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  1. #41
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    Lockport, LA 70374 also on the new map
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    Buckbee we are paying around 5-6 dollars Euro equivelent for our gasoline in the US. Gas is going down. Your gas cost numbers at 9 $'s would be for the Canadians.

    Not to be a razzer, but you do drive a motor car don't you?

    Economies tend to adjust to cost/value/buying power of any given money/currency in any given country. Rememder MONEY is not fixed at any given level. Floats free. The transportation cost are rising as we speak and the economy will absord these increases over time. Ever hear of inflation?

    As far as the US is concerned adout enviro issues we are making strides but you have to consider that the modernizing countries are not in a position, or so they say, to concern themselves with the enviroment since they are more concerned about feeding their populations???
    The two most egregious offenders of the over population phenom are India and China. They are, at breakneck speed, modernizing and it seems that the enviroment is not a major concern to them. Are you aware of the most recent hazardous, whatever, spill that is now occuring in Harbin China?

    I can honestly say that we are in fact doing " the right thing " as concers the enviroment. Also remember, this is not a top down form of government that we have here. We MAY, have, what you have one day, however we are not there yet.

    I don't have much to say about bees right now except that I'm learning and interested.

    Cheers
    JB

  2. #42
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    MountainCamp,
    Thanks for that. Down here in SW England our winters are usually quite mild, rarely below -5C and then only for short periods. I think, as you suggest, long, cold spells are actually good for bees (assuming they are well-stocked) as mites probably don't like the cold and maybe AFB spores and other nasties don't either. I also think your 'do a bit of several things' approach is sound - we cannot pin our hopes on a single technique.

    What do you do about swarming?
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  3. #43
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    "What do you do about swarming? "

    I'm against it. I regard each swarmed colony in my apiary as something of a failure (even if I catch the swarm). It disrupts production, attracts undue attention and results in weakened colonies. My bees will have to live without salvation.

  4. #44
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    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    I start feeding light syrup here the 2nd or 3rd week of February when we still have a lot of winter left to go.
    I make my splits up here about 3 weeks before the swarm season starts. So my splits are made the 2nd or 3rd week of April. When I get a good day of weather.
    The splits raise there own queens so they have a 4 week or so break in the brood cycle.
    The brood and the nurse bees all go with the split, so the queen has all open comb and starts freash.
    If the hive needs to be requeened, then I leave a frame with some eggs and remove the queen.
    This basically eliminates swarms for the season for most hives and queens.
    I have a hive that is almost all made up of foragers with nothing to do but bring in nectar for an early crop. It will also be ready for the later summer & fall flows. The other hive will be ready to produce a summer & fall crop.

  5. #45
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    >>the bee inspectors have a tendency to 'turn a blind eye' to such practices, and as I have no physical evidence, it's hard to know where to go with it.

    If you had any real evedence I'm sure you would go somewhere with it, including your "turn a blind eye" inspectors.
    The problem with argueing on fabricated stories or hear say, is they can completely take down the credability of ones arguement.


    >>To describe organic farming as 'farming without inputs' is frankly ignorant....composted manure and plant waste, seaweed, bone meal, etc, plus crop rotation and companion planting

    >>Approximately 2% of the U.S. food supply is grown using organic methods. Over the past decade, sales of organic products have shown an annual increase of at least 20%, the fastest growing sector of agriculture.


    Yes, it was ignorant to say, for I over simplified my statement. I'm talking world wide food production here. Not just your neich American market. Yes, organic agriculture has increased greatly in the last two decades, but your only condidering its growth in a wealth counrty, not world wide, and your not considering population growth over the last two decades.

    I will correct my statement saying, Organic agriculture, to put it simply is "farming without inputs" when attributing it to large scale. And that is why it has never been able to expand into large production, as we commonly think current agriculture exists. Just try to find enough manure to cover all of the world producing acres, then try to find a more economical method to apply it.

    You are argueing sustainability, arnt you? How can you ever imagine mass food production without our current innovations and technologies as being sustainable?


    >>But guess what, NOBODY has a God-given right to be a full-time beekeeper. Maybe you need to diversify - find something else to do part-time, like I and many others do.


