Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 152 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have just added a new podcast at http://biobees.libsyn.com/ (also on iTunes). This one is especially for new beekeepers who are about to buy their first 'nuc' - something of a cautionary tale!

Do you think that the mass movement of bees around the world has caused some of our problems?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
508 Posts
Do you think that the mass movement of bees around the world has caused some of our problems?

No I think the mass movement is a result (not a cause) from all the problems that have been publicized.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think I failed to make myself clear.

What I meant was, has the physical movement of bees around the world, i.e. the import and export of bees and queens, been one of the major causes of the problems we see in our hives?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,487 Posts
There isn't any doubt that the diseases, & pests got into this country by movement of bees, & bee products across borders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I think I failed to make myself clear.

What I meant was, has the physical movement of bees around the world, i.e. the import and export of bees and queens, been one of the major causes of the problems we see in our hives?
I think it is a major contributing factor but not the entire problem behind CCD I am assuming that by the general term "problem" you are referring to CCD. MY understanding so far is limited but this is what has stuck in my head. The collapse of the bees has to do with not only one factor but many. Pesticides,IAPV,parasites and malnutrition. There is no doubt that disease is spread more widely now than ever due to our ability to travel around the world so quickly. Be it by plane, boat, train or automobile. Transmitted to people, animals or plants. We are going to always run the chance of receiving/sending unwanted pests and diseases as long as we import and export. This practice is not going to stop and no matter how well the inspectors do their jobs something will inevitably slip by. We have to find ways of successfully dealing with these problems and not buy from places that are known to be questionable and risky. When treating with medications to do it responsibly. Use the right amounts for the specified amount of time. Medicate when there is a need for medicating. For instance if we all treated ourselves prophylacticly with Tamiflu during the flu season it would eventually become in effective.

There are many factors behind the "problems" with bees and it does not rest solely in the hands of "Stupid" bee keepers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
760 Posts
not really seeing your point ???? seems off the wall really

moving bees around the world? ---- i really think its not the case, look at humans - we migrated aross the seas to get to North America, when we moved to America , it didnt start or stop the people dieing in Africa.

if we are to look at beekeeping as it was 6000 years ago it was survival of the fitest. these days we try to save every failing hive, rather then keeping the strong. if a hive is to survive, it will survive without medicating it

so as to wether moving bees is killing bees ......no really buying it

think about bees as Humans, (bare with me)
if we have two people that are geneticly messed up, that have deformed organs, the inablity to learn, always getting sick, etc and we keep them alive with medicine, and lets just say they MATE....... i really think the offspring are going to be worse off then the parents. But for some odd reason we keep them around with medicine and they happen to breed, see the cycle gets worse as the generations go on

IN BEES ITS THE SAME THING .... so .........why on earth are we saveing the weak to make more weak ?????

people ask the question of " why is beekeeping harder these days?"
here is the Answer to the age old question

my grandfathers grandfather had over 1000 hives that he had only ever gotten from the wild- he only took in wild bees - never bought bees
never had the looses we do today ....why.... because Wild bees are the survival of the fitest, they lived the winters, knew how to store food, knew how to defend a colony agents pest and desease

today we just throw in another new brand of mite strip, to save to weak hive rather then keeping the strong hives to split from ( and i know a lot do split stong hives) but there is a lot of weak hives that throw out weak drones only to make the next batch of bees one step closer to being weak

thats my two cents .....hope it helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
617 Posts
What I meant was, has the physical movement of bees around the world, i.e. the import and export of bees and queens, been one of the major causes of the problems we see in our hives?
Your absolutely right about the americas. There would be no problems in the the hives in the americas if bees hadn't been imported in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,649 Posts
here's some history on your topic:
http://www.culturaapicola.com.ar/wiki/index.php/John_Rennie

Isle of Wight Bee Disease.
Isle of Wight bee disease, or Microsporidiosis, as it is sometimes called, is the most terrible scourge to which bees are subject. It appeared first in the Isle of Wight in 1904, and, spreading to the mainland, it gradually worked its way up northwards to Scotland and Ireland, carrying devastation wherever it appeared. So terrible is this scourge that an authority as painstaking and eminent as Mr. T. W. Cowan tells us in the British Bee Journal for March 4th, 1920, that, from carefully compiled statistics, it has been proved that about 90 per cent, of the colonies of bees that existed in Somersetshire had been destroyed by this disease; and much the same has happened in every other county.
The origin of this disease is still very obscure.
Regards,
Ernie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
760 Posts
thing is, it that there are the same pest and problems over in Africa, Europe and Austraila as there is in America's - the problem is not the placement of bees its the genectics in the bees -

taking a person with Aids to France does not cure the Aids.
taking bees with mites to Russia does not cure the mite infestation

here is my thinking on the CCD - since its always up in the air

lets think about the problem - the bees dont come home - OK
so a bee "knows where home is" so why not make it home ??

