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Study Reviews The Culprits Behind Dying Bees

Since about 2006, farmers, scientists, beekeepers, and casual observers have noticed sudden declines in bee populations. Beekeepers were seeing at least 30 percent of their bee populations die or disappear each year. Scientists began calling this phenomenon colony collapse disorder, or CCD. It describes the fact that colonies of bees mysteriously, suddenly, and drastically decline. In the years since CCD was first noticed, named, and described, intensive research has been done to find out what is going on with bees. The results have been mixed. Scientists are so far unable to pin the collapse on a single event or cause. Recent research, however, has indicated that commercial pesticides may have an important role to play in the death of bees.

Why Bees Are So Important

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, there are 100 species of crops that provide the world with 90 percent of its food. Of those 100 crops, 71 are pollinated by bees. Many of the foods we eat, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, fibers, and hay, require insects for pollination. Bees are the main workers when it comes to this task. Pollination occurs when a bee takes pollen from the male parts of one flower and transports it to the female parts on another flower of the same species. This leads to the fertilization in the plant and that plant’s ability to create seeds for the growth of new plants.

Bees have developed such an important role when it comes to pollinating plants because collecting pollen is what they do. Other pollinators tend to accidentally move pollen around when feeding. Bees, however, collect pollen all day long to take back to the hive for honey. As they collect the pollen, they fly from plant-to-plant spreading grains here and there. Furthermore, bees tend to focus on one type of flower at a time, which increases the odds of pollinating.

Colony Collapse Disorder

The first major incident of CCD to be noted and to have devastating effect on crops was in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Almond trees depend upon bees for pollinating. Without the bees, they produce no nuts. The almond growers of the San Joaquin Valley truck in about one million hives worth of bees each year to pollinate their trees. In 2006, there was a massive shortage. The beekeepers that supply almond farmers had lost up to 40 percent of their colonies.

The loss of so many bees is very detrimental to beekeepers who make a living renting out their insects, and also to farmers who need the bees to get a crop. The first signs of CCD were that bees were simply disappearing. They were not dying near the hives, rather flying off and not returning. Presumably they died elsewhere before they could make it back. Another part of the mystery was that certain other insects, such as the wax moth, were avoiding affected hives. These predators would normally attack the hive to steal honey.

After several years of studying CCD, scientists have learned a lot more about bees, but they have yet to pinpoint one single cause for the disorder. Most agree that there are likely several causes. New viruses that are attacking bees have been discovered, such as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus and Invertebrate Iridescent Virus. A blood-sucking mite has been infesting and weakening bees. Stress from bees being transported in trucks all over the country for pollinating duties is also considered as a possible culprit. Finally, the heavy use of pesticides in commercial farming is also being pointed to as a cause of CCD.

Backyard Beekeepers Everywhere Agree: A Successful Colony Is A Thing Of Beauty…

Pesticides and New Research

Research is ongoing for the causes of CCD. The good news is that the disorder does not seem to have gotten any worse. However, bees are still dying at a rate of about 30 percent per year, and the problem still requires a solution. New research from Purdue University has found conclusively that pesticides are killing bees. Whether this is the main cause of CCD or just one of many is still undetermined. One suggestion is that the pesticides weaken bees and make them more susceptible to other causes of death such as mites and viruses.

The study from Purdue looked at dead bees at several apiaries in Indiana. Analysis of the dead bees showed the presence of neonicotinoid insecticides. Other insecticides, clothiandin and thiamethoxam, were also found in the bees and in pollen gathered by them.

Neonicotinoid insecticides are used to coat the seeds of corn and soybeans before they are planted in the ground. Corn and soybeans were the plants investigated in this study, but neonicotinoid is used on nearly all annual crop seeds. The seeds are sticky after coating with the insecticide, so they are also mixed with talc. This keeps the seeds from sticking in the vacuum systems of the planters. The excess talc gets released during the planting process and also when the machinery is being cleaned. This contaminated talc dust is very light and gets transported throughout the environment.

The talc that is exhausted from planting equipment contains pesticides in quantities that are 700,000 times higher than a lethal dosage for bees. The amounts found in pollen were much less, but still enough to weaken or kill bees if enough of the pollen is consumed. The pesticide compounds can exist in the soil for years, which means that plants can take them up as they grow. The presence of insecticides in the soil, in pollen, and in plants represents a threat to bees, but also to other insects and foragers.

The plants inspected in this study, corn and soybean, do not actually require bees for pollination. However, by studying the impact of the insecticides used on the environment and on bees has put another piece in the puzzle of CCD. In farms where bees are essential for pollination, this evidence of insecticides killing bees is very instructive. The research has also led to a push to improve the planting process. Farmers are now trying to minimize the release of the contaminated talc from the planting equipment.

How You Can Help Bees

The news about bees is grim, but there are things you can do to improve their chances of survival and to encourage the healthy growth of bee colonies.

