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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Big dawg, do you recall the reasoning the numbers changed from the previous year?? I sure do.... no spring, straight to summer longer breeding for mites, caused a higher might load than I have ever seen in sept...... the mites had an extra 2 months to multiply going into winter. and one of the longest latest springs we have seen around here. pretty much the story everywhere.

    Ask this question, if you think we have a bee crisis, how many people that want bees don't have them?? the answer there is about zero.... if you want them, they are easy to come by for anybody....... hardly a shortage when the supply is there.

  2. #22
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    Mar 2013
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    eolia, lincoln county, mo.
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Dawgl interesting study. Thanks for the link, just remember you can twist those numbers anyway you want and on top of that they're government numbers.

  3. #23
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    Apr 2012
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    Ka'u Hawaii
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    169

    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    "While it is true that the number of colonies has stayed roughly the same over the past 15 years since neonics came into vogue, it's also true that honey yields are at near record lows."

    Perhaps this is because so many have discovered that the easy money is in the ever expanding almond pollination in California, while the revenue per pollinating hive is way high also.

  4. #24
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Big dawg, do you recall the reasoning the numbers changed from the previous year?? I sure do.... no spring, straight to summer longer breeding for mites, caused a higher might load than I have ever seen in sept...... the mites had an extra 2 months to multiply going into winter. and one of the longest latest springs we have seen around here. pretty much the story everywhere.

    Ask this question, if you think we have a bee crisis, how many people that want bees don't have them?? the answer there is about zero.... if you want them, they are easy to come by for anybody....... hardly a shortage when the supply is there.
    Not true. I sold two hives last spring. Both to people more than three hours away. both claimed they could not find bees otherwise.

    It is common advice for people to order their bees early or they may not get them.

    This past winter there was a shortage of colonies for almonds in California many contracts where not filled or shorted to get colonies spread around enough. Few groves got the number of colonies they wanted.

    What bees are available are only available by direct and intense effort. entire businesses are based upon producing bees alone. Replacement is not increase. drastic losses do not result in increase even if the number of hives are greater. it is called compensation. keeping more hives in anticipation of the increased losses expected. that is not increase. and it is anything but an indication that the situation with bees is getting better.

    If you visited someone in December and found a decorated tree in their house. then returned a year later and still saw a tree in their house. you might be lead to believe they always have a tree in their house. Or you can apply a bit of common knowledge and see the truth.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    The availability of one or two hives hardly speaks to the nationwide bee supply. Check the classifieds in the ABJ during the winter months where whole truck loads of bees are being offered for sale coming out of the almonds. For those in the western US there are opportunities galore for buying large numbers of hives in March at pretty fair prices, yet finding someone who wants to mess around with reselling just a couple of hives may well be a bit difficult.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  6. #26
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    Sep 2009
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    On the east coast this spring bees were in short supply. this was mainly due to the weather and the failure of package producers to supply the bees already contracted for. I could have sold many more than the 200 nucs I sold this spring. But that does not mean there is a bee shortage. It just means the supply was bottle-necked on the east coast.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    On the east coast this spring bees were in short supply. this was mainly due to the weather and the failure of package producers to supply the bees already contracted for. I could have sold many more than the 200 nucs I sold this spring. But that does not mean there is a bee shortage. It just means the supply was bottle-necked on the east coast.
    Agreed. A coast to coast move is both expensive and stressful on the bees and moving packages coast to coast is even worse.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #28
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Jim, you are the one that set the number at Zero. two is infinitely greater than zero. The danger of using absolutes. Also the shortage of thousand of colonies for almonds constitutes far greater than my two hives. But again you said zero. I know for a fact that is wrong by at least two hives.

    The article linked to itself admits that the beekeeper has compensated for the problem. not that a problem does not exist. with the current production of colonies why is the count not 15 million hives. if you look at the graph in fact colony numbers have fallen. that the writer wants to say that is not a decrease does not change the fact it is a decrease. Place that graph next to one showing colonies produced. I believe you will find that even though colony production has increased, actually colonies have decreased. so there is a loss masked in the fact that hives are being replaced. that they where lost in the first place is the problem. The article mentions that less than one third of beekeeper where capable of making the adjustment. and says it like that is a good thing. approx 3.25 million colonies in 1990 and barely over 2.5 million now. During that same period the demand for bees in California was born. that demand last I heard was 1.8 million colonies per year. meaning that only 700,000 hives fill the roll of over 3 million in 1990. the rest exist to serve California Almonds. Most likely where produced to do so and are disposed of when they are finished. So I am seeing the possibility that the true numbers are a decline from 3.25 million to 0.7 million. And that does not factor in the losses that are replaced issue. If I did it probably means there is a loss more like 15 million colonies.

    So take every hive produced since 1990 and count how many are left now. that gives you the number of hives lost. And that is really the only honest way to count it. That would be dead obvious to anyone keeping bees and measuring if they are succeeding or failing. They would call growth growth. they would call keeping up keeping up and they would cal loosing loosing. This article calls loosing no problem.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Not true. I sold two hives last spring. Both to people more than three hours away. both claimed they could not find bees otherwise.
    this is your quote not mine Daniel. My response is that it dosent speak to the nationwide supply of bees. It's a big picture and someone's inability to find two hives when they want is hardly relevant
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #30
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    Camas, WA
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Back in the mid 1980's when I was first getting packages, you had to order early or they were sold out. At least through our suppliers around here. Then queens were sold out until mid-May usually.
    Bruce

  11. #31
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    > .. hardly a shortage when the supply is there.

