Bee die off hasn’t happened

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The uncertainty of science: Despite numerous claims by environmentalists and scientists in the past decade that the bee population was dying off, new data from the Agriculture Department suggests that bee populations are now at a 20 year high.

The reason? It appears that beekeepers have been very innovative and creative when faced with disease or other problems that hurt bees. Driven by the profit motive and competition and free to act, they have come up with solutions.


  • ralph

    Not what I hear from beekeepers that I know. And not what I see, based on long time observations of the number of bees attracted to the flowers in our front yard. Sounds like somebody’s shilling for the pesticide industry…

  • pzatchok

    hives have died off.
    But because of diligent keepers they have maneuvered the remaining hives to create more Queens and they have harvested less honey in order to swell the hive size and thus force it to split and create more hives with the new queens.

    They have also diversified the general bee genetic population by bringing in different hives for as far away as possible.

    I have read of one local keeper who lost 3 of 20 hives to the winter weather but found his remaining hives had produced 20 new queens that he could separate and start new hives with. Not all survived but he ended up having to give away queens because he didn’t have enough hives to house them.

    They have also started to promote non honey creating bees to non keepers as a way to help gardeners pollinate their home gardens. Like Mason Orchard bees.
    The US has 4000 native species of bees and they end up pollinating more plants and more varieties than honey bees. Most though only pollinate a very limited variety of plants.
    Attract them and help save the honey bee

  • Nicholas Paizis

    I’m not a bee keeper but here in SE Arizona we’ve had a huge number of swarms. So many that I’ve helped exterminate quite a few and know of lots more. They’re 100% Africanized and there’s no shortage here.

  • You should click on the link and then click through to the actual Agriculture Department report. The numbers are very convincing, and would be difficult to fake.

  • Phill O

    As a former commercial beekeeper, I want to weigh in. When others were experiencing winter hive losses above 50%, I routinely had 2% loss. My hive numbers doubled every year. Hence I had back surgery and had to sell out.

    Consider a teter-toter (sp?). The fulcrum is fixed. When the Varroa mite came into North America, it weighed down on one end. The only way to put things back into balance was to move the fulcrum; that is, to change beekeeper management practices. Sure, the miticides helped, but beekeeper have had a poor relationship to chemical companies which has included sueing them. That was not wise as those terrible chemical companies were the only ones who had the money to register good products to combat the varroa. Beekeeper were also trying all sorts of ways to cut costs. This included using queens from the southern hemisphere whose genetics were not capable of withstanding the pressures of American foulbrood as well as the varroa. So to save a couple of dollars per queen, they introduced bad genetics and the subsequent Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). I learned the hard way! However, because I labeled the queen source for all my hives, I was able to determine quite clearly the source of my problem in 2000 and have never used those crappy genetics again. Weavers (TX) have enjoyed a very good reputation for quality queens. they are operating essentially africanised free hives even in the heart of africanized country. I used Kona queens exclusively as they were readily available in Alberta and had great genetics.

    The key to management is new brood chambers every 10 years and use new queens from a reliable source. I will be advising a few friends in the Portal Animas and Cotton city areas for queen rearing. The Africanized stock seems quite resistant to the varroa mite. This, combined with the great nectar flow last year and this spring, may well be the cause of the vast number of swarms in the SW USA.

    For the mean time, I will bee heaven.

    Phill O.

  • Jwing

    Take that, all you enviro-marxists. You see, nature offers the best argument for free market competition and capitalism. “Survival of the Fittest” requires total competition for scare natural resources and their proper distribution/allocation. No well intentioned EPA or any government agency can hold a candle to nature’s law of competition. There are no privileged groups…ultimately you either adapt to survive or your species goes extinct, as in “out of business” or Chapter Seven.
    Isn’t nature beautiful??!!!!

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