Last year, I had an apiary hit with pesticide kill. (Not CCD!) Piles of dead bees out front of the hives. The farmer, sprayed in preparation of fall planting and killed a field of late blooming flowers, as he was using no-till.
The farmer allows me to keep bees on his property as a favor. He has no pollination benefit. I keep them there for drone saturation in one of my breeding areas. He is 83 years old. He almost cried when I told what happened. He was very sorry and said he did not realize the impact.
I mentioned what happened in a state meeting. They wanted me to report the issue. And I did not. I did not want a situation where EPA or other officials come calling, reporting him, and putting him in who knows what consequences.
I felt it was better to work with the farmer, discuss future chemical use, and maintain a situation of a working relationship between beekeeper and farmer. And I feel that having beekeepers running a round making enemies, which I feel will happen, after the authorities are through with the process, is not in my, or any beekeepers benefit.
I take it upon myself to KNOW where I keep bees, WHAT the farmers are using, and HOW to deal with the situations that may pop up. And if it involves cancelling a pollination contract or looking for greener pastures elsewhere, than so be it. I would rather inform the farmer, work together, and keep bees on properties with open dialog.
And I know I am better off on those same farms, that may require a little effort on my part, as opposed to trying to find a location. What I fear more, is the neighboring farm, that will not allow bees on the farm due to his use of chemicals in careless manners. And If I have bee loss from that other farm, I may not be able to prove it, educate him, or change the future.
So for those farmers that actually DO allow bees, than I see no reason reporting him.
As for my pollination farmers, they are paying for my bees to be there and they have a vested interest. And I don't have problems with them. They are way more careful than the homeowner trying to kill every weed, or the farmer who is not willing to communicate with me.
As a side note, I find this whole reporting thing part of the "business" of research. It's like asking "How many years will it take to do simple testing of chemicals, to prove one way or another if they impact hives?"
Think about it....CCD three years later, and were still discussing whether a certain chemical is killing bees. How hard would a few simple studies to be conducted. Anyone heard of one study actually testing any particular product? Do we have ANY actual studies or research?
I said a long time ago....politics, money, and other issues will be more important than finding answers. Those answers may come, but not until that goose has laid a good number of golden eggs.