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Poly Hive 

Queen Bee
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9 and 18 Nucs
I had Radio Leicester on the phone asking about an unrelated matter and the Convo got around to bees.

They said the decline in the bee population was the reason for the sponsorship of hives by the BBC.

Where is this information coming from? Is it accurate?

Looking at the growth in the forum membership, I have to wonder at what the real position is.

Are there in fact less colonies then there were. I am leaving feral ones out the equation as they are stuffed by varroa, mostly.

Thoughts? Links?

PH
 

marcros 

House Bee
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Thoughts?
PH

My thoughts are that:

1. There is much fuss made when colonies are lost, and rather less attention drawn to when swarms are plentiful, splits are necessary and people are running out of hives/boxes etc when making increase.

2. Communication is better than ever before- I can post on forums like this, and the entire membership can read it. 10 years ago, only people who actually knew me would know how my bees had faired over the winter. If even half a dozen people post 'I have lost 50% of my hives this winter', a casual reader could assume that there is a major problem.

3. The BBKA have spent a great deal of time generating publicity for research money- to get the public behind them, they have gone with the 'endangered species' angle.

4. The increasing popularity of beekeeping, combined with commonplace IT skills now make it seem harder to obtain a colony. In days gone by, if you wanted to keep bees, you found somebody local to mentor you and they gave you a swarm etc. Now, people logon, find a course and search for bees from the comfort of their living room. I dont think that the old time beekeepers are necessarily au fait with this method, so for the moment there is a limited number of online suppliers attempting to supply an increasing demand. This should settle down as the percentage of beekeepers have computer skills increases.

Mark
 

rae 

Field Bee
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Berkshire
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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
We've got bees coming out of our ears. Started with 2 in April, artificially swarmed both (4 colonies), then split both original colonies (6), then two of the splits chucked out a swarm and a large-ish cast, both now hived (8).

I don't think I could physically stuff all of the bees back in the two hives we started with, and we're out of kit.....
 

Widdershins 

Field Bee
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langstroth
For what its worth - only had one swarm to attend so far this year. Last year there were loads by comparison. However, that doesnt mean there are less colonies, only less people reporting them, or new beeks getting their mitts on the swarms before me.

Something to ponder over, certainly.
 

SixFooter 

Drone Bee
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My thoughts are that:

3. The BBKA have spent a great deal of time generating publicity for research money- to get the public behind them, they have gone with the 'endangered species' angle.

Mark
I have it on good authority - Well I overheard a conversation between VIPs -that the messages coming from the BBKA will be changing to reflect the current situation.
 

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