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jamesc

Chemical bee keeping

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Righto .....   I'm watching the news and the fires in Nelson and being told that it will only get worse in the next five years.  The Sadhu in Kathmandu who read my palm many years ago said I would live to ninety nine , have three kids and be  a rich man. So I guess the next five years means  I need to sit up and take note, because this climate change thing  is gonna affect me. It's gonna affect my three boys, and it will probably affect my bank balance.

I spend a lot of time each day thinking about how we can modify what we do to live more harmoniously with our planet.  Trucking bees around all over the place worries me, but the proof is in the pudding that when we place bees in top spots they yield a return. The jury is still out on that thought.

 

But today I've been thinking about chemical farming.

 

Over the last couple of days we've been taking honey off close to home. Some traditionally good sites have been garbage.  The farm manager admitted that the chopper had been in spraying the gorse. End of quandry.

He obviously took the message in, as a day later I got  a txt from him informing me that a kale paddock that we had bees sitting in was due to be sprayed in the morning. So it was  another  early start to rescue them from the onslaught and relocate them to a safe haven .

We worked them later  this morning.  Escaping honey and putting in staples. They had been placed in the kale to access the sweet smelling clover that was going rampant all around ..... but on opening  were the same as the other block from the other day. A box of honey and no bees.

We moved on to another yard and another landowner.

"Aahah  "  I hummed , as I cracked the lids and lifted off heavy boxes. " Same management, different landowner ..... more honey... so you bees know how to make honey". 

 

It got me thinking.

 

On the farm here  we are looking at cultivating some dirt for winter feed for deer. After last years shemozzle of turning dirt and the rain made us wait and wait, this year my plan was to spray the paddocks out with Glyphosate and Pulse and direct drill. Quick and Easy.

 

But the Missus got all uppity and told me in no uncertain words that I was stupid. Had'nt I learnt anything in the last week from our experience with bees on 'chemical' farms ,and of how Glyphosate was becoming a problem in honey.

 

The Bees know. Adam Boot seems to know.

 

Climate change and chemical farming all comes down to economics.   Glyphosate and direct drill is  gonna cost me about two hundred bucks a hectare. The traditional cultivation and drill will  be twice that and more, but , we'll have no chemical residue in the soil and the bees will feast on clover next year that will be clean.

 

Will that mean I can ask for more dollars for my Honey Mountain, and will one operation save the planet  ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I had the dubious priviledge of traipsing around a laarrrge paddock down your way a couple of years ago James. It was very depressing. Alluvial soil turned into a solid caked silt  totally devoid of anything except sprouts of some green monocot. Treating land in that  way, well the cockie  might think it necessary  to enable a profit, but I tell you what when the bleatings go out about too wet, too dry, too hard too expensive too cheap..it's all about greed ....zero sympathy from me.

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@jamesc,  up our way cropping is extremely destructive to soil structure and the balance of all things ‘good and natural’.

l had ‘science ‘ summed up to me in a rather peculiar, but catchy and conclusive way the other day, and I quote...

 

       ‘You have to remember that since science became a business, you have to look at whose paying the bills to understand the outcome, which may be incorrect bought science’

 

So my advice to you is to research ‘regenerative agriculture’ which will not only help you to sleep at night, but also provide an avenue to get on the better side of your missus. 

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I was up early one saturday morn and caught a early farming program on the tv, it was about a dairy and finishing farm down in the Hawkes Bay at altitude. They wern't organic but really into biodiversity management of the soil. They hang on longer in droughts and have more feed overall during the year, in a very short space of time there soil had improved heaps. they have a spade depth of very good top soil. I think we have a lot to learn yet. If I owned farming land I would be really looking at those sort of things.

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Well James you are finally learning about the use of chemicals or should I say non use.The honey you robbed from the chemically sprayed areas will you test it for chemical residues

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2 minutes ago, Bighands said:

Well James you are finally learning about the use of chemicals or should I say non use.The honey you robbed from the chemically sprayed areas will you test it for chemical residues

Thanks Big hands.   We don't use many chemicals here.....   and it shows ..... in that we have plenty of bee feed !!   And yes ..... out of interest and curiousity we will extract the honey from the two blocks and keep it separate and  test  for residue. After which  I  may have to go talk with my lawman again !!

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fwiw...  University of California, Davis, in June, is having a 3-day pollinator conference.  In recent years there has been a significant effort to educate growers, particularly Almond planters, on the negative affects of "tank-mixes" used to spray the trees, and on the practice of killing off all the weeds and native flowering plants in the orchard boundary, and between the trees. The variety of forage is a significant benefit to the bees.  Care with the selection of tank-mixes can improve bee survival.  Improved bee survival translates to lower pollination cost, we say...  The growers worry about pests and fungus taking hold in the flowers.  Tank mixes include insecticides, "adjuvants," surfactants, fungicides, growth-regulators,  and god-knows-what.  Some of the components enhance the affects of other components!! (some of the interactions are trade-secrets!!)  It's very complicated.

It's a challenge convincing growers to do the "right thing."  A major factor is educating the "consultants" that specify the safer tank-mixes,  and other ag. practices.

So if you desire a get-away to sunny California during your winter, and can justify the $350us registration,  plus lodging,... this might be an interesting adventure for you.

In past years when it was a one-day "bee symposium" my spouse and I attended. (registration $75 or $85us)  Changing the focus to pollination, and raising the high reg. fee kinda puts me off.  (keeps out the riffraff?)

The program last year was oriented toward small scale, backyard, and urban beekeepers.  Darwinian beekeeping talk by Tom Seeley... Just for us... We keep a few hives in the city...

Cheers

Jerry Przybylski

--Oakland, Ca

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@G Przybylski Jerry, can you tell us how to pronounce your name please ?  It's not a common one here !

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10 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

I was up early one saturday morn and caught a early farming program on the tv, it was about a dairy and finishing farm down in the Hawkes Bay at altitude. They wern't organic but really into biodiversity management of the soil. They hang on longer in droughts and have more feed overall during the year, in a very short space of time there soil had improved heaps. they have a spade depth of very good top soil. I think we have a lot to learn yet. If I owned farming land I would be really looking at those sort of things.

Possibly the Biological Farming group. They don't recommend going cold turkey - even in the case of dairy farming they have a recommended rate at which farmers decrease their urea and other applications over five years as the soil slowly recovers, and when followed, farms produce more from fewer stock, but the greatest reduction is in the vet costs as animals become healthier. I have been to several of their field-days and the change in the farms and the visible difference in the soil makes one wonder why the penny has not dropped more broadly more quickly.

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10 hours ago, G Przybylski said:

fwiw...  University of California, Davis, in June, is having a 3-day pollinator conference.  In recent years there has been a significant effort to educate growers, particularly Almond planters, on the negative affects of "tank-mixes" used to spray the trees, and on the practice of killing off all the weeds and native flowering plants in the orchard boundary, and between the trees. The variety of forage is a significant benefit to the bees.  Care with the selection of tank-mixes can improve bee survival.  Improved bee survival translates to lower pollination cost, we say...  The growers worry about pests and fungus taking hold in the flowers.  Tank mixes include insecticides, "adjuvants," surfactants, fungicides, growth-regulators,  and god-knows-what.  Some of the components enhance the affects of other components!! (some of the interactions are trade-secrets!!)  It's very complicated.

It's a challenge convincing growers to do the "right thing."  A major factor is educating the "consultants" that specify the safer tank-mixes,  and other ag. practices.

So if you desire a get-away to sunny California during your winter, and can justify the $350us registration,  plus lodging,... this might be an interesting adventure for you.

In past years when it was a one-day "bee symposium" my spouse and I attended. (registration $75 or $85us)  Changing the focus to pollination, and raising the high reg. fee kinda puts me off.  (keeps out the riffraff?)

The program last year was oriented toward small scale, backyard, and urban beekeepers.  Darwinian beekeeping talk by Tom Seeley... Just for us... We keep a few hives in the city...

Cheers

Jerry Przybylski

--Oakland, Ca

Hmmmm ..... you've sown a seed Jerry !

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supplement the deer with a little honey. Honey Mountain Sweet Venison. mmmm

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@jamesc stay away from pulse .

Organic growing means shareing your space with other living things .

Things can  often messy and disorganised from a human point of view .

Some people can not cope psycologically  with giving away control . 

No matter how much they know intellectually that it is the right thing to do .

