This podcast with Paul and Jacqueline Freeman discussing bees is one of my favorites and worth listening to, sharing and listening to again. Jacqueline and her "reverence for bees" is a self proclaimed handmaiden to the bees. They discuss her love for all animals on her farm and the interactions with them on a daily basis throughout all aspects of animal husbandry.
Discussion begins with toxins and manufacturers' attempts to save the bees based on short term studies of the effects of bees. Bottom line, user beware as longer term studies show DNA damage. The conventional approach to administer a toxin to kill mites also adds toxins to their food and your food.
One of the biggest problems that Jacqueline brings up is the enormous % of bees on the west coast catering to the almond industry and the short 3-4 week bloom time. It is the epitome of a mono-culture, hosting transient beekeepers to pollinate such a valuable crop and then continuing to caravan throughout the nation. Disease, mites etc travel with them as well and have assisted in the damage to the bee population. Why don't they convert some of the land to polyculture???
Discussion continues with the natural selection of Mother Nature that the weakest link, be it a vegetable or animal, will be the natural target of pests, bacteria and disease. It is difficult to only hope, assist via plantings and pray for survival, but that's the best approach. Jacqueline talks about the wild bee population in conjunction with her honeybees and the importance of maintaining the natural balance.
They talk about the permaculture or biodiversity approach of ensuring a garden for bees - 3 seasons of food for them with a great variety in each season. Bees will travel miles to acquire what food they need, but they get stressed when food isn't within 1000's of feet and as a result the health of the hive will suffer.
Nice timing. I just finished my first Warre hive 2 days ago. I've got more boxes to build, plus a Perone hive. We've still got snow on the ground so I hope these podcasts will get me stoked to do more woodworking.
My project thread Agriculture collects solar energy two-dimensionally; but silviculture collects it three dimensionally.
I took some classes and bought a Warre Hive from Matt over at beethinking.com two years ago. I got a nuke from a neighbor. I gently swepped them into the new 2 box Warre. I left them. for two years. I did nothing to them but watch them. They swarmed once so my original queen is (i assume) gone. I just added 2 more warre boxes. The colony is thriving. I will do nothing to them all summer. I will figure out when the best time to take the top box for a honey harvest this year. Then I will leave them alone for another year. I think I'll add a second hive next year, split the original hive, then let them go for the next 30 years taking honey once in a while.
So, yea, shocked to see that Bees can take care of themselves.
And a shout out to the fine folks at beethinking.com . Matt Reed is fine man and is all about the chem free bee. If your in the PNW consider them.
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I really enjoyed listening to this. One thing I noticed was when Jacqueline talked about bee mites. She said that mites may be Nature's way of 'challenging' the DNA of bees, to promote stronger bee DNA for the future. I would like to think this is the case, however, I have also heard someone offer an alternative theory that the mites were purposefully introduced by a Big Pharma company. This is part of their plan to promote their GM pollen-free plants and thus gain control of seeds/plants/food etc. Does anyone have any views on the 'Nature versus Big Pharma' mite debate?
I liked the whole discussion starting off with Goats...absolute pearls of wisdom. Both Paul and Jacqueline's viewpoints. In my PDC design I have segregated the pasture into zones. The purpose is to separate the goats from the spring feed crop (Austrian Winter Pea, Buckwheat and Vernal Alfalfa). Now all the goats (six cashmere fainters) want to do is get on the other side...that tests your fences!
Paul, I find the notion of you as a "whisperer" of anything contrary to your basic being. As THE Duke, you're perfect! The one and only.
Thanks for the podcast. Enjoyed the whole thing and can't wait to try the cow poo mix aka "SHAD" (shit, clay, sand past plu perfect participle of something, pronounced shad)
on fruittrees (not just apple trees, right?).
However, I was surprised and disappointed that there was no mention of top bar beekeeping. I learned to keep bees this
way from Christy Hemenway, author of The Thinking Beekeeper and a teacher of the top bar method. The key difference
is that the bees get to make their own wax just the way they like it. In Nature they make not only a specific shape of comb but also
different size cells for different functions. The cells they make in their natural wisdom are all smaller than what they are forced to use in the factory
made wax. Those larger cells are part of the mite problem in that it takes the bees longer to cap those cells. This allows a window
of time for the mites that is key for their proliferation. Also, the factory made wax is recycled wax from beekeeping operations
that use very toxic chemical treatments. Then the wax becomes an even more concentrated, compounded mix of many different
chemical treatment residues. I may have missed it in the podcast, but I didn't hear mention of what style hives Jocelyn uses so I'm assuming
it's the conventional Langstroth boxes, but I definitely heard her say that's she's treatment free. Me too!!
