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View Diary: Florida citrus grower gets slap on the wrist after killing millions of honeybees (140 comments)

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  •  Commercial beekeepers (3+ / 0-)

    Need to place bees near nectar producing crops. Citrus is is a major nectar source, thus beekeepers will put bees in citrus groves due to economic necessity.

    They don't have much of a choice. Orange trees, for example, bloom in April, which is a great early start for honey production in the early spring.

    Since citrus farmers don't pay for pollination services, they don't often feel any great allegiance to bees out of sheer ignorance.

    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

    by ZhenRen on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 05:39:47 PM PDT

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    •  These weren't pollination service apiarists? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZhenRen, ichibon, Turbonerd

      The grove owner didn't contract their services for pollination?  I thought they were transported in strictly for pollination purposes.  They do that in a lot of the country.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:17:14 PM PDT

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      •  Citrus farmers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dougymi, greenalley

        don't have to pay for pollination. The beekeepers are glad to put their bees in citrus groves for free during the honeyflow. Crops vary in terms of need for pollination. While citrus does benefit from bees, it isn't so vital that they will contract for bee hives.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:42:52 PM PDT

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        •  aha... thanks for the info! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen

          I'm familiar with beekeeping here in the north because of family, plus I did a bit of it when I was young, but not so much in the south.  Citrus is a different animal than what I'm used to.

          I appreciate your insight.

          A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

          by dougymi on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 07:53:03 PM PDT

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        •  But... (0+ / 0-)

          But don't the beekeepers resent having their bees die because of it?  Wouldn' t that make them not do it next year if they still have any bees?  Or not pollinate unless they get a promise of no spraying for at least while the bees are there?  
          Are the bees capable of refusing to go where their compatriots died before?  

          •  Sure they resent it (0+ / 0-)

            But it is hard to avoid. These pesticides are ubiquitous. Beekeepers know this. In fact, pesticides are a factor beekeepers have put up with for decades. The neonics are worse because they are systemically expressed in the pollen and nectar, but still, pesticides are a factor that beekeepers have long endured.

            So they tend to live with it. If a grower becomes notorious, beekeepers might avoid such a grower, but there will probably be a new beekeeper (or new to the region)  who comes along and puts bees in the grove. Orange blossoms secrete a great, tasty, abundant nectar which is very profitable to beekeepers.

            Beekeeping is a complicated form of agriculture. It's difficult to briefly explain how it all works from a commercial perspective.

            Read some of my other comments in the comment section. I explain all this in detail.

            Oh, and yes, bees will go right back to the blossoms, even if their compatriots died before from that source.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 11:06:44 PM PDT

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