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About Bees

This article from the University of Minnesota might be of interest to some here.
http://www.cfans.umn.edu/Solut...ler_Bottle/index.htm
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

omg where are we heading?
 

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 Have a great gardening day! hoe, hoe, hoe Pea

 Upstate NY, zone 5

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Very depressing. Luckily I do not use any of that stuff around my property but I'll bet my neighbors do.

I keep planting as many flowers as possible to keep my bees "home" on my proeprty.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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Disturbing stuff. All the more reason to keep enticing those pollinators to my garden!
 
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Thanks for posting this. Yes, it is very disturbing.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by brownrexx:
Very depressing. Luckily I do not use any of that stuff around my property but I'll bet my neighbors do.

I keep planting as many flowers as possible to keep my bees "home" on my proeprty.


Same here. I don't use any pesticides here, but my neighbor has a guy clean her yard every once in a while, and he sprays a stuff called "Image."

I have been planting roses in the front, and citrus in the back to hopefully give the bees a "safe yard" to retreat to. But as I said before. I really REALLY don't like bees. I'm not afraid, but when I was little, I went a whole summer getting stung every day it seemed. I keep my distance, but that doesn't mean I want them dead though Smiler
 
[hr]Formerly known as determined 2b healthy. We must replace that which we took, and we must realize that the earth was here before us, and will be here after us. It is up to us to take care of her, for she gives life, and can also take it.
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Since the pesticide mentioned has been banned in France and Germany for a few years I wonder if they've had a rebound in their bee populations.

I suspect its a little more complicated.
 

Inland Southern California USDA 9b, Sunset 19

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Think about this. What is the purpose of an insecticide?
The neonicotinoids are only one part of the total problem. Spinosad, supposedly a "safe organic" insecticide is also part of the problem as are the pyrethrins and all of the others. If a product is supposed to kill insects, it can also kill the beneficial insects not just those listed on the label.
So how do we keep our plants from being eaten by these bugs? Start with your soil. Make that into a good healthy soil that will grow strong and healthy plants that will be better able to ward off insect pests. Plant an insectiary, a place for the beneficial to subsist when the population of the food source (bad insects) is too low. if necessary, judiciously use the least toxic insecticde for the problem you have, ie. do not spray malathion to control Aphids when water will do quite well.
Always use the least toxic method of control for the problem you have.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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I know it is worrisome. I am a bee keeper so do not use insecticides on my own lot. Can't do much about the rest of the world. Spraying corn when dropping pollen, or fruit trees when in bloom or lawns when clover or dandelions are blooming hold serious consequences for the bees. Here the farmers grow lots of alfalfa, and sometimes they will spray for weevil just before cutting first crop. This is disastrous if there is any bloom.

Honey bees easily forage for a mile radius. They will go further if need be to find what they need. A lot of different people may own lots in that area. No telling what they may be putting on their lots.

I am fortunate here in that I am right on the edge of the city and lots of farm acreage on two sides of my apiary. The farmers do not grow fruit nor corn. The alfalfa is the only big worry. It is also the main honey producer.

Still it has become increasingly difficult to stay in bees over the years I have kept bees. I suppose lots of factors are involved.

This year winter is going to take a toll as we have had an unusually long cold spell here. When the bees have no chance to fly for over a month it is really hard on them. They won't fly until the temperature reaches 50 degs F.
 

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Gardening at 5000 ft. elevation in Northern Utah  Zone 5

Have a great gardening day!

http://donce.lofthouse.com/jam...lanting/planting.htm

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We really need bees to pollinate our crops. All of the melons, squash and cukes need an insect pollinator. Fruit trees need bee pollinators. The worlds food source will be in a lot of hurt is we lose our bees.
 

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Gardening at 5000 ft. elevation in Northern Utah  Zone 5

Have a great gardening day!

http://donce.lofthouse.com/jam...lanting/planting.htm

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I have heard that CA would not even have an almond crop if not for the bees that are trucked there from other states.

Some of you may not know that some beekeepers "rent out" their bees for pollination of commercial crops. A big beekeeper in our area packs up his hives of bees onto a big truck and sends them to Florida for the winter. The florida farmers get their crops pollinated and the PA beekeeper gets the honey and does not need to feed his bees over the winter. I see that he sells Orange blossum honey so I guess he sends them to orange orchards.

It's interesting that beekeepers do this but isn't it sad that farmers don't even have enough native bees to pollinate their crops?
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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Brownrexx, I think they need to rent hives because they grow monoculture style- their crop is all the same and blooms all at once, so there is a superabundance of nectar and then nothing. Bees need a sequence of flowers, with something new always coming into bloom. The bee trucks go from area to area as different crops bloom, rather than relying on multiple crops in a small area.
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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Yes, the monoculture farming definitely requires more bees but I recently read that the native bee population in CA declined 39% since 2003 due to varoa mites and colony collapse disorder so they need to rely more on "rented bees" than ever before. Wild bees are on the decline too.

