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  • Bringing it home: My lost hive | Honey Bee Haven
    they could do to push them toward the opening There the bees would twitch and stumble about eventually falling off the edge into the growing pile I called or emailed everyone I could think of the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association California EPA the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner s Office I filed a pesticide incident report with Cal EPA and took samples of my bees to the County for testing for parasites and disease My beekeeping mentor came and together we opened up the hive to take a look In the first few days things inside didn t look as bad as I expected and we thought they might pull through but each day there were more dead bees outside the hive And the bad news kept coming It turned out mine were not the only bees affected A number of other beekeepers were observing similar symptoms in their colonies But the strange thing was how local the incident seemed to be All of the reports seemed to be coming from a small area of Montecito California Seven months later and less than three weeks after coming home to the start of the die off my colony was gone All the bees were dead A total of 16 hives within a 1 5 mile radius had succumbed Stunned and worried a few of us decided to see if we could find out the cause of this cluster of die offs Samples sent to the county for parasites or disease had all come back negative and we suspected acute pesticide poisoning Though it was too late to get the bees themselves tested for pesticides we sent off beeswax brood and pollen stores to a lab at Penn State University for testing While we waited for the results I worried I worried about whether I d be able to continue beekeeping in my back yard I worried about whether to reuse equipment and beeswax from my old hive or destroy them I worried about whether my family and I could eat the honey the bees had left behind And I worried about what this all meant for the world Pesticide cocktail As a scientist and a mother I ve become increasingly concerned about the chemicals we continue to release into our skies our waterways our soils and the food web in which we are all embedded Raising bees and chickens and garden fruits and vegetables as we had been doing was one small step toward a more sustainable organic path for me and my family But the possibility that here in my backyard or somewhere nearby in my neighborhood my bees had been exposed to a toxic chemical that was killing them by the thousands brought the nature and the scale of the problem home Every day all across the country in houses and schools on lawns and gardens parks golf courses farms and orchards we use an unbelievable volume and diversity of pesticides including herbicides and fungicides Samples from the four

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  • Join Rodale's Honeybee Conservancy | Honey Bee Haven
    the chemicals Join the Honeybee Conservancy at Rodale Institute The Honeybee Conservancy at Rodale Institute was started in 2012 in response to the major health problems that have decimated the honeybee population in North America Colony Collapse Disorder CCD still results in a 30 death rate every winter for these valuable pollinators with no answer in sight Honey bee stewards can be one of the solutions to this problem The

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