Our nation's bees are dying...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by blufford, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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  2. chas

    chas Well-Known Member

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    We went through this problem with honey bees in Pa. and with the loss of hosts the parasites die also.The last two years i've seen wild swarms again and have nearly as many bees in the white clover in our yard as before.
    The rabitts went through a cycle a while back and are now all over the place again!!
    However sustainable farming on a larger scale would do a lot for the creatures we live with and depend on!
    Chas
     

  3. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    our nations bees died long ago i beleive there wouldnt be any iff it wernt for outer country bees
     
  4. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

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    This is why we started raising Mason bees.

    We are definitely concerned about pollination, esp. since beekeeping is banned in the city. Most of our bees come from a neighbor who has a couple hives anyway.
    I'm not about to turn his bees in, they provide a good service. :)

    Also why we let bumblebees stay in the compost bin when they decided to move in for the winter. They were a variety I hadn't seen before. They have a red behind.

    Incidentally, bees are drawn to purple flowers, esp. native bees and pollinating flies.
     
  5. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Honeybees are not native to this country to start with.
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I did not know that. Was there a native type, or just wasps, bumble bees, etc?

    Pheasents were not native either. Yet seem so associated with the 'old days' here in the upper midwest.

    --->Paul
     
  7. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    All honey bees that are found in the U S except the Africanized. Arre European type of bees .Right now the bees are being raised for Pollination. The number of bee keepers are way down too. Just think less than 2% of the worldspopulation handles bees. But over 90 food crops of Major porportion are dependant on said bees.
     
  8. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    Exactly but plenty of bees are and they are all being decimated by the mites as well. Russian honey bees have natural hygenic behaviour and are resistant they are becoming more widespread now, maybe that explains the resurgence of wild bees someone has noticed in PA.
     
  9. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    James Dilly I will see if I cant bring those bee keeper figures up by one when I get home LOL
     
  10. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "The Russian bees, from the eastern Primorsky Territory, have natural resistance to varroa mites, which suck blood from adult bees and their broods."

    http://gardendesignonline.typepad.com/gardendesignonline/2006/08/hope_for_honeyb.html
     
  11. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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  12. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am a bee keeper and started keeping bees because I saw less production in our huge garden and started 'counting' bees. About 8yrs ago, I did a random count on bees in the garden--using different hrs. of the days, different weather conditions, different crops and realized there were no honeybees( four months and I count 19 honeybees), a few bumblebees, and even less mason/ orchard bees.. SO, now I have ten hives and love seeing the bees, they are worth there weight in gold (and not just the liquid gold I get once a yr.)...QB
     
  13. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I often wonder about the "fewer people keeping bees' statement. Have you ever tried to buy a honey extractor or any other piece of good equipment on ebay? There must be a lot of people buying bee equipment for another reason because it's bringing high prices and sure sells fast.
     
  14. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    A neighbor of mine used to keep bees. He had over 200 hives at one time. A couple years ago he opened the hives and all but 2 had died during the winter. Those 2 died soon. He has no interest in getting more bees. It's sad as that was my local supplier of honey. He only charged $5 per quart or $18 per gallon. He's going to check with his old partner and try to get a couple gallons for me. I wish I had a bunch of gallons in storage now. I may never be able to buy honey locally again. I've given some thought to getting some hives of my own, but I don't really have the knowledge (or the time to learn) and when I looked at prices I decided it would be too expensive an investment for something I would probably fail at.
     
  15. omnicat

    omnicat Well-Known Member

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    I work at a nursery - and when helping people select plants, at least once a week a flowering shrub is rejected because "I've heard they attract bees".

    I have to bite my tongue from launching into a lecture about the stinking insects that they are afraid of are NOT the pollen-feeders (beneficial wasps, bees) that are attracted to said flowers. (argh!) Or, sans a lecture, say "But that's a GOOD thing!" SHeesh!!!


    Last week was a doozey though. A customer rejected a plant because "I heard they attract birds."

    I was at a loss for words...
     
  16. Burbsteader

    Burbsteader Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they've watched Hitchcock movies one too many times. Them pesky birds can KILL ya know. :p

    We dont try to raise honeybees right now because DH is deathly allergic and has nearly died a couple times. (He's allergic to bees, wasps, hornets)

    Since our main concern has been pollination, not honey, then Mason bees have been ideal for us. They are super easy to raise and very little risk of any stings. We built little houses that hold a coffee can (on its side). In the can are special paper tubes and that is where they lay their eggs. We started with 8 tubes and those filled up 2 coffee cans of tubes. We will need to build more houses. :)
     
  17. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think we could fill up A entire liabrary on this subject. Right now my brother and I have around 35 hives .And I want to build to 400 if I can in the next 12 months .. Right now most of the hives are africanized. And they are being researched here in Weslaco Texas as to being mite resisant. The only good trait I see the africans have is they build numbers quick. But the true key to this plight is PUBLIC education on theese benifical insects..