    Not sure your intention here. Why do I have to have gods given right to produce honey? I am mearly making a living. 400 hives along side of a 250 cow/calf pure bred stock/beef farm, and 1200 acres of crop land. Do you think I have time for something else to do part time? Oh ya, I also am a father of two, a job on its own...


    It is a crying same when there are opinions floating about that farmers dont need to be able to make a living on food production. For it is the people who are contracting the work out to the farmers. Lets let the people produce the food insead, and see if they have time to hold their standard of living....


    >>And don't expect me to provide all the answers. I brought up the issue for discussion: I don't pretend to be a guru! You have to figure it out yourselves.

    Give me a break,. YOu didnt bring up the issue to disscuss!! You slaged all the worlds commercial food producers and blamed them on the earths demize!! Shal I pull up one of your quotes??

    I always hold by a simple rule when argueing/debating issues.

    Dont critasize the problem when you dont have an answer to solve it.

    [size="1"][ December 02, 2005, 10:45 AM: Message edited by: Ian ][/size]
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #46
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    Mountaincamp,

    I'm slowly working towards a system of production almost identical to what you described. I still havn't been able to get the large spring crop, but I think that has to do with my crush and strain harvest method. The bees have to build about 50% new comb every year. Oh well, at least I'll never have to worry about having diseased comb. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  7. #47
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    There was a time in history when all agraculture was organic. Actually for most of the last 5000 or so years. Of course there were alternating peroids of famine. Most folks died before they were 30, but they didnt have to worry about thier chlorestoral levels. I mean , hey, now I have to go to the gym to keep from getting fat. I wonder how many antibotics were in that steak I ate for dinner. How will I have enough money to last till I am 75 or older?
    Maybe we should go back to how it was, clean air, no pesticides, no antibotics....a healthier time!

    Ok, enough sarcasm. Because of comercialised agraculture, we have the prosperity to take the time to look at its shortcommings, instead of scratching the dirt with wooden hoes.
    Because its an industry it has the rescources to study its problems and fund solutions and it will, because there is money to be made by improving the methods.

  8. #48
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    Ian,
    I'm not taking any sides just giving information.

    At EAS there was a young lady from one of your universities that did a study on the pollination of rape. She found a low level of pollinaters of all kinds where fields were continuous for miles. She actually proved that an occasional swath of land taken out of production and let go fallow, resulted in a larger crop of rapeseed in the remaining acerage. This, because those pollinaters need a little wilderness to propagate. Now this was organic!

    Dickm

  9. #49
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    >>a low level of pollinaters of all kinds where fields were continuous for miles.

    Must be somewhere in Saskatewan, I bet. Vast acerages in that provence. Yet still many beehive operatiors. Here in Manitoba, you will be hard pressed not to find an operator in areas. But we dont seem to be crowded. (not too many fights of terrirory here)

    >>She actually proved that an occasional swath of land taken out of production and let go fallow, resulted in a larger crop of rapeseed in the remaining acerage. This, because those pollinaters need a little wilderness to propagate.

    I will argue that it wasnt in relation to the pollinator. Rape is self pollinating unlike Buckwheat that requires pollinaiton for seed set. If your young lady was from Saskatewan, then the swaths of land taken out are common practice. But for moisture retention. Sack. is a dry provence on average. By summerfallowing in strips, they reduce wind erosion, which is the huge disadvantage to summerfallowing.
    Summerfallow is one method of farming organically in terms of finding a method to control weeds. Once practice by all farmers on vergin land, even my father. But soil erosion, pulverized soil structure,and exausting reserve nutrients are its downsides.

    Soory buckbee, I just noticed you are from England, not the US. Never the less, my arguement hold the same, as England is a counrty of wealth
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #50
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    Hampshire, Wessex, England. U.K.
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    The Totnes bee is not really suitable for UK damp conditions. Most of BA's work fought with rather than worked with the wet UK environment. Fine bees for elsewhere though.
    Varroa has just about eliminated our feral colonies.
    Shook swarming onto fresh foundation is recommended as a routine hygene procedure, ideally annually.
    In Germany, I believe it is law to be able to discern the outline of a hand through the brood comb.
    Anticipate this requirement to be applied to those exporting to the EEC (Europe).
    German honey consumption is very much higher per head than elsewhere in Europe.

