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that a good site charles. lot of stuff there. thanks.

I think you could make some of the same conclusions about the number of beekeepers here in the US of A. It also would seem that the timing of this decline is pretty much in lock step with similar declines here.
 

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tecumseh said:
I think you could make some of the same conclusions about the number of beekeepers here in the US of A. It also would seem that the timing of this decline is pretty much in lock step with similar declines here.
Commercial beekeeping is definitely in decline here in the U.S. too - although hobbyist and sidelining is still on the rise.
 

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well actually charles from what I can remember of the more recent survey in the us of a the folks that I would call hobbyist and small sidelines have declined in the greatest numbers/percentages. the larger commercial concerns have experienced some significant declines also but their percentages decline looks insignificant when compared to the hobby/sideliner categories.

I suspect to some degree this suggest that 'bee hivers' mental model ain't currently such a good method for keeping bees.

the numbers were dated somewhat (always are) so I would not be surprised (from other evidence) that some resurgence is taking place in the hobby and sideline ranks. in the past every spike in fuel prices has resulted in a significant number of commercial concerns calling it quits.
 

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Interesting, as with most things "I aint no expert" but I remember reading a couple article last year similar to the one above showing increasing numbers in hobbyist. I'll see if I can find some...
 

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at the ABF Con. in Orlando, the second speaker during the opening was a guy from France. From what he reported about attendance at National Beekeepers Conventions, their attendance should put us to shame. Their country is much smaller than ours by far, yet the number of beekeepers must be higher per capita.

Charles, there have always been more hobby beekeepers than commercials and sideliners combined. And they may own more colonies too, I forget.
 

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Reference: Table 1. The American Bee Journal September 2009, Vol. 149, no 12, page 1126,

The study covers the period 1982-2002.

just as a bit of an overview,,, operation (and bees) are segregated into 3 groups. in the time period noted operations declined (-) 25% for operations with over 300 hives, -50% for operation of between 25 and 299 hives and -73% for operation of under 25 hives. In the same time period total hives declined for the same groups -8%, -49% and -73%.

the totals do NOT suggest what sqkcrk suggest in his last paragraph.
 

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the totals are in the survey in the ABJ. I will look them up and report back mark.

looks like 2002 total numbers (rounded somewhat) would be:
+300.... 1,950,000
25-299.... 223,000
1-25..... 52,000

I would casually suggest that the period of the survey ended in 2002. Just from casual talk between folks who have done bees for a long time there has been since 2000 a resurgence in the hobby and sideliner level interest in beekeeping.
 

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charles just to reaffirm your notion.....this at least seems to be the perception of the state bee inspector here who travels all over the state giving talks to various groups.

there also seems to be some resurgence of interest in bee clubs spread about the state. a number of 'area clubs' (I am speaking of only what I see here in Texas) that have been inactive for years are once again active.
 

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Ditto here in NY tecumseh. The local clubs have attendance that far surpasses the attendance at the state organization mtngs. Something that Bjornbee and I talked about when we met.

Where in more new beekeepers is good for the industry, or can be, it seems to me like people are more interested in having bees then they are about beeing bee keepers.

There is a guy in eastern NY who produces and sells Top Bar Hives, complete w/ bees to people who just want to have bees in their back yard. Something about that doesn't seem right to me, but whatever floats yer boat, I guess.

I've also noticed on another forum that there are newbees who aren't reading anything except beekeeping type forums as their source of info. I believe that if you are going to be a beekeeper you aught to get a book or two before you get your smoker, veil and hive tool, which you should get before you get your hive and bees. Don't do as I did.
 

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mark writes:
Where in more new beekeepers is good for the industry, or can be, it seems to me like people are more interested in having bees then they are about beeing bee keepers.

tecumseh:
I would suggest people may want bees for any number of reasons or purposes. purpose should somewhat dictate appropriate manipulation to some degree.

a purpose that almost didn't exist 30 years ago is pollination. that is certainly now a large concern in a lot of places and that portion of beekeeping (that purpose) seems to have been a pretty good gig for the commercial guys.

another Mark snip..
I've also noticed on another forum that there are newbees who aren't reading anything except beekeeping type forums as their source of info

tecumseh:
I think reading a few basic text or perhaps a well written article here on there in the journals would certainly benefit any new beekeeper. I can see where you observation Mark might explain some odd ideas or notions.
 

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sqkcrk said:
I've also noticed on another forum that there are newbees who aren't reading anything except beekeeping type forums as their source of info. I believe that if you are going to be a beekeeper you aught to get a book or two before you get your smoker, veil and hive tool, which you should get before you get your hive and bees. Don't do as I did.
Wow! That's either extremely brave, or terribly stupid! Even with beekeeping classes, lots of books and several videos online, AND with the most fabulous mentor imaginable.... there is an incredible learning curve with bees. I'm just totally shocked that anyone would do something like that.
 

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mama beek writes:
Wow! That's either extremely brave, or terribly stupid!

tecumseh:
more than likely just naive. like many thing in this world and the virtual world 'opinion' doesn't require any expertise or experience. all that is required is a deeply resonating voice or something that sounds like (in someone's head) authority.
 

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Actually the learning curve with bees is fairly steep, too many error will be a teaching moment you'll not forget soon. Failure wo pay attention to details, is alos a fairly fast learning curve, either you'll be extremely luck and still have after the winter or you won't. Many people believe that all you do is dump the bees in a cardboard box, open the lid and collect honey all summer long. Would it not be nice to think it could be that simple--and still manage live colonies.
 

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barry writes:
Many people believe that all you do is dump the bees in a cardboard box

tecumseh:
if all someone wanted was to provide a small bit of pollination for a truck patch or small garden plot this (the above) might be a good approach. it is kind of the modern day version of 'bee hiver' (someplaces called a beehaver) approach to bee keeping. Which is really non beekeeping essentially.
 

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tecumseh said:
barry writes:
Many people believe that all you do is dump the bees in a cardboard box

tecumseh:
if all someone wanted was to provide a small bit of pollination for a truck patch or small garden plot this (the above) might be a good approach. it is kind of the modern day version of 'bee hiver' (someplaces called a beehaver) approach to bee keeping. Which is really non beekeeping essentially.
This was sorta my college professors' Thesis. He wrote about dropping queenless nucs, in styrofoam boxes, into cranberry beds, from helicopters. I don't think anyone did it. I guess the idea was that being queenless they bees would still do their job, but then not being reproductive, they would dwindle and die.
 

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mark... not another thesis without data. oh my!

I would think bees less a queen would be less motivated to seek out pollen? By casual observation in the same state they still seem to seek out nectar.
 
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