More Than Honey - The Movie

jasonw
By jasonw on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 - 10:40pm

A new documentary coming out June 12th that looks to have some incredible visual appeal and open up discussion about the importance of bees to our food security and planetary health.  I hope it gets more people talking about the incredible predicament we face with the decline of bee populations and the effects we will have to deal with. 

I am looking forward to seeing this movie.  Anyone else interested in seeing this film?

31 Comments

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Homo Sapiens? Nay, Homo Fatuus.

Einstein said

If bees die out, mankind will die out four years later

Amen.

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Bees

Very interested in seeing the documentary.

I've read some previous articles on the topic, it is a frightening scenario.

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I Bee Interested

Thanks for the heads up Jason.

SS

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Organic Raw Veggies
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Stealing bees

Is it possible to steal bees? Has anyone heard of it happening? 

Last year hives appeared on farm just off our property, lots of bees. Now the hives are gone. Talk to other beekeeping neighbors and all their bees are gone? Talk to beekeepers a few miles away, their bees gone too.

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Lost Bees.

That is why you have to brand them. Didn't anybody tell you anything?

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Doug
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Where?

Does anyone know where it will be shown or if the dvd will be available?

Doug

robie robinson's picture
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stealing? no

trapping? yes. the urge to swarm is one beeks are constantly trying to control. something i do is keep traps .2 to .5 miles around my apiary.(you can search trapping bees). i'm sure that i've trapped my own bees a number of times. my eyes are old,i'm an optometrist,and i couldn't anylonger see our farm brand on the bee butts. that was of course tongue in cheek.

 

robie

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if a swarm takes up in your attic/trap

another will often replace theone removed. each swarm trapped will often be smaller but they are free.

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interested

very interested

I haven't seen a honey bee where I live in more than two years---but a few miles away a fellow told me he has been able to keep his bees alive and well.  He's not industrial; he's a dad with some kids with a lot of curiosity having fun with bees.

I need to get over my fear of getting stung.  When I told my son I've never raised bees and didn't know anything about it  he told me, "That's never stopped you before ". 

I have been hand pollinating my squash plants.  I just realized that I will never have eggplant if I don;t do the same with them,  Vegetable sex--that's crazy!!  Sure am glad the tomatoes don't need me for that.

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Bee loss

I understand that beekeepers in my area lost 50% of their bees this winter. My husband and I were just noticing we aren't seeing any honey bees around our property. I have sent for a book on beekeeping as he might be interested in that. But, our HOA prohibits it. So, we will have to work on changing that.

How does one obtain this DVD?

Thanks.

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Bees, and Their Loss

First up, I am a brand new bee-keeper as of this year.  Actually as of a week ago when they (finally) arrived.  And I am smitten.  I love my 'girls' already and am endlessly fascinated by what they are up to.

Regarding pollinators losses, they are quite profound and feral colonies are thought to have collapsed as well by 80% or so in the past decade.

One obvious culprit, banned in most of Europe, are the neonicotinoid class of pesticides.  They are toxic to bees at obscenely low levels - 22 to 44 nanograms is a lethal dose for 50% of bees when administered on the outside, but only 3 to 4 nanograms deliver the same punch when ingested.

These pesticides are so toxic that a coating on a kernel of corn seed is sufficient to dose up the mature plant to levels that will kill most insect pests.  Which means it is not just highly toxic, but persistent.

These pesticides have been approved by the EPA on a 'conditional' basis meaning they are allowed to be used while safety data is being gathered.  Even if you hate that thought, the gatherers happen to be the companies that produce the chemicals, so take a guess at just how complete the safety data is?

“Conditional registrations” by Pesticide Network: Clothianidin was given a conditional registration in 2003. EPA is supposed to license ("register") pesticides only if they meet standards for protection of environment and human health.

But pesticide law allows EPA to waive these requirements and grant a "conditional" registration when health and safety data are lacking in the case of a new pesticide, allowing companies to sell the pesticide before EPA gets safety data. The company is supposed to submit the data by the end of the conditional registration period.

Conditional registrations account for 2/3 of current pesticide product registrations.

It is a common practice for the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs to afford rapid market access for products that remain in use for many years before they are tested.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, of the 16,000 current product registrations: 11,000 (68%) have been conditionally registered; almost 8,200 products have been conditionally registered (“CR status”) since 2005; approximately 5,400 products have had CR status since 2000; and over 2,100 products have had CR status since 1990.

(Source)

A suit has been filed against the EPA by a consortium of bee keepers and other interested parties asking that the EPA simply follow its own rules and force the safety testing to happen in a timely manner and be thorough, something they have so far been unwilling to do.  Good grief, 2,100 "conditional" registrations over 23 years old?  C'mon...that's just stupid.

