the blueberry news

Excerpts and links of interest to Beekeepers
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karen
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the blueberry news

Unread post by karen » May 25th, 2015, 6:17 am

The wild blueberry company's chief shares the buzz on the bee problem.
http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/24/m ... maine-ceo/

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Charlie
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Re: the blueberry news

Unread post by Charlie » May 25th, 2015, 1:39 pm

But Flanagan thinks the primary culprit may be in how the beekeepers treat honeybees for a pervasive problem, varroa mites, that transmit viruses and/or feed on the bee’s pupa (think ticks for bees). Eighty-eight percent of the pesticide presence on the bees, according to Wyman’s, was the miticides used to fight the varroa mite. “You’re trying to kill a bug that is on a bug, and that is a really tricky thing,” he said. “The beekeepers don’t necessarily admit this, but I think in their desperation to keep the business going, they might be over-applying the miticides.
It's an interesting point of view because the way I read this he is saying "Beekeepers are poisoning their Bees in an effort to keep their business alive".

I'm pretty sure I disagree with this type of logic. I would need to see some pretty hard evidence to even consider the validity of his statements. Paraphrasing "88% of the pesticide presence on bees was miticides" without knowing the sample size, the locations, the time of year, the context of how the testing was done, 88% is meaningless. Issues with honeybees are much more complex and to have somebody finger-pointing does not help get to the bottom of the Issues.

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Allen Dick
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Re: the blueberry news

Unread post by Allen Dick » May 25th, 2015, 8:48 pm

Well, I am not sure of the exact stats and the breakdown of the numerous pesticides found in US beehives, but a significant amount in terms of both numbers and concentrations are beekeeper-applied.

I think this info is not too hard to dig up on some of the US sites and maybe someone has that info handy?
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Countryboy
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Re: the blueberry news

Unread post by Countryboy » May 25th, 2015, 10:14 pm

I'm pretty sure I disagree with this type of logic. I would need to see some pretty hard evidence to even consider the validity of his statements.
You're not going to find hard evidence of something everyone refuses to look at, and it is utter nonsense to suggest a need for hard evidence.

Off-label or unapproved miticide use is VERY common in commercial beekeeping. This is a known fact. Getting beekeepers to openly admit what dosage or what unapproved treatment they used...that is the hard part.

Gee, did you read the topic about Plan B for varroa? Did you happen to notice a post about an unapproved mite treatment, using homemade dosages?

Have you ever heard of TakTic? The blue shop towels (or meat pads) with formic? Or getting fluvalinate for orchard spray, and using it on bees?

A few years ago there were heavy bee losses, after beekeepers were unable to obtain the off label miticide they were using. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to be able to put two and two together.
The beekeepers don’t necessarily admit this, but I think in their desperation to keep the business going, they might be over-applying the miticides.
I don't think there is any thinking about it, and I don't think there is a might about it either. While not every beekeeper uses off label treatments, it is extremely common among commercial beekeepers. While honey producing beekeepers try to avoid contaminating honey, migratory beekeepers who don't produce honey have much more leeway to use whatever they want to try to control the mites.
I think this info is not too hard to dig up on some of the US sites and maybe someone has that info handy?
I believe it was Maryann Frazier at Penn State who did the studies if anyone needs a helpful hint and is inclined to look for the studies. (I'm not so inclined.) The short summary of the study was that bees bring in numerous pesticides, but the only levels of pesticides that were high were beekeeper applied miticides. The levels of pesticides in the combs that came from outside the hive are minimal.
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