25 Jul 2013

Beemageddon?

Over the last few years we have been watching an intensive debate over what causes mass die out of bees, primarily in USA but also observed in Europe and elsewhere.  Sometimes these are sudden events - visible mass death or disappearance of entire colonies or even apiaries.  Sometimes the process is less immediately visible, but it is worth recalling what one of our past members, Tony, reported in May after his return to UK:

I've just spent 2 full days working in gardens around Darlington (Teesside,UK) and saw two honey bees in all that time - both of them spotted in adjacent gardens within 10 mins of each other. This despite warm temps, sunshine and a huge burst in flowering plants, including many dandelions.

I've also been watching trees in blossom and not seeing a single honey bee on them. I've now seen a total of 5 HBs since landing in UK on Nov 26 2012.

Things are not that bad here - yet.  Still, it is worth keeping an eye on what may cause problems elsewhere.  Today I came across an interesting if deeply troubling article describing some possible causes.  the article seems based on reasonable scientific grounds so it deserves attention.  The problem for me is that I cannot see what I or other beekeepers could do to make things better.  It seems that all we can do is to sit and watch.  Scary!

If you wish to read the article, go here.

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