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by ThePath

New Harvard Study Proves Why The Bees Are All Disappearing

May 20, 2014 in , ,

Well its official, neonicotinoids are killing bees at an exponential rate:

I think the last paragraph of the above article says it all really. The demand and greed for larger crops creates a much more damaging type of farming. Again and again money is at the root of it but would you do it differently? Ask yourself if you farmed land that would make you £100,000 a year if farmed organically or £500,000 if you used pesticides what would you do? Greed and wanting more seems to be ingrained in us from an early age these days. Are we losing sight of what’s important and beautiful in this world or is it already lost?

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by jstone

Personal Experiences Story by Jalboh

February 17, 2011 in ,

Leaving my ‘Beginner’s’ series for a little longer, (or maybe for good??) this month I’ve submitted another of my ‘Personal Experiences’ stories.

Once, when I was young and just starting to become interested in bees, or rather, started thinking about all the money I could make if I WAS interested in bees, my dad was asked to take some bees out of someone’s roof. A task he had done many times before and had got to the point where he could (generally) do it quite quickly and with little fuss. This, however, depended on the weather and time of day etc.

At the time he was the postmaster in quite an elite neighbourhood. He was always very chatty and had a good old chin-wag with most of the people who came into the post office. He targeted the ‘snobs’ and often took wagers with colleagues that he’d get them chatting and laughing within a week, month, or whatever. Anyway, eventually he became known as ‘The Bee Man’ by those who didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t remember his name.

He often had people, who had heard of his interest in bees, come around to pick his brains on the subject. One of these was our local postman, a young (at the time) man 10-15 years older than myself. On this occasion, when my dad was asked to remove the bees from the roof , the young lad came along for the experience. He had quite long hair (a style that was just beginning to become popular at the time). My dad used to call him ‘Bushpig’ because he had a rather rough, clumsy air about him.

A woman had come into the post office and told my dad that they were going to have a very formal dinner on Saturday evening and were expecting some important business associates of her husband to be there and, as the bees were attracted by the light, they would be a nuisance, so could my dad please come and get rid of them. As I was quite young, my dad was glad of Bushpig’s help.

Saturday came and we all set out on our rescue mission. We were led, through the dining room, to the trapdoor in the passage. Remembering that, in South Africa, terrace houses are found in the older, poorer areas and most houses, even very posh ones, are single storey (‘bungalows’ over here). The table in the lounge was quite long and had about a dozen places set with the best silver and cut-glass wine glasses, flowers and silver serviette rings and more other things than I’d ever seen before.

To be on the safe side we went in and out through the kitchen so as not to mess up the dining room. The whole job went very smoothly and quickly and without incident – until Bushpig’s foot slipped. He missed the rafter and went through the ceiling landing right in the middle of the dining room table!

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by ThePath

Where are all the bees?

May 26, 2009 in

I have to say Im very worried. Never in all my life have I seen such a shortage of bees. So far this year I have only seen 2 honey bees!!

That was only a few weeks ago. Years ago they would be out in force in early spring, not this year though.

Admittedly I work indoors so may not have the chance to see a lot of bees buzzing around. Yesterday however, my partner and I enjoyed a relaxing stroll around a small loch in Fife. The loch is a nature reserve with a lot of breeding birds. Skirting the path around the loch for practically the whole circumference is Gorse, Brambles and a variety of trees all of which are blooming. The air was thick with their pollen yet no bees! Not one. Dragonflies, damselflies, hoverflies and of course mdigy-like flies a plenty but no bees.

I stay in Perth and Kinross, I have visited a few areas of Fife recently and have seen 2 honey bees!! Has anyone got a similar story where they are or do you have plenty of bees?

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by ThePath

Sasha’s Beekeeping Story

May 23, 2009 in ,

Beekeeping is a noble occupation that enriches both physically and mentally and in the same time it is very important part of food production system. Bees are pollinating one third of our food crops. Albert Einstein speculated that “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left.” Today modern beekeeping is industrialized and in my opinion shows big signs of stress.

Trucking bees across continent in order to fulfill growing need for crop pollination, parasitic varroa mite which has traveled from far away Java island because of migratory beekeeping and has since ’80 spread trough the whole world, bacterial and viral diseases, economical destruction of beekeepers because of importing of low quality and often contaminated honey (made probably with slave labor) from China, there are many problems today for us beekeepers. But on the other side not everything is so dark. Pure enjoyment of working in the nature which such beings who are considered as sacred beings in many traditions, enjoyment in the smell of a freshly opened beehive, hard earned honey which is truly a food of goods along with other incredible products of a healthy beehive, wax,pollen,royal jelly,propolis and even bee venom, is highly priced. All in all a beehive is a spring of health and youth. At least it was until 2-3 decades when the real problems of over stressing bees with artificial feed (sugar) pesticides against mites,and too intense robbing of bees work has occurred.

This year we have a some weird things happening to bees colonies in USA ,it is called CCD – colony collapse disorder, it means that nobody is knowing what is happening, the bee’s are simply gone from beehives and the hives were found empty. But there is some kind of improvement , the organic beekeeping movement is gaining strength, it is a radical movement which does not allows using any kind of treatment of our bees ,it seeks way back to natural beekeeping, to find again the strength inherent in bees which have survived for so many thousands of years. For me personally, my goal is to achieve independence with my small beekeeping endeavor. I am trying to start small and grow with time and eventually one day maybe make my living from beekeeping only. If I don t achieve that ,I am pretty sure that my love for beekeeping will follow me through my whole life. When you are once hocked to smell and buzz of bees it is hard to forget their magic. To be a beekeeper one must have a clear mind, you have to think about everything,weather,flowering,economic considerations,health of bees,making wooden equipment etc.

Learning basics of beekeeping is not too complicated but to learn finesses you have to learn all your life. As someone once said it is more than a science, beekeeping is really an art. Right now I have only 5 hives left from 15 which is the numbers of hives I have before last winter. This year I plan to split my hives in order to increase the number of hives. I need to reach at least 100 hives in order to make a living from bees. But I think beekeeping is rewarding and in time my work will yield something for me. That is the reason I endure all the problems. I hope I will succeed in beekeeping in the organic, sustainable way.

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