    Rgds.
    Malcolm

  11. #51
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    Ian,

    "Most organic farmers are motivated by more than economic objectives - their aim is to optimize land, animal, and plant interactions, preserve natural nutrient and energy flows, and enhance biodiversity, all of which contribute to sustainable agriculture."
    see http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/9901sp3.htm

    Around here, it is very noticeable that wild plant species are making a big comeback since farmers reduced their chemical inputs. This can only be good for the bees.


    When I said:
    >>But guess what, NOBODY has a God-given right to be a full-time beekeeper.

    I simply meant that, when commercial beekeepers are confronted with suggestions that their ways of doing things are damaging to bees and/or the wider environment, they tend to get defensive and say things that suggest they put more importance on their own income than on the interests of the bees or the planet.

    Blue.eyed.Wolf,
    Nobody is suggesting that we 'go back' to primitive agricultural systems. The fact is - as Ian already said - that we are over-producing food. There is no world food shortage - only very uneven distribution of wealth. Most Americans and Europeans eat far more than is good for them. Obesity is one of our top three health hazards. I suggest you educate yourself about modern organic agriculture.

    "Sustainable agriculture must become the primary goal for agricultural and rural policy. A more sustainable agriculture seeks to make the best use of natureÂ’s goods and services as functional inputs. It does this by integrating regenerative processes (such as nutrient cycling, nitrogen fixation, soil regeneration and natural enemies of pests) into food production processes. It minimises the use of inputs that damage the environment or harm human health. Put simply, it is agriculture that minimises negative externalities and maximises the positive side-effects."

    New Farming for Britain - Towards a National Plan for Reconstruction, July 2001, by Jules Pretty, Professor of Environment and Society, University of Essex

    For suggestions about how food production could be organized, see:
    http://www.naturallygrown.org/ http://www.wholesomefood.org/

    I append a short article, which may give some people pause for thought:

    ................................................

    Why fruit & veg were better for us 50 years ago

    Fruit & vegetables are not as good for us as they were 50 years ago, according to a scientific study. Modern farming methods mean that the amount of essential minerals in the food we eat has been reduced alarmingly. There is up to 75% less calcium & 93% less copper in fruit & vegetables, the study says Runner beans which used to contain a significant amount of sodium - vital for the working of the nerves & muscles - now have almost no traces of it at all. The levels of other important minerals such as iron, phosphorous, potassium & magnesium have also plummeted.

    Nutritionist David Thomas said he was 'astonished' by his findings. "Minerals have been recognised as being very important to our physiology, but the general public has no idea that there has been this dramatic decline in the levels of such elements in our food," he said.

    His research showed that broccoli has 75% less calcium, which is essential for building healthy bones & teeth. Carrots have 75% less magnesium, which protects against heart attacks, asthma & kidney stones. Spinach, famous as a good source of iron, was found to have 60% less iron than it had 50 years ago.

    Mr Thomas said he believed the reduction in the mineral content of food was a result of modern farming methods which use massive amounts of fertilisers on the soil. The fertilisers encourage plant growth, but this is at the expense of the minerals which are important for good health. Mr Thomas said: "We are made up of these substances. If they're deficient then the body cannot cope as well as it would otherwise."

    He based his conclusions on data from The Composition of Foods, a comprehensive study of all major foods dating back to 1940 By comparing figures over a 50 year period he was able to plot certain trends. A similar analysis, comparing data from 1930 & 1980 was published in the British Food Journals in 1977. It compared 20 vegetables & found levels of calcium, iron & other minerals had declined significantly.

    Professor Tim Lang, of the renowned Centre for Food Policy at the Thames Valley University, said the results revealed an important trend which needed to be exposed. "These are big percentages," he said. "The nature of production is altering what we are eating. Plant breeders have been trying to develop tomatoes, carrots & fruit that look nice, resist disease & can withstand being shipped halfway around the world. They have been less concerned about the minerals in the food." "We are dying prematurely of coronary heart disease & cancer & we are being told to cut down on fat & eat more fruit & vegetables. But at the same time they are changing the content of what they are eating.

