Friday, March 28, 2014

Les Crowder at the Big Bee Buzz

Les is a topbar beekeeper from New Mexico.

He started out talking about comb, some excellent material on how comb can become a sink for chemicals and pathogens.

Point to take away here:  If you hold up the comb to the sun and you cannot see any light through, the comb has reached its end of life.

He talked about some illegal uses of chemicals and talked about one case where a truckload of bees were treated so hard, they all died.

He confirmed an interesting thing that I had heard before, that in old hives, bees will actually abandon old comb and allow wax moths to eat it.  Once it is eaten, it can be cleaned out again by the bees and rebuilt.

Miticides are really hammering the bees, especially coumophos.  It reduces all sorts of things like fertility, worker longevity, and the ability to get rid of mites naturally.  Reduced lifespan reduces  the total population of the hive and therefore its productivity

Treatment-free in New Mexico is mainstream.

The more antibiotics are used, the more resistance to the antibiotics are bred into the pathogens.

Nature resists our efforts.  Treatment-free uses nature's resistance to eliminate pests.

We can breed our way out of the problem of Tropilaelaps before it actually hits us.

Autism linked to pesticide use.

Neonicitinoids destroy bees' mental acquity.  Bees more susceptible to nosema.

Topbar hives are very popular and may no longer be an alternate form of beekeeping.

Bees build cells in different sizes large to small top to bottom.

"I am so done with frames."

Jamaica has banned American beeswax.

Frames are too much trouble in developing countries where frames are hard or impossible to build.

We can grow food without poison.  We can keep bees without poison.

"The only way to rise is if we all rise together."

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