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Question: Is it possible to be cruel to Bees
Yes - 27 (87.1%)
No they are only an insect - 2 (6.5%)
Yes butthey will swarm when it happens - 0 (0%)
Yes but only in winter when they cant get away - 2 (6.5%)
Total Voters: 31


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Author Topic: Is it possible to br cruel to bees?  (Read 2552 times)
derekm
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« on: November 03, 2011, 04:11:05 PM »

I asked this question on a UK forum. whats your take?
Is it possible to be cruel to bees? This is cruelty as defined in your own terms. I'm not asking you to define cruelty to bees, just asking you if its possible.
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 09:15:32 PM »

cru·el·ty

Noun:   

   1. Callous indifference to or pleasure in causing pain and suffering.
   2. Behavior that causes pain or suffering to a person or animal.

Definition 1 refers to the attitude of the person doing the act.  By that definition, it is possible to be cruel to bees.  It depends on what your intentions are.  The same act that would be cruel under one set of circumstances might not be cruel if the intent was not cruel.  Even if bees don't feel pain, it would still be cruel if the person doing the act thought they could and was still indifferent.

Definition 2 requires that the subject of the act be able to feel pain or to suffer.  I think bees don't feel pain as people do, but then.... I'm not a bee so how would I know?   grin
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AliciaH
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011, 12:23:16 AM »

We have removed the bees from environments that they would have naturally chosen (all of us), placed them in a box and asked them to make honey for us.  We further move them around (commercial applications) and ask them to constantly reorient themselves to new environments.

If we, in turn, aren't willing to give them a helping hand now and then, then I think that's being cruel.  Yes, we can help them too much (we all agree breeding week strains is not a good idea).  But as long as we interfere with their natural choices (which could be argued as a cruelty in itself), then we must be prepared to help them take care of themselves.

Sorry, I guess I surprise myself by the feelings that one, small question raises!
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2011, 04:44:26 AM »

Problems arise when people turn living organisms to "objects."  Forcing lot feeding cattle a diet normally not in their nature while giving them antibiotics to counteract the damage done to their rumen is cruel if you really think about it.

Cattle are feeling, breathing, and thinking, though not sentient, organisms.  Turning them into meat making machines objectifies them, but I can't think of a person more in tune with their feelings than somebody who handles and raises them for the meat market.

Corporations are not evil or unfeeling, but the abstract makes them appear so.  I see commercials on the tubalision that try to give a positive spin to grinding the last drop of oil out of the ground to power industry, knowing full well hydrogen would be best for the chemical energy future.

I would speculate that giving the superorganism the environment humans have developed over the thousands of years is actually favorable to their nature, small or oversized cavities are not optimum.  Picking them up and dropping them in odd places continuously is not, and arguing that they seem to do just fine, knowing where their home colony is, is just taking advantage of a survival mechanism rather than what the colony would see in nature.

Is it possible to be "cruel" to bees?  Yes.  Are we intentionally being cruel to them?
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T Beek
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2011, 05:07:54 AM »

Of course one can be cruel to bees.  We should mention that 'only' humans have the capacity for being cruel.  

Beekeeping itself should be considered cruel, especially for bees kept outside their desired (tropical) habitat, which means most of us, myself included.

That all said, our human species can/does cleverly justify 'anything' we do and can call it anything we want Sad.  

Look around, we are surrounded by cruelty that is mostly ignored (especially by the cruel but not exclusively).

**corporations have feelings?Huh**  I'll believe that when we begin sending the criminal corporations to jail?**

thomas
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 08:08:50 AM by T Beek » Logged

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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2011, 05:56:01 AM »

**corporations have feelings?Huh**  I'll believe that when we begin sending the criminal corporations to jail?**
thomas

That's exactly what I was thinking.  Corporations are NOT people.  They don't have rights, feelings or apparently.... duties.   Sad

Cruelty is easy if you are insulated from the results of your actions.
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T Beek
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2011, 06:38:42 AM »

And when all that is seen is dollar$$$$.  We've been fooled into believing that all profit is good profit.  Capitalism requires 'capital' (usually someone elses) in order to be successful and we have been fooled into believing that all capitalism is good and more importantly, American.  

