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Author Topic: Dr. Keith Delaplane on CCD  (Read 2194 times)
tillie
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« on: May 09, 2007, 10:17:38 PM »

Tonight at the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers meeting the speaker was Dr. Keith Delaplane speaking on CCD.  Interestingly the media was there.  I saw camerapeople from two TV stations and he was asked to go to a different room after his talk with us to speak to CNN.

I'm only the messenger and don't necessarily know that he has all the answers (personally I think Michael Bush has all the answers  grin)

This is what I got from what he said:

**Honeybees have been on a steady decline in this country over many, many years, due increasingly to our agricultural practices no longer requiring animals to feed in the fields, so less crops for the honeybees.

**With the advent of the varroa mite, beekeeping went from an organic, hands off endeavor to a chemically dependent endeavor.  This has resulted in the quality of queens going down, with many queens living only 6 months - 1 year; finding drone brood among worker brood, and having high supercedure rates.

The issues contributing to bees disappearing from hives are some not in our control (environmental pesticide usage, the presence of mites in the world, viruses, etc).  However the issues that we can change include:

**in hive pesticide use
**old comb
**migratory stress
**nutrition
**IPM

He encouraged using no pesticides in the hives and replacing old comb regularly. 

He said that migratory stress is about how the honeybee in one setting works about 6 - 10 weeks per year during the honey flow.  Commercial beekeepers by moving their hives from flow to flow ask the bee to work many 6 - 10 week periods in the year, thus wearing the bees out and making them more subject to disease.

He mentioned a commercial beekeeper in N Georgia (Bob Binnie) who feeds each hive 5 gallons of syrup every fall and Dr. Delaplane said that we are not feeding our bees enough, thus resulting in poor nutrition and this makes the bees vulnerable to disease.

He strongly encouraged IPM - screened bottom boards, powdered sugar shakes.

He cited studies done at UGA for all of what he had to say and presented graphs and data to support his talk.  In general he doesn't think that CCD is anything new, but is the cumulative result of chemical beekeeping.

A kid in the audience asked if cell phones were the problem and he smiled and simply said, "No."

Linda T reporting from Atlanta




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Understudy
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 10:37:05 PM »

Tonight at the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers meeting the speaker was Dr. Keith Delaplane speaking on CCD.  Interestingly the media was there.  I saw camerapeople from two TV stations and he was asked to go to a different room after his talk with us to speak to CNN.
Sounds awesome.

Quote
I'm only the messenger and don't necessarily know that he has all the answers (personally I think Michael Bush has all the answers  grin)
And Finsky and Brian. grin

Quote
This is what I got from what he said:

**Honeybees have been on a steady decline in this country over many, many years, due increasingly to our agricultural practices no longer requiring animals to feed in the fields, so less crops for the honeybees.
I would equate that to beekeepers being on the decline. Feral bees are doing fine. What he does say is basically true. Things like corn , sugar, and tomatoes don't require pollination by honeybees.

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**With the advent of the varroa mite, beekeeping went from an organic, hands off endeavor to a chemically dependent endeavor.  This has resulted in the quality of queens going down, with many queens living only 6 months - 1 year; finding drone brood among worker brood, and having high supercedure rates.
Correct. So what does that say about the use of chemicals. Yes I believe the level of commerical queens is low.

Quote
The issues contributing to bees disappearing from hives are some not in our control (environmental pesticide usage, the presence of mites in the world, viruses, etc).  However the issues that we can change include:

**in hive pesticide use
**old comb
**migratory stress
**nutrition
**IPM
It is really hard to say this directly, but I will. Probably the biggest cause of CCD is current methods used to manage hives. All of which are part of what you listed above.  The old comb item is the only one I wonder about but most commerical beekeepers have comb that is laden with chemicals.

Quote
He encouraged using no pesticides in the hives and replacing old comb regularly.
If you don't use chemicals you don't have much need to replace comb.

Quote
He said that migratory stress is about how the honeybee in one setting works about 6 - 10 weeks per year during the honey flow.  Commercial beekeepers by moving their hives from flow to flow as the bee to work many 6 - 10 week periods in the year, thus wearing the bees out and making them more subject to disease.
I think the bees would deal with the stress better if they weren't weakened by chemicals and low quality queens.

Quote
He mentioned a commercial beekeeper in N Georgia (Bob Binnie) who feeds each hive 5 gallons of syrup every fall and Dr. Delaplane said that we are not feeding our bees enough, thus resulting in poor nutrition.
I think that is a bit high, but I am in SoFla so I don't need to.

Quote
He strongly encouraged IPM - screened bottom boards, powdered sugar shakes.
This could cause a price increase on powdered sugar.

Quote
He cited studies done at UGA for all of what he had to say and presented graphs and data to support his talk.  In general he doesn't think that CCD is anything new, but is the cumulative result of chemical beekeeping.
His theories are no worse than any other. Peer review makes the difference.

Quote
A kid in the audience asked if cell phones were the problem and he smiled and simply said, "No."

Linda T reporting from Atlanta
Okay I was wrong, there is one theory that is worse than the others.  grin

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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kathyp
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2007, 10:43:24 PM »

i like him.  he's easy to understand and he doesn't talk down to his audience.  i have his tapes and they were very helpful when i got started.  i'd love to hear him in person.
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2007, 10:45:09 PM »

I forgot to say that he encouraged us to buy our queens from people working to develop hygienic queens such as the Purvis Brothers in N Georgia. 

UGA is also working on developing hygenic queens which will be available for distribution to queen breeders in August.  They will, of course, not be for sale but will be distributed by lottery, I think he said, to the queen breeders.

He had a chart showing that with increased use of chemicals in the hive, a study done at UGA showed shorter life for queens, poorer life span and sperm quality for drones, and increase cognitive dysfunction for worker bees, including not being able to find their way home to the hive.

He also laughed at his earlier books in which he highly encouraged medicating the bees and said that he is the author of the new edition of First Lessons in  Beekeeping from Dadant out later this year and in it he encourages IPM and no chemicals.

Linda T still reporting from Atlanta

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007, 01:51:41 AM »

Sounds like he agrees with what I have been advocating.  Organic (Natural) Beekeeping.  I personally think we would have been better off to have concentrated on developing hygenic SMR bees from the start and not sufficating them with chemicals. 
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