Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Friends,

CCD, Bee Dieoff ~ Did the Ancients Have the Answer?
Principio sedes apibus statioque petenda, (Virgil 29 B.C.)

The classical bee authors of ancient times tell us about the habitat that is
essential for honeybees. We've all but ignored the ancient teachings in
today's beekeeping practices, and the result; CCD, bee mortality
throughout the industry. I will occasionally revisit historical works
from the great writers of bee literature which scholars turn to again and
again with increased delight for comparison to today beekeeping, as I
attempt to illustrate Just how correct in the main the classical writers
are on the subject of bees, and how that knowledge may still apply to
beekeeping in modern times.

In June of 2013 Marla Spivak gave a TED Talk About 'Why Bees are Disappearing'
~ What Spivak tells us bees need to remain healthy is remarkably, similar to what
the ancients tell us over 2000 years ago. That bees need an environment having a
wide varietal and abundance of nutritional forage; a diverse and nutritional environment.

VIDEO ~ Marla Spivak ~ 2013 TED Talk:
https://www.ted.com/talks/marla_spivak_why_bees_are_disappearing?language=en#t-107074

Marla Spivak tells us the answer to solving the Bee die-off:

"The bottom line is, bees dying reflects a flowerless landscape and a dysfunctional
food system." "Set aside farmland. We need a beautiful diversity of flowers that
blooms over the entire growing season, from spring to fall. We need roadsides
seeded in flowers for our bees, but also for migrating butterflies and birds and other
wildlife. And we need to think carefully about putting back in cover crops to nourish
our soil and nourish our bees. And we need to diversify our farms. We need to plant
flowering crop borders and hedge rows to disrupt the agricultural food desert and
begin to correct the dysfunctional food system that we've created." -Marla Spivak, 2013

What Spivak tells us bees need to remain healthy is remarkably, similar to what
the ancients tell us over 2000 years ago:

(http://www.beesource.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=23096&d=145666971537.0 KB)
Image above: Showing the diverse and nutritional environment bees need.
~Artwork By Wenceslaus Hollar ca. 1654, published in ~ The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro,
Translated, Adorned with Sculpture, and Illustrated with Annotations.
By John Ogilby Page 108, ca. 1668


In Georgics, Book IV, by Publius Virgilius Maro 29 B.C. Virgil tells us:

Principio sedes apibus statioque petenda,
~First we must seek an abode and station for the bees,

quo neque sit ventis aditus,
~where neither winds may have access,

nam pabula venti ferre domum prohibent.
~for the winds hinder them from carrying home their food.

Neque oves hoedique petulci floribus insultent,
~Nor sheep and frisking kids may trample down the flowers,

aut errans bucula campo
~or the heifer, wondering on the plain,

decutiat rorem et surgentes atterat herbas.
~can shake off the dew, and bruise the rising plants.

<snip> reason: several lines removed as irreverent.

At liquidi fontes et stagna virentia musco
~Let the clear fountains and pools made green by moss

et tenuis fugiens rivus per gramina adsint,
~and shallow rivulet swift running through the grass be near,

que palmaque vestibulum aut ingens oleaster inumbret,
~and let the palm or the great wild olive overshadow the entrance,

ut cum novi reges ducent prima examina suo vere,
~that when the new kings lead forth the first swarms in the spring,

que juventus emissa favis ludet,
~and the youth let loose from the honeycombs dulge in sport,

vinina ripa inviltet decedere calori,
~neighbouring bank may invite them to withdraw from the heat,

que obvia arbos teneat frondentibus hospitiis.
~and the intervening tree may detain them by its leafy protection.

Conjice salices transversas et grandia saxa in medium,
~Cast willows placed across and large rocks in the midst of the water,

seu humor stabit iners, seu profluet,
~whether the water shall stand inactive,

ut possint consistere crebris pontibus,
~or shall flow, that they may stand on them as on many bridges,

et pandere alas ad aestivum solem;
~and open their wings to the summer sun;

si forte praeceps Eurus sparserit morantes,
~if by chance the violent east wind has scattered the loitering bees,

aut immerserit Neptuno
~or plunged them into the sea.

Circum haec virides easiae et serpylla olentia late et copia thymbrae spirantis graviter floreat;
~Around these places let green cassia and thyme grow far around and plenty of strong smelling blossom;

que violaria bibant irriguum fontem.
~and let violet beds drink from the flowing fountains.

Source:

VIDEO ~ Marla Spivak ~ 2013 TED Talk:
https://www.ted.com/talks/marla_spivak_why_bees_are_disappearing?language=en#t-107074

Marla Spivak ~ 2013 TED Talk Transcript:
https://www.ted.com/talks/marla_spivak_why_bees_are_disappearing/transcript?language=en

Georgics, Book IV, by Publius Virgilius Maro ca. 29 B.C.

