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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:37 am 
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Here's how to fight the problem.

http://www.betterbee.com/departments.asp?dept=73

I used to have two stacks in my yard but didn't know how to care for them.

When the bees left I got rid of them.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:39 am 
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Here's how to use all that honey.

http://www.solorb.com/mead/

Mead is delicious if you've never had any.

F.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:52 pm 
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f.Channell wrote:
Here's how to use all that honey.

http://www.solorb.com/mead/

Mead is delicious if you've never had any.

F.


It's delicious even AFTER you've have some!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:18 pm 
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http://today.reuters.com/news/articlene ... rss&rpc=22

Quote:
A beekeeper on Taiwan's northeastern coast reported 6 million insects missing "for no reason", and one in the south said 80 of his 200 bee boxes had been emptied, the paper said.

Beekeepers usually let their bees out of boxes to pollinate plants and the insects normally make their way back to their owners. However, many of the bees have not returned over the past couple of months.

Possible reasons include disease, pesticide poisoning and unusual weather, varying from less than 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) to more than 30 degrees Celsius over a few days, experts say.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:31 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
This has been quite an interesting story for some time now.

I am curious as to why the honeybee population is in decline. I'm not doing a Chicken Little thing - at least not yet. I'm just curious.

We take a lot of things for granted in life until they go away. Who knew our food so desperately needed bees to help with the fertilization thing! :oops:

It's bad enough that human sperm counts are dropping. 8O

- Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:34 pm 
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:lol: Good one Jake.

I haven't counted lately Bill, but I think I'm okay.
Three Sanchin thing, ya know.....
:wink: F.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2007 2:43 am 
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More on the subject. (Emphasis in red my own.)

Quote:
***

A colony collapse disorder working group based at Pennsylvania State University has become a central clearinghouse for all the suspected causes, which include:

•An overload of parasites, such as bloodsucking varroa mites, that have ravaged bees. The parasites reportedly spread to Hawaii only last week.

•Pesticide contamination. Hotly debated suspicion centers on whether "neonicotinoid" insecticides interfere with the foraging behavior of bees, leading them to abandon their hives.

•Fungal diseases such as Nosema ceranae, which is blamed for big bee losses in Spain. It was spotted by University of California-San Francisco researchers who were examining sample dead bees last week.

•The rigors of traveling in trucks from crop to crop.

A complex problem

"We may have a perfect storm of many problems combining to kill the bees," Hackett says. And bees are social animals, who cue each other through "bee dances" to find food. "Something could be just disrupting bee society and causing the problem. That's very difficult to tease out."

Weaver says the beekeeper federation is "bombarded with lots of interesting theories," including "far-fetched ideas like cellphones," the notion that radio waves from mobile phones are zapping the bees' direction-sensing abilities.

"But right now there's not a lot of evidence to support any of these theories," Weaver says. "We think science is the only way to get to the bottom of this."

***
- Deserted beehives, starving young stun scientists


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:29 pm 
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f.Channell wrote:
Here's how to use all that honey.

http://www.solorb.com/mead/

Mead is delicious if you've never had any.

F.



Mmmmmmmm.... I started a batch last week. It's fermenting as we speak. Can't wait!


steve


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 Post subject: parasites
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 8:07 pm 
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http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory ... /story.htm

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Asian Parasite Killing Western Bees - Scientist
SPAIN: July 19, 2007

MADRID - A parasite common in Asian bees has spread to Europe and the Americas and is behind the mass disappearance of honeybees in many countries, says a Spanish scientist who has been studying the phenomenon for years.

The culprit is a microscopic parasite called nosema ceranae said Mariano Higes, who leads a team of researchers at a government-funded apiculture centre in Guadalajara, the province east of Madrid that is the heartland of Spain's honey industry.

He and his colleagues have analysed thousands of samples from stricken hives in many countries.

"We started in 2000 with the hypothesis that it was pesticides, but soon ruled it out," he told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

Pesticide traces were present only in a tiny proportion of samples and bee colonies were also dying in areas many miles from cultivated land, he said.

They then ruled out the varroa mite, which is easy to see and which was not present in most of the affected hives.

For a long time Higes and his colleagues thought a parasite called nosema apis, common in wet weather, was killing the bees.

"We saw the spores, but the symptoms were very different and it was happening in dry weather too."

Then he decided to sequence the parasite's DNA and discovered it was an Asian variant, nosema ceranae. Asian honeybees are less vulnerable to it, but it can kill European bees in a matter of days in laboratory conditions.

"Nosema ceranae is far more dangerous and lives in heat and cold. A hive can become infected in two months and the whole colony can collapse in six to 18 months," said Higes, whose team has published a number of papers on the subject.

"We've no doubt at all it's nosema ceranae and we think 50 percent of Spanish hives are infected," he said.

Spain, with 2.3 million hives, is home to a quarter of the European Union's bees.

His team have also identified this parasite in bees from Austria, Slovenia and other parts of Eastern Europe and assume it has invaded from Asia over a number of years.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:08 pm 
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Thanks, Dana. This makes perfect sense.

This is sad, but it's not entirely unexpected. Any time you mix flora and fauna in different parts of the world that haven't been used to living by each other, bad things can happen.

