Dying Bees

  • Orland23

    Posts: 325

    Apr 08, 2015 3:19 AM GMT
    There are not as many bees buzzing around your lawn or garden. The bees are dying, "Colony Collapse Disorder"; which is likely due to pesticides, pests, diseases or some other factors. If bees did not exists, there won't be as much food to grow, in fact much of our food needs to be pollinated. Without bees, either some of our food would not be able to reproduce or bear fruit unless we come up with robotic bees/pollinatorsicon_sad.gif.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/04/scientists-explain-why-we-need-honey-bees-to-live/
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    Apr 08, 2015 3:33 AM GMT
    Queen Bee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAnTnZjyDaw
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    Apr 08, 2015 4:21 AM GMT
    Makes a nice story, but not actually true. Always good to go witch hunting to deflect blame from oneself.

    Colony collapse in commercial bee hives is increasing because of the beekeeping industry. When I was a kid, every orchard kept their own bees. People sold honey on the side, small time. Now, bees are trucked around the country and rented to farmers at exorbitant prices. Small beekeepers are giving way to massive corporations.

    The bees are in a different state every week. Tended by minimum-wage workers. Exposed to new diseases and parasites every day. Kept under constant stress. They don't do well under those conditions. Has nothing to do with pesticides. (Except you have to move them on to the next state before you apply insecticides, so it just keeps them moving.)

    Ours only make three stops: California, Oregon, and Utah. They get to rest for a few months after each blossom season. No problem.

    (All the hives from our valley have their "vacation" in my woods. Good security system too icon_wink.gif )
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    Apr 08, 2015 4:04 PM GMT
    ^^really interesting. And I do recall seeing more honey stands that I don't see anymore. I loves honey. Not knowing the industry, I never would have connected those things.

    But I thought I'd read in the past, probably a metta8 thread?, about some parasite on them. Was that info incorrect? Or is the parasite a problem because of shipping/overwork stresses?
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    Apr 08, 2015 4:17 PM GMT
    Yes, varroa mites are the main visible thing attacking bee colonies. The question is whether they are a cause or a symptom. E.g., maybe they're more able to attack bees that are weakened by a virus. You can medicate hives against the mites, but the treatment is kind of toxic too.

    This is another one of those sucky years for pollenization. Our blossoms were early, so the bees were late getting moved from California. Then the weather immediately turned cool and damp again - too cold for bees to fly but just great for fungus. Tomorrow and Friday are probably the last possible days.
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    Apr 08, 2015 4:43 PM GMT



    Yet there are a lot of places where bees are not trucked around etc like they are in the US, and the problem is the same.

    A local bee research team discovered that farmers plant mono crops. Problem with this is that it's like a person eating nothing but broccoli. The team advised the farmers to plant borders of various types of flowering shrubs etc.

    Some places have put a temporary ban on neonicotinoids. This is good, as the way to find out the problem is, I think, process of elimination.
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    Apr 08, 2015 4:50 PM GMT



    Interestingly, urban apiaries, like the ones we have here on top of highrise hotels, are healthy. The bees have access to an enormous variety of flowers, are far away from crop spraying, and apparently EMFs are not causing hive collapse as thought, as these rooftops bristle with antennae and satellite dishes etc.


    You guys have this going on in the US as well. Chicago for one. Washington DC another. Vacnouver City Hall has hives on the gov't building's roof as well, and I understand those colonies are about 8 years old now - no collapse.
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    Apr 08, 2015 4:57 PM GMT
    Actually, the neonicotinamides are heavily used on ornamental plants - urban pesticides. We've never used them. Anyway, they were supposed to be the new wave of "kindler gentler" insecticides, because they're biomimetic. As if there were any logic to that.

    I was just walking around outside and didn't see a single bee. (Still a few degrees too cold.) last Thursday, the last nice day, the whole hillside was just one big HUMMMMMMMMM.
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    Apr 08, 2015 5:11 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidActually, the neonicotinamides are heavily used on ornamental plants - urban pesticides. We've never used them. Anyway, they were supposed to be the new wave of "kindler gentler" insecticides, because they're biomimetic. As if there were any logic to that.

    I was just walking around outside and didn't see a single bee. (Still a few degrees too cold.) last Thursday, the last nice day, the whole hillside was just one big HUMMMMMMMMM.


    That was an issue up here, about buying potted plants that had been treated with neonicotinoids. Vendors moved very fast to address that concern (once the media dragged them into the spotlight, lol), which was great. The push for quite awhile has been to buy perennials, rather than annuals.
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    Apr 08, 2015 5:26 PM GMT
    Maybe if Californians really stop watering their lawns and go with prairie-style landscaping, they'll get bumblebees back in town.
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    Apr 08, 2015 7:45 PM GMT
    I was thinking about setting up a hive in my back yard. I met a gay guy who has one in his yard; he lives in Berkeley. But I was worrying/wondering if they would bother my neighbors.

