Saturday, August 18, 2012

Backyard Apiaries: The Best Fight Against CCD

 So I have written many articles so far about CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, in this blog. Today though I am going to focus on what is probably the best chance of fighting back against CCD. That is The Backyard Apiary.

I interviewed one backyard apiary keeper Matthew R., who had this to say. "We noticed the first year that our garden produced a lot more veggies, the bees are very active in there! We live in town and they do not bother the neighbors, my kids and I walk back and inspect them almost daily without gear on and do not get stung. I do suit up when I am going to be working in the hive though. Despite the drought, which is the worst I have ever experienced, I am going to have a awesome draw off the hives this year!! I can't wait!!!I had a hive die last year during the winter, I believe the queen was old and they didn't make it through the winter, I found no sign of disease. I highly recommend a backyard hive, the benefits from the added pollination and the honey you harvest will not only be profitable, but also helps with allergies. If it wasn't for backyard beekeepers, and believe me, there are more than you can imagine, pollination would be so extremely bad that food production would drop drastically and grocery prices would increase tremendously."

Thank you Matthew R. I agree because everything in the research I have looked into showed  that CCD is caused by a mixture of pesticide contamination, genetic engineering and filler foods which when combined over the last 20 or so years have created a species of honey bee that is susceptible to almost any disease it comes across. These bees have almost no immune system. However the more backyard apiaries there are the better the chances become of breeding enough healthy bees to get stocks up. However unless commercial beekeepers or commercial farmers get on board it will never fully defeat CCD. In just the last 2 years the loss numbers have doubled from 30% to 60%.
So you are reading this and you decide... "I would like to start a backyard apiary". Well how do you go about that? According to a website I found called Backyard Beekeeping, there are steps you can take to keep bees even in a city. They recommend having a fenced in yard. This forces the bees to fly above people's heads and allows for them to be out of the sight line of neighbors who might not like a ton of bees flying at them. They also recommend a bird bath or other water source, as bees need to collect water. They also say that to help swarm control you can make sure all your queens are under 1 year. This will allow for a strong hive but with a young queen they are less likely to swarm. The last thing is just to make sure there is enough good fresh food for the bees, such as clover, fruit trees, fruit and vegetable flowers etc.
So if you have any inclination to be a beekeeper (as Eddie Izzard says "I want to be a bee keeper.. I want to keep beees!") I think you should try it. To keep a small hive doesn't cost much and can be very rewarding in many ways to you, as well as helping stop CCD. Plus it may even become a source of income for your family. Matthew R.'s honey will soon be available for sale at a store in their town. I will update you on what store that is so that you can support them if you live there.
So there it is... bees are so very helpful to us, they hold our future in their tiny hands (feet) and  a backyard apiary is the first step to helping protect them from CCD.

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