The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at the bee colony health decline in the United States.

Bangladesh and Geographical Determinism

To start out today’s column, our Editor-At-Large Michael Z. Williamson flagged this article: Over 4 million at risk of food insecurity, disease due to floods in Bangladesh: IFRC. Mike’s Comments: “This will be an ongoing issue. Bangladesh is geographically a river delta, and India has dammed all the rivers. With water levels and silt levels dropping, the land is eroding away into the sea, and every storm and seasonal rain is flooding what is left.”

Bee Colony Health Decline: Highest Winter Losses Ever

Overall, bee colony health in the United States is quite poor. Varroa mites and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) are still with us. Here is a recent headline from Science Daily: U.S. beekeepers lost over 40 percent of colonies last year, highest winter losses ever recorded.  An excerpt:

“Beekeepers across the United States lost 40.7% of their honey bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019, according to preliminary results of the latest annual nationwide survey conducted by the University of Maryland-led nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership. Honey bees pollinate $15 billion worth of food crops in the United States each year.

The survey results show, the annual loss of 40.7% this last year represents a slight increase over the annual average of 38.7%. However winter losses of 37.7%, were the highest winter loss reported since the survey began 13 years ago and 8.9 percentage points higher than the survey average.”

Candace Owens Interviews Paul Joseph Watson on Censorship

An interview worth watching, over at PragerU: The Candace Owens Show: Paul Joseph Watson.

Testing Inexpensive AR-15s

For those with the LBRY app, there is this over at The Late Boy Scout: Cheap AR 15’s Compared: How Does Palmetto State Armory Stack Up? (Note: This video is also available at YouTube, at least for now. But please folks!  Get the library app for your home computer and your mobile devices! We will only defeat censorship if we starve the beast. I should mention: Palmetto State Armory is one of our affiliate advertisers. Check their site regularly, for specials. If you place an order with them, then please use our Palmetto State Armory link, so that we get a sales commission. Every little bit counts, in our ongoing struggle to cover bandwidth and other costs. Thanks!

Car Repair Costs Compared, Nationwide

Over at USA Today: This is the state where fixing your car costs the most. JWR’s Comments: Giver the high labor., regulatory, and other overhead of running most businesses on the coasts, it is no wonder that coastal states generally ranked higher.  One exception is Maine–which also has primarily coastal population–but then again, it is considered the Outback of the Northeast.

Disney World, Sans Mosquitoes

By way of This Is Why You Never See Mosquitoes at Disney World.

3D Printing a Lamborghini?

Reader H.L. spotted this: Colorado father and son 3D printing their own Lamborghini. A snippet:

“Backus is a physicist who works as the Chief Scientific Officer of a local laser firm and is an adjunct professor at Colorado State University. He has been using hobbyist printers that cost just a few hundred dollars each to create dozens of plastic body pieces, which he wraps in carbon fiber for added strength and heat resistance before he attaches them to a spaceframe he designed and constructed out of steel box tubing.

The car uses a few authentic Lamborghini parts he mostly picked up used, but will be powered by a mid-mounted V8 from a 2003 Corvette that drives the rear wheels through a Porsche 911 transmission.”

Nebraska: A State with a Conscience

And finally, reader DSV contributed this heartening news story: 200 Nebraska Farmers Remain Silent During Auction So A Young Man Can Buy Back His Family Farm.

You can send your news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!


  1. Praise the Lord, there is still hope left for humanity. After having dozens of “welfare breeders” laugh in my face that they are feeding their children off of the back of my life’s time, effort and energy, here are men that foraske their own temporary profit and gain to help out a man and his family. Maybe humanity doesn’t deserve to be destroyed in nuclear war by the illuminati after all.

    1. Amen to that. It sort of raises one’s hopes for the human race. God bless the family and the farmers who participated, or rather declined to participate.

      1. OK, I take it all back. No last names, no corroboration, no location, etc. .
        The human race is at a very low state. And with the two mass shootings staged in the last 24 hours, I think that the civil war has already started. I am not feeling too good about our future. I think I’ll go count my cans of SPAM…

  2. Brahmaputra, India, is in what is now Bangladesh. In 1898 it had the world’s then-record rainfall of 980 inches. 980. I have read within the last year or so that the record has been surpassed.

    No wonder it’s eroding.

  3. My bumblebee is alive and well on the northern California coast. Singular instead of plural was intentional. Usually when cut my grass (dandelions) I see dozens of bumblebees and honeybees. I haven’t seen any honeybees this year. Is the water starting to get hot in this pot or is it just me?

  4. The farm story just doesn’t ring true. No last names, no county or town described. Past details vague. Stock photos used. No link to any reliable source.

    Besides all states have provisions for an auctioneer to void a sale if price fixing (intentionally keeping the price low) or shill bidding (intentionally trying to raise a bid price without actual intentions of purchasing, usually by a friend or cohort of the seller) is detected. Sorry don’t buy it. And before you say “hey it’s a feel good story, don’t be a downer” it is a false story designed to appeal to people’s emotions. That’s the left’s toolset.

    1. As long as the bid was above the reserve, the auctioneer had little choice but the take the bid as the final one.

      Most of the folks in flyover country, Nebraska qualifies as flyover country, are basically good honorable people who try to do the right thing.

      Quit being so negative. Accept the fact that sometimes the good guys win.

