[NAFEX] No Organic Bee Losses (From BDNow)

Dylan Ford dford at suffolk.lib.ny.us
Wed May 9 08:22:19 EDT 2007

Folks - This is forwarded with permission from another list. dylan

> No ORGANIC Bee losses
> 2007 05 06
> | redicecreations.com
> I am quite involved with many alternative agriculture
> groups, and I received this email from a trusted
> friend...you might want to check it out for your news
> section...
> "Sharon Labchuk is a longtime environmental activist and
> part-time organic beekeeper from Prince Edward Island. She has twice
> run for a seat in Ottawa's House of Commons, making strong showings
> around 5% for Canada's fledgling Green Party. She is also leader of
> the provincial wing of her party. In a widely circulated email, she
> wrote:
> I'm on an organic beekeeping list of about 1,000 people,
> mostly Americans, and no one in the organic beekeeping world,
> including commercial beekeepers, is reporting colony collapse on this
> list. The problem with the big commercial guys is that they put
> pesticides in their hives to fumigate for varroa mites, and they feed
> antibiotics to the bees. They also haul the hives by truck all over
> the place to make more money with pollination services, which
> stresses the colonies.
> Her email recommends a visit to the Bush Bees Web site at
> Here, Michael Bush felt compelled to put a message to the beekeeping
> world right on the top page:
> Most of us beekeepers are fighting with the Varroa mites. I'm
> happy to say my biggest problems are things like trying to get nucs
> through the winter and coming up with hives that won't hurt my back
> from lifting or better ways to feed the bees.
> This change from fighting the mites is mostly because I've
> gone to natural sized cells. In case you weren't aware, and I wasn't
> for a long time, the foundation in common usage results in much
> larger bees than what you would find in a natural hive. I've measured
> sections of natural worker brood comb that are 4.6mm in diameter.
> What most people use for worker brood is foundation that is 5.4mm in
> diameter. If you translate that into three dimensions instead of one,
> it produces a bee that is about half as large again as is natural. By
> letting the bees build natural sized cells, I have virtually
> eliminated my Varroa and Tracheal mite problems. One cause of this is
> shorter capping times by one day, and shorter post-capping times by
> one day. This means less Varroa get into the cells, and less Varroa
> reproduce in the cells.
> Who should be surprised that the major media reports forget to
> tell us that the dying bees are actually hyper-bred varieties that we
> coax into a larger than normal body size? It sounds just like the
> beef industry. And, have we here a solution to the vanishing bee
> problem? Is it one that the CCD Working Group, or indeed, the
> scientific world at large, will support? Will media coverage affect
> government action in dealing with this issue?
> These are important questions to ask. It is not an uncommonly
> held opinion that, although this new pattern of bee colony collapse
> seems to have struck from out of the blue (which suggests a
> triggering agent), it is likely that some biological limit in the
> bees has been crossed. There is no shortage of evidence that we have
> been fast approaching this limit for some time.
> We've been pushing them too hard, Dr. Peter Kevan, an
> associate professor of environmental biology at the University of
> Guelph in Ontario, told the CBC. And we're starving them out by
> feeding them artificially and moving them great distances. Given the
> stress commercial bees are under, Kevan suggests CCD might be caused
> by parasitic mites, or long cold winters, or long wet springs, or
> pesticides, or genetically modified crops. Maybe it's all of the
> above...


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Dylan Ford is the author of the proposal at www.ideaforpresident.com , a website devoted to an idea that could provide an avenue to address pollution issues, food safety, social justice, prison reform and healthcare.
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