It is behavior like the EPA is displaying that makes me really certain that there won't be any gentle landing for humans....

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FWIW

This morning I finished my potato harvest and took them to my in-laws for storage. A gentleman drove by and spotted an old tank on the property.  He asked if we wanted to get rid of it.  The tank has a capacity of 2000 gallons and was used for water storage to clean the milk barn after milkings.  It hasn't been used since 1991 and we are ready to part with it.

He told me he is a beekeeper and needed the tank to store HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).  It is difficult to find adequate pollination work for the bees every month and HFCS is needed to keep the bees alive between jobs.

He runs about 500 hives with his son and loses about 150 annually.  Although not a technical individual, he feels the hive loss is due to insecticides.  One avenue he is using to help expose the cause of die-out is to document hive movement from crop to crop and detemine if a specific crop (and insecticide) cause a higher per cent of bee hive loss.

He sells his honey at 3 year-around farmers markets in the central valley (California).  He needs space for his hives and wanted to know if we would be willing to provide space for 20 hives (next to alfalfa) in exchange for honey.  Need to talk to the alfalfa farmers first.

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depressing
cmartenson wrote:

One obvious culprit, banned in most of Europe, are the neonicotinoid class of pesticides. They are toxic to bees at obscenely low levels - 22 to 44 nanograms is a lethal dose for 50% of bees when administered on the outside, but only 3 to 4 nanograms deliver the same punch when ingested.

Wikipedia wrote:

Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine. The development of this class of insecticides began with work in the 1980s by Shell and the 1990s by Bayer.[1] 

I took special interest in this because I was employed by Shell during the 1980's and this class of insecticide was never mentioned and to my knowledge never got to the field trial stage.  However, I worked with 3 of the individuals mentioned in the first reference so Shell was a player in this class of chemical. 

EPA is an acronym for what?

 

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EPA=Environmental Protection Agency

http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa

"Our Mission

Our mission is to protect human health and the environment."

Except they seem to be beholden to other missions as well.....

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Other Options

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/08/bees-dying-off.asp

This is a good article that gives a basic broad brush intro into the problem. It has a couple of video segments, but I didn't watch them. Lots of links for those inclined. I just read the main page text. It is worth reading.

I bought some mason bees about a dozen years ago. I started with a 4" X 4" post and drilled holes using a 5/16" bit about 3" deep. They have filled every 5/16" or slightly bigger hole in wood at my place. Everything gets pollinated (unless springtime weather is too cold or wet.) They don't produce excess honey, but my fruit trees are almost always overloaded. Something to consider for those who like belts and suspenders. Here's a Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mason_bee

Grover

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nausea...thats what i feel

when Chris Martenson mentions affection and"his girls" on a thread concerning bee health. i know i'm with a kindred spirit. people have no idea of the implications of bee loss. sure there are other pollinatrs' but none so thorough and aggressive at the pollination game as the honey bee. nausea, it makes me sick to think of a buareucratic $#It deciding if nicotinoids are temporaily OK.

sorry for the outrage (Chris you go buddy)

W/O insecticide alot of folk MIGHT starve. With insecticide(GMO too) everybody MIGHT starve

Doug's picture
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Well, a bit of bad luck

I went up today to check my hive and found all the bees dead.  I don't know what killed them.  Does anyone know of some kind of post mortem I can do to determine cause of death?

Doug

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Send dead bees here:
Doug wrote:

I went up today to check my hive and found all the bees dead.  I don't know what killed them.  Does anyone know of some kind of post mortem I can do to determine cause of death?

Doug

http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7472

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I'm on year 3 beekeeping.

I'm on year 3 beekeeping. I've lost my bees two years in a row. The first year they were robbed by neighboring bees during a dearth and I did not understand the signs. They were weak from disease from mites and I wanted to try "natural" bee care. The second year the queens disappeared in late August - big problem in our area last year. Just one hive this year.

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www.wncbees.org Great bee

www.wncbees.org

Great bee resource. 

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Sorry about your bees, Doug
Doug wrote:

I went up today to check my hive and found all the bees dead.  I don't know what killed them.  Does anyone know of some kind of post mortem I can do to determine cause of death?

Doug

Well that's just tragic.  My sympathies.

Were they dead in the hive?  If so, then I would suspect a pesticide.  Best to get them tested to find out, then you can hunt down the offending lawn-owner or farmer and have a conversation about the ways that their actions extend well beyond their borders...

 

 

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Don't forget our native pollinators

Thank you Grover, Mason bees are just one of our valuable native pollinators.  Some crops are not pollinated by bees- for example, our native pawpaws require flies! http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/article/48/

I encourage everyone to be aware, to enhance nesting opportunities and provide water and forage for our own native bees that may nest in the ground or in crevices and holes.

