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Transgenic crops and honey bees

Transgenic crops were first introduced into the United States in 1996 and have become a major component of American agriculture. In a transgenic organism (also known as a genetically modified organism) some genes from one species are spliced into the chromosomes of another species. This is quite different from traditional plant or animal breeding in […] Read more

But bees did just fine without us for millions of years . . .

I frequently hear this argument for the “do nothing” form of beekeeping. Unfortunately, it is not a logical argument. For starters, bees did manage just fine without us for millions of years, but now they have “us” and that’s the problem. With “us” came pesticides, air pollution, contaminated water, habitat destruction, climate change, freeways, monocultures, […] Read more

Monoculture diets and honey bee health

As I mentioned in an earlier post, pollen is virtually the only source a colony has for protein, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. Colonies that pollinate large monocultures—such as almonds—have a severe lack of variability in their diets. Just as one fruit or vegetable doesn’t satisfy all your nutritional needs, one type of pollen is not […] Read more