Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Is this more evidence of neonicotinoid poisining?

Professor Dave Goulson is a respected UK bee researcher and has just published further evidence of the harm neonicotinoid pesticides may be doing to bumblebees.  Every time I see an article on the research being done into neonicotinoid pesticides and it's effect on bees it does not supporting the use of these systemic chemicals.

ee collects pollen from a cherry tree in village Studencice, Slovenia

The chemical companies state that the research does not mimic real field conditions, yet they have no credible field research data themselves that proves their chemicals are safe.  If it were easy to do then I guess the likes of Bayer and Syngenta would and should be doling this.  They haven't!

Here is a link to the latest news...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Deep Winter Peek!

I heard grave news from the Gardens...  My surviving hive had no visible activity over the "warmer" days we had this past weekend.  So it was with some trepidation that I went there yesterday lunchtime (January 14) to see if the reports were true; that this hive had succumbed to the cold.

My hives at home had been flying over the weekend, albeit one more than the other, so I knew it wasn't too cold for flying. But I had fed these hives a couple of weeks ago so perhaps this fuel could have kept them going.  I had not managed to feed the hive at the Gardens.

So I went to the gardens armed with some mush (4lbs sugar to 1 cup water) thinking I could put emergency food above the cluster if I needed to.  Anyway, I got the Gardens; it was windy and cold.  Once at the hive I noticed a solitary bee circulating in front of the entrance.  Was this a bee from the hive, or one from somewhere else? I couldn't tell.  I lifted up the back of the hive.  It seemed heavy enough.  So I cracked the inner cover (which I can do directly as the outer cover is on top of some insulating board) and there I saw a quite large cluster of bees - clearly alive. Phew!  A sigh of relief!

It was too cold and windy to do anything stupid like open the hive and disrupt the cluster so I am simply happy to know that there are live bees in the hive - quite a number - and there also seem to be resources available.  I closed up the hive and will come back another (warmer) time, with my mush!

This Sunday looks like it will be the day.