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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default please excuse this little rant

    For anyone reading this, please excuse this little rant Iím about to make. OUR environment is changing. Iím not referring to ďclimate changeĒ as everyone is so focused on and wasting time and money on. Iím referring to our natural area and environment we currently live in. Things are changing, our environment is in a transformation where every aspect of it through out the growing season is being manipulated to the point where everything natural about it is being lost. Itís the clearing of arable land, and the clearing of non arable land, clearing and drainage of swamps and leveling out of ravines to allow machinery to travel over. Massive water drainage projects where we
    run off the surface water as fast as we can, drain the sub surface water year round into ditches and pump deep water reserves to irrigate our crops. Itís the blanket use of insecticides not once but up to five times a season to protect the crop from pests, the use of fungicides to everything that is growing and the use of highly efficient herbicides leaving nothing else growing within the fields but the crop its self. Itís this expansion of our fields and intensively managed mono culture that is in a way creating a living desert in areas which should flourish with life and diversity. We are/have set up an ecosystem that is so fragile that anything natural within it is always on the brink of survival. And when we experience harsh weather as we did this last spring nobody notices the actual devastating effect it had on the living environment around them.

    We are managing honeybees to take the place of natural pollinators to pollinate our cropping requirements. Here in again we bring in a manageable solution to solve our manged problems. But things are getting so far out of hand that we infact are even having trouble managing our managed pollinators. Why??? Because everything we do as beekeepers is directly influenced by the environment around us. That environment around us is being destroyed, and because of that my bees are struggling. If we donít change the way we perceive and respect the natural environment, our managed environment will collapse and with that all of us around it. This focus on climate change has blinded the public to the actual environmental threats at home, tangible actions that we could be focusing our attention on which would actually go a long way in preserving our lands and creating a sustainable working environment for all of us to live in.

    We manage land, lots of land, I appreciate everything that is done to make a living off the land and the hardships that are involved in managing the land. I understand the reason why we use production practices to improve our bottom dollar and understand the reason why we must realize short sightedness sometimes is the only managing stratagy which allows us to keep in business. BUT we also appreciate our natural environment and try our best to preserve the land in a sustainable fashion. On our farm we have 500 acres left as natural raven, not pastured or pushed, leveled, drained and cropped! On our farm we have ten quarters of muskeg wet land bush, managed as pasture but grazed in a fashion which does not destroy its wet land ecosystem. On our farm we manage 3000 acres of crop land, on land which will carry equipment and anything else is hayed. We zero till or minimal till the land to protect the soil structure and everything living in it. Wet land ďpot holesĒ are left as they are, hill side springs and field runs are hayed to eliminate erosion and low lands are left as grass, using the available water resource and cut later in the year as hay.

    There has to be a place for agriculture on the lands or we will all starve, but agriculture has to manage itself in a diverse fashion using the lands as it presents itself to allow all living things to flourish. I feel very fortunate as a beekeeper to be able to shelter my operation around our farm, as it reinforces diversity and provides that for my bees to live on. EVERYWHERE else on the countryside I am seeing a complete wipe down of anything natural.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Very well said, Ian. That hits home.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Platteville, WI
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Thanks for posting, Ian.
    "Life will find a way - it always finds a way." -Jurassic Park (MOVIE/BOOK)
    USDA Zone 5a

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Winston Salem , NC
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    And the poison in the seed !
    larry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Lebanon Pa
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    speak the truth !!!!!!! it is sad that people don't know or care I guess that almost every action that they take effects the earth in a good way or more often bad we need to start taking more care to try and do anything you can to help the world out DOWN WITH MONSANTO EVERYONE GO NON GMO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Dell Rapids, SD
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Very well said Ian.

    I live in the middle of corn country USA, and am surprised at the anti-ethanol ads shown on TV now.

    People are tiling everything, pushing in groves, tearing out fences, and turning everything they can into corn production.

    Good Job!

