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Planting for pollinators next door to Monsanto?

 
Woody Glenn
Posts: 16
Location: Delmarva Peninsula, MD Zone 7
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My little home in Monsanto country abuts a commercial corn/soybean farm. We do get a couple waves of honey and bumble bees when the raspberry's bloom but bees are not a obvious part of the insect population. I would like to encourage the local population with pollinator focused plantings and eventually have a couple hives, but I wonder that with Godzilla as my next door neighbor I'll just be spitting into the wind.
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
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tough call. I know both those crops have been genetically modified to create toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis, and I would guess (though I don't know) that the odds of your neighbor using those seeds is pretty high. have you asked anybody if they're planting transgenic crops?

the glyphosate resistant gene is also troublesome, but I don't think it would be as immediately harmful as the Bt.

to answer your question, though, you might be spitting into the wind. that doesn't, however, mean you shouldn't do it.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 1724
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands
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bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
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Maryland farmers grew just under 1 million acres of corn and soybeans in 2012. [1] The land area in Maryland is about 8 million acres. So even if every corn and soy farmer planted GMO, only 13% of the land area in the state would be GMO.

A colony of honey bees ranges over about 8000 acres. The biggest fields that I could find via satellite images around the Delmarva Peninsula were about 160 acres, and there is lots of wild bee habitat around and between fields. To me, it looks like a great place for bees to live.

The Corporation might be perceived as having a big footprint. But when looking at the whole ecosystem, it's just a footprint, and there is plenty of space between strides.

In my garden, I am selecting for tomatoes that are highly attractive to bumblebees.


References:
[1] USDA: Final 2012 Crop Year Production Estimates.

 
Woody Glenn
Posts: 16
Location: Delmarva Peninsula, MD Zone 7
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I'm out in Kent County Md, and it looks like well more than half the land here is growing corn. Im not sure is soybeans are the only alternating crop but I haven't seen anything else. My immediate neighbors corn/soy field is 350+ acres. I guess I could stop by the Monsanto field station down the road and ask for more info as to the scale of their operations. You are right, in that it is a lovely blue/green orb from above and that "none of them can stop the time".
kentfarms.jpg
[Thumbnail for kentfarms.jpg]
 
Bill Bradbury
pollinator
Posts: 684
Location: Richmond, Utah
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Woody Glenn wrote: "none of them can stop the time".


So true!
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