Bees use the sun as a compus - they are masters of angle and degree -
BUT what happens when there is a tsunami and it slows the earth by a second? then the earthquake in chili, or the earthquake in Cali 20 years ago
they all move the earth a little bit
but not the sun, and as the bee fly from home and goes three miles out- the angle and degree have to be right on to get back home- if its off a degree the bee would end up maybe a mile from home and be lost ???

not saying its the cause of it all but something to think about
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,649 Posts
Here's another thought backed up with observation.
Smog can bend light enough so that a bees navagation can be off some distance. And, that was before CCD
We have lost a lot of our native pollinating insects too.
Ernie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,604 Posts
moving bees around the world? ---- i really think its not the case, look at humans - we migrated aross the seas to get to North America, when we moved to America , it didnt start or stop the people dieing in Africa.
No, but it did wipe out a huge population of otherwise healthy thriving native Americans along the Mississippi River. They were exposed to new viruses in their contact with the Europeans, and having no resistance to even the most common ailments which the explorers were immune to, very rapidly became sick and it wiped out entire communities.

Your analogy actually supports both positions I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
moving bees around the world? ---- i really think its not the case, look at humans - we migrated aross the seas to get to North America, when we moved to America , it didnt start or stop the people dieing in Africa.
Innumerable indigenous peoples have been wiped out or severely damaged by explorers introducing diseases against which they had no defences.


think about bees as Humans, (bare with me)
if we have two people that are geneticly messed up, that have deformed organs, the inablity to learn, always getting sick, etc and we keep them alive with medicine, and lets just say they MATE....... i really think the offspring are going to be worse off then the parents. But for some odd reason we keep them around with medicine and they happen to breed, see the cycle gets worse as the generations go on

IN BEES ITS THE SAME THING .... so .........why on earth are we saveing the weak to make more weak ?????
I have no idea what that has to do with the notion I proposed, but FWIW I agree that we should only breed from strong stock - if that is what you are saying.

my grandfathers grandfather had over 1000 hives that he had only ever gotten from the wild- he only took in wild bees - never bought bees
never had the looses we do today ....why.... because Wild bees are the survival of the fitest, they lived the winters, knew how to store food, knew how to defend a colony agents pest and desease
Your ancestor's bees were locally adapted and did not have to cope with insecticides, GMOs and beekeepers chucking antibiotics and miticides at them.

And I don't suppose he imported his queens from Australia.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I think it is a major contributing factor but not the entire problem behind CCD I am assuming that by the general term "problem" you are referring to CCD.
We don't have much in the way of CCD-like symptoms in the UK, but we do have one heck of a lot of virus problems that appear to have been imported - some possibly with varroa, but many are more recent and may well have come in with imported queens or nucs.

We are going to always run the chance of receiving/sending unwanted pests and diseases as long as we import and export. This practice is not going to stop and no matter how well the inspectors do their jobs something will inevitably slip by.
They would stop if stupid beekeepers were persuaded or forced to stop! You can't import other animals to the USA without stringent health checks, and I believe that imports from some countries are banned regardless - so why not ban bee movements?

There are many factors behind the "problems" with bees and it does not rest solely in the hands of "Stupid" bee keepers.
Not solely, but mainly, I suggest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,664 Posts
so why not ban bee movements?
What exactly would that accomplish that folks and society would consider to be positive?

There would be large decreases in the quality and quantity of food produced to to inadequate pollenation.

Increased prices of food....think malnutrition and starvation...increased poverty.

It would not halt the spread of any disease or pathogen....it would simply slow it down some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
575 Posts
Sorry guys, this looks like armchair research.

I haven't lost a hive yet. Last year I started a couple from splits that did not take, but both didn't have enough bees, one was an attempt at moving to a top bar from lang frames, so I'm not counting them. I didn't check my from last summer yet and hope it survived.

My five Langstroth hives don't travel, I treat every fall and make sure they go into winter fat and happy. They are all from the same "swarm" stock, yet every year one becomes a hot hive. Last fall I wasn't happy with the mite counts overall, but one was completely overrun. Last year I did queenless splits for swarm prevention and later found the dreaded small hive beetle. I didn't think they were as north at PA and some think a queenless hive's pheromones attract them.

