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Bee Wranglers

Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2008, at 8:02 AM

A news article about a freeway closing in California caught my eye the other day and I thought I ask you folks for help figuring out part of the story. It seems that a truck loaded with bees bound for Washington state overturned and closed the major highway for several hours.

The accident responders had to deal with being stung as they tried to upright the truck and help the injured driver. Police and rubberneckers got attacked as millions of bees swarmed around their former home on the truck.

Now in case you don't know it yet, bees are shipped all over the country to help pollinate crops. Some areas have seen their bee populations disappear for no apparent reason, so some enterprising folks came up with the idea of renting bee colonies to growers in these areas. It often means the difference between a viable operation and having a going out of business auction for the growers renting one of natures best pollen spreaders.

The article reported that local bee wranglers showed up to help recover the stinging insects, so my question to you is...what EXACTY does a bee wrangler do? Do they chum with honey? Fly around in ultra light aircraft and herd the bees home? How about an army of folks with nets capturing them to be placed in special bee containers? Maybe they just run around waving their arms to scare the bees home? Maybe the wranglers use teenie lasso's and are real good? And for that matter, do the bees consider a hive on the back of a truck their home anyway, or perhaps did most of them exclaim "We're Free!", and flew the coop... er... I mean hive?

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I don't think city slicker was saying that the current "hive collapse syndrome" was CAUSED by the nation's commercial pollination industry. He was saying that that BECAUSE of the hive collapse syndrome, the ag industry has had to import bees to help pollinate crops. You'd probably be surprised at how many people in this "neighborhood" know very little about agriculture as a whole. At least city slicker has the credibility to admit he's not an expert.

-- Posted by cowgurl1 on Fri, Mar 21, 2008, at 9:43 AM

Thanks for your comments and constructive criticism.

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Fri, Mar 21, 2008, at 9:27 AM

"Some areas have seen their bee populations disappear for no apparent reason, so some enterprising folks came up with the idea of renting bee colonies to growers in these areas."

Brian, the current "hive collapse syndrome" has absolutely NOTHING TO DO with the nation's commercial pollination industry developing as a major agricultural asset.

LARGE COMMERCIAL BEEKEEPERS have been moving semi-truckloads of bee hives throughout the country for several decades.

Prior to the operation going to the big ris for transportation, three-ton extended flat-bed trucks, towing 30-40 foot flatbed trailers also loaded with hives were common.

The disappearing bee problem has become a major problem the past two years, and many of the commercial bee-keeper pollinators have been virtually wiped out.

Some have been forced to replace hive populations several times within two years. Fortunaltely queen bees have always produced huge quantities of eggs for depositing in honeycomb cells, so the hives can rebuild quickly.

Use GOOGLE and research these things before you BLOG your thoughts.

Where agriculture is concerned, shooting from the hip in your new neighborhood will only destroy your credibility.

-- Posted by bigsurmac on Thu, Mar 20, 2008, at 5:08 PM

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