0 votes

Bee colonies drop another 29 percent: 'Something is going wrong,' Florida beekeeper says

By SUSAN SALISBURY | Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Honeybee losses nationwide continue at a level that is economically unsustainable for commercial beekeeping, according to a 2008-09 survey released Tuesday.

The survey, which encompassed 20 percent of the nation's roughly 2.3 million honeybee colonies, found a 29 percent loss of managed bee colonies. This compares with losses of 36 percent and 32 percent in the winters of 2007-08 and 2006-07, respectively. The Apiary Inspectors of America and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, Md., conducted the survey from September 2008 to April.

"If you are a small businessperson in any activity, how long can you sustain 29 percent losses or greater each year?" said Jerry Hayes, assistant chief of the Florida Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection in Gainesville.


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
reedr3v's picture

This seems to be a problem in the

US & UK; or is it world-wide, does anyone know?
And for knowledgeable bee people, could native bees repopulate enough to pollinate our farms if the African bees continue to die off?
It would seem likely there is a connection with Big Ag and the use of chemicals.

I posted about this almost 2 years ago and people said it was

silly. I guess it's not so silly huh ?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Live like you mean it ..... Your life is your own !

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Stop the NWO....It's just illumi..Naughty !

Maybe it's the crap.....

they are spraying overhead.

My Opinion on Beekeeping Problems.

I was a commercial beekeeper for 20 years, and studied them closely.

Humans could learn something from them. You see, they are a very strict socialist, centralized government type of colonized society.
Which is their problem. Socialism destroys a society, over the long term.

60 thousand honeybees live together in a strong colony. If one gets sick, all of them might catch the same sickness.
Every fall in the northern climates bees get desperate for more Honey to get them through the winter months. This causes robbing Honey from other hives, in many cases.

End result is a Honeybee that becomes a robber catches a virus { there are about 14 known Honeybee viruses } or a bug { Mites of all types } and brings it back to it's home colony,,,,,every bee in the colony is then exposed to this new imported danger. If too many bees get sick the colony cannot maintain enough combined body heat to stay alive in winter and the whole colony dies out.

Again in my opinion, beekeeping is very technical even for the hobbyist so I would advise anyone interested to study, study, study, everything you can about beekeeping before you risk any money on it.

The saying is; A doctor is always practicing { Learning } his profession, I would say the same thing about beekeeping, once you take the plunge you are a practitioner of beekeeping!

Good reference material:




SteveMT's picture

Recommend to everyone to buy a few jars of honey.....

before it is gone, like gold.

food control is the greatest weapon

if they want to kill masses in their sick torturous ways and not to contaminate "their planet" with nuclear, bio and chemical agents.
Smart S.O.B.s they are, aren't they?

Centralization of bee-keeping is the problem

A lot more people used to keep bees spread out over the countryside. Now, the farms are majorly centralized and the beekeeping has gone that way, too.

I was thinking of building small habitats for mason bees. They are more natural to North America. There's no honey, but that saves space and they pollinate the area well.

Defend Liberty!

Bee-icide Is a big fat hysterical lie

The only "beekeepers" that are whining about colony collapse disorder are the mega-corporate bee farms. They pack to many hives together which makes them susceptible to illness.

These bee corporations are just angling for a government bailout. Don't fall for it. Talk to a small beekeper. He will tell you his hives are just fine.

Not True, Sir!

I was a commercial beekeeper for 20 years and small beekeepers along with large beekeepers have been losing bees for about 20 years:

The beekeepers best friend here:



Sorry, true

Sounds like poor beekeeping rather than a mysterious, unexplainable, and unidentifiable illness.

My brother's hive has

My brother's hive has died.


Repeal the 17th Amendment!


You know bee keeping

might bee a great idea for me, wait do I need a big yard? My yard is kinda small.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."


You don't really need a big yard, but if you don't have a big yard, some other things might be necessary, and there are probably some things to be aware of.

Probably the biggest one is that you need neighbors who don't freak out.

You won't want to be milling around the hives all the time, so you should have at least a little space between you and the hive(s). I would say that a fifteen foot radius that the bees can call their own (and most importantly that you concede to them in your mind) is plenty.

It would be good if you have some flowering plants/trees fairly accessible. These can be neighbors' of course, but if the only ones nearby are neighbors and if they notice the source of the bees and it bothers them, then it could be trouble.

Need to know: They can swarm, and they might land on some part of your house if it's close. Not a big problem, but might be unnerving.

I kinda like to keep 'em 30+ feet from the house. Probably my 30 feet from the house and 15 foot radius is a little generous, but I think that will keep everybody relatively comfortable.

Meant to bee

Yes ,I have fifteen hives ,and for the last 2 years they have been doing great!

...organic or panic...

