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Honeybees bred for 7-10% Winter losses, wiped out 2x's in 3 years due to pesticides

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Honeybees bred for 7-10% Winter losses, wiped out 2x's in 3 years due to pesticides/herbicides

I love 'the girls' and they are in trouble. 40% - 60% losses nationwide each Winter.

I have been selectively breeding bees for naturally high immunity and resistance to their pests and diseases.

I have also been concocting and feeding them magical all natural plant and supplement based formulas to help them bee healthy and resist their unwanted parasites and the viruses they vector.

Three years ago, after years of research I finally had 23 hives that had only 7% - 10% losses each Winter up here in the Northeast.

Just as I was about to go into breeder mode to spread superior bee genetics across the U.S., I was lied to about the use of pesticides where I was moving them to and all 23 hives died.

And then it happened again this past Fall when the neighbor, who I had been educating over the fence for 3 years about sustainable, organic bee keeping, and what I had been through, and the essential mutual inter-dependence we have with the bees, he was observed, and admitted to, spraying Roundup over the fence, directly onto the hives.

46 out of 50 hives were dead before winter. And all the equipment  and the honey in it is contaminated.

The girls are bursting at the seams and I don't have the money for equipment or supplements to build them up to make it through winter.

I started this post and Crowd Funding over a month ago, mom's been hospitalized, my computer crashed and my dog is dying, so I have just had a full plate.

Please visit:

Lots more details and pictures and links.

Thank you for supporting my research and collaboration with the bees. They occupy a vital little niche in our vision of Permaculture Paradise.

Karmic Brownie Points upon you! (Better than PIE?)
[Thumbnail for dead-bees-robber-screen.jpg]
Dead our hive last October after sprayed with roundup by neighbor
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Hives at Organic CSA before Spraying
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Hives next to neighbors fence before being sprayed with Roundup
Posts: 42
Location: Oklahoma Panhandle
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Sorry for you losses.  I have some questions though.

Are you sure it was roundup?

Why is the grass not dead in the picture with the dead bees?

If you have a neighbor problem why would you put the hives so close to the fence/property line?
Posts: 371
Location: East Central GA, Ultisol, Zone 8, Humid
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This is the second case I've heard of where roundup has been the most likely culprit to a bee kill. It's also (finally) been demonstrated to cause cancer in humans with occupational exposure and on agriculturally adjacent land.
Posts: 952
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I'm not promoting Roundup at all, but if it killed all the hives very fast, it was probably insecticide. How long did it take for them to die out?

Sorry about the bees. That must have been quite a shock.
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The same thing happened to me. Three years in a row 100% hive loss. The last year the hive was empty in October. As in No bees inside. I concluded that since I live with lots of corn raised near me that it was the neonicotide insecticides used on the nearby corn fields that caused the bees to get lost on their way home to the hive. So I gave up on beekeeping.
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Something is not right about this story. I don't doubt that this person's colonies died, but I am very skeptical about blaming the Roundup, which gets painted as a universal scapegoat. It is possible to kill bees with Roundup, but pretty much only by dousing them directly in it. When it kills it is the surfactant in it that smothers them, not the herbicide. You can just as quickly and easily kill bees using water with washing up liquid. Given that it needs direct application on to the bees it doesn't make sense that whole colonies would die of it; each individual bee would need to be sprayed, including those inside the hives that have never yet left on orientation flights or for foraging. Some other active agent is far more likely. It is well past the event now, but the appropriate way to handled suspected pesticide kill is to collect a sample of dead bees and send them off for testing.

Of course another alternative is that these disease resistant bees are not as resistant as the beekeeper thinks/hopes, and packed together as they are some disease has swept through and killed them. Nosema ceranae is a likely candidate, and can be tested for with a sample of bees.
Posts: 6951
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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We lost a hive that we are certain was due to the power company spraying an herbicide on the sumac while it was blooming, during the day while the bees were on the bushes....early July.  We started noticing locust sprouts dying and eventually the sumac.

Almost exactly three weeks later the bees were dead in front of the hive in a fan shaped pattern.  The odd thing was that the other hive survived.  Nothing proven, no tests as the hives weren't ours, a neighbor kept them on our land at the time.  It could be that the hive had been gradually dying off from the spray and we saw the last of them on the ground at the end.

This has been  ten years ago or so and I don't remember everything in detail.  I knew the name of the herbicide at the time and had done a lot of research on it.  It should never have been sprayed that time of year nor that time of day (and certainly not on our land as we were maintaining a right of way and had 'no farm' signs everywhere.  It wasn't the herbicide mentioned above (I refuse to give the brand airtime).  We left  all of the information with the new owners of our land as the battle with the power company was on going.  

We have no proof, just a story, but we have no doubt that the herbicide killed the bees.
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