pears and bees

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1bbqboy
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2005/03/30 09:59:58 (permalink)

pears and bees

http://www.dailytidings.com/2005/0329/032905n1.shtml
Though I live by pear orchards, I never realized they brought in "hired bees"
to do the essential work. Thought you guys would enjoy reading how your Harry & David pears start their time in the sun.
Bill
#1

31 Replies Related Threads

    GordonW
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/03/30 10:28:36 (permalink)
    Bee keeping -- apiculture -- is serious business. I have a brother who make a fair amount of spare change trucking bee hives around to farmers. And it's not just fruit -- cucumbers and stuff like that depends heavily on bees for pollination. Here in North Carolina, and a bunch of other places, mites are killing off bees; it's so serious a problem that the state is subsidizing people who want to get in to bee keeping.
    #2
    BT
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/03/30 12:56:44 (permalink)
    Saw a story last week about a Middle Eastern gentleman, a recent immigrant, whose business is to come around and corale "problem" bees which he then converts to honey production and/or pollination on a rental basis. Obviously, since the bees cost him nothing, he is doing well. Apparently he was a bee keeper back home and says bees and honey were valuable there and he was surprised the bees were free and the honey cheap here.

    Also, since the winter rains were unusually good (OK, that's not so good for me since I come here for the sun) here in the desert Southwest, we have had a wonderful wildflower season and that means a surplus of bees. They are currently madly buzzing aroujnd my lemon tree which is in flower. Guy on TV last night said there were over 3000 species of bees and 1000 of them live in the Southwest. Incidently, that DOES include so-called "killer bees".
    #3
    BT
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/03/30 15:27:39 (permalink)



    GREEN
    Urban Beekeepers are keeping the honeybee alive and well in San Francisco: read all about it at http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/g/a/2005/03/30/gree.DTL
    #4
    mayor al
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/03/30 16:36:15 (permalink)
    In my old Mayordom in Cajon Pass of SoCal there were several locations where 20-25 white boxes were set out each winter season. I wondered why since there is no agriculture within reasonable distance. I happened on the owner of one set of them when he was loading up in the Spring and asked...his reply is that he uses the site for 'winter hibernation'. Apparently those bees take it a little easy during the Off-Season, Jan-March, then go back to work spreading pollen and making Honey for the rest of the year in the Southern Desert (Imperial Valley area).
    That's the time of year we used to see the slowly moving sheep herds shuffling around the High Desert. I don't think that type of grazing will last much longer with the explosion of growth in that desert area.
    #5
    meowzart
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/03/30 16:41:21 (permalink)
    I always thought bee-keeping would be fun. I think it is just fascinating how it all works and you get all these wonderful flavors of honey from what the bee polinates. Maybe someday. Right now, I don't think my suburban neighbors would like me too much.

    Anybody have a subscription to National Geographic? A couple of years ago they did a terrific article on the people who truck their bees for pollination.

    Thanks for the link, Bill!
    #6
    tmiles
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/03/31 09:43:57 (permalink)
    The American bee industry is in serious decline, because the bees die off in bigger numbers every year. One solution being worked on, especially in Isreal, is the commercial use of bumblebees and other solitary bees. It sounds a little bit like, "the sky is falling" to me, but a few people think that the under reported bee problem is one of the biggest problems that we face in the USA today. Maybe some of the "tree huggers" are crazy, but I doubt that all of them are. I predict that we will all know more about the "bee problem" over the next few years. JMO
    #7
    Sundancer7
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/03/31 09:47:37 (permalink)
    I was driving south on I-5 during the Almond area and I noticed at the end of every row of trees, there was a hive of bees. As I recall, this was either late April or early May and the scent of almonds was wonderful. I am sure that they had employed the services of a bee keeper for polination.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #8
    GordonW
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/03/31 16:12:42 (permalink)
    A timely topic. Today, PBS radio had a feature on bees and their decline. The mites are even getting the "killer" bees from South America. The almond people in California are worried because they can't get enough bees.
    #9
    redtressed
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/03/31 16:51:19 (permalink)
    Buh, my maternal grandfather was a beekeeper. He got interested in it, after finding a bee colony in the wild , as a child. When I was a youngun' of 3 and 4 years old,(he died when I was 5) he started tutoring me about the bees. He would outfit me in one of his unwashed shirts he'd recently worn, along with all the other gear and take me out to the hives. His reasoning for the worn shirt was that it had his scent on it and it was familiar and trusted by the bees. I decided to disprove his theory,(at the insistence of an older brother) and wandered out to the hives geared up......but in my clothes and freshly laundered stuff. I approached the hives and was met with a large, angry buzzing, then a small swarm decided to chase my intruding butt away. After his death, someone came and got most of the bees, but apparently left some behind, for another colony built up in one of the hives. Unhappy with the lack of Buh's presence, they apparently went in search of he and his scent, eventually moving the whole colony into the walls of his home, where they remain in some number to this day. Sadly though, most of his fruit bearing bushes and trees died after the bees moved into the "Big House"." />
    #10
    MikeS.
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/04/02 06:16:43 (permalink)
    Having grown up in the central valley of Calif. I always thought bee farming was just a normal way of doing things. The farming side of the family was always talking about who to get for the almonds and the citrus. When they had the hives in for the citrus we always made sure to get some of that honey. Orange blossom honey is really the best, IMHO.

