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Spraying Canola in bloom!!!

 
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 11:12 am    Post subject: Spraying Canola in bloom!!! Reply with quote

This morning I've got a headache after I saw the local farmer spraying his Canola fields which are in full bloom! I still have a headache as I write this and I think its a migraine because I feel like puking too.




I stopped him and talked to him telling him that I have bees in this locality and that regulations state that all spraying is to take place after 21h when bees are in the hives and not in the morning hours when bees are already in the field. He said this maybe the case in Sweden but in Denmark its legal to spray this pesticide-fungicide mix in the morning because it is marked as "bee-friendly". He is not an organic farmer so bee-friendly is questionable!

He also reacted insulted for me even bringing this up because he isn't doing anything illegal yet I sound as if this was wrong Rolling Eyes Sad
I suggested that he maybe sprays in the future in the evening but he refused because he has lots to do and he can't possibly spray all his fields in the evening hours. So we parted without saying good buy to each other.

I will contact the minister for the environment Monday and see what the story is with regulations and what they can do to protect our native and honeybees from such issues.

I placed "trays" infront of my hives to see if bees are acting poisoned today, so far I can' see any strange behaviour, but this means nothing because this food they bring in in form of pollen and necatr will be fed to brood which might get infections or be weak to deal with Varroa virus.



By the way he didnt want to say what pesticide he was using hejust said its a mix of insecticide and fungicide and its marked as bee friendly
If I discover dead bees infront of the hive I will send them for testing.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Che

I have had this every year. I have an agreement with the farmers owning the fields next to my apiary that they will let me know when they are spraying and if it is not very early of late I block the bees in. However, as you know bees will go 3 mile for some good canola and I can't speak to every farmer. The farmers I spoke to were oblivious rather than ignorant or arrogant. They all said to me "the spray I am using is bee friendly" and I gently pointed out that it doesn't matter how friendly the thing is you are drowning in, it will still drown you. It is "bee-friendly" (perhaps) when it is already on the crop when the bee arrives, not when you spray the bees in situ. I believe this is the main reason why in my immediate area swarming doesn't happen til June where as in the local towns it starts in may. I see a huge activity drop (to zero flying bees) at the end of april which coincides with when they spray the canola.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the bees in cities swarm earlier because all trees and bushes start blooming earlier than in the country side. The cities are warmer because of all the traffic and housing, restaurants, etc ... all heat generating. I have seen this here as well.

But of course much could also be due to worker brood being poisoned because of being fed with such pollen. Older bees die, some of old age others directly in the field and young bees are fragile due to poisoned pollen.

Not sure I enjoy beekeeping under these circumstances any more. It makes me feel sick yet I read how beekeeping is such an enjoyable treat. For me its only reminding me of what screwed up world we live in ...
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh... I think "cities" is a fairly lofty description of the groups of houses I am talking about.

it is in this situation that beekeepers are needed. If all was right with the world thwre would be no need beekeepers at all
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is crazy to spray at full sunshine and I had massive losses from a so called "bee-friendly" pesticide some years ago. Never want to experience that again, so I am moving the bees away from those fields. Since there are canola fields, potatoes, asparagus and corn fields, you need to move quite often.

Yes, it is not really a joy, but I think we need to keep bees, to remind the people what they are doing to this world. It is all about consciousness, beekeeping is all about making people conscious of this world.

You do the right thing to observe the front of your hives. There is no other way to assess how many flight bees died.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I did some nosing around and my wife's old friend is a conventional farmer who told her that it is ILLEGAL to spray anything which is in bloom and attracts bees in the "summer time" (including now) before 21h (o'clock). As a matter of fact they are only allowed to spray between 21h evening until 3h in the morning! This IS NOT a recommendation but a LAW!

He told me that I can even involve Police and those working for the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment but he thinks it is better to contact the local Farmers-association to give him a warning. Im still considering who to contact first and I need his name first but that should not be a problem.

This law is same in Sweden and I think it could be a EU law so please all of you fine people check this for me (and for your selves and your bees) and post here your findings Smile

EDIT; I didnt see any dead bees infront of the hives today. There is lots of Maple, Dandelions and Apples blooming now which took the bees off of the Canola a bit I think.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2015 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would try to find an agreement with that particular farmer who sprayed. Try this first. Most farmers don't think about bees and they mostly are caught by surprise and hence the reaction. Try to talk to him first and ask him to spray later in the evening. It is good for the wild bees, too, bumble bees and others.

Also canola plants bend better in the evening, so you get less damage when driving through in the evening.

It is a neighbour and you have to live with him, so cooperation wins over confronting in the long run.
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R Payne
Foraging Bee


Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 123
Location: USA, Kansas, Wichita

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's nice to be neighborly if you can. From that perspective, I'd go talk with him and have a copy of the law in my hand.
If that gets you nowhere then try the local farmers association.
If he still doesn't want to hold off on his spraying then you have two choices, involve the police / Ministry of Agriculture and Environment or tolerate the spraying.

ron
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Instead of the law in your hands better have good arguments at hands. Farmers do have a tendency to accept farm animals, or name it cultivated animals. Make the bees part of the agriculture.

For example. With bees present in canola, you get a 15-20 percent plus of the canola crop. You need 5 hives per hectar though to achieve this. (5 hives per 2.5 acres.)

Also the canola does ripe more synchronously with bees present because bees accelerate the pollination and thus the ripeness.

Also bees fly from flower to flower. When entering the blossom the bees create a movement at it. Beetles that harm the canola flower, have a reflex movement: they drop down to the ground when there is something moving at the blossom. With bees disturbing the bugs all day, there is less damage done by the beetles. So actually, bees make pesticides less necessary.

And so on.

