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Re: The First Zucchini

I used to have so many honeybees that I couldn't walk across the lawn barefoot when the clover was blooming, and the dogs were often stung. The hum in my apple trees, or in the holly outside my window was audible from several feet away. I'd listen to it as I worked with the windows open.

The tracheal and varroa mites took their toll on honeybees here over the years, but the other pollinators increased. This year, we had plenty of Carpenter Bees, but not many Bumbles or Masons, and I have seen only 2 honeybees -one honeybee in April and one last week. Whatever the cause of CCD (besides big ag trying to push hives to the limit), there's something else going on with the other pollinators here, too. I'm hoping it's a fluke of the weather, but - no apples, no holly berries here, and that was before the big freeze.

By the way, this website has some good no-nonsense stuff about the bees, for those who are interested. http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mvanishingbees.htm


----- Original Message ----- From: "james singer" <islandjim1@verizon.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, June 07, 2007 6:44 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] The First Zucchini

About bees.

I have a friend who is a bee researcher at LSU. He says he's involved in investigating CCD. He says the reports of 60-70 percent swarm disappearance are media nonsense and not supported by the facts. He says "normal" swarm disappearance is 20-40 percent, and he suspects most of that is caused by beekeepers moving their hives a lot. He says moving hives, while profitable for beekeepers, is very stressful for bees. He also adds that the Einstein quote about bee disappearance leading to the end of the food chain was probably not said by Einstein and, at any rate, shows enormous ignorance about the "messy" science of biology.

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