this may be the last year for large-scale beekeeping in the USA."
    I've been hearing someone say this, every year.



    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    a lot of folks would rather nitpick facts.
    If by that you mean be honest, get the facts correct, call me and most of us here, nitpickers.


    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I don't much care what Dan Rather has to say about it, but I find it hard to ignore the things that actual beekeepers are saying.
    Every year, out of the claimed 1600 commercial beekeepers, there will be a few that had a disastrous year and that has to happen, statistically. The skill of a sensationalist journalist, is to find those ones, interview them, build a compelling story with great headlines, and not report on the ones who did well as that would ruin the story.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #34
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Here is a fly for the ointment:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...to-treat-mites
    Word on the street is that a lot of the larger operations have been using offlabel Amitraz...but since Tactik was taken off the market, the supply for this last season was not available.
    Now, what beekeeper is going to tell Dan Rather that their bees aren't doing so well because they had trouble getting the illegal treatment they are used to using?

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  15. #35
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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
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  16. #36
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Here is a fly for the ointment:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...to-treat-mites
    Word on the street is that a lot of the larger operations have been using offlabel Amitraz...but since Tactik was taken off the market, the supply for this last season was not available.
    Now, what beekeeper is going to tell Dan Rather that their bees aren't doing so well because they had trouble getting the illegal treatment they are used to using?

    deknow
    Actually that may be a very good point Deknow. In my country Apivar (the legal form of Amitraz bee treatment) is available and widely used, it is a great mite killer. With few other really great options available in the US, if Amitraz could no longer be obtained it could well be an issue. Having said all that, I have no idea whether these guys would have done anything illegal anyway, but when your back is against the wall, who knows.
    I really do not understand why Apivar is not available in the US, seems rather foolish.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #37
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    I always make good points...you just aren't always so good at noticing

    This was a point I was trying to get at with the Commercial TF thread. The contention was that TF beekeepers are somehow secretive about what they do and their results when compared to the mainstream commercial beekeepers.
    Obviously, some good percentage of these commercial bees are managed in ways that are not public....if Dan Rather was doing "journalism", he would be looking into this aspect of the story...questioning his sources on the matter. "Reporting" what beekeepers think is killing their bees does no one any good.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  18. #38
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    What does Dan Rather bring to the table?

    deknow
    Well certainly a good story. As a beekeeper though I found it very little use, no useful data given. It said nothing of hive management, I have no idea what program those hives have been on, nothing to form any kind of opinion to what may be happening. Course I wouldn't expect such a story to have a lot of technical data, it's primary purpose is to entertain the non beekeeping public.
    What I have noticed over the years, is most of this stuff, in the end, mites are involved to some extent as part of the puzzle, so when you posted about the lack of Amitraz this season, kinda fit. Particularly as one of the big players who lost more than 1/2 his hives, made comment that they've had masses of mites this year.
    All seems to fit.
    The other thing the program brought out but did not give enough data on, is the almond groves are still expanding, but it did not say by how much. This creates demand for more bees, which could in itself be the problem rather than less bees.
    Also, I could not help but notice the size of some of those beekeepers at that meeting. Just wondering how many hives they actually work themselves, and how much of the healthcare of their hives is left in the hands of low paid labor. I mean, a large guy, and 18,000 hives, who's actually ensuring each hive is healthy.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 04-05-2013 at 08:02 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #39
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    I always make good points...you just aren't always so good at noticing
    deknow
    Or perhaps, I do notice, IF the points are good.

    In this particular case, we don't KNOW that these guys ever did anything illegal. It could explain a few things, but as you or I do not actually know, running around slandering folks is perhaps not the best kind of point to be trying to make.

    We know illegal use of Amitraz has been discovered. That does not mean every beekeeper in the country has been doing it.

    But let's imagine they had, wouldn't the results of stopping this year, kind of run counter to the clamour of non commercial beekeepers saying the commercials should stop treating? If your theory is true and they did stop treating, look what happened.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 04-05-2013 at 07:57 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #40
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    Default Re: 'buzzkill' - dan rather reports on bee deaths among the almonds

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I really do not understand why Apivar is not available in the US, seems rather foolish.
    The situation with Apivar changed last month. See this thread for more details about Apivar now becoming available in all 50 US states.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ghlight=apivar
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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