The Plight Of The Honey Bee: Fact And Fiction

May 18, 2015

From: Forbes

A. Gary Shilling


What’s been the trouble with honey bees? All beekeepers obviously want to know, and they range from huge commercial beekeepers with 10,000 to 40,000 hives that they move vast distances to pollinate crops, to overgrown hobbyists like me with 100 colonies to backyard beekeepers with several hives. We all waited with bated breath for a report issued last year by a committee of leading etymologists from the U.S.D.A. and universities with major bee research such as Cornell, University of Maryland, Penn State and University of California-Davis.


It’s easy to conclude that all the problems in the world are man-made, regardless of the facts. In my office, I have a picture of a drone honey bee that was taken from his cell just before emergence and is therefore pure white. Attached to this bee are four small shiny red dots—Varroa mites. The picture is there to remind me that these little buggers are the honey bee’s enemy number one.

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