Best Regards'
Joe Waggle
https://www.facebook.com/Historical.Honeybee.Articles/
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,340 Posts
>>"The bottom line is, bees dying reflects a flowerless landscape and a dysfunctional
food system." "Set aside farmland. We need a beautiful diversity of flowers that
blooms over the entire growing season, from spring to fall. We need roadsides
seeded in flowers for our bees, but also for migrating butterflies and birds and other
wildlife. And we need to think carefully about putting back in cover crops to nourish
our soil and nourish our bees. And we need to diversify our farms. We need to plant
flowering crop borders and hedge rows to disrupt the agricultural food desert and
begin to correct the dysfunctional food system that we've created." -Marla Spivak, 2013<<

Here here :thumbsup:
Let this be one of our industries major focuses!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,461 Posts
Sounds great until we do a cost analysis and try to determine who will pay for this flowery landscape.
In Champaign County, the highest price paid for ONE ACRE of tillable land is over $32,000.
An 80-acre farm costs how much?

As a hunter I'd love to see some changes but again, who is going to pay? (not me)

I know farmers who expect to nearly double production in the next ten years to keep up with the demands of an ever-expanding human population. Every square inch of tillable ground is precious to the corporate farm system.
CHEMICALS is how it's going to happen. They could not care any less about bees (except for orchards) .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,104 Posts
The "Ancients" in this case being people in the Roman world of 2000 years ago worked primarily with bees that did not have varroa mites.

Having said that, a world without modern insecticides, and less monocultural crops, must have been an advantage.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds great until we do a cost analysis and try to determine who will pay for this flowery landscape.
In Champaign County, the highest price paid for ONE ACRE of tillable land is over $32,000.
An 80-acre farm costs how much?
Good points.
A flowering landscape can be a crop farm also. According to Spivak,
'diversifying of crops/farms can achieve this goal'. Diversification
without additional costs can be achieved in farming.

As a hunter I'd love to see some changes but again, who is going to pay? (not me)
Here in Pennsylvania, the hunters have paid for all game lands through
licensing fees. Another enormous diversification of farm land / bee forage is
now taking place in this region. Due to the natural gas boom, many
of the farmers in my area who practiced crop monocultures have become
wealthy. Not needing to plant large expanses, much of this land is being
diverted to wildlife and natural flowerly landscape. Time will tell what
the benefits may be.

Best Wishes,
Joe
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
The "Ancients" didn't live on a planet with 7.3 BILLION humans that need to be fed with 200,000+ more mouths to feed every day.
The real problem is that humans need to stop breeding like flies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,338 Posts
Who do you figure we cut first...
I vote California should be depopulated and all that precious water be used for diverse horticultural practices and feed a whole lot of people and require a whole lot of pollinators. Its always someone elses job to suffer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,104 Posts
Put it this way. If we do not depopulate ourselves in an organised way, something else, be it war, plague, or starvation, eventually will.

Notice more new plagues keep popping up more and more often? Notice we are struggling more to control them?

The planet is so big.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,338 Posts
Dr Malthus used to have a lot more currency. This population may indeed crash and then stabilize at a yet higher rate. We are a successful species. In the sixties when I was in college we were all going to be dead years ago. USA agronomic science changed the whole equation in the seventies and eighties. If we get fusion, we will water the desert and a whole new supposedly unsustainable level of people will be possible. When reason prevails and GMO food is fully implemented, lots more people will be fed. The books 1491 and 1493 for historical perspective on populations and what makes them possible. I still think Californians would not be missed that much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,104 Posts
"a whole new supposedly unsustainable level of people will be possible".

To what purpose? Already we are extinctifying the animals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,340 Posts
I'm my eye this is quite the ridiculous argument. We will adapt or die and the fate of dying and otherwise should be completely out of our hands. Let's focus on the adapting part... And let's start with finding managment practices that help keep our flowers.

We are Beekeepers, let's keep our focus on what we can achieve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,953 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,104 Posts
Malthus observed that a population will always (absent other pressures) grow to outstrip it's available resources.
Agreed, for lemmings.

But we are a smarter species and our large brain allows us to understand the issues, and even do something about them.

Or does it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,953 Posts
There seems (at least to me, at least superficially) that there is a feedback loop of sorts in play.

One of the best predictors of the number of children a human woman will have is education...the more educated, the less children . In the old days, educated women were often considered less desirable for marriage (my grandfather told my mother that if she wanted to go to grad school he would find some way to pay for it, but if she got too smart no one would want to marry her).

The issue is with the word 'we'. Without getting into some kind of strict delineation between 'us' and 'them', in rough the more civilized a person, or segment of a population becomes, the less children they produce.

We have never had a situation (amd it's hard to imagine a real one) where the population across the globe is all so equally 'civilized' and educated that there are no significant uneducated populations that fill in any gaps in population growth that the more educated populations have left.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The "Ancients" in this case being people in the Roman world of 2000 years ago worked primarily with bees that did not have varroa mites.

Having said that, a world without modern insecticides, and less monocultural crops, must have been an advantage.
A valid point Oldtimer,

But I might add, that because Virgil needed to write

'Principio sedes apibus statioque petenda,'
~First we must seek an abode and station for the bees,

The Ancients probably had some of the same disadvantages we have.
There were probably bad places as well as good places
to keep bees, and Virgil felt the need to define what
a good place to keep bees actually is, in Georgics IV

Best Wishes,
Joe
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top