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Nature's dying migrant worker
StarTrib ^ | 6/29/2024 | Josephine Marcotty

Posted on 06/29/2014 2:34:16 PM PDT by Daffynition

SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, CALIF. | First in an occasional series

On a cool January day in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Steve Ellis culled his sick bees. The only sounds were their steady buzz and the chuffing of the smoker he used to keep them calm as he opened the hives, one by one, to see how many had survived. The painful chore has become an annual ritual for Ellis, and, hardened now like a medic on the front lines, he crowned another box with a big rock to mark it.

“This one is G.A.D.,” he said. “Good as dead.”

Ellis, of Barrett, Minn., is one of some 1,300 commercial beekeepers from across the United States who migrate to California each year, along with nearly 2 million hives, for the single largest pollination event in the world. Below him in the sprawling valley, nearly 1,400 square miles of almond trees — three-fourths of the global supply — were ready to burst out into a frothy sea of pink and white. To grow into a nut, every single blossom would need at least one American honeybee.

Ever since the ominous phrase “colony collapse disorder” first surfaced in 2006, scientists have struggled to explain the mysterious mass die-offs of honeybees. But here in America’s food basket the escalating stakes are laid out as clearly as the almond trees that march in perfect rows up to the horizon.

(Excerpt) Read more at startribune.com ...


TOPICS: Food; Outdoors; Society; Weather
KEYWORDS: almonds; bees; colonycollapse; pollinators
If you've never hand-pollinated fruit trees blossoms...you won't understand.


1 posted on 06/29/2014 2:34:16 PM PDT by Daffynition
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To: Daffynition

That’s incredibly tedious labor. I’m too old for it now, but even thirty years back, I would not have wanted to do that for more than one hour a day, if that. People never think about this part of food production.
The migrants also suffer here in California, because the Central Valley water has been largely stopped, diverted on brought to a trickle in order to preserve various and sundry field mice, lizards and ground nesting birds.

All suposedly endangered creatures, of course. What can I say, California majority elects these people who bring their warped ideas with them. These idea are usually trumpeted during their campaigns. You can’t say you have been tricked. They told you. We told you too.


2 posted on 06/29/2014 2:41:33 PM PDT by lee martell
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To: Daffynition

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/04/11/science-collapse-disorder-the-real-story-behind-neonics-and-mass-bee-deaths/

As the British Bee Keeper Association recently warned, rushing to ban neonics, when the evidence remains contradictory, could well do more damage than good, as other pesticides, some known to be more harmful to bees, would of necessity be reintroduced.


3 posted on 06/29/2014 3:16:47 PM PDT by Valpal1 (If the police can t solve a problem with violence, they ll find a way to fix it with brute force)
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To: Daffynition
This is what I saw on Public TV about farmers in China. A farmer wasn't getting fruit off his trees so he complained to the local farm bureau about his problem. They said there were no bee's and he would have to pollinate them himself. They showed him how to attach a feather on a stick so now he is up on a ladder pollinating his trees. At least in this country we have all these millions of illegal aliens who can act as bees.
4 posted on 06/29/2014 3:44:20 PM PDT by Vinylly (?%)
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To: Valpal1; mabarker1; rottndog; Chode; SgtBob; nascarnation; All

On the use of pesticides:

Last week I awoke to ants crawling all over the walkway at my doorstep. I had read a few months ago to put Diatomaceous earth on the entrances to the ants nests. Guess what? It works! I haven’t seen a single ant since I put it on the entrances to their nest.


5 posted on 06/29/2014 4:01:17 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: B4Ranch
a place i used to work had tons of it to make DI water but i have never seen it sold... it'd be good to put where ants can get into your house also yes?
6 posted on 06/29/2014 4:23:19 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: B4Ranch

I use it in the chicken coop. It stops lice.


7 posted on 06/29/2014 4:24:15 PM PDT by lysie
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To: Chode

Diatomaceous earth is sold almost everywhere that sells pesticides or hardware. Larger quantities are sold for swimming pool filters. Heck, people even eat the stuff.


