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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5 Responses 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.

  2. Don says:

    Just wanted to make a comment on your observation –

    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.


    This aspect of our modern living… the turning to pharmaceutical answers to everything… when it gets to sipping water for dry mouth or just buy our patented drug as the answer i think it shows we finally hit the extreme degree with this model and way of living. Sort of like the alcoholic that hits the bottom who is co-dependant on a society that is living in denial.

    I just want to say that many people are offended when someone references the unique collection of books called The Bible. But years ago i was part of a two and half year study of the last book in the collection. An interesting comment was made about the various signs of the times was that in the last days “sorcery” would be worldwide. The word was translated from the original in the King James version from an orginal meaning that was “pharmacopea”. The use of drugs back then was more associated with those who practiced sorcery because drugs have always been used to influence and control people, environments, animals, etc. The sorcerers were the ones who had the knowledge of the drugs because they used pharmacopea as a strategy. Even though the book was written two thousand years ago, it is a chilling predictive description of our modern enlightened world where there is now a drug for everything and everyone. No wonder that Someone is going to be needed to step in before we destroy the entire living world!

    It was our calling to get in harmony with the creation that was provided to us to learn the wonders and joys of the manifold wisdom of God which is EXACTLY what you are doing with the bees. Whether you realize it or not!

    Thank you for your work on sustainable bee knowledge. I have a strong feeling that all of our problems in this world IF they have a patented drug anywhere in the picture IS the problem! We need to get back to communicating, cooperating and collaborating with they way things are and were intended to be instead of using drugs to try to control and influence people, environments and animals, etc….

    When will people open their eyes and see what has become of us?

    So Bee Colony Collapse is just another modern myth… thank you for explaining that to everyone… i can imagine some drug company now working on a chemical solution to treat the problem they caused with other drugs… That truly seems to be the way of this world!

    Thanks for listening. Your work is more important than some of the people getting Nobel prizes because you are on the right path, with the right attitude and you are helping others to the right thing too!


  3. Don,

    I appreciate your comments, and find them interesting. several weeks ago there was a new “discovery” that CCD was a virus, then several day later someone published an investigation that the “discovery” was funded by Bayer (the pesticide people). I’m guessing that the big pharmaceutical companies are rushing to find the chemical cure for CCD.


  4. Liz Daley says:

    I just recently found your site and I am very interested in what you are saying. I keep bees in Southern New Jersey along the coast. I do not feed or treat and have success so far, I am two years into this. Do you treat for varroa at all?

  5. Hi Liz,

    No I don’t treat for anything. The best defense against varroa is naturally sized bees who are not feed sugar or HFCS. To mimic nature you must develop a strong stock through natural selection, you simply let the weak die and split the strong.

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