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Rural Gardening: The Plight of the Honey Bee

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Forum: Rural GardeningReplies: 5, Views: 113
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Norman, OK

October 2, 2009
5:54 PM

Post #7127358

As soon as I looked into the plight of the Honey Bees, one thing stood out to me immediately. The beekeepers are continually poisoning the bees with deadly smoke to "calm" them and they have been doing this for generations. Engulfing bees with smoke is a very dangerous, primitive method that has never been changed and I believe the accumulative effect of doing that has finally caught up and is taking it's toll on the bees. Below is a reply I received from my first inquiry to a local beekeeper:

"There are about as many different materials used in smokers as there are beekeepers. I use pine needles because they are handy. The smoke does calm the bees and I use it any time I go into a hive."

Pine needles? I can't even name all the toxins in pine needle smoke. Of course it calms them, they are poisoned into a semi comatose state. Has anyone ever heard of anesthetizing any other animal with smoke? A veterinarian would be sued for medical malpractice. Beekeepers completely fill the hive with this smoke several times a year. The smoke is also getting into the honey, by the way.

But, wait, it doesn't stop there. When I visited the USDA site and read of their ongoing study of the bees' plight, I discovered the following:

1. The USDA smokes the bees to sedate them while they do studies to see what is making them sick.

2. They wonder why the bees just abandon the hives and disappear. (Wouldn't you if you were continually being poisoned and your hive is growing bacteria and who knows what else?)

3. They have now discovered that smoking bees might kill mites. The USDA is considering recommending smoking bees even more to combat mites. (Of course it kills mites, smoke kills just about everything, including bees. Would they recommend this method for ridding their children or their puppies or birds of mites?)

So, there is a healthy second hand smoke? Wait til the tobacco industry hears that smoking pine needles is good for living things. And being completely engulfed in it has a "calming" effect.

I am amazed that the smoke thing just goes right over their heads. Too bad it's not going over the bees' heads. I've seen a lot of blundering of wildlife in my day but, this has to bee one of the worst. Any dentist can tell you that bacteria love a smoker's mouth. And, if you add sugar to that you have the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in. What? The bees are being overrun with bacterial infections? Hard to fathom.

Has anyone sat in a smoke filled bar some night and then have to wash it out of your hair and your clothes? Not to mention coughing your head off for a couple of days. Now, imagine all the tiny little hairs on a bee's body collecting all that oily smoke residue and them not beeing able to wash it off. Or, worse yet, having to lick it off. Plus, the effect that breathing smoke would have on their tiny little respiratory systems. They passed laws nationwide to protect us from second hand smoke. I am totally amazed and dumfounded.

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This message was edited Oct 2, 2009 10:42 PM
South Hadley, MA
(Zone 6a)

February 1, 2010
2:03 AM

Post #7517054

Are you a beekeeper?

Any beekeeper will tell you that you don't completely fill the hive with "toxic smoke." You just introduce smoke in very small doses. You let the bees be aware of the smoke. As soon as they pick up the smokes scent they will go into the hive and begin to gorge themselves on honey. The super full belly is what calms down the bees not the smoke "poisoning to a semi-comatose state."

Your rant is amusing and is obviously uneducated about bee colonies.

We use much safer means of "ridding their children or their puppies or birds of mites" it is called carbaryl. An organophosphate insecticide known as a neurotoxin. Look on a flea and tick bottle and look on a head lice percription. If we use in in the field it is called a pesticide but if you dump it on our children and pets it is called medice?
Forestville, NY

February 1, 2010
5:44 AM

Post #7517696

Thats a so true Boxcar.
Belle Vernon, PA

April 3, 2010
3:28 AM

Post #7676291

Ahhh, the rantings of the woefully uneducated. It never changes...
Lodi, CA
(Zone 8b)

April 23, 2010
7:45 PM

Post #7731439

I have noticed a lack of bees here in my California garden just like in 2007. Does anyone know if Colony Collapse Disorder is back again. I should have tons of honeybees and I only have a scattering here and there. It scares me.

Marengo, IL

May 24, 2010
8:42 AM

Post #7822612

Smoke is definitely the problem here. But I don't think t has anything to do with bees.

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