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  1. #21
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    Buckbee uses a term Sustainable. I would like to expand on that word adding agriculture.

    Sustainable agriculture is a common term among the large and extended (4 states) group of farmers in every discipline I'm involved with. It involves stepping outside the norm of the large Commercial Ag corporations and involve several key areas.

    1) Production of Alternative products (heirloom vegatables, regional wines, gourmet cheeses,High quality Milk, yogurt, smoothies, cottage cheese, custom cheeses for cows and goats, Distinct local honey varieties, creamed honey, honey based hair, skin and bath products, raw pollen, raw honey, propolis, candles etc. for Apiarists.
    2) Alternative mgt. practices (organic raised, humane raised, free range, minimal processing, no nitrate meats etc.)
    3) Co-ordinated inter-communication between Farmers.
    4)Alternative farm incomes - Agri- tours, bed & Breakfast, apprentice programs etc.
    5) Ongoing education Farmers - introducing cutting edge methods for managment, marketing.
    6) Group buying power for insurance, market bags, advertising, education, supplies and such.
    7) Targeted consumer education about "where your food comes from.

    Small scale farming today is an excercise on the edge. Any breakdown due to well meant misinformation about disease control or other management conditions could be devestating for those on this precipice. We must use the minimal amount of the best science has to offer while keeping focused on new, proven management techniques. We are the "new age" Farmers but all know to well the risks of unproven new ideas and feel good management plans. Our rule is to think with our heads not our hearts and and apply good managment (health and business) principles to anything presented and take what is usuable from that.

  2. #22
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    As a side note to this post I spoke with my Market Neighbor about his use of biodynamics in running his 900 free range chicken farm. He only started this year but spoke very confindently about the success so far. His first name, if you can imagine, is "Nester". Now that's what I call destiny!

  3. #23
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    > I don't remember any athropomorphism creeping in

    >>1) The whole subject of bees somehow being "more comfortable" without foundation, and the use of foundation "caus[ing] the bees unnecessary stress".

    (a) I don't think humans are the only animals to experience comfort/discomfort. (b) English is not his first language. (c) Taking 'stress' to mean something like 'a stimulus causing a sense of discomfort or disharmony' then I support the idea that foundation causes stress to bees, as it is designed and formed with our purpose in mind, not theirs. Bees do NOT naturally construct rectangular slabs of uniform cells, that is something they are alomost forced to do by foundation. Therefore, it causes them stress. As does ANY interference in their natural processes. If we don't need to use it and the bees don't want to use it, then WHY USE IT?

    >>2) "queens raised by artificial means as inevitably inferior to those
    raised within the colony by natural means" (Funny how artificially
    inseminated queens sell for hundreds of dollars each, while swarm
    and supercedure cells have almost no market value.)

    Yes it is odd. I wouldn't pay good money for an artificially inseminated queen.

    3) Michael acknowledged that queens raised under the supercedure
    impulse – arising when a colony considers that its queen needs
    to be replaced – are probably the best queens of all. (Funny how
    this is the opposite of the consensus among science and beekeepers
    whose sole source of income is beekeeping.)

    In the books on queen rearing I have read, supercedure queens are almost universally upheld as being the best, as they are the ones raised by the bees 'at their leisure' to replace their existing laying queen.

    4) "with a little chamomile tea added..." Oh come ON! What sort of
    new-age, burnt-out ex-hippie, granola-head concept is THIS?
    It may be native to Western Europe, but where did it actually grow before man cultivated it, and what could it possibly do for bees when added to their feed?

    I don't know the answers - except that it is a wild plant in Europe (where your bees probably come from) - but you have no cause to mock if you do not know the chemical constitution of chamomile yourself. It has a well-known medicinal effect on humans, and may well do on bees for all you know.

    > And to which myths are you referring?

    >>Myths about queen excluders,

    Where's the myth? Some people use them, others don't. I can't comment on the OSR crystallisation issue, as I haven't tried it yet. But then, neither have you.

    >>myths about honey being somehow "better" than sugar syrup or HFCS,

    I stand by the principle that the bees know what is best for them. They make nectar into honey, not HFCS.

    >>myths about requeening from swarm cells,

    That is current practice, and it works for them (the Germans), so who are you to criticize? I questioned Michael about whether using swarm cells caused the promotion of the swarming tendency and he said that their bees did not swarm any more than their neighbours' bees. He doesn't believe that swarming is an inherited trait. Others do, but I have seen no proof either way.

    >>myths about foundation being somehow "bad", myths about "enslavement"

    I have covered both of these elsewhere.

