I recently joined the WCBA (oldest beekeeping assoc in the US, I found that very cool) and boy did we get political last night.
A few bills are at the house concerning pesticides. Neonicotines ( I know I am not saying that right) are apparently now the most prevalent pesticide and they are not good for bee's and their hives!
Increased amounts of hives are being found with dangerous amounts of pesticides in the wax each year. In my area I haven't seen many bee's lately and the numbers definitely go down each year.
An interesting part of the discussion was about talking to your neighbors. To ask them if they could not use harmful chemicals and let them know you are getting into beekeeping. I spoke with my grandfather today and we talked about using pesticides in the safest manner possible. To me it is easy, don't use them! If you need protective gear to handle a product then you shouldn't be putting that product near the food sources of organisms as important as bee's!
Also among the discussion at the meeting was the fact that it is confirmed reps have received donations from both Bayer and Monsanto. I hope that doesn't mean an impossible fight for the WCBA and the bee bills here in MA.
How active is your community in politics? Have you made any headway against pesticides and big companies?
I am new to beekeeping so I haven't acted yet, however I will be digging in and researching!
Here in France they just banned these insecticides but the ban wont take effect until 2018 so the fight is still not over next up is to make the ban Europe wide.
In the UK it is best described as civil war with the British Beekeeping Association taking money from Beyer
I would check out Biobees web site ,David heaf's yahoo group , Dee Lusby's organic beekeeping site ( as long as you don't mention that maybe small cell size isn't the answer to everything ) , And the Natural Beekeeping trust http://www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org/#!blank-5/wzfzn
Living in Anjou , France,
For the many not for the few
I was just lamenting the 5 yrs it will take them to do the right thing. Their products are anything but benign, just read any of the labels. One reason I don't belong to a beekeeping club is the fact that it gets so political, I get most of my info online or from individual beekeepers I have become friends with. Neonics are the hot topic and rightly so, however sooo few are aware of the neonic dust-off from monoculture planting of seed-coated crops. To me this is one of the primary forms of this poison, full strength and landing on all of the forage (or whats left of it) in the vicinity of the field. I don't like the orchard sprays but I dont think they are the main culprit, I think they were the most likely culprit. Its not the only reason pollinators health is declining though, even in non seed coated crop areas the lack of bio-diversity from our fascination with creating monocultures leaves them with dearths of pollen and nectar that can be hard on the colony in its attempt to build enough stores to make it through the winter. We need to stop spraying dandelions and mowing them so soon. Dandelions are the first abundant source of pollen in the spring for honey bees, a good abundant protein source for the bees to use for cranking up brood production and nourish the colony after a long winter. More brood earlier in the season means the ability to bring in more pollen and nectar.
Trying to eat as much as I can and as often as I can from organic biodiverse polyculture (in spite of the selection at the GMA supermarket). we need to vote with our shopping dollar to get rid of this bee problem, no gm soy, gm corn, gm sugarbeet, gm cotton, gm rapeseed (canola), mutant dwarf wheat, sprayed produce/grain or animal products raised on those feeds (cafo). You are what you eat, you are what you eat, eats. I use the wapf guidelines to help me. Grateful to have a grocery store that has the same philosophy, makes it easy to fill the house with body building nutritious food that is easy on mother nature.
My PEP Badge Tracker: An easier way to track your PEP Badge Progress