    2. Agreed. There are no primary source details anywhere on the internet, as far as I can tell from half an hour of increasingly more uninteresting searches (I have too much time on my hands today, I stirred up a nest of yellow jackets while mowing and I’m in pain…). Moreover, this seems like a story that’s just being recirculated a year later since “original” links are dated mid-2018. The particular page linked to above has an image of some people standing around a bin of some sort. As far as I can tell, that image seems to have been taken in England (since this story comes up also on a web site “Holidays in Cornwall”), and, at the risk of stereotyping, there are a lot more flat caps on people’s heads than you’d expect to see in Nebraska. Other web sites have a completely different photo of farmers standing around which is more believable as rural Nebraska, and there’s not one flat cap in sight. That’s not really how we roll here in the Midwest. All that aside, a picture of people standing outside doesn’t resonate as correct when the story details note that it happened in an auction house, so we obviously don’t have a direct photo of an actual event.

      “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark.”

      Let’s hold out hope for feel-good stories that are provably real and not waste our emotional capacity on things that aren’t.

  5. It is interesting that the domestic bees are in trouble but the Africanized bee population has exploded all over the Southwest. I have explored Arizona extensively for decades and note that the Africanized bees are now everywhere … particularly in rock cracks and crevices. And they are doing nicely.

    I just wonder if there is a correlation to the plight of the domestic bees.

    1. You are very perceptive!

      African honeybees swarm a LOT more often than the European honeybees used by most commercial and hobby beekeepers. Swarming breaks up the honeybee “brood cycle”, the time it takes to raise a new crop of bees, because a swarming colony consists of only adult honeybees. First, they need to find a nesting place. Then, they need to gather nectar and pollen and make comb before the queen can start laying eggs in comb. But this break in the honeybee “brood cycle” also puts a break in the “brood cycle” of their main parasite, the Varroa mite, because the Varroa mites prefer to feed on bee brood, specifically bees in the pupal stage. Many beekeepers today will often induce an artificial break in the “brood cycle” of their colonies at a specific time of the year as one of many measures to try to control Varroa mite populations from exploding and destroying a honeybee colony.

      Also, African honeybees are more meticulous at “grooming” each other than European honeybees, a trait that may be tied to their more defensive behavior. During grooming, an activity they do to keep each other clean, honeybees will remove and disable parasites. There could be other variables involved, but the Varroa mite is one of the biggest problems facing honeybees today.

      Unfortunately, honeybees that swarm a lot don’t make surplus honey for beekeepers; so African honeybees aren’t a good choice for beekeepers, and they have a bad disposition to boot.

  6. Re: Car Repair Cost

    Surprising thing in that article. Looking at their abbreviated list, most of the cost difference was in parts not labor. I think I would have expected the opposite or perhaps a more even split.

  7. The bee die off has been going on for decades. Every year we are treated to the fear mongering. Various groups have blamed it on their favorite bias. It is like global warming, a fact of nature that is used for political and SJ purposes.

  8. My BS meter spiked on the Farm auction story. When a story on Farmers is told, it’s filled with names and facts that can be substantiated and verified, Such as this story in the redoubt last week about a farmer with cancer.

    The Nebraska story is vague and has nothing for the reader to grasp.. It’s Just a feel good bedtime story punctuated with a moral element .

  9. Bees.. has the thought occurred to anyone that honey bees are not meant to be trucked all over the country? They naturally spread by swarming, thus traveling a mile or two. Not several thousand miles. No wonder bee diseases spread. Ban the interstate transportation of honey bees and watch the problem of disease and parasites gradually get resolved.

  10. Bee Plight

    The main cause of honeybee decline is a very difficult question to answer. Forty years ago, the two biggest questions we beekeepers asked were:

    How much honey do I want to take off my hives?
    When do I want to take the honey off my hives?

    Today, it is much harder to keep healthy bees, and the learning curve to becoming a successful beekeeper is steep, time consuming and expensive!

    I had particularly large losses over this past winter, but I caught swarms in the spring and replenished my bee yard. I still have not ascertained what killed my bees after doing autopsies of the dead colonies. It could have been multiple unknown factors. Others in my area sailed through without any losses at all! For your information, typical losses of over wintered hived bees were 15-20% before we had all these problems. When you consider what the honeybees have to do to make it through a winter with temperatures below zero at night, it is a miracle that they survive at all! Also, 85% of honeybee colonies that swarm in the spring looking for a new home never make it through winter, and that was before we had all these additional problems.

    Today, there are so many vectors affecting the bees that it is difficult to determine which factors may be affecting a particular apiary. Varroa mites are a serious problem. Unless you are running survivor stock bees, Russian bees or feral honeybees, you must test and treat your honeybees diligently, or they will not make it through the winter.

    There are other parasites of the honeybees, as well as bacteria and viruses that can decimate their populations, and you have to be on the lookout for the presence of these also in your hives. Sometimes it is necessary to destroy a colony and its hive to keep disease from running rampant in your bee yard.

    Moving bees around really stresses them. It’s not uncommon for beekeepers who truck their hives to California each year for almond pollination to lose up to 50% of their queens. Those guys are always looking for new queens and nucleus colonies to replenish their stocks. Also, almond pollen is not particularly nutritious for honeybees, and bees need a variety of different pollen to be healthy. How would you like to have to live for weeks on nothing but Cheez Whiz and crackers?

    Increased pesticide use, predators and loss of habitat are also problems. Bees need quality food to remain healthy just like we do. Ask a rancher how much his livestock likes GMO feedstock compared to organic feedstock.

    Last, let’s not forget the beekeeper. A lot of people don’t know what they are doing, and beekeeping is not forgiving of the ignorant like it was years ago.

    I’ve thought a few times about giving up on beekeeping because of how difficult it has become, but raising honeybees and watching them grow gets in your blood. An apiary with honeybees whirling like a tornado through the air during a strong nectar flow is a beautiful sight and sure to put smiles on the faces of all who behold it. Working with honeybees brings me closer to nature of which I am a part, and it gives me an appreciation of God’s handiwork. I imagine farmers and ranchers must feel the same way.

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