Ron Miksha on PolliNation with Andony Melathopoulos

Ron has worked with honey bees since childhood, producing a million pounds of honey and thousands of queens and packages. He has had bee farms in Pennsylvania, Florida, Saskatchewan, and Alberta and has migrated bees for pollination in the eastern USA. His comb honey farm in southern Alberta produced 50,000 comb sections a year. Presently, Ron is teaching beekeeping and bee economics and he is studying ecology at the University of Calgary. In his free time, Ron writes about bees, science, society, and comb honey production in bee journals, magazines, and on his bad beekeeping blog. Ron is kept in Calgary by his wife, two teenagers, and a couple of backyard beehives.

Listen in to learn the evolution of migratory beekeepers since the 1970’s, and why Ron believes that our current pollination system isn’t sustainable.

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“We can do more with fewer acres by using the honeybees, and they’re being provided by commercial beekeepers.” – Ron Miksha

Show Notes:

  • How Ron got started in beekeeping and crop pollination
  • How pollination’s role with beekeepers has changed since Ron started
  • Why it paid so differently on different coasts in the early days of pollination
  • How American infrastructure development helped early migratory beekeepers and pollinators
  • Why the economy’s rising inflation led to a larger almond crop
  • Why farmers initially needed so much convincing that they needed pollinators for their crops
  • How migratory bees have single-handedly changed the almond crop in California for the better
  • What the key crops for beekeepers were and what they are now
  • How migratory beekeeping is hard on the bees
  • Why the new opportunities for beekeepers is also often extremely difficult for them
  • The risks and advantages of being a migratory beekeeper
  • The future of migratory beekeeping and why Ron thinks it is not currently sustainable
  • How new innovation in agriculture may prove pollinators to be obsolete

“My father said, ‘you’ve got a drivers license and three hundred hives of bees, go do it’.” – Ron Miksha

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