[Science] Article: What happened to the Bees this Spring

I hesitate to publish this one under a Science title, but Randy Oliver is injecting some of his own research (unpublished and not peer-reviewed) and not all science is technically done under the peer-review process.  Not having created another title header for it just yet, I'm going to go ahead and use it anyway.

I noticed an interesting article today (April 19th, 2013) authored by Randy Oliver, a noted Biologist and Beekeeper.  Here's the link as it's published on Oliver's Scientific Beekeeping site:


There has been a lot of hype about the recent bee colony losses of this last winter and here Oliver loads up all the bullets in his revolver and takes aim at it.  The document is made up in two parts, and in the second part he seems to take a short aside to set the record straight on Neonicotinoids and a few other "Myths", after which he makes the case for cold weather and drought to be the main and likely culprits.

Like everyone else, I suffered with great losses this winter as well.  My honey flows weren't great but they weren't terrible and all hives went into winter with plenty of honey and still have plenty of honey leftover in them.  But in my particular area the cold never let up once it set in.  Usually we get a short week or two of an "Indian Summer", around January, and the bees can get out for cleansing flights.  That didn't happen this year.  Colonies were locked inside their hives due to very fridged arctic cold conditions nearly all winter.  When I was able to finally take a peek under the lids, it was a disaster.  Feces everywhere in the deadouts.  I pulled out my microsope and tested my remaining colonies and all of them had very high Nosema counts.

For me the conclusions were simple this year.  What was everyone elses experience?

The Dan Rather report, "Buzzkill", which is referenced by Oliver, can be watched here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ5riRX1_3w


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