Beekeeping business could be moving towards bankruptcy.
2016 started out promising for Romanian beekeepers, with springlike weather giving early hopes for a good year. But everything changed with the radical change in weather.
While most 11-year-olds spend their afternoons playing at the park or kicking around a soccer ball with their friends, Mikaila Ulmer is busy running her own business. Ulmer recently launched BeeSweet Lemonade in Texas—using her family’s homemade lemonade recipe to raise awareness for and protect endangered honeybees.
It’s an idea that has landed the young entrepreneur a multi-million dollar deal with supermarket giant Whole Foods, who will distribute the lemonade among 55 stores across the country.
(CCN) Many are calling him a genius. The man is an artisan, locksmith and above all else, he explains, he is a beekeeper. He has over 4300 Facebook followers and 700 on Instagram after the 39-year-old Frenchman, who describes himself as an advocate of medical cannabis and of complete cannabis legalization, trained bees to make honey from cannabis.
He goes by the nickname of Nicolas Trainerbees, for obvious reasons. For 20 years, he has worked with bees in a way where he claims he is able to “train” them to make honey from virtually anything.
“I have trained bees to do several things, such as collect sugar from fruits, instead of using flowers,” he explains.
German supermarket chain Aldi, has become the first major European retailer to ban pesticides that are toxic to bees, including neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. All suppliers of produce sold in Aldi stores across Europe and the U.S. are now required not to use those pesticides during production.
The announcement came on January 1st, and was a great way to start the New Year, with the retailer expecting fruit and vegetable suppliers to comply with their new policy ASAP. The decision comes after a great deal of public pressure, and coincides with the German retailer’s decision to ban the herbicide chemical glyphosate from its produce.
California beekeepers have reported “unprecedented levels” of hive theft in recent months, just in time for the state’s almond pollination season. As the US bee population continues to decline, the hives have become much more valuable.
The state’s hundreds of thousands of acres of almond orchards – which produce about 80 percent of the world’s almonds – are served by hives that are rented and trucked in on easy-to-steal pallets by beekeepers from all over the US. Mobile hives are increasingly important, and valuable, as the bee population in the US has decreased rapidly in recent years.
“A single seed coated with a neonicotinoid insecticide is enough to kill a songbird.”
United States — A new study by the Environmental Protection Agency has found evidence through a study that backs what activists and environmentalists have asserted for years: one of the most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides can, indeed, cause declines in honeybee populations. But the agency’s findings are too little, too late for many farmers and food safety advocates, who consider the EPA neglectfully responsible for widespread employment of neonicotinoids.Driving the urgency of the point even further, researchers with Sussex University discovered something far more alarming: wildflowers growing near neonicotinoid-treated crops play host to a “chemical cocktail” which has an impact on bees 1,000 times more potent than previously believed.
This report bears out the British Bee Keepers’ comments at the Southport Flower Show this year when I asked if we in UK are suffering to same extent as in US.
Seems bee pollination in US is intensive and even tiring for the bees, being shipped from apple to almond to orange orchards in quick succession.
Seemingly the continuous “working” of the insects interferes with their normal habits, resulting in tiredness, resultant weakness and greater susceptibility to any possible adverse effects from pesticides.
As ever, it boils down to the secondary effects of ‘mass production’ on the main factor of production…..the bee.
– Dr Farina: Sub-lethal Doses of Glyphosate affect Honeybee Navigation (GMO Evidence, Aug 11, 2015):
This study shows it’s not only neonicotinoid insecticides that are destroying honeybees’ ability to navigate and therefore contributing to colony collapse.
Effects of sub-lethal doses of glyphosate on honeybee navigation
María Sol Balbuena, Léa Tison, Marie-Luise Hahn, Uwe Greggers,Randolf Menzel and Walter M. Farina
Glyphosate (GLY) is a herbicide that is widely used in agriculture for weed control. Although reports about the impact of GLY in snails, crustaceans and amphibians exist, few studies have investigated its sub-lethal effects in non-target organisms such as the honeybee Apis mellifera, the main pollen vector in commercial crops. Here, we tested whether exposure to three sub-lethal concentrations of GLY (2.5, 5 and 10 mg/L corresponding to 0.125, 0.250 and 0.500 µg/animal) affects the homeward flight path of honeybees in an open field. We performed an experiment in which forager honeybees were trained to an artificial feeder, and then captured, fed with sugar solution containing GLY traces and released from a novel site (the release site, RS) either once or twice. Their homeward trajectories were tracked using harmonic radar technology. We found that honeybees that had been fed with solution containing 10 mg/L GLY spent more time performing homeward flights than control bees or bees treated with lower GLY concentrations. They also performed more indirect homing flights. Moreover, the proportion of direct homeward flights performed after a second release at the RS increased in control bees but not in treated bees. These results suggest that, in honeybees, exposure to GLY doses commonly found in agricultural settings impairs the cognitive capacities needed to retrieve and integrate spatial information for a successful return to the hive. Therefore, honeybee navigation is affected by ingesting traces of the most widely used herbicide worldwide, with potential long-term negative consequences for colony foraging success.
– 100,000 beekeepers urge Germany to ban GMOs as biotech industry destroys their livelihood and environment (Natural News, July 2, 2015):
Nearly 100,000 German beekeepers are calling for a nationwide ban on the cultivation of GMO crops. The beekeepers are represented by the German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which is pursuing the ban after the introduction of legislation allowing member states to opt out of GM planting schemes that have been approved at the EU level.
The new law allows a member state to ban GMO agriculture in all or part of its territory. The legislation is strongly opposed by GM proponents and has become a controversial issue throughout the EU.
– Suicide By Pesticide (Chris Martenson, May 22, 2015):
As you are aware, honey bees have been suffering from something called Colony Collapse Disorder. In practice, what this means is that the bees simply vanish from their hives, leaving behind their most precious worldly possessions: honey and larvae.
What causes these mysterious vanishing acts has been something of a mystery. But because the phenomenon began really ramping up in 2006, we can focus in on some suspects.