Home Page
   Articles
       links
About Us    
Traders        
Recipes            
Latest Articles
Not such a crisis

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> The Apiary
Author 
 Message
Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19829
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 15 8:40 am    Post subject: Not such a crisis  Reply with quote    

http://grist.org/food/why-the-bee-crisis-isnt-as-bad-as-you-think-but-still-matters

Posted through our society. I thought it was interesting.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 15 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There's also the factor that many of our best crops, some of which help pollinators through association with the landscape features mentioned, are wind pollinated. If we learned to appreciate them more and utilise them fully we could have a much more sustainable mix.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 15 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: Not such a crisis Reply with quote    

Cathryn wrote:
http://grist.org/food/why-the-bee-crisis-isnt-as-bad-as-you-think-but-still-matters

Posted through our society. I thought it was interesting.

A very well written article.
I've noticed a large increase in new beekeepers because of the amounts of press bees have had in recent years.
A lot of the old school think that's bad as a lot of the new beeks are inexperienced but IMHO the more bee colonies there are the better (within reason) I would much rather see odd neglected colonies here & there than well managed apiaries of fifty or one hundred hives. Regardless of health & disease spread, that many bees in one area doesn't leave room for their wild neighbours, the humble bumbles get out-competed.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8823

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 15 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

An interesting article, but wasn't the problem in the Isle of Wight called Isle of Wight disease a specific disease, now called nosema? I don't know about the other collapses, but is the reason for some of them now known?

Tavascarow, it is good that more beekeepers are coming in, and yes, more distribution of colonies is good. It concerns me slightly that a number of the new keepers are rejecting all the old ideas and completely blaming the bee decline on the constant inspection and manipulation of bees. While I would admit that the usual way of keeping bees in the UK is probably not perfect, rejecting all the ways can lead to swarming and disease without the beekeeper being aware of it.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 15 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
An interesting article, but wasn't the problem in the Isle of Wight called Isle of Wight disease a specific disease, now called nosema? I don't know about the other collapses, but is the reason for some of them now known?

Tavascarow, it is good that more beekeepers are coming in, and yes, more distribution of colonies is good. It concerns me slightly that a number of the new keepers are rejecting all the old ideas and completely blaming the bee decline on the constant inspection and manipulation of bees. While I would admit that the usual way of keeping bees in the UK is probably not perfect, rejecting all the ways can lead to swarming and disease without the beekeeper being aware of it.
I don't blame the decline on constant interventions by beekeepers, but I would definitely say it's contributing to the problem.
The more an animal is stressed the more susceptible it is to ilness & disease & so much can be found out by careful observation at the hive entrance, there really isn't a need to be constantly opening hives .

Many conventional beekeeping practices are not helpful.
Stopping them fulfilling instincts like swarming & comb building again adds to stress. Allowing them to swarm induces a brood break in both the parent colony & the swarm, this also breaks the varroa breeding cycle & helps 'naturally' to reduce that pests numbers.
Removal & renewal of comb as practiced in most 'natural' beekeeping methods reduces brood disease risk.
A practice now recognised & reccomended by conventional authorities , but only recently.

I could go on & on but basically 'modern beekeeping' hasn't changed much since Langstroth invented his hive in Victorian times & IMHO most 'conventional' beekeepers keep their bees in a very Victorian way.
Working over & trying to control nature instead of working with it & that will always lead to problems.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8823

PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 15 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Perhaps we will always disagree about some aspects of beekeeping Tavascarow, but living in a suburban area, swarms are not a good idea. When I was our association swarm co-ordinator I had any number of people on the phone panicking because there was a swarm in their garden, and worse still, taking up residence in their cavity wall. In the latter case, we had to advise living with it or getting in destroyed, as our beekeepers couldn't take the house apart to get the bees out.

Artificial swarming works quite well and I think is and has been practices among conventional beekeepers for some time. New comb has been encouraged for a few years now, but agree that this is relatively new.

Conventional beekeepers are very variable. We always used to say in our association that if you have 2 beekeepers they will have at least 3 different points of view on any one subject. The best study what the bees are doing and encourage them in the required direction rather than forcing. The bees tend to go their own way anyway, so working with them is always best.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 15 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
Perhaps we will always disagree about some aspects of beekeeping Tavascarow, but living in a suburban area, swarms are not a good idea. When I was our association swarm co-ordinator I had any number of people on the phone panicking because there was a swarm in their garden, and worse still, taking up residence in their cavity wall. In the latter case, we had to advise living with it or getting in destroyed, as our beekeepers couldn't take the house apart to get the bees out.

Artificial swarming works quite well and I think is and has been practices among conventional beekeepers for some time. New comb has been encouraged for a few years now, but agree that this is relatively new.