  • Grow your own food. You may already be doing this, but by growing your own food in your garden, you take yourself and your family out of the business of commercial agriculture. Big Ag is poisoning bees, and you should refuse to support it.
  • Go organic. If you need to buy some of your food, buy local and organic foods. It’s not easy to grow everything you need to keep your family well fed and healthy. Odds are, even with your best efforts, you need to supplement your diet with foods purchased elsewhere. Support local farmers who do not use pesticides and who do not, therefore, contribute to CCD.
  • Be organic. Grow your own vegetables organically. Don’t use insecticides to keep pests at bay. Use organic and natural methods that worked for centuries before synthetic compounds were around. You should be able yield impressive crops with natural methods.
  • Find a local beekeeper. Apiary on a small scale is dwindling. Find and visit a beekeeper in your area to learn more about bees. Purchase your honey from this keeper to help support him or her and their local endeavor. And added bonus is that eating honey that is made locally has been shown to improve seasonal allergies.
  • Grow bee-friendly plants. Besides your vegetable garden, grow plants that attract bees. This will give them good sources of pesticide-free pollen and will encourage bees to take up residence nearby. Some of their favorites are clover, lavender, yarrow, alfalfa, purple coneflower, bee balm, goldenrod, and thyme. In addition to plants that bees like, you can provide a good place for them to live in your yard. Natural bees use all kinds of things for shelter: dead trees, underground tunnels, and burrows abandoned by other animals. You can purchase bee blocks, blocks of wood with different sized holes in them, to put in your yard as an appropriate bee home.
  • Let some of your vegetables bolt. If you have enough plants, let one or two of each type of vegetable in your garden bolt. When they seed in the fall, it will give bees a chance to stock up on food for the winter. With enough food, they have a better chance of waking up and rebounding in the spring.


©2012 Off the Grid News

© 2008-2014 Off The Grid News

61 comments

  1. Genetically modified crops do not need bees and may be causing harm to them. Has anyone looked at that aspect? And many crops now have the “insecticide” inside the plants (systemic may be the word). What chance does a little bee have anymore?

    • Monsanto has way to much money to be implicated in a study, what you need to look into is the fact that genetically modified monster seeds don’t need bees, then why not have Monsanto kill the bees so that you have to use their monster food? i think the prophet John Paul Jackson that said there would be a blight on genetically altered foods.

      • Other than mainstream TV political misinformation agenda there’s got to be some FDA approved additive in community water to facilitate the biggest fraud ever spoon fed to the US electorate with FDA / USDA approved patients being created as mandatory healthcare consumers. It differs little from all other corporate schemes of milking the dieing public cow without conscience.

      • Actually IT DEPENDS on which GMO crop is used, as to whether it needs bees to be pollinated. Corn doesn’t use bees; it’s wind-pollinated. GMO corn would be no different. However, alfalfa is bee-pollinated, so GMO al;falfa would still be pollinated by bees, if it doesn’t kill them…

    • I have been saying for years that the hybrid may very well have an affect on the bees. If the plant does not require pollen the food for the bees is missing. Why go from plant to plant to collect pollen when there isn’t any there. To limit the numbers of crops, promote uniformity of produce, and other specifics that are marketing desirable we have been starving the bees.

    • The GMO seeds are definitely contributing to the problem. Bees are affected by their immune system being depleated by Gmo crops. The military have done tests on Micro wave antennas and bees, it kills them.

    • Genetically Modified Crops ALSO PRODUCE THEIR OWN pesticides. Who in their right mind would wonder WHY the bees are being killed when the crops are being designed TO KILL INSECTS? I know the Presstitutes don’t tell you but it should be obvious to the most casual observer. And if the Presstitutes know this is true, bet they won’t tell you.

      Look it up:
      Cigarette tobacco leaves are genetically engineered to produce pesticides

      Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034744_tobacco_leaves_genetically_engineered_cigarettes.html#ixzz1qFmMCUTd

  2. I think the barium being sprayed all over the country in the form of aerosol spays: i.e. chem trails, should be considered, barium is in these things, they are happening all over the place,visible on a daily basis. I live in a rural part of MD and have also noticed a disappearance of all types of insects, like in summer, I remember if you left a porch light on at night ,the bugs would be swarming around it, not so anymore, and has been this way for several years.

    • Is barium in the chemtrails?

    • karen dallas hartig

      …”I live in a rural part of MD and have also noticed a disappearance of all types of insects, like in summer, I remember if you left a porch light on at night ,the bugs would be swarming around it, not so anymore, and has been this way for several years.”

      yes.

      i grew up on a residential, tree lined street in the city of chicago. every 17 years, we saw a special cicada come up out of the ground, dry its wings, climb into the trees, then mate, then die. the last year of our 17 year cicada so far was, i think, 2007. in the area of my childhood, no cicadas emerged from their burrows underground whatsoever, nor in many forests that are situated in the city. i wondered, gee, if i saw them and heard their cacaphony, so welcome, every 17 years, why not now?

      i think the reason is that the mayor of chicago orders all sorts of natural areas to be sprayed in the middle of the night, so that we do not notice. that includes laying poisons in ponds that used to attract ducks and geese, but now they no longer land there to lay a clutch of eggs, and we don’t see their babies anymore.

      a few years before 2007 (i believe it was not 2008 or 2006), when the 17 year cicadas were supposed to emerge to re-create, a beetle from asia became a bane on the trees of our neighborhoods. they were coming in on wooden palates set onto boats in the orient and shipped over to the states, the palates holding the cargo for trade in the USA. the mayor quickly found a pesticide that would kill the beetles, which i think is being sprayed even now, in 2012, as a rule to keep the beetles from reinfesting the trees, as well as, of course, to kill mosquitoes.

      there is no end to the careless choices of politicians hungry for the next vote. if a beetle that is no longer imported from asia caused a problem with trees one year long ago, they make damned sure they do not have to hear about it again. if a few people hate the feces of geese on lawns, near ponds where they hatch their chicks, they may as well poison those ponds, damned sure, every year.

