Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping
Loss of habitat is the unfortunate casualty of high commodity prices. A sign of the times if you will with prime farm ground bringing over $10,000 an acre it's difficult to see how much is going to change. What can be done, though, is to replace foliar spraying which kills most every insect it contacts with something more selective. I'm imagining something more on the order of a systemic insecticide that would kill only the insects that choose to feed on a particular plant. Wait a sec. don't they...........naaaaaaaa.
I dont know what its like down in the US, but up here the farmers are taking out all shelter belts that were introduced 20-30 years ago. Big equipment works better in big fields ! When you add up all that land that was taken up by shelter belts, it adds up to a lot of "space" for everything else to exist. Also, all the sloughs are being drained and farmed right through.
Its getting to a point now where every piece of land is getting tile drainage put in. Water is being pumped from under ground, to over land drainage, to be able to bring down the water which improves the land quality allowing crops to be put in. All of our wet lands are being drained and farmed over, all of our shelter belts and treed wet lands are being pushed down and farmed. All of this under ground water is being brought to the surface and drained away. Huge pressures on our drainage systems, and, I could go on and on,
You know, with all this talk about global warming and pollution blah blah blah, . . . All the millions and hundreds of millions spent on carbon reduction programs, do you know where ALL that money would actually show a tangible response? Bring it back home, and promote tree lines, bush, wet lands, BMP on farm land,
ahhh, but there is no money for the funds to be made at that. That would just be dollars spent on the base roots of our country
BUT more land being cropped equils more potential flowers for my hives to forage on. I don't make a lot of honey off grassed and bush up here.
At an increasing rate around here. Shelterbelts are being torn out as quickly as possible, drain tile is going in. In a town not far from here, two full city blocks are stacked full of plastic drain tile, two spools deep, waiting to be put into fields in the spring.In most cases draining wetlands isn't quite so easy down here, but it does happen. -jim lyon
Eliminate the weed flowers in the fields, eliminate the "weed" flowers in roadside ditches and pastures, eliminate the areas that previously weren't farmed because they were used as windbreaks or were too wet to till, and bees aren't left with much.
Other insects aren't left with much, either. The ones that can survive under such conditions are called "pests," and are targeted for "control."
Well I know wetlands are much more abundant up your way. Isn't it a pretty burdensome permit process to drain anything that dosent have some sort of cropping history? I have a several acre wetland on my property that was virtually dry late last summer and I asked the soil conservation service if I could push out the volunteer trees and dredge the area to make it eventually into a nice little pond and the response was that they werent sure if that was even possible but that I would have to do a lot of paperwork and then see if it got approved.
My understanding is that a lot of the guys are skipping the permitting process. I believe it makes the ineligible for certain federal crop programs if they do, but most are going ahead right now.