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RE: [beemonitoring] Field margins - agricultural practices and bee populations

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  • Dave Hunter
    Sara, there s a recently awarded USDA/SCRI grant under Rufus Isaac that is addressing this issue over the next 5 years. The study will produce economic
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 14 8:50 AM
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      Sara, there’s a recently awarded USDA/SCRI grant under Rufus Isaac that is addressing this issue over the next 5 years.  The study will produce economic results to the farmers for use of managed and wild bees in 5 types of crops: almond, cherry, apple, blueberry, and cucurbit.  The first objective is analyzing your questions, though I don’t believe chemical effects are thought about until later years.

       

      Dave Hunter

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      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of saraguitiprado
      Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 8:39 AM
      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [beemonitoring] Field margins - agricultural practices and bee populations

       

       

      Hi Everyone,

      I'm curious to see if anyone knows of any studies where the three way interaction between field margins, agricultural practices (i.e. chemicals, tilling, etc) and bee abundance and diversity has been assessed.

      Are the bees foraging/living in the field margins still affected by agricultural practices? or is the field margin a complete refuge? Is the bee abundance and diversity found in the field margin as high as it could be, or is it not able to reach its maximum because of potential negative effects of chemical drift, tilling, etc.?

      Thanks!

    • Brian Dykstra
      Hi Sara I am not sure what definition of field margins you are using. Off hand I can think of a number of relevant papers, which do not directly address
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 14 10:45 AM
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        Hi Sara
        I am not sure what definition of "field margins" you are using.

        Off hand I can think of a number of relevant papers, which do not directly address "field margins", but do examine bee diversity, abundance, pollination, agricultural practices, and spatial scale (amount and distribution of natural ecosystem/non-farm land) and their interaction.  

        Kremen et al. 2004. The area requirements of an ecosystem service: crop pollination by native bee communities in California.  Ecology Letters (2004) 7: 1109–1119.  

        Morandin, Lora A., and Mark L. Winston. 2005. WILD BEE ABUNDANCE AND SEED PRODUCTION IN CONVENTIONAL, ORGANIC, AND GENETICALLY MODIFIED CANOLA. Ecological Applications 15:871–881. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/03-5271

        Power EF, Kelly DL, Stout JC (2012) Organic Farming and Landscape Structure: Effects on Insect-Pollinated Plant Diversity in Intensively Managed Grasslands. PLoS ONE 7(5): e38073. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038073

        Also there are papers which address field margins and bees: 
        See this one here which references some great papers on the topic
        Rands SA, Whitney HM (2011) Field Margins, Foraging Distances and Their Impacts on Nesting Pollinator Success. PLoS ONE 6(10): e25971. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025971

        Good luck!





        On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 6:39 AM, saraguitiprado <sara.guiti.prado@...> wrote:
         

        Hi Everyone,

        I'm curious to see if anyone knows of any studies where the three way interaction between field margins, agricultural practices (i.e. chemicals, tilling, etc) and bee abundance and diversity has been assessed.

        Are the bees foraging/living in the field margins still affected by agricultural practices? or is the field margin a complete refuge? Is the bee abundance and diversity found in the field margin as high as it could be, or is it not able to reach its maximum because of potential negative effects of chemical drift, tilling, etc.?

        Thanks!


      • pollinator2001
        ... Honey bees are an indicator of what happens, and wild bees would be similarly affected, likely quite a bit worse. And I ve seen many a pile of dead bees
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 14 3:50 PM
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          --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, "saraguitiprado" wrote:
          >
          > Hi Everyone,
          >
          > I'm curious to see if anyone knows of any studies where the three way interaction between field margins, agricultural practices (i.e. chemicals, tilling, etc) and bee abundance and diversity has been assessed.
          >
          > Are the bees foraging/living in the field margins still affected by agricultural practices? or is the field margin a complete refuge? Is the bee abundance and diversity found in the field margin as high as it could be, or is it not able to reach its maximum because of potential negative effects of chemical drift, tilling, etc.?