Show him the bees. Give him some honey. Do it like the bees do. Share honey, work together.

I don't talk theoretically here. I do this with farmers here. Of course not every farmer will follow your arguments, but keeps on spraying and happily seeing me moving my bees out of his way. But there are others! I move my bees to other farmers who are thankful for the bees to pollinate the canola. I even convinced one to dispense with spraying in blossoms at all. With a plus of 15 percent (we actually compared fields with and without bes present) I hope that it will be bandied around. That is a slow process, but hopefully it leads to a less or even pesticide free agriculture.

I have no other choice anyway, since there is canola everywhere here.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernhard, its MUCH easier talking as a German beekeeper to a German farmer in Germany, same language, same mentality. People here dont like some foreigner giving them lessons and sound that he cares more about their danish environment than they do.

Most farmers around here (most people around here) are voting for the right wing which is very much orientated against foreigners.

I dont care about this single farmer. I want the officials to know about this because who knows how many in the whole of Denmark do the same. The more we complain the sooner will officials come up with a national strategy to prevent this from happening. At the moment we have some good politicians pushing towards Organic agriculture and protected zones and expanding Dansih forests. I will also contact the local newspapers about this.

Im sorry to say but I will use him as a sacrificial lamb. His ignorance and my determination might cause some changes on the grander scale instead of me just fixing it for my own bees and local solitary bees. This issue is global people we must raise the dust as much as possible.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is much easier to fight and kill than to make things undone, to heal and to repair. There is a lot of violence out there, I see no reason to add up on this.

Are you really sure, that the particular farmer actually is right-wing? Or is it a creation of bogeyman image?

The burden of staying peacefully and finding a longterm solution is much more heavier, than to flee or fight. If you really want a change, do not sacrifice any lamb. Violence produces violence produces violence produces violence...just break up that chain reaction.

Peace.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernhard you say act like the bees right Smile what do bees do when you attack them? I'm only doing what bees do, sting Wink
Once you get stung you show them more respect next time.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just choose the easy way, to bash someone. No longterm solution.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Che, I hope you can resolve this without having to resort to using the law but I fully understand your feelings about this.

At least, you now know for certain the law is on your side and hopefully once the farmer knows this and that you are aware of it, he will agree to be sensible.

If not, then by all means use the full force of the law but I really think it should be a last resort. As you know the bee that stings pays a heavy price.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bees in canola...not sprayed this year, because of an agreement between the farmer and me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1DCWy_JU3Y
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

catchercradle did you read my posts above mate? The farmer was in no mood to talk to me. He was very much irritated because he believed he is doing nothing illegal. We have farmers who dont even know the law.

Im not doing this for my private bees or against this single farmer but for whole of Denmark because this might not be an isolated case. How many farmers out there are spraying unnoticed by informed beekeepers (most beeks I spoke to didn't even know it's illegal to spray canola in bloom during day time)? Non beekeepers are mostly oblivious about this issue.

By the way i have reported him an hour ago to the Nature protection agency which will visit him shortly without him knowing. They want to check what was inside the spray tank.

They told me to wait with reporting this to the newspapers until they finish their investigation.

By the way I see nothing wrong with a bee giving her life to protect what's worth protecting. Everyone to its own though.

I'm a bit surprised by your responses though. It seems you are only concerned with your own locality and care little what's happening in the whole country. If this farmer can be an example for others then his karma points will go up Wink if he only contemplated life like this ...


Last edited by Che Guebuddha on Thu May 21, 2015 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Lacewing
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 Sep 2012
Posts: 96
Location: Powys, Mid Wales

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Che - I'm wondering how things have moved since your last post? Despite what you wrote then, others out here obviously really do care about what is happening with you and your bees, and in Denmark.

Some people are always going to flout a law if they see no good reason for it and it appears to hinder them. Your 'sacrificial lamb' wouldn't be dead and gone but a live grumpy local bear with a bad attitude towards you and probably no further understanding. You know this, of course! So I hope things haven't become antagonistic.

Surely people are going to be more likely to listen if you can convince them that you're understanding where they're coming from and are trying to make their life easier. If bees are going to improve the canola pollination and its health, and help someone financially, they're much more likely to be amenable! Financial advantage is perhaps going to be more persuasive than anything else...

How could we not empathise with you and your distress? So many of us also live in countrysides which are becoming 'green deserts'!
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still waiting for the investigation to be complete ...
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While it may not have been possible in this case and I fully acknowledge that, had you been able to reach an agreement with the farmer, this could then have been publicised without naming the farmer in question. Demonstrating an ability to work with others may be a more effective way of reaching the goal you want.

I think there are time when naming and shaming is a good policy. Other times, other tactics are more effective.

I am not judging you as I wasn't there to see how the farmer reacted and your call on this may well be completely right. I just like to be sure I have exhausted the diplomatic routes first.

There are times when I have tried going down the heavy handed route first and it has backfired. Other times I have still needed to go down the heavy handed route in the long term.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1549
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2015 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The farmer wasn't willing to do any agreements because in his mind he was right (or he was lying).

The fact is this; if he is guilty then EU will stop giving him money support which is several 100.000 Danish crowns depending on how many hectares he has. If this happens and we publish this in the Agro and public newspapers all farmers will think twice before doing the same mistake. You know "killing several flies with one slap" effect.
I will also try and publish it in the Danish beekeeping magazine because as it seems not even one beekeeper in my locality knew about this law.

As I said I could not care less about this guy. He can do whatever he wants even burn my house. That would only have a better effect on the issues between the bees and mono crop pesticide Agro system which must be destroyed.

The more dust we make the better it will be for the bees. Most of the population still feels rape seed fields look gorgeous. It's time to expose them for their true ugliness.

Will update you as soon I know more.
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