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Discussion Starter #1
interesting article, nothing much new, would have been helpful if they would have said what chemicals he was using for mite control, and how much elap money he got to buy the new hives.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/07/honeybees-deaths-almonds-hives-aoe

By October, 150 of Arp’s hives had been wiped out by mites, 12% of his inventory in just a few months. “My yard is currently filled with stacks of empty bee boxes that used to contain healthy hives,” he says.
One of the most widely applied pesticides is the herbicide glyphosate (aka Roundup), which is a staple of large-scale almond growers and has been shown to be lethal to bees as well as cause cancer in humans.
Arp has spent approximately $50,000 in the past year buying new hives to compensate for the 35% colony loss he experienced last year. He also spends at least $50,000 a year on mite treatments, not to mention other more aggressive measures the industry is taking just to maintain the status quo. These include splitting robust hives in half, introducing mail-order queens to new hives and fattening bees on corn syrup or on simulated pollen substances called “pollen patties”
 

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I thought some of it a bit hyped up. The sponsoring group may have a bit of bias against monoculture agriculture that might induce a bit of spin. No doubt huge monoculture operations do create some problems.

The bit about what a monstrous proportion of bees die every year compared to other livestock is so obviously misleading that it calls serious question to the editorial. Considering that bees have only a 6 week normal life span, what else could be expected?
 

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Sounds like the dude in the article needs to up his bee game. The elite commercials aren't needing handouts they are the ones selling bees to guys like this after they pollinated the almonds. It is a job and while I don't like the thought of all the chemicals someone has to do it and these men and women are tough as nails to make it happen. Keeping healthy hives in these conditions takes alot of blood sweat and tears. Hope they and their families have a great Almond season.
 

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Glyphosate is only fatal to bees because it is so good at killing flowering weeds. I seriously doubt its toxicity in label usage.
 

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VanceG, actually the is a paper out there that shows how Glyphsoate shifts the gut flora in the bee, encouraging bad and discouraging good. It is a sub-lethal effect.

Crazy Roland
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The elite commercials aren't needing handouts they are the ones selling bees to guys like this after they pollinated the almonds.
took a while to find him but here are his govt subsidies for bees, only #69 in the state of arizona. 69 Dennis L Arp Flagstaff, AZ 86005 $246,788

name the elite beeks you are talking about and I will get their numbers out of the data base for you.
 

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My thoughts ran to the possibility that resistance to apivar had caught up to him. Still, with running that many hives you would think that possibility should not have taken him by surprise. Administering something that is no longer affective is not treating for mites.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My thoughts ran to the possibility that resistance to apivar had caught up to him. Still, with running that many hives you would think that possibility should not have taken him by surprise. Administering something that is no longer affective is not treating for mites.
my first thought is always that they started having problems getting the illegal version of apivar and ended up switching to apivar, and that wouldn't have any affect on the mites. I figured if he was using apivar, 4 strips to the hive, with the number of hives he has, and using my price, but he could get volume discount, and using the max time you can leave in the hive, he could have treated continuously for some thing like 320 day's. Now if had an excluder between the two deeps and only used 2 strips, he would be under treating for the number of bees. Many commercials have commented on using other treatments, so I have no doubt their mites are getting resistant.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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This is what Randy Oliver had to say on the subject.

This headline was shown at the AHPA conference this week, to a room
containing many of us who have pollinated almonds for many years. It drew
an uncomfortable chuckle, since it was not only ridiculous, but such
disinformation such can really hurt the almond industry.

Note in the article that beekeeper Arp is complaining about his colonies
collapsing in October, and specifically due to lack of varroa management.
And then the article somehow makes a quantum leap to blame Arp's troubles
on almond pollination (the previous year???).

If one takes healthy hives to almonds,, they generally come out even
stronger. I turned to the large pollination broker who was sitting next to
me, and asked them "what percentage of your beekeepers experience pesticide
problems in almonds?" They smiled and made a zero sign with their
fingers.

Now I'll be the last to say that some haven't experienced serious problems
(I've inspected their colonies), but they are the exception rather than the
rule. Most of the commercial beekeepers that I know go to almonds happily,
with more trepidation about weather and mud, than about pesticides or
harmed colonies.

Just a reality check...


--
Randy Oliver
Grass Valley, CA
www.ScientificBeekeeping.com
Copied from the Bee-L discussion on this article.
 

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This is what Randy Oliver had to say on the subject.



Copied from the Bee-L discussion on this article.
I'm not going to defend this article as I think its basically a rehashing of the same old story we have seen reported for years and referring to glyphosate as a toxic killer of bees is clearly playing to an audience along with blaming October losses on the previous spring in the almonds.
http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/dienochlor-glyphosate/glyphosate-ext.html
However, all that said, as a veteran of many, many years of almond pollination I can say that we have had well over 0% damaged hives coming out of the almonds. Three years ago the problem was severe enough that I took the next year as a hiatus to recover from the loss of the previous year. I'm talking about strong hives that graded well but after a month in the orchards had spotty brood patterns, unhatched bees with tongues extended and a worker to brood hive balance that was dramatically out of balance, severely short of nurse and field bees. The problem is rarely that severe and often more subtle with hives quickly recovering. Do we get a lot of good bees out of the almonds? Heck yes, most of them, but to say that there are no problems is simply not true.
 

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atta boy Mr. Lyon, some times you must call a "Steaming pile of Pooh" what it is.

We have seen those exact symptoms, and cured them by putting the bees on WAX Dadant foundation.

Crazy Roland
 

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I don't know how prevalent glyphosate is in almonds either... none of my growers are using it during bloom if it all. My main yard sits in an orchard, and he cuts and bails whatever grows between the trees for hay then flail mows and ring rolls it to smooth it out for the nut harvest. I think the main issues people see are growers tank mixing IGR's with the fungicide apps and denying it....
 

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An Insect Growth Regulator appplied to almonds could certainly cause a colony returning from almonds to fail to thrive later in the season. I would hope all growers recognize the dangers of using such chemicals immediatly prior to, or during, the pollination season.
 

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Is anybody following the progression of the artificial pollination. I've seen a couple of articles that have stated that bees in the almond fields will become like the dinosaurs soon. Is it something coming soon?
 
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