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Thread: CCD Research

  1. #241

    Default Re: CCD Research

    Tim,

    I would really love to see your sugar and treatment free approach working in other locations, too. No sugar, no treatments and you are fine. That would be an easy solution to the trouble the bees are in.

    I have been keeping bees on honey and no treatments for ten years now. Still those bees are struggling to survive and thrive.

    My apiaries are surrounded by hundreds of hectars of corn and canola. This year I lost all my flying bees in one day through canola spraying. Yes, the colonies did "survive". But as you can figure, loosing flying bees is not doing the bees any good.

    The effects of pesticides I observe is loosing flying bees continiously, not the hammer like this year, but an accelerated death of the flying bees. We see a lot of queen failures. Also the brood nest shrinks down to nothing in the midst of the bee season. Which is also very remarkable.

    My bees' situation got better, since I avoid being too close to fields treated with neonics. The closer you are to the fields, the higher the damage. 50 meter is better than 15 meter. Also I trap pollen a lot. I try to trap as much of the pollen of corn and canola (and asparagus...) and feed pollen patties instead. The appearance and wintering got much better, treatment or no treatment.

    So it must be location, that sugar and treatment free is sufficiently working for you. You supposingly have alternative pollen sources. We have a pollen dearth during summer, because we don't have much uncultivated land and no forests. The bees jump at corn pollen and forage for it, because there is no alternative. It is said, that bees sort of sense the pesticide. And avoid it. If the location doesn't provide any alternative pollen, the bees are forced to take it.

    I also suspect it has something to do with water they collect. Because what other reason could produce differences in placing a hive closer or further away from the fields? Must be water. Morning dew or something. I provide water for the bees, too.

    Since trapping the pollen, feeding pollen patties and providing fresh uncontaminated water the situation got much better.

    Tim - some questions:

    1. How far away do you place your hives from the fields?
    2. Are there alternative pollen sources?
    3. Is there any woodland nearby?
    4. Where do your bees take water?

    Just want to understand the different results we get, both sugar and treatment free and embedded into industrial agricultural fields.

    Thanks,

    Bernhard

  2. #242
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: CCD Research

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    Tim,

    I would really love to see your sugar and treatment free approach working in other locations, too. No sugar, no treatments and you are fine. That would be an easy solution to the trouble the bees are in.

    I have been keeping bees on honey and no treatments for ten years now. Still those bees are struggling to survive and thrive.

    My apiaries are surrounded by hundreds of hectars of corn and canola. This year I lost all my flying bees in one day through canola spraying. Yes, the colonies did "survive". But as you can figure, loosing flying bees is not doing the bees any good.

    The effects of pesticides I observe is loosing flying bees continiously, not the hammer like this year, but an accelerated death of the flying bees. We see a lot of queen failures. Also the brood nest shrinks down to nothing in the midst of the bee season. Which is also very remarkable.

    My bees' situation got better, since I avoid being too close to fields treated with neonics. The closer you are to the fields, the higher the damage. 50 meter is better than 15 meter. Also I trap pollen a lot. I try to trap as much of the pollen of corn and canola (and asparagus...) and feed pollen patties instead. The appearance and wintering got much better, treatment or no treatment.

    So it must be location, that sugar and treatment free is sufficiently working for you. You supposingly have alternative pollen sources. We have a pollen dearth during summer, because we don't have much uncultivated land and no forests. The bees jump at corn pollen and forage for it, because there is no alternative. It is said, that bees sort of sense the pesticide. And avoid it. If the location doesn't provide any alternative pollen, the bees are forced to take it.

    I also suspect it has something to do with water they collect. Because what other reason could produce differences in placing a hive closer or further away from the fields? Must be water. Morning dew or something. I provide water for the bees, too.

    Since trapping the pollen, feeding pollen patties and providing fresh uncontaminated water the situation got much better.

    Tim - some questions:

    1. How far away do you place your hives from the fields?
    2. Are there alternative pollen sources?
    3. Is there any woodland nearby?
    4. Where do your bees take water?

    Just want to understand the different results we get, both sugar and treatment free and embedded into industrial agricultural fields.

    Thanks,

    Bernhard
    Interesting Bernhard, especially since you eliminated the biggest common denominator of losses I hear or seen. The feeding of sugar.

    1) 3 of the 9 yards are in small wooded areas with crop fields across the road(s) 100meters. Other 6 yards 1-30 meters from corn/beans.
    2) alfalfa fields but most of them are Gmo and usually gets cut at bloom. Do have problems with the new high speed realcutters. Doesn't give bees chance to escape. I've participated past 4 years in the USDA testing. This year pollen samples are being analysed.
    3) woodlands very minimal, little 5-10 acres plots scattered. Most trees are in fence rows between fields along with various wildflowers, which might be 10 meters wide.
    4) water sources drainage ditches. My house is the only yard that gets the freshest water. Mostly to keep bees out of the neighbors pool down aways.

    Uncommon denominators. You have canola.

    Hives are overwintered in 3 deeps,wrapped, insulated tops. Right in the Lake Michigan lake effect snow belt.

    Genetics-- local swarms/cutouts. Haven't bought bees since 06'. Raise my own queens from the earliest swarm cells.

  3. #243

    Default Re: CCD Research

    I was playing and experimenting a lot to crack the problem of the symbiosis between varroas and bees. Certainly the varroa itself is not (!) the main factor in the game. To me it appears varroa is just the executioner.

    Anyway, I can say sugar as a main cause can be ruled out, too. Of course honey is a lot better for the bees, no doubt. But most essential nutrients bees get from pollen, so honey plays a rather minor part in bee nutrition.

    I also tried large hives after being in contact with Oscar Perone. But that doesn't seem to make a difference. The broodnest shrinked in midst of the season, even with young queens, lots of brood combs and pollen. Followed by superseduring.

    Either is has to do something with the nutrional quality of pollen. Or contamination with pesticides.

    This study showed that the number of pesticides found in pollen were correlated with superseduring:

    http://www.extension.org/pages/63773...s#.Uig7MWthiSO

    I reckon it is a mixture of insecticides and fungicides that kills of the beneficial microbes that ferment the bee bread. Fungi play a major part in bee bread fermenting.

    I tried to summarize what I think is going on here:
    http://www.immenfreunde.de/forum/dow...ile.php?id=134

    It's malnutrition plus continual premature death of foragers that leads to a collapse of the hive.

    This is why good nutrition really enhances the situation. Be it through pollen patties feeding - or keeping bees in a hive with lots of stores all year round. Or provide enough brood comb to make up for the premature losses. Replacing the dead bees quickly with new bees.

    I am really looking forward for the results of the pollen sampling in your apiary. I would really appreciate if you share the results with us.

    Bernhard

  4. #244

    Default Re: CCD Research

    Tim, what is the density of the bee population in your area.

    In a 2 mile radius within my home apiary there are about 200 colonies wintering and about 50 stationary through summer.

    There is a high density of bee colonies in Germany anyway. In 2012 there were 622,000 colonies. Officially. Since then 30-50 % died during the 2011/2012 winter. About 300,000 colonies. Those were replaced with package bees from Italy and Spain. For comparison: In 1991 there were 1,214,702 colonies in Germany.

    Nowadays we have 10 colonies per square mile (statistically) which is drop from 20 colonies/square mile in 1955. Losses are about 15-30 % each winter - but much higher on a local scale. The local high losses can not be found in the same region year after year. The opposite. It seems that the losses come and go. There is no real pattern.

    So what is the bee density around your apiaries?

  5. #245
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: CCD Research

    Driftwatch.com Indiana.

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