Mes abeilles sont arrivées!

My bees came! I am so excited! I have put out their nest put them into their release straws. Hopefully the predators won't eat them before they hatch (Back off, Mitch! Not food! :-), In the next couple of weeks they'll start the next phase of their life-cycle: mate, pollinate, lay eggs, and die.

I have 30 cocoons to start with, but if all goes well, these thirty will multiply abundantly and I'll have over 200 cocoons to seed a new colony next year! These thirty look healthy and parasite-free. They were expensive to buy this way ( ~$1 per cocoon), but I had to start somewhere.

These little guys are just superior pollinators over honey-bees. In their life-span they'll pollinate up to 30,000 flowers. That's per bee! Honey-bees don't approach anything close to this in their life-span.

I also hope that they are less susceptible to the varroa mite, which is decimating California's honey-bee population right now. According the front page of the Merc a few weeks back, some apiarists have lost 40% of their hives to the mite this year alone.

Some farmers are having to rent melifera hives for $85 to $125 per hive! (Last year they hit $60) If you need 1000 hives, like the almond grower featured in the ariticle, you are going to have to cough up a lot of cash this year to get pollinators. Also, because the demand, apiaries are now targets for thiefs. Wierd. Stealing bees.

I also just read a novel approach to killing varroa, using fungus, though the merc article cast some doute on this method. It kills the mite, certainly, but not all hives deal with it the same. Honey-bees are notoriously neat. Sometimes, instead of speading the fungus around, they simply expel it.

One of these days, an almond grower is going to figure it out and use the BOB to pollinate his crops. With minimal start-up costs and not being at the mercy of the honey-bee industry, the benefits are enormous. Their yield will go through the roof and other growers will be forced to adopt BOB sto stay competitive. Or not. It would be neat, though.

3 Comments:

At 2/17/05, 11:24 PM, Blogger cxjo said...

"in amerrrica.. first u get the sugar, then u get the money, then u get the women.."

and

"to the bee-mobile!", "u mean your chevy?", "yes"

 
At 2/18/05, 12:39 PM, Blogger SPCTutors said...

That's a lot of G's for bees, but then again, the place must be buzzing...and that doesn't come cheap..unless your Bill Clinton

 
At 2/21/05, 10:59 AM, Blogger Crinis said...

I saw two of my bees emerge today! They were sooo pretty! I couldn't tell of they were the males or the females. The males emerge first. They hang out and wait for the chicks to come out a few days later. I saw a bee emerging and I ran to get Tammy. By the time we came back, the bee was gone. She then screamed, because there was this giant bug sitting on the nest! A big fuzzy, metalic blue bee! A few minutes later, his sibling emerged from the same straw and buzzed Tammy. I hope they don't get eaten and they stay to next out the bee condo I put out for them.

 

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