8 posted on 06/29/2014 4:30:57 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto
using it as a filter to make DI water was all i ever knew it from, made non conductive water for the EDM machines... i'll look for some
9 posted on 06/29/2014 4:41:41 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

Walmart, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, etc.

10 posted on 06/29/2014 4:45:48 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto
thx...
11 posted on 06/29/2014 5:14:35 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: B4Ranch

I haven’t tried this but my sister swears by it. Mix baking soda and powdered suger in equal proportions, then add a small amount of water to form a paste. Place in a jar lid on the ant colony. They will take it into the colony and all who eat it will explode. You will find dead ants all around the lid.


12 posted on 06/29/2014 5:24:07 PM PDT by TStro (Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.)
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To: Vinylly

There are times, here in NE....when during blossom-time [usually around the 2nd week of May], it is so cold the bees don’t come out of the rented hives to do their *bee-thang^ to pollinate the fruit trees. Mother nature is unpredictable and fickle.

Americans won’t climb a fruit tree starting at 5 in the morning and work practically non-stop in all kinds of hideous weather until dusk. That is why legal alien Jamicans are brought in by the labor dept to do the work.


13 posted on 06/29/2014 6:13:58 PM PDT by Daffynition ("We Are Not Descended From Fearful Men")
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To: Valpal1; BartMan1
is one of some 1,300 commercial beekeepers from across the United States who migrate to California each year, along with nearly 2 million hives, for the single largest pollination event in the world

It seems that, at the very least, part of the problem has to be the stress of being the linchpin of the commercial pollination industry. The industry is focused on honey production (for the hive owners), and following after the crop cycles of almonds, fruits, and so on.

Bees, for a species that until 130 years ago was content to live in hollow logs to have been domesticated and forced to carry the burden of producing the world's food supply from artificially created homes, some of this is not unexpected.

14 posted on 06/29/2014 6:27:38 PM PDT by IncPen (None of this would be happening if John Boehner were alive...)
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To: TStro
I haven’t tried this but my sister swears by it. Mix baking soda and powdered suger in equal proportions, then add a small amount of water to form a paste. Place in a jar lid on the ant colony. They will take it into the colony and all who eat it will explode. You will find dead ants all around the lid.

The surest way to rid your home of ants quickly and safely is to mix equal parts sugar, flour and borax, put it in a bottle cap and set that in an area where you've seen ants. Some people add a few drops water to make a liquid or paste.

The ants carry the borax back to the nest, and the borax erodes the waxy coating that protects them. A few capfuls will take out an entire nest, inside or outm in a matter of days.

15 posted on 06/29/2014 6:30:55 PM PDT by IncPen (None of this would be happening if John Boehner were alive...)
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To: Chode

I imagine you could spray it around your foundation and it would work.


16 posted on 06/29/2014 6:43:38 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: B4Ranch
i'll give it a shot
17 posted on 06/29/2014 6:46:43 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

Do you remember the spray dusters? They spray fertilizers on the plants. That would be my first choice instead of mixing DE with water.


18 posted on 06/29/2014 7:19:39 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: jjotto

Make sure you don’t eat the stuff they use for pool filters though. Some of the DE sold is ‘food grade’ and other DE isn’t. We use a lot of DE around pets and our chickens but we only use food grade stuff. I also use it to get rid of aphids on my peppers and tomatoes.


19 posted on 06/29/2014 7:22:18 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: B4Ranch; Chode

DE mixed with water is much less effective. I use something like this:

http://www.vermontbean.com/dp.asp?pID=53092&c=139


20 posted on 06/29/2014 7:24:23 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: IncPen
Humans have been raising bees for honey and pollination for 2000 years at least.
21 posted on 06/29/2014 7:27:39 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: B4Ranch; Black Agnes
i was thinking of putting straight powder on door sills and window sills
22 posted on 06/29/2014 7:35:16 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
Humans have been raising bees for honey and pollination for 2000 years at least.

Man has not been trucking bees in artificial hives thousands of miles every few months, for thousands of years. This is a recent phenomenon.

Bees are sensitive to the sun (and possibly magnetic influence). The stress of this constant movement is enormous.