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What were you planning to put in for the deer? Roundup used to be touted as safe until some recent research regarding genetics and mutation so big warning went up amongst those practising organic land management. You may want to look at Jon Jeavons work on Biointensive gardening for your wife if she's into gardening. Happy wife, happy life. Good on you for listening to her @jamesc. In some of my youtube wanderings found interesting fact that mullien springs up on land and rehabilitates the soil that is hard packed and robbed of nutrients and other plants are indicators of soil conditions and pH levels. All fascinating stuff but can almost hear the yawning haha

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On 7/02/2019 at 7:24 PM, jamesc said:

Righto .....   I'm watching the news and the fires in Nelson and being told that it will only get worse in the next five years.  The Sadhu in Kathmandu who read my palm many years ago said I would live to ninety nine , have three kids and be  a rich man. So I guess the next five years means  I need to sit up and take note, because this climate change thing  is gonna affect me. It's gonna affect my three boys, and it will probably affect my bank balance.

I spend a lot of time each day thinking about how we can modify what we do to live more harmoniously with our planet.  Trucking bees around all over the place worries me, but the proof is in the pudding that when we place bees in top spots they yield a return. The jury is still out on that thought.

 

But today I've been thinking about chemical farming.

 

Over the last couple of days we've been taking honey off close to home. Some traditionally good sites have been garbage.  The farm manager admitted that the chopper had been in spraying the gorse. End of quandry.

He obviously took the message in, as a day later I got  a txt from him informing me that a kale paddock that we had bees sitting in was due to be sprayed in the morning. So it was  another  early start to rescue them from the onslaught and relocate them to a safe haven .

We worked them later  this morning.  Escaping honey and putting in staples. They had been placed in the kale to access the sweet smelling clover that was going rampant all around ..... but on opening  were the same as the other block from the other day. A box of honey and no bees.

We moved on to another yard and another landowner.

"Aahah  "  I hummed , as I cracked the lids and lifted off heavy boxes. " Same management, different landowner ..... more honey... so you bees know how to make honey". 

 

It got me thinking.

 

On the farm here  we are looking at cultivating some dirt for winter feed for deer. After last years shemozzle of turning dirt and the rain made us wait and wait, this year my plan was to spray the paddocks out with Glyphosate and Pulse and direct drill. Quick and Easy.

 

But the Missus got all uppity and told me in no uncertain words that I was stupid. Had'nt I learnt anything in the last week from our experience with bees on 'chemical' farms ,and of how Glyphosate was becoming a problem in honey.

 

The Bees know. Adam Boot seems to know.

 

Climate change and chemical farming all comes down to economics.   Glyphosate and direct drill is  gonna cost me about two hundred bucks a hectare. The traditional cultivation and drill will  be twice that and more, but , we'll have no chemical residue in the soil and the bees will feast on clover next year that will be clean.

 

Will that mean I can ask for more dollars for my Honey Mountain, and will one operation save the planet  ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'd like you to watch a YouTube clip. I don't know how to do a link but type in search for Gabe Brown. He's running a no till farm. Amazing. Very inspiring 

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Thanks guys . Many years ago  I lived  on a Hippy community on the West Coast of Scotland The place was called Scoraig and only approachabale by boat. My everlasting memory is of one evening in May puttering accross the water in a nine foot tinny . As the midnight sun dipped below the horizon we cut the motor and bobbed in the gentle swell. The other guys lit up smokes and I dipped a lure in the water. Peace perfect peace.

I had lotsa time up there, and found a book about the Findhorn community .  Findhorn is quite famous for being a worthless peice of dirt in the jet blast an airfoce base at Inverness.  But they could grow crops ...... 

Their secret was they talked with  the Nature Spirits who guided them as to what the soil needed for the crops to thrive.   I need to read it again. We need to read it again ! 

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8 hours ago, Mike Fox said:

I'd like you to watch a YouTube clip. I don't know how to do a link but type in search for Gabe Brown. He's running a no till farm. Amazing. Very inspiring 

Found it ..... 58 mins ..... I'll save it for a rainy day ......looks fascinating !!

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Just a heads up for any beekeepers with hives near maize paddocks , there’s heaps of army worm caterpillars already in crops up north , so there will be a fair bit of insecticide being sprayed over the next month or so . May pay to check in with the farmers as to their intentions so you can shift hives if necessary . 

 @jamesc , I wouldn’t mind betting that the Kale crop had been sprayed prior to your txt from the farmer  , and that was a follow up spray  to the first one . Could be completely wrong , but that would explain the hive losses . 

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10 hours ago, Mike Fox said:

I'd like you to watch a YouTube clip. I don't know how to do a link but type in search for Gabe Brown. He's running a no till farm. Amazing. Very inspiring 

I'm inclined to agree Jas !

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