Bees - Scary?

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Hi, my name is Neil, I'm a product design student in Brighton. I'
looking into possibly doing a home beehive design, and yourselves a gardeners have probably encountered the odd bee or two. I have a quic question for you then, are you;
a/ completely unafraid of bees. b/ very frightened of them - you may even be a confirmed apiphobi (fear of bees) or cnidophobic (fear of stings). c/ somewhere in between: c1/ you are able to keep calm and ignore them, but wont go to close c2/ you'll move away / go indoors until they're gone c3/ you'll try to get rid of them using bug spray etc.
Any replies will be of great value to me, thankyou for taking the tim to read and respond.
Nei
-- wesleyn
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That would be me, I'm a beekeeper.

You're welcome.
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann, did you hear this new theory that bees are somehow effected by some chemical which is giving them a form of Alzheimers and they are literally forgetting where their hive is, and also forgetting how to alert one another with their dance which points them back in the direction of this hive? I don't recall where I heard this, but have you heard it in any of your bee keeping journals?
victoria
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Jangchub wrote:

Blog post on the subject along with several cross links.
http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2007/04/30/bees-still-dying-we-want-to-avoid-colony-collapse-disorder-but /
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Jangchub wrote:

Further reading via Google;
http://www.google.com/search?q že+Colony+Collapse+Disorder
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Jangchub wrote:

Latest theory is problem is caused by cell phone towers.
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That's been discounted, when we took their cell phones away they still died off....
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann wrote:

Sounds like a plot line for a B-grade movie.
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We're being facetious. Chemophobia in garden groups is something that first pops up. Latest theory is that there is a virus doing this but cell phones, chemicals, global warming etc were blamed. "You can't beat Mother Nature" ;) Frank
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Frank wrote:

I thought the latest theory was nicotinic pesticides, or however the hell you say it.
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doofy wrote:

Nicotinoids were one of the early thought culprits... There is a paper out there somewhere that came out this past September from Pennsylvania State University showing common genetic tags from numerous CCD effected hives across the US and a samples from Australia of a rather new virus called Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IVAP), first detected in 2002-03. The US started allowing importation of Australian bees in late 2004/early 2005.
Lar
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On Wed, 14 Nov 2007 13:48:34 -0500, Frank

I hate cell phones. More than that, I strongly dislike people going food shopping while on the phone asking, "do we need butter." Ridiculous.
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On 11/14/07 10:33 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,
snip

Sometimes you lose the list, sometimes the list is obsolete before you get to the store And sometimes you get the call telling you DS just finished the milk you needed for dinner.
But I don't send the whole trip on the phone and certainly not when I'm checking out. Especially when it's the cute kid that cards me for the wine... ;)
C
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Imidacloprid. Google Gaucho and France. The French banned the stuff. There has been an exponential increase in the use of it in this country over the past two or three years. It's in the grub control we put on our lawns (Merit), and they spray it all over ornamentals like those huge sunflowers sold in so many markets, for blemish-free blossoms. It's been shown to make bees 'forget' how to get back to their hives. I think the link is strong, but it's the 800 pound gorilla sitting in the middle of the room due to the chemical industry in this country and how it's so imbedded into our agriculture and economy. But that's just me.....
The CCD problem seems to have many sources, but the smoking gun seems to point to too many chemicals in the environment. Remember, honeycomb is like a sponge, it soaks up all of these toxins, which include the stuff we're using for agricultural use and the stuff we're (I'm speaking in the inclusive we here, not all beeks are using these bad chemicals) using to combat the varroa mites. If you watched the special PBS did on CCD you'd see the scientists astounded to see how high the virus level is in our poor bees.
There is a movement to get beekeeping back to a more natural state, but it's hard. A commercial beekeeper can't afford to let his stock die off and let natural selection take place (selection for bees that withstand varroa without treatment). The life of a commercial beek is very difficult, there are fewer and fewer out there making a living at it. The salvation may come from the hobbyists like us who keep bees because we love them and love their byproduct, honey. We'll see how it all goes. All I know is I'm trying really hard to get our six hives through the winter. We treated with formic acid pads (formic acid is naturally present in honey, it's non-toxic, and seems to have been effective, there were dead mites all over the bottom board when we removed the pads). I'll let you know in the spring if they make it (fingers crossed).
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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I saw that program and taped it the second time it was shown later in the week. One of the most interesting things, I thought, was that the beekeeper who had his hives on the roof of the building in the middle of Paris(?) France didn't have any signs of these problems with his bees. The only difference in their environment was that in the middle of the city there were no pesticides being used in the parks and small plots of private gardens and flowers within the city.
People around here are buying loads of Mason bees and making wood block homes for them to winter over. No honey production but great pollinators. Unfortunately this is only a band aid on the pollination problem, not a solution to the demise of our honey bees.
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expounded:

Have you read any of the data out there on changing the size of the foundation the honeycomb is built on? Supposedly going to smaller comb helps as there isn't enough room for varroa to stay attached to the bee and lay eggs in the comb.
Ted
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Small cell. Right now the standard foundation is 5.4 mm, the bees naturally make brood comb in 4.9 or smaller, sometimes. It's an interesting experiment, I know of beeks who have been either using small cell foundation or foundationless frames (allowing them to build whatever size they desire) and they've had good success with it. The smaller cells aren't favorable for the varroa to infest. Another way of controlling varroa is to use drone cell foundation (much larger, I forget the size, but it's bigger than 5.4). The varroa prefer the day or so longer brood time for drones, as well as the extra room. You allow the drones to almost mature, then pull the frame and stick it in the freezer. Kills drones and varroa. Just put it back in and the bees clean it all up to use again. Amazing little girls!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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wesleyn wrote:

Question is how much do you know about bee keeping to fathom the idea of making a "home beehive" design. It's not like keeping bees is anywhere near the same as putting up a bird house. You'd have more chance of being hit in the head with a bird than a swarm moving into an empty box on its own.
You need to buy a queen and a starter colony, then acclimate them to the hive. Not exactly a hands off process by any means.
Most home owners will cringe at the idea of having to handle bees to get the setup done and then for gathering the honey.
Tie that in with the fact that so many people who get started in this have a tendency of over collecting of the honey and not leaving enough for the bees to survive the winter, killing off the whole colony.
At any rate: a/
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wesleyn wrote:

I try to avoid disturbing their nests. That can be painful. Other than that I ignore them. I do spray in-ground nests of yellow jackets in our lawn or flower beds since it is impossible to not disturb those nests. I also spray nests of paper wasps in shrubs that I have to prune.
We have some yellow jackets that come into our house. They are totally nonaggressive. They are attracted to light. When they bask in the sun by sitting on a window pane, I crush them so I won't risk stepping on them in my bare feet at night and get a foot pain.

A 2000 Cornell University study concluded that the direct value of honey bee pollination to U.S. agriculture is more than $14.6 billion. Beekeeping is very commercial here. It is about fruit and vegetable productions, not honey production. Migratory commercial beekeepers raise humungous numbers of bees and move them to the crops.
For example the blueberries in Maine are pollinated by hives trucked in from over a 1,000 miles away in South Carolina. [
http://www.answers.com/topic/bee-migration-9045-jpg ]
A migratory commercial beekeeper in Washington State with over 13,000 hives transports his hives to California to pollinate almond fields.
There is a list of migratory commercial beekeepers at:
http://www.pollinator.com/Pollination_Beekeepers/polbkprs.htm
This is one way for farmers to stay in business in areas with colony collapse disorder. These commercial beekeepers protect their hives from chemicals that cause CCD. No one is saying the bees are dying, the bees just aren't finding their way back to their hive. No dead bees are found.
--
Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
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Stephen Henning wrote:

<SNIP>
Think about that statement for a minute.. If bees are not making it back to the hive, do you really think they're surviving somewhere without a food source?
Furthermore, the cause of CCD has not been pinpointed yet. It could be any number of things. Sure, it could be chemicals but it could also be viral, bacterial, or maybe even those odd suggestions such as cell phone towers messing with their navigation.
Now, having a traveling hive for hire to pollinate is swell, but those bees that they are pollinating in place of aren't just wondering around asking for directions.. I'd say they're toast.
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