We practice a particularly 'cruel' (inherently corrupt) form of capitalism, especially the big ones (IE);
"If I make money its mine, if I loose money its yours."  The bigger/stronger the corporation (or State/Country) the more this is true.

FRAMEshift;  Unfortunately corporations 'do' have rights, the same as you and I, the only right they don't have is the right to go to jail when a crime is committed.

Fortunately for us all, our US Constitution says nothing on this matter.  It embraces NO particular economic system yet we are told (fooled) the opposite from birth to death by the advertisers and their tools.  (so sorry for the 'off topic' rant but its cold outside grin

thomas
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 10:59:46 AM by T Beek » Logged

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2011, 10:41:06 AM »

There is that youtube video of people scorching, hitting and otherwise abusing a swarm.  All I can think of is how cruel it is...
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Michael Bush
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deknow
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2011, 11:46:32 AM »

i dunno..what is "cruelty"?

Certainly we consider cruelty wrt to humans or pets (dogs, cats, etc) regardless of our relationship (ie, beating a dog, beating a human)...it is cruel regardless of whether we know the person or dog in question, or if that person or dog is "useful" to us (ie, it is equally cruel for your boss who provides a paycheck and a homeless person you've never met to be beaten).

Seems to me that bees are not essentially different than ants....we like bees a bit more (those of us that are beekeepers at least....the family of my friend who died from an allergic reaction to bee stings might feel differently), but biologically they are essentially the same.

Is stepping on an ant cruel?  Is destroying an ant colony while planting your garden cruel?  Is buying produce that most assuredly displaced ants (and birds, and mice, and rabbits, etc) cruel?  Is buying produce that was sprayed, killing many insects cruel?  Is it cruel to remove mice from a hive in wintertime?

I can't say I like watching the videos that Michael is referring to (I have seen them), but I can't really define "cruelty" based upon how useful the target is to me...that is a slippery slope I won't go down.  If morality is pure (and not based upon self interest), then all organisms must be given equal weight...if it is based on self interest, then one must wonder what people (who don't see a value in you or me) do to _us_ without being "cruel"?

deknow
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BlueBee
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2011, 01:09:43 PM »

Wow, this might be a first in bee keeping!  Finally a topic that EVERYBODY agrees on (at least so far).
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2011, 01:41:54 PM »

+1, deknow!

Do you mean like crushing a queen?  Ripping the thorax off of a live bee (to check for nosema)? Trapping beetles so that they slowly suffocate in oil? Getting stung so the bee slowly bleeds to death?  Dropping a super and crushing 100's of bees?  What about the bees that get into the honey house and either die a lonely death or need to be dispatched for our convenience?  What about that "lucky" drone who lies on the ground writhing in his death throes? cool

Is torching a swarm any different than spraying an ant colony?  Do those bees have less feelings than the ants do?  WE feel that is cruel, not because of the bees but because of how it makes US feel.  Why?  Because those bees have value?  So does that mean that cruelty is now defined as senselessly destroying a thing of value?  What about africanized bees?  They SHOULD be destroyed, although by fire would just be stupid.

To me in large part "cruelty" is cases like this (not in all cases!!) is more defined by intent.  Somebody who destroys a swarm just to see the bees suffer would be cruel.  An ordinary citizen who has a nuisance swarm or hive who can't find anybody to help out and chronicles his experience in a video is ignorant of bees but not cruel. 

And let's face it...most of us seasoned beeks have killed and caused pain and suffering to far more bees over the years than would make up a swarm.

We could give it up and go into lettuce farming as PETA would like us to, but then we'd have to be cruel to aphids.

