Tonight we went along to a lecture by Gilles Ratia – World President of Apimondia. Apimondia is the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations.
Check out their web site at apimondia.org
The lecture was about the declining bees and CCD. He discussed the ten possible causes. Which were:-
- Bee Diet
- Colony Management
- Diseases, viruses and parasitism
- Other exogenous pollutions
- Other endogenous pollutions
- Climate changes
- Synergies between factors
- Single still unknown factor
A disturbing fact that shocked most attendees was that most of the new generation of pesticides are over 7000x more toxic than older pesticides such as DDT!
Gilles brought up the connection between intensive farming and intensive beekeeping. Plus the lack of proper testing conducted by chemical companies on the effect of their products on the honey bee. Yet again, it all seems that profit is more important than the environment.
It was a very interesting discussion, I encourage you to have a look at the full presentation listed below.
Here is a link to the PDF file of the presentation http://www.beekeeping.org/articles/us/possible_factors_bee_losses_gilles_ratia.pdf
It wasn't all doom and gloom, he also discussed organic beekeeping, and encouragingly lower bee losses in this sector.
After a lovely supper, Gilles discussed his travels around the world on his motorbike, and showed some fantastic photos. He talked of the various methods that beekeepers in different countries used – due to climatic conditions often requiring alternative beekeeping practices, whilst also consulting with the beekeepers on other possible management practices.
The photos were fascinating, it was interesting to see how other cultures keep bees.
You can check out Gilles travels at http://www.worldbees.com/
A great night indeed, our thanks to Maureen Maxwell from the National Beekeepers Association and Kim Kneijber and Carol Downer from the Auckland Bee Club for arranging an interesting and informative evening.