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I wish people would realize that poisoning the earth is not a good thing...
AMEN to that! Next to getting rid of Varroa, I can't think of anything I'd rather get rid of than all those pesticides people use to kill everything that moves... except for the ones that get rid of Varroa. :lpf:
 

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I'm perfectly happy without the Varroacides as well...
I've never used them myself, but I know a lot of other beeks do, and without them, getting to a point where there were resistant bees would have been much more painful for the industry and hobby as a whole. So I'm thankful they were/are around, even though I've never personally used them.

Just imagine what a situation we would be in today if varroa had wiped out 95+% of the bees back in the '80's and growers were all forced to switch to genetically modified crops that didn't require pollination... and a lot of the forage plants that bees used weren't able to naturally reproduce as easily and most of the wild forage plants were overrun by "useless" plants that could reproduce without pollination... not a pretty picture in my mind.

It's a bit of irony to me that I hate pesticides so much, yet am thankful for the ones that got beekeepers through the worst of the varroa introduction... and we're still in it to a small extent, but not like before when there just weren't any/many resistant bees. It's the same with any new malady the bees face... there is just a time where it's really bad, and I think we're seeing that whole cycle starting again with CCD. I think that CCD is something new that hasn't yet been identified, and that whether or not it gets identified the problem will get worse before it gets better as we keep breeding the survivor bees. Let's just hope there is some sort of bandaid for that as there was with Varroa.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>I've never used them myself, but I know a lot of other beeks do, and without them, getting to a point where there were resistant bees would have been much more painful for the industry and hobby as a whole. So I'm thankful they were/are around, even though I've never personally used them.

Actually I disagree. I think they have made it a lot MORE painful. First by dragging out the inevitable, and second by contaminating the entire wax supply even for those not using them.

>Just imagine what a situation we would be in today if varroa had wiped out 95+% of the bees back in the '80's and growers were all forced to switch to genetically modified crops that didn't require pollination... and a lot of the forage plants that bees used weren't able to naturally reproduce as easily and most of the wild forage plants were overrun by "useless" plants that could reproduce without pollination... not a pretty picture in my mind.

I don't believe that 95% would have died. My experience is I lost just as many treating as not treating until I went to small cell, so I don't think it would have made nearly that difference. When Varroa got to South Africa the beekeepers as a group decided not to treat. They had some losses but in a couple of years things were back to normal. We are now in this since 1987 so that's 23 years and for those who are treating there is no end in sight.

>It's a bit of irony to me that I hate pesticides so much, yet am thankful for the ones that got beekeepers through the worst of the varroa introduction...

But they didn't. They only postponed the inevitable while creating more problems...
 

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Growing up in Switzerland post war, the humble dandelion was part of our daily diat during spring. Healthy and tasty - just chop a par boiled egg into your dressing anf the bitterness is gone.
 

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Awesome article!

There are quite a few folks around here who go looking for that little plant. Dandelion wine, salad greens and food for your bees! Food and drink right in your front yard! It's a super food! Ok, maybe not as super as amaranth, but it's still pretty cool that one little plant can feed both us and our bees. :)
 

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My wife's employer designs, build and monitors municipal water treatment facilities - there is so much nutrient (fertilizer) run-off that they are hard-pressed to maintain clarity requirements because of the crush of algae growth.

Other than some lime to sweeten the soil, I too gave up on the lawn-control garbage feed to us by scotts, bayer, ortho and all the others years ago. Even after a #4 haircut (long), the 'weeds' - violets, clover, dandelion... recover very fast, and right after the mowing, other than the dark green of the neighbor's chemical lawns, mine (from a distance) doesn't look radically different.
 
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