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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2006 is when I/we first noticed issues. That winter lost half. Thought it was something I did until the CCD episode which parrelled my experience. Things be a changin. Just would like to remind new and old beeks what they face and possible causes of problems. This list is just food for thought no more:

1.MITES....cant forget em.
2.Nosema C.......No one can put there finger on it. Your count is relative to how much
liquid you add to your sample:(
3.Sun Spots and Solar Flares................well ........could be.
4.Cell phones............ok just kidding
5.Burlap for smoker fuel.............98%from china with god knows what on it.
6.Nicotine based insecticides and other systemics...............YIKES!
7. Sterile Farming practice............Farmers grow what they want kill the rest
8. GMO's .........while unproven........you F....with nature you get the horns (specifically BT in Corn.)
9. Africanized Honey Bee..............you boys in the South know what I am talking about.
10. Con. Trails...........alright...maybe far fetched but ya never know.
11. Chemical contamination from mite killers(see #1)
12. Virus's...........APV....PMS....or perhaps one of the other 1000 plus identified in honey beees.
13. Genetic diversity.......or lack there of in U.S. domestic honey bees.
14. Global Wierding..(or warming if you are one of those types) weather patterns have and will continue to change.
15. Corn syrup..............no explanation nessisary.(hmf)
16. Beet sugar..........(see #8)
17. chalk brood
18. foul brood
19. Contaminents in pollen and feed suppliments(see #15)
20. The general cost of running bees in global economy with organizations such as WTO who support foreign imports of all bee related products.
The odds are stacked against you. There is only one reason to run bees. Because you love to run bees. (Even if you have to get a day job to support your habit)

21. Lack of education of the general public as to what it actually takes to produce 1lb of honey.
 

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That's quite a list. :) I can see why you keep bees. You're a masochist, like me. :)

I don't want the general public knowing what it takes to produce honey, they'll want to do it too. And then who would I sell honey to? I just want them to get a romantic feeling from my honey, perhaps like they are helping to "Save the Bees", by buying my honey.

I noticed that MITES are at the top of your list and AFB is down near the bottom. That supports what I have been saying about Apiary Inspection and what they are concentrating on, as being the wrong thing at this time.

What else are you going to do, if you give up beekeeping. It may be less fun than 22 years ago, but now that you are hooked, what else can you do?
 

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I usually have several days throughout the year when I also feel like that simply, obviously when things aren't going so good. "Whatever can go wrong, will" seems to especially apply to beekeeping. Can be extremely frustrating when things aren't going well (equipment breakdowns, hives dying/going queenless, poor/nonexistent honey flow, weather issues, etc., etc,. etc.). Even when things are going OK, it is still darn hard work. But like Mark said, what would I do with all my spare time? :) I think there's at least a little bit of masochism in every sideline/commercial beekeeper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OH YEA, Keith, I forgot to put the ...Unless you live in CA clause in my post. In that case beekeeping is GREAT! But for the rest of us that live in the United States :))) Life as beekeepers resembles more of a Farmer lifestyle as opposed to an episode of "West Coast Beekeeper" or "Desperate Beekeepers Housewives". I would move out there but I am afraid I may catch Californian :)))
 

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Simple, $145 for the almonds & $1.60 for white honey, the odd are stacked against us ?
OH YEA, Keith, I forgot to put the ...Unless you live in CA clause in my post. In that case beekeeping is GREAT! But for the rest of us that live in the United States :))) Life as beekeepers resembles more of a Farmer lifestyle as opposed to an episode of "West Coast Beekeeper
Things be a changin.
If you don't live in CA, doesn't mean you can't live there for Almond season. If times really are changing, maybe it's time to change with them.
 

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I think there's at least a little bit of masochism in every sideline/commercial beekeeper.
And optomism too. We are farmers, y'all. By definition a farmer is never happy w/ the weather and always thinks that next year will be better. You either do or you don't and those that don't do something else.

We are masters of our own universes. Best job ever. Independent small business persons. As much so while owing what we owe to whomever. :)
 

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Life as beekeepers resembles more of a Farmer lifestyle

I've seen farmers go belly up...and right down the road another farmer was making serious money. Same soil. Same weather. Same crops.

I've always heard that in today's business world, the product you make/produce is not what makes or breaks the business.

Management is EVERYTHING.

Not every beekeeper is crying the blues. If you are the beekeeper who is going belly up, you need to ask yourself what management changes you need to make. What are you doing wrong that you need to improve? What management decision is the guy down the road doing right that you are not?
 