    >>myths about feed (other than honey) causing dysentery, and so on.

    I have seen signs of dysentery in sugar-fed bees, never in honey fed. That doesn't prove anything, but honey is what they store for winter: the bees know better than we do.

    Sucrose is NOT chemically identical to nectar, as any basic book on the chemistry of plants and bees will tell you.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  4. #24
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    >> 2) "queens raised by artificial means as inevitably inferior
    >> to those raised within the colony by natural means"
    > Funny how artificially inseminated queens sell for hundreds
    > of dollars each, while swarm and supercedure cells have
    > almost no market value.

    I don't find this odd at all. Of course one is going to sell their "product" for a profit. Look at all the time spent to produce a AI queen. That hardly proves value/quality though. And what is a value to one may not be so to another.

    Regards,
    Barry
    Regards, Barry

  5. #25
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    > Bees do NOT naturally construct rectangular slabs
    > of uniform cells, that is something they are
    > alomost forced to do by foundation. Therefore, it
    > causes them stress.

    This is yet another example of extremely non-rigorous
    (or, as I like to call it, "fuzzy") thinking.
    While it is true that bees build combs to fill whatever
    space they occupy, it does not automatically follow
    that a rectangular space causes anything that might be
    called "stress". Bees are highly adaptable
    creatures, and if they were to set up shop in
    a wall of a house, their combs, if allowed to
    grow for long enough WOULD be rectangular.

    Bees build comb to fill a space. Bees clearly
    have no problem setting up shop in a wide variety
    of spaces, including rectangular ones. If they
    did not find a space acceptable, they would either
    not set up shop, or they would abscond after some
    period of time. It is therefore reasonable to
    conclude that there is NO stress caused
    by such arrangements, and highly unreasonable to
    conclude otherwise.

    As for "uniform" cells, the bees do not strictly
    "obey" the foundation, so there is no such thing
    as a comb of 100% "uniform cells", or it is a
    very rare thing in a brood chamber. In a honey
    super, the bees are quite happy to draw out cells
    that might be called "uniform", but even then,
    a sharp eye will notice variation.

    > As does ANY interference in their natural
    > processes. If we don't need to use it and the
    > bees don't want to use it, then WHY USE IT?

    We can only observe what the bees prefer in
    order to infer what they "want". When offered
    choices, bees make their choice, and reveal their
    preferences. As for "interference in their
    natural processes", you are just a tad late
    to be worried about that. You are a beekeeper.
    Your mere "keeping" of bees is a massive
    level of interference in their natural processes.
    You "harvest" honey, and you (try to) "prevent" swarming.
    These are two very basic and massive ways to mess
    with the bee's minds and reproductive instincts.
    If you want natural, buy a bee-lining box and go
    harvest honey from feral hives. (No, even THAT would
    mess with the bees too much - you'll have to just
    watch them and admire from afar, rather like a bird
    watcher.)

    > [chamomile tea] It has a well-known medicinal
    > effect on humans, and may well do on bees for
    > all you know.

    The above is yet another example of the endemic
    anthropomorphism that permeates these sorts
    of mythical views of bees. Bees are insects,
    so there is no connection whatsoever between
    what might be "good for" humans and "good for"
    bees. The differences are so basic that adult
    bees consume NO PROTEIN AT ALL.

    > [queen excluders] Where's the myth?

    The myth about the queen's travels through the supers
    making the (canola/rape) honey less prone to
    crystallization for one. Its a real knee-slapper.

    > I can't comment on the OSR crystallisation
    > issue, as I haven't tried it yet. But then,
    > neither have you.

    I don't need to try it to know that it is complete
    bunkum, for the reasons I stated. There is no
    such thing as "action at a distance" on the
    macro scale of honey, and there is no possible
    impact that a queen could have on canola honey
    that would not be detectable in the bottommost
    super of any hive, if there was such a
    phenomena as a result of the queen's "travels"
    in the supers.

    >> myths about requeening from swarm cells,

    > That is current practice, and it works for them
    > (the Germans), so who are you to criticize?

    With a name like "Fischer", it should be clear
    that I am of German extraction myself, so I feel
    free to critique the practices claimed to be used
    by the practical and pragmatic beekeepers from
    whom I am descended. Requeening from swarm cells
    is clearly a poor practice. Certainly you would
    agree that supercedure cells would be superior to
    swarm cells, so I don't know why this point is even
    under discussion. Bottom line, inbreeding results
    in nasty bees. This is well-known fact, and it
    takes a very very large operation to provide the
    genetics required to assure that one is not inbreeding.

