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Author Topic: The Almond pollination Rodeo  (Read 442 times)

Offline CoolBees

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The Almond pollination Rodeo
« on: February 13, 2020, 12:29:40 pm »
Driving thru the Almond orchards yesterday on Hwy 5, I observed something ... weird ...

As I approached, I saw a guy in a full-body bee suit walk up to a group of hives and begin ransacking them - he was tossing hive parts in all directions. As I drove past him (on the highway), I saw another group of hives (already) destroyed, and then another group, and another, etc.

I counted in excess of 200 hives destroyed.

These were hives set along the edge of a large almond orchard for Pollination. (It seems that hives are set in groups of 24 hives every 200 yards or so, along the orchards.) I counted at least 9 "groups" of hives totally ransacked (216 hives) as I drove by. Hive bodies, lids, frames, strewn about like piles of rubbish, where the day before, good hives had stood.

I can't begin to understand a reason for this - but the guy appeared "calm as a cucumber" as he did it - so there must be a reason.

I would like to have stopped to get a picture of the mess, but I was driving in heavy traffic, and couldn't risk it. The guy didn't seem concerned about the traffic flowing by him on the highway.

That was at 5:30 pm yesterday. I would guess that the carnage can still be seen this morning - on the east side of highway 5 (north) between Panoche Rd and the hwy 165 cutoff (to Los Banos, ca). I'm curious as to the reason for it.

Here's a picture of what one of those "groups" of hives looks like - normally ...

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... 3 stacks of 4 hives per pallet, stacked double deep (8 per stack).
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Offline Seeb

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2020, 01:06:37 pm »
I searched to see if anything showed up in the news and only found this from a few weeks ago:

"Authorities are investigating the theft of nearly 100 beehives from an orchard in northern California. The beehives, which are used to pollinate almond orchards, were discovered missing on Friday, beekeeper Mike Potts said. He estimated that the theft of the 92 hives, about a third of his operation, would cost him about $44,000 in revenue."

Let us know if you find out, I want to know too
The edge . . . there is no honest way to explain it, because the only people who really know where it is, are the ones who have gone over.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2020, 04:20:46 pm »
https://www.foxnews.com/us/vandals-suspected-after-200000-honeybees-killed-100-hives-destroyed-in-california

Year 2018, so not the incident Cool refers to, however, article describes senseless destruction of 100 hives of honeybees by vandals.  Google has many articles of senseless destruction of hives as well as hive theft.  Some vandals caught, some not found.

What Mr. Cool, Allan describes in subject is senseless to me, I can see no rational.

Van
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2020, 04:29:19 pm »
Couple of possibles...

1. Owner lost his temper in frustration that they were all deadouts

2. Crazy Person on drugs

3. Anti-monoculture eco-terrorist

4. Ex-spouse

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2020, 04:50:59 pm »
I like number 4, Ex-spouse

Allan, question.  In your picture, what is the brown zone, brown earth close to the trees whereas green grass is away from orchard?   I am talking about the dead grass? a line of dead, brown vegetation in front of the hives, giving way to plush green foliage.

Herbicides? 
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline CoolBees

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2020, 06:12:41 pm »
I like number 4, Ex-spouse

Allan, question.  In your picture, what is the brown zone, brown earth close to the trees whereas green grass is away from orchard?   I am talking about the dead grass? a line of dead, brown vegetation in front of the hives, giving way to plush green foliage.

Herbicides?

"Ex-spouse" - that is funny!  :cheesy:

Van - I looked at the original picture  (prior to downsizing for Beemaster) - what your seeing is last year's standing-dead vegetation - tall dead weeds partway between where I took the picture from and the hives, that someone didn't mow.

With that said, orchards cover the central valley of California, to the tune of 100's of 1,000's of acres. It is rare to see weeds growing in most these orchards. I've often commented  (to anyone that would listen) regarding the massive amount of chemicals used on these commercial orchards.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline CoolBees

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2020, 06:16:43 pm »
Following up on my last comment Van: I don't know if you can see in this pic, but there is nothing green growing under the almond trees.

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You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2020, 07:51:18 pm »
Aerosol effect from spraying of 100,000 acres of land, that is basically bare land with trees, no grass or sub terrain.  Chronic lung problems, asthma:  Allen do you see any correlation of the mentioned health problems in sprayed areas.

The honeybees appear to have adapted, somewhat, as determined by the returning bee hives to Arkansas by beeks that I talk with.  That is, friends that send bees to California for almonds pollination.  I am not saying there is no effect to the bees by all the spraying of who knows what all.  I am just saying the bees appear to live through it, but I got to question the after effects???

Thanks for the pic, CoolBees.
Bless the Beekeepers.  Dealing with venomous insects takes courage, patience, dedication and a desire to be with nature.

Offline Troutdog

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2020, 01:20:56 pm »
Sounds like a territory war on the beekeeper that moved in

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Offline Troutdog

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2020, 01:26:41 pm »
The almond pollen is quite good

The fungicides are the problem.
You don't see the effects for a few weeks. Especially returning home that stress and the fungicide is rough. Then most beekeepers treat for mites so add some amitraz 12% and presto begins the collapse. 4 weeks  later apples then blue berries then cranberries then pumpkins and go and collect your 150 dollars in insurance and buy another couple of tractor trailer loads.
Pretty much get what they deserve.


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Offline Acebird

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Re: The Almond pollination Rodeo
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2020, 07:14:07 pm »

I would like to have stopped to get a picture of the mess, but I was driving in heavy traffic, and couldn't risk it. The guy didn't seem concerned about the traffic flowing by him on the highway.

If no one is willing to stop and record the event then he can do what he wants.
Brian Cardinal
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