      it seems that no thought goes to the consequences of using drastic measures that the politicians dream up to prove to the generally dumb public how much they are ‘on their side’ (not the side of those icky bugs!). they most definitely do not think about being on the side of nature as a whole, and how valuable it is for public policy to take into consideration the many other animals that coexist with asian tree beetles, ducks, and geese, which means insects, too, which are a part of the entire food chain, before they go spraying poisons onto trees, which fall onto the earth, to become a part of the earth around trees, which may kill off the larvae of the 17 year cicada, as well as poisons that keep lovely ducks and geese away from bodies of water in the city.

      and it makes sense that genetically altered crops might be one of the causes behind CCD in that obviously, if you alter the genome of a plant that is pollinated by bees (we hope they remain honey bees rather than africanized killer bees, already in FL…), its pollen will obviously be changed on a fundamental level. the plant, therefore its pollen, is no longer a natural plant, it is far from its natural form. it is further from its natural form than a hybrid. modifying the GENOME of any living creature has to have a consequence on the reproduction of that creature because the GENOME, the essence of the creature, is different.

      i miss my friendly, noisy 17 year cicadas.

  3. makes you wonder if all the “food allergies” folks get are caused by the insecticides too?

    • They have actually been tied to GMO foods. As have increased infertility rates.

      • I don’t know if anyone has thought about all the chem trails that are being sprayed all over the sky all the time. The chemicals in those may have something to do with some of the bees dying. People are really messing up our world!!!

      • Something along the lines of an 11% increase in human infertility in humans since GMO and far more in farm animals who have no choice but to eat GMO that is fed them. Years ago cows were given a few ounces of organic apple cider vinegar each day and even human couples taking a tablespoon a day in a glass of water have been helped but I don’t know it that could overcome the negative effects of GMO these days. What few are talking about and which will never be settled in court is that Autism began to skyrocket as GMO was quietly introduced into the population. In Europe citizens are warned on the package that it contains genetically manipulated food but not here. The evidence continues to accumulate that GMO food is unhealthy for bees, animals, and humans. The Queen of England won’t eat GMO and I go out of my way to avoid it as much as I can (very hard to do in the USA unless you always eat at home and only organic.). Oh, by the way, it might only be a coincidence but the AMISH who don’t use any GMO seeds or even chemical fertilizers and pesticides have only a tiny fraction of Autism, about what we all had before GMO. They do have a little and that is probably because some of them work off the farm and eat out. The FDA which is heavily influenced by Monsanto people who work there (Monsanto makes the most of the GMO foods that are contaminating the American food supply and even the land ) is not doing it’s job to protect the citizens of the United States. Follow the advice in the above article and you won’t go wrong.

  4. These types of pesticides have been developed because of state and federal mandates that have reduced other viable types of pesticides because of health issues. We had periods of time a few years back, where other types of pesticides were available to coat seeds and for other uses that were not harmful to bees, but since federal laws phased those pesticides out of concern over human health, we now have pesticides that supposedly kill bees. I don’t know if the feds were right about the old pesticides and I don’t know if anyone is right about the new pesticides killing the bees. All I do know is that no one is ever satisfied and you have to start choosing what is most important. One group complains about residue and people being exposed to pesticides, another group complains about bees, another group complains about ground water. You can’t have everything. Oh, and if you do have everything, no one will be able to produce the amount of food necessary to feed everyone, because there will not be anything available on the market to enhance production so everyone can still eat.

    I am a 300 acre orange grower and I love the terms thrown out like “Big Ag”. That term puts me on the defensive. I don’t believe in subsidies(mainly because it wastes taxpayer money, but I also don’t get any, either), but I guarantee that authors of articles like this assume all farmers get subsidies and we’re all waiting for government handouts. There are lots of people with minimal amounts of acres, who are just trying to get by. Oranges are very difficult to grow organically and just because I’m not organic doesn’t mean that I love to destroy the planet. Very hilarious.

    • Then why not grow something else that you CAN grow organically?

      Why do you HAVE to grow something that screws everything up?

      Surely you can find a more honorable way to grow; you say you don’t like damaging the earth, but what are you doing about it?

    • I read of one scientist who said that he would rather eat food that was sprayed with the now illegal DDT, than eat GMO food and its Round-Up seed. Glyphosate, Round-Ups main chemical, is far more dangerous than DDT or any other chemical legally used on food and it is absorbed by plants. Most of all processed foods in the USA are now made from GMO food. Things made with corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil or canola oil, corn syrup, HFCS, corn meal, corn flakes, corn starch, corn flour or corn chips are mostly GMO in the United States (93% of soy, 86% of corn, 83% of cotton and many more are GMO). The stolen Wikileaks documents apparently show that we are forcing the Iraqi’s to adopt our GMO seeds and we are have been pressuring the Europeans to stop opposing them. It’s like our refusal to give foreign aid to African nations unless they agree with our Homosexual Agenda and some of them have refused, prefering their own morality. Now even some grasses are being changed from their natural state into GMO and cows who eat these grasses pass on the negatives to their off-spring and to those who drink milk and eat cheese and beef. It’s a lose-lose situation with GMO and you would do well to go out of your way to avoid them whenever possible and that is only possible if you grow your own not anywhere close to an ordinary farm that may use them and contaminate nearby soils or if you only eat USDA certified organic which will grow more improbable as GMO spreads.