    Mr Thomas runs a company called Trace Minerals UK, based in Sussex, which distributes a mineral supplement called ConcernTrace. Professor Lang said that despite his commercial interest, Mr Thomas had carried out a legitimate piece of research. Percentage losses follow:

    Vegetables
    Runner beans nearly 100% of sodium
    Watercress 93% of copper
    Carrots 75% of magnesium
    Broccoli 75% of calcium
    Spring onion 74% of calcium
    Swede 71% of iron
    Spinach 60% of iron
    Potatoes 47% of phosphorous

    Fruits
    Orange 67% of iron
    Avocado 62% of sodium
    Strawberry 55% of calcium
    Melon 45% of magnesium
    Passion fruit 43% of potassium
    Rasberry 39% of calcium
    Blackberry 35% of calcium
    Rhubarb 32% of potassium

    Duncan Cross is a speaker, researcher & writer on health subjects. He specialises in children's & adult's behavioural problems, physical & mental conditions, many of which are amenable to dietary intervention.

    ..................................................
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  12. #52
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    I don't want to labour the point, but I just read this and thought I would pass it on:

    " I think the planet is in much more serious trouble than most people realise, that we could be on the verge of an ecological catastrophe if things carry on this way. I've just been reading a book by Jared Diamond called Collapse? in which he talks about how throughout history, civilisations have collapsed because they've done one of two things in particular: either destroyed their forests or practised unsustainable agriculture.

    Easter Island or the Mayan civilisation. There are lots of examples where civilisations have disappeared quite rapidly because of these two factors, and he's saying that if this happens again - and all the indications are that it could - it won't just happen on a local level, it could happen on a global level.

    So those of us who share this perspective have a responsibility to work together, not just on a national basis but on a planetary basis, to raise awareness of the precariousness of our so-called civilised society. If the oil runs out or if civil unrest becomes a serious issue - could well be about oil or food shortages - most of us are incredibly vulnerable. Think of all the centralised food systems based on industrial fanning production, certainly in all the major conurbations of Britain, and in south east England in particular. If those systems failed, most of us would have very little capacity to get food. So we really need to think very seriously about a more sustainable approach to agriculture, based on relocalising food distribution systems. I think it's an urgent imperative.

    I'm quite optimistic that we can do this. I believe millions of people intuitively share these concerns and yearn for something different. If we can harness the power of that latent awareness, we can use it to drive change, politically but also through the marketplace. In a world where we can easily feel very disempowered, if everyone woke up tomorrow completely committed to buying in-season local, organic where possible, sustainably produced food, the future of agriculture would completely change. We're the powerful ones, it's our buying habits that affect the future of farming."

    Patrick Holden, Director, Soil Association
    http://www.soilassociation.org/

    Article from Country Smallholding Magazine, January, 2006 (p.71)
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  13. #53
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    I think we can all agree that sustainable agriculture is a very good thing. I thing the debate is over which practices need changing, how to change them, and how long we have to accomplish these goals. I feel that sustainability starts with the consumer, not the producer. Supply side economics has repeatedly failed in both communist and capitolist countries throughout the last century. Consumer power is perhaps the last power many of us have. Don't buy a product unless you have a thorough understanding of how that product is made, and what effect that product will have on future generations. Likewise, I make a effort to do more good with fewer resources. Its really not all that hard. ....Umm can we reopen tailgater.. believe it or not, I opened this sight with full intentions of reading/posting about swarms.

  14. #54
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    >>if everyone woke up tomorrow completely committed to buying in-season local, organic where possible, sustainably produced food, the future of agriculture would completely change. We're the powerful ones, it's our buying habits that affect the future of farming."

    Ahh, yes. I can listen and find some common ideas with this tone, buckbee unlike your previous posts.

    Everything is economic, and blaming one sector of the economy is truely unfair, but targeting the problem as a whole is more objective.

    I think it all comes down to the consumer, and their interest in the food produced. And by simply educating themselves into the food production practices, I think they will have a better grasp on how the food is produced and why it is produced that way. And that will support locally produced food termendiously. I dont mean a shift to organics, some yes, but a shift to supporting local farms is essential.

    But still, there is an over riding factor to all of this. And that is many many people in the world cant afford to feed thier families, let alone themselves as we do. to simply stop modern day agriculture, will simply starve out most of the world.