          Honey bees are an indicator of what happens, and wild bees would be similarly affected, likely quite a bit worse. And I've seen many a pile of dead bees when pesticides were misused in agriculture (and in public spraying as well. I've also seen hives that were suddenly decimated and weak, because foragers did not even make it home.

          The biggest problem is not chemical drift, as you suggest, but contamination of blossoms that bees are visiting, or the contamination of the bees as they visit. Label directions of pesticides that are toxic to bees have specific directions not to apply when bees are visiting, but this is frequently ignored.

          In fact many pesticide advisors tell applicators that they can shift the responsibility for bee protection to beekeepers, by notifying them to protect their bees. This, of course is illegal (advising use not in accord with the label is a violation, just as actually doing it) but again there is little push to get any implementation of the actual label.

          Label violations, even with beekeeper notification schemes, give NO protection to wild bees or even feral honey bees, or bees where the beekeeper has a job and can't tell his employer he's got to stay home to "protect his bees."

          There is a flow chart to simplify label directions at: http://pollinator.com/pesticides/flowchart.htm

          I have additional comments at this blog post: http://pollinator.info/blog/?p=198

          I did a personal, practical study on the effects of normal insecticide use in apple orchards by keeping a couple pallets of hives IN the orchard throughout the spray season. We were careful to mow all blossoms in the understory, and did all our insecticide spraying at night. The hives did not have detectable losses, even while other hives a half mile to a mile away from other orchards that did not take similar care, had some severe losses.

          This may not fully answer your question, but I hope it helps.

          Dave
          Retired pollination contractor
        • Michael Eckenfels
          I m curious if anyone has contrasted conventional agriculture with organic, pesticide-free practices in terms of bee density.  Seems that data could serve as
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 14 6:55 PM
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            I'm curious if anyone has contrasted conventional agriculture with organic, pesticide-free practices in terms of bee density.  Seems that data could serve as a complimentary approach to the current efforts in determining pesticide effects on pollinators.

            Michael


            From: saraguitiprado <sara.guiti.prado@...>
            To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:39 AM
            Subject: [beemonitoring] Field margins - agricultural practices and bee populations

             
            Hi Everyone,

            I'm curious to see if anyone knows of any studies where the three way interaction between field margins, agricultural practices (i.e. chemicals, tilling, etc) and bee abundance and diversity has been assessed.

            Are the bees foraging/living in the field margins still affected by agricultural practices? or is the field margin a complete refuge? Is the bee abundance and diversity found in the field margin as high as it could be, or is it not able to reach its maximum because of potential negative effects of chemical drift, tilling, etc.?

            Thanks!



          • pollinator2001
            ... Organic is not necessarily pesticide free. And some pesticides that are approved for organic use are toxic to bees. There s some gain by organic practices,
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 14 9:17 PM
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              --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Michael Eckenfels wrote:
              >
              > I'm curious if anyone has contrasted conventional agriculture with organic, pesticide-free practices in terms of bee density.  Seems that data could serve as a complimentary approach to the current efforts in determining pesticide effects on pollinators.


              Organic is not necessarily pesticide free. And some pesticides that are approved for organic use are toxic to bees. There's some gain by organic practices, but it's not automatic, and bee losses can occur if the pesticides are wrongfully used.

              Dave
              Retired pollination contractor
            • Brian Dykstra
              Dear Dave, This is one paper of a few. Try googling with google scholar. Morandin, Lora A., and Mark L. Winston. 2005. WILD BEE ABUNDANCE AND SEED PRODUCTION
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 14 11:40 PM
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                Dear Dave,
                This is one paper of a few.  Try googling with google scholar.
                Morandin, Lora A., and Mark L. Winston. 2005. WILD BEE ABUNDANCE AND SEED PRODUCTION IN CONVENTIONAL, ORGANIC, AND GENETICALLY MODIFIED CANOLA. Ecological Applications 15:871–881. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/03-5271



                On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM, pollinator2001 <Pollinator@...> wrote:
                 



                --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Michael Eckenfels wrote:
                >
                > I'm curious if anyone has contrasted conventional agriculture with organic, pesticide-free practices in terms of bee density.  Seems that data could serve as a complimentary approach to the current efforts in determining pesticide effects on pollinators.

