Our country has lost close to half of the managed bee colonies it had in the 1940s. A - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Jul 2014
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    Rutherford Co. NC
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    549

    Default Re: Our country has lost close to half of the managed bee colonies it had in the 1940

    I would have several questions about the premise of the op.

    Is there acruslky demand for USA honey enough to support more beekeepers.

    Who uses honey and how in the USA. Has much of the honey thst unless used in days gone by been replaced eolith other sweeteners.

    Instead of mom making biscuits and eggs and bacon for breakfast, people used sugar coated cereals, breakfast bars or drive in foods. Instead of drinking coffee or tea with honey while reading the morning news, they listen to those two guys and the chic on the mount drive radio program while drinking a double mocha latte.

    I think demand is a large part of it.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Clinton, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Our country has lost close to half of the managed bee colonies it had in the 1940

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cryberg View Post
    For all of you too young to remember what it was like in the 40s we had a war going on and needed everything for the war effort. That war was a real war unlike these toy wars today. We regularly killed more people in that war in one day than were killed in total in Iraq and Afghanistan. Real wars take real resources unlike toy wars. The government took over the auto manufacturers and had them building equipment for the war. Go try and buy a 1944 Chevy or Ford for example. You will find out no such car exists because the government shut down all car production. If you had a car it was of little use as you could not buy tires (rubber all went to the war effort) or buy enough gas to go anywhere as gas was rationed based on need in part and very few could show a need. Besides, walking several miles a day was normal back then. The government also rationed food such as meat and sugar. You want to eat meat? Go raise some pigeons or rabbits in your back yard. You want something sweet in your diet go get some bees and make honey. Plus, the government needed the bees wax to lubricate bullets. Most everyone also raised a big garden. They were called victory gardens. Everyone saved every drop of waste fat from cooking. The reason is the government collected that fat and turned it into nitroglycerine for the war effort. Farmers raised hogs that were totally unlike today's hogs. They were mainly fat and hardly any meat compared to today's version. You cooked a pound of bacon if you could get it and you got about enough meat to make one bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich providing you had lettuce and tomatoes from you own garden.

    The net result is the number of hives during the 1940s is a totally meaningless hunk of data. As soon as the war was over the number of hives dropped like a rock as people could buy all the sugar they wanted. It had nothing to do with people being lazy today versus then. It had to do with survival during the war when you could not buy anything.

    YEP----There were beekeeping families during that war that stayed "on the farm" at the request of the US government to produce honey rather than send their sons overseas to fight.

  4. #23
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    Aug 2011
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    Clinton, Michigan, USA
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    442

    Default Re: Our country has lost close to half of the managed bee colonies it had in the 1940

    Quote Originally Posted by rolftonbees View Post
    I would have several questions about the premise of the op.

    Is there acruslky demand for USA honey enough to support more beekeepers.

    Who uses honey and how in the USA. Has much of the honey thst unless used in days gone by been replaced eolith other sweeteners.

    Instead of mom making biscuits and eggs and bacon for breakfast, people used sugar coated cereals, breakfast bars or drive in foods. Instead of drinking coffee or tea with honey while reading the morning news, they listen to those two guys and the chic on the mount drive radio program while drinking a double mocha latte.

    I think demand is a large part of it.
    Totally agree with this too. So many changes in the time frame post world war II from the type of farming we do, type of crops, what American consumers eats and world wide production. They all impact the numbers. At some point I wouldnt be surprised that people look back and say this was the good old time time in beekeeping eventhough we have no shortage of problems. Honey prices are so much higher than 15 years ago with less Chinese imports, the demand for almond pollination has held on. Seems like many commercial outfits are bigger and there are all of these new folks wanting to be commerical beekeepers out there that really havent seen any bad times like $.65/pound honey. One of these days the roller coaster ride will shift once again as is always the case.

  5. #24
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    Apr 2009
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    Stilwell, KS
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    3,112

    Default Re: Our country has lost close to half of the managed bee colonies it had in the 1940

    Quote Originally Posted by rolftonbees View Post
    I would have several questions about the premise of the op.

    Is there acruslky demand for USA honey enough to support more beekeepers.

