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I'm with you until you mentioned Roundup was ok - not ok on any level with me or my garden but only based on personal choice - and I reckon that's valid reason

Your keen ;-) I dont use it in the vegi garden but I do use it else where.... Long term my grass control strategy around beehives will be using old carpet under the hive....

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I grew up on an orchard and I remember my father spraying. He wore an oil skin coat and hood and a mask.

The spray was mixed in a big tank and I remember him climbing into it at times.

As a child I had recurring nightmares about it, I am not sure why I found it so frightening.

My father had good health till he reached 70 . And the health of my grandfather and all the extended family who were also orchardists was average.

I read my grandfather's spray diary from the 50s/60s and 70s and it is blood curdling stuff.

Modern chemical horticultural sprays are generally more targeted and benign.

But in the long run I do not really know , I just have to rely on the expertise of people who think they do.

When I was in my 20s I was much more hard core organic.

Now I am 60 and I have run out of poof I am more inclined to reach for the sprayer than the rubber.

But I would not necessarily think it is the right choice

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I've always been 'organic' as much as possible. Spraying Glyphosate to me is a big NO NO!

Instead I use cheap white vinegar from the Chinese supermarket. Dilute it 10/1 (10 litres of water and 1 litre of vinegar) and spray around my hives. It even burns kikuyu! The only 'downside I have to spray every 4 weeks from spring to Autumn and twice in winter.

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I've got sheep tidying up round my hives. They do a great job. :)

With sheep I learned to put the hive close enough to the fence so that the sheep were discouraged from going between the two.

Ive just been out in the paddock this morning picking up nucs and a couple of hives after the horses decided to punish me for not tossing them some hay last night.

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Been following the thing on that facebook page, interesting. The argument used to get neonicitinoids banned in parts of Europe was that they were killing bees, a figure of 30% or so a year was bandied around at the time.

 

Thought occurred to me that if it was really neonics and these guys were correct, now that neonics have been banned there should have been a surge in bee numbers.

 

Unfortunately there hasn't.

 

Is there some review period or time frame when this is re assessed to see if the origional reasons for the ban were true or false?

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I've always been 'organic' as much as possible. Spraying Glyphosate to me is a big NO NO!

Instead I use cheap white vinegar from the Chinese supermarket. Dilute it 10/1 (10 litres of water and 1 litre of vinegar) and spray around my hives. It even burns kikuyu! The only 'downside I have to spray every 4 weeks from spring to Autumn and twice in winter.

Do you think it would work on Jasmine and wandering Jew.

I use white vinegar for lots of cleaning ,but never tried it as a herbicide

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Do you think it would work on Jasmine and wandering Jew.

I use white vinegar for lots of cleaning ,but never tried it as a herbicide

Yes it does, but you have to use the vinegar 'neat' and drench the roots! After it whitherd you can easily pull everything out and throw it on the compost. (y)

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I don't use any spray close to my hives and if I have to I use a hand grubber to take out weeds. I do use roundup away from the hives in one site because of the extreme fire risk. I use a little bit of roundup around home to control perennial weeds maybe once every couple of years and we've always been told it's harmless but I'm beginning to wonder. What really concerns me is the vast acreages of farmland that are sprayed on a regular basis. The question is whether roundup followed by direct drilling is less harmful to the environment than ploughing. When I lived in a dairy farming area entire farms were sprayed with broadleaf hormones sprays and it was impossible to grow grapes and dodgy to grow tomatoes even though I was at least 100 m from the nearest spraying. It's certainly true that all those sprays we were told were safe turned out to be not quite as safe as they thought they were. I guess we just have to trust that corporate spray manufacturers have turned over a new leaf.

 

If there are as many chemicals in Chinese vinegar as their are in there honey that may explain why your plants die when you uses product.

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Thought occurred to me that if it was really neonics and these guys were correct, now that neonics have been banned there should have been a surge in bee numbers.

At conference the chief beekeeper from Alberta said that their bees are going gang busters on 10s of millions of hectares of neonic treated gmo canola. He seemed to insinuate that varroa and beekeeper mistakes were responsible for bee deaths attributed to neonics.

