My two new hives!
About two weeks ago, I got two new bee colonies! Last year, I had a beehive at the Macdonald Campus with their McGill Apicultural Association. But in winter, I realized that they had died from colony collapse disorder. When I opened the hive, there were only about five dead bees, and lots of honey and brood left. They seemed to have just...disappeared. It was extremely weird and characteristic of colony collapse disorder, so I started reading a lot of scientific papers. I'm still working on a literature review, but personally, I think the science is pretty clear: corn coated in pesticides are poisoning bees at sublethal levels, weakening their immune system. This article in the New York Times sums up two scientific studies that were released at the end of March: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/science/neocotinoid-pesticides-play-a-role-in-bees-decline-2-studies-find.html
When I stared into my dead hive in late January, I felt angry. I felt determined. I was going to help change this.
I was pretty torn in the spring. I wanted to move my hive to somewhere without pesticides, but I thought that I wouldn't have as much say in the bee club, since I would no longer have a hive there. I wouldn't really be a stakeholder anymore. So I've continued to work on the literature review, and it is somehow taking me forever to complete. But I'm getting there. And I moved my bees to the cottage.
The cottage! My parents have given me half the field (I am now a landowner! Well...unofficially.), so that's where my garden, an old apple tree, a meadow, and now my bees live. I love my garden, but the poor thing is so neglected since I can only go once every two weeks. Bees, luckily, only need to be visited once every two weeks.
So far the two hives are doing well. It's interesting to have two this year instead of one, so that I can compare which one is doing better. I'm not sure if they like me yet, but I love them.
I'm an eco-conscious girl from Montreal, Quebec. I'm currently an adjunct science professor at Champlain College of Vermont (Montreal Campus). I'm interested in any opportunities to expand my experience with grassroots activism, climate change legislation, or environmental education.