Monday, May 18, 2015

HONEYBEE DIE OFF INCREASING

My boss came in to my office the other day and handed me an article from the Wall Street Journal...he knows (and is so excited) about our beekeeping journey and wanted to make sure I saw the article (he's pretty wonderful like that).


This story is getting somewhat reported in the media but, in my opinion, not widely enough.  We don’t really need to know if Kim Kardashian is having another baby or that Taylor Swift has another hit song.  What we need to know is what is causing this massive bee die off and, more importantly, what can the world do to help reverse it.

The headlines alone are frightening (click any/all of these for articles):

"Sharp Spike in Honeybee Deaths Deepens a Worrisome Trend" 

"Honeybee Crisis Worsens as Summer Die-Offs Mount"


In one year, April 2014 – April 2015, beekeepers reported that more than FORTY PERCENT of their United States honeybee colonies died off.  
Think about that for a minute…

What if 40% of cattle died in one year? 
Or 40% of fresh fish disappeared?
Or even 40% of corn or wheat wilted away?

They would most likely be the top stories on the news outlets.  Alas, bees still don't get the coverage they deserve.  Oh sure, the story is around and it does get more traction than it used to, but still not so much in the mainstream press, where it should be...not as much as should be warranted in this situation.


"What we're seeing with this bee problem is just a loud signal that there's some bad things happening with our agro-ecosystems," co-author Keith Delaplane says.  "We just happen to notice it with the honeybee because they are so easy to count."

Our first two beehives
They say that home and/or amateur beekeepers may be the best hope to at least maintain bee colony populations.  Home apiarists are usually less likely to be using the chemicals elsewhere in the yard that are harmful to bees, more likely to be checking them regularly and better ready to treat problems before they overwhelm the hive.  Plus, they create healthier and stronger varieties of bees.  We are hoping we can do at least a small part to help.  

GO BEES!

Update: Marcia was kind enough to post this link just announced today.  It's the first ever
 National Initiative to Promote the Health of Honeybees


32 comments:

  1. RoundUp is probably at the root of this...! Not to mention chemical fertilizers and phosphates which are being pumped onto, and thereby into, the ground at an horrific rate.

    Mess with Mother Nature's perfect balance, and she'll show her displeasure in one way or another.

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    1. Yes, roundup is a horrible product. I've always said that Mother Nature will only put up with so much for so long. I'm afraid we might be nearing that tipping point.

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  2. this story was all over our news last week. people really need to take notice of this.

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    1. That's good. We live here in Houston, the 4th (arguably 3rd) largest city in the country and not a blip of a story on the local media. I finally saw a story on CNN that was all too brief.

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  3. GMO'd crops and Roundup! Monsanto will be the death of us all! It is very worrisome about the bees. Without them we will starve. A lot of people do not realize how important they are. I wish you much success with your bees. Save me some honey!

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    1. Amen! Monsanto is not concerned with the Earth at all, only profits. Thank you for the kind words and if we have enough this first year, you'll have a jar. ;-)

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  4. GMO's and chemicals not just chemicals on plants but what is getting into water as well well and pollution that's my theory

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    1. You know, that's a very good point. People pour and flush and rinse all sorts of crap down the drains. Having a freshwater well at the farm, and a septic tank, is always a stark reminder to us that whatever we throw down the drain could come back right to us.

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  5. I agree with all of the above and weather can cannot be "planned" for as before. Last winter our bees were out and about all through the winter as it wasn't really cold enough for them to cluster tightly. The occasion cleansing flight is good, but it was more than this. They only have so many flights in them.
    However, we have had two swarms already this year, one from our own and the other from goodness knows where! We will nurture them and they will replace a couple of the five we lost this winter.

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    1. Yes! The weather! Forgot about that, it is crazy here too. It's changed a lot over the years, even subtly, it's not the same and as predictable as it used to be. I've just started reading some bee books about swarming. Keep up your good work too!!!

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  6. Our reliance on chemicals will be the death of us, and our world yet. We really, really need to wake up.

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    1. From your lips....

      So so true. So many natural alternatives, amazing that we still use so many chemicals in stuff, huh?

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  7. Dad was aware of this problem years ago and it continues to increase. Much is from spraying of the vegetation under the power lines. People think nothing of using insecticides. They not only kill the pests but the good guys too. Thanks for bringing this to the public's attention. We need to change our ways before it's too late.

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    1. I always hated using bug spray because just as you said, it doesn't distinguish between good and bad. I never thought about the stuff under the power lines. They are supposed to come do that along the front of our property. I will have to ask them what options we have.

      Definitely need to change, if it's not already too late.

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  8. This is really alarming to me. Does it seem that no one is really all that excited or worried about this? This is a really big deal....without those bees there will be no food! Around here I don't see any bees, not even the native Mason bee and just a couple of bumble bees. Just a few years ago I could go outside while fruit trees were in bloom and listen to the loud buzzing of all the bees. Not now. I must say that your hives are just beautiful! People like you will be our salvation.

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    1. I think so many people don't realize how connected bees are to our food...it's a whole chain of interconnectedness... that's so sad that you aren't seeing many bees anymore. A sign of the problem for sure.

      Thank you for the kind words. We're doing what we can!

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  9. I agree with you that we don't have our priorities straight. Unless Kim Kardashian does something amazing to improve the world, then I don't want to hear about her and her big butt.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. LOL, and I think we all know THAT ain't happening, ha.

      Hugs to you!

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  10. This bee die off has been in the news for years. I am amazed that there is not more focus on pesticides and other chemicals. Oh, right "better living though chemistry."

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    1. I have seen it over the years, but it seems as it gets worse, we hear less and less. Better living through chemistry, yeah, that was never gonna be a good thing was it, ha.

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  11. Mother Nature is crying at us that things are very wrong but very few are listening.
    Go Beekeepers!

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  12. We can't keep hives here due to city regs, but that doesn't mean we can't make our yard and gardens honey - and wild - bee friendly; in fact, I intend to do a post on that in the next week.

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    1. That's an awesome idea! I will look forward to your post and will have to give you a shout out for that. Keep me posted in case I miss it.

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  13. Saw this in the Washington Post this morning: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/whats-all-the-obama-buzz-about-bees/2015/05/18/5ebd1580-fd6a-11e4-805c-c3f407e5a9e9_story.html?hpid=z4

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    1. Wow, that is a great article, thank you for this. I will edit the post and include this...Thanks!!

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  14. Wishing you the very best of lucky in raising your bees.
    Read an interesting fact in our local county CO OP magazine.
    It said, " Honeybees must visit 2 million flowers and travel over 55,000 miles to produce 1 pound of honey." _________According to the National Honey Board

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    1. THANK YOU! Wow, I had never heard that stat...1 lb of honey, wow....amazing huh?

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  15. Here's a fairly recent article regarding Colony Collapse: http://www.ibtimes.com.au/mystery-bee-colony-collapse-may-have-been-solved-1420743

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    1. This is a great article, thank you for this. I'm going to read up on this some more, thanks!!!

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