23 posted on 06/29/2014 7:36:13 PM PDT by IncPen (None of this would be happening if John Boehner were alive...)
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To: Chode

For small situations inside mainly, I use one of those little bulb snot puller thingies you’ll find in the kids/babies section of a big box like target or walmart. Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/EVA-Medical-Bulb-Syringe-Aspirator/dp/B001OTK6JG


24 posted on 06/29/2014 7:36:48 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes
looks like just the thing
25 posted on 06/29/2014 7:40:51 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

Just don’t inhale it. It’s abrasive to lung tissue. If I’m going to be ‘close’ to where I’m using it, I use one of the N95 masks. Just because.


26 posted on 06/29/2014 7:46:20 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes
will do
27 posted on 06/29/2014 7:52:51 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

I put a thin line of it around the interior wall/baseboard of my pantry. And another one around each shelf where it touches the wall. I put another in the cubby that contains my stove (Had to pull the stove out for this) and another behind my fridge. Ditto under the sink and in any kitchen cabinets.


28 posted on 06/29/2014 8:04:47 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: Black Agnes
it's odd, in the bathroom all i ever get are large black ones where in the office all i ever get are small red ones and don't seem to see ants anyplace else
29 posted on 06/29/2014 8:11:21 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Chode

I use this stuff for ants. Albeit outside.

https://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=50192

It doesn’t KILL the fireants though. They just move 10ft or so.

Which is OK with me, as long as they’re out of the flower bed.


30 posted on 06/29/2014 8:27:32 PM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: IncPen
Man has not been trucking bees in artificial hives thousands of miles every few months, for thousands of years. This is a recent phenomenon.

No, but that is not what you said.

Bees, for a species that until 130 years ago was content to live in hollow logs to have been domesticated and forced to carry the burden of producing the world's food supply from artificially created homes, some of this is not unexpected.

That is what you said. Nothing about trucking the bees around just a complaint about bees being forced for the past 130 years to live in "artificial homes" and being used for pollination. This has been going on for over 2000 years.

31 posted on 06/29/2014 8:30:28 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: Black Agnes
thx
32 posted on 06/29/2014 8:30:54 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
No, but that is not what you said.

Nothing about trucking the bees around

It's precisely what I said:

The industry is focused on honey production (for the hive owners), and following after the crop cycles of almonds, fruits, and so on.

and

This has been going on for over 2000 years

Nonsense. Can you show me that domestic managed hives outnumbered feral hives at any time in history, prior to 1930 or so? My point is that poor breeding and commuter-pollinating are man-made phenomena, and resultant strains on the species should not be a surprise.

33 posted on 06/29/2014 9:15:36 PM PDT by IncPen (None of this would be happening if John Boehner were alive...)
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To: B4Ranch; Chode; SgtBob; nascarnation; All

Cornmeal- non-poison put it any where that it won’t get wet, worker ants take it back to the nest and feed the queen/everybody. They eat it and drink water, it expands and blows up the stomach. El Poofo! No more ants! Been using it for decades.

Things the Orkin Folks DON’T want Us to know...

And yes it works on Fire Ants also.


34 posted on 06/30/2014 4:10:21 AM PDT by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!! Once again dingy hairball, STFU!!! You corrupt POS!!!)
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To: lee martell

Without the illegals, the work would pay more and be improved by automation.


35 posted on 06/30/2014 4:15:41 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: mabarker1
cool...
36 posted on 06/30/2014 4:44:32 AM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: IncPen
No. Not nonsense.

The Romans were beekeeping in 70 BC.

You can deny, ignore or whatever else floats your boat but history is history. Humans have been bee keeping for well over 2000 years. I am not sure where you got the idea that all or most of the honey prior to 1930 was wild but you are dead wrong.

Honey has been a human cultivated product for a very long time. In fact they have found a site that dates from 900 BC in the Jordan valley with had 30 artificial hives intact and the room for another 70 or so.

The Chinese of around that same period were writing books on bee keeping.

37 posted on 06/30/2014 5:27:12 AM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

I’ll type slowly this time: commercial beekeeping on a modern scale is unknown in human history. That’s my point.


38 posted on 06/30/2014 6:37:27 AM PDT by IncPen (None of this would be happening if John Boehner were alive...)
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