Sad.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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From what I understand, the "native" honeybees are actually escaped European bees that were brought over hundreds of years ago and naturalized and spread across the US.
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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California agriculture sprays more poisons around than does most of the rest of the USA so why on earth would a bee keeper even want to take his bees there? Even hauling bees around apparently adds to the stress they live under and may be a contributing factor to "sudden colony collapse".
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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quote:
Originally posted by Kimm1:
California agriculture sprays more poisons around than does most of the rest of the USA so why on earth would a bee keeper even want to take his bees there? Even hauling bees around apparently adds to the stress they live under and may be a contributing factor to "sudden colony collapse".


Theres a fee of about $150 per hive payable to the beekeeper for almond pollination so I'm sure thats the reason.
 

Inland Southern California USDA 9b, Sunset 19

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I looked up the "rental" price as well and it used to be $40-50 per hive but is up as high as $150 now as mentioned because of the shortage of bees and the big demand.

GD - I have heard this before about "our" bees being of European descent and it's true but I figure that a couple hundred years makes them native by now.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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Theres a film called "Vanishing of the bees" which gives some insight into the commercial trucking of bees by the truckload across the country. Its on Netflix. Theres a route taking advantage of the California almond pollination and various other places across the US (apple pollination in Washington) its a big industry with tens of thousands of hives per farmer.

If you go to the central valley during almond season you'll see the hives dumped at the ends of long rows of almond trees. Its quite a pretty site with all the trees in blossom.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_of_the_Bees
 

Inland Southern California USDA 9b, Sunset 19

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Kimm, thanks for posting that. The more we get the word out, the more it might help Smiler

Beekeepers in CA take the bees to crops before they are sprayed, and get them out of there before they are sprayed. Obviously bees are extremely valuable and they are not going to let anything happen to them if they can help it.

Calif is the 7th largest producer of food for the World, not just this country, and that's why there's so many issues with pesticides. Our economy is very agriculture based.

But it is tragic that the majority of bees are a crop that are driven around the whole country, not just the state, to pollinate crops.

Some agricultural parts of China don't even have bees anymore, they have to hand pollinate with feathers, climb up in trees and do it all by hand.

The manufacturers of sprays seem to think that's perfectly fine, and people who buy canned, frozen and cheap, shipped-in vegetables apparently don't care either.
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
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quote:
Originally posted by Kimm1:
California agriculture sprays more poisons around than does most of the rest of the USA so why on earth would a bee keeper even want to take his bees there? Even hauling bees around apparently adds to the stress they live under and may be a contributing factor to "sudden colony collapse".


I'd be interested if you have any data to back up those claims. I wouldn't be too surprised as California is by far the biggest agricultural state in the US but i know they also advocate IPM a lot and there has been an emphasis on reduction if only because they are usually very expensive.

I couldn't really find too much data except the two maps from wikipedia which show a herbicide and a insecticide use across the US.

Insecticide- Endosulfan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F...an_use_2002_USGS.png

Herbicide- Atrazine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:AtrazineUSAMap.png

If you take a look at the maps California isn't alone in using these types of chemicals.

But having said that driving the the central valley its the only place i've seen freeway billboards advertising the latest fungicide.
 

Inland Southern California USDA 9b, Sunset 19

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David, talk with the people at the University of California Cooperative Extension Service they should have the information you are looking for. Those that provided me with that information tell me thye got it from UCCES.
 

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.

West central Michigan along the lakeshore.

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having at one time over 500 colonies I can tell you GardenDmpls my bees were called Italians and every once in a while I would try to work with a bee called the "black Germans" and to me they were nasty to work with, normally I could wear shorts with a tee shirt and always a net. Was not the situation with the black german bees. You agree James 1?
 
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Our purchased bees were Italians and Russians. The Italians were pretty docile but the Russians! They didn't put up with anyone coming near their hive.

Our current bees are all of Italian decent. The Russians died out a couple of years ago in the Colony Collapse disaster at our house and the Russians are not easily obtainable anymore.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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What pops into my head:Those G-dless communist bees. Those fascist Nazi bees. Those sweet, happy go lucky Italian bees. Hmmm.
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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Or should I say hummmm.
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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or just "Buzz off" GardenDmpls
 
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Smiler
 

Abigail, all 9 kids grown and 16 little gardeners: what a harvest!

Zone 7a, Far Rockaway, New York

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quote:
or just "Buzz off" GardenDmpls


She's just joking around, I think

Cute GD
 

**********************************************************

 Have a great gardening day! hoe, hoe, hoe Pea

 Upstate NY, zone 5

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