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Save British Bees

Discussion in 'protest, direct action and demos' started by Quartz, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. teqniq

    teqniq DisMembered

  2. teqniq

    teqniq DisMembered

  3. teqniq

    teqniq DisMembered

    Libertad likes this.
  4. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

  5. teqniq

    teqniq DisMembered

  6. bemused

    bemused Well-Known Member

    I'm fed up with the endless doom and gloom frankly hysteria around honey bees and neonicotinoids.

    In some cases, it has been counter productive. For example, oil seed rape (called OSR; the yellow fields you see at the start of spring) which suffer from infestation my cabbage stem flea beetles, this was treated up to 2013 with one of three products families - clothianidin, imidacloprid or thiamethoxam. The reason for banning them is that there is evidence that they may have sub lethal effects which could cause weakness in honey bee colonies.

    Given that OSR is a major cash crop farmers have reverted back to using pyrethroids, where as neonicotinoids don't kill bees, you can spray a hive with clothianidin and nothing will happen - pyrethroids are highly toxic to honey bees and have explicitly lethal effects. I know because I've lost hives to pyrethroid spraying. You can find the same chemicals in products designed to kill ants, fleas, and moths. Moreover, unlike seed coated treatments that replaced them pyrethroids are sprayed on the fields in multiple cycles - putting, even more, pesticides into the ground.

    This campaign has been successful in replacing a product that has sub-lethal effects on honey bees with one that has lethal effects. Resulting in either farmer using more, older pesticides or stopping growing that crop altogether. Ironically seeing the decline in an important pollinator food source.

    The honey bee apocalypse is something created in the USA by the pollinator industry who load hundreds of hives onto flat bed trucks, drive them thousands of miles, place them in monocultures sprayed with all sorts of junk - and then wonder why the bees are dying.

    CCD isn't in Europe, or indeed Australia who also have a huge commercial pollinator industry.

    The biggest lever at the moment for the success for pollinator health in the UK is habitat, unfortunately, lobby groups can't make as much money in donations blaming lawnmower users - evil chemical companies are so much friendly on the donate button.
     
  7. campanula

    campanula plant a seed

    Well, yes...and no. Habitat is definitely an issue - the real problem (I think) lies with intensive farming of monocrops. OSR, in vast fields is a cash crop...and while it also provides a nectar and pollen source for bees, at the time of flowering, there is no shortage of other food sources for bees (or should be, in a more mixed rural environment). A less intensive, more diverse method of farming would quite likely lead to a much diminished need for any insecticides. My hive does perfectly well, despite being in a desert of industrial Norfolk agriculture (although my local farmer practices a much older system of rotations and uses only herbicides once a year)...but also because I have literally surrounded the hive with an array of sustenance, from the early goat willow to the nectar source of last resort, mature ivy. My local beekeeping soc claims urban bees are in better shape than rural ones primarily because diversity.. so probably not lawnmowers and block paving. I see no reason to ditch the scepticism relating to agricultural use of chemicals - farmers are not our friends...many of then are not even farmers but land investment collectives with licensed tenants. The countryside has been under siege since WW2
    CCD is a catch-all syndrome, rather than a proven effect - varroa is still more of a concern afaik...and I am not thrilled with the use of continual flow honey tapping - I take only a small proportion of honey. I use icing sugar rather than miticides - a little sprinkling and the bees are mad to groom each other, removing mites as well as sugar. This is only my 3rd summer so obviously a complete novice...and still quite anxious.

    As ever, people will be making a name and a career.pushing various agendas.

    eta-currently, horribly depressed after reading Graham Harvey's 'The Killing of the Countryside' - a bitter polemic and somewhat one sided but ...even worse, the miserable history of east anglian farming and the utter demise of the small mixed farms (and loss of livelihood for people who worked them)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  8. bemused

    bemused Well-Known Member

    That's why the agri-environmental schemes are so important. Feild margins are now at their highest levels in the last 20 years.

    If you can manage varroa, robbing and the wet you'll be fine.
     
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  9. Libertad

    Libertad Sweetie

    And EFB, AFB, Small Hive Beetle, Wax Moth, Nosema, Sacbrood virus and the Asian Hornet. Our bees have got it tough. I've got a Queen who's due to make her mating flight and it hasn't stopped raining for a week. :(
     
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  10. bemused

    bemused Well-Known Member

    That's a bit tight to get a queen done, good luck.
     
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  11. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad RIP Greebo being kinder heckling from the back!

    I've been bee, bird and butterfly watching this year. I live not far from a local road, but have mixed woodland, grazing land and some gardens nearby. No OSR, the only crops the locals have are hay / silage for sheep and cattle. Also a few horses and plenty of tourists.

    Very mixed results !
    Bees - less than a few years ago for overall numbers /species, but only about as good as last year. White tailed bumbles and worker honey bees seen in good numbers, plus a few others.
    Last year saw very few butterflies; this year we had a lot of red admirals, but not much else (a few peacocks, small tortishell, various "whites") - despite a huge area of nettles !
    Birds have done OK (but I need to re-supply the nest boxes, age and weather have taken toll).
    No visible hedgehogs, but there are some other small mammals / amphibians about.

    I think this year has seen some recovery after the last couple of years, but slow progress. The very wet spells have been a problem after a good start. In a long term programme, I am carrying out some significant tree / bush pruning but re-instating flowered areas, and making more bee friendly areas. Overall, keeping the small area under my command as wildlife friendly as I can.
     
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  12. Libertad

    Libertad Sweetie

    Like quite a few beeks in our area a prime swarm colony's queen just disappeared, she was unmarked. After numerous inspections we couldn't find her. She had been laying a good brood pattern and then it stopped.
    No supersedure, no laying workers, they hadn't cast; pollen still coming in. A mystery.

    I introduced a good mixed brood frame, eggs, larvae, sealed cells and they raised another queen. I could have combined but this swarm colony was large and they're true black bees. She was mature, by my notes, on Wednesday so she needs to get jiggy with some drones pretty quick. If she doesn't start laying then I will have to combine. ((Black bees)))
     
  13. bemused

    bemused Well-Known Member

    I clip them the moment they start laying. It is a swarm control safety net.
     
  14. Libertad

    Libertad Sweetie

    Other than splits I make all my increase by collecting swarms, sometimes my own. I'd never clip a queen but that's just my personal choice.
     
  15. bemused

    bemused Well-Known Member

    I've been queen grafting for the last three seasons. I've finally got the point where I can do it and (almost) consistent results.
     
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  16. Libertad

    Libertad Sweetie

    Skillz :thumbs: Did anything come of your podcast project?
     
  17. bemused

    bemused Well-Known Member

    Not yet, I started a new job so I've not got the time. There are plenty I listen to however.
     
  18. StoneRoad

    StoneRoad RIP Greebo being kinder heckling from the back!

  19. Mab

    Mab Kingston ON Canada

    This summer, the lavender was just covered in worker bees here in Ontario Canada. Every day I checked. Amazing, so many.
     
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