Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.
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  1. #1
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    Default Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49406369
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49406369
    LJ
    This may actually affect availability of Brazilian honey in the US (and prices).
    When I had no bees and used to buy organic honey - it was mostly all from Brazil.
    Economically speaking, maybe good for the US beekeepers.
    But the impact on Brazilian ecology is terrible - the pesticides.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    This may actually affect availability of Brazilian honey in the US (and prices).
    When I had no bees and used to buy organic honey - it was mostly all from Brazil.
    Economically speaking, maybe good for the US beekeepers.
    But the impact on Brazilian ecology is terrible - the pesticides.
    Is my math wrong or is that something in the neighborhood of 8,000 to 10,000 hives, in three months, for a whole country? We lose almost a million hives a year. If you want to grab headlines, they would read: "U.S. loses 40 to 60 trillion bees last year"

    The U.S. loses between 3 to 5 trillion bees a month. And that is due to colony loss, not natural attrition of an insect with a very short life-span.

    I really don't know if this is a significant number or not. This could be just a few large bee farmers who got poisoned in Brazil. It would be nice if the article had put in some way to contrast against the entire amount of managed bee colonies in Brazil. 500 million bees could be a lot. Or it could be almost insignificant.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    Is my math wrong or is that something in the neighborhood of 8,000 to 10,000 hives, in three months, for a whole country? We lose almost a million hives a year. If you want to grab headlines, they would read: "U.S. loses 40 to 60 trillion bees last year"

    The U.S. loses between 3 to 5 trillion bees a month. And that is due to colony loss, not natural attrition of an insect with a very short life-span.

    I really don't know if this is a significant number or not. This could be just a few large bee farmers who got poisoned in Brazil. It would be nice if the article had put in some way to contrast against the entire amount of managed bee colonies in Brazil. 500 million bees could be a lot. Or it could be almost insignificant.
    were do those numbers come from?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    This may actually affect availability of Brazilian honey in the US (and prices).
    When I had no bees and used to buy organic honey - it was mostly all from Brazil.
    Economically speaking, maybe good for the US beekeepers.
    But the impact on Brazilian ecology is terrible - the pesticides.
    Don't worry, the Chinese will take up the slack, somehow.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by dddillon View Post
    were do those numbers come from?
    I was estimating between 40,000 to 60,000 bees per colony? 500,000,000 / 50,000 = 10,000 colonies. Those would be strong colonies so, if you take it to 30,000 bees/colony you would be looking at about 17,000 colonies. We have single operations in the US with >40,000 colonies.

    If we have roughly 2.3 million managed colonies in the US and we lose 40% per year (Bee Informed Partnership), that is 920,000 colonies lost annually.

    Math is not my strong suit, so I could be off.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    Don't worry, the Chinese will take up the slack, somehow.

    Alex
    I suppose Chinese will repackage the honey in Brazilian warehouses and sell in the US as "organic honey".
    Just another reason I have my own bees now days and glad doing it.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    Is my math wrong or is that something in the neighborhood of 8,000 to 10,000 hives, in three months, for a whole country? We lose almost a million hives a year. If you want to grab headlines, they would read: "U.S. loses 40 to 60 trillion bees last year"

    The U.S. loses between 3 to 5 trillion bees a month. And that is due to colony loss, not natural attrition of an insect with a very short life-span.

