Honey bee colonies have experienced widespread die-offs in a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Many beekeepers believe a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids are weakening their bees. Mega-corporations are making a killing off their pesticides—but are they also getting away with murder?
A beautiful 22 photo essay by Chris Jordan-Bloch explores explores this issue. See the full essay here.
An older article (July 2013), but worth a read.
Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought
By Todd Woody, July 24, 2013
As we’ve written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.
Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. But in a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.
continue reading HERE
A note from the folks at Greenpeace:
Scientists have linked a powerful class of pesticides called “neonics” to increases in bee die-offs. Due in part to these deadly toxic chemicals, 31% of hives in the United States collapsed this past winter alone.
Last month millions across Europe spoke up for the bees and pressured the European Union (EU) into imposing a two year ban on neonics, defeating the influential pesticide lobby. If we act together, we can convince the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do the same.
Help us send 75K comments to the EPA by June 27th to save the bees that pollinate our crops and that visit your backyard.
Viruses, mites and malnutrition can all contribute to the collapse of a hive. But neonics pose a unique threat to bees. These poisons spread into the pollen and nectar of treated plants, slowly accumulating in the hive with each bee’s trip to a contaminated flower.
By allowing toxic chemicals like neonics to weaken and kill bees, we threaten our food and our environment. Continue reading
In MORE THAN HONEY, director Markus Imhoof tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite macro-photography of the bees in flight and in their hives reveals a fascinating, complex world in crisis.
MORE THAN HONEY is coming out June 12 at Film Forum.
To read more about the film and check out some stills, visit: morethanhoneyfilm.com
French Hill Apiaries, begun in 1974 and located in the northern Champlain Valley of Vermont and New York, is one of the largest and most successful beekeeping operations in New England.
We produce high quality liquid and comb honey that is sold throughout the region. My apiary is also noted for producing exceptional, locally adapted bees and queens, used by beekeepers and universities alike. I am a well known beekeeping educator, specializing in helping beekeepers set up and managing a sustainable apiary. If you would like to see what I’m up to in the world of honeybees, google my name.
via Borough Bees!
Big Apple Apiary Beekeeping Apprenticeship
Brand new rooftop apiary seeks 12 beekeeping apprentices for the 2012 bee season (April through October or November). Working in small teams, our apprentices will gain hands-on experience in both basic and advanced beekeeping techniques, with a focus on treatment-free and organic beekeeping, and have the opportunity to pay it forward and mentor next year’s students. Continue reading