Dale Hodgins wrote:I'm going to wait a few years while others deal with all the financial risk.
pv agroforest wrote:
John Polk wrote:
Corn is primarily wind pollinated. That is why it is typically planted in blocks vs rows.
A 10 foot by 10 foot block will produce many times more corn that a 100 foot row.
corn is wind pollinated but many bees still really like to collect the pollen for their own use. Bt corn is one of the suspects in "colony collapse disorder" as is the neonicitinoid systemic insecticides that are sometimes applied to the seed. Personally I find it hard to believe the trace amounts in a seed treatment are sufficient to have this effect on bees (they are exposed to it via the pollen) but for sure neonicitinoids have extremely deleterious effects on bees. I have seen native bumblebees directly exposed to bt in high concentrations (not from GM corn) and from an unscientific observation it seemed to have drastic effect on the colony so could be a possibility imo.
David Livingston wrote:Dale
want to keep bees for FREE? read on http://www.biobees.com/how_to_start_beekeeping.php
I would wish to keep these bees but they are not suitable for hives unfortunetly
Dale Hodgins wrote:
What's the sneakiest way to kill only those bees while leaving the others unharmed ?
Dave Miller wrote:
John Polk wrote:
A serious problem in most orchards is that other than the crop trees, all other vegetation is removed. There is no habitat for the wild pollinators. This is why they need to import the honey bee hives.
The California almond industry uses most of the available US hives at blossom time. Their demand is so great, that each year cargo planes of bee hives are flown in from Australia to service the almond orchards. That cannot be sustainable!
Some of the more progressive orchardists are beginning to replant native plants around their trees, in hopes of attracting native pollinators. The monoculture model is failing. If "we" cannot reverse the trends, it will indeed be a hungry world.
My neighbor is an "almond farmer by proxy" near Fresno, California. i.e. his parents are farmers in the area and he purchased 20 acres next to his parents property, and converted it from grapes to almonds a couple of years ago. His dad's crew does most of the work on the land, but my neighbor does go down several times a year to perform certain work on the farm. He was telling me all the work that is required to produce almonds (including renting bees) and how the timing has to be just right otherwise you won't get a crop. And of course everyone needs the bees at the same time, so they are super expensive to rent. I tried to encourage him to plant some native pollinator host plants around the edges of his property, but I was not able to sway him, mainly because the ground has to be completely bare in order to harvest the almonds with some kind of sweeper machine.
I am wondering if anyone knows of any almond orchard that uses native pollinators? I think if he could see a successful example he might give it a try.
Chris Kott wrote:Hey Dale,
Any news on the bee front? How are your native pollinators doing? Are you thinking about jumping on the honey bee wagon yet, or are you still holding out?