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At conference the chief beekeeper from Alberta said that their bees are going gang busters on 10s of millions of hectares of neonic treated gmo canola. He seemed to insinuate that varroa and beekeeper mistakes were responsible for bee deaths attributed to neonics.

They havent adopted the PPB acronym.

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At conference the chief beekeeper from Alberta said that their bees are going gang busters on 10s of millions of hectares of neonic treated gmo canola. He seemed to insinuate that varroa and beekeeper mistakes were responsible for bee deaths attributed to neonics.

Been my gut feeling for a while but I dont have any science to back it up. (The varroa more than the PPB)

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Been following the thing on that facebook page, interesting. The argument used to get neonicitinoids banned in parts of Europe was that they were killing bees, a figure of 30% or so a year was bandied around at the time.

 

Thought occurred to me that if it was really neonics and these guys were correct, now that neonics have been banned there should have been a surge in bee numbers.

 

Unfortunately there hasn't.

 

Is there some review period or time frame when this is re assessed to see if the origional reasons for the ban were true or false?

 

It seems a very fair point to continually assess things and I don't disagree. Unfortunately politics is far from perfect.

 

However, I understood the statistics differently, I presumed that if there were 30% losses that it means bk's work hard to breed 30% more colonies. So, this equates to an extra cost of business and a reduction in profit. I've not seen the total number of colonies reported on. So, I think it remains to be seen what the total was.

If the losses of bees were suddenly to go to zero, then those bk's would simply be able to ease off the breeding aspect.

 

If every bk was increasing their number of colonies every year then that might also continue regardless. At the end of the day, growth in the total number of colonies will be linked to cash on hand, profit, costs, demand and supply. Losses would not necessarily be affecting that 1:1 to cause a surge. The number of sites, hiveware, demand and labour would all limit a sudden increase in colonies.

 

I suspect the high losses figure has been grabbed by various parties and distorted to the point nobody remembers. We should avoid the same trap. I have never read a precise account of what the figure was actually measuring.

 

Hypothetical case:

Let's say I have 50 hives and 2 of them don't respond to treatment and fail from varroa related problems subsequently. I have 4% losses. During the same season there are 15 very strong hives that are split as part of swarm management and then in Summer a further 15 very strong hives become autumn splits. So, now I have 78 colonies. Over the season I gained 30 colonies, 60%. Less my losses. What were my losses? 4% But overall my number of colonies was 56% higher.

 

How anyone loses 30% is beyond me, something bad must be happening if it is true, even if total hive numbers remain static.

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No. I asked about that. He put the temporary rise in nosema down to beekeepers thinking they could get away without fumigelin (?) while they were spending $$ on varroa treatment. In other words PPB

Yep. We need to remember that up there (Canada) the bees have wait a long time in the winter to defacate. Hanging on that long increases Nosema dramatically hence the use of Fumagilin to treat the bacteria in the bee gut, and the losses were attributed to Beeks trying to save a buck and not treating, only focusing on the varroa treatment. Once the Beeks starting "observing" what was actually going on in their hives their losses were down to (or less?) 10% The ones that skipped treating were hit hard with high (and probably didnt repeat the same mistake 3 times) losses.

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would be more interested in what kills the bees in the Gisborn flats and also what killed Daykel's bees. (obviously totally unrelated)

i'm not suggesting it's PPB or roundup but something was/is killing bees and i really don't like the idea that bees die and nobody knows why - or does anyone know here?

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It's been very dry here this year, the maize has been left standing a lot later than last year. We don't keep bees on the flats which means we miss out on citrus honey. In the past we had one hive that went downhill and believe it may have been related to grape sprays or a combo of conditions.

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@Bron As an outsider (waikatoite) on my trip down to Gisborne the other weekend it looked like there would be very little forage for the bees in the late summer/autumn with all maize and mowed orchards with 1,000's of willows*. My immediate** thoughts were poor nutrition from lack of pollen and high amounts of hard to digest aphid piss.

 

This was formed without talking to a beekeeper about the 'real' problems and not looking in a behive.

 

* The willows seemed to have held their leaves even longer than here in the Waikato... so even more aphid piss in the hives?

** Second thought was that there were even higher numbers of apiaries and hives than in the Waikato and I thought it was getting mad here.

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