Since 2006, Colony Collapse Disorder with honeybees has raised red flag warnings of imperiled pollination for agricultural food production; scientists all over the globe have been on top of this problem. Unfortunately they appear to be looking in the wrong direction since research requires grants of money from sources that promote government thinking to manage agricultural growth. A grant proposal must meet criteria in that direction. That is the focus of science today.
The most recent release of what is killing off pollinators, i.e.: Bees, bats and birds – yes your birds too, is the latest pesticides used enmass on vast agricultural tracks to kill the “bad insects” and are not suppose to be “as toxic” to bees etc.
This new manufacture of toxic neonicotinoids is deadly to our friends in part. Let us re-examine some aspects of the honeybee industry, as it exists today.
First of all the small rural family farm is gone. The small rural honey beekeeper is gone.
What exist today are the major agribusiness farms of thousands of acres and endless legal embroilments with agribusiness genetic modified crops, undocumented farm laborers, “safe, EPA approved pesticides”, land use and eminent domains.
The beekeeping industry is a vast fleet of tractor-trailers hauling millions of beehives from agribusiness settings to agribusiness settings. The honeybees, the best pollinators of your food chain, are not allowed to develop a normal life cycle and are in fact modified in their growth to just pollinate and die off – being replaced by off shore island bee industry “farms” to sell to the trucking beekeepers.
Once the trucks arrive at a destination, countless hives are off loaded and the bees go in search of pollen and nectar. To feed the bees to keep them going the tanker trucks arrive and the hives are saturated in high fructose corn syrup from China. (What is in this corn syrup food substitute is apparently unknown as to dangers).
The agribusiness farm manager is spraying his or her crop with approved pesticides, which the honeybees bring back to the hive.
I suspect that the use of the nicotine-based pesticide does indeed disorient the small bees and bats and birds beneficial to us. Nicotine in any form – your cigarettes- is poison and affects the nervous system.
To insure more financial return the honeybees are bred in smaller brood combs and you have smaller bees. This may be a gain in one direction but small bees are not as strong as big bees and not as healthy. Ask any old man beekeeper and they will tell you that they are concerned always about the brood combs being the right size.
I have given all my hives and equipment away to younger beekeepers since they cannot afford to buy new equipment. I am old and have a basement full of honey for my needs and hope that the new beekeepers will continue to prosper. I suspect they will prosper in this impoverished area as the old family farms are growing over with misuse into nature’s plan. Plus the people are so poor they cannot afford pesticides. In the mean time, the honeybees will, within their 2 or 3 mile flight plan radius, continue to serve my garden pollination needs.
You might want to review in the archives other articles on beekeeping. As a small aside, many countries require schooling and licensing to keep bees. I do think what we need to consider is proper regulation of the bee industry.
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