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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


I just want to say here and now that I think the ONE THING that unites us as beekeepers is that we LOVE BEES and do not want to see them to suffer. This may involve prevention of suffering, remediation of suffering, or ending of suffering.

But in this, we are united. Opinions on what constitutes avoidable and unavoidable suffering will no doubt vary. Methods and techniques will vary. But the one constant is caring about honey bees, the environment, and Nature, however you conceive Her to Bee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
JPK writes:
Seems to me that Weather plays a dominant role and should be high on that list.

Also seems to me that mediocre and even not so good bees will do ok until Weather, Disease, Location etc combine to work against them.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that until you start stacking pressures against a colony you have no idea which is more resistant or tolerant to these pressures.

Ex: You live in an isolated area with no mite issues.....mite resistance is not something you would care about nor would it be a criteria for breeding.
Weather: Mark Twain wrote "everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it"

No mites: The only place I know about without mites is Australia
 

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when i look at nature, i see lots of suffering. i'm not sure that preventing the bees from suffering in this way is desirable.

deknow
 

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Why do people think that prevention or removing 'suffering' from life is a good thing?

"suffering" is the adversity in life that all creatures contend with and either adapt to, or submit to.

Nothing in life for any living creature is 'guaranteed' to be without adversity or suffering. Neither is anything guaranteed to be easy or without effort.

Bees need adversity, they use it to improve their life situation just as any living thing does. either by evolving and adapting or succumbing and removing unsuccessful responses from the future.

Suffering is a human term that implies emotion. It implies emotional pain and agony that other people feel compelled to diminish out of concern or pity.

I don't think bees need or want pity. Moreso they just need people to be facilitators instead of dictators. ( this is impacted by my opinion on people seeing themselves as 'stewards" but that's another topic)

By trying to work with bees natural activity instead of trying to bend them to our desire, they might be much better off.

just my two cents though.

Big Bear
 

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Dang Big Bear!... didnt know you were such a deep thinker....
seriously though.... that was well said... couldn't have stated it better myself.
 

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In that case, I agree.

I don't want them to die unless it's their time to die.

Big bear
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Having had bees for almost as long as I have been an adult, I have always loved the honey bee, even as she stung the whiz out of me. So, I think you guys may see where some of us are coming from when we try to "cure" them of their ailments.

I wouldn't deny my children medical treatment. Maybe that makes them weak and sickly. Frankly, I am quite sure that's not the case. The judicious use of medical information prevents disease. We all have horror stories of the downside of hospitals and all that.

My mom and both of her brothers died in hospital of "complications" at young ages.

I am certainly more ruthless with my bees than I am with my pet dog. And I do not treat my dog as a child. I have put down every dog have I owned "when the time came". I have also killed hundreds of diseased colonies working as a bee inspector.

So there's plenty of blood on my hands. I was just trying to communicate the key point: all of us here care about bees, but maybe each in her own way.
 

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peter, that post opens up a pretty big can of worms for those so interested to go fishing. lol.

Let it suffice me to say, I beleive that everything has it's own time to live and die and that I beleive every living creature has a right to live and die in the way it is compelled to do in it's own mind.

I am one who values quality of life over length. For example, my family knows that if I am brain dead (and there are arguments currently to suggest it exists already) it's time to pull the plug. If I keep breathing, so be it. if not, it was a fun ride while it lasted.

I do not suppose that bees and other creatures have similar thinking or concept of death and issues like quality of life vs length, etc.. but I do know that wherever possible, I will not interfere in a 'natural' life process of any other living creature.

I also beleive that some so called 'medicines" we force on ourselves and our family members are not making us better or more healthful and have been known to say no to a so called 'medicine' if I was not convinced it was the right thing to do.

I very seriously subscribe to the idea that just because we "can" do something, does not mean that we should do it.

anyway, I grow long winded and I am sure I will be called out for being a heretic or a bane to humanity. so I shall end my opinionating here.

Enjoy your bees.

Big Bear
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Lest anyone suppose I am not interesting in the whole breeding for resistance theme, let me tell you that there are two papers coming up that I will report on as soon as they are released!

Forthcoming in Apidologie (date refers to accepted, not yet released)

Breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in Europe
R. Büchler, S. Berg, Y. le Conte
30/01/2010


Breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in North America
T. Rinderer, J. Harris, G. Hunt, L. de Guzman
30/01/2010
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will be called out for being a heretic or a bane to humanity. so I shall end my opinionating here.
No, no, no. I started this thread for discussion of exactly this. What does it mean to love a thing? We all know about loving something to death, and we all know about letting a loved one go. When all the debate and shouting dies down, we may realize we are actually talking about the same things all along.

