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Crisis Situation for Canadian Commercial Beekeepers.

14813 Views 219 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  Cloverdale
Just fininshed watching latest vid. by Ian Stettler Canadian beekeeper, chairman of the organization regarding the crisis situation in their industry. I had not realized how serious it was. Two videos are below.

Edit; (I thought I was just posting the link)

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Just fininshed watching latest vid. by Ian Stettler Canadian beekeeper, chairman of the organization regarding the crisis situation in their industry. I had not realized how serious it was. Two videos are below.

Edit; (I thought I was just posting the link)

I watched a good portion of both videos. I find it difficult to understand what the speaker is getting at. Yes, they have a varroa problem. I ask, how has the varroa problem changed? I was under the impression that the Canadians had it all figured out. They treat and keep varroa under control.
Again, I ask, what has changed to make it so that these beekeepers are failing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There would be Federal assistance in many other areas of agriculture, mining, forestry, auto production. A bigger power to pull strings and run defense. Canada used to be able to import thousands of packages from the US but the border to that closed many years ago. That door was closed too late to accomplish the supposed reason for it anyways. Lobbying perhaps that got answered by a kneejerk reaction.

Ian speaks of being only one more storm short of losing all his bees due to flooding. Dont know whether apivar resistance is a factor for some; in any case mite related issue is mentioned by Ian. Perhaps there are some commercials on the forum who could expand on key isssues

Grozzie2 I believe is on the executive of an association in British Columbia.
 

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...........
Ian speaks of being only one more storm short of losing all his bees due to flooding.
..............
However, in this case, common sense approach is due - if you place your home in floodplain - being flooded is only a question of time. To be honest, this one is on Ian himself.
 

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Ouch! Greg are you familiar with the lay of the land in southern Manitoba. "Let them eat cake"?
I know it is flat.
This also means that the floods (if any) should not be too deep (but rather wide).
But even then - give me your topographic map and I will point you at a spot that is 1-2-3 feet above of the other spots.

So - it makes sense to cheaply construct preventive elevations - just 1-2 feet should be sufficient.
Especially, since Ian himself (I saw that video!!) pointed out at the local topography nuances - which is by no means flat.

Sorry.
But when I purchased my home, the #1 priority was the idea repeated by my Dad - the home must be on a hill.
No IFs.
No BUTs.
If no hill, then make one.
If making the hill is impossible - don't live there.
Very basic rule and this applies to everything.

So yeah - it really is about "let them eat cake" (if we are to be honest - this applies mostly everywhere and, on most subjects).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have you watched his video. I saw one where he was pulling his bee boom truck with a quad dual wheeled ag tractor. I think he has 1500 or so colonies that he puts out in his crop fields.
 

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I think someone needs to look at Ian's videos again. The hives were not located in a "floodplain". There was a freak 2ft snow storm that in its self saturated the ground and the snow wasn't fully melted. Then there was 3-6 inches of very abnormal rain. There was water flowing in small streams where Ian had never seen streams before. It was a freak combination of weather events. It is the one in fifty or one in a hundred year event. In one of the fall videos, Ian talks of the work required to fill in the gullies in the grain fields that came about from the water running off. I'd bet a lot of money that Ian never again in his life time places hives in the area where the streams formed.

The overall hive loss for Alberta, Sakatchewan and Manitoba last winter was around 50%. In some operations the loss was 80%. Nucs were selling for $600-$650 last spring.
 

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Have you watched his video. I saw one where he was pulling his bee boom truck with a quad dual wheeled ag tractor. I think he has 1500 or so colonies that he puts out in his crop fields.
Absolutely, I watched the video and even posted about it.
Yeah - it is terrible.

But in retrospect, Ian had no thoughts about a potential of being flooded and how to mitigate that probability.
A matter of fact, even 1-2 days before the event, he could still do it.
 

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I'd bet a lot of money that Ian never again in his life time places hives in the area where the streams formed.
By this you just confirm that Ian has other options of hive placements.
So, his has them!
The other, better options.