      The Bible predicts eventual world wide famine and with the killing of the bees and GMO we seem to be trying to fulfill that ancient prophecy. And if any Christians are reading this I would suggest they pray about everything they do because last November 19th I was considering something that another Christian had written on why God had to punish the world (and the United States) when I clearly heard what I can only describe as a voice like steel (in it’s firmness). It was unlike anything I had heard before in it’s strength or resolve: MY HAND OF JUDGEMENT WILL STRETCH FORTH AND ALL WILL FEEL IT, SOME MUCH MORE THAN OTHERS. FEAR NOT! And frankly I was glad to hear the last two words because I remembered when Jesus said “Fear Not” it was not because there was nothing to fear but because He was reminding us that God is still in charge. Some Christians are calling what is coming “The Long Emergency” but in my last two books I called it “The Greater Depression”. What I do know is that food and fuel and other things are going to triple in price, but probably not houses, and it will be unlike anything the USA has ever experienced before. It’s why many have started to build up an emergency food supply for the really hard times ahead and get their lives in order. May God help us and bless all who read this.

  5. Just another nail in the coffin of humanity. We in all our hubris decide what gets killed off and when, from the smallest microbe to the largest predator. A result of tampering with the natural order of things, directly linked to overpopulaiton, and our feeble attempts at enlarging our food stores through specious science. God help us.

    • Finally, someone mentioned overpopulation and food. We have caught up to food reserves and it realy started about the time of Raychel’s book on a “Silent Spring”. It’s that book and her warning about spraying roadside weeds in Wisconson which woke me up!

      However, greed and sometimes foremost concerns for the ‘hunger’ of third world. Govenmental pressures on farmers, food businesses and quest for profits by corporations relentlessly drove experiments on improved agriculture products to meet these demands.

      We cannot turn back and as a specie we’re firmly on the road to extinction as other species had before us.

      Nonetheless, over a period of three years, I planted 100 fruit trees, planted yearly raised garden-beds, keep and feed one hen from wild oats and am ever hopeful that man will come to his senses!

    • You are a fool. The federal government owns 650 million acres of land. The population of America is 312 million. Not counting private land, state owned land, corporation owned land, every man woman and child in America could have 2 acres. You can raise everything you need and then some with 2 acres. Maybe if the feds would not create crises, or steal from us, or lie to us, or …

      There is an abundance of land, there is just an overabundance of fat people that don’t want to do anything other than sit in an office. You cram people into cities like rats and then expect a few people to farm hundreds of acres, of course they can’t do that without tractors, pesticides, GMO, and other things. They are draining the soil and not replenishing it except the bare essentials, no trace minerals. They can’t rotate crops or land. We need to get back to the basics and get away from the cities.

  6. I agree about not using pesticides, particularly on our property. However my husband insists on spraying. This year in particular will be worse with ticks, fleas and chiggars since winter was basically nonexistant. How do we fight the bad bugs while not harming good and necessary ones?

    • Grow tobacco plants around your garden area. Natural tobacco
      and water put in the blender will make a good non-toxic spray that
      keeps bugs away. Rather than kill them, it repels them. The company
      Naturasil also has non-toxic products for animals/people. They should
      teach this in schools!

  7. Talc it self is a carcinogen, that can’t be good for bees, and Talc covers the pesticides, double trouble.

  8. NoMoreMarxistsInDC

    Look at the 4 biggest companies making insecticides and genetically-modified seeds/plants/food. They are Monsanto, Conagra, Dow and Bayer. Google their names and watch the negative (and scary) articles that come up about them, and how they are so powerful, as international companies, that they work hand-in-hand with the Federal Government (Dept. of Agriculture, FDA) to manipulate legislation, as well as pay-off foreign governments to sell their wares.

  9. Here in East Texas I have also noticed the greatly reduced number of all insects especially at night around the outside lights, and in the skimmer on our above ground pool. A few years ago I would remove 20-40 June bugs from the skimmer each morning. Last year before we removed the pool to increase our garden space I often only removed 1 -5 June bugs each morning. The moths are also important in pollination of flowers, so we are suffering from more than just a bee loss.

    • I didn’t mean to click report on the above article. Just miss read and clicked on the wrong part of the word.

      I wonder just how much the softening of the Earth’s magnetic field has to do with loss of insects around the country. After all, don’t bees rely on a sophisticated homing device within them that helps them get back home, so what if the weakening of the magnetic field, a predicted event associated with 2012, would NOT effect bees and other insects, fish and mammals that require that homing instinct. Just wondering

  10. I was a teacher at Pacific Union College above the Napa Valley in California and taught a beginners class in beekeeping. In addition I had approximately 100 colonies of my own and took them into the San Joaquin Valley to pollinate the almonds. Later I hired on with a beekeeping outfit operating 3600 colonies, mostly for pollination purposes. At that time we did not have CCD problems or a lot of the virus that they now have. I find that this article is very informative.
    Aside from the information on CCD (which was excellent) and for accuracy sake of other minor information, I do take issue with a few comments. 1) Nectar is what bees collect to make honey. Collecting pollen is a separate job than collecting nectar. However, most of the time they do both at the same time. Pollen is the protein used to feed the larva just the same as animals need protein to properly develop. Honey is the carbohydrate nutritional factor. The bees do not collect pollen “to take back to the hive for honey.” 2) The statement “Without the bees, they produce no nuts” is incorrect. Almond trees will produce a greatly reduced quantity of nuts without bee pollination. Without the pollination done by bees, it may not be commercially viable to raise almonds. There is a good biological reason for this but that is another subject. 3) Speaking of the wax moth, the statement “These predators would normally attack the hive to steal honey” is incorrect. Stealing honey is not the major reason for wax moths to infect a weak or dead colony. Both the greater and lesser wax moth primarily go after pollen and the silk cocoons of the emerged bee and to a lesser degree the wax. In other words, wax moths are scavengers. In the process they destroy the comb.
    The author’s suggestions for helping the bees is absolutely great. As a retired teacher I find that growing my own food is one way to prevent problems inflicted upon us by big agriculture. Yes, I do have colonies of my own. In fact, it is my hobby to help others get started in beekeeping, even with our Africanized bees.

