Honeybee losses soar!

Excerpts and links of interest to Beekeepers
Post Reply
User avatar
Countryboy
Forum Regular
Posts: 523
Joined: November 8th, 2010, 9:37 pm
Location: Central Ohio
Contact:

Honeybee losses soar!

Unread post by Countryboy » May 13th, 2015, 3:49 pm

http://news.yahoo.com/u-honeybee-losses ... ector.html
"Such high colony losses in the summer and year-round remain very troubling," Jeff Pettis, a USDA senior entomologist, said in a statement.

Pettis said on Wednesday that the high summer losses weakened the argument that mites are behind the large losses as the mites are most active in winter.
The mites are most active in winter? Oh really?

I think it is more likely the high losses are just on paper, and are caused by government workers who are on drugs. (or are government workers just idiots?)

Didn't Pettis step down/get fired from the USDA last year?
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

User avatar
Vance G
Forum Regular
Posts: 251
Joined: October 26th, 2011, 7:38 pm
Location: Latitude: 47°30′13″N Longitude: 111°17′11″W Great Falls Montana

Re: Honeybee losses soar!

Unread post by Vance G » May 13th, 2015, 7:52 pm

We just need to relax and settle for our status as Warrior GODS saving the bees and keep selling those newbies colonies.

User avatar
Allen Dick
Site Admin
Posts: 1693
Joined: February 25th, 2003, 10:09 pm
Location: Swalwell, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Honeybee losses soar!

Unread post by Allen Dick » May 14th, 2015, 3:30 am

My understanding is just that Jeff stepped back from his management and speaking work to do more research. He is very good at whatever he puts his hand to, but admin work gets tedious and unfulfilling to a person who wants to work in the lab and the fields. I've never heard anyone say anything but good about him.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
Forum owner/janitor
---
Customise your experience at Honeybeeworld Forum at your User control Panel
Change the appearance and layout with your Board Preferences
Please upload your own avatar picture at Edit Avatar. It's easy!
Return to main diary page

User avatar
Countryboy
Forum Regular
Posts: 523
Joined: November 8th, 2010, 9:37 pm
Location: Central Ohio
Contact:

Re: Honeybee losses soar!

Unread post by Countryboy » May 14th, 2015, 1:26 pm

I've never heard anyone say anything but good about him.
I guess I'll be the first then? Since when are mites most active in winter?
"Such high colony losses in the summer and year-round remain very troubling," Jeff Pettis, a USDA senior entomologist, said in a statement.

Pettis said on Wednesday that the high summer losses weakened the argument that mites are behind the large losses as the mites are most active in winter.
It seems like Pettis has an ax to grind with neonics. It appears he wants to link bee losses to neonics, regardless of a lack of solid evidence. It also appears that he is dismissive of the impact of varroa.

In talking with experienced beekeepers, commercial beekeepers, and my own observations, varroa has been the number one problem for beekeepers for probably the past 50 years. (My own experience doesn't go back 50 years, but other's experiences do.)
B. Farmer Honey
Central Ohio

User avatar
Allen Dick
Site Admin
Posts: 1693
Joined: February 25th, 2003, 10:09 pm
Location: Swalwell, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Honeybee losses soar!

Unread post by Allen Dick » May 14th, 2015, 1:30 pm

That is not what Jeff said but what some unnamed person says Jeff said. It makes no sense.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
Forum owner/janitor
---
Customise your experience at Honeybeeworld Forum at your User control Panel
Change the appearance and layout with your Board Preferences
Please upload your own avatar picture at Edit Avatar. It's easy!
Return to main diary page

User avatar
Bryan
Forum Regular
Posts: 7
Joined: February 26th, 2015, 2:41 pm
Location: Hanna, AB

Re: Honeybee losses soar!

Unread post by Bryan » May 16th, 2015, 12:31 pm

The difficulty with these stats is the broad, general nature of the numbers with no details on the beekeepers themselves. The report is from a sample of 400,000 hives, kept by 6,100 beekeepers. That averages about 65 hives per beekeeper (which makes me wonder about the experience level of the beekeepers; it's safe to assume some/many are new?). Some will be much larger operations, and some will be smaller. New, less experienced beekeepers (like myself) could skew the numbers and shower high losses due to rookie mistakes and missing early warning signs that a veteran beekeeper would be able to catch and correct.

The headline is designed to generate traffic (which pays the bills), but leads to reactionary finger-pointing (neonics, varroa, etc.). It can be tough to point fingers to one cause without understanding the practices employed to manage the hives - which seems to vary greatly (5 beekeepers, 6 opinions).

This is my rookie opinion. I am new and learning at all this - just trying to save the world one bee at a time ;).

User avatar
karen
Forum Regular
Posts: 275
Joined: March 19th, 2012, 5:57 am
Location: Maine
Contact:

Re: Honeybee losses soar!

Unread post by karen » May 16th, 2015, 4:55 pm

Another article on how bad the losses where this past year. It states that the report is based on a survey of 14.5 percent of the nation’s beekeepers. That is not many.
http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/ ... 1505160024

My losses where 10% and have been around that for a few years now. My state had losses at 60%, Pennsylvania beat us by .6%. I have been getting desperate calls from people looking for bees. I have taken orders for as many splits as I think I can handle, these are spring splits that will be ready in a few weeks. The packages I brought in are long gone but I am still getting calls for packages.

It comes down to Varroa and taking off to much honey. I know around here people are treating for Varroa to late, the damage is done by the time they get a treatment on in September, they do not think about having virus free winter bees. The reason they wait so long is they do not want to pull supers during the fall flow, they want every drop of honey they can get.

User avatar
Allen Dick
Site Admin
Posts: 1693
Joined: February 25th, 2003, 10:09 pm
Location: Swalwell, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Honeybee losses soar!

Unread post by Allen Dick » May 16th, 2015, 5:06 pm

It comes down to Varroa and taking off to much honey. I know around here people are treating for Varroa to late, the damage is done by the time they get a treatment on in September, they do not think about having virus free winter bees. The reason they wait so long is they do not want to pull supers during the fall flow, they want every drop of honey they can get.
That is a good argument to raise bees and not take off honey.

Honey production interferes with mite control, but when raising nucs, mites can be controlled anytime.

The big problem is that there is no income the first year after switching to nuc raising since there is no honey to sell in fall.
Allen Dick, RR#1 Swalwell, Alberta, Canada T0M 1Y0
51° 33'39.64"N 113°18'52.45"W
http://www.honeybeeworld.com/Allen%27s%20Beehives.kmz
Forum owner/janitor
---
Customise your experience at Honeybeeworld Forum at your User control Panel
Change the appearance and layout with your Board Preferences
Please upload your own avatar picture at Edit Avatar. It's easy!
Return to main diary page

User avatar
karen
Forum Regular
Posts: 275
Joined: March 19th, 2012, 5:57 am
Location: Maine
Contact:

Re: Honeybee losses soar!

Unread post by karen » May 16th, 2015, 5:13 pm

The big problem is that there is no income the first year after switching to nuc raising since there is no honey to sell in fall.
I don't get a huge honey crop but I get enough so that when I sell it retail I make enough in the winter to buy groceries. I get a couple hundred pounds of spring honey and @ 1200 fall. Enough to keep me out of trouble and to keep me sticky. My real focus is bees and queens, honey is a by-product.

Post Reply