Malcolm Sanford said: Colony losses on Vancouver Island recounted
Vancouver Island beekeepers are reeling from the worst commercial honeybee die-off in recent memory, with some estimating almost 90 per cent of colonies have been wiped out in the last few months. Many blame a harmful parasite called varroa mites that has become immune to some pesticides, and fear the shortage of bees could affect spring pollination. “The amount of bees that have been lost is just phenomenal,” said Sol Nowitz, a veteran commercial beekeeper who breeds bees and produces honey at the Jingle Pot Apiary in Nanaimo. “It’s the biggest catastrophe to kill bees on the Island ever.” He estimates there are between 2,000 and 3,000 colonies on the Island, about a quarter of the 12,000 colonies that flourished a few years ago. In 2007, Nowitz had 275 colonies. Now left with 15, he is sold out of honey and can no longer afford to sell bees to other beekeepers.
Malcolm Sanford said: More evidence that pyrethroids are not benign in the environment.
Pesticides are agents designed to rid targeted portions of the human environment of undesirable critters - such as boll weevils, roaches or carpenter ants. They're not supposed to harm beneficials. Like bees. Yet a new study from China finds that two widely used pyrethroid pesticides - chemicals that are rather "green" as bug killers go - can significantly impair the pollinators' reproduction. Both chemicals are widely used in North America and elsewhere, including China. And, the researchers point out, the concentration of each pesticide that produced adverse effects in the experiments was at or below those that bees could encounter while pollinating treated crop fields.
Malcolm Sanford said: Journey of one hive to make Manuka Honey in New Zealand
Malcolm Sanford said: The link between Imidacloprid and colony collapse disorder isn't really clear but caution is warranted. I know there are bee hives on the St. Paul campus of the U of M for the agriculture fields. Since the fields are essentially right in the hot zone for EAB infestation I wonder how much pesticide has been used in the area and if there has been any affect on the bee colonies? My concern is that residents who are not experienced in using pesticides will use them incorrectly and in doses that are harmful to the environment in an ultimately futile effort to save ash trees in their yards. Too many homeowners take the "more is better" approach to chemicals and really don't care what labels say.
Malcolm Sanford said: Beekeepers thriving in Detroit; a good place for urban beekeeping
The industry is buzzing Sutherland and his ten hives are just part of the many beekeepers in the Southeastern Michigan area. Most of the commercial operations (500 to 5,000 hives) are farther north. But down here, beekeepers are keeping bees from Detroit to Clarkston, from Grosse Pointe to Ann Arbor, in their backyard gardens, in empty factory lots, and on farmhouse orchards. When it comes to American honey, Michigan is a top ten producer. Michael Hansen, the state apiarist who works within the Department of Agriculture, says that there are an estimated 100,000 honey producing hives in the state during the summer. "But that's quite an underestimate," he says. "I wouldn't be shocked if the number was closer to 150,000 hives."
Malcolm Sanford said: Bee losses in British Columbia add to beekeeper woes in Canada
An unprecedented die-off of commercial honeybees on southern Vancouver Island this winter has left beekeepers in the region scrambling to rebuild their devastated stocks in time for spring. "It's really bad between Nanaimo and Victoria. We're talking in the vicinity of about 90-per-cent losses," said Stan Reist, president of the B.C. Honey Producers Association. "It's hit most of the commercial guys pretty hard." While many beekeepers blame the high mortality rate on the varroa mite, a parasite that began afflicting the Vancouver Island bee population around 1997, Mr. Reist said researchers have yet to confirm the exact cause of this winter's population collapse.
Malcolm Sanford said: The Varroa mite continues to be the main problem in colonies
MANCHESTER - The third in a series of "Getting Started with Honeybees" workshops is upon us. Come share in the learning with bee wizard Jack Rath. You do not need to have attended the last two workshops to glean. The refreshments are delicious, the audience participation in thought provoking and the company is sweet. All workshops are held at the Israel Congregation on Rt. 7A north of Manchester at 7 p.m. For further information on this free event contact Maddie Sobel at 362-4452 or Scout Proft at 362-2290. The next meeting will be held on April 14 and will be a networking roundtable among all beekeepers.
Malcolm Sanford said: A northern California blog. Hear queens piping.
Malcolm Sanford said: A beekeeper of 30 years has an allergic reaction and is transported in an ambulance. Nice blog from an experienced beekeeper over several seasons.
Bees take flight to the city after fall in rural hive numbers - Nature, Environment - The Independent
Malcolm Sanford said: An increase in urban beekeeping is being touted as a response to honey bee losses in Britian
The buzzing of bees, part of the essence of rural life, may soon become a city sound. A new army of urban beekeepers is being recruited as part of an ambitious project to halt the worrying decline in British honeybees. The plan is to site hives in city gardens and allotments across the UK, and even on the roofs of buildings, to help rebuild honeybee numbers, which are believed to have halved in Britain between 1985 and 2005, and more recently to have declined even more steeply in some areas. The reasons are not clear, but it may be a combination of pesticide use, warmer winters because of climate change and infections such as that caused by the varroa mite. Honeybees in Britain produce 5,000 tonnes of honey a year and their pollination of fruit trees and other crops are estimated to be worth £165m annually.