My point is that even though my hives are from the same lineage, stay in the same place, get treated alike, each has different results. Add to that a 3 mile forage radius and influential factors can be a different as each home in our neighborhood.

I can accept that schlepping hives from one end of the country to the other as part of feeding our population can contribute to difficulties since we increase the factors my hives deal with by an order of magnitude, but we all originally came from Africa.

50 years ago we had juvenile delinquents. When I was growing up hyperactive kids were helped with Methylphenidate. Now 1 in 20 are are diagnosed with ADHD including myself after my son. Our Friends' genius son with OCD is a handful, but now has a chance to change the world. Doctor's are now just scratching the surface of autism after telling mothers "it must have been something you did." 90% of blindness is prevented by treating a newborn's eyes with ointment as required now by law. Our world is complex and the more we understand, the more we become aware of how what we need to learn keeps growing.

One commonality among beekeepers I perceive is that we do what worked for us. The trap is to think that when another does something different, that is the cause of their problem.

I think we can help the bees help us through hands on work and analysis from all parts of the community, education, unrestricted communication (like you find here), and a disposition to contribution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
What exactly would that accomplish that folks and society would consider to be positive?
1. Beekeepers could raise locally-adapted bees, that would be more likely to thrive in particular regions.
2. There would be no direct transfer of disease, pests and bad genetics through the post.
3. It would put a geographical barrier in the way of any future virus outbreaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,664 Posts
Buckbee, it wouldn't accomplish any of the things you state because the fact of the matter remains that even bodies of water have not served to isolate a wide variety of species, it only slows them down.

And furthermore, in order to accomplish what you are advocating you would necessarily have to shut down international and interstate travel and commerce.

Have you given any consideration to the other points I raised like decreases in quality and quantity of food? Increases in prices as a result, increased poverty, hunger and starvation?

Stone age here we come.....:cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Buckbee, it wouldn't accomplish any of the things you state because the fact of the matter remains that even bodies of water have not served to isolate a wide variety of species, it only slows them down.
The Pacific and Atlantic oceans were very effective barriers against Varroa. Mites reached the USA through the post - not by flying there!

And furthermore, in order to accomplish what you are advocating you would necessarily have to shut down international and interstate travel and commerce.
No, just the import and export of bees. Have you listened to the podcast? That is what I am talking about - not stopping all trade!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
578 Posts
"Stupid beekeepers - are they a cause of bee decline?"

To answer the question literally: Of course. Keeping bees requires a modicum of intelligence and if a beekeeper behaves stupidly, then that beekeeper will likely see a decline.

On the other hand, if the question is actually meant to ask if beekeepers as a group are stupid and is that stupidity leading to a decline in bee populations, we must ask what bee populations are were discussing, and where?

"There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families, though many are undescribed and the actual number is probably higher. ..." -- Wikipedia.

We hear that there are problems with other species besides the honey bee. While some of these problems may be related to disease and pest problems in managed honeybees, I suspect that the majority are not, and are actually environmental.

Many of these environmental problems are related to overpopulation due to the human population boom caused by the warming of the globe over the past ten thousand or so years, and the consequent advancement of technologies which has only accelerated and accelerated since a critical mass was achieved several centuries ago. Only two centuries ago we were trying to build a locomotive that would reliably exceed ten miles per hour. Almost a half-century ago, man walked on the moon.

Human activity has moved just about everything imaginable everywhere, breaking down the natural barriers to movement of pests and diseases and is constantly also spreading novel chemistries worldwide. Ever wonder what something simple like the reformulation of gasoline or diesel additives could conceivably do worldwide and how quickly without anyone knowing?

So, is it that beekeeping activities are causing more than the expected share of the changes, both in honey bees and the many other species? I would suggest not.

And, for that matter, if there is an implied suggestion that commercial beekeepers the only ones moving bees around? I can assure you that more queens travel around the world in the pockets and luggage of hobby beekeepers than with commercial beekeepers. If you are a bee inspector long enough, you learn some amazing things.

Add to that the bio-terrorism that undoubtedly goes on and the accidental transport of all sorts of bugs and plants on ships, and I have to say that no, beekeepers, stupid or not, are not the principal cause of bee decline, assuming that an actual and permanent decline is actually in progress.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,020 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
And, for that matter, if there is an implied suggestion that commercial beekeepers the only ones moving bees around? I can assure you that more queens travel around the world in the pockets and luggage of hobby beekeepers than with commercial beekeepers.
According to official sources, 100,000 queens were imported into Canada last year, 60,000 of them into Alberta.

I don't think amateurs could achieve that.
 
1 - 20 of 152 Posts
Top