Conventional beekeepers are very variable. We always used to say in our association that if you have 2 beekeepers they will have at least 3 different points of view on any one subject. The best study what the bees are doing and encourage them in the required direction rather than forcing. The bees tend to go their own way anyway, so working with them is always best.
I used to have the same attitude as yourself being a conventional beekeeper of long standing before I started reading about 'natural' beekeeping.
But if you reread your post you will see all the things you say are for the convenience of the beekeeper & his neighbours not necessarily for the well being of the bees.
Swarming also has another major benefit.
Control of brood disease.
Brood disease was rarely a problem before frame hives became popular.
Why? because brood disease is just that, a brood disease.
Swarming bees carry no brood & if hived in a clean hive & not fed sugar will consume all the honey they carry with them (that might contain brood disease spores) making new comb.
This is now a recognised practise for anyone who suspects EFB in a colony

Seriously the first real epidemics of brood disease occurred soon after frame hives arrived on the scene, because the primary way beekeepers increased their stocks went from swarming to division of brood & sharing of (possibly infected) frames between colonies.
Prior to that skep beekeepers only had swarms to propagate from & couldn't share brood as all comb was fixed.
Weak colonies where generally culled at the end of each season so the disease was kept well & truly in check.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 15 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I should have also said about artificial swarming.
Not a problem as long as it's done right & at the right time.
To many people wait until swarming preperations are well under way before they do it, with queen cells fully constructed & sealed, & it will fail regularly in such instances.
I have shook swarms only to find they still swarm a week or two later.
There is also a risk of damaging or losing the queen.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8823

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 15 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Frame hives are probably older than you think Tavascarow; there were certainly some around in the later part of the 17th century, when they were called cabinet makers hives. I would agree with you on the idea that dividing rather than allowing natural swarming may transfer disease, but what do your neighbours think? If we allowed our bees to swarm, we would probably have a prohibition order slapped on us as all the neighbours would complain. We, and a number of others in our association have had so much trouble with the neighbours over just keeping bees that we have given up in the garden. The only reason we have bees there now is because a swarm turned up this year and because it is mainly on wild comb it is too fragile to move. Husband is trying to persuade them they want to go onto frames, and they are currently taking the hint. Then the colony will join the others in the woods.

Tavascarow



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 8404
Location: South Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 15 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm lucky enough to have enough space that swarming rarely interferes with my neighbours.
I have friends who live more suburban who let their bees swarm. & by talking bees, have got most of their neighbours to see how fascinating they are.
& that's the key, educating people that they aren't a stinging pest but a beautiful complex species that benefits us all.
Two or three generations ago if there was a swarm on the wing "my neighbours" would have been out trying to catch it for their own back garden. Now people are so divorced from nature they have a hissy fit if there's a bee buzzing in the window.
I wouldn't keep aggressive bees like the swarm I hived earlier in the week anywhere near other properties, even us natural beeks have to concede that sometimes nature can be a bit rough for most people. But you know the vast majority of bee colonies aren't like that.

Leaf hives are still in effect fixed as they are hinged, there where frame hives before Langstroth & top bar hives way before that (which in a horizontal TBH makes comb sharing possible).
But Langstroth popularised frames & pushed them right to the centre.
Prior to him skep & gums where still the majority & most of the other hive types where 'novelty'.

tai haku



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 472

PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 15 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tavascarow wrote:
I'm lucky enough to have enough space that swarming rarely interferes with my neighbours.
I have friends who live more suburban who let their bees swarm. & by talking bees, have got most of their neighbours to see how fascinating they are.
& that's the key, educating people that they aren't a stinging pest but a beautiful complex species that benefits us all.
Two or three generations ago if there was a swarm on the wing "my neighbours" would have been out trying to catch it for their own back garden. Now people are so divorced from nature they have a hissy fit if there's a bee buzzing in the window.


On this front that swarm I posted pics of a few weeks ago was found whilst walking with our baby and with our friends' two kids (4 and 7). Their first reaction was "aren't you scared?". So I explained why I wasn't. They're second reaction was "can we look a bit closer" so we did (fairly cautiously). Their third reaction was "Can you take some good pictures and let us know more about bee swarms so we can use them for show and tell cos this is amazing".

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6473
Location: Cornwall
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 15 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have found the same. People are scared of what they dont understand. Get them 'into' finding more out and they become converted.
My two Spaniards live in flats in Barcelona and have no clue about the countryside, but they were fascinated by the bees.

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> The Apiary All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1
View Latest Posts View Latest Posts

 

Archive
Powered by php-BB © 2001, 2005 php-BB Group
Style by marsjupiter.com, released under GNU (GNU/GPL) license.
Copyright 2004 marsjupiter.com

<-- -->