Take the American Chestnut, which used to flourish from Maine to Mississippi.

Image

Image

Image

LARGE picture of Chestnut Fruit

An imported fungus has wiped this tree out as we know it. Very sad... :cry: I actually have them growing and reproducing on my property, but they don't get more than the size of a tall bush before they die.

Scientists have been working on various hybrids between the American and the resistant Chinese Chestnut. The goal is to get a tree that's genetically as close to the American variety as possible while still retaining the blight resistance of the Chinese variety. Last I read, Purdue University is pretty close to releasing a pretty good hybrid that seems to grow quite rapidly.

Back to honey bees....

Let's hope they can get this Asian parasite under control with a little bit of scientific ingenuity. For all we know, a little "Killer Bee" DNA may be just what the doctor ordered. ;)

Image

- Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:00 am 
And as an aside -- the organic bees industry does not seem to be hit with these loses:

http://www.celsias.com/2007/05/15/organ ... order-ccd/


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:08 pm 
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I'm having a tough time getting anything coherent out of the article, other than the fact that the person is pro-organic. There's way too much information there to pick out if what he says is true (in other than an anecdotal way) and why.

But there certainly is a lot to ponder there.

To his point... In my neck of the woods people like to fertilize the hell out of their yards. They have lush green grass - for a while. Then they end up feeding the fungus (brown patch) and spending lots of money on fungicides. Meanwhile the Chesapeake Bay oyster crop suffers from the fertilizer runoff.

A little common sense (like only fertilizing in September, October, and December) pays off big time. You feed the fescue when the fescue is growing. You hold back on feeding when it's peak season for other things to grow. Throw a little ironite down in the middle of the summer to make the grass green (and the trees happy) and you're good to go.

By following a few simple rules like this, I've saved lots of money in the past few years.

Another thing I do is refrain on pesticides unless absolutely necessary. So even though I have wetlands behind me, I don't have a mosquito problem because my property is crawling with beautiful dragonflies.

Image

Image

I have no mosquito larva swimming in my bird bath. But go up the street where they love to use all their "stuff", and the mosquitoes will be biting you in the evening.

It's quite a balance to maintain. Every time we seem to think we can take nature over, it comes around to bite us in the arse. I have more fun trying to go with nature as much as possible.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:47 am 
Gee my thought was this was worth looking into to see if it was true and then seeing if it extended to all organic bee colonies and then, if true for them as well, perhaps it might help figure out what was happening in the non-organic bees – silly me. :roll:


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 Post subject: Coud d'Etat and Bees
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 3:16 pm 
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Nova Scotians asked to keep eye out for honeybees exiled in hive coup
CP


TORONTO (CP) - A Nova Scotia man is looking for 40-thousand of his honeybees after their queen was deposed in a Shakespearean-style coup d'etat.

Rodney Dillinger tells the Globe and Mail that some of the bees were dissatisfied with their leader and hatched a plot to overthrow her.

The rebel bees tricked the queen into giving birth to a replacement, sending her into exile along with her loyalists - about half the hive.

Dillinger - a retiree who only has four hives - wants his bees back and has asked police for help.

The Shelburne RCMP detachment is asking the public to keep an eye out for the wayward bees.

Dillinger says the swarm would look like a black cloud if in flight, but wouldn't look like bees at all if on the ground.

"One person said he thought it was a bear, a small bear in a tree," he said. "Other people saw the swarm and they said it was pretty big."

Queen bees are typically overthrown by workers who feel they're not getting enough of what Tony Phillips, president of the Nova Scotia Beekeepers Association, calls "queen substance."

The rebels first trick her into laying eggs in a specially built "swarm cell."

These young are then fed the nutrients needed to create a queen bee, and not just a worker bee. Meanwhile, the old queen is progressively starved.

When she is slimmed down from her usual large physique and can fly again, she leaves the hive with her followers. She exists in a colony now headed by one of the daughters she was tricked into birthing.

"Usually the first daughter-queen will go around and kill her sisters and become the colony head," Phillips explained.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:28 am 
Well NZ doesnt seem to have a bee shortage even though it`s had veroa mite problems also , we export bees to many countrys , the majority to canada , especially now with the canola boom .

The difficult US market has been tough to get into but maybe they may have to reconsider if this is really such a problem .

Quote:
Bulk bees are exported as “package bees”, which are cardboard and wire mesh units that contain 1-1.5 kg of bees, a queen bee and a food source. Exporters paid $20/kg delivered for bulk bees and $20/queen bee. These prices are the same as last season.

A major development was the opening of the US market for live bees, albeit with fairly restrictive pre-testing requirements. New Zealand officials and beekeepers have been trying for over 30 years to access this market in anticipation of demand from almond growers in California for pollination. This industry may be in a crisis situation next February-March as there have been huge new plantings of almonds, honey bee stocks have been decimated by varroa and other conditions not fully understood at this time, and the costs of trucking hives in from as far away as Florida are increasing. There are also restrictions in bringing in hives from the southern states where there are africanised bees and fire ants. Because of the impending shortage of hives, pollination rental fees paid to US beekeepers increased from around NZD70 to NZD150/hive, with spot prices of over NZD200 being paid. Some sources are saying there will be a demand for 1 million hives for almond pollination next year.



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