  11. Question – Do bees fly relative close to the ground (within 10ft)?
    When I am driving, every once in a while i hit a swarm of bees.
    It seem that it is not just one or two but many more.
    Could colonies be damaged by too many bees being killed by automobles?
    The speed of the auto also seems to be a factor.
    Driving at ~50 to 60mph may give them time to deflect in time to not be hit but 70 to 75mph does not.
    Any comments?

    • Indiana Beekeeping School

      A swarm of bees is part of a colony (headed by the old queen) leaving the hive, full of honey, looking for a new home. When you hit them I’ll be you get smears of honey on the windshield as they are so full of honey. They’ll follow the queen, kind of like a black tornado, and then all pile on when she lands, Scout bees will then look for a suitable home, and then come back and basically tapdance a description and direction of the potential home. Several scouts may do this at the same time for different new homes. Like an election primary, one scout prevails. The queen in the middle, gets the direction, distance and the cluster breaks apart and moves, again, like a black tornado, to the new home.

      Back at the original hive, now without a queen, virgin queens will hatch from special cells. First one out will kill the others before they hatch. Then within a week, fly out and mate with up to a dozen drones, then return and begin regular laying in the hive within a few days.

  12. I started taking my bees up into the mountains every spring, a few years back. Clean water and all wild flowers. Now,
    My three year old queens are as good as any first year queens now. I have healthy bees. If that is the only way I keep my bees alive, then so BEE it.
    At least I can get them to the mountains in a couple of hours, away from Big Ag. I am lucky.

  13. Didn’t Canada deal with this 6 years ago!?Canada banned an insecticide that was killing the bees, but the lobbyists form of government in the USA took six years to study the problem….

    • SAY, I DIDN’T MEAN TO REPORT YOUR COMMENT AND AM SORRY FOR CLICKING THE WRONG BUTTON, I HOPE THEY READ THIS, JUST CLICKED ABOUT TWO MINUTES AGO:

      Soil gets depleted of natural and optimal nutrients when using commercial fertilizer and I have found a way to go organic that works very well with larger plants which are prolific earlier, more prolific in their fruit/ vegetables; and prolific longer.
      1. Cultivate well.
      2. Hoe/hill to 1 1/2 ft hills 1 1/2 to 2 ft apart, depending upon the spreading needs of the vegetable.
      3. Cover entire hilled garden with thickest BLACK visqueen and weight or fasten down, edges should end on a hilled garden side at the garden’s edge so as to keep all weeds under control within the garden space.
      4. With a hoe or rounded shovel tip, hack slices in the floor of all valleys every 12.”
      5. When grass is mown, strew the valleys with grass clippings throughout the summer until all valleys are filled. Use only natural fertilizers in the valleys.
      6. When planting: For seeds cut a slit and furrow and plant in the slit – use NO COMMERCIAL FERTILIZER. For plants, make an X, dig an adequate hole for the transplant, fill the hole
      with water, cover and pack around plant adequately for sturdiness.
      7. Flood visqueen valleys at beginning of season and after a 2 week dry spell, or whenever ground around plants suggests the need for more water. If much rain, let the rain & minerals from rain do the watering. No need to put chlorine and fluoride into the plants. Last summer I used no water from the hose and the initial watering and visqueen cover I had lovely, high product yield from plants – we had enough rain to omit the hose, partly because the visqueen kept the moisture in.
      8. For root crop pest problems plant marigolds between plants. For snails and creepy slimy slugs, I put large jar lids filled with beer around my lettuce and cabbage. Slugs love the beer and simply drown. If I don’t get them all, I live with it. Pulling a slug out between leaves or trimming out a cutworm hole is better than eating pesticides.
      *The garden will be beautifully fed organically as rain and compost of vegetation liquids seep through the slits you made in the valleys of the visqueened-over garden. The valleys which feed organically will eventually turn to slime, so be prepared to a wide place board occasionally across hills for maintenance.
      *Some, but very little weeds will need to be picked from around plants; just place them roots up in the valleys, they will help make fertilizer to make your plants grow strong.
      * Some, but not many weeds will appear in the valleys, pluck them out and place roots up in the valleys.
      *Earthworms Love this environment and will help till and fertilize the soil underneath the visqueen.
      * When final harvest time comes, harvest veggies, hold plant up by the roots and start near the ends of all leaves and stems use a large sharp heavy knife or machete and hack off each side as you turn the root around until only stem is left – do this over the valleys in the visqueen. Chop the stem likewise until only the thick hard stem part is left, pile and compost this stem with layers of soil in a composting box for later use.
      * In other places, you can’t loose by experimenting with a patch of ground – might find moisture holds better.
      * In Alaska your plants will thrive in an almost exclusive space to grow, optimally heated, moistened and fertilized.

      • Sher –

        Your post is an admirable advertisement for visqueen. What on earth does it have to do with colony collapse disorder?