    You still havent convinced me that switching to organic production world scale is even remotely feiasable and or sustainable. I understand your concern of the environment and share some concern on how agriculture has displaced areas of nature. I will also make that arguement on economic development, usually found in massive conquore.
    And I will argue current agriculture is unsustainable due to rising costs of production and low value of produce. But I will not argue our productive unsustainabillity.

    Our world population depends on three staples of food. Rice, Maze,and wheat. They are produced by the billions of lbs each year world wide. How is organic production going to meet those commentments?

    >> believe it or not, I opened this sight with full intentions of reading/posting about swarms.

    Aspera, food production has everything to with beekeeping. Everthing discussed here is directly related to beekeeping in everyway from supply and demand, to production practices, to world wide distribution of honey itself. Not only that, but most honey produced the the world is directly related the production of crops itself. Any full time beekeeper knows exactly how healthy thier farming neighbours are..

    [size="1"][ December 03, 2005, 11:14 PM: Message edited by: Ian ][/size]
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #55
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    buckbee,

    though if you have time, vuisit www.deerwood.mb.ca .

    It is an orginization out in my neck of the woods, to which I have become a boardmenber. Might be right up your ally. Not sure how up to date the page is, but these guys are collecting data, govnt sponsored without influence, that is starting to counterdict alot of "facts" on souluble polutants in our water sheds directly related to agricultural practices.

    Anyhow, if you get a chance, I would like to know what you think.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #56
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    Ian,
    It looks like a very worthwhile project. However, as soon as I saw the name of Dennis Avery, I smelled a rat. He is widely known to be in the pay of the agri-chemical industry, directly or indirectly, and has written a lot of rubbish about organic food. Here's what GMWatch say about him:


    "Dennis Avery is a Senior fellow of the Hudson Institute and Director of its Center for Global Food Issues, where his son Alex Avery also works. He is also an Advisor to the American Council on Science and Health, and author of 'Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic' and of a nationally syndicated weekly column for the financial newswire Bridge News.

    Avery is a fervent supporter of biotechnology, pesticides, irradiation, factory farming and free trade.

    Avery claims organic farming takes up too much land and thus destroys wildlife habitat. He argues that if it were widely adopted it would cause an 'environmental catastrophe' not to mention 'mass starvation'. Alternatively, says Avery, it would lead to measures for population control - possibly forced abortions. He has suggested its promotion may be part of a deliberate strategy to achieve such goals.

    Avery is the originator of the 'E. Coli myth' - the idea that people who eat organic foods are at a significantly higher risk of food poisoning. Avery published an article entitled 'The Hidden Dangers in Organic Food' in the Fall, 1998, issue of American Outlook, a quarterly publication published by the Hudson Institute. Avery's article began, 'According to recent data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people who eat organic and natural foods are eight times as likely as the rest of the population to be attacked by a deadly new strain of E. coli bacteria (0157:H7).'

    However, according to Robert Tauxe, M.D., chief of the food borne and diarrheal diseases branch of the CDC, there is no such data on organic food production in existence at their centers and he says Avery's claims are 'absolutely not true.' Even Gregory Conko of the Competitive Enterprise Institute has commented critically on Avery's dubious use of statistics: 'looking at a few selectively reported cases from a single year doesn't seem to be convincing anybody who doesn't already have a predilection to believe you in the first place.'

    However, stories about 'killer organic food' have appeared in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Ironically, a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report concludes organic practices actually reduce e-coli infection and reduce the levels of contaminants in foods. Avery's attribution of danger to organic farming on the basis that it makes use of manure is, in fact, nonsensical. In the UK, for example, conventional farmers use about 80 million tonnes of manure a year as a fertiliser. Just 9,000 tonnes goes on organic land.

    The Hudson Institute is funded by many firms whose products are excluded from organic agriculture: eg, AgrEvo, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, Novartis Crop Protection, Zeneca, Du Pont, DowElanco, ConAgra, and Cargill.