                Organic is not necessarily pesticide free. And some pesticides that are approved for organic use are toxic to bees. There's some gain by organic practices, but it's not automatic, and bee losses can occur if the pesticides are wrongfully used.

                Dave
                Retired pollination contractor


              • Kimball Clark
                Michael, After dealing with Osmia lignaria since 08, surely their survival rate has some say in the health of their local habitat. I look at their affluence
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 15 6:47 AM
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                  Michael,

                  After dealing with Osmia lignaria since '08, surely their survival rate has some say in the health of their local habitat. I look at their affluence as a health-o-meter. Theresa Pitts-Singer (USDA) once eluded that if growers made their orchards suitable for bees, their crop would surely benefit. I believe that, but:

                  My results with O. lignaria use reveal I am achieving a higher propagation return in backyard environments than in conventional agriculture—but I'm not going to definitively say this result is due to any (or a combination of) -icides. At this point I am hypothesizing the increased rate in backyards is due to a larger, closer water (and thus mud) abundance, and due to pollen diversity (a prolonged availability of food). Understand that many orchards grow a single crop whose blossoms fall at the same time, and pollen/nectar is substantially limited thereafter. In most orchards, It's either feast or famine for O. lignaria—not very healthy for a bee that doesn't typically prefer traveling far distances.

                  Although I know some -icides are very bad for insects, I am skeptical to jump on the all out contra -icide bandwagon. There has been science presented to me (at least for O. lignaria) that reveals many -icides DON'T endanger them (that we know).

                  Returning to what I had written in my first paragraph, I do believe growers can plan unique, diverse orchards that would be highly beneficial to bees. I certainly agree with Theresa in that bee prosperity does equate to crop prosperity. For O. lignaria: Shelter, Water (in abundance), Food (in abundance). Sound familiar?

                  Sincerely,

                  Kimball Clark
                  Native Bee Nerd

                  Buy bees at http://www.NativeBees.com
                  View some of our work at http://www.research.nativebees.com
                  Kaysville, UT • 801-458-0282







                  On Feb 14, 2013, at 7:55 PM, Michael Eckenfels wrote:


                  I'm curious if anyone has contrasted conventional agriculture with organic, pesticide-free practices in terms of bee density.  Seems that data could serve as a complimentary approach to the current efforts in determining pesticide effects on pollinators.

                  Michael


                  From: saraguitiprado <sara.guiti.prado@...>
                  To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com 
                  Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:39 AM
                  Subject: [beemonitoring] Field margins - agricultural practices and bee populations

                   
                  Hi Everyone,

                  I'm curious to see if anyone knows of any studies where the three way interaction between field margins, agricultural practices (i.e. chemicals, tilling, etc) and bee abundance and diversity has been assessed. 

                  Are the bees foraging/living in the field margins still affected by agricultural practices? or is the field margin a complete refuge? Is the bee abundance and diversity found in the field margin as high as it could be, or is it not able to reach its maximum because of potential negative effects of chemical drift, tilling, etc.? 

                  Thanks!





                  Kimball Clark
                  Kaysville, UT

                  On Feb 14, 2013, at 7:55 PM, Michael Eckenfels wrote:

                   

                  I'm curious if anyone has contrasted conventional agriculture with organic, pesticide-free practices in terms of bee density.  Seems that data could serve as a complimentary approach to the current efforts in determining pesticide effects on pollinators.

                  Michael


                  From: saraguitiprado <sara.guiti.prado@...>
                  To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:39 AM
                  Subject: [beemonitoring] Field margins - agricultural practices and bee populations

                   
                  Hi Everyone,

                  I'm curious to see if anyone knows of any studies where the three way interaction between field margins, agricultural practices (i.e. chemicals, tilling, etc) and bee abundance and diversity has been assessed.

                  Are the bees foraging/living in the field margins still affected by agricultural practices? or is the field margin a complete refuge? Is the bee abundance and diversity found in the field margin as high as it could be, or is it not able to reach its maximum because of potential negative effects of chemical drift, tilling, etc.?

                  Thanks!





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