Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Silver Lining...

If there is anything good that has come from CCD, it is the way the media has portrayed the hobby of beekeeping. There is a repeat of a good piece about CCD on 60 Minutes tonight, and there was an article in The Examiner that really put hobby beekeeping in a good light.

As beekeepers use antibiotics or chemicals in the fight against mites or viruses, the overall ability to fight off infection declines, entomologists say. Commercial beekeepers, particularly, may turn to antibiotics because they can't risk losing bees.

But hobbyists can. And that means the bees they raise - and that survive - are stronger and will withstand whatever is decimating commercial bees. These bees, known as "survivor bees," could prove to be the saviors, some bee experts believe.

"We need the smaller beekeepers, and it's a fascinating hobby," said Ken Kloepper, president of the St. Clair Beekeepers Association in Illinois. "They can provide a great service to their communities. We need new young blood to keep this thing going."

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