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What Ever Happened With Colony Collapse Disorder?

There has been plenty of bad news about bees lately. In 2006, beekeepers reported the mysterious disappearance of abnormal numbers of honeybees from their hives over the winter. The affliction, now known as Colony Collapse Disorder, has gripped the attention of the media—and perhaps for good reason. Honeybees are responsible not only for the honey in your cupboard, but also the pollination of many of the crops produced in North America.

If you were to rely on media reports alone, you might be inclined to believe that honeybees and honey are now in short supply. Based on the recent documentaries about Colony Collapse Disorder, you might believe that crops are at risk of going unpollinated and that we are heading towards a different “silent spring”—one in which the familiar springtime buzzing of the bee is no more.

Yet, somehow, the honey is in the cupboard and farmers across the country are still able to supply food to stock our shelves, all with little or no economic impact from CCD. How can this be?

As two prominent agricultural economists, Walter Thurman and Randal Rucker, discuss in a new PERC Policy Series, the market response of beekeepers provided a solution to the problem. Despite early predictions that CCD would cause billions of dollars of direct loss in crop production, beekeepers reacted so swiftly that virtually no changes were detected by consumers. While overcoming the difficulties of CCD has been no easy matter, beekeepers have proven themselves adept at navigating such changing market conditions.

“The state of the honey bee population – numbers, vitality, and economic output – are the products of not just the impact of disease but also the economic decisions made by beekeepers and farmers,” writes Rucker and Thurman.

You can read the latest PERC Policy Series here.

Comments

  1. so are the bees dissappearing or not?

  2. I’m so glad to hear this. The media reports were so alarming, (alarmist!), that I was very perturbed. Another cataclysm out of my mind. hypnohotshot.

  3. HoneyBeeSee's says:

    Yea they are importing cheaper Honey from India who is getting it from China.

  4. Only after a little research, anyone can see that the bees are being over-exploited, that is the reason for their decline.

    Before you talk about the varroa mite, even top people at the NBU (National Bee Unit UK) agree, that when left alone, bees would become resistant to the mite and other diseases, they would probably also be stronger and more resistant against insecticides. This has been shown in other countries.

    The real reason is the greedy bee keeper. After the bees work their guts out getting their food for winter, the greedy bee keeper takes it all, just before winter. The bees are then fed on supplement, sugar water, with none of the nutrients and goodies that are in the honey.

    There are hardly any wild colonies of bees, they are reported by the concerned public then rounded up by a greedy bee keeper who then puts them into his concentration camp, with hundreds of other colonies usually within a couple of metres of each other. Naturally colonies would be over 100 metres from each other.

    No research in this country is being done to see whether free wild colonies of bees will thrive. It is not in the interest of the greedy bee keeper for the truth to be outed, honey is big bucks, they don’t care about the bees.

    In the U.S. where they have already worked the bees to death, they transport them about and give them monocultures (single crops), against nature. The greedy bee keeper does this because it has become more profitable to cart bees around the country, than to sell the honey.

    Soooo….. the UK greedy bee keeper has no incentive to protect the bees, let them have a bit of a rest, natural hives, leave them with honey for winter, because the greedy bee keeper will make more money when they have declined.

    Even the literature of the NBU says nothing about leaving the bees with honey for winter! What are they there for, another quango with fat cats supporting the greedy bee keeper.

    Think of bees as Auschwitz inmates who are working to survive with no nutrients over winter, then you will understand why they are declining. Just do a bit of research for yourself on how the bees in this country are kept, then tell me I’m wrong. Just about every aspect of bee keeping is un-natural for the bee.

    The greedy bee keeper will say that butterflies and other insects are also in decline, that has nothing to do with greedy bee keepers they will state. If you check-out the reasons for butterfly and insect decline, you will discover it is change or destruction of their habitat. Bees have been intensively exploited for 200 years, most haven’t lived in their natural habitat since then. Although, of course, wild bees are declining due to habitat change.

    Crops and flowers are available for honey bees, but think about, say, 100 Auschwitz inmates fed on bread and water over winter and 100 well fed people. Give them all the flu, which group will have the most survivors?

    Bees are the concentration camp inmates of the insect world, everyone defending that exploitation of the bees, will make up all the excuses under the Sun to make people believe that it is a mite or pesticides, not the greedy bee keeper sapping their strength and will to survive.

    Typical Bee Concentration Camp:

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