  14. There is a bk called ‘where have all the bees gone'; or something close to that title. Anyway in the bk they speak of Johnson & Johnson and their co. Round up; That either iceland; or greenland wasn’t having problems with bees dieing until these products were brought their. took fews years but lots of Johnson’s stuff is banned.
    Also GMO’s seeds are make with the junk in the seeds; that is why these produce only give us about 45% of the vitm. that charts say they do; and why the fruit won’t reproduce.
    Another GREAT bk ‘son of a farmer; man of the world’ He was a farmer trying not to take gov’t stuff; trying to stay away from the GMO’s……..they and our gov’t came after him.

    our gov’t UN/usa wants to down sized the # of people on earth; having us eat stuff that ain’t good; yet looks great; is one way they are doing it.. Notice all apples look the same in stores; large etc; yet if you have a apple tree in your yard, for the most part no two look the same………..why? your tree is growing God’s way; and has 2x the vitm. as store one.
    Cubans’ live to same age as people in usa; yet they don’t have med.care;………..key theydon’t eat GMO stuff
    Africa wanted seeds to grow their own food; UN wanted to give them GMO. Africa went to our Sec. of state H. Clition; she told them; to take the GMO’ or die.
    Bill Gates, and other very wealthly persons have been buying up ‘real seeds’ and have a underground freezer up at N. Pole………….they know UN is getting rid of all seeds; step by step.

  15. The issue is mainly with two systemic insecticides, Goucho and Pancho, made & distributed by Beyer (yes, the makers of aspirin). It’s not Roundup (an herbicide -?!?) or GMO plants or barium or evil farmers or autos or the UN or Bill Gates or whatever other weird tinfoil-hat garbage some of you conspiracy nuts are dreaming up.

    As someone pointed out, systemic pesticides such as Goucho, Poncho and some others are put on seeds when planting. The plants then take in these chemicals conveniently located right by the roots. Insects eating the plant leaves are killed. Bees don’t eat the plants, they gather the pollen and nectar and store it in their hives. So – a beekeeper takes his hives bees to a farm (the farmer pays the beekeeper for pollination services to increase farm yield) in one area of the country where the bees gather tainted pollen (their protein source). The beekeeper then transports his flatbed of hives with stored poisoned pollen to another part of the country where a different crop is in season. Crops there may have no systemics like Poncho, but now the hives start consuming Poncho laced pollen and die. Because the collapse of the colony often took place where systemic insecticides were not used, it was very difficult to track down the cause of CCD.

    Calm down, there is a logical explanation to the problem of CCD faced by the beekeeping industry – it just took a while to dig through FACTS to arrive at a correct conclusion. We have enough real problems in this world to worry about without concocting conspiracies.

    • Indiana Beekeeping School

      Roundup is mentioned primarily because GMO plants are typically round-up ready. It other words they go together… Roundup and GMO. But you’re right. Roundup is not a huge problem. Not completely harmless though.

  16. Most of us should start with at least a small herb garden and then led into planting our own gardens. Get your neighbors involved and working together like a community does. If not it will be great practice to start growing your own food. Everything has been posioned one way or another, there is no way to avoid it. If there was ever a time to learn…it is NOW. Let’s get busy!

  17. You should also be looking into microwave radiation that surrounds us—via cell phones, towers, WiFi, smart meters, computers, etc. A British independent scientist by the name of Barrie Trower is an expert on the harm being done to animals and unsuspecting humans by these radiation sources. You can listen to him on YouTube.

    Bees can suffer disorientation and other problems from microwaves. If we all had a hand-held meter or some kind of an alert button, we could then observe the proof for the invisible but harmful radiation with which we are being bombarded on a daily basis, and we could take the necessary steps to protect ourselves, our precious children and the bees and animals.

    • Indiana Beekeeping School

      The study of cell phones and cell towers was thoroughly discredited. Bees have problems hundreds of miles from any cell service in parts of the plains.

  18. I just wanted to say I have learned a lot from all of the comments. I haven’t devoted enough time to worrying about bees. It would appear that perhaps I should for I do know if the bees go, so goes man. I live on a small “mimi” ranch in central Missouri and have thought of beekeeping as a hobby but now I think there may be a more noble reason to do it. Also, unlike horses, chickens, turkeys and donkeys, bees feed themselves and that’ll be a nice switch. Again, thanks for some valuable information !

    • Indiana Beekeeping School

      There’s a huge concern about the declining numbers of pollinators. If honeybees go, then America will be just like it was prior to 1620 when the first honeybees were imported. We can grow grain, other pollinators can handle the native berries. Apples will suffer hugely (they were also imported from Europe)

      A quote like yours is often attributed to Einstein. It has been thoroughly discredited.

      A better quote is this: “We’ll be eating a lot more gruel (oatmeal)” – Dennis van Englesdrop, researcher Penn State.

