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Author Topic: Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee  (Read 3612 times)
gailmo
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« on: December 02, 2012, 06:50:21 PM »

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/11/29/166156242/cornstalks-everywhere-but-nothing-else-not-even-a-bee

This is pretty sobering -

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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 12:10:03 AM »

Have you ever driven through Iowa!  I have and I'm sure you have too (living next door).  This isnít a surprise to me at all.  When there is nothing as far as the eye can see but corn, thereís no place for the wildlife to retreat when the corn is picked, so it probably dies off.  We donít have such mega fields in Michigan although there is a lot of farming in the LP.  Here there is usually fence rows and isolated woods every 40 to 100 acres.  The State promotes farmers to keep some of their land forested.  If these NPR guys stepped into one of our corn fields they would likely get run over by deer, coons, foxes, skunks, opossums, moths, birds, lightening bugs, mosquitoes, and even bees!

The article talked about how the chemicals sprayed on corn kills everything else resulting in only a sea of corn.  Well, thatís the purpose of RoundupÖ..to kill weeds.  It kills all plants that arenít genetically engineered to tolerate it.  If you want high yields, you canít have a field full of weeds.   However Iím wondering if we may have shot ourselves in the foot on the GM crops.  Iíve been seeing corn ďweedsĒ growing in a lot of the GM soybean fields recently.   Itís going to be kind of hard to keep GM corn from hurting GM soybean crops if you canít weed it out!  

The other thing NPR was remise about was the fact that 40% of all that corn is used to make Ethanol, NOT food.  Itís not like we have to do it this way, itís evidently the way we choose to do things.  As usual it comes down to money; there is a lot of money in growing corn anymore thanks to Ethanol.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 08:36:15 AM »

gailmo,
here is a page you might want to read:
http://www.bjornapiaries.com/gmoneonicotinoids.html

As usual, most of the discussion of late is whether certain chemicals, and practices that GMO utilizes in food production, is the result of CCD.

No single chemical can be directly blamed for all the CCD. So many stand behind that notion, that CCD is not caused by corn production or some individual chemical, and it is therefore concluded that these chemicals and practices are not harmful to bees.

Long before CCD, pesticides and chemicals used in farming were an issue for beekeepers and bees. Just because one chemical or another can not be solely held responsible for all CCD, does not mean there is not a real harmful effect on the bees.

And not all effects of chemicals results in outright death of a colony overnight. But it may play a part in lower honey production, smaller clusters to survive the winter, and a host of other impacting items that may result in a colony death.

One study has claimed to debunk any responsibility of CCD or harmful effects of certain chemicals by showing that bees can "recoup" and repopulate any lost bees and brood. Like that is what any beekeeper wants....a hive constantly losing half of it's bees, and not able to produce honey. And the study did not continue into the winter to track hive loss. They simply said "Hey look! This colony only lost half it's bees, and was able over time to repopulate it's numbers, so any hive loss is not this chemical or pesticides fault". And if the colony died later due to low winter cluster numbers or the bees eating stored tainted pollen, it was not noted or realized.

Beekeepers and their inability to organize, fight, influence, or do much other than be sheep being led to slaughter, means you as an individual needs to find better locations to keep your bees. And in some areas, beekeeping simply is not an option. Location, location, location....is more important than ever.
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T Beek
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 09:44:50 AM »

BjornBee is spot on.  Unfortunately so, I'm afraid.

This very site site has proven time and again that many Beeks have an inability, intolerance (often reducing themselves to ridicule or denigrate another who they may disagree with) and/or unwillingness to find any common ground among other Beeks, much less get together and organise against (or for) much of anything. 

Because of the very nature of keeping bees we are already somewhat loners and resist these social activities  Wink 

Even among Beeks, 'imagined' divisions permeate  Sad  and prevent the collective finding of common ground.

BlueBee; did you mean the UP?  Ironwood is an hour and a half from us, we vist the Porcupine Mts regularly, infact just this past weekend we were in Silver City on our last trip before winter.  Not alot of farming going on up there. 

Between you and me I've always felt that Michigans UP is 'really' in Wisconsin  grin
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"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 08:07:25 AM »

I donít make it to the UP very often anymore.  Itís actually quite a long ways from here to Marquette; about 8 hours if I recall!  I would love to explore all around the Lakes one of these summers, but it just hasnít happened yet.  Yeah, many Uppers agree with you and see themselves as more as a Badger than a Wolverine.  Theyíre a long ways away from the seat of Government and the attention that Metro Detroit gets; I really canít blame them.  That said, itís great to have both peninsulasí as one.

There are some desolate areas up there.  You almost have to wonder if another human has even walked the same ground.  As you say the cropland is pretty limited up there so the bees might have less exposure to chemicals than in many places.   
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luvin honey
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 08:11:07 PM »

I wish people would at least leave the fencelines and ditches. I understand that some ditches need to be mowed for visibility and safety, but so many don't and become a great habitat for feeding bees.
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
marktrl
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 10:39:46 PM »

If the government didn't subsidize corn & soybeans no one would grow any.
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