Honeybees under threat from amateur keepers

  peter99co 20:15 04 Mar 09
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There is a lack of English Honey in the shops but this could threaten food production in a big way.

click here

Can this really be true?

  J B 20:25 04 Mar 09

The National Audit Office is trying to scare people. While there is a problem with the bee population right now I wouldn't put the blame solely on amature bee keepers. I would metre blame out to the property developers and government for their lack of stewardship of the countryside and their collective lack of how the countryside works. J.B.

  Stuartli 20:29 04 Mar 09

The decline of the bee population has sadly been a problem for a while now, both here and elsewhere in the world.

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  peter99co 20:57 04 Mar 09

With about 3,200 people a year investing in safety suits and veiled helmets.

Should the suppliers of this Equipment provide guidelines about training for beekeepers to help them to spot signs of disease

Maybe Defra should circulate this info via the suppliers.

  Forum Editor 23:54 04 Mar 09

and I can assure the national audit office that the bee problem is a good deal more complex than a few thousand amateur beekeepers failing to spot varroa mites.

Honeybees are under threat in many countries across the world, and although a good deal of research is going on - mostly underfunded - nobody is really sure why honeybees are in decline. That they are in decline, and seriously so, is a sad fact, and it will have a devastating effect on our food supplies if it continues.

Just one example of the importance of honeybees can be seen every year in California, when around a million beehives are transported into the almond groves from all over the US. The bees pollinate the almond blossoms, and without them there would be no almonds, losing California a crop that satisfies about 40% of the entire world's demand for almonds.

Fruit growers all over the world need honeybees in their orchards and fields, and unless they get them each spring they face ruin. We face rising food prices as manufacturers have to pay more for ingredients that come from bee-pollinated crops - one of which is the oilseed rape which covers so many fields in bright yellow blossoms each spring. It's a valuable 'break' crop for farmers, apart from its increasing importance as a source of cooking oil and as a biodiesel crop. Without honeybees there would be hardly any oilseed to process.

It's a very serious situation - far more serious potentially than our government seems to realise. Hilary Benn, the Rural Affairs Secretary, has announced an extra £4.3 million to be spent over the next five years on bee protection and disease research, but £43 million would be nearer the mark.

  Chegs ®™ 00:08 05 Mar 09

I have had thoughts of starting beekeeping after hearing several times that they are in decline.The first time I heard about bees decline in numbers,I started keeping an eye out for any bees and noted they were rather infrequent sights.

  Belatucadrus 00:50 05 Mar 09

Honey bees around here appear to be somewhat in decline, fortunately the local bumble bees are still thriving.

  sunnystaines 12:10 05 Mar 09

I have been thinking of keeping bees when I move but not sure if they can cope with Scottish weather [ayrshire].

  Noels 12:43 05 Mar 09

Like FE I kept bees on and off for about 20yrs until I became allergic to stings and was advised by my Dr to give it up. That was about 40 yrs ago.
Talking to our local Shropshire bee keepers they tell me that they have lost hives to varroa
but for more important is the series of bad summers for nectar and pollen gathering. The bees have been short of both to enable them to build up and maintain thriving hives.We have to remember that the honey sold by the beekeeper is SURPLUS to the bees own needs to maintain the hive and see it through the winter.
Regards
Noels

  wiz-king 13:23 05 Mar 09
  sunnystaines 13:38 05 Mar 09

good link thanks

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