Is This The End Of Days For Beekeeping?

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Aside from being a good cottage industry, beekeeping is also believed to be a highly therapeutic past-time- but recent developments in the global economy, as well as climate change and bio-engineering is putting the industry at risk.

Years back when beekeeping was in its heyday, honey production and honeybee culturing and breeding was not only productive , but also a lucrative venture that sparked a lot of interests  from both hobbyists and large-scale honey producers.

Today, many beekeepers wake up each day with the uncertainty of what the coming production season would bring as losses as starting to increase by as much as 25% each year – from honeybee mortality to hive damage.

One such beekeeper is Nick French, founder of the Frangiosa Farm, in Parker, Colorado.who said that they work long hours during the summer to raise healthy bees, but is always faced with uncertainty if the most of the honey bees can make it through the winter months.

For several years now, they have been suffering huge losses, especially during the winter where based on statistics, beekeepers are losing almost a third of their hives due to honeybee mortality and hive damage, French said, pointing out that replacing damaged stocks are costly.

Many beekeepers have adopted a fund-sourcing scheme to help sustain beekeeping operations from avid honeybee supporters called “adopt a hive’- where adopters pay a fee for their adopted hives.

They will each receive an adoption certificate recognizing their efforts to support the cause and in return, they receive a portion of the honey product that is generated by their adopted hive.

In the case of French, his Adopt A Bee program at Frangiosa started in 2012, where adopters pay an adoption fee of $40 to $120 per hive in exchange for jars of honey.

During the first year, he was able to secure 25 hive adoptions and only late 2015, his adoption network went up to 300, who said that the adoption is more than increasing honey sales, rather, a step to ensure his hives’ survival.

“With the kind of losses we are experiencing, other industries would agree that we are going out of business,” French said, “I could not keep going without community support.”

According to a recent report by the Bee Informed Partnership, a non-profit group of research centers and universities, revealed that beekeepers are having an average of 30% losses every year ranging from a lot of actors like climate change, parasites, pesticides and loss of forage, among others.

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