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  1. #1

    Default TED talk makes the connection between organic food and bees!

    Hello Fellow Beekeepers --

    I was very excited in September to get the opportunity to present a TED talk here in Maine. As you probably know, TED.com is a website that posts videos of talks - on all sorts of subjects - given by all sorts of people.

    We wanted to help people make the connection between our food system and the health of bees and the health of our planet. We hope you'll watch and "like" the video.

    You can find it here:



    Happy Beekeeping!

    -- Christy Hemenway
    Gold Star Honeybees
    http://www.goldstarhoneybees.com
    207-449-1121
    Bath, Maine, USA
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    Last edited by Gold Star; 10-29-2011 at 08:50 AM. Reason: improve formatting

  2. #2
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    Default Re: TED talk makes the connection between organic food and bees!

    Nice talk Christy!
    Way to go!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: TED talk makes the connection between organic food and bees!

    I *love* TED talks. Thank you so much for posting this!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: TED talk makes the connection between organic food and bees!

    I know I am going to upset some people but even though I agree with many points I have to argue a few things. First of all in my area of the country farming is one of the biggest sources of revenue. Most of the farmers rotate there crops, one year they plant wheat, the next potatoes and they will do this rotation for several years then they may plant alfalfa. The wheat and barley provide humus for the soil and the alfalfa replenishes the nitrogen that helps break down the straw. So we don't monoculture farm. We have learned that we get more out of crop rotation. In eastern Colorado they allow one section of ground to rest for a year while they grow a crop on the next section. I will say that greed causes and could cause our own downfall. For instance pesticides do get released that cause greater problems than they solve, yet on the other hand without them and without BIG farming we could not produce enough food to feed the world like we do. If we did not farm they way we do most of us in the united states would have to farm to produce the volume of food that we do today. We would not have many of the things we do today if it was not for large scale farming. With more people having to devote their lives to growing food there would not be artist, actors, opera singers and the like. Our culture would be entirely different. Do some research, back in the middle ages before pesticides, tractors, and large farming operations technological development and cultural development was very very slow. When steam power became available to plow the land and do the work of many teams of horses and men the industrial revolution happened. Maybe I do not understand your points Christy but it is not the large farming that is to blame. We have Vorora mites, and small hive beetles and many things that the common bees of the united states are not accustomed to battling. Then to top it off there is a big push for treatment free beekeeping and Dr. Russell made a very good point on his website about it, if breeding for resistance is not carefully done and it hasn't been then it causes more problems than it solves. Crossbreeding some stock that has hygienic behavior with some that doesn't and getting one generation that show that behavior is not hygenic bees. Also in my opinion just because there is some brood removed how do you know that they are removing brood that had mites??? Out of all the queen breeders that I have researched very few talk about mite counts and testing for that. 90% of the stuff I read says to prick a dozen or so cells killing the larvae and seeing if they get removed. How is that testing for hygienic behavior towards mites???? As far as the 750,000 acres of almonds grown in California if they could be grown and be commercially viable anywhere else they would be grown there. Also if it was not for the almonds how many beekeepers would there be in the U.S. You think bee populations are in trouble now, take away the economic boost that the almonds provide to beekeepers and see where the bee population goes. Sorry for ranting, but I don't understand why people condemn something like large scale farming yet don't have a team of horses and plow and try to produce food like a large scale farm. If they did they would soon understand where large scale farming has gotten us, and although it has promoted some negative impacts it has provided us with the lifestyle we have today.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: TED talk makes the connection between organic food and bees!

    christy,

    I loved the beginning of your video. I am the same exact way. Now when I drive around I look for bee food what’s growing in my area. I have always had a desire to learn natural herbology . In Missouri where I live now there is so much more to explore in that area. Due to the busy nature of my life ( if it don’t make money it is not worth my time) I have not explored this little desire. Because of the bees I have learned about golden rod, and I am more apt to recognize what is growing around me.

