[NAFEX] Bee shortage hypothesis

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Mon Apr 16 12:37:27 EDT 2007


Inbreeding might contribute.  But there are a lot of other factors that 
haven't been taken into account, which is why I think the "scare" is a 
false alarm.
Here are some:
	Bees have to defecate in flight.  On warm winter days, they fly to 
void themselves.  With the changeable weather in much of the country, 
enough could have been caught outside by a sudden change that the hive 
would be weakened by loss of workers enough that it couldn't keep 
itself warm well enough and would be killed as cold weather returned.
	Early warm weather before there was anything blooming would spur bees 
into using their stores  to start brood production, then be caught 
short when the cold returned, leaving them to starve.
	Large numbers of hives are frequently "stored" in big yards where the 
close proximity could allow disease to spread more readily.
	Dry fall weather could easily have left a lot of hives with low winter 
stores.
	I kept bees long enough to know that it's not unusual to lose as many 
as a quarter of the hives even in a normal winter.  In an abnormal year 
like this one, the percentage is bound to be higher.  One good spring 
coupled with careful management and you can build back about all you 
lost in a hurry.  The "news" stories are bad reporting, as far as I'm 
concerned.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at 
http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner of the Garden Writers Association 
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
For even more grape lessons, go to  http://www.grapeschool.com
For growing supplies and more;  http://www.grapegrowersolutions.com

On Apr 16, 2007, at 9:17 AM, Thomas Olenio wrote:

Hello,

I just watched a television show on honey bees.  Bees navigate based on
visual clues.  They were able to confuse bees with confusing, repeating
geometric designs in their flight path.

Possibly if a bee were to buy a cellular phone, carrying it home would 
be a
problem.  Ha, ha, ha.  I won't even get into their text messaging 
issues.

I am not going to rush to judgment, and will wait for verified, 
accredited,
accepted, scientific findings.

Just out of curiosity...  How many hybrids, mono cultures of commercial
honey bees are out there?  Could we just have a hybrid bee population 
that
has a weakness to some new bee disease?

For example...  Think of all the health problems that have been inbred 
into
pedigree dogs by humans.  Would man do that to commercial honey bees 
too...?
Sure we would, if there was a dollar in it.

Go for the simplest answer first.  A) new disease, B) Inbred
imperfections/weakness.

Later,
Tom

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