More 4 @ 10pm - The last of the Honey Bees

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simon kerr 

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I case you have not seen this there is a new series on More 4 starting tonight on the plight of the Honey Bees, this episode starts in America.
 

gavin 

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Just a single 90 min film I believe.

'In 1950 there were 500,000 beekeepers in US, now there are 1,500.'

How can that be? We have more beekeepers than that in Scotland. Do they mean commercial beekeepers?

G.
 

gavin 

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s'pose lots of things (like grocers) have gone from many small-scale to few large-scale.

Those are some sad tales unfolding on the programme now.

G.
 

gregior 

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Hi folks first post on here so i'll give a quick intro.I'm greg from manchester in my late 30's and have been keeping bees for 30 years (my dad was a commercial beekeeper until mum became alergic to stings so he had to give up) I currently have 2 hives but am planning to icrease to 6 next year.

Really disturbing film tonight.I found myself getting quite upset at the plight of 2 of the 3 beekeepers featured opening up hive after hive only to find them dead.Shipping in the extra bees from oz is a totally unsustainable solution imo as the bees arrived soo stressed and were then put directly into the same hives that had just collapsed they probably wouldn't survive past the next winter anyway.

What was the one beekeeper who's bees seem unaffected doing dfferently than the others?

Really worrying situation and there's obviously lots of factors at work,but i can't help thinking one of the main reasons is keeping so many hives in close proximety to oneanother and constantly moving then around is a major factor.

Anyway i wish the featured beekeepers the best of luck,i have a bad felling they'll need it.

Sorry for the depressive 1st post,i promise to bee more upbeat next time. ;=]]
 

gavin 

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Hi Greg

Nice to see you on here. I think at the end they said that Eric (wasn't he the one that seemed to have no losses) lost colonies too when he came back from California and decided not to scale up his beekeeping after all?

Yup, have to agree that the stress of moving, the scale of these apiaries, and the moving into proximity in California has something to do with the troubles. It was the Bee Broker Joe Traynor who said something about California being like a bee brothel where all kinds of diseases are spread.

Repeated later tonight for any night-owls who missed it.

G.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Seems Australia is keeping them going,they did not say much about the IAPV which affects those bee's,hope any plans to bring those pakages to this country do not happen.
 

Stephen H. 

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Saw the programme,whilst I hope that I learn,t something,I found it very upsetting,I find it hard to believe that with the amount of hives that they had and the way that the bee's were transported,that the bees were being looked after properly,I came away thinking that they were just being used,and who on earth shakes new bees into what apparently was a diseased hive,dead bees one minute next bees thrown in on what had not even been scorched out.There are many of you here in fact probably most who are far ahead of me and probably always will be in bee knowledge but I feel that if I treated bees like those were being treated I would deserve all that I got.
 

steve1958 

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That was quite a scarey documentary.

Think I will quite whilst I am still ahead :smilielol5:

Seriously though. The whole set up over there appears so very different to British Bee keeping.
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Its times like this I regret not having a TV at home but will see if I can get the film on line

They get the bees from Australia as they have no Varroa yet and once in the hands of the us not all but the less good commercial beekeepers probably dont get treated for varroa so the bees can be put straight to work and they are moved from one place to another with little chance of rest or recuperation America and transport links so good now that the bees can follow the seasons so it can always be summer for them and I think they collapse due to stress and exhaustion. The one fault the honey bee has and to our advantage is it dose not know when it has enough honey and will if nectar is available work them selves to death.

I dont think its entirely the fault of the commercial beekeepers but perhaps big business the supermarkets driving the price of honey down and the customers always looking for cheaper products without understanding that cheapness comes at a cost.

Not quite the same but we onley have to look at our beef industry a few years ago the boundarys had being pushed to far then
 

Widdershins 

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watched it in tears!! :(

How do they blooming well expect the bees to survive after the way they treat them? They work them, constantly. They ferry 'em around and dont give them a rest.
Well, Mother Nature has seen to that, they've got a rest they wont wake up from!! GRRRRRRRR bloody humans!
 
T

Tom Bick 

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Yes have now seen it now the storys behind the bees are quite sad but hay one day your bees have snow and ice on the ground two days later 2000miles and 70*+ of of heat and an oasis of nectar to get and then you ship in more bees from Australia put them straight to work. I know its more complicated than that but my opinion has not changed
 

Bcrazy 

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I did not see the Last of the Honey Bees as by the time I got back from seeing The Vanishing of the Bees the prog had finished.

With the US commercial beekeeping the bees are for most of the time working in a summer environment.
The life span of a summer bee is approx 6 weeks, so do they really suffer for long periods?
We as hobbyists beekeepers tend to 'mollycoddle' our bees because the number of hives is not that great.
Consider earning your living through beekeeping when time and obtaining the pollination periods for plants, trees etc must be followed to the day. So movement is part and parcel of the colonies life.
Seven day inspections go out the window, because by the time of placing hives where needed the bees have to bee left alone to get on and collect the honey, and pollen. Once that period is over then its off to another site.
Pollen, Honey are the labours of the bees but the income to the commercial beekeeper is of the upmost improtance as it supports his family.

Regards;:leaving:
 

thurrock bees 

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i agree :iamwithstupid: 100% you cant treat any animal like that and expect it to live for long. too much stress and lack of food ( range of foods, all one plant :puke:) i put my bees on osr for 7 weeks they then move 3 miles ( not 6000 miles :driving:) to a orchard for the rest of the year.
The humans are only ever chasing the dollar/pound.:eek::chillpill:

TB
on well xmas soon
:xmas-smiley-016:



watched it in tears!!




How do they blooming well expect the bees to survive after the way they treat them? They work them, constantly. They ferry 'em around and dont give them a rest.
Well, Mother Nature has seen to that, they've got a rest they wont wake up from!! GRRRRRRRR bloody humans!
 

Widdershins 

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BCRAZY I do understand in a way - but then, maybe they should learn that they need another income. Obviously, with whats happened, the colonies dying, their hands have been forced.

Mollycoddled or not, I still think its a bad way to treat the Bees - even more so, when they are there sole income.
 

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