    And then I had been skimming a book about beer brewing and it had a section on making mead. I didn't know that mead is a fermented honey solution. In the book the author said that it's important to use honey bought from a bee keeper and to not use store bought honey.
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    Apr 08, 2015 9:31 PM GMT
    I recently saw a story (don't remember where) about a father/son team who invented a self-extracting hive frame. If it works, it should be good for backyard hobbyists. Would cut down on the amount of equipment you need. In their demo, they just cranked a handle and honey ran right out of the hive... I'm a bit unclear on how the bees re-use those frames though. Seems like you'd have to at least remove them from the hive and clean them. Which might be more of a hassle than setting up new ones. Also: no honeycomb for kids to suck on icon_cry.gif

    http://www.boredpanda.com/honey-on-tap-flow-hive-stuart-cedar-anderson/
    Oh, they have an indiegogo going. Holy shit! $8 million funded of their $70K goal.
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive

    I've never made meade, but once in college I made a small batch of white cherry wine. The sugar content wasn't high enough, and I didn't have any sugar, so I made it up with honey. It came out great! Never have been able to duplicate it though. (The problem with cherry wine is that if it gets too dry, you end up with that kirsch taste that nobody likes. The honey seemed to cover that up.)
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    Apr 08, 2015 9:50 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidhttp://www.boredpanda.com/honey-on-tap-flow-hive-stuart-cedar-anderson/
    Oh, they have an indiegogo going. Holy shit! $8 million funded of their $70K goal.
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/flow-hive-honey-on-tap-directly-from-your-beehive

    Maybe the money is from the honey industry?
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    Apr 08, 2015 9:59 PM GMT
    That sounds interesting about the honey cherry wine. Makes me wonder if people have tried blending honey with other fruits.

    I was reading a book that was set in Paris and in it the characters would take a break and drink calvados, which I'd never heard of. Turns out that it's hard apple cider that's been distilled, an apple cider brandy. That made me wonder what other fruits have been fermented and then distilled. Bananas? Vodka is potatoes, but has anyone made vodka from sweet potatoes or yams? (Kirsch is a distilled brandy made from fermented cherries.)
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    Apr 08, 2015 10:04 PM GMT
    Hmm. In their FAQs, they claim that the bees will clean up the frames themselves. That sounds like my kind of division of labor icon_wink.gif

    As far as bothering the neighbors, honeybees are pretty non-aggresive unless you start messing with the hive. If you get within about ten feet (when they are active) you start getting that "may I help you?" buzz. Remember the African Honeybee scare? All of our bees are a little bit africanized now. It was mostly a non-event. Unless you start messing with the hive. A bunch of angry little lesbos start swarming around you.

    One problem that I have - and we're talking about a group of 100 hives here - is sometimes they zero in on some pollen source on the other side of the county road, and there is like this river of bees flowing back and forth across the road, right at windshield height icon_eek.gif I had to stretch nylon stocking over my bike helmet because they'd fly right into the vents, get tangled in my hair, and start stinging.
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    Apr 08, 2015 10:13 PM GMT
    I forgot about the other problem for me with keeping bees. I have a guy who comes every other week to do my yard work. My yard isn't big and I don't have an out of the way place where I could put the hive that he could avoid. Maybe the left back corner. The right back corner is a bit under one of the grapefruit trees and he needs to get back there to pick up the grapefruits on the ground (which is pretty much all he has to do during the summer).
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    Apr 08, 2015 10:17 PM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal saidThat sounds interesting about the honey cherry wine. Makes me wonder if people have tried blending honey with other fruits.

    I was reading a book that was set in Paris and in it the characters would take a break and drink calvados, which I'd never heard of. Turns out that it's hard apple cider that's been distilled, an apple cider brandy. That made me wonder what other fruits have been fermented and then distilled. Bananas? Vodka is potatoes, but has anyone made vodka from sweet potatoes or yams? (Kirsch is a distilled brandy made from fermented cherries.)





    Slivovitz is another one. Similar to Kirsch except made with plums. Popular in Eastern Europe, I've heard. Sort of like a European tequila.

    And yes, we have a local distillery that was originally part of the farmers coop. Founded to make brandy from leftover or otherwise unmarketable fruit. They currently have a reputation of making the worst (and cheapest) rotgut liquors in the country. A few years ago, they talked about a plan to bring out a new line of premium brandies, but I don't know if that's still a thing.

    http://hrdspirits.com


    "Hard" cider is a big fad right now. In fact, one of my neighbors has opened a cider bar in town.

    http://rackandcloth.com

    Nothing directly to do with bees or honey though.
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    Apr 08, 2015 10:26 PM GMT
    Thanks, nice to know about slivovitz. That was in another book I'd read that was set in Yugoslavia during WWII. http://lukemccallin.com/
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Apr 09, 2015 11:34 AM GMT
    Lumpyoatmeal saidThat sounds interesting about the honey cherry wine. Makes me wonder if people have tried blending honey with other fruits.

    I was reading a book that was set in Paris and in it the characters would take a break and drink calvados, which I'd never heard of. Turns out that it's hard apple cider that's been distilled, an apple cider brandy. That made me wonder what other fruits have been fermented and then distilled. Bananas? Vodka is potatoes, but has anyone made vodka from sweet potatoes or yams? (Kirsch is a distilled brandy made from fermented cherries.)


    https://shop.tucanarias.com/Producto_483-Cobana_Canarian_Banana_Liqueur_035_L.html
    I think I tried it once over there, rather sweet & disgusting (but I don't like bananas).
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    Apr 18, 2015 4:03 PM GMT
    13.7 million bees injured - or at least very pissed off - in single-vehicle accident:
    Don't drive buzzed icon_confused.gif

    -8dc6b83c3527c082.jpg

    http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/04/bees_swarm_highway_near_seattl.html