    I really don't know if this is a significant number or not. This could be just a few large bee farmers who got poisoned in Brazil. It would be nice if the article had put in some way to contrast against the entire amount of managed bee colonies in Brazil. 500 million bees could be a lot. Or it could be almost insignificant.
    If we have roughly 2.3 million managed colonies in the US and we lose 40% per year (Bee Informed Partnership), that is 920,000 colonies lost annually.
    I can't make up my mind what to make of your replies. Rather than commiserate with Brazil's misfortunes, you instead quote your own country's losses for comparison - but rather than perceiving those numbers as being a serious cause for concern, you appear to be viewing them as some kind of standard against which other country's losses ought then to be judged. I find that mode of thinking really quite extraordinary.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    I can't make up my mind what to make of your replies. Rather than commiserate with Brazil's misfortunes, you instead quote your own country's losses for comparison - but rather than perceiving those numbers as being a serious cause for concern, you appear to be viewing them as some kind of standard against which other country's losses ought then to be judged. I find that mode of thinking really quite extraordinary.
    LJ
    Then you misunderstand the thinking. I don't know how many managed hives are kept in Brazil. Wouldn't one need to have a basic understanding of this number in order to determine whether 500 million bees is significant? Thus my conclusion, that it could be a lot of bees, or it could be insignificant.

    The truth is I have a suspicion behind the reporting. First, it sources Greenpeace. I like Greenpeace. Have a good friend that is an attorney for Greenpeace. But Greenpeace is not an unbiased organization. It has an agenda -- one that I support BTW. Second, why report bee deaths by individual deaths of individual bees? Who does that? Who counted them? Nobody counted them. But the number 500,000,000 does grab attention much more than 8,000 colonies - which is something that could be, and probably was, counted. Then extrapolated for dramatic effect (my opinion).

    If there are only 100,000 managed hives in Brazil, then this would represent 10% of Brazil's managed hives. Significant.

    If there are 1,000,000 managed hives in Brazil, then this would represent 1% of Brazil's managed hives. Not as significant.

    So is this a real problem, as the author seems to suggest, or a relative insignificant event? Unfortunately the article is short on substance to allow us to make that determination. Which is what I expressed in my post.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Psm1212,
    I understand what you are saying. A few days ago someone asked me how many bees I have. I said, "about a million." They looked at me as though I was lying. Then I laughed, clapped them on the shoulder and said, "No, I'm just kidding, I have 26 colonies of various sizes." To them, that was not such an outlandish claim.


    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    Psm1212,
    I understand what you are saying. A few days ago someone asked me how many bees I have. I said, "about a million." They looked at me as though I was lying. Then I laughed, clapped them on the shoulder and said, "No, I'm just kidding, I have 26 colonies of various sizes." To them, that was not such an outlandish claim.


    Alex
    And yet a million bees is probably pretty accurate. I tell folks the same thing, about a million.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    With the greatest respect - you guys are missing a key point. The story is NOT about the 500 million - that's just a journalist's way of creating an attention-catching headline. The story is based around Brazil lifting it's pesticide regulations and so stockpiles of pesticides banned in other countries can now find a ready market.

    Even if we play the 'colony-numbers game' and reduce 500 million to 8,000 or 10,000 colonies, I find it beggars belief to talk of such losses in terms of whether these are 'significant' or not.

    In Britain, to lose even one thousand colonies would be seen as a major incident, worthy of questions being asked in Parliament - and perhaps there lies the answer to our different perceptions. The number of colony losses in the US would be seen by us as being nothing short of apocalyptic, but you guys appear to have become so conditioned to such year-on-year losses that you now view these as being 'normal', and evaluate them in terms of significance by measuring losses in terms of percentages. No other branch of agriculture would tolerate annual losses of 40% of it's stock.

    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Brazil: 500 million bees die in 3 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    With the greatest respect - you guys are missing a key point. The story is NOT about the 500 million - .... The story is based around Brazil lifting it's pesticide regulations and so stockpiles of pesticides banned in other countries can now find a ready market..........

    LJ
    Brazil is generally a mess now that they too have a "populist", pro-business elected leader.
    They are going to burn and poison all the can, so few locals down there can get rich quickly.
    Nothing new.

    The Amazon is burning because the world eats so much meat.
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/23/ameri...ntl/index.html

    It's an idea that Finland has already floated. On Friday, the Nordic country's finance minister called for the European Union to "urgently review the possibility of banning Brazilian beef imports" over the Amazon fires.
    Not just meat, "organic" honey from Brazil needs to be banned too.
    Need some tariffs on Brazil maybe, along with China.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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