When building our houses, we ought to think of 50-100 year floods - so to avoid them.
Why not doing the same when placing our bees?
Especially IF you are so heavily invested into them - they cost about a house and should be protected accordingly.
 

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Sad situation for our brother and sister beekeepers to the north. I wish I had a solution. I often find myself cheering for Medhat and the other Canadian researchers, to come up with something to help.

These high, all of a sudden losses began here in 2017-2018. What was a normal winter loss whet from less than 10% loss to more than 40% loss. Varroa were out of control. Well, varroa are still out of control, and it seems worst than ever. The only solution I've found to keep my apiaries populated has been my nucleus colonies. I find I have enough bees to restock my deadouts...or at least most of them. I also find that nucleus colonies made up from a brood source with a low mite population, seem to be able to out breed the mites. For example, in two nuc apiaries with 50 nucs each...in the August mite wash...one apiary had three nucs with mites above the threshold (2%), and the other had five. The healthy nucs will be used for replacing deadouts. I expect them to make at least an 80 pound crop in 2023. Some will go on to do well in 2024 while plenty will be gone. But the nucleus colonies reared in 2023 will take care of those.

I certainly don't know if this would be a solution for the Canadian beekeepers...well maybe I do. But it certainly can't hurt and it just might make using your own local nuclei to replace winter losses affordable...I mean, $600cdn for nucleus colonies??
 

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Yes, they have a varroa problem. I ask, how has the varroa problem changed? I was under the impression that the Canadians had it all figured out.
I am leaning towards the same question. Varroa has always been a huge problem for those beekeepers down south, how did we ever come to believe it would not eventually explode up here? Bees have been known to become resistant to Apivar this was the problem last fall ( as I was advised from our local bee inspector) did Canadian beekeepers all of a sudden hit the wall on this product, did we rely on it too much and let our guard down?

I certainly don't know if this would be a solution for the Canadian beekeepers...well maybe I do. But it certainly can't hurt and it just might make using your own local nuclei to replace winter losses affordable...I mean, $600cdn for nucleus colonies??

I agree it looks to me like there is a hole in the package bee industry in Canada, a hole that might reap some financial rewards for someone who fills it. Rather than look south to buy bees create your own.

I am not sure where the $600 came from, last spring they were $300 retail ( New Zealand packaged bees, or Canadian nucs) and I am sure a commercial beek would qualify for wholesale.
 

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My contention is that Apivar has failed the Canadian beekeepers, and they have been meeting with the Apivar crowd to try to find a way around the problem. Apivar does not control mites like it used to.
And yet, isn't Apivar used world wide? So this should not just be a Canadian problem. I was always told that Apivar will eventually result in resistant mites.
 

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Absolutely, I watched the video and even posted about it.
Yeah - it is terrible.

But in retrospect, Ian had no thoughts about a potential of being flooded and how to mitigate that probability.
A matter of fact, even 1-2 days before the event, he could still do it.
The problem often arises when much of the ground is frozen, and then there is several inches of rain.

In retrospect it is easy to see ways that this could be avoided, but often the land you have is the land you are dealt. While most everyone puts the house and the barn on the highest ground they have, there isn't always much high ground.

I spent 18 summers in northern Minnesota, not far south of there. 30 miles to the west of our farm was "Bemis Hill". It rose over a distance of maybe a mile to a height of 15 feet or so. It had a name, and people traveling down highway 11 would stop at the scenic overlook to enjoy the view.
My high-school class measured the curvature of the earth on Highway 72 south of Baudette using surveying equipment. (North of Waskish it is pretty flat.) I have heard Manitoba is flatter though.

We had a flood like this once. 14 inches of rain fell in less than a day. We were OK, because the creek under highway 11 washed out the culverts east of us and was able to get through. Further east it flooded pretty badly though because the highway and the CNR bridges held back the water. A 30 inch culvert only lets through so much water.

However, it sounds like Ian was OK. That 1 more storm never came. It was close, but not a total washout.

Remember Johnny Cash?

 
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