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News stories tagged with "bees"

Beekeeper Phil Laflamme. Photo: Lucy Martin
Beekeeper Phil Laflamme. Photo: Lucy Martin

Beekeeper Phil Laflamme on current challenges

Bees and the problems they face have been newsworthy for some time now. Efforts to understand that issue have included a well-attended seminar in Perth, Ontario on ways to bring pollinator populations back.

One of the speakers at that event was Phil Laflamme, who's been raising bees and queens for nearly 40 years. While it's something he loves, he's less sure beekeeping is right for just everyone. Laflamme spoke with Lucy Martin at the farm-tour segment of the seminar in mid-September.  Go to full article
Bee keeper Dick Crawford (R) shows his hives to North Country Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)  Photo: Brian Mann
Bee keeper Dick Crawford (R) shows his hives to North Country Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) Photo: Brian Mann

For North Country beekeepers, death and questions

We've been hearing a lot lately about honeybee mortality and big die-offs and fears about things like Monsanto's genetically modified corn.

A report issued last October by the US Department of Agriculture found that "overall losses" for commercial beekeepers in the U.S. continue to be high, and described hive collapse as a mystery.

Farm experts say the loss of honeybees could threaten the pollination needed for a wide range of crops, including the apple orchards that grow in the Champlain Valley.  Go to full article
Ted Elk scrapes honey off the comb.  (Photo: Julie Grant)
Ted Elk scrapes honey off the comb. (Photo: Julie Grant)

Traditional Work, Pt. 5: Master beekeeper says the job has gotten more challenging

This week and next, North Country Public Radio is exploring the lives of people who do traditional work. These are arts and types of industry that people would have been using to make a living in our region a century ago, or even longer. Ted Elk has been a beekeeper for nearly 20 years - with hives from Clayton, to Evans Mills, to Fort Drum. He says it's become much more labor intensive in that time. Julie Grant visited him Hammond.  Go to full article
Photo: Thomas Seeley
Photo: Thomas Seeley

Bee expert sees lessons in hive democracy

As the Republican primary marches forward, researcher Thomas Seeley is reminded of his work with honeybees. That might sound odd, but Seeley has spent decades studying the relationships in a hive, and says bees have an even longer history than human beings of making decisions democratically. Dr. Seeley is giving a public talk tonight at St. Lawrence University.

He spoke yesterday with Julie Grant about new research that points to certain pesticides as the major reason for the death of bees around the world. Seeley also explained how honeybees decide where to build a new hive, and how that's similar to our own democratic process.  Go to full article
Ted Elk scrapes honey off of a comb.  Yum!  Photos: Julie Grant
Ted Elk scrapes honey off of a comb. Yum! Photos: Julie Grant

Tough times for bees

We get one of every three bites of food from crops pollinated by bees. That's about $15 billion into the U.S. economy each year. But North Country beekeepers are losing huge numbers of their little, busy coworkers.

Apiarists (beekeepers) from around the country--and the world--have been dealing with what's called Colony Collapse Disorder. It's been around for five years now.

Julie Grant visited with some beekeepers, and reports that scientists and the government don't agree on what should be done to help them.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: More About Bees

Bees need to be warm in order to fly. That's usually not a problem, since it takes millions of round trips to flowers to make a pound of honey. But should they fall idle long enough to cool down, bees fire up their wing muscles by shivering. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley, with more about bees.  Go to full article
Honey bees at a Squeak Creek Apiaries hive
Honey bees at a Squeak Creek Apiaries hive

A busy summer for bees

It was two years ago that beekeepers began reporting losing 30 to 90 percent of their hives. The phenomenon has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Nationwide, beekeepers have lost 36 percent of their managed colonies this year, compared to 31 percent in 2007. "No bees, no crops," was a common phrase heard earlier this summer at a House Agriculture subcommittee meeting in Washington. Farmers and business owners say food prices could rise even more unless the mysterious decline in honey bees is solved. But that devastating illness, called CCD, hasn't affected North Country hives as much as other parts of the country, although it has made an appearance. Todd Moe spoke to a couple of beekeepers who are expecting a good honey harvest this year.  Go to full article

Guerrilla beekeepers to the rescue

Honeybees are dying. Sometimes entire hives are dying and scientists can't figure out exactly why. Some people are trying to help, and one of the ways they're helping is by becoming beekeepers. Rebecca Williams reports there are some beekeepers who actually raise bees in big cities.  Go to full article

Beekeeper looks long-term

Without bees, close to one third of the food supply could be disrupted. Roughly $12 billion of existing U.S. agricultural activity would be at risk, some $200 million in New York State alone. And no more honey either. So when beekeepers in Europe and the U.S. began reporting massive and mysterious die-offs last year, it quickly became big news. A new term was coined: "Colony Collapse Disorder." Mark Burninghausen's bees produce Squeak Creek Honey in St. Lawrence County. He told Lucy Martin that there's no simple answer to colony collapse.  Go to full article

Bee colony collapse mystery

Scientists are scrambling to find out why honey bee populations are collapsing. As Lester Graham reports, there are a lot of theories. Some of them are getting more attention than others.  Go to full article

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