That's a useful and interesting piece Peter.Hi all
It's pretty plain that the demise of the honey bee is a media darling, not supported by actual facts. I recently wrote a summary of bee declines in the past, and our subsequent recovery from them. The article is titled "The Fall and Rise of the Honey Bee."
Facts, you know. Facts. Like FAO statistics showing a steady increase in the number of colonies world wide. Like long range stats showing the fall and rise of numbers, depending on such cyclical things as disease epidemics, wars and economic factors.Peter, what kind of facts would you accept?
That's true to an extent Dean but let's not forget that if you wish to do almond pollination they must meet size requirements. That's the great "lay your cards on the table" moment. Some may bring bees to the Dakotas for a summer build up and just to get them out of California but the vast majority are bringing strong "post almond" bees with the intent of cashing in on a large honey crop.I think the most misunderstood number is the 'number of hives'.
It is presented by the media (and many if not most beekeepers) as a report of the health of a natural population.
But the number of hives is largely an economic side effect of the market for pollination. Double the demand for pollination and within 2 years the number of hives will be doubled.
It is a number more like the number of tomato plants being grown than it is the number of butterflies in a given area. It is not a direct reflection of the environmental health.
And then there's the question of 'health'. Do we mean 'health as an economic unit' or some other way.I think the most misunderstood number is the 'number of hives'.