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World agriculture suffers


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#1    Ashotep

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:05 PM

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Pollinating insects usually live in natural or semi-natural habitats, such as the edges of forests, hedgerows or grasslands.
These habitats are gradually being lost as the land is cultivated for agriculture, but, as a result, the abundance and diversity of wild pollinators crucial for the crops’ success is declining.

World agriculture suffers from lack of wild bees

We clear more land to feed more people but the bees won't be there to pollinate it.  So how will we feed people when the population hits 10 billion?


#2    ealdwita

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:23 PM

The very reason (or rather, one of the reasons) I have established more than 10 acres of 'set-aside' land on the farm, half of which is beech woodland, and the other half wild meadow. Also, I have (with financial help from Defra) reconstructed or re-established 18 miles of hedgerow, with more to follow, (hopefully). Brian Creasy on the other side of the village has an apiary, and his bees romp around my meadows all summer! Lots of butterflies too (although they aren't much good at producing honey!)

Mine's only a small effort in the general scheme of things, but it's something I feel everybody who has the facilities to do so should do.

Edited by ealdwita, 01 March 2013 - 04:25 PM.

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#3    AsteroidX

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:27 PM

I have a tree hive currently and am going to a crack at catching a swarm or two over the next couple months. Bees are wonderful and honey is tasty. We need to take care of the honeybees and give them a helping hand not Africanize Bee the world.


#4    Ashotep

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 04:42 PM

In the article they claim the bee's kept by bee keepers don't do as well at pollinating.  Don't understand why they wouldn't.

Quote

Managed populations of pollinators are less effective at fertilizing plants than wild ones, the researchers said, so the dearth of pollinating insects cannot be solved by simply introducing others.



#5    ealdwita

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:03 PM

View PostHilander, on 01 March 2013 - 04:42 PM, said:

In the article they claim the bee's kept by bee keepers don't do as well at pollinating.  Don't understand why they wouldn't.

According to Brian (I've just phoned him), wild bees are more efficient pollinators because they visit a wider spectrum of 'cultivars' (I expect he means flowers and things) than hive bees who tend to be stuck in their ways, visiting the same old plants time after time, thus not pollinating properly. Also, the presence of wild bees makes hive bees nervous and has the effect of forcing them to pollinate further afield. (If that's rubbish - blame Brian!)

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#6    AsteroidX

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:07 PM

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In the article they claim the bee's kept by bee keepers don't do as well at pollinating.  Don't understand why they wouldn't.

Honeybees are very effected by whats in the environment IMO. Hey Bees are like people they dont like working 80 hour weeks. They would be a "canary" so to speak. The fact "we" dont take this threat very seriously is beyond me


#7    Yamato

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:07 PM

View Postealdwita, on 01 March 2013 - 04:23 PM, said:

The very reason (or rather, one of the reasons) I have established more than 10 acres of 'set-aside' land on the farm, half of which is beech woodland, and the other half wild meadow. Also, I have (with financial help from Defra) reconstructed or re-established 18 miles of hedgerow, with more to follow, (hopefully). Brian Creasy on the other side of the village has an apiary, and his bees romp around my meadows all summer! Lots of butterflies too (although they aren't much good at producing honey!)

Mine's only a small effort in the general scheme of things, but it's something I feel everybody who has the facilities to do so should do.
Brian Creasy?  Is that the one in Horley, Bristol, or Rotherham?

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#8    rashore

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:08 PM

It may have something to do with how a lot of domestic bees are treated vs wild bees. Wild bees forage all over the place and are free to do so. Most commercial bees are taken from farm to farm as needed for pollination, and moving them around that much isn't supposed to be good for them, and I have to imagine the more restricted diet might not be so good for them either.

We may be getting our first hive this year with the help of a neighbor. He's been doing beekeeping for a few years now and has agreed to help me out. He's an all natural guy that uses local wild swarms. We do have a decent variety of wild pollinators, but I just love honeybees.


#9    AsteroidX

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:14 PM

Non tempermental hives are the best to grab swarms from. Genetics. By letting the less temperamental Hives thrive (with luck) and live in as natural a state as possible is best for the bees.

