Are Bees Being Worked To Death?
– In France a few years back they had a CCD like problem, French beekeepers traced it back to the pesticide, Imidacloprid. Now Imidacloprid is banned in France, but available everywhere else. Seeds of many cash crops are treated with Imidacloprid, after the treatment the pestacide will continue to show up in the mature plant, including it’s flowers, nectar, and pollen. Imidacloprid is a deadly neurotoxin in insects. Even without Imidacloprid, the methods of conventional commercial beekeeping are really hard on bees. Moving hives increases losses, feeding high fructose corn syrup while taking all the honey leaves bees malnourished, repeated doses of pesticide for mites weaken the bees too, frequent outside requeening doesn’t allow the hive to adapt to its local climate, it’s no wonder that commercial beekeeping is in trouble. I’m a natural beekeeper, I don’t use any chemicals on my hives, I don’t have to move them, because my area has plenty of forage, and I’m planting more. My bees keep mites in check, because I let the bees decide how big to make their brood cells. I let my hives raise new queens, and adapt to the local conditions. Commercial beekeeping uses a plastic foundation in the hive for comb that forces the bees to make bigger bees. Bigger bees stay almost two days longer in their brood cells, a duration which is complimentary to the lifes cycle of the Varroa mite. The bees grow to be 1.5 times the size of a natural bee, but their wings only enlarge 20% making the big bees less able to carry large loads of pollen. The bigger bees also have trouble with keeping the hive clean, which encourages mites and other disease. The problem is, to do right by the bees, we will have to change the way agriculture is done in this country, and there are a lot of people invested in things staying the way they are.
ARTICLE ON BEE PROBLEM http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=1829