C--Users-Stephen Jones-Documents-Cartoons-pesticidesI had to smile when I looked at results of British Beekeepers Association 2014 honey survey; Londoners it seemed were twice as likely to blame pesticides for a poor honey crop as those living elsewhere (7% vs 3%), as were new beekeepers compared to those with more experience (5% vs 2%).

Of course the numbers are meaningless, but never forgo a dodgy statistic if it supports a prejudice! So here it is ….

I suspect beekeepers kill more honey bees than pesticides.

This will be regarded as heresy by many, but here in the UK at least confirmed cases of acute poisoning of honey bees are thankfully very rare.

In contrast I have killed colonies due to errors of judgement, lapses in memory and downright incompetence. I’m not proud of this, which is why I continually strive to improve my beekeeping skills.

But it leaves me wondering, are beekeepers too quick to blame something else for colony losses rather than their own shortcomings?