    MikeS.
    #11
    UncleVic
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/04/02 14:57:54 (permalink)
    Last year when my grandparents passed away, I had a chance to get into the bee "hobby". He had all the hives, frames, extractor, spare parts.. You name it, complete business opportunity.. Was a bit too much for me to haul so ended up selling it in the estate sale. I met a few "Pro" beekeepers and all the stories they had to tell. One of them hauls his hives in a semi truck (That many hives to set up). Was amazing... Well, I did end up keeping the Bee handbook (thick book all about everything relating to honey bees) in case I ever change my mind...
    #12
    mr chips
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/04/02 21:20:26 (permalink)
    Thanks for all the info guys. I had no idea this was part of agriculture.
    #13
    UncleVic
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/04/02 22:06:33 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by mr chips

    Thanks for all the info guys. I had no idea this was part of agriculture.


    Oh ya... Thats why gramps raised them bees.. Pollinate all his flowers, fruits, fruit trees, veggies... You name it.. (Then after all that work they thanked ya with an edible reward)..

    (In case you wish to persue it further: http://www.kelleybees.com/ )

    #14
    queenb
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/04/03 06:56:25 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by redtressed

    After his death, someone came and got most of the bees, but apparently left some behind, for another colony built up in one of the hives. Unhappy with the lack of Buh's presence, they apparently went in search of he and his scent, eventually moving the whole colony into the walls of his home, where they remain in some number to this day. Sadly though, most of his fruit bearing bushes and trees died after the bees moved into the "Big House"." />


    This is interesting...has anyone else ever heard of the old country custom of "telling the bees" when their keeper has passed? I read about it years ago;
    NOTE: A. remarkable custom, brought from the
    Old Country, formerly prevailed in the rural districts
    of New England. On the death of a member of the
    family, the bees were at once informed of the event,
    and their hives dressed in mourning. This ceremon-
    ial was supposed to be necessary to prevent the
    swarms from leaving their hives and seeking a new
    home.


    Here is the place; right over the hill
    Runs the path I took;
    You can see the gap in the old wall
    still.
    And the stepping-stones in the shal-
    low brook.

    There is the house, with the gate red-
    barred,
    And the poplars tall;
    And the barn's brown length, and the
    cattle-yard,
    And the white horns tossing above
    the wall.

    There are the beehives ranged in the
    sun;
    And down by the brink
    Of the brook are her poor flowers,
    weed-o'errun,
    Pansy and daffodil, rose and pink.

    A year has gone, as the tortoise goes,
    Heavy and slow;
    And the same rose blows, and the same
    sun glows,
    And the same brook sings of a year
    ago.

    There's the same sweet clover-smell in
    The breeze;
    All the June sun warm
    Tangles his wings of fire in the trees,
    Setting, as then, over Fernside farm.

    I mind me how with a lover's care
    From my Sunday coat
    I brushed off the burs, and smoothed
    my hair,
    And cooled at the brookside my brow
    and throat.