    >> myths about honey being somehow "better" than
    >> sugar syrup or HFCS,

    > I stand by the principle that the bees know what
    > is best for them. They make nectar into honey,
    > not HFCS.

    You are confusing very different issues here,
    one must first isolate what the bees prefer
    when given choices from what the bees CAN do.
    Bees have no choice, they can only make honey
    as stores for overwintering. But when given
    dining options, such as sugar syrup or HFCS
    when they have sufficient honey, the bees tend
    to vote with their little feet, and every study
    ever done shows that bees prefer man-made feeds
    to honey every time, and also prefer man-made
    feeds to nectar when given choices between them.
    Why? The HFCS or sugar syrup is ready-to-eat,
    has a high sugar ratio, and is pure.

    > I have seen signs of dysentery in sugar-fed
    > bees, never in honey fed.

    The general case is the exact opposite of your
    stated experience. Controlled studies refute
    your claim that sugar-syrup feeding causes
    dysentery. All I can guess is that you somehow
    had high ratios of impurities in your sugar.

    > Sucrose is NOT chemically identical to nectar,
    > as any basic book on the chemistry of plants and
    > bees will tell you.

    Sucrose breaks down with ease into glucose and
    fructose with the enzymes provided by the bees,
    and many nectars contain very very high
    percentages of sucrose versus fructose or glucose,
    so I am forced to reject your statement as
    misinformed. While some plants do have a higher
    fructose content than others, they all contain
    significant quantities of sucrose. While some
    very specific plants (such as orange trees)
    contain very high ratios of glucose, this type
    of plant is rare.

    > [AI queen prices]. That hardly proves
    > value/quality though.

    The value of CONSISTENT quality is "priceless".
    Beekeeping (on a larger scale) requires one
    to have consistent queens, as one is forced to
    take a "mass production" approach when faced
    with a large number of hives. The techniques
    used to produce 98% of the actual honey
    consumed require such consistency. I don't think
    I need to defend the value of controlled and
    highly advanced genetics, as every beekeeper
    reading this has taken advantage of these
    advances, even if they think that they are
    breeding from "feral survivor queens" or other
    such nonsense terms applied to swarms that
    issued from managed hives and settled as the
    most recent tenants of popular nesting spots.

  6. #26
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    "The differences are so basic that adult
    bees consume NO PROTEIN AT ALL."

    strictly speaking they do - they convert pollen to hypophaeryngeal secretions, and they must metabolize protein to do that. It would be better to say that they have little nitrogen turnover within their own body, i.e. they do not create new tissue once an adult. That is why the hive is best looked at as a super-organism where the tissue turnover takes place with the brood and not the "adult" cells, i.e. bees.

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  7. #27
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    > they convert pollen to hypophaeryngeal
    > secretions, and they must metabolize protein
    > to do that

    But they themselves are not utilizing the protein
    for their own benefit, they are using it for
    the benefit of the brood. So have they actually
    consumed protein? I think not - they have
    prepared protein for brood much as a chef who
    is himself allergic to milk might prepare clam
    chowder for a customer in a restaurant.

  8. #28
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    Why is there all that yellow feces from the nurse bees flying then? Did they not have that as waste product from eating the pollen to create the brood food? If you eat and poop pollen then how can you say they don't consume it? I agree they are not using it to build their own bodies up but they are eating it. Does a cow "not comume" the portion of hay they use up to secrete milk?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #29
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    > Why is there all that yellow feces from the
    > nurse bees flying then?

    How do you know that these are "nurse bees"?

    > If you eat and poop pollen then how can you say
    > they don't consume it?

    I didn't claim that any specific bee ate or "pooped"
    pollen, you did.

    > Does a cow "not comume" the portion of hay they > use up to secrete milk?

    Comparing mammals to insects does not provide one
    with a useful metaphor.

    I'll let Keith explain if he is willing.
    As I recall, he has some medical education,
    and can provide a more complete and accurate
    answer than I could.

    Keith? Fire at will.

  10. #30
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    >Comparing mammals to insects does not provide one
    with a useful metaphor.

    It's not a metaphor. It's semantics. I'm just saying that your definition of "consuming" is not consistent with how it is used in other similar contexts.

    >I didn't claim that any specific bee ate or "pooped" pollen, you did.

    Yes. I did. From my observation you see a lot of it when the bees are rearing brood and not when they are not, so it seems reasonable to me that it is waste from digesting pollen to feed brood.

    >I'll let Keith explain if he is willing. As I recall, he has some medical education,
    and can provide a more complete and accurate
    answer than I could.