More info here: http://www.xerces.org/enhancing-habitat-for-native-bees/

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cmartenson wrote: Doug
cmartenson wrote:
Doug wrote:

I went up today to check my hive and found all the bees dead.  I don't know what killed them.  Does anyone know of some kind of post mortem I can do to determine cause of death?

Doug

Well that's just tragic.  My sympathies.

Were they dead in the hive?  If so, then I would suspect a pesticide.  Best to get them tested to find out, then you can hunt down the offending lawn-owner or farmer and have a conversation about the ways that their actions extend well beyond their borders...

Thanks Chris,

This may help diagnostically.  Yes, the bees were dead in the hive.  Although the ultimate cause is not clear to me, it appears they may have starved.  The cells were mostly empty.  I fed them sugar water earlier in the spring and I don't think they ate any of it.  I checked the hive a few times in the spring and there were always live bees, but they didn't seem to be leaving the hive. 

As far as pesticides, the nearest field that may be sprayed is about half a mile away and wind patterns would be unlikely to blow pesticides this way.  However, some kind of poisoning does seem a strong possibility based on a diagnostic article I looked at.  The bees are too decomposed to send away for diagnosis.

I think the thing to do at this point is burn the hive and start over with new hive.

Doug

 

 

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where i go for info

http://bushfarms.com/bees.htm  the wax foundation has the accumulated toxins from...miticides neonicotinoids, organophosphates etc. a reason i went foundationless. we do reuse OUR bees foundation infact ispun 8 frames sun. and replaced 'em into the have. the girls got to eat the reamaining honey and reuse their previously drawn comb.

robie, a poor and reluctant typist

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I love bees!

I want to watch the film!

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Systemic Pesticides

I'm the chair of the Colorado State Beekeepers Association Pesticide Committee.  In that capacity, I have created a slide presentation called "What Honeybees Taught Me About Pesticides" ... a couple of snips:

Neonicotinoid is one type of Systemic Poison.  There are many.  What gets "tested" is called the Active Ingredient (AI).  Nothing else in the mixture must be tested.  AI is tested in isolation, the effect of combined AIs, as is frequently found in bee hives, is almost completely unknown.  Registrants, the company asking EPA for registration, are responsible for their own testing.  EPA takes the results without question.  Results are not peer reviewed or published.  AI metabolizes over time breaking down into new chemical combinations that are environmentally dependent (temperature, humidity, etc.).  There is a concept called half-life.

Half of the Active Ingredient is still left in:
Clothianidin            148 – 1,155 days
Imidacloprid            40 – 997 days
Thiamethoxam        25 – 100 days*
Dinoteferan            50 – 100 days
varies by soil density, higher density produces longer half-life.
* Clothianidin is a primary metabolite of thiamethoxam, that is, thiamethoxam metabolizes into clothianidin.  Yet another layer of “gotcha”

There is much more ... dons

robie robinson's picture
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Congrats are in order

Thank you for you service. My girls can't type so i'm thanking you for them.

robie

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top bar hives

If there is someone on here familiar with top bar hives, I would be interested in talking (or TMing, or emailing, or whatever).

Doug

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top bar hives

Hello, I was sad to read of your loss.  I am an 'accidental' top bar bee person.  I don't call myself a beekeeper because they keep themselves, pretty much.  They are feral and they adopted my new, empty top bar hive that I set out last spring. (2012).  Since then, the only thing we've done is move the false back forward so they'd have less space to heat in winter, then move it back again in the spring to give them more room to grow.  We've never fed or treated them with anything at all.  So far, so good.

I think keeping with Langstroth hives is 'messing with' the bees too much.  Bees in the wild don't need all that human interference.  The only reason to use langstroth hives is if you are looking to make a profit from honey.  If you just want to keep bees for the sake of the bees and for pollination, top bar is the way to go. 

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Another thought

Keep in mind that the european honeybee, which is what we use in beekeeping generally, is not native to the U.S.  There is a wide range of pollinators here who get things done quite nicely with no honeybees at all.  In my squash, I see all kinds of mason bees, little flies, and wasp looking critters, but rarely an actual honeybee.

If we don't kill off the native bees, we'll still have pollination without the european honeybee.  But maybe not for the non-native crops that we grow now days. 

For example, bees can have a one-track mind.  Mine were going to a food source north of me in the woods this spring.  My fruit trees were blooming, and they ignored them and kept going to whatever they had found in the woods, because the source in the woods bloomed first.  They had in their little memories to keep going there until that source was exhausted.  My fruit did get pollinated by other insects, but then we had a late frost and lost all the flowers.  That was a dissappointment.

My garden still gets pollinated even though my bees mostly ignore it in preference of wild sources of forage.

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Documentary

I have seen this documentary movie in one of the social media marketing agencies

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