    Since we parted, a month had passed,
    To love, a year;
    Down through the beeches I looked at
    last
    On the little red gate and the well-
    sweep near.

    I can see it all now, the slantwise
    rain
    Of light through the leaves,
    The sundown's blaze on her window-
    pane,
    The bloom of her roses under the
    eaves.

    Just the same as a month before,
    The house and the trees,
    The barn's brown gable, the vine by
    the door,
    Nothing changed but the hives of
    bees.

    Before them, under the garden wall,
    Forward and back,
    Went drearily singing the chore-girl
    small,
    Draping each hive with a shred of
    black.

    Trembling, I listened; the summer sun
    Had the chill of snow;
    For I knew she was telling the bees of
    one
    Gone on the journey we all must go!

    Then I said to myself, "My Mary
    weeps
    For the dead to-day:
    Haply her blind grandsire sleeps
    The fret and pain of his age away."

    But her dog whined low; on the door-
    way sill,
    With his cane to his chin,
    The old man sat; and the chore-girl
    still
    Sung to the bees stealing out and in.

    And the song she was singing ever since
    In my ear sounds on:--
    "Stay at home, pretty bees, fly not hence!
    Mistress Mary is dead and gone!"
    John G Whittier
    #15
    1bbqboy
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/05/22 00:32:02 (permalink)
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/05/21/HOGIBCQN9Q1.DTL
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/05/21/HOGIBCQN9O1.DTL
    More on bees in San Francisco and California.
    Queenb, yours was an enlightening post. The things you learn around here.
    Thanks so much.
    #16
    1bbqboy
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/09/27 10:12:39 (permalink)
    http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2005/0926/biz/stories/01biz.htm
    more bee & honey news from the Rogue valley.
    #17
    mr chips
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/11/09 01:07:30 (permalink)
    Thanks for the update.
    #18
    tmiles
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    RE: pears and bees 2005/11/09 13:38:36 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2005/0926/biz/stories/01biz.htm
    more bee & honey news from the Rogue valley.


    CAUTION......I had a few problems after opening this. I'm sure that Bill didn't cause problems on purpose, but I have fairly good antivirus software (Panda) that didn't like it. The story will try to load some stuff onto your computer. Maybe somebody with more computer skill than I have can tell us what it tries to do.
    #19
    V960
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    RE: pears and bees 2006/06/20 20:48:24 (permalink)
    I raise two hives just for pollination. Apple trees, pears and plums just shut down after the mites hit us. Total PIA as the bees sting me like crazy.
    #20
    UncleVic
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    RE: pears and bees 2006/06/20 20:58:06 (permalink)
    960, you need to wear some protective gear there.. Sounds like you have an agressive family shacked up there..
    #21
    BhamBabe
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    RE: pears and bees 2006/06/20 21:54:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by tmiles

    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2005/0926/biz/stories/01biz.htm
    more bee & honey news from the Rogue valley.


    CAUTION......I had a few problems after opening this. I'm sure that Bill didn't cause problems on purpose, but I have fairly good antivirus software (Panda) that didn't like it. The story will try to load some stuff onto your computer. Maybe somebody with more computer skill than I have can tell us what it tries to do.


    Nope, loaded just fine with no warnings. I have zone alarm, and spyware blaster. You may have some adware or malware on your pc that loaded pop ups. Do a good cleaning of your pc and see if that gets rid of them. Google toolbar has a great pop up blocker and ccleaner is a good tool to get rid of adware, malware and cookies set by third companies. Google will bring those both up when you search, just be sure to update the ccleaner after you install.

