May 10th, 2013
A New Shipment of Honeybees
Posted by Sharkey
We here at the Daily Wag, will also miss Cora-Belle, the Cattle-Dog and we send our best to Lucinda and James. We also welcome Black Mama, the Feral Cat.
Honeybees are extraordinary little creatures that provide a tremendous aid to food growers, as they pollinated many crops. However, in recent years, many beekeepers have been facing very troubling problems with their bees. We've even seen it here at the farm.
1 Well, Francesca, it's happened again. The honeybees have disappeared over the winter. The hives have been cleaned out and are being positioned in a different area for the new bees that have been ordered.
2 This mysterious and disturbing condition is called colony collapse disorder (CCD), and it's happening to beekeepers all around the world. CCD has wiped out from 20% to 60% of colonies in the affected areas.
3 Carlos went to pick up the new bees. Most hives are started with a 3-pound package of live bees, which contains approximately 12,000 honeybees, including one queen!
4 Carlos brought home 4 packages, one for each hive.
5 Listen to all that buzzing! Once the hives are in place, the bees need to be installed.
6 It's kind of complicated and someone with good bee knowledge should take charge. Basically, you take the cover off the box and shake the bees into their new hive. Franny, I do not want to be anywhere nearby when that happens!
7 So, here we are after what looks to be a successful installation.
8 The bees have sugar syrup to feed on until they figure out where all the flower nectar is located.
9 The problem is, Francesca, that there doesn’t seem to be a single smoking gun behind CCD. Experts are looking at a range of possible causes, including a parasitic mite called Varroa destructor and several viruses.
10 There's also a bacterial disease called European foulbrood that's increasingly being detected in U.S. bee colonies and the use of pesticides is also looking to be a real contributor to the problem.
11 Let's hope they figure out how to keep honeybees alive or else plants, like this apple tree, won't grow very much produce and that would be disastrous!
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