news article about the adees losing bees again
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  1. #1
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    Default news article about the adees losing bees again

    https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt...2Z2PqtaZ2fVG-A

    the question I have is this a repeat article for 2016, I went and looked up last time they lost a lot of hives, this time it says varroa, last time it said neonics?? this is the only place so far reporting this.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    so I go looking for more information and run across this
    South Dakota, where Adee Honey Farms is based, reported about 250,000 acres of dicamba-injured soybeans since 2017. The Adees typically manage 80,000 to 90,000 hives, “but our numbers have been so destroyed the last couple of years, we’ve started using other people’s bees,” Adee said.
    But in three decades of running bees to California, he said he’s never had so many beekeepers tell him they’ve come up short. Coy and several other beekeepers who typically send him as many as 10 truckloads of bees are sending half that this season.

    “It’s going to be a train wreck come the 5th of February, when the bloom starts,” according to Johnston.
    https://www.wired.com/story/pesticid...-possible-way/

    two different reporters, two different causes??
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    I sure feel sorry for Bret and everyone else suffering from the losses. The rains here that fell right during the beginning of the bloom did not help any - it will be a rough year for the almond growers in the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley. As of the day before yesterday, Sunday Feb. 17th, this week is bright and sunny, hopefully for at least a week. Many of the trees were beginning to bloom on the 11th of February around Paso Robles, where mostly only older, neglected trees remain from the former "Almond Capital of the World" nearly 100 years ago. The soil here is not ideal for almonds, and thus the area has converted en mass to grapes.

    Keeping the mites in check all year is very serious business. If you detect ANY mites, go ahead and torture them. The mites, not the bees. If your bees are not fully armed genetically for mite combat, an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) treatment program is recommended. Read several of Randy Oliver's articles in www.scientificbeekeeping.com regarding IPM.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    I was disappointed with this article. It did not ask for evidence of why they failed, just a bunch of speculation. with 50,000 failed there should be plenty of evidence for a hive necropsy/autopsy to breakdown the cause of hive failure. seems like just another all the bees are dying and we don't know why article from last decade .

    Alex Madsen

  6. #5
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    The link made was that an earlier than normal spring induced earlier than normal varroa buildup which cascaded into winter failure. IMO, this is a good case for using highly mite resistant queens.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  7. #6
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    I didn't see any reference to varroa?

    In the past he has always blamed pesticide.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  8. #7
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I didn't see any reference to varroa?

    In the past he has always blamed pesticide.
    in the npr article
    A tiny parasite called the varroa mite sucks at the bee's body, causing big problems.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  9. #8
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    Thanks Wildbranch. There should be a like button or something.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  10. #9
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    this is a good case for using highly mite resistant queens.
    Good point. IMO vsh, mite maulers, russians, grooming, and any other mite resistant trait - none of these are silver bullets that allows the beekeeper to ignore mites. But they are a useful tool that helps. It may help with delaying treatment after the flow, or it may reduce the number of treatments needed per year.

  11. #10

    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    A friend talking to the Adee's had said their queens are not making it a year being a contributor to the problem. Hearsay but possibly true.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    Can a commercial beekeeper comment on if managing 100,000 colonies with 35 employees is feasible. That's about 3,000 colonies per person and that's assuming they're all beekeepers. Seems like a lot?

  13. #12

    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    We do 80 to 100 a day 5 days a week so every 10 days 800 to 1000 or so per man. But that being said they haul their own boxes, make the splits, do the feeding, mite testing and treating. Everything but pulling the honey where we hire young strong men and make a crew to do that. Winter they make woodenware and do repairs, etc. I think it was Kelvin told a few of us in Louisiana they had around 80 employees and maybe 20 or so more that come in from Nicarauga each year. They for sure are not getting it all done with 35.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    Quote Originally Posted by jwcarlson View Post
    Can a commercial beekeeper comment on if managing 100,000 colonies with 35 employees is feasible. That's about 3,000 colonies per person and that's assuming they're all beekeepers. Seems like a lot?
    If it takes an average of 5 minutes to inspect 1 hive, it would take 250 hours to inspect 3000 hives. If each beekeeper / worker works 40 hours per week, that would be 1 inspection per hive every 6 weeks. How you would ever have time to feed, medicate, move hives, and pull honey supers is beyond me. It may take less than 5 minutes for a real professional but when you add in traveling from yard to yard, bathroom breaks, and other time spent, the total time is probably more than 5 minutes per hive. I cannot see ho those numbers would work.

  15. #14

    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    It doesn't take even close to five minutes per hive to inspect.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    It doesn't take even close to five minutes per hive to inspect.
    The post specifically mentions feed, medicate, move hives, and pull honey. I can inspect a colony in winter configuration in about 3 minutes sufficiently to know if queenright, preparing to swarm, etc. I can't requeen in less than 10 minutes and other manipulations certainly take more time than an inspection. A couple of years ago we discussed a beekeeper who is managing 2000 hives by himself except for seasonal help during honey harvest. He is heavily mechanized which significantly leverages his abilities. I suspect 3000 colonies per person would exceed capabilities unless a lot of seasonal help is available.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  17. #16

    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    I know everyone does it different. Grandpa would watch the front door and if pollen was coming in and he lost track of the number of bees in 10 seconds he lifted the lid to check for room and to verify the population and moved on. We kind of do the same thing. When more looking is required we check for eggs, look for one emerging brood to check health and were gone. We try to always have queens in the truck. No eggs and we pop one in setting a rock on top to note it. Pretty fast. Our guys could do more hives than they do but a day needed off would throw them behind. We are all getting older so I'm not trying to shorten their days. They have easy winters and tough springs. It equals out.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    Bottom line if he runs 3,000 hives a man, i would be expecting losses.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  19. #18

    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    For sure Oldtimer. Plus employee retention would be impossible.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    The worst case I have been personally involved in was a job i had when I was a young guy and 2 of us had to run 2,700 hives. It was a nightmare as far as giving each hive excellent care, but it's only 1/2 as many hives per man as Adee.


    Something i did learn from that job was a thing called false economy. The boss rarely worked bees, but me being in the field i could see the lost potential when things went wrong with a hive or hives, my view was if the boss hired another guy, the wages would have been more than recouped in greater production.

    If Adee has average annual losses of 20,000 hives, lets say he gets a good deal on bees and can re stock them for $100 each, that 2 million dollars.

    Let's say instead that money was spent on extra workers at $15 an hour, he could have an extra 133,000 man hours working his bees.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  21. #20
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    Default Re: news article about the adees losing bees again

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    The worst case I have been personally involved in was a job i had when I was a young guy and 2 of us had to run 2,700 hives. It was a nightmare as far as giving each hive excellent care, but it's only 1/2 as many hives per man as Adee.


    Something i did learn from that job was a thing called false economy. The boss rarely worked bees, but me being in the field i could see the lost potential when things went wrong with a hive or hives, my view was if the boss hired another guy, the wages would have been more than recouped in greater production.

    If Adee has average annual losses of 20,000 hives, lets say he gets a good deal on bees and can re stock them for $100 each, that 2 million dollars.

    Let's say instead that money was spent on extra workers at $15 an hour, he could have an extra 133,000 man hours working his bees.
    What the heck do I know about an operation that size but
    Don't think there would be much trouble shaking/splitting the 80k remaining colonies to make up for the 20k colony loss, so more like the cost of
    queen cells if bought in. Agree that the
    3k hives per man seems like spreading it too thin to me, even 1/2 that much per and something's got to give- maybe the upper limit of a viable bee business is reached with this model and it's unsustainable and everything gives under present day stressors.
    That's a lot of bees.

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