...I have heard much about organic beekeepers not having problems like their commercial counterparts...why am I not surprised. This fact should be shouted from the rooftops. I cannot emphasis enough how Thankful I am to anyone involved in any capacity in the organic movement. These folks need our full support. Can you imagine a world without them? It would only be Monsanto GM food containing pesticides, vaccines, and God only knows what other harmful things. There is a war going on for control of the worlds food and water and organic food is our only hope. Research, and spread the word!...The answer to 1984 is 1776

RON2012PAUL...The r3VOLution continues...
"I always win"
+GOLD and SILVER are money+


Yes, I CAN imagine a world without European honey bees - it would be like the world that was here before those bees were first imported to the Americas. That was when native bees flourished. Not that I have anything against honey bees. But the loss of the honey bee in North America would actually be the loss of a non-native invader. Not the end of the world.

Our bees all died this spring

because it was too cold for too long here. Bees are so expensive nowadays that next time we will provide a heating system for the hives for the winter. We don't have colony collapse disorder, or mites or other diseases, it's just that nasty global warming....

Again, I'm no expert, but...

I know a farmer who has a commercial guy come in with hives to pollinate his crops. All his bees died last winter as well. I noticed, however, that he left them all winter with a single deep box. I don't think that is enough sugar reserves and the bees just starved.

So the question is: Did your bees have adequate honey to survive the winter? I like to have at least two deeps and usually a super on top of that. I've heard that they can survive with a single deep, but I think that's cutting it a bit close.

Just to be on the safe side

we began supplementing their honey stores with sugar water in early March, which most of the hives tucked into. Most of the hives seemed to be weaker, but OK, but in early May they rapidly petered out. Then we looked into the hives and found that all of the (one year old) queens had died, and there was no new brood. There was actually some honey left over. No sign of disease, but a lot of dead bees.

Hi Mr. Farmer.

Honey is an insulator in a cold winter. To stay warm Honeybees form a ball inside the area that contains Honey.
If too much Honey is removed in the fall the bees can't keep the center of the cluster warm enough { with their body heat } to survive.
Same thing if too much Honey is eaten by the bees.


Though not an expert...

I also have bees, and according to the guy who got me interested in beekeeping, the main problems are restricted to commercial beekeeping in which the hives are moved 5, 6 or even more times each season. His feeling is that it is primarily the stress caused by moving the hives repeatedly that causes the problems (at least when it comes to colony collapse) and, most importantly, this is something that home beekeepers don't need to worry about. In his words, there's beekeeping for love or for money. In the current market, the requirements to make money have pushed the bees beyond their stress limit.

Fortunately, for those of us who still want to do it "for love," there seems to be no fundamental threat or limitation. There is also the issue of independence and the fact that the market situation can change making home beekeeping also profitable in the future. With that in mind, I would encourage everyone who is interested and can to consider home beekeeping.

Thanks for your input!

Very interesting.

My grandfather used to

My grandfather used to maintain two beehives when I was a kid. I used to help him and it was a great experience. At some point soon I would like to start home beekeeping.


Well if

they haven't cut out all that spraying yet, they need to start.

The DP is proof that the grassroots support for Ron Paul and his peaceful message of individual liberty is large, real, and not going away!

The cause is...

more than likely all that "stuff" they are spraying in the air...



Pesticides now banned in Europe, along with growing GM food, to save their bee populations.

The USA is run by Corporations, so we will let them die.

I am a small time beekeeper.

And my girls mean the world to mean so I did the research. I now raise them organically and this is the key. I belong to a group of organic beekeepers and they would all agree with me when I tell you that the problem lies in the dope and cell size of the foundations being used commercially. The chemicals used on plants throughout America are also harmful....I have never allowed any chemicals to be used on my land anywhere to try to counteract some of that. The unnatural large cell foundation they use gives the mites more time to manifest themselves in the hives. The dopes they use on their hives and bees are also a huge part of the problem as evidenced by the fact that those of us who use natural small cell (4.9 mm) foundations and no dopes in our hives are rarely having these problems and when we do, we have been able to, most times, save the hive(s) by using natural and organic methods. The dopes and large cells are all part of the "make more money at any cost" game so in their efforts to mess with mother nature in order increase their profits, they are destroying their industry. I have not done the explanations here justice and if you wish to know more, the Organicbeekeepers group over at Yahoo has alot of really good info on this.
As far as bats are concerned, our bats are still thriving and I have not noticed any decrease in their numbers here. I like having them around so I pay attention to how many I see at night (if I need to put up more housing for them, I want to know right away and get-er-done).

**the soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears**

**the soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears**

Wow, thank you

for your perspective in this matter, it is very helpful. bump

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

Bat Populations are Disapearing

as well.

A white mold or something...
The same thing is killing the frogs in South America.

Ero... Mosquito plague this summer.
Ero... Transmission of Lyme and other mosquito transmitted diseases / possilby flue.

There is a 90% to 100% kill rate with this...


What we are seeing is the results of systemic stress due to pollution of water, and other environmental factors.

Some more crazy hearsay but anyways....

I remember someone bringing up toxic astro-mold that was discovered on Muir and the spaceguys either accidentally or purposefully brought it here. The "seas turning to blood" is supposedly going to be some of the results of the mold from what I remember. Anybody else hear that? I don't even know if toxic astro-mold exists.

Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
~ Joyce Meyer

Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
~ Joyce Meyer