Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Soil Health for Bee Health?

Expand Messages
  • Julie Tennis
    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
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 9, 2013
    • 0 Attachment
      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.

      Thanks!  :)

      Julie
    • pollinator2001
      ... 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,
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 10, 2013
      • 0 Attachment
        --- 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
      • Stoner, Kimberly
        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
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 10, 2013
        • 0 Attachment

          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.

           

          Kim

           

           

          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?

           

           

          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.

          Thanks!  :)

           

          Julie

        • Larson, Diane
          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
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 10, 2013
          • 0 Attachment
            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.

             

            Kim

             

             

            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?

             

             

            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.

            Thanks!  :)

             

            Julie




            --
            ****************************************************************
            Diane L. Larson
            U.S.G.S. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
            1561 Lindig St.
            St. Paul, MN  55108
            voice 651-649-5041
             
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.