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Author Topic: New show coming on TV Called The Last Beekeeper  (Read 3509 times)
BeeHopper
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2009, 08:23:52 AM »

The program was quite pathetic  angry
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2009, 01:59:48 PM »

JP, the 'roly-poly' guy's bees started to go downhill when he left to go home, and he ended up not replacing his bees, so he did make the most money, but still lost his bees. 

Ann did this guy treat his hives?


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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2009, 03:37:32 PM »

I have put "Planet Green" on permant channel skip!
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2009, 04:20:00 PM »

i agree with JP keep them as wild as you can,and i think Michael Bush said something like this-everything in nature will work if you will leave it alone.
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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2009, 06:13:16 PM »

JP, they didn't say anyone treated anything, but when they opened up various hives you saw the pads or whatever.  I don't remember who specifically had the white pads in there I recognized as Maverick applications (having seen it at a beek's operation up in Maine).  The chemical hints were more towards the use of agricultural chemicals. The stresses put on the bees by the beekeeper moving them was also mentioned.  Anyone else have different info?  That's just my interpretation of it, what I remember seeing.
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« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2009, 02:48:29 PM »

A re-run repeat of "The Last Beekeeper" on Planet Green Channel (satellite) was on today around noon, Oct 25 Sunday.  I am not a beekeeper, but I am interested in anything to do with animals, so I watched it.  I have a couple questions for you all, since you know about bees and their care. 

The situation in the program was, the three beekeepers they featured ALL transported their hives via truck on highways to California, to make some extra money by pollenating the almond trees.  The show explained how honey is not making enough cash to sustain these bee operations, so they make the trip to CA.  The show, as mentioned by other posters, offered several ideas as to why these folks wound up with stats like 80 percent of the hives deceased on arrival to California, with what is apparently CCD, or I think Colony Collapse Disorder, and other folks whose bees made it, but declined upon returning home.

My question is:  Small bee operations at home for making honey for profit or for agricultural reasons, do you all ever transport hives or receive hives from long distances away?  If so, are you careful about WHEN you ship them, so as not to disturb the bee's "rest cycle"?  See, the program said that the beekeepers transported their hives to California during bee "rest time," and that disturbing their rest perhaps had something to do with their deaths.  This reason for death is pointing out how money is at the root of this unnatural way of fooling with bees.

My followup question is:  If a bee's rest cycle is disturbed and that creates some sort of survival problem for them, then how come the entomologists who researched this thing then find biological illnesses of every kind, like AIDs in humans, where their immune systems are so exhausted that they can catch all deadly health problems?  Maybe this means that transporting bees during rest cycle affects their immune systems, which I cannot understand the biological connection of transporting bees and the immune system. 

My thoughts are that since bees are big on direction, like birds are, maybe goofing that up affects their immune system.  Or maybe not letting bees rest, like people, will affect the immune system.  Then I thought about almond trees, perhaps it's the trees themselves that does something wierd to the bees' immune systems, and the bees who died in transport to California were the ones who had been to the almond trees before.  But then again, they shouldn't have died in a majority percentile on the way back to the trees.

My conclusion, not knowing the details of how bees work, is that transporting them is the problem, mainly because they are so hard-wired to direction.  You know, drives them nuts... but that does not explain the lab findings of all the diseases these little beasties had in their systems that died in this California transport money-making pollenation deal.

By the way, the program was well-done, but tremendously sad, partly for the human loss of lifestyle and money, but I REALLY connected with the plight of the bees and their little bodies being so spent and wierded out.  And someone on the program said that about bees, that you get to loving them in a real big way.  I don't keep bees, but just watching the show broke my heart over our tiny friends who are amongst the strongest yarn in the vast woven life of our planet.  I just wanted to come on here and express my dispair and also my wonder over how come NOW THIS is happening to our bees.
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« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2009, 03:50:27 PM »

I think lately with anything that could have motivations other than pure pursuit of knowledge Trying to sort the truth from the BS is like trying to extract whole raw eggs back out of beaten cake batter.
I haven't seen the show, I'll admit, but most 'documentaries' started adding preach instead of letting us think for ourselves (Even sneaky preaching based on false assumptions).
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« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2009, 07:01:50 PM »

I just got my October issue of the Pennsylvania state newsletter. I wrote an article a month ago that was just published that mentions this movie in particular and the whole hype involved with the bee industry. I am really starting to hate all the hype and crap surrounding all this CCD stuff.

The article is as follows: (Hope you enjoy)

Thinking Outside the Box

When CCD first hit the scene, congressional hearings were held, claims were made that Einstein said we would all die within four years without honey bees, movies were made, articles written, and some of this hyper-drama continues even today. Maybe that would be a good article for the future. But for now, lets focus on how all this could impact others into action. I’m sure there has been many more gallons of ice cream consumed, entomology department payrolls increased, and other benefits seen outside the bee industry. But what about some not so mentioned items. What long term impacts or trends have been set into motion that will have lasting consequences? And lets ask what happens when you ask others, or better yet, push others, into thinking outside their own boxes by the actions of the bee industry.

I raised an eyebrow as I was talking to a couple farmers two years ago. They had casually mentioned a well known entomologist and asked me if I knew the name. I said yes. I asked how did they know the person? They went on to tell me about a presentation made to the fruit growers association a couple evenings prior, and the main topic was about using alternative pollinators. It kind of irked me to know that the same people researching CCD were the same ones telling farmers not to place all their eggs in the same basket and promoting alternative pollinators. But who could blame others when the bee industry itself keeps repeating the same doom and gloom message that the sky is falling. So it was not a surprise when I noticed this spring some cans of mason bees hanging from poles in one of the farms I pollinate. I mentioned the new mason bees cans to the farmer. He said one of the local Penn State extension employee was promoting their use and actually providing them free for the first year. I thought that was very convenient.

Now the one thing that farmers do is talk. And they all know each other. Not much is missed on the grapevine. So I heard many comments and was contacted in both 2007 and 2008 about three frame pollination units that farmers were not happy with, especially after one of the largest pollination fee increases being passed on after CCD first hit. Seems some were trying to make up for lost hives by splitting too much and then raising fees at the same time.

I also recently read about a study conducted in new Jersey that found out that 21 out 23 vine crop farms had enough native pollinators to adequately pollinate their crops. You do not need to look farm to find such articles and research being conducted. The message is out, the message is clear to farmers…Look into native pollinators! Seek other pollinators. The honey bees are in crisis! Protect yourself!

The bee industry has forced others to look into other forms of pollination. Farmers are considering other avenues than paying for over priced, weak, or (put in their minds by beekeepers) that the honey bee may not be available in the future.

It was no surprise last week when the farm that had mason bees placed on his farm cancelled his contract for next year. Although I never had CCD, and have not raised my fees in 4 years, he as well as other farmers have been inundated with the honey bees plight, the idea of other pollinators may be better or superior, and that they need to look into other means to protect themselves.

The big mega operations, as well as almonds will always need bees. Having enough native pollinators from the surrounding countryside is not going to happen when you count plantings of one crop by “square miles”. But those smaller family farms, which are important to both large and smaller beekeeping operations, are asking if they really need the honey bees, looking into alternative pollinators, scaling back as research keeps coming forward suggesting the use of honey bees are not needed. And some farmers are looking into more crops that are self pollinating. And who can we thank for this….Beekeepers!

The bee industry keeps shooting themselves in the foot, then dragging themselves down the street screaming for all to take notice. How much more bleeding can we take?

Maybe CCD is more than just a bunch of migratory beekeepers needing to clean up their practice. Although being one who has been hammered in years past for even suggesting illegal chemicals were even being used, it does make me smile as I notice some claim they have far less CCD problems after good sound practices have been implemented. And if it is more than bad beekeeping, maybe we can get to the conclusion without too many more self inflicted gunshots to the feet.

It is about time we start rallying the industry in many ways. We need to be aware of the public message sent forth and consequences put into motion. We need to protect our industry and become relative and important as providers of a product and service. After all, the sky is not falling, the food industry is not crashing, and there is no shortage of bees. But farmers have been forced to look “Outside the box” and they certainly are! I do not want to diminish the loss that many beekeepers suffered. I just want to point out industry trends and consequences that we all need to be aware of.

Well, I got to run. I hear there is a new movie or some show coming on called “The Last Beekeeper”. I hope my farmers are not watching it!

Take Care,
Mike Thomas



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« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2009, 10:53:52 PM »

I loved how they got their facts straight.  Like how in 1950 there were 500,000 beekeepers in the US and now there are less that 1600.  I think there are more than 1600 here on this forum.  Or that 75% of all US beekeepers travel to California to pollinate almonds.  The filming was really neat and I like watching just about any kind of show that involves beekeeping.  But how in the world did they get those shots of bees dieing?  Like the one with pollen still on its legs?  They had to shoot a little beekiller on them and watch them crawl around until they finally died.  Made me sorta wonder.

Did make me a little upset though since I discovered one of my hives in my small apiary dead just hours before watching this.

Sean Kelly
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« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2009, 09:18:09 AM »

Thanks for posting you all,
Your responses helped me put into perspective the documentary I watched, and I was so glad somebody shared my interest in the topic.  But I still would like to know if transporting bees during their rest times is injurious by those who do NOT go to California to offer their pollenation services.  Also want to know if small groups of beekeepers commonly have to transport them for various reasons, but if "good practice" is not to move them during their rest times and/or only short distances to protect their directional systems.  I mean, what applies to the small keepers also applies to the big keepers.  I just thought maybe more consideration should be given to basic good beekeeping practices by ALL keepers.

I am trying to get to the bottom of so many hives dying before and after transport (80 percent in one of the three keepers in the documentary), and if there's any connection between CCD and length of travel or travel dates.  I mean, I at least know that people drive their hives on pickups to special fields to make the honey tastier.  That makes sense.  But it's these long-haul things during rest cycle that worries me.  And if long hauls during rest time are hard on the bees, then the solution to CCD is obvious.

Also curious about immune systems of bees and the relationship to CCD.  I don't have a problem with honey people making extra money, but if it's at a cost, over the long-run, to the happiness and indeed life of the bees, then looks like folks could instead do ONE long haul to open a satellite operation in the state where they're gonna make some extra cash.  Because in the TV documentary, the really small operator who never had dead bees, he made ONE haul from SC to California, they all arrived alive, but when they came home, they began to suffer decline, which suggests one possibility that if beeks want to keep a healthy stock, they can't go back and forth a long ways no more.  Or do most beekeepers, if they haul hives ANY distance, do they always do it NOT during their rest cycle. 

I'm showing my ignorance.  But I like a mystery, and when it's fueled by a love for honey bees and wanting to end their suffering, I'll think about things like this for years until I finally hear the answer.  I mean, remember the issue of where were Iraq's chemical weapons?  I figured it out and sent it off to the Dept of Defense (by the way, they weren't where I thought... guess I'll have to write a short story about it). 

Oh, and one other thing, a comment was made by an above poster about:  How did the documentary filmmakers get the close-up pictures of dying bees.  Well, it wasn't hard... there were more bees than dirt all around the acreage where sat thousands of hives, you could not walk any distance without seeing the mass killings.  What, you guys don't REALLY think they'd deliberately gas a couple thousand hives to get a couple close-ups of a dying bee; do you?  That's what was so stunning about this program, really well-filmed and they didn't leave NOTHING out, even the gentle sad suffering of a little bee.

Well, I suppose the bee situation is still up to the researchers to figure it out.  And yes, the stats of decline in number of total U.S. bees, be they belong to small ops or big ones, no matter WHOSE bees they were, the stats still show significant and steady decline since 1980.  And the way I understand it, let's suppose we don't have no more bees one day.  Just forgettabout ag crop losses, and instead focus on flowers.  A world without flowers.  Hey, if a person could care less about bees, at least consider the flowers.  I've always said the last big cat they kill in the wild, that's when we're done.  It's a food chain thing, don't you know.

Plez, more feedback!  I'm still concerned about our bees!
GG
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« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2009, 09:51:34 AM »

Tribe, try not to mix data and stats.

The decline of colonies since 1980 can be attributed to many things. V-mites, an older profession that the younger crowd has not picked up on, the decline of the family farm, etc. In fact I bet the same decline in dairy farms, and a host of other agriculture endeavors are on the same decline, since 1980.

Your throwing out that bees have been in decline since 1980, and none of that has anything to do with CCD. Many things over time change....Ham radio operators, hunters, fisherman, people who do home canning, and beekeeping to name a few. That decline since 1980 can be equated directly to people's lifestyles and changing times.

Since CCD hit, there has been a huge surge of new beekeepers. Most initial losses even in the commercial bee circle have recouped. I have read that there are more beekeepers and bees today than there was 3 years ago. And to equate or make a suggestion that we need to picture this decline will continue to the point of a day with no bees, is questionable to me.

The white house alone has generated 2 million new beekeepers by the mere fact that Michelle has bees in her garden. Oh wait.....I don't believe that even though it was reported as such. Of course I don't believe everything in a movie either..... rolleyes

I'll pass on the rest of your comments assuming anyone not caring about bees, asking whether filmmakers ever stage scenes, and many other points. I'm going gray fast enough as it is..... grin
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« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2009, 11:27:28 AM »

I think the tears that skinny not to smart guy cried were that of shame: he deliver a truckload of bees to an polination location and they inspect to find that 70% and more of the hives HE TRANSPORTED for POLLINATION, were alive - he was ripping off his customer by not checking to see how many hives were going to pollinators and how many are dead, he should ideally have none dead, but we know often shadier pollonators will dump bees into a dead hive and let the remaining straggles figth it out with a bunch of bee from other dead hives. Sad but I've heard of it happening again and again.

The on that gets nailed is always the bee broker (if one is used) your poor pollination service is batting less that 300 and your customer is looking for 1000!!! You cannot cheat the customers, they would always pay a fair price for a true hive tha is healty and function as pollinators. People just has so many trees or acres that need bees, you need to supply what you promised at all costs, even if you must beg or borrow pallets of field ready bees.

I missed the first 20 minutes, but I know what I saw and how it often (sadly often) short change of customers in some parts of the pollination business. We need more brokers willing to control all small farms as a conglomerate for a fair price. Like health care I suppose - ugh, I believe that honey yards willing to have a broker for a fee handle all their honey sales or is that Socialism?  Myrtle Beach is the BEST, that offer package deals to hundreds of golf course, you choose any 6 course, choose a hotel and they schedule you tea time - go cheap or fancy. You just check what you like in a food, room, golf package, I suppose millions of combinations and they handle it all for nearly 20 years.

If beekeepers could do what Myrtle Beach does for their golf, hotel, beach and restruant and shopping, then honey producers would all feast or famine like the KING CRAB INDUSTRY. I can see that Discovery Channel show now THE DEADLIEST SWARM!!!
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« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2009, 11:56:49 AM »

tribe, the bees are fine.  they have ups and down like all living things.  there are backyard beekeepers coming out our ears, and the swarm calls are to much more than most of us to handle.  there are industry segments that are having trouble.  there are diseases and parasites that impact the bees.

the bees are not native to this country.  if the honeybees were gone, life would go on.  there are many, many, pollinators out there.  farmers would learn to farm in ways that attracted those other pollinators and native pollinators would multiply without the competition from honeybees.

i didn't watch the show, but i know how these things go.  everyone needs a cause and the poor honeybees are the cause of the day.
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« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2009, 09:11:58 AM »

Okay, I understand and appreciate you all's points, that perhaps CCD and the documentary showing lots of bees dying in transport during their rest cycles to California, are perhaps not too serious a problem.  And I really do like the point you all made about how small farms are declinining, so why not the bees.  Let's say the documentary was off, making too big a deal, even faking things for the sake of TV.  My interest remains in the transport issue.

See, I don't know nothing bout honey bees, at least not anything close to an expert's view.  So, I just thought, even without stats or data presented during the documentary, that on its face, it offended me to see these eighteen-wheelers dragging hives for hundreds of miles down freeways, across states, supposedly during a time when bees aren't supposed to be bothered.  Is there anything to that being a problem?  And is it okay to ship bees via highway long distances during rest cycle?

I mean, to me, after looking at all possibilities, the travel part seemed the most obvious problem.  The documentary barely mentioned that idea up front, did not dwell on it, becuz the show also called up a variety of other possible reasons.  Another reason, which they did not bring up, that I think I mentioned in my original post, was could it be almond tree pollenation specifically can weaken bee colonies over time.  They did, however, point out that California crops are heavily sprayed, so maybe that was the issue.  There were lots of reasons they put out there.  They also showed the Chinese mite wreaking havoc in years before all this CCD stuff.

I don't think even people particularly like lots of travel, especially the fragile, like children don't get it when they gotta leave family and friends and go to either a divorced parent's home, or a new school becuz of a parent's job.  Me, personally, I didn't like it.  It just struck me as an out-of-body experience to witness 2,000 hives leaving the midwest alive, cameras were there, and arriving with 80 percent dead, cameras there too.  And while the poster's point is well-made about sneaking money off people, the documentary cameras did walk with the beekeeper thru ALL the hives, and one by one they opened the crates, marked dead hives, until they finished, and the beekeeper went back twice and counted, and in disbelief realized just how serious the devastation was.

I just wanted some feedback on if there's a travel issue here.  And I felt an old man's thoughts in the show, not referring to anything in particular, were so telling, "Sometimes you just gotta let bees be bees."  Suggesting that dragging them around to make some extra cash might not be a good idea.  I mean, I'm all for business, but perhaps the practices could be modified to help out the bees.

I do want to point out, in response to an above poster's idea that honey bees are not native to the Americas, wild bees are, and while not mentioned in the documentary, when honey bee populations decline from mites and disease, so do the wild bees.  In fact, it's my understanding wild bees intermingling with honey bees are helpful to the honey bees... or vice versa if disease is at work. 

One other thing, I had mused in my original post about how in the world can transport goof up a bee's immune systems, to where they get AIDs'-like diseases, according to lab studies of bees dying from CCD.  I had asked if directional systems of bees link directly into their immune systems, thinking travel fooled with their direction centers.  But I also asked if transport during the bee rest cycle might also tap into the function of their immune systems.  Of course, I suppose if humans knew more about their OWN immune systems, why, we'd know about the bees' biology.

So, again, as I posted originally and again now, I wonder if beekeepers who transport colonies over long distances have considered that maybe a bee's immune system can fall apart over something as simple as (a) moving them long distances, and/or (b) moving them distances during rest cycle.  I just think the travel thing has to be looked into when it comes to CCD.  So, I came here to present my view and see what you all thought. 

Thank you all so much for edu-bi-cating myself, I have learned a lot of incidentals on bees from this forum, and am also not quite as freaked out over bee losses, and I am feeling rather better about the bees knowing people are indeed out there that are willing to talk about the documentary's points about some declines in bee populations.  But I still want to know.... why?
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