    Yes, those uneducated among us could use more explanations of your interpretation of the English language. I only have 16 semester hours of college chem and 8 semester hours of college Anatomy and Physiology and another 8 hours or so of other Biology. While this should be helpful to understanding bee biology, none of this helps me with your interpretation of English. Nor does my Latin or Greek, which is usually helpful with language issues. I'm sure it's beyond me.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #31
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    OK, Mike, if you are going to get testy about it...

    When I said "consume", I meant the overtly
    obvious - to eat it and gain something tangible
    from the experience. There is a difference
    between me pouring a glass of milk for a child
    and drinking one myself. The same sort of
    difference appears to be at work in Keith's
    "strictly speaking" comment, but I hesitate
    to attempt to interpret Keith's words. Aside
    from agreeing that he is "strictly correct",
    I do not wish to argue with anyone about this
    basic issue.

    As adult bees have no need for protein, they
    do not metabolize anything but sugars (carbohydrates)
    once they reach full adulthood (some period of time
    after they emerge from their cells, I forget
    exactly how long).

    Keith was nice enough to point out a special
    case - one that requires a highly technical
    interpretation of "metabolization" for which
    I am grateful. Its very hard to make ANY
    general statement without these sorts of
    "gotcha" exceptions cropping up, and Keith
    did a fine job of putting perspective on
    the whole "feeding brood" aspect of adult
    bee life.

    I defer to Keith on his "strictly speaking"
    point, as he brought it up. I refuse to
    presume to explain what he said, as it would
    be poor manners, moreso when what he said
    was short, clear, and to the point.
    However, it is also poor manners to argue with
    me about what Keith said, isn't it? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Given all the years of seemingly applicable
    education you've had, I think you are well
    qualified to have an intelligent discussion
    WITH KEITH about his "strictly speaking"
    comment. I was a mere Physics major, so
    I have little of value to contribute to such
    a hyper-technical biology discussion between
    two much-better educated people than I can
    ever hope to be.

  12. #32
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    whoops
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  13. #33
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    >When I said "consume", I meant the overtly
    obvious - to eat it and gain something tangible
    from the experience.

    No, you did NOT mean the overtly obvious. The overtly obvious is that it goes in one end, out the other and gets processed by the body into something. You mean the obscure and unobvious that the bee keeps none of those nutrients for itself in the process. But if it goes through their system being digested and, apparently, most of the constituents that were not defecated, secreted as something else, how can you say they did not consume it.

    It IS just semantics. And I think we are all in agreement on the adult bees not requiring pollen (once they get through that initial period after emergence) but what is commonly meant by "consume" is nothing as complex, and discrete as you are describing.

    Webster’s:
    "1 : to do away with completely : DESTROY <fire consumed several buildings>
    2 a : to spend wastefully : SQUANDER b : USE UP <writing consumed much of his time>
    3 : to eat or drink especially in great quantity <consumed several kegs of beer>
    4 : to engage fully : ENGROSS <consumed with curiosity>
    intransitive senses
    1 : to waste or burn away : PERISH
    2 : to utilize economic goods"

    And thanks, Keith, I'm sure it was enlightening for someone.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #34
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    > No, you did NOT mean the overtly obvious.

    Oh well, then, I stand corrected.
    Who am I to presume to say what goes on in my
    own mind when I have you to explain to me what I
    was thinking? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > But if it goes through their system being digested
    > and, apparently, most of the constituents that were
    > not defecated, secreted as something else, how can
    > you say they did not consume it.

    So, let me see if I got this straight...
    You clearly must have "consumed" my simple statement,
    nearly identical to statements found in most, perhaps
    all reference-grade texts on bee biology. The proof
    that you "consumed" it is the large amount of
    defecation that you have done all over the
    thread as a result. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    On the other hand, if you were a chef, and I a customer
    at your restaurant, would you be "consuming" my steak
    simply because you prepared it for me? I hope not!
    I ordered it, I ate it, I paid for it, so I'd call
    myself the "consumer". While you might have trimmed some
    fat off and tossed it into the garbage while preparing
    my steak, this waste byproduct did you no good, and
    generating the waste certainly would not have made you
    feel full or do anything towards meeting your minimum
    daily adult (I use the term loosely in this context given
    the level to which the discussion has sunk) requirement
    for 7 essential vitamins.

    > what is commonly meant by "consume" is nothing as complex,
    > and discrete as you are describing.

