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  1. #1
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    Default Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    I was debating on where to put this thread. I decided commercial beekeeping was appropriate because we probably have more Beekeepers paying their bills by keeping bees on this forum. I'm certainly not qualified to respond to the following question, but you folks are.
    In your opinion, what are the challenges bees and Beekeepers face in the next fifty years or so? Is it policy, pests, decline in Beekeepers, loss of forage availability, other things I haven't mentioned?
    You folks have been doing it long enough to know ins and outs of the business. What do you see coming down the pipe?
    In order to not be totally cynical, what are the positive changes that you see occurring in the future?
    Like I said, this is opinionated. I'm not asking for a fortune teller. I would just like to hear some experienced gurus give their spin on the state of things to come.
    Thanks.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    Here you go TR


    When you get as old as i am you can say the future I see is a already here. To many bees on way to few acres of decent forage. Gonna get worse. With the huge demand for bees in crops like the almonds the "rest of the year" parking space is becoming harder and harder to acquire. The word honey may become synonymous with a "sweet liquid" in the general vernacular as the real stuff will become a product only the few rich can afford. Already trending that way. In the US there may come a day when one has to be "registered and liscenced" to be a beekeeper as the trend to more regulation and less freedom evolves. Use of Drones (uav's) to do cursory inspections of large number of yards? Just a few of my predictions....... none of which I really like.

  3. #3
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    Rutherfordton nc
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    a hope or miracle for beekeeping would be huge increase in bio diesel and a huge price increase in weed killer.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    I'm speaking from my vantage point, here on the Canadian plains. 50 years from now, lets pretend the boarder opens to package bees and a few hundred thousand packages go north every spring.
    The country side up here will be full of bees, every Tom Dick and Harry will get into bees and the land scape will be FULL of hives. More smaller operations along with larger existing operations.
    Ten years of the open boarder policy , and guys up here will want an open boarder policy to comb to be able to take part in the yearly migration of bees to pollination and then down south to winter. This will also allow US operations to slide hives northward but likely under contract with Canadian producers because of immigration hurdles. Our open and bountiful landscape that will have already filled up with package hives will also see pressure from US hives screaming for a place to put their hives and we will loose the only advantage we have, surplus honey as we know it. Anyone who beekeeps up here knows what surplus means.
    Yards will fall under registration and bureaucracy will manage our growth.

    OR

    The boarder remains closed, beekeepers continue to adopt their hive replacement strategies and we sail along exactly as we are now enjoying the freedom of space .

    I hope the future holds the second prediction to be true

  5. #5
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    groveton tx
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    We could make Canada like North Dakota!!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    Fifty years from now our challenges will be somewhat different. Honey prices will be higher, but so will the cost of living. Varroa mites won't be as much a problem as now. Forage will be harder to find, because of the increase in human population. The borders w/ Canada and Mexico will be open so beekeepers can travel to places where pollination is needed.

    Instead of importing 40% of our food we will import 60%.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    Quote Originally Posted by babybee View Post
    We could make Canada like North Dakota!!!
    Yup

  8. #8
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Instead of importing 40% of our food we will import 60%.
    And how will you be paying for it?

    In view of the current trend in financial deficit?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    I won't, I will be dead.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    And how will you be paying for it?

    In view of the current trend in financial deficit?
    The people pay for it , of course...

    But seriously, in 50 years the US will have a lot of people. People equil power, especially when those people generate as much wealth as they do.

    Canada's focus, is to feed that friendly giant!

  11. #11
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    Honey 4 all wrote:

    the real stuff will become a product only the few rich can afford

    I agree, we will then only cater to the carriage trade.

    The bigger question is what will ICE do? If they can stop the Funny Honey, the pressure on forage will get worse, and the price of real honey higher.

    I see a greater spread between pollination and honey production(with the exclusion of almonds), meaning fewer doing both.

    I see the demise of the hobbiest, after they get CCD, and they realize how much work it is to keep bees alive. This is just a fad.

    Only commercial beekeepers will be treatment free. The cost of decontamination equipment will force out the hobbiests.

    I see an opportunity for a honey producer to educate the public on what real honey is, and make a fortune. Unfortunately, that is above the abilities of most beekeepers(myself included), but if they teamed with a person of charisma and notoriety, it would be quite possible. Want a clue? Watch the Blake Sheldon "Honey Bee" video.

    Sound Crazy?

    Crazy Roland
    Last edited by Roland; 01-19-2014 at 10:56 AM. Reason: additional clue

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    >I won't, I will be dead.

    Pretty likely for many of us 50 years from now... So I guess it won't be my problem anymore...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    More complications seem to be the consensus here......hmm
    And Roland, I do see what you're saying...... I play music and perform every now and then.....HMMM
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    I don't know if there will be any more complications than today, just different complications.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    I was thinking the price of fuel could have been a major. But now with fracking and other new techniques I've been told the US is feeling fairly secure about oil supplies for the next 100 years. So that will see all of us out before the day of reckoning, I guess. It's also another century that we will have the ability to continue plundering pillaging and poisoning the planet while at the same time increasing the human population to massive numbers, more mouths to feed when the finite oil supplies are eventually exhausted and we have to use horses and carts. If bees can survive to this point, they will then perhaps return to a more natural state as human population crashes and the planet slowly starts to detoxify. Few animal species though will have come through all this unscathed and be able to make it back to a similar existence to what they had before the industrial revolution.
    Last edited by JohnK and Sheri; 01-21-2014 at 03:21 PM. Reason: off topic
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    The topic is "Beekeeping in 50 years", lets keep on that track, please.
    Sheri

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    Just got back from a bio security beekeeping workshop.

    at the end I was talking to my extensions apiarist. Our association is setting up the facility to be able to test bees for pathogens down to the viruses infected in them. They are going to take in pollen samples for nutritional samples and pesticide levels within.

    So in the next 50 years, Id say in the next 2 - 5 years we are going to be able to sample and analyse bee and pollen samples to help diagnose disease levels, measure disease pressures and help correlate treatment thresholds according to interacting disease levels, and pesticide levels. We are going to be able to target bee diets throughout the years by measuring incoming food and supplementing the hives according to the bees nutritional needs.

    ...hope all that made sense. We are talking short term on this stuff. Im thinking beekeepers around the California pollination business already do all this and if so Im geared to play catch up!!

    Im thinking by knowing what is going on in the hive, and whats coming into the hive, and how all this STUFF interacts between eachother is essential in keeping our hives alive in this kind of chemical environment
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    Speaking about knowing what's going on in the hive Jerry Bromenshenk in Missoula, Montana has a tool that one can use to determine a number of things from queenlessness to variety of queen to diseases simply by sticking a probe in the hive and taking an audio reading. The unit is a bit expensive to be practical for common use, but as time goes by that will change.

    I can see something like this making Apiary Inspection quick and easy for Beekeepers and State Authorities, in the future.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    That's awesome. I always figured I'd invent something that would do that to help diagnosis hive queen problems without slugging through the nests.

    Is it going to take 50 years to bring that cost down ?

  20. #20
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Beekeeping 50 Years From Now: Projections From Beekeeping Pros

    Hope not. He had a couple at our State Association Meeting last November.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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