    As for big farming . I felt your attack on them was very professional. You made your point without being extreme. You did it using facts instead of emotions. I really appreciate that. I hope it leads people into looking for a real solution. Not bans which gets us nowhere. Right now we need big ag. But with new tech we can lead into areas that can improve what we have with polyculture, hyrdophonics, auqaphonics and so on. When I was a little girl Disney world had a ride. I believe it was in the space mountain area, and at the end it showed a futureist farm which consisted of auqaculture with tilapia and plants. This always stuck in my mind. I even tried my hand at some auquaculture because if it.
    We are there now with the technology . We have many new large operations coming about. Where food can be raised in smaller spaces. Granted nut trees are not part of this plan this is for simple items like lettuce and other greens which do not require as much sun light . Alternative cheap electric sources will be needed for more nutricous foods. Until we have a solution big ag is what we need. I feel in these times many activist attack situations within our cultures they feel need change. Instead of investing time and research needed to improve on these situations we have thousands of activist, and non profits geared towards bans, and destruction of what they feel are wrong. Most of it attacks farming operations. I pray that we have non profits and activist to counter the madness. And address issues intelligently. through research and guidance. And help those with the experience and desire. To grow and become what is good for the whole. It is just way too easy to create witch hunts and lynch mobs. But what are we going to do when all the farming is gone. And Americans have no desire to breed or raise food or pets? We will then be dependent on foreign countries for all our basic needs. It is bad enough our oil is controlled by other countries, imagine if our food and pets were too? America is a slave to consumerism. We talk about natural this and that. What about the natural human? We need all of our farmers, be they large or small.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: TED talk makes the connection between organic food and bees!

    First of all I would like to apologize. Being a 4 generation farmer I got defensive and emotional. There may come a time when we don't need big ag or big oil. As for right now we do have it and we have to have it. Now on to what I should have said in the first post rather than getting defensive. I would like to know why you feel that big ag has lead to CCD? Have you ruled out other things such as high mite counts, nosema, EFB, AFB and such. Has there been data compiled showing where the highest concentrations off CCD have occurred. I think CCD is getting blamed large in part to poor beekeeping. I know one elderly beekeeper who has had trouble maintaining his colony numbers, but from talking with him I do not believe he treats his hives for various things. Treatment free is great but I do not believe bee genetics are to a point where there can be absolutely 0 treatment within most bee populations. Placing drone comb in a hive is a treatment but I think is often not considered one and therefore misleads many people into thinking they don't have to do anything other than let the strongest survive. Also there is a great deal of hype about feral stock. That is not the answer, because first have they been exposed to high might levels or just got lucky and have little exposure. If anyone has any data on CCD I would love to see it. Again I apologize.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: TED talk makes the connection between organic food and bees!

    Christy, I also enjoyed your presentation. I also agree with the problems large scale monoculture causes.

    Bendriftin, I am not a fan of big ag for to many reasons to mention here. Home grown over store bought vegetables would pretty much be a good example though. Even not liking big ag I do not think they are a dragon to be slain. I think they are a contributor, a major contributor. They are not the cause but I cannot believe they do not have a finger deservedly pointed at them. along with big accomplishments, comes big mistakes.

    I realize that big ag dos not just go out and pour chemicals on their soil or plants. soil samples are taken for example and just what needs to be added is measured. It is extremely costly for big ag to add more to the soil than is needed. The small time farmer or back yard grower catches wind that big ad uses such and such so they go out and fertilize with no regard to weather it is enough, to much etc. this is where i see issues with run off come in as well as pollution of the environment. No it is not big ag. but big ag is the initiator. Sort of like putting bad ideas in the minds of children. So is this a bit like blaming gun manufacturers because someone used one of their guns in a robbery? Probably.

    Mono Culture is Mono culture even if it is one crop for a single year. and it is susceptible and it is true that chemicals are a means of protection. My single biggest reason to disagree with the Big Ag concept is it basically puts to much under the control of to few minds. The impact from even on choice can be huge. that cannot happen with small scale farming. Not enough people are going to agree on how to do things when it is thousands of small farms.

    I don't see big ag as the abuser of their knowledge or their methods. but that still leaves far more people in just terms of sheer numbers to do it for them.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: TED talk makes the connection between organic food and bees!

    Man! What I got out of Christy's talk is that everything is connected and and when you change the balance it affects many things which can be in a good way or bad way.

    Would you keep your bees in the almond fields year round?

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