Re: please excuse this little rant
I share those veiws Ian. Two years ago I lost all my hives but three, devestating. I can't say what the main reasons for it was but if I was to compile a list, agro sprays would be on it.
For the last 10 years out of the 26 years I've been keeping bees, I've been doing pollination. During these years I've always seemed to have higher losses with 20% my lowest and 65 my highest. In the fall of 11', I knew I was in trouble and in the spring I had 3 hives left of the 100 hives, 97% loss. I have learned my lesson, I am going back to my roots of honey proctuction. I've brought my 3 hives up to 72 hives in this past year and a half and I'm extracting a wonderful ammount of honey now. Last winter only saw a 5% loss wich is what was normal for us through the 90's.
I wouldn't say that I wouldn't pollinate anymore, but my fee is the cost of replacing a hive, lock,stock,and barrel. exubrant enough that they don't even want to look at me, which is the way I like it. honey prices are going up anyway.
The current agricultural system is heading for a melt down. It will buckle. the land will only take so much abuse before it says 'Screw you, human race' which is why, in part, we are looking to homestead and very soon.
Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC