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Thread: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

  1. Default A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    It looks like Colony Collapse Disorder is still taking its toll, but I'm getting more optimistic about it. Here's why:

    http://www.washingtonwinemaker.com/b...r-no-big-deal/

    According to the USDA, the number of producing colonies rose slightly, in 2007, while honey production fell modestly. Honey prices were nearly unchanged. This is encouraging to me because it shows some real staying power on the part of the beekeeping industry. I don't want to jinx anything, but I think this story may have a happy ending.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    You apparently have never kept bees. The value of honey is WAY under valued. Really track down a local beekeeper and see what it takes to get the honey from the comb to a glass container. Start to finish, from beeyard to glass.

    Most beekeepers on a whole don't want to deal with honey anymore. There is no money in it. They are looking to pollination.
    I suspect the cost of honey of will start to go up, since your import country's had bad years this past summer.
    Also CHINA is starting to hold back, there own country is consuming more.

    Really keep a couple of beehives and see what it takes. Then thank your local beekeeper

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    Andrew,

    Welcome to Got Mead?

    Obviously you're a beekeeper with opinions (Tualitin County Beekeepers).

    We encourage beekeepers to post here on Got Mead? because without bees we won't have the honey to make the mead we love so much, and we can learn a great deal about the pivotal role of bees as it relates to our lives. That being said I don't see anywhere in Erroll's post where he claims to be a beekeeper honestly, and it kinda seems like you're of jumping on him in your first post in these forums. Hopefully that's not the case and you'll have some additional insight about the honey supply in the US as we go forward. We would all appreciate some insight from other beekeepers who haven't posted here much.

    Please take a moment to read the FAQ which outlines the rules and general conduct guidelines here on Got Mead?

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  4. #4

    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    Hmmm I seem to have been out of line. I do apologize Erroll. Not the best way to step in.
    Something about people talking about the price they pay for honey.
    I understand it gets $$$ to buy the honey and other items to make a batch of mead. But really folks need to see how much labor it takes to get that honey in the bottle.

    I have the advantage of sitting on a lot honey, so that cost really never enters my mind when making a batch of mead

    Holy cow's Oskaar, how do you seem to know the bee club I am affiliated with?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    I do thank my local beekeeper, every time I talk to him. I once had a friend who's father-in-lay kept a beehive in his backyard. Yeah, that's interesting stuff, and he did things a little lower tech (being born, raised, and trained in S. Korea). My honey always had bee parts. Didn't care that much, tho. We're not friends anymore, so I'm back to buying it, but I don't mind. They're good people.

    Thanks for joining the fray, Mr. Beekeeper! You are appreciated here, I promise you!
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewschwab
    Holy cow's Oskaar, how do you seem to know the bee club I am affiliated with?
    I am the all KnowGoogleing and all SeeGoogleing OZ-kaar

    Just click on the purple embedded links for the google results. As I said before Welcome to Got Mead? and we absolutely DO appreciate the effort of all the beekeepers out there that keep our crops pollinated and our honey pots full!!

    We'd love to hear about any new developments in Colony Collapse Disorder. I was reading about a number of Beekeepers that are starting to screen the farmers about their use of neonicotinoids. Others are having their empty hives irradiated to try and disinfect the hive, and as I understand it another possibility is a virus that may be related to Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus. Lot's of really scary and serious stuff here.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Oskaar
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    CCD is something that has kept me away from getting my own hives. There is an old farmhouse just around the corner from me where an older couple live. In the back, just next to his vegetable plot, are three beehives. They look to be in good condition, but are not used at all anymore. I was considering buying them and starting to keep bees. I live right next to a huge field owned by the electric company, so it has plenty of flowers and will never be built on. This should provide excellent foraging for the bees.

    The problem is the fear of mites, CCD, virus' etc. I will take on the work, as long as it is not an uphill battle where I consistently lose colonies. Any input from the beekeepers that can educate and encourage me is therefore extremely welcome.

    Angus
    Chan fhíach cuírm gun a còmhradh

    A feast is no use without good talk.

  8. Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Angus
    The problem is the fear of mites, CCD, virus' etc. I will take on the work, as long as it is not an uphill battle where I consistently lose colonies. Any input from the beekeepers that can educate and encourage me is therefore extremely welcome.

    Angus
    as i am followong a starters beekeeping course i must say i am not really getting discouraged from all the CDD talk at all. (and yes, it caused here in the NL a 60-80% loss of hyves too)
    the reason why is that it is still something unsure what it exactly is and probably is a combinations of a lot of factors involved. plus its brought under attention of alot of governments now, so a reason will be found.
    Strange thing is, for example Spain, they had a large scale CCD last year.. but this year nothing extraordinary happened.
    CCD is one thing to worry about.. but there are tons of other things as well that can result in loosing your hives.

    I suggest to follow a starters course and then after decide what you want to do.
    I probably wont get a hive either, but reasons for that is that i dont have enough space in my garden and have dosens of other hobbies too

    BUT i must say, it does help greatly towards meadmaking, and i get to know local beekeepers (==more cheap honey!!)

  9. Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    I had a conversation with a local beekeeper recently. He was selling honey and wax at a local market. I was just trying to make idle conversation with him and asked if he was the beekeeper. It quickly got very awkward. He is an older gentleman who has been in the business for a long time. CCD completely wiped out all of his hives. He is looking at over $70,000 to replace his bees from Australia while rising fuel costs are making it extraordinarily expensive to move the hives around for pollination. I think he has decided that it isn't worth the financial risk and is leaving the business.

