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Comment: Re:Fad Ahead? (Score 1) 131

by kreuzotter (#49131747) Attached to: Inventors Revolutionize Beekeeping

First there are diseases and parasites: deformed wing virus, European foul brood, American Foul brood. Varroa mites are carriers of deseases. Small hive beatles and wax moth can turn your hive into a soup. If you ignore those they will show up in your other hives and in your neigbor's hives. Then there is swarming: Half of your bees leave (and don't make honey) and set up shop in your neigbor's attic (he really likes that). You want to prevent that. You should replace the queen every other year: young queen = many bees = honey. Bees need 60 pounds of honey as food for the winter. You need to make sure you don't take too much, and you may have to feed them if the winter is long.
For all who are interested: if you want to start beekeeping, NOW is the time to act. Find your local beekeeping club and order bees now.

Comment: This is cool! (Score 1) 85

I would absolutely love to be part of that. Colony Collapse Disorder is investigated for a long time and is still not understood. What happens is that you have a healthy bee yard with many hives full of bees (50000 each hive) and you come back a week later and they are gone, except for the queens and a few workers. What happened? They did not leave voluntarily, not without the queen. There are no dead bees in front of the hive, like you would have with pesticide poisoning. There is not one virus or disease common to those cases.
One possible cause could be the new pesticides called neonicotinoids, which act like a nerve agent. The claim is that the bees fly off to forage and cant remember how to get back home. But this is only a guess, and this experiment could give some insight. Do the bees fly around aimlessly?
Should we ban neonicotinoids? neonicotinoids are not sprayed but seeds are soaked in it. The whole plant will then be poisoned, but the poison is limited to the crop. One needs a lot less poison that with traditional pesticides. So this is an important question with huge commercial consequences.

P.S. Beekeeping is absolutely fascinating and addictive. The more I learn the more there is to lean. Call you local beekeeper's club to learn more.

Comment: Beekeeping (Score 0) 122

by kreuzotter (#40389665) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: a Good Geek Project For My Arthritic Grandfather?

I recommend beekeeping. I think it is geeky, even though it has nothing to do with electronics. It will keep your mind sharp, because in order to keep your bees alive with todays parasites and polutants you have to learn a lot. He will meet other beekeepers and those guys are the nices paople. Also, bee stings are good for arthitis (if you get stung it is most of the time your own fault and perfectly avoidable). More info at your local beekeepers club.

Eureka! -- Archimedes

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