New York commercial beekeeper Jim Doan forced out of business by pesticide losses

Jim Doan, New York commercial beekeeper, has been forced by the losses he has experienced to close the beekeeping business his grandfather founded three generations ago. In an e-mail earlier today Jim said:

“I am done. I can not continue. Sold my farm 2 weeks ago, I am giving up, there is no hope here.”

Jim entered this era of pesticide losses with 5300 colonies and was reduced to 300 in the first go-round several years ago, when the systemic pesticides first hit American farmland. Not to be deterred he bought two semi-loads of bees, split them heavily and built back up to 3300, but it has been downhill from there. This spring he brought 1100 colonies back to New York from winter in Florida, but in the past month has lost all but 300 and thinks even of those probably 100 are dead.

I was asked yesterday by Minnesota Public Radio reporter Dan Gunderson how long I thought we had before disaster struck. “How long?” I answered. “It isn’t a question of how long any more, the disaster is here.”

June Stoyer and I talked with Jim Doan on Wednesday, June 5th on the Neonicotinoid View. Listen to our conversation on YouTube below:

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