    DJ

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    we use GMO in our cropping operation
    going non GMO just means using more of the expensive chemicals and using more tillage on our farm

    here in again, if we put all the that time and money spent on fighting GMO into preserving wetland and habitat, keeping tree rows and encouraging diversity, I think we would have a lot more accomplished right now.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,665

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Rant at will, I hear ya.

    Crazy Roland

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    we use GMO in our cropping operation
    going non GMO just means using more of the expensive chemicals and using more tillage on our farm

    here in again, if we put all the that time and money spent on fighting GMO into preserving wetland and habitat, keeping tree rows and encouraging diversity, I think we would have a lot more accomplished right now.
    Without GMO we would need to hurt our environment more than we do now. It would take a lot of extra acres to make up the production we get from GMO crops. We seem hell bent to level, drain, till and crop every acre. What will that mean for future generations? I am with you all the way on this one Ian.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,747

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    You are excused.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,400

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    good post ian.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    dennison MN
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Last edited by mnbeekeeper; 07-23-2013 at 10:39 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Dryland cash rent is sky high around here. Neighbor was telling me the other day about guy up the road who cash rented 2 quarters of dryland farmground and is paying $820 acre. How can that even come close to working???
    AKA BEEMAN800

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    It all hurts the environment, and what hurts the environment hurts our bees
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,747

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Your mear existence harms the environment. I hope you are practicing zero population growth reproduction.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Elgin, ND USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    First let me start off by saying that I have 10 years of commercial beekeeping behind me until this spring when I sold out. Secondly let me tell you that I am currently working out in the North Dakota Oil Patch. While I agree with some peoples posts, I find it very offensive that someone who has not been out here can sit at their computer and tell everyone that we are destroying the land over here. I work on the reclamation side of all of this. Oil companies have strict rules and regulations to follow from location sizes to clean up to the TYPE OF GRASS that has to be planted when the actual location pad is sized back down to just a pumping unit and tanks. I deal a lot with the US Gov’t because a lot of the land around me is federal land therefore I can tell you there are many rules and regulations and many people that will check on you and follow up after you have completed the job and if it is not done to their specs guess what you RE-DO IT! Ya the dust from the roads gets on the plants but a lot of money has been spent on dust reduction and reduced speeds on these roads so that has been reduced greatly too. I don’t think there should be any commercial (or hobbiest I have 2 deep supers and 4 mediums currently on my hives) beekeeper around here that doesn’t have a good crop. I am seeing a lot of skyscraper beehives out on the country side. So the next time you decide to go off on how UN environmentally friendly we are out here maybe you should come walk beside me for a few days….Oh wait then you would have to sit through 3 days of classes just so that you could step foot on each of the companies I currently do work for (ahh nevermind that last part of “3 days of class” after all there are no safety regulations or orientations out here right)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Your mear existence harms the environment. I hope you are practicing zero population growth reproduction.
    I think China tried that, hmmm
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,747

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    You can do it voluntarely. It would be a great survice to the rest of humanity.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    wow,
    an attack out of no where,
    not called for Mark, bad form
    if you do not like what I had said, then attack what I said, not me personally
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: please excuse this little rant

    Quote Originally Posted by mnbeekeeper View Post
    well said ian, well said. it seems like a step we could take is to stop giving the farmers so much money. also what if we said for every 100 acres tilled there must be x amount of land sitting natural. seem like that would be a good first step. i know that no one wants to be told what to do with their land, but this farming is outa control.

    some one i know was just out in the oil field boom in north dakota. he said boy are they destroying the land up there. nothing was regulated. so much is being destroyed, but he said, if you like paying 3.75 at the pump vs. 10$ a gal. then you cant complain.

    i hate that i feel like i know what is wrong with the world but how can we change it.

    honestly i know this is horrible but i always think when a natural disaster strikes and lots of people die well thats just mother earths way of cleaning up the bottom board!!
    Obviously you are not a farmer or an oilfield worker. I am a farmer and specifically what tell us more about the farmer getting too much money.
    Every winter I drive a water truck out of Parshall ND. It has been my experience that the land has not been destroyed. Do you have any first hand experience that makes you eligible to comment on these two subjects?

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