All posts by ashtreeapiary

Working diligently to save the honey bee in America one colony at a time through aggressive traditional techniques.

Colony Collapse… Management or Pesticides????

We as bee keepers need to assess what we are doing and who is watching us very closely. I have a number of hive this year that have already”collapsed”. I have payed close attention to these hives and weather or not they were healthy or not. All of my hives that are failing are hive that I had introduced a new queen into this spring. I was working on a removal when I noticed a queen cell. Then another and another and another… when it was all said and done there were 15 queen cell in this one colony. During the removal they all started to emerge. WOW!!! was I running around like a one legged man in a gunny-sac race trying to get these queens cared for. I needed 8 queens in different hives so man what a deal right?? A few extra to sell, barter etc… so I get all these queens cared for and in their new colonies and they were all accepted and the summer is careening along great. I harvest honey and everything is looking great. then a month later I get into my hives to see how thing are going and roughly 50% of my hive have ZERO stores, WTH??? Then I reflect back and realize these were all the hives I had introduced these queens into. All of my other hives that were either established or had re-queened themselves were doing fine. In fact they are still doing great. So this has gotten me to thinking, is CCD a environmental issue or genetic issue or both?? Well we all agree the the blatant miss and over use of chemicals is not only bat for the environment but just bad ethics in general. I am thinking that CCD is also related to a lot of the appalling practices that migratory beekeeping is practicing. Millions upon millions of bees every year travel America on semi-trucks and are bred for pollination services. Is this the way bees evolved? No we all know it, they are a stationary creature that might move when a tree falls down. we as beekeepers need to spend better time managing our hives and understanding that if honey production is going to be a high priority than we should have two separate line of Apis Mellifera. One for honey production and one for pollination. We also need to be aware that corporate conglomerate sinister monsters like the Big M are watching and are going to come in and offer robotic bees and the like if we can’t get our fecal matter in one area long enough to get this straightened out. As long as we remained fractured as a collective group we will be able to be manipulated by them.

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Pollination. Is it worth it?

We as humans are a greedy little specie. We have taken a colony of honey bees and learned their habits and how to use them to OUR gain. This isn’t all bad but my concerns here are multi-faceted. We are very bottom line driven, and I for one am ashamed of how we are treating the very planet that not only sustains us but can sustain future generations to come. When we look at this in correlation with apis mellifera we as Americans are gambling a whole lot more than just a bottom line. I strongly urge fellow bee keepers to do a self diagnostic on the ethics and morals of how we are currently keeping bees here. Sorry if I haven’t already gotten to the heart of of the discussion here yet so here it is:”We need to stop monoculture crop production by stopping the pollination of monoculture crops.” Really sit down and look at the percentages of what we are gambling with here. I know statistics are use to push numbers in ones favor so I will stay conservative with the numbers so as  to not exaggerate. We transport roughly 60% of America’s honey be population to one state for pollination of one crop. There are soooo many things wrong with this. Can we say EPIC failure here? Our “scientists” are saying they cant figure out why the colony collapse disorder (CCD) is happening. Well DUH!!!! It too is multifaceted. Lets just look at the amount of stress the colony goes through in the transportation process. Next we have the time of year when the colonies are moved there. Next once there the crops are sprayed with chemicals for “better production”. Now lets look at the chemicals themselves. They are designed to attack the insects on a molecular level attacking not only cell walls but the DNA itself in many cases. Lets just say the bees survive the chemicals. So now they take these chemical back to the colony in the pollen’s they are feeding to the colony. The Queen is fed these chemicals too. Now these chemicals are DNA altering right? So when the Queen lays an egg the egg is altered in what ever the way the chemical was designed for. So now we are looking at genetically altered bees and possibly Queens too. Next most if not all bees used for commercial pollination are hygenic in nature. So when they go to clean up the hive how do we know the thought processes that they use? They might also see that cleaning means to not go back to the hive because they are the dirty ones contaminating the hive thus decreasing the numbers and causing CCD. We will never now this for sure but it is plausable. Now chemicals aside, lets get back to pollination. Now that all of these crops have been pollinated we next return them to the apiaries from where they came. Bringing all the chemicals and genetic modifications with them. There are only so many genes that honey bees have to work with on their own. I am totally opposed to GMO,but not Hybridization. In my opinion we are currently running out of genetic material to work with here in the States that hasnt been alterd in one way or another. This is another facet to this hideous gemstone of Pollination. 

Saving the honey bee one colony at a time.

Welcome to our blog. We are bee lovers first. We remove unwanted bees from  homes, businesses and other locations. We then re-home the bees and offer them a place for a happy, healthy and productive colony.  We follow traditional rather than conventional bee keeping methods. We feel there is way too much intervention in commercially kept colonies. The commercial bee keepers here in America are the industry trend setters in bee keeping and we feel that the role model they portraying is dismal at best. Previous generations of bee keepers have managed to produce more “bee products” from fewer hives than the current role model gives us. We as bee keepers need to fulfill the name of KEEPER and not continue to be bee extortionists, by robbing bees of what they do naturally for OUR bottom line.