We all understand making hard choices. I find it mildly amusing that a lot of the new generation is so keen on letting bees die, while we old timers have grown pretty tired of losing them. Oh, and by the way, losing bees is not a new thing, I have a clip from Greek Mythology on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is new

The presence of thymol or resveratrol in syrup caused nosema-infected bees to live significantly longer than control bees or bees fed with treated candies. In the case of thymol, higher survival might be related to the lower spore load, whereas in the case of resveratrol (where spore loads were not different from control bees), higher survival might be explained by specific life-prolonging antioxidant properties of this substance.
from:
Effect of thymol and resveratrol administered with candy or syrup on the development of Nosema ceranae (Apis mellifera) artificially infected honey bees Cecilia Costa, Marco Lodesani, Lara Maistrello
 

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Peter, your Valentine to bees seemed like an odd coincidence as I had recently started taking a casual look at the role of the honey bee in religion and mythology and learned that one of the many Patron Saints of bees and beekeepers is Saint Valentine.

To your list of things that matter most to bees, I'd add the blessings of one of the Bee Gods or Goddesses, Saints etc.

Wayne
 

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I worked with an 'older generation' honey producer who kept bees for only God knows how long, recently retired, sold the farm and moved to Arizona last year. He is in his late 70's

he and I happen to agree on "live and let die".

One can 'love' life and have respect for life and that is a fine thing. admirable really.

I happen to have as much respect for death as a part of the life cycle as well.

Big Bear
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Right, I think we practically agree. Just so happens my wife is a professional gardner and she won't spray anything. If a particular plant doesn't do well, she replaces it with another.

Plus, as a closet Buddhist, I realize that life is suffering, and there is nothing anyone can do about that. However, I also believe that my role in life is to alleviate suffering where possible.

ps: ignorance and suffering are inextricably linked
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Reply to Wayne

Aristaeus the shepherd, quitting Tempe by the Peneus, when -- so runs the tale -- his bees were lost through sickness and hunger, sorrowfully stopped beside the sacred fount at the stream’s head, and with much complaint called on his mother thus :

O mother, mother Cyrene, who dwell in this flood’s depths, why, from the gods’ glorious line -- if indeed, as you say, Thymbraean Apollo is my father -- did you give me birth, to be hated of the fates? Or whither is your love for me banished? Why did you bid me hope for Heaven?

Lo, even this very crown of my mortal life, which the skilful tending of crops and cattle had scarce wrought out for me for all my endeavour -- though you are my mother, I resign.

Come, and with your own hand tear up my fruitful woods; put hostile flame to my stalls, destroy my crops, burn my seedlings, and swing the stout axe against my vines, if such loathing for my honour has seized you.

* * *

Some say that unto bees a share is given
Of the Divine Intelligence, and to drink
Pure draughts of ether; for God permeates all-
Earth, and wide ocean, and the vault of heaven-

From whom flocks, herds, men, beasts of every kind,
Draw each at birth the fine essential flame;
Yea, and that all things hence to Him return

-- Virgil, "Georgics"


> Aristaeus is one of the most beneficent divinities in ancient mythology: he was worshipped as the protector of flocks and shepherds, of vine and olive plantations ; he taught men to hunt and keep bees.

 

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hmmm, from a buddhist viewpoint, are you able to make a distinction between the lives of the bees in a hive, and the lives of the mites that are on the bees, or the nosema cultures in the bees gut?

do you somehow justify that the bees are more important?

deknow
 

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I concurr w/ peter's op on this thread and thank him for adding some art to this forum. Where did you find that Valentines Day Card? I'd love to have a copy to give to my Queen.
 

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Peter, your Valentine to bees seemed like an odd coincidence as I had recently started taking a casual look at the role of the honey bee in religion and mythology and learned that one of the many Patron Saints of bees and beekeepers is Saint Valentine.

To your list of things that matter most to bees, I'd add the blessings of one of the Bee Gods or Goddesses, Saints etc.

Wayne
What about broadening your scope to stamps and money? There are many examples of stamps, coins and paper monies w/ images of bees and or hives on them. I have a piece of currency that was issued by the Continental Congress w/ a bee shed w/ two skeps in it. And a number of coins also.
 
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