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2687Re: [beemonitoring] Soil Health for Bee Health?

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  • Larson, Diane
    Apr 10, 2013
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      Julie and all - This paper might give some insight if you think of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as an aspect of "soil health".

      Wolfe, B. E., B. C. Husband, and J. N. Klironomos. 2005. Effects of a belowground mutualism on an aboveground mutualism. Ecology Letters 8:218-223.



      On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM, Stoner, Kimberly <Kimberly.Stoner@...> wrote:

      Hi Julie and others,


      Having been around organic farming organizations for many years, I am seeing more and more “soil health contractors,” and I would caution you to be cautious and question this person closely about what he actually knows about soil health and nutrient density.  And, if he is going to test the hypothesis that “increasing soil mineral balance” (whatever that means) makes a difference in the ability of honey bees to endure disease, I would also question him about how he would propose to test this hypothesis – and what he knows about hypothesis testing.


      I don’t want to disparage your friend, but I am alarmed by the people I see coming forward to advise farmers about soil health and soil mineral balancing who know very little about soil chemistry or biology and who make overenthusiastic and unsupported claims about the soil amendments they sell – claims about the “nutrient density” of the food produced (without adequate measurement or even clarity about what this means), claims about resistance to insect pests and plant pathogens, etc.  I hope your friend is not one of these people.


      At a time when we finally have good science being done on organic agriculture, I would hope we could rely more on science and less on advertising claims as we move forward.





      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Julie Tennis
      Sent: Tuesday, April 09, 2013 4:26 PM
      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [beemonitoring] Soil Health for Bee Health?




      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.

      Thanks!  :)



      Diane L. Larson
      U.S.G.S. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
      1561 Lindig St.
      St. Paul, MN  55108
      voice 651-649-5041
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