    He was showing me pictures of his operation from previous years and he had a massive number of hives. Definitely in the hundreds, probably the thousands. I really didn't know what to say. He said everybody he knows got completely wiped out. It was sort of like walking up to somebody and saying "How's the family?" not knowing they'd just been in a fatal plane crash. One of the more brutal conversations I can remember. Every time I tried to express sympathy I just ended up finding some way to stick my foot in my mouth.

    I'd recommend tiptoeing around the beekeepers for a bit. Even if bee populations are starting to recover, it doesn't mean the humans who work with them are.

    I'm jealous that you have a place for hives Angus. Hopefully you'll give it a go eventually. My grandpa used to keep a couple of hives at his house in the city. I would do the same but he had a much larger yard than I do and a ravine behind his property. I live on a tiny lot where the hives would practically be right up against the house. I also have a daughter who is going to be a toddler soon. It just seems like a bad combination all around.

  10. #10

    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    Dang that internet. I did search myself but didn't come up with anything.

    Most beekeepers don't really think they will find a smoking gun cause. IT is many things that have added up. I do think this a canary in the tunnel situation

    Most if not all will agree CHEMICALS , the chemicals we have bee using in the hive, plus all the chemicals in the environment.

    Plus stress, on top of all that. There has been a big shift into pollination of crops the last 25+ years. Bees can be trucked around but they don't like it. Stress,,

    If that was not enough, virus's. There are at least 7 known. :P Guess what the mite transports those virus's from hive to hive.


    BUT there is a light at the end of the tunnel. STRONG, low STRESS hives. Will do very well. They are breeding bees that take care of mites on there own. Yaaaa, support those queen breeders who are truly trying to help the cause.

    For those who are thinking of beekeeping, take a beginners class. Just to see what it is all about. Folks who live in town have some of the best bee locations. Flower sources all summer long. The couple hives I have in town, do the best.

    I truly would like to see every other house have a couple bee hives. It ties you to the seasons again, brings your feet back to the ground, and will make you think twice before you spray.(hopefully)

    Hey if they do die over the winter(it happens), you can always buy more.

    Feel sorry for those of us who try to bring the bees through strong so they can be split to sell bees in the spring for those beginners


  11. #11
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    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    I've been part-time beekeeping for over ten years and have lost my share of hives from mismanagment and pests. So far my little beeyard has been spared from CCD even though it's a ongoing battle against mites and small hive beetles. I tend to think that CCD is a combination of different stress factors including pesticides, viruses and a the tendency of the commercial beekeeper to try to maintain the hives geneticly simular. After all comercial beekeepers need thier hives to be as alike as possible for pollination and honey production. When you loose genetic diversity in any population it opens up the possability for the invasion of old and new pests. I'm happy to see that the queen breeders are producing queens with more diversity instead of the Italians which flooded the market when I first started. Hopefully the industry is swinging around and will survive.

  12. #12

    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    Quote Originally Posted by Angus
    CCD is something that has kept me away from getting my own hives.
    CCD was a factor in helping me decide to get bees. I thought with the loss of so many hives last year, more people should get involved in beekeeping.

    All my woodenware is assembled and the bees will be here at the end of April. I really don't need another hobby right now, but this looked like fun and is part of my grand scheme for this little homestead. A small apple orchard is next.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    I wish you all the luck with getting your hives off the ground. How many are you planning to start with?. Feed them, feed them and then feed them some more, a strong hive has the best chances of surviving no matter where you are. Keep your eyes open and study the flight patterns of the bees entering and leaving the hive. Try not to open the hives too much, and when you do have a specific reason. If you haven't taken a class try to find one and attend it, I have lost hives just because I didn't know any better. Don't rush the bees, the hives will build up at thier own rate, paticence is a virtue with bees. Enjoy and good luck

  14. #14

    Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeboy
    I wish you all the luck with getting your hives off the ground. How many are you planning to start with?. Feed them, feed them and then feed them some more, a strong hive has the best chances of surviving no matter where you are. Keep your eyes open and study the flight patterns of the bees entering and leaving the hive. Try not to open the hives too much, and when you do have a specific reason. If you haven't taken a class try to find one and attend it, I have lost hives just because I didn't know any better. Don't rush the bees, the hives will build up at thier own rate, paticence is a virtue with bees. Enjoy and good luck
    Thanks. I did take part in a beginners class that the local club hosted. We ordered all of our equipment the first night, which I found ..odd. Because of that, I'm only starting with one hive, and wishing I'd ordered two. They do have monthly meetings, and I've been attending. Seems like a good group of people, willing to share information and help us beginners. I think I have a decent spot here, 6 acres in the country with lots of plants, shrubs, trees and flowers for the bees. Dandelions and goldenrod galore. I don't *expect* to harvest any this year, but if I do, the first 20# is going right in the fermenter.

  15. Default Re: A little good news about Colony Collapse Disorder?

    I would not let CCD discourage a new beekeeper from getting started. I have yet to hear of a backyard beekeeper developing CCD. (Several who thought they did, but upon inspection, there would be dead bees in the hive, or a lack of food, or obvious mite issues....) CCD has hit the larger pollination services hard - I have heard that a half dozen of the large guys in the southern US have gone under for good now. But, backyard beekeeping is a different type of beekeeping than pollination services use.

    As for whoever mentioned China holding back shipments - between tightening the loopholes in the tariffs last year, closer inspection of origination papers, and a general distrust of Chinese honey due to claims of tampering (with both corn syrup and antibiotics), we are already experiencing reduced importation of foreign honey. First I've heard of China holding back shipments, but given the other issues, I really wouldn't care if they did!

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