    As for the bees. My papaw use to beekeep. I have one of his skeps as a decorative item in my home. I use to love to get a piece of comb when he dipped honey. Like gum!
    #22
    Jimeats
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    RE: pears and bees 2006/06/21 06:36:38 (permalink)
    According to the Boston Globe {tues. June 20} there is a real problem with the decrease in honey bees. There is a parasite that has cut the commercial hives by one third. About 20 years ago I was a small bee keeper 3 to 4 hives as a hobby. The only work to them was 2 times a year when you had to harvest the honey, and the occasional inspection of the hive. I had strong coloneys for about 5 or 6 years untill the hives got the tracheal mite, had them on tetramiacin but lost them anyway. After looseing the bees stacked up the hives behind a shead and forgot about them. About 4 years ago cleaning up that area I noticed bees comming and going from a discarded hive, and they are still there this season. I don't dare pull the hive, gave away my smoker and hood. If you don't work a hive the bees get agressive and mean. After yesterdays news artical I'll call the local inspector and let him do it. Hives in this state have to be licenced and inspected yearly, It's a good thing though. My guess you are going to see honey prices soar. So when you are at the market buy that extra jar while you can, it has and indefinate shelf life. I have about 20 lbs. on hand from my old hives and it's as good as the day it was harvested. The comb also keeps and it makes a great furniture polish and finnish restorer. Chow Jim
    #23
    tmiles
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    RE: pears and bees 2007/06/04 12:54:44 (permalink)
    I took a walk along a local rail trail yesterday. The clover along it is in full bloom. It was a little cool and cloudy, but in a normal year, there would have been a lot of bees. I saw ZERO honeybees. I did see one bumblebee in the almost 2 hours that I was on the trail.

    I saw in National Geographic that honeybees came to the new world with the Europeans. Nature, over here, got along without them before. Except for domestic (vs "wild" or feral) bees, we may run out of bees. I wonder what plants will go into decline due to lack of pollination?
    #24
    doggydaddy
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    RE: pears and bees 2007/06/04 13:15:29 (permalink)
    Here is a different perspective on the honey bee decline. I love this website, the gut knows everything..almost.

    http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mvanishingbees.htm

    mark
    #25
    Jimeats
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    RE: pears and bees 2007/06/06 07:44:26 (permalink)
    I still have a semi wild hive going, just an old stack of supers and frames. When I first heard of this ccd in late Feb or March I checked my rogue bees, still there, and appear to have a healthy colony going. I don't use any pesticides, but I'm sure my neighbors do their lawns look great.
    This hive I've never medicated for the mites just let it take it's course.
    My ex brother inlaw harvested about 15lbs. of honey last fall from this hive and plans another harvest later this month. It keeps the bees somewhat tame. He dose this with out any protective gear just a smoker, a better man than I.
    I found out I didn't have to register the hive because it's semi wild.
    We were discussing the ccd and thought it might be overrated, just another way to drive up the cost of a queen and the drones.
    We were jokeing about the cost of hives, it should be like housing, a lot of vacancys equals a lower price but that's not the case, they've gone up also. Chow Jim
    #26
    tmiles
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    RE: pears and bees 2007/07/27 10:16:29 (permalink)
    I have noted a large increase in the small bumblebees this summer. Perhaps they are expanding into the space left by the reduced honeybee population? I am no entomologist, but I note that we have at least 2 species of bumblebee up here. We have the beautiful and fairly uncommon large ones, and a lot (and now even more) of the small ones.
    The bumblebees seem to prefer red clover to white, so I was surprised that when checking one of my pastures, that the white clover has set a good crop of seeds. Something pollinated it.
    #27
    Ashphalt
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    RE: pears and bees 2007/07/27 10:49:35 (permalink)
    tmiles,

    I'm no expert, but I've also noticed more bumblers of the small variety. Also a lot more wasps (both numbers and varieties) and yellowjackets. I started moving our creeping thyme away from the front walk this year (although it doesn't want to move, hardy sucker) because of the honeybees. Now I've got more different buzzers, and seemingly no honeybees.

    It certainly does make one wonder what's going on.
    #28
    Sundancer7
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    RE: pears and bees 2007/07/27 12:18:36 (permalink)
    I saw honeybees in my yard today for the first time in several years. I have no idea where they came from.

    It is hard to tell bumble bees from carpenter bees. I hve to fight to keep the carpenter bees off my wood on my deck. They look very similar

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #29
    jmckee
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    RE: pears and bees 2007/07/27 12:51:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by UncleVic

    960, you need to wear some protective gear there.. Sounds like you have an agressive family shacked up there..



    My wife has had problems with an aggressive family. Also with bees.
    #30
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