Organic Beekeepers Report No Colony
(With a dose of reality below from Miles
Date: Sun May 27, 2007 9:50 am
Scientists are struggling to understand the dramatic
decline in the honeybee population in the U. S. and
other countries. But organic beekeepers' hives are
doing just fine, one keeper disclosed.
Nationwide, one-half to a 1 million colonies out of a
total of 2.4 million died this past winter, and
scientists aren't sure why. Genetically modified foods,
mites, pathogens, pesticides and electromagnetic
radiation from cell phones have all been blamed as
possible causes of the bees' demise, although the
underlying problem remains unknown, Science Daily
But organic beekeeper Sharon Labchuk
of Prince Edward Island, Canada, wrote in an e-mail
excerpted by information. com: "I'm on an organic
beekeeping list of about 1,000 people, mostly
Americans, and no one in the organic beekeeping world,
including commercial beekeepers, is reporting colony
collapse on this list.
"The problem with the big commercial guys is that they
put pesticides in their hives to fumigate for varroa
mites, and they feed antibiotics to the bees. They also
haul the hives by truck all over the place to make more
money with pollination services, which stresses the
Another beekeeper, Michael Bush, explains on his Web
site that commercial keepers use hives with larger
honeycombs, which results in larger bees.
The article on information. com, also cited by the
Progressive Review, states: "Who should be surprised
that the major media reports forget to tell us that the
dying bees are actually hyper-bred varieties that we
coax into a larger than normal body size. It sounds
just like the beef industry.
COMMENTARY BY MILES
The article above illustrates the
incredible ability of media for simplifying information
while simultaneously distorting it to be virtually
untrue. The basis for understanding must include
absolutes in the definition of words, lest we cannot
communicate meaning at all.
Organic Beekeeper. An organic beekeeper is one who does
not use fluvalinate (Apistan) or any other miticide to
kill Varroa or tracheal mites. They do not use
Terramycin for minor bee diseases, nor Fumidil B for
nosema. Instead of those chemicals, "organic
beekeepers" rely upon super concentrated, specially
formulated, totally artificial (not found in nature)
"essential oils" to supposedly make life so unpleasant
for the mite that they will voluntarily march out of
There are no other distinctions of note between evil
"chemical" keepers and pure, wholesome "organic"
beekeepers. Honeybees are true free spirits, i.e. wild,
and frequently disobey even organic beekeepers. They
will fly to whatever darned flower they desire, not
bothering to ask if that flower has been fertilized
with 10-10-10 or 5th generation pure organic compost.
"Organic" nectar is very difficult to have certified,
as GPS units small enough for individual honeybees have
yet to be developed in commercially viable quantities,
so it is entirely possible that honeybees could stray
from the true intent of their 'keeper and occasionally
visit flowers or florets in an evil, artificially
fertilized or sprayed garden, orchard or field.
In nature, honeybees draw two sizes of comb: worker
comb and drone comb. Worker comb has 5 cells to the
inch, drone comb has 4 cells to the inch. Almost all
beekeepers us wax foundation which has been embossed
with 5 cells per inch to artificially induce honeybees
to draw all worker cells, as drone cells produce drones
and are absolutely worthless to beekeepers, the
ultimate useless eaters. Even so, the bees will often
draw a couple of rows of drone size cells across the
top of a frame, as they know there must be drones or
the colony will not ultimately survive. Even their
matriarchal society recognizes that women's lib only
goes so far and that males are needed occasionally.
So we are left with a logical contradiction. Either
commercial beekeepers are forcing honeybees to draw
all-drone comb, or pure, sweet organic beekeepers are
forcing honeybees on a diet and whipping them into
producing artificially skinny "Twiggy" comb. In either
case, the true dimensions are completely ignored - the
vast majority of beekeepers.
While the greatest number of beehives in the country
belong to commercial beekeepers, the vast majority of
beekeepers are hobby 'keepers with only a few hives.
Ain't no way they are going to load a couple of hives
into their van and drive to Orange County every
February to secure a pollination contract. In fact, the
vast majority of beekeepers are Fixed Base hobby
beekeepers, and they use worker foundation in hives
constructed as they have been since invented by Rev. L.
L. Langstroth in 1851.
A few hobby beekeepers must want "organic" honey on
their tofu (they apparently grow only organic tofu
plants), so the use of chemical miticides are verboten
to them. But to claim victory over CCD on the basis of
"organic" beekeeping methods producing only "naturally
slim" bees stretches credulity to the limit.
There may be some basis of help against CCD in
individual details of organic beekeeping, but that
cannot be stretched to encompass a total cure and
prevention of all beekeeping ills.
The article above differentiates beekeepers into two
categories only - wholesome, natural "organic"
beekeepers and large evil commercial "chemical" Nazi
beekeepers who "truck (hives) all over the place to
make more money with pollination services, which
stresses the colonies." "Making money" appears to
be the central factor in stressing the colonies,
applying a political agenda to commercial beekeepers
and their honeybees.
In point of fact, commercial
beekeepers make their living from pollination
contracts. Honey production is incidental to their
operation! Without commercial beekeepers, no country
could produce sufficient food to feed their own
population. And the article totally ignores the vast
majority of beekeepers - those hobby beekeepers who
keep the faith with Langstroth, C. C. Miller, et al,
keeping a few hives in their back yard or orchard,
caring for their bees in exactly the same way they have
for over 150 years...well before the advent of Colony
Collapse Disorder and politically correct