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Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - Farmer in the field

Silence In Fields!

22 Jul 15
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Silence In Fields!

Farmers report there is quiet silence in their farms, fields and gardens.   In past years, when they would go out in the early mornings to harvest their farm, there could always be heard the “humming” of the busy honeybees as the rest of the world is quiet.   As they look around, they see the source of all kinds of pollinating insects on the plant flowers but the “humming” is not there.  This has happened over time and today years later as they sit on their tractors and farm equipment they listen for the “humming” it cannot be heard.   They sit and look for the signs of pollination on the the flowers and vegetation there are very few pollinators to be found.  There are other pollinating insects such as butterflies and praying mantis but very few honey bees, the source of the “humming”. The plants are loaded with flowers, which are healthy and vivacious but many of these flowers just will not turn into fruit to produce food.


These farmers also realize the yield of produce from this gardens and farms is dramatically off.  Many farmers plant Zinnias and other flowers placed in the garden to attract pollinators but these are also showing low in being pollinated and are lacking in flowering.  Farmers are also reporting their personal yearly stores are also off by a tremendous amount including, what they can, freeze, sell, share with others and ingest.


The opinion of local and worldwide farmers is the disease Colony Collapse Disorder and it appears to be showing up on their local farms and gardens.   Colony Collapse Disorder is the phenomenon occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear.   They leave behind a queen, plenty of food and too few nurse bees to care for the remaining eggs/immature bees.   According to research on this subject, this mysterious disease affects honey bees and results in entire colonies just disappearing!


Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - A few dead bees in the hive


Berks and Schuylkill Beekeepers Association - Varroa mite on a honeybee

No one seems to know the exact cause, yet it does appear to be a worldwide problem but many speculate pesticides are to blame.  It is also believed the Varroa Mites could be a factor in this as well. The farmers believe the reduction in bees accounts for the great impact on local produce in local garden farms.


This has been slowly coming on and farmer’s yields have been down slightly in the past several years but it seems 2014-2015 has been worse. It is obvious to them something is very wrong!   What can be done to save the bees from this big problem?   Whatever the cause, I believe this is very serious!  Let’s get the fields and gardens “humming” again!   Our future depends upon this. Could you be a backyard Beekeeper? Our bee association would be happy to help you become a new beekeeper!


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