What if anything do to stop the spread of Africanized Bees ? There a threat because of there aggressive nature.

Edited by AsteroidX, 01 March 2013 - 05:14 PM.


#10    Yamato

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:23 PM

View PostAsteroidX, on 01 March 2013 - 05:14 PM, said:

Non tempermental hives are the best to grab swarms from. Genetics. By letting the less temperamental Hives thrive (with luck) and live in as natural a state as possible is best for the bees.

What if anything do to stop the spread of Africanized Bees ? There a threat because of there aggressive nature.
Instead of relying on industrial pollination and micromanaging the numerous problems and inefficiencies therein, maybe we should address the problem causing the decline in wild bees instead?   It's a self-defeating problem otherwise.

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#11    ealdwita

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:32 PM

View PostYamato, on 01 March 2013 - 05:07 PM, said:

Brian Creasy?  Is that the one in Horley, Bristol, or Rotherham?

Our Brian doesn't get much further afield than the pub these days!

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#12    AsteroidX

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:34 PM

Africanized bees and mites have been 2 huge destroyer of natural and "hived" nests. In regions where Africanized bees take hold it is not long before Natural Honeybees dissapear so there DOES lie a huge problem. Nearly the lower USA down through South America has been completely wiped out bu this failed experiment. (But hey GMO is a great idea-jab for those that care). And yes industrialized bees is not good. But they are often used in areas where Africanized Bees are prevalent and therefore cant be left to fend for themselves.

IMO once we tackle the Africanized Bee problem (there nonindeginous and crossbred) then we can reintroduce the honeybee and it will do well. I dont see this as a chicken or the egg first problem. The problem is staring straight at us but again what are we doing to stop the spread ? Honeybees dont have a chance till we get a stop on these Africanized species. How much funding goes to working this problem out.

Honeybees are so vital to our ecosystems yet we treat them like they are always going to be there. They wont at the rate things are going. They are delicate pollinaters.


#13    Yamato

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 05:53 PM

Africanized honey bees are hot-weather bees.  They'll hopefully be stopped by the climate.  How are we to tackle them otherwise?   That's not really at issue here regarding the shortage of wild pollinators anyway.  It's more a qualitative difference in selective bee populations than a cause of global shortage.

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#14    AsteroidX

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 06:22 PM

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How are we to tackle them otherwise?

We experimented with mother nature and the Africanized Bee was the result. I see them as a part of the problem with wild pollinators because they displaced the natural pollinator. The Honeybee. It is akin to the Pythons of the Everglades. Native species will dissapear and new aggressive invasive species replaces them.

You cannot replace the native species while the invasive one exists. A solution. No I dont have one and I dont get paid to come up with solutions so I will offer none here. I only hope your cold climate keeps them off my doorstep. Its just an ignored environmental problem like so many others. But our selfishness has left us heartless to the importance of Honeybees a pollinator and producer for many cultures over the centuries. yet we our masterful intelligent selves choose to ignore it.


#15    Yamato

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:46 PM

View PostAsteroidX, on 01 March 2013 - 06:22 PM, said:

We experimented with mother nature and the Africanized Bee was the result. I see them as a part of the problem with wild pollinators because they displaced the natural pollinator. The Honeybee. It is akin to the Pythons of the Everglades. Native species will dissapear and new aggressive invasive species replaces them.

You cannot replace the native species while the invasive one exists. A solution. No I dont have one and I dont get paid to come up with solutions so I will offer none here. I only hope your cold climate keeps them off my doorstep. Its just an ignored environmental problem like so many others. But our selfishness has left us heartless to the importance of Honeybees a pollinator and producer for many cultures over the centuries. yet we our masterful intelligent selves choose to ignore it.
Africanized bees are honeybees.  They're just more aggressive.  The species swapping you speak of won't cause agriculture to suffer due to lack of pollination.  The problems are aggressive bees with behaviors that aren't conducive to happy outdoor living, or other bees.

Global warming will worsen the problem by making colder climates push further north, so I think the solutions are far more convoluted than we know, addressing a problem of this scale.   The common thread in all of them though is that they all point back to us and either what we've done or what we're doing, or not doing.

"To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.   To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them." ~ Nelson Mandela




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