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2685Re: Soil Health for Bee Health?

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  • pollinator2001
    Apr 10, 2013
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      --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Julie Tennis <julietennis@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello,
      >
      > I have a friend who is a soil health contractor, he works with farmers to
      > balance their soil for better productivity and nutrient density. He has a
      > hypothesis that increasing soil mineral balance will make a difference in
      > the ability of honey bees to endure disease. He's looking for people to
      > work with in testing this hypothesis.
      >
      > I'm curious if anyone else has come across anyone doing this kind of
      > research. Also, if you're interested and are in the southwest corner of
      > Washington State, drop me a line and I'll get you in touch with him.


      I can't exactly answer your question, but -

      I have a beekeeper friend who believes that bee nutrition is a significant part of the weakening of the bees, so he feeds a pollen-based protein supplement to the bees year around. I don't know where these come from or the formulation.

      Every time I visit him at work in the bee yard, I am impressed by his bees. They are like the bees were in the "good ole days," when bees were strong, and bushel sized swarms were the norm rather than a rarity. He's a hard working and very consiencious, hands-on beekeeper.

      He works coast to coast, pollinating almonds in California, blueberries in Maine and a lot in-between. He gets premium prices in places where they rate the bees for strength, and he's never had a trace of so-called CCD.

      I agree that our soils are mineral depleted, so I try to remineralize the soil in which I grow my own food. That's especially true in sun-baked, burnt-over, wave-washed, and highly leached coastal South Carolina.

      I suggest you put your question on the (honey) bee list. Or if you'd like I can put it up, then send you the responses.

      Dave
      Retired pollination contractor
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