Lessee , now where did my soapbox go ... There are a several of things
going on with bees . A major problem has been Varroa Destructor (really !)
mites , not only do they feed on bee larvae , but they are a vector for
several virii that kill the weakened bees . I have a variety of bees that
are varroa resistant , but still lost one (weak) colony to them last winter
Another problem is Roundup . While it is not an insecticide , one of the
patented actions of this chemical is as an antibiotic - it kills the
beneficial organisms in the digestive tract . Did you ever wonder about the
recent gigantic upsurge in sales of "probiotics" ? Glyphosate (Roundup)
residue in our food supply is killing the beneficial organisms in our
digestive systems too .
The third major player (IMO) is neonicotinoid insecticides . While a bee
may not gather a lethal dose while out foraging , sublethal dosages can and
do cause problems . These problems , coupled with an upsurge of "bee
havers" - those who dabble without sufficient knowledge and training - who
are out to "save the bees" have resulted in a decline in bee populations .
<< Those bee havers can produce what beekeepers call "mite bombs" , colonies
that collapse and then are robbed out by other colonies , spreading the
mites and their diseases to other bees yards .>>
Add all these factors to the "old" bee diseases like foul brood and
others and you get the current situation . All that said , the situation is
not quite as dire as it has been presented and sensationalized by the MSM .
Many don't realize it , but the honeybee , apis mellifera , is not native to
the Americas . It was brought here by European immigrants ... and there are
actually many other species of pollinators that can and will do almost
everything the honeybee does . The one thing none of the others do is
produce honey .
So far this year I have extracted about 7 gallons of light honey from my 3
production colonies (4th is new this year , and I won't be taking honey from
it) and expect to harvest probably another couple of gallons . I do have to
leave them enough to support themselves over the winter and to make brood in
the spring but the rest is mine, mine , mine , allllll mine ...
"natural" ... this is a very light flavored wildflower honey , and it
tastes like ... honey ! It has a very light floral aroma , in contrast the
darker honey I harvested last fall ws dark and had a very strong floral
aroma and flavor .
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