  19. I never buy anything that Monsanto makes, if everyone did the same, they would be out of bussiness, i will never buy roundup thats for sure, why would anyone put poisen in their yard…

  20. Monsanto needs to be outlawed, that is the answer. It is as plain as the nose on your face.

    • I DITTO THAT DWIGHT !!!! HOWEVER CONSIDER THA SOURCE ALSO,MEANING THA POLICY/LAWMAKERS FOR THA MOST PART, AS FAR AS I CAN SEE, HAVE LITTLE-NO REGARD FOR THA TRUE WELL-BEING OF “WE THE PEOPLE” THEIR MAIN PRIORITY IS SELLING US DOWN THA RIVER TO THA HIGHEST BIDDER….IT IS ALL ABOUT THA BOTTOM LINE WITH THOSE THIEVES !!!! WHEN ENOUGH PEOPLE WAKE THA HELL UP,AND GET OUT OF DENIAL ABOUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON UP @ “CAPITOL HELL” (WHICH IN MY OPINION IS NOTHING MORE THAN A MAJOR CORPORATION BEING FUNDED BY “WE THE PEOPLE”) ONLY THEN CAN WE START TO TAKE BACK THAT WHICH HAS BEEN VERY COVERTLY TAKEN FROM US, WHICH IN MY OPINION IS SOMETHING FAR MORE REACHING THAN ANY MONETARY NOTE…. IT’S CALLED…. INTEGRITY,DIGNITY,AND HONOR.THREE WORDS I’M SENSING DO NOT EXIST IN MANY PEOPLE’S VOCABULARY !!!! IF YOU LET A THIEF COME INTO YOUR HOUSE AND STEAL FROM YOU ONCE,YOU’VE SENT THA MESSAGE THAT IT’S OK TO CONTINUE STEALING FROM YOU….IT’S VERY SAD THAT WE WERE CONDITIONED TO BELIEVE THAT BEES ARE DANGEROUS AND SHOULD BE EXTERMINATED BECAUSE THEY COULD STING YOU,INSTEAD OF BEING PROPERLY EDUCATED AS TO THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF THEIR EXISTANCE

  21. southern patriot

    Question? What ever happened with the “Killer Bees”? Could they have had any effect on the decline in bee colonies?. Just wondering. Thanks. SP

    • Africanized “killer” bees are still around. Besides more genetically pure feral Africanized colonies, the drones produced by these colonies mate with the domestic virgin queens and the results are gentle queens laying eggs for very testy workers. Some beekeepers keep the more aggressive hives as they tend to produce more honey. Many, however, pinch off the head of the queen and replace her with a new queen who has been previously mated in a more benign environment of drones (or artificially inseminated from drones out of a known gentle queen – far more controlled but also far more expensive).

    • SP, I should add – Africanized bees are somewhat hardier than Italians or other breeds, so the introduction of African genetics has actually made the resulting colonies somewhat more resistant to various negative environmental factors such as pesticides, Varroa mites, foulbrood, and other bee diseases and parasites. In that way, introduction of Africans may well have helped increase some colonies survivability. Other than normal resource competition and colony-to-colony disease/parasite transmission, Africanized colonies present little negative pressure on commercial hives.

      • Indiana Beekeeping School

        As far as the migration north goes, it really dwindled. Southern California has em, Northern California doesn’t.
        Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, most of Texas … and Florida. Every year, it seems a possibly Africanized swarm is found in Oklahoma, but the winters seem to take em out.

        Except maybe this past winter.

  22. Pesticides isn’t the problem to beekeeping, beekeepers are the problem to beekeeping. I recently asked DR Hunt from Purdue that conducted the story of the pesticides asking him. If these neos are systemstatic then what effect would feedind HFCS have on the bee’s? Responce; deer in headlight look ” WOW I never thought of that and I just got done feeding them all HFCS”. Brilliant lets take a by-product of something designed to kill insects and feed it to a insect.. I have yards that are 3′ away from corn fields absolute Zero losses past 6 years, I have yards that 1/4 of their foraging area are seed corn. Which is worse than field corn because they aerial spay a insecticide called Pounce. My average winter losses average less than 10% for the past 7 years. While those around me are losing 30-60%. Whats the diffence you ask? I dont feed my bees anything, no sugar, no chemicals, mite levels below treatable amounts.

    • Indiana Beekeeping School

      That’s great. Glad to hear you’re doing well. HFCS was shown to shorten bees lives. But the cheap price and the need for winter food makes it justifiable. A study about to be released shows that feeding the bees honey (ie, letting live off their stores) results in significantly more winter mortality.

      But I’m like you. I don’t feed. My bees are on a certified organic farm. My farm. No antibiotics, miticides, or HFCS is even allowed on the property.

  23. Interesting to learn that bees make honey from pollen — I had always thought that they made honey from nectar.
    alj

    • alj –

      Bees make honey from nectar, which they fan with their wings to evaporate into the thick syrup we know as honey. They consume their stored honey as their carbohydrate source when the nectar flow subsides. They also collect and store pollen, which they consume as their protein source. Hope that clarifies.

