Chop Wood Carry Water Plant Seeds is a blog about Self-Sufficient Homesteading. How can we live by creating a sustainable bio-diverse world, instead of by consuming and destroying the only one we have? What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Honeybee Population Zero

Albert Einstein once said: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!” He wasn’t an entomologist, but entomologists around today agree that the sudden and mysterious disappearance of bees from their hives poses serious problems!
Bits and pieces of information about farmers’ concerns for bee disappearance (or colony collapse disorder) in 24 states around the U.S. have bubbled up to the surface, over the last year and a half, but hardly any large-scale media attention has been drawn to this potentially serious problem. Recently bees have gone missing from hives around Europe as well. The East Coast of the U.S. is reporting a 70% loss in commercial bee hive habitation, the West Coast 60%; these figures are staggering.


  1. One should remember that honey bees as we know them were imported to North America to pollinate lucerne (alfalfa) which was also imported from Northern Europe along with dairy cows. As a beekeeper I try to remember that I am helping to support the continuance of what some would consider an invasive species here. As in most human endeavors we tend to manage things for the gratification of the human rather than the betterment of those that we manage.

    Losses in the Pacific Northwest of America have been heavy and I have had losses as high as 50%, but the bees seem to be recovering well when human intervention is minimal. This past year we have suffered excessive swarming which I hope is repopulating wild hives in trees and other locations which will return some balance after sever winter losses a few years past.

    In the past I have worked for a number of large commercial bee operations, but currently I keep a dozen or fewer hives primarily for research rather than honey production. It has been evident in my hives that the biggest improvement in hive health has been through the elimination of commercial foundation. I believe that many beekeepers are beginning to understand that using contaminated wax and forcing cell size have been two factors that have added considerable stress to colonies inside the hive when they have also had considerable environmental stress from outside the hive. Sometimes I believe that the human tendency to meddle in things is our greatest fault. Oh well, it is in our nature to meddle and fuss and learn.

    The more I learn about my bees the less I find that I know which is as it should be. :-) Keep up the good work.

    Oregon - USA

    1. Thank you John for such a nice post :) I just started beekeeping in May this year and keep learning about it over at and as well as by simply watching the bees in my hives :) I feel Im on the right Path by letting the bees be bees and let them guide me rather than the other way arround. Besides the fondation being bad I would also add often hive inspection which adds to more stress. I prefer low intereferance beekeeping.
      Be well