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05/06/2013

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Compound F

Ecosystem Services, Inc. needs a new forward thinking CEO! A seven-minute manager in pursuit of excellence. Yes, we can.

John D

The short-sightedness of the beekeepers feeding their bees fructose instead of honey is like the farmers that keep planting corn year after year instead of rotating their crops to make money on corn ethanol. No worry it seems that their soil is depleting to nothing- they need the quick buck.

Brian

Human beings have a, frankly, remarkable ability to examine any situation, determine how to maximize the personal short-term economic benefit for the person(s) doing the analysis, and then to move full-speed ahead with little (okay, NO) thought to the impact of their actions on anything other than themselves (and not even that if it's negative or more than about 90 days in the future) until the shit hits the fan.

Homo sapiens.... isn't it great to be the bipedal ape? Rock on!

Go enjoy an apple. Who knows how many more you may get.

Rumor

"To cut costs, many bee keepers harvest and sell the honey their bees produce and instead feed the growing bee babies high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners."

JFC!

Oliver

The bee goes buzz-buzz, the owl goes hoo-hoo, the dolphin goes click-click-click... and the human goes me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-me-meeeeeeee!

Dave S. Nottear

I wonder how long intelligent species last elsewhere in the universe.

Sometimes it feels like we're watching our own autopsy.

I hope we have time enough for "more research."

Clyde

As long as honey bees are treated as a resource from which to extract the maximum possible financial return, then honey bees will die.

Yes, I keep bees as well as chickens, Dave. It's called the Good Life for a reason. ;-)

I've kept my hive for 4 years and it gets stronger each year. My partner even witnessed one swarm leave the hive, circle it for a few minutes and then head off for their new home! This is not a common sight.
The hive is a top-bar type which mimics the natural environment of a wild colony far better than commercial hives. I have taken only one, small half-comb of honey from it in 4 years (the honey tasted like nothing I've ever tasted before!) and rarely open the hive up. All this leads to a less stressed bee, of course.

Many things in the modern world stress our bees and this leads to their inability to cope with parasites that they otherwise have no problem with and have lived alongside for, well, for ever.

After the first year I did have a problem with varroa but, instead of dosing the hive with numerous chemical solutions, I just let the bees solve the problem their own way. It was touch and go for a while as the colony seemed to have abandoned the hive at one point but they returned and we now have no problem with mites.

Commercial beekeepers cannot afford to let their colonies recover naturally in this way as it would mean a year without bee or honey related income. So, instead, they struggle on with chemical 'remedies' which only serve to prolong the suffering of weaker and weaker colonies.

What is the answer? We all know what that is but it simply isn't possible.

Dave Cohen

@Clyde

Are you done telling us how virtuous you are?

Or can we expect more of that sort of thing in the future?

-- Dave

Dave S. Nottear

Hey Dave, wait a sec (please ;).

I've been trying to change my way of life for over a decade and feel I've made virtually no changes of real significance, and have nothing to "brag" about. So I don't mind hearing of someone else's small successes. give me hope, help me cope, with this shitty load ...

I am a complete novice at bee keeping and hearing how Clyde does it is interesting. The hand-full of locals I (barely) know harvests most of the honey and frequently feeds sugar-water to new hives in the spring - it really seems to be all "bizzniss" to them). Maybe we've been unintentionally selecting - over decades for - for a metabolic weaklings, as Clyde seems to suggest.

About the "virtuous" part. I think most of us feel like economic hostages and are looking for an "exit, stage left!" - so to speak. So I know how a post like clydes could read like nails-on-a-blackboard sounds.

just my 0.2 cents worth (inflation adjusted to reality)

Jim Long

how do we get our bees to buzz? http://youtu.be/tom6_ceTu9s

Clyde

No, that'll be it now Dave. Thanks for the opportunity though.

Mike Roberts

Clyde, that's interesting. Giving nature a chance to work seems like a good strategy to me. Unfortunately us humans seem to always have to find an answer to a problem. "The chief cause of problems is solutions."

If CCD is a confluence of causes it makes me wonder about the supposed safe levels of chemicals in and on our food. The level of each individual chemical may be safe (may be) but what is the safe level of a combination of chemicals?

Alexander Ač

Well, I am sure bees WILL survive, since in Croatia they have

Bees trained to detect explosives and landmines :-/

http://www.croatiantimes.com/news/General_News/2013-04-26/33168/Bees_trained_to_detect_explosives_and_landmines

"Always at you service, humankind, beyond (mass) grave"

Alex

Alexander Ač

An as it happens, NBC has a report on bees from yeasterday:

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly-news/51795179#51795179

Alex

Diogenes

@Mike Roberts asked, "...but what is the safe level of a combination of chemicals?"

A year ago in Common Dreams...

"...as participants in modern society we are all now exposed to over 83,000 chemicals from the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the consumer products we use. Pregnant women and their children have 100 times more chemical exposures today than 50 years ago. The average newborn has over 200 different chemicals and heavy metals contaminating its blood when it takes its first breath. 158 of them are toxic to the brain. Little wonder that rates of autism, attention deficit and behavioral disorders are all on the rise."

"A recent study showed that every human tested had the world’s best selling pesticide, Roundup, detectable in their urine at concentrations between five and twenty times the level considered safe for drinking water."

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/02

Diogenes

Some video recommendations...

Vanishing of the Bees (2009) is perhaps the best of the many "bee" documentaries I've seen. On Vimeo for 3 months now and only 100 views.

http://vimeo.com/57562593

I'm looking forward to watching Queen of the Sun (2010) which has been well reviewed, but it's not yet available for free viewing. Here's an excerpt...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYk8M2t-T0Q

Couple of weeks ago, along with his Sandra Steinbraber interview, Bill Moyers presented Dance of the Honeybee...gorgeous videography. Just wish they had chosen someone other than Bill McKibben to narrate...

http://vimeo.com/64370008

And here's End of Bees, a 2010 short by Summer Rayne Oakes...

http://vimeo.com/15341500

Note: Although she's been labeled a "successful green entrepreneur", I can't help liking Summer...same age as my oldest daughter and was born & raised here in PA. And she's worked with Wade Davis, Clayton Haskell and others to document environmental & indigenous issues in British Columbia...along the Sacred Headwaters and in the Great Bear Rainforest - another very special interest of mine.

Best...

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