    Who uses honey and how in the USA. Has much of the honey thst unless used in days gone by been replaced eolith other sweeteners.
    I think the demand for raw/local/minimally processed honey is out there and is growing fast. However, the problem is tapping into the local market without over saturating it. Small boutique producers can do well up to a point, but if you have to start selling honey out of state and to wholesalers (to make a decent living), you start losing the "local" appeal. This is really good for side-liners serving local and small regional markets, but not so much for larger commercial outfits.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  6. #25
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Hampstead, NC USA
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    1,208

    Default Re: Our country has lost close to half of the managed bee colonies it had in the 1940

    I could be a total idiot and talk about the important items that have gone to total crab in the last 70 years but what good would that do?
    But really there isn't enough room on the internet to list all the things that have made this great country MUCH LESS GREAT.
    Just sayin.
    "Challenger" as in the Mopar muscle car. Not a personality description .
    Keeping bees to raise money for chordoma.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    6,585

    Default Re: Our country has lost close to half of the managed bee colonies it had in the 1940

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cryberg View Post
    For all of you too young to remember what it was like in the 40s we had a war going on and needed everything for the war effort. That war was a real war unlike these toy wars today. We regularly killed more people in that war in one day than were killed in total in Iraq and Afghanistan. Real wars take real resources unlike toy wars. The government took over the auto manufacturers and had them building equipment for the war. Go try and buy a 1944 Chevy or Ford for example. You will find out no such car exists because the government shut down all car production. If you had a car it was of little use as you could not buy tires (rubber all went to the war effort) or buy enough gas to go anywhere as gas was rationed based on need in part and very few could show a need. Besides, walking several miles a day was normal back then. The government also rationed food such as meat and sugar. You want to eat meat? Go raise some pigeons or rabbits in your back yard. You want something sweet in your diet go get some bees and make honey. Plus, the government needed the bees wax to lubricate bullets. Most everyone also raised a big garden. They were called victory gardens. Everyone saved every drop of waste fat from cooking. The reason is the government collected that fat and turned it into nitroglycerine for the war effort. Farmers raised hogs that were totally unlike today's hogs. They were mainly fat and hardly any meat compared to today's version. You cooked a pound of bacon if you could get it and you got about enough meat to make one bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich providing you had lettuce and tomatoes from you own garden.

    The net result is the number of hives during the 1940s is a totally meaningless hunk of data. As soon as the war was over the number of hives dropped like a rock as people could buy all the sugar they wanted. It had nothing to do with people being lazy today versus then. It had to do with survival during the war when you could not buy anything.
    Nice post and spot on as well. I'm most likely in this business because my uncle failed his military physical and instead, grew the bee business during the war years when sugar rationing and the resulting high honey prices made beekeeping quite profitable. He was even allowed to buy a new truck which was almost unheard of during the war.
    Managed bee hives is a statistic that says more about available forage, honey prices and pollination demand than it does about bee health. States like Iowa and Illinois used to be prime honey producing states until farming practices changed. I can personally attest to that as we used to keep bees in western Iowa until the mid 70's when it became apparent to us that there simply wasn't enough forage to make it economically feasible.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #27
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    Apr 2015
    Location
    Guam (USA)
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    26

    Default Re: Our country has lost close to half of the managed bee colonies it had in the 1940

    Interesting thread! I recently found out that one of my great-grandfathers kept bees during WWII in Holland (Netherlands). Sugar was rationed then, but the government made it available for beekeepers mixed with pepper (so that people couldn't consume it). Apparently, "Opa" tried to make some moonshine with the peppered sugar, which wasn't really drinkable ... I do remember him liking a small bottle of Jaegermeister after dinner when I was a small kid

  9. #28

    Default Re: Our country has lost close to half of the managed bee colonies it had in the 1940

    Can't blame war only for keeping many bees. In Germany there were more bees before the First World War. 1900 that was. 14 years before WWI. Sure there are mixed reasons for why. I think it all changed a lot, when farming became more and more mechanized and industrialized. Also, I see a lot of field herbs being an enormous forage possibility on farms that do not use chemicals on their property. Those old wheat fields of the past must have been a good bee field, too. With the industrialized wars came the chemicals. And after the wars, some of those chemicals were used in farming, and killing a lot of weeds and herbs and thus the constant nectar trickling into the hive. What is left here, is just some rare heavy flows and prolonged nectar dearths.

    So society changed as did the farming and thus the landscape. I can't think of keeping 100 bee hives in one spot all year long and still harvesting a good portion of honey. Yet this was the case in 1900 here.

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