what is CCD? “colony collapse disorder”

What is it about that title?
Hmmmm…….. ED Erectile dysfunction, RLS restless leg syndrome, ADD Attention deficit disorder.
One thing I have noticed about human nature is that we need to identify, label and vilify the “disorder” so that we can blame someone else, create a patented wonder drug complete with research funding to solve the problem, and of course get bailout funding.
Take for example, the other day I’m in Wal-mart sitting on a bench waiting for my lovely wife. I can hear on the pre-recorded background noise coming from the pharmacy that “dry mouth is a treatable condition”. I was shocked to hear the announcer say that “it might be treatable by sipping water or using [their product].” Go figure!
Let me say that I realize we all have our disorders, from trouble in the bedroom- to me not being able to pay attention for more than 3 seconds. However I’m a bit disappointed in how quickly we are lured into drug or chemical treatments, rather than looking to nature for the answers.
A little about myself. I am not a formally educated guy (my ADD and ADHD prevented that) however I am a student of nature and human nature. I keep bees and teach sustainable beekeeping workshops on our 35 acre homestead in the Ozarks that we like to call Bee Landing. So take me for what I am, knowing full well that my research is because I am intensely curious and not because I am funded by big industry and big government.
So….what is CCD?
In my opinion, it is our monoculture society and mentality. We have altered the honey bee and the bee hive to a degree that we have weakened them and made them more susceptible to diseases that they could normally fend off themselves. To add insult to injury, we have sent them out to gather pollen and nectar in a toxic environment– like orchards with insect disorders that need to be sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, and other cides.
How have we altered the bee and hive from what nature intended? Here are my top 3 concerns:
Super Size Me Disorder: In commercial beekeeping the bees are substantially larger than they are in nature. On my blog you can see a more in-depth article on this subject. To summarize, larger cell size has allowed mites (another disorder) to run rampant through the hives of the world. Incidentally, you can guess what is used to combat this problem—not common sense or a studying of the bees but a miteicide.
Thinking Inside the Box Disorder: The hive is designed more for the convenience of the beekeeper than for the bees. We have taken them out of their hollow log, rock crevices, and other found habitats and confined them to square squat boxes. Which means they can no longer build their long and elegant catenary arched styled comb which can be measured in feet, not inches. I’m still trying to learn how confinement affects the bees.
Kissing Cousin Disorder and/or Geographically Challenged Disorder: The bees are mass bred (artificially inseminated) in the southern states and dispersed around the country. This reduces genetic diversity and creates a situation ripe for disaster. Weakened genetics, I feel, are a large part of our current bee “crisis”.
So…what am I doing and what do I recommend you do about it? Stop doing things for the bees! Just stand back and watch nature. Stop all chemical treatments, and let the bees live or die on their own. The bees that live are your breading stock, the bees that die are no longer in your gene pool.
Go local! If you are not into keeping bees, then get to know and support your local natural beekeeper, and if you are a beekeeper buy your bees from an existing natural beekeeper as close to you as possible.

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One Response to “what is CCD? “colony collapse disorder””

  1. Congratulations on this contribution. I have out it on our facebook page and I wish you that millions read it – of course, beekeepers hate hearing this kind of thing, certainly around here it is astonoshing how much you get attacked as a natural beekeeper by your dear colleagues. lets hope that the truth about the ailing bees will be stronger in the end than our human ignorance and greed.

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