    You need to e-mail me your shipping address ASAP so I can
    Fed-X you a bottle of "No More Tears" shampoo. I am concerned
    that you may suffer a fatal level of dehydration from all this
    crying and whining over mere semantics.

    > It IS just semantics.

    OK, I'm glad you agree, but why then do you
    persist in this exercise in futility?

    > And I think we are all in agreement on the adult bees
    > not requiring pollen

    [Double take...]

    Then why argue the point with me?

    [Sighs, glances at current stock of single-malt,
    pours a stiff one, drinks, and continues typing]

    > Webster’s:

    Webster's? How tacky.

    Behold the awesome power of the 17 volume, 150 pound
    Oxford English Dictionary... no, never mind, I'm
    not going to type all that text, as you would then expect
    me to defend the OED, come up with the lame excuse that
    some words have different meanings in the USA from the
    OED's anglo-centric slant, etc, etc.

    Tongue firmly planted in cheek,


    jim

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    Jim, did you by chance pour more than one stiff one? I think you actually made a joke. :confused:

  16. #36
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    "And thanks, Keith, I'm sure it was enlightening for someone."

    The whoops thing was a palceholder for a post I took down to verify a fact.

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

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    Jim,
    We can argue indefinitely about all these points, but we will never reach a real place of agreement because we are coming from quite different models of the universe.

    In your world, if you can't see it, hear it or touch it, then it doesn't exist. Period. Unless an idea is backed by a double-blind, published, scientific study, then it is clearly mythic or the misguided product of a bunch of deranged hippies.

    And, of course, you may be right.

    But somehow I think you are missing something. Have you never in your life had an experience that hinted of something beyond the mere material world? Do you imagine that we already know everything there is to know about how nature works?

    May I encourage you to leave a little chink in your armour to allow the possibility of a revelatory moment?

    With best wishes,
    Phil
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  18. #38
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    > We can argue indefinitely

    I thought you were "glad we can discuss this
    rationally"
    - when did it become an argument? [img]smile.gif[/img]

    > we are coming from quite different models
    > of the universe.

    Well, I'm a physics wonk, so I actually have
    several favorite models.

    > if you can't see it, hear it or touch it,
    > then it doesn't exist

    Nothing could be further from the truth.
    I could make you a long list of things that
    I am quite sure exist, each of them having
    no "proof" of their existence beyond some
    very messy math.

    > Unless an idea is backed by a double-blind,
    > published, scientific study, then it is clearly
    > mythic or the misguided product of a bunch of
    > deranged hippies.

    I think it would be more accurate to say that
    "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof".

    I think it would also be fair to say that some
    things are so wrong that they no longer fall
    within the province of "opinion", and sit firmly
    in the land of animistic self-delusion.
    On the other hand, I take long walks and have
    conversations with my dog knowing full well
    that he recognizes only a handful of words,
    and can only really "understand" my tone.

    > Have you never in your life had an experience
    > that hinted of something beyond the mere
    > material world?

    Have you ever stared a galaxy in the face with
    a really, really big telescope? Who needs
    fantasy when reality is so impressive? Honestly,
    call up the nearest university, and ask when
    they open up their telescope for "public viewing",
    it will put a new part in your hair.

    > Do you imagine that we already know everything
    > there is to know about how nature works?

    Certainly not, but things we DO know rather
    firmly contradict many of the statements made
    at the talk you attended. Just because we
    don't know everything does not imply that
    we don't know anything.

    > the possibility of a revelatory moment?

    Some guys get to go into space.
    Some guys get to find their God.
    I get to wake up and see my wife
    sleeping in the half light of dawn.
    That's enough revelation for anyone.

  19. #39
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    >>Some guys get to go into space.
    Some guys get to find their God.
    I get to wake up and see my wife
    sleeping in the half light of dawn.
    That's enough revelation for anyone.

    Jim! I take it all back! There is poetry in you as well.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  20. #40
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    >Then why argue the point with me?
    >OK, I'm glad you agree, but why then do you
    persist in this exercise in futility?

    I really think it would be helpful, Jim, if you would learn English. In your personal language, bees don't "eat" honey because they need water to go with it. Apparently, humans don't eat rice, because they have to mix it with water to cook it. Although bees don't just pick pollen up, chew it and spit it out to feed brood, in your language bees don't "consume" pollen even though they eat it, absorb it through their gut, chemically change it and excrete it. It makes communication difficult when you change the common meanings of words to suit yourself.

    Why not just say that adult bees do not require pollen for their own sustenance, but only to feed brood. Does that cover it?

    >Then why argue the point with me?

    Then why argue the point with me?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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