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Old 09-24-2018, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,428 posts, read 41,500,181 times
Reputation: 46982

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I'm doing my part. We need to encourage our local governments to do the same.

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Old 09-24-2018, 06:20 PM
 
285 posts, read 180,788 times
Reputation: 562
There are a lot of reasons for the "bee decline" or "Hive Collapse Syndrome" or any other name you want to give it.

First, we must realize that the European Honey Bee is not native here and has escaped cultivation and is now omni present throughout North America. If it was any other insect we would call it an invasive exotic.

I don't want to discount how important the Honey Bee is to our modern agriculture though. almost every plant product we eat needs honey bees to produce the vast amounts of foods we are blessed with. Bees in general and honey bees in particular are most important for fruit crops. We would probably starve without them.

Traditional agriculture depended on bees as well. The difference was that bee hives were kept in one place while crops were rotated and sometimes the land lay fallow. Most of the time the bees were not feeding on the crop's pollen and nectar but the weeds and wild flowers surrounding the farm and the trees in the woods close by. The bees had a varied and healthy diet and did not suffer the trauma of frequent moves.

Now a days, bees are moved constantly so that they can pollinate crops. Maybe the crops in Florida are first because it is warm there and plants come into bloom early. Next moved to North Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Next is Texas and California then Oregon and Washington. The bees never get a rest, are always on the move and are forced to feed on things they might not naturally choose.

On top of the intensive use of the honey bees is our use of pesticides. Keep in mind that without pesticides we could not produce the amount of food it takes to feed ourselves, let alone being the bread basket of the world. I think the neonicotinoids (eg. Bayers imidacloprid) are one of the hardest chemicals on bees. Not killing them out right but disorienting them and rendering them unable to find their way back to the hive.
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Old 10-01-2018, 02:55 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,424 posts, read 19,940,765 times
Reputation: 22297
I just planted 2 Red Fairy Dusters here in Tucson. Once grown I won't be able to go within 2 feet of those plants as they'll be covered with bees. A neighbor has one, down the street, and that plant is always swarming with bees! But this is Tucson where we can plant up to Zone 9 plants.
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
18,754 posts, read 12,393,098 times
Reputation: 24044
I donít have answers for this problem, but I know I can buy local honey produced by local bees cared for by local beekeepers. You can often find local honey at farmersí markets or at your local Whole Foods or natural foods store. That is one way to encourage local beekeepers who care properly for their bees.
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:11 AM
 
4,251 posts, read 1,448,026 times
Reputation: 9843
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeZoo View Post
There are a lot of reasons for the "bee decline" or "Hive Collapse Syndrome" or any other name you want to give it.

First, we must realize that the European Honey Bee is not native here and has escaped cultivation and is now omni present throughout North America. If it was any other insect we would call it an invasive exotic.

I don't want to discount how important the Honey Bee is to our modern agriculture though. almost every plant product we eat needs honey bees to produce the vast amounts of foods we are blessed with. Bees in general and honey bees in particular are most important for fruit crops. We would probably starve without them.

Traditional agriculture depended on bees as well. The difference was that bee hives were kept in one place while crops were rotated and sometimes the land lay fallow. Most of the time the bees were not feeding on the crop's pollen and nectar but the weeds and wild flowers surrounding the farm and the trees in the woods close by. The bees had a varied and healthy diet and did not suffer the trauma of frequent moves.

Now a days, bees are moved constantly so that they can pollinate crops. Maybe the crops in Florida are first because it is warm there and plants come into bloom early. Next moved to North Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Next is Texas and California then Oregon and Washington. The bees never get a rest, are always on the move and are forced to feed on things they might not naturally choose.

On top of the intensive use of the honey bees is our use of pesticides. Keep in mind that without pesticides we could not produce the amount of food it takes to feed ourselves, let alone being the bread basket of the world. I think the neonicotinoids (eg. Bayers imidacloprid) are one of the hardest chemicals on bees. Not killing them out right but disorienting them and rendering them unable to find their way back to the hive.


I have a friend that raises bees, and he told me that moving them around takes a way bigger toll than the pesticides.


He was also telling me that during WWII, a LOT of people raised bees because of sugar rations, so they'd raise bees for the honey instead. It was during that time that the honey bee population exploded. Since that time, a lot of people don't raise bees anymore.
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:40 AM
 
5 posts, read 818 times
Reputation: 15
not to kill the bee:
do not use toxic sprays
plant more blooming plants
maybe build a street
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Old 10-04-2018, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
6,898 posts, read 5,138,152 times
Reputation: 9276
I actually read that the bee decline was reversing.
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:45 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
1,615 posts, read 615,195 times
Reputation: 3203
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeZoo View Post
There are a lot of reasons for the "bee decline" or "Hive Collapse Syndrome" or any other name you want to give it.....

.

Very good post, but a few points were not factual--


You're right that many fruit & nut trees and bushes require insect pollinators-- but if the invasive honey bee numbers were to decrease, native pollinators numbers would increase again to take up the slack. Nut & fruit farmers like the reliability of flooding their crops with commercial, itinerant bee populations.-- fewer "off years" as natural populations tend to cycle up & down.


Most of our food crops are wind pollinated- beans, corn, wheat, oats, or self-pollinated, like tomatoes, lettuce & spinach. Potatoes, another mainstay of our diet, of course, needs no pollination. We wouldn't starve.


That cycling of natural populations is the best explanation for CCD. It has happened repeatedly in the past, we just didn't have a press with an agenda to publicize it before. Varroa mite & bee populations are intertwined like, say, deer & wolf populations. Fascinating math. Everyone interested in the environment should become acquainted with it.


Here in rural America, there's no decline in pollinator populations. In Suburbia, people replace meadow and it's wild flowers with sterile, short grass lawns. Then they try to protect that un-natural turf and eliminate three of the very best flowers for bees-- clover, dandelions and Creeping Charlie. Let it grow if you want more bees of all kinds. How serious are we about this problem?
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Top of the South, NZ
15,832 posts, read 12,381,120 times
Reputation: 5038
I've got plenty of winter flowering species here, for bees during winter, and there always seems to be plenty of bees around -even with varroa mite around.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:14 AM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,406 posts, read 42,557,582 times
Reputation: 56937
There is a big article on this subject in our paper today. On Tybee Island, GA, pesticides were the cause of a beekeeper losing his bees in the spring...mosquito and fire ant pesticides. However, the bees have died again, and they cannot find any traces of pesticides this time.
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