    In response to the above, DY wrote:
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Not true. I sold two hives last spring. Both to people more than three hours away. both claimed they could not find bees otherwise.
    This transaction is evidence that the demand for bees was fulfilled! The customer was looking for bees, found them, purchased same.

    Why would anyone think this is evidence of a bee shortage?
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  12. #32
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    At what point should we say that there is a 'beepocalypse'?

    Although overwinter losses are at about 30%, how far away are we from a crossover point where losses exceed increases to such an extent, that there's no way to meet demand?

    Or, just as bad, at what overwinter loss rate is beekeeping no longer profitable?

    I'm sure that those of you who do know your own margins have a ballpark loss rate in mind that would qualify as the beepocalypse.

    Is it 35%? 40% maybe?

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    I went back to crunch some numbers. the only accounts fo the period from 2006 to 20012 or 6 years. looking at the graph the average number of hives per year during that period is 2.5 million. You can find source after source that readily admits that 30% of all colonies are lost per year on average. that means of 2.5 million hives 825,000 are lost every year. That is nearly half of all hives being sent to California. 825,000 times 6 is 4,950,000 hives add that to the 2.5 million that where started with in 2006 and you have 7,450,000 hives. Way do we only have 2,500,000 in 2012? Nearly 5 million hives produced to hold even at 2.5 million hives that survive. and yet this can be claimed to not be a problem? And that is only counting 6 of the 22 years included in the chart. Worse is that for whatever reason and I have my suspicions what they are. this is actually listened to by the very people sustaining the losses. 30% losses are not bad. be grateful it is not 50%. It is not a crisis unless you lost everything with no hope of ever getting it back. That is a great plan.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    > .. hardly a shortage when the supply is there.

    In response to the above, DY wrote:


    This transaction is evidence that the demand for bees was fulfilled! The customer was looking for bees, found them, purchased same.

    Why would anyone think this is evidence of a bee shortage?


    Because they said there was a shortage. I do not believe I filled the demand for every person that did not find hives.

    I did not include this in my previous post. but at least one of them did not in fact get all the hives they had set out to get due to the increased cost in due to travel to get them. so no the demand even to the two I sold to was not fullfilled. But that is due to issues that go deeper than I think an internet forum is appropriate for. It complicates the discussion and only leaves fodder for the disruptive to chew on. not that they will not imagine such reason all on their own. I could simply say that I know for a fact from personal experience that the demand for hives was not met. and just leave it at that. I think it ludicrous to claim otherwise. I think it is ludicrous to claim there is not a crisis with loss of bees. It actually shocks me that such a comment will be given this much creditability in these forums.

    Do beekeepers really think that loosing one third of their hives per year is not a problem? I increased by 400% since last January and I consider that low of an increases a problem. Had I been beer prepared it would have been easily twice that. As it turns out I have need for twice that. again the demand not met.

    You make up your mind about what a problem is. All that does is allows me to judge how valuable your opinion is.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  15. #35
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Danial, as Jim mentioned poor customers does not highlight a shortage, nor does a bottelneck due to weather. Reality is bees take a little to produce, but if you place your order you will get bees, period. Shortage in almonds is not a shortage of bees. Its a problem with contractors not paying the right price. Peroid. raise it to a price its worthwhile, and bees come out of the woodware ....... Right now with trucking high poor relases from yards and the effort it takes to get bees ready that early, beeks are saying 150 a hive is not worth it.......
    Has nothing to do with them not avalible......

  16. #36
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    At what point should we say that there is a 'beepocalypse'?

    Although overwinter losses are at about 30%, how far away are we from a crossover point where losses exceed increases to such an extent, that there's no way to meet demand?
    I have no idea what the definition of a beepocalypse is. Its hardly scientific and seems mostly a clever description wouldnt you say WLC? Clearly there was a shortfall in the almonds this year and that is one yardstick, though it is, historically, a new one without much of a history to compare. Beyond almonds, though, there is somewhat of a competition for other pollination contracts. The point I am trying to make and which is getting laughably twisted is that the bee market is a pretty large and diverse one with spot shortages and surpluses being the norm for as many years as I can remember. If someone had shown up in one of our Texas yards this spring with a pickup load of foundation I would have traded them even up for brood just to give the bees a little room, yet I would hardly enter that as evidence of a nationwide bee surplus.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Jim:

    At what %age overwinter colony loss rate would you estimate that your own operation wouldn't be profitable?

    I'm trying to see how far away the hypothetical collapse of U.S. beekeeping might be.

  18. #38
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    Mar 2010
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    640

    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    Jim

    Remind me next spring to assemble a couple thousand frames of rite cell and pay you a visit..
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  19. #39
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    May 2009
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    Flora,IL
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    another factor to figure in here, that 2.5 million number is not right... I am thinking there are a lot of hives (not counting wild) they know nothing about... why? because for the last 4 years over 750K packages have been sold... (yes I track the numbers) with 30% die off, and the fact only about 1/2 are replaced with packages, (the other half done with splits and nucs) that puts the real number closer to 4.5 million hives.

  20. #40
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Everyone calm down, there is no “bee-pocalypse”

    I know of several beekeepers who did not go to almonds this year from the east coast for various reasons, so the lack of hives is not really from a shortage of bees. Several had gone before.

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