    Before joining Hudson, Avery served from 1980-88 as the senior agricultural analyst for the U.S. State Department where he was involved in assessing the foreign policy implications of food and farming developments. "

    For the full story, see http://www.gmwatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=15&page=A
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  17. #57
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    I dont know the name Dennis Avery, was he perhaps a guest speaker at some time. Or perhap he is one of the fellow who is making his thesis in relation to the project. I doubt he is related to the project. Where did you find this fellow?

    I know Tim Ball was a speaker last year. Interesting fellow, countering many "know" theories. Believe him or not, at least there is other factual opinions out there.

    The page needs updating, but all in all that is what we are all about.

    I cant find the name Dennis Avery.

    [size="1"][ December 04, 2005, 01:43 PM: Message edited by: Ian ][/size]
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #58
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    >>if everyone woke up tomorrow completely committed to buying in-season local, organic where possible, sustainably produced food, the future of agriculture would completely change. We're the powerful ones, it's our buying habits that affect the future of farming."

    I'm in the heart of the sustainable agriculture/ organic farming movement in the Green Market Program NYC. It is a huge investment in education for both farmers and consumers. We can lay out our great plans based on biodynamics and permacultures. It doesn't mean much if it doesn't work,(as it often doesn't) you have a crop failure and can't feed your family. The problem with this concept is the same problem we face with commerical beekeeping, we are trying to grow unusual concentrations of simlar crops in a confined area. The natural result of this is to maximize the pests and disease that thrive on these crops. If all agriculture went organic the likelyhood of collapse is a virtual certainty. Organics is easy to talk about, spend a season or two applying the theories that are out there and make sure you can feed your family too. It is one area with lofty ideals and allot of cheap talk. Mostly from those who don't actually have to make a living off organic farming.
    How much more are you willing to pay for this ideal of organic food with naturally managed hives. 2, 3 ,4 how about 10 times what you pay now. Humane raised, organic, free range chicked at one of our markets sells for $7 lb. it takes many, many 4 lb chikens to feed your family, by insurance, pay the market costs, fuel, non-antibiotic feed, fencing, labor ect. Eggs are $3.75/ dozen. Organics is a great concept that is very labor intensive and prone to failure on the scale needed to feed the world. Don't get me wrong, I'm doing everything I can in that direction. I have a problem with those sitting on the sidelines pointing the bony finger who talk high ideals. Most farmers I know are on a year to year survival basis. Mass supermarkets with perfect produce are slowly eliminating the "organic" farmer. Buckbee, Where do buy your groceries? What produce is in season from October through June in your neck of the woods?

    As someone who depends on my bees for a living and in the mainstream of sustainable agriculture I know it will be slow process. The consumer has this conception of clean, "pure", perfect, products and won't care about how it directly effects them until it actually does.

    As far as swarming goes it is the natural method of propagation for Honey bees and contrary to our goals as beekeepers to manipulate bees to make a surplus crop of honey we can use. Successful beekeepers will find a way to work with that urge instead of working against it by such methods as well timed splits, checkerboarding and adding foundation to strong hives well before the process begins..

  19. #59
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    Ian,
    see http://www.deerwood.mb.ca/pesticide/pest02.html under the second image
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  20. #60
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    Joel,
    I completely appreciate what you say. The path towards organic is strewn with big boulders and the certification costs are often prohibitive for the small grower.
    I have long supported the 'localization' movement and was a director of the Wholesome Food Association for a couple of years. There is a similar organization in the USA, see: http://www.naturallygrown.org/ and http://www.wholesomefood.org/

    I get most of my produce locally, some organic, some all-but-certified. We can grow quite a lot here through the winter in our mild climate, but yes, some is imported.

    I don't think that organic is the answer to everything, but I do think it is part of the answer, including within beekeeping.

    >>As far as swarming goes it is the natural method of propagation for Honey bees and contrary to our goals as beekeepers to manipulate bees to make a surplus crop of honey we can use.

    And yet this was not always the case (see my previous posts).

    >>Successful beekeepers will find a way to work with that urge instead of working against it by such methods as well timed splits, checkerboarding and adding foundation to strong hives well before the process begins.

    Yes - if we can work with it and still give the bees the feeling that they have fulfilled their swarming urge - and I still have an idea that it's not a bad plan to let at least some colonies 'go all the way', as part of an overall management plan.

    I shall continue to experiement.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

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