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well maybe not every beek is crying the blues we have all felt the pain and worry in some way. i am 25 years old commercial beekeeping for 5 years and if there is one thing that i have noticed over the last 5 years is every older commercial beek i talk to tells me i better find something else to do, and that is sad. no matter what i hear or see i cant stop loving the bees and working with them to make honey/pollinate. i have not seen the hardest of times but i can clearly see it is becoming more difficult to keep bees alive and to make honey what with all the land being used for non nectar producing plants. i think in the future we need to educate people more on the importance of what wild land we have left, such as road sides and vast mowed areas. chances are if you tell some one something they didnt know they will tell some one and so on and so on. one good thing we have on our side as beeks is and easier form of communication. if we can all talk and work together something might get done.
 

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One has to be prepared to live on what income one can glean from their bees or get another job to supplement their life style. Modern day farming is all like that, unless you are so big that you are actually leveraged to someone else and working for them and that monthly payment.

I have often, over the years, bemoaned to my older beekeeper aquaintences that I'm not making enuf money, I can't get ahead, I seem to be going backwards or still where I was years ago. One guy said, "You will start to see improvement after your last kid leaves home. And if the wife leaves too, you'll see even more improvemenrts in your bank account." Thanks. What a wonderful announcement about the realities of beekeeping.

Time heals all wounds. Stick w/ it. Roll w/ the punches. Things will get better, eventually, yet slowly.
 

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One has to be prepared to live on what income one can glean from their bees or get another job to supplement their life style.

Glean: to salvage what is left after the crop has already been harvested.

I sure hope I never have to glean the hive to get enough money to live on (after the main honey crop has been harvested.)

Modern day farming is all like that, unless you are so big that you are actually leveraged to someone else and working for them and that monthly payment.

No, modern farming is not like that. One farmer lives like that, and ends up going belly up or barely able to make ends meet. The farmer down the road making good management decisions earns a good living.

Folks think modern farming is like that because they only hear the farmer who bellyaches about how bad he has it. Folks think beekeeping is like that because we hear other beekeepers bellyaching.

You have to listen closely to the farmers and beekeepers who are making a good living, and aren't slaves to the bank. They don't seem to talk as loud as the guys bellyaching, but their words are often much more valuable.

I would hate to think that I am the only guy who knows successful farmers and successful beekeepers. You may never get super rich at these things, but you don't have to choose to live hand to mouth either.
 

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Simplyhoney,

I read your list of cons and was struck by the negativity. Easy for me to recognize since I myself can have that inclination, however, I would urge you to consider waiting til next spring when things start to thaw out and life starts to bloom again. Make another list then and compare it to this one. I think you will be struck by the difference in tone. We are tied to the land and the seasons and nature in general. Right now it is all work and no play with seemingly no end in sight. Next spring, God willing, hope will spring as well. I grew up on a farm and recognize your sentiment, it strikes a very familiar chord. Along with that though, I remember the same farmers getting very exited when their Burpee catalog arrived in late winter and the boundless optimism that ensued. That is life, there is no spring without a winter. In my opinion you are co-creating with God, truly doing God's work. In the end, you are not just keeping bees but helping the planet, all the creatures on it, and us to thrive.
 

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If you don't live in CA, doesn't mean you can't live there for Almond season. If times really are changing, maybe it's time to change with them.
So how do you do that and how many hives must you have before you start thinking about it. Do you contact a broker.? Where do you find a list of brokers? I might like to in a year or two take some hives to do almonds.
 

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So how do you do that and how many hives must you have before you start thinking about it. Do you contact a broker.? Where do you find a list of brokers? I might like to in a year or two take some hives to do almonds.
I don't do it, so I'm afraid I can't help. Perhaps others on here would be able to help.

I would recommend contacting a broker and asking some questions. If they don't know, they can usually point you in the right direction.
 

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you have a world of info at your finger tips. google pollen broker. Hope this helps
So I have done that. Found lists of people. Follow some of the links and they fail. When you read others sites and they look like they have not done it in years. I am gathering that most of these people are not tech savvy. I would be interested in someone that specializes in Nor cal stuff since it is closer to me in WA. Also would love a name of someone that is honest to talk with that handles little guys. Anyone recommend someone. You can PM me if you don't want to post it.
 

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Bee Culture or ABJ would be up to date on Brokers. Some one had an ad for bees to pollenate Almonds last spring search the wanted tread. hope this get you closer. Pat
 
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