  24. This is an excerpt from the book “Walking In The Light” ( http://www.bookemon.com/book-profile/walking-in-the-light/174348) that I think sheds much light on this subject.
    “Another critical aspect of pollination is how pollen is transferred from one tree to another. In nature, there is a small, seemingly insignificant creature that bears this vital role. It is the honey bee. They pollinate over 90 different fruits and vegetables. In the United States, this accounts for approximately 30% of our food.
    Something is presently happening that could soon affect all of our diets. Bees are literally disappearing in mass numbers. They are not dieing by the hive but appear to have simply vanished. Scientists are studying this strange phenomenon, trying to find an answer. They are calling it “Colony Collapse Disorder.” Whether it is a disease being passed from one bee to another or possibly a result of pesticides or some other cause is unknown at this point. Either way, I would like to share something from the Word of God that is very interesting.
    Bill Cloud from Shoreshim Ministries has a message called “The Last Day Famine” that gets into great detail about all of this. God warns us in Revelation 6:5-6 of a world wide famine that is coming upon the earth. He has used famines in the past to fulfill His sovereign purposes. They were used to get peoples attention, usually to their need for repentance. It will be the same in the end.
    In the Bible, the name Deborah means “bee.” A root Hebrew word from her name is “dabar”. It means “to speak, to declare, to converse, to speak with one another.” It has to do with the spoken word. Spiritually, bees are a picture of the spoken word of God between His people. The Lord speaking amongst His people who are in close contact is like many bees buzzing around, going from tree to tree. It is essential for the “pollination” of His “fruit bearing trees.” The disappearing bees in our day are a sign of the disappearing Word of the Lord in His church! No bees, no pollination. No pollination, no fruit. No fruit, no secure attachment to the Tree of Life. According to the Master Grower, it’s that simple.
    In Amos 8:11-12 the prophet declared, “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the LORD. And people will stagger from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they will go to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.” This famine was for “hearing” the Word of the Lord. The Word is always there, but for some reason it was hidden from their ears.
    Moses told God’s people in Deuteronomy 30:14, “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.” He then warned them if they would not obey this word, allowing their hearts to turn away from their life giving Vine, that they would surely dry up and perish.
    In Deuteronomy 8:3 Moses reminded the Israelites of their journey through the wilderness and God’s training system they experienced. He said to them, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” We must once again have His Word spoken through one another in our midst or we, like the Israelites, will perish from this good land the Lord has led us into due to a lack of good fruit. Our Forefathers would say amen.
    Another interesting phenomenon is occurring simultaneously with the colony collapse disorder. It is the appearance of the African killer bees on our soil. They are a highly aggressive, easily agitated, migratory bee that moves into weakened bee colonies and takes over. This isn’t happening to the wild bee hives, only the domestic ones that are controlled by the environment that man has established. The natural, wild hives are untouched by man’s contamination.
    In a booklet by a Christian ministry called “The Rebuilders”, the author describes what he calls the “organic church.” He states, “We all know what the term ‘organic’ means. It means 100% natural without any artificial or man-made ingredients. This is a non-institutional form of church because it is born out of the experience and life of Christ within His people. No man-made structures or programs are necessary or desired.”
    There are “hives” of God’s servants today that are also guarding themselves from the defilement of man. They are not mixed with the useless traditions of man, but are instead healthy colonies because of their seeking for the truth of God’s Word. It is this Word that is going forth from one another that is producing the fruit the Vinedresser seeks.
    Walking in discernment, they depend upon the Holy Spirit to help them in not allowing a mixed word to enter in. This has weakened many groups, making them susceptible to “disease” and “blight.” Our enemy watches for an opportune moment to introduce his “killer bees,” or the false “killer word.” Standing firm in the truth of God’s Word, he will just have to buzz off!”

  25. gee – go figure. insecticide killing bees, did someone forget that bees are insects ?

    • Indiana Beekeeping School

      Yeah. But you know, bees seemed to do fine with DDT spraying in the 60s, although when it was banned in 72, it wasn’t until around 2000 that trace amounts of DDT stopped being detectable in the hives. The point is, the 60s 70s and 80s were the glory days of beekeeping. It’s clear that the bees knew how to deal with those. Bees that died in the field where immediately replaced… the queen laid more. And, even if DDT made it into the hive, the bees seemed to know how to avoid it and prosper.

  26. How shocking! Insecticides kill bees…who would have thought? How long did it take these GMO geniuses and thier supporters to figure that out?

  27. The simplest explanation is usually the right one. No one that I saw has mentioned inbreeding/ lack of genetic diversity as a cause. Genetic disorders and infertility will continue to rise amung humans because people are now helped by medicine to live a normal life and therefore pass on genes. Our “cultural ideal mate” has butter soft hands and a white collar with no practical survival skills to speak of. We are getting weaker and dumber by the generation. And barely a mention of winter feeding/honey replacement, to me that seems like taking breast milk from baby and giving it watered down cows milk.

  28. I’m not a scientist. I am an organic gardener.
    I find it very odd that with all the years of pesticide use (since the 30’s or 40’s) that all of a sudden in 2006 there would be a massive die-off of bees due to pesticides. You would think with all the stuff like DDT and some of the other nasty things that were used (most without concern for handling procedures) for many years we would have seen some kind of dramatic reductions in the bee population long ago. There have been strict controls in place for many years now as well as bans on the majority of all the nastys, and now all of a sudden the bees start to vanish? Please! There has got to be some other explanation!
    It could be the GMO crops. Or some other environmental oddity. Perhaps some cyclical thing. I think we can rule out Aliens!

  29. aconcernedcitizen

    Is anyone paying attention to the chemtrails in the sky for the last 5+ years. Please google: What in the world are they spraying – full length and you will all be surprised!!!!!!!

  30. Commercial beekeepers have been feeding (cheap) high fructose corn syrup to their bees during winter when pollen is not available. What’s bad for humans is also bad for honeybees.

  31. http://www.offthegridnews.com/2012/03/26/insecticides-the-culprits-behind-dying-bees/

    You should add dandelions to the list of flowers besides clover that bees love. It is time to end this hidious demonic hoodwinking of the corporations and how they tricked us into spraying chemicals on our property to kill insects and so called “weeds”. Bring the bees back to America. Bring dandelions and clover back. Besides I have found out that lawn spraying is a covert way of the corporations to disperse of nuclear waste and get rid of it while making large amounts of money at the same time.

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