Rick
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2011, 02:27:18 PM »

I think we have to view the individual and the colony the way the bees do.  The bees don't mind individuals dying for the good of the colony.  They care about the colony.
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Michael Bush
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2011, 03:33:10 PM »

I asked this question on a UK forum.

And how did the folks over there answer your question?
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derekm
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2011, 04:28:43 PM »

lets wait a few days and then I will say how they answered
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
T Beek
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2011, 08:00:03 AM »

An act of cruelty requires intent. 

If one intentionally (consciously or not) harms another (human or any other life form) that is cruelty.  That includes stepping on an ant IMO.

Of course we can't leave out how well humans have adapted to justify our actions.

thomas
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deknow
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2011, 11:03:25 AM »

tbeek,
to some extent i can agree with your above comments....for instance, i don't think there is "harm" to a person for swatting a mosquito...but if the same person captures the mosquito so that they can pull off legs one at a time, feed it LSD, and make it watch Ishtar, then there is likely harm done to the person committing the acts...the mosquito is still dead either way.

but where I think your definition falls apart is with the term "harm".  A cult member being deprogrammed feels that they are being harmed...the deprogramer (and the family paying the deprogrammer) feel they are helping.  Regardless of the intent, the subject is suffering and probably is convinced that the treatment is cruel...certainly they can't appreciate that the intent is "help" rather than "harm".

have you ever seen "a clockwork orange"?  How can it possibly not be "cruel" to pin someone's eyes open and make them watch horrible violence.....unless you feel you are "curing" them?

Seems to me its simply too easy for the "inflictor" to reason away the cruel motives....from slave owners, parents that beat their children, and even Hitler, all justify their actions as their attempt to "make things better".  Only the person on the business end of a whip has a right to determine if the actions are cruel or not.

That said, we kill microbes everytime we breathe....microbes kill microbes...our houses displace all manner of wildlife...our appetites and needs require that we "harm" nature to some extent.  I'll wager that a mouse caught in a glue trap in your kitchen, or an ant colony destroyed in order to put up a bouncy castle for a birthday party are just as miserable as bees that have been mistreated...all would choose not to be treated in such ways.

deknow
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2011, 01:39:50 PM »

Umh!  I did personify corporations.  I suppose I was associating it as a "superorganism."  I was thinking in terms of the individuals in a corporate society, not trying to do harm or evil, and each part working for the greater "good."

Like an oil company that drilled into dangerous territory and then created a catastrophe that carried on for months afterwards, the intent was not to destroy fragile eco systems, but to bring in more oil.  The end result could be seen as "bad," but everyone in some capacity uses that oil in everyday life.
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T Beek
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2011, 02:07:08 PM »

deknow;  Huh huh  Did you read my first sentence?  "An act of cruelty requires intent."

Having witnessed horrendous acts of violence and mayham first hand I haven't been surprised by the cruelty humans can unleash against other humans, animals, insects or landscape for a very long time, nor the justifications used to make it all OK. 

What amazes me is how blind so many are to their own daily participation in cruelty and how easy it is to just ignore it. 

I've based my beliefs and theory in this regard on experience rather than from films, although I've seen a clockwork orange (I liked the book too).

You prove my point for me on how we justify our actions/behavior.

thomas
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T Beek
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2011, 02:11:06 PM »

Help is 'sometimes' not help.

thomas
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2011, 08:32:01 PM »

An act of cruelty requires intent. 

If one intentionally (consciously or not) harms another (human or any other life form) that is cruelty.  That includes stepping on an ant IMO.

Of course we can't leave out how well humans have adapted to justify our actions.

thomas

Your first 2 statements are contradictory.  Your second statement is also contradictory in itself.  I can't intentionally yet unconsciously harm something.  Aside from that, "intentionally harming = cruelty" is very broad. According to that, not only stepping on the ant, but slaughtering the cow to eat it is cruelty, as well as squishing the bee crawling up my pant leg. 

I do agree that we are surrounded by cruelty, we all have the propensity to be bullies, if not worse.

Rick
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