[ExI] bees again

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Wed May 27 14:11:21 UTC 2015

On 27 May 2015 at 14:00, Dave Sill wrote:
> Beekeepers don't plop their hives on a crop and walk away. Hives are moved
> from crop to crop, and bees are fed sugar water when supplies of nectar are
> low.

I think the article was mainly referring to feral bees, who are also dying out.

I don't think small beekeepers do much moving of hives. They used to
rely on  different flowering crops during the year. Certainly nowadays
moving hives around the country is much more necessary.

Another point is that feeding their bees doesn't seem to reduce colony
collapse disorder. Feeding sugar water is only a temporary aid.
The BIP survey results for 2012 – 2013 did show some differences.
First, those who fed carbohydrates to their bees lost more colonies,
significantly more, than those who did not feed. The survey covered
the same six methods of feeding as before. This time, the participants
increased to nearly 3800 representing slightly over 557,000 hives
(nearly double the previous year hive count). Those who chose to feed
their colonies lost about 45% while those that chose not to feed
carbohydrates lost 36%.
Note that both 36% and 45% are more than the 23% shown in the 2011 –
2012 survey.

Starvation is only one factor affecting bees. And it probably doesn't
apply to all bees, as some will be in a more general environment. When
you have a mix of causes, which don't apply in the same proportions
everywhere, the solution gets complicated.

A bit like finding a cure for cancer. You can only cure a bit at a time.


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