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THE Bees Thread (merged)

THE Bees Thread (merged)

Unread postby Bubbling_Crude » Wed 27 Apr 2005, 21:03:12

Honeybee die-off may preempt PO's agricultural impact
On NBC Nightly News tonight was a story about the dramatic decline in the honeybee population and its affect on the food supply. Honeybees are a critical natural component in the agricultural process; they provide pollination of fruit and vegetable crops. But they have come under a three-pronged attack by two separate mite varieties and the over-use of pesticides.

One expert stated that the bee decline could result in up to a one-third loss of American food-crop production. I don't normally eat breakfast. Everyone ready to join me?

It seems there are additional factors, man-made or natural, affecting the state of Western industrialized agriculture, in addition to PO.
Last edited by Ferretlover on Sun 16 Sep 2012, 21:05:06, edited 4 times in total.
Reason: Merged with THE Bees Thread.
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Unread postby strider3700 » Wed 27 Apr 2005, 22:29:46

Mites have been killing off our local honey bees for a few years now. I'm not sure how much it helps but the bumble bee population appears to have greatly increased during that time. My apple tree is in full bloom and I have not seen any honey bees but have seen a fair number of bumble bees which used to be a rare site.
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Unread postby MicroHydro » Wed 27 Apr 2005, 22:40:52

There are many types of bees. It is only the domesticated European honeybee that is being decimated by mites.
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Unread postby killJOY » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 05:17:13

I actually had to stop keeping bees here because they kept dying. buying a new package every year gets expensive.

then my neighbor called to say she has a swarm living in her barn. I've hived them for her this spring and am hoping they're some mutant variety resistant to mite attacks.
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Unread postby gg3 » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 07:41:02

To bee or not to bee, that is the question...:-)

Each species of bee probably has its own niche in agriculture, and they are not all equally interchangeable. I don't think we're headed for a bee disaster of continent-starving proportions, at least not yet, but neither is that an excuse to do nothing.

I don't eat lunch. Anyone want to join me for a mid-day snack?
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Unread postby Leanan » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 08:44:09

You know, this is a skill that's likely to be much needed in the post-peak world, and can be profitable even now. Beekeeping, I mean. The farmers around here all rent beehives, to pollinate their crops. Big trucks full of beehives pull up, and the hives are unloaded and set up in the orchards for a few weeks. Once the flowers are gone, they come and get the hives, and move them to the next crop. The honey is just a bonus.

Wonder if "killer bees" are mite-resistent?
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Unread postby Ludi » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 08:48:01

Native bees and other pollinators can do a good job if given the right conditions, which tend to not be in place in conventional farming. Native pollinators need a lot of different flowering plants around, not just rows and rows of a single crop. In general they can't be kept in hives, though Mason Bees can be given houses to nest in.
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Unread postby frankthetank » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 09:18:09

This area is full of bumble bees...i bet most of my garden is pollinated by them (they are fun to watch when the sunflowers open up).
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Unread postby RealityCheckBounced » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 10:03:29

No problem. Theres always hand pollination. :lol:
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Unread postby Cynus » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 11:57:57

What we need is some chemical we can spray on the bees, preferably made by Monsanto, that can make the bees resistant to the pesticides made by Monsanto :)
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Unread postby KiddieKorral » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 15:29:14

I have a beehive underground. I've seen bees going into and out of these small holes in the dirt, that look like ant piles with a wider opening. Does anybody know what kind of bees these are? They're doing a good job of pollinating.
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Unread postby BiGG » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 16:10:15

KiddieKorral wrote:I have a beehive underground. I've seen bees going into and out of these small holes in the dirt, that look like ant piles with a wider opening. Does anybody know what kind of bees these are? They're doing a good job of pollinating.


Several types live in the ground and let me suggest never running over them with a lawn mower as I did by mistake once! They are not happy campers if you do by any means. :evil:

Ground-Nesting Bees and Wasps
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Unread postby bruin » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 16:22:25

You'd think as the honey bee population drops, the mite's population would drop with it. After balance is achieved, the bee population can grow once again.
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Unread postby strider3700 » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 22:24:37

bruin wrote:You'd think as the honey bee population drops, the mite's population would drop with it. After balance is achieved, the bee population can grow once again.


Or the mites could wipe everything around them out then die off as well. Evolution doesn't necessarily make something tougher it could just finish something off.
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Unread postby seldom_seen » Thu 28 Apr 2005, 22:39:20

The industrial agriculture response to this will probably be to create a mutant honybee with genes from a polar bear a tomato and a rattlesnake.

Then they'll release it in to the wild and it will cause some sort of unrelated ecological disaster that will only make the original problem worse.
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Bees

Unread postby RonMN » Mon 02 May 2005, 15:08:54

The attack of the Killer-Tomato-Bear-Snake-Bees :shock:
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Unread postby killJOY » Tue 03 May 2005, 07:34:51

(I just seriously screwed up this post. It was an accident, completely my fault. Will replace the text ASAP- KiddieKorral)
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Unread postby smallpoxgirl » Tue 03 May 2005, 08:35:41

Cynus wrote:What we need is some chemical we can spray on the bees, preferably made by Monsanto, that can make the bees resistant to the pesticides made by Monsanto :)


No silly. You just need Monsanto's new genetically engineered Roundup Ready Honebees. :)
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Unread postby KiddieKorral » Tue 03 May 2005, 08:49:37

Honeybees are furry. Remember that: fur=friend.


The ones under my garlic patch have fur.
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Unread postby killJOY » Tue 03 May 2005, 08:57:09

The ones under my garlic patch have fur.
Are they large, non-aggressive? Then they're bumblebees, which we mistakenly called "yellowjackets" in Ohio. They're reminiscent of honeybees, but they don't keep colonies through the winter. They also don't make enough honey to be harvested. They're not the aggressive pests that yellowjackets, so if you have them around, no sweat. They are also native to the US!! (unlike honeybees, which were originally imported from Eurasia.)
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