Christy Hemenway has a kickstarter in process ending on tax day - April 15th. She's working her bum off to save the honeybee - "naturally"
and worthy of support and follow up learning. Kickstarter link http://kck.st/1gbIO3N I'm also very excited about Almondia, the first permaculture almond orchard. Tim Richard's 's new business thephilosophersstoneground.com
website is beautiful and full of rich info and links. The sprouted almond butters are mind blowing delicious + wicked nutritious! They were
at the PV conference promoting their new business with samples of their product. This is my first contribution to the forum! Ann
Wendy Dunnico wrote:One thing I noticed was when Jacqueline talked about bee mites. She said that mites may be Nature's way of 'challenging' the DNA of bees, to promote stronger bee DNA for the future.
I was talking about this kind of thing with a friend of mine who breeds sheep, horses and welsh sheep-dogs and is very interested in breeding for non-reliance on drugs. She had this to say.
"Our problem is this. We had livestock once that could survive on treatment for all ills with a shot of the local moonshine or a dose of tobacco. Then came anthelmintics and antibiotics and all those wonderful modern drugs that makes it possible to retain sub-healthy stock and so improve commercial traits like meat yield, quicker. Yes, you can have a big bum, but for every two big bums is one with rubbish feet who is prone to footrot. You can spray footrot so you can keep both and breed them, rather than rubbishing the one, so progress toward the commercial goal can be faster. But the cost is this: your sheep cannot now survive without the support of the drugs, and the drug companies are laughing all the way to the bank. The drugs are progress, don't get me wrong, and used as a last resort when all else fails you, they are wonderful. The problem is they do get used as a crutch to support bad breeding and bad management, and they will surely all become ineffective in time, so the whole thing supports a chain of R&D which keeps people in jobs and the money going round. When did you last see a sick looking zebra on a wildlife documentary? Didn't see a lot of drench gun there, did you? Just a very effective team of lions."
And on the subject of parasites and maggots (fly strike)
"There are a couple of ram lines we have used seemed to carry a higher risk of strike. The Aussies have done some research that suggests different sorts of wool encourage or discourage strikes, but I wonder whether there is also an element of body odour in there. Of course this is assuming your sheep is clean in the first place"
Adeline Jones, Wilden Farm
I haven't persuaded her to join permies yet. I'm working on her...
This Reverence for the Bees podcast series is so awesome I was actually moved to create fan art!
The goats, the loving, the Blorp!, The Arrogance Whisperer, the rich info and reflections on many interconnected key issues... Thank you, both!
Here is my take on The Arrogance Whisperer, with the movie-poster-ish gibberish at the bottom being a selection of possibly not-exact quotes from this podcast and others.
As I was listening, I heard how you guys were concerned about having too many honey bees, which stresses bees to find food and displaces native bees. You brought up how different bees can fit in more flowers and how some bees prefer different plants.
Isn't it possible to raise different types of bees in hives, or at least build artificial hives to help native bees almost like birdhouses? I know honey bees are ideal for producing honey, but even "honey bees" come in several subspecies and hybrids. Why apply the permaculture ideal of diversity only to the bee's food sources and not our entire beekeeping practice?
"Turning the sand and rocks into food and pollinator habitat one compostable at a time." - Erica Daly
It appears that the bees like to drink water out of clay (not murky clay water, but rather fresh rain water in a bowl of wet clay), I have noticed. One August summer day when the water was getting scarce I noticed over and over again that the bees would prefer a small puddle of water, just, right there on the driveway where there is a puddle or bowl-like depression of clay on the ground in the sunshine, full of fresh rain water, instead of going further away to a river source or a pond or even a spring in the shade not all that much further away (where Kermit hangs out). So then it occurred to me that if we placed a bowl of clay with fresh water in the sun close to their home, they might like it better; after getting out of bed, a little stretch, then a quick drink of (wet) clay water close to home before getting the day going might bee just the thing to look forward to early in the morning, instead of having to spend (waterless) energy in order to get some water further away. We might also experiment with putting up a few of these natural clay bee-baths, along the edge of a forest etc.
Another thing that I have noticed is how the bees are telepathic.
They will repeat certain thoughts that might concern certain people, for certain reasons, all according to the bees. How it works is that they are capable of picking up our ping or brainwaves, process it, in their own time (bees like other animals simply vibrate at a different harmonic than we do so to us they appear fast, but in reality, they are just people, like us), and just like a parrot they can then carry that electromagnetically-pulsed message and repeat it elsewhere, in this case, by using their wings; effectively repeating specific tones and rhythms, which basically serve to deliver a specific message of thoughts, which the bee finds particularly valuable enough to share with you. So, bee careful what you say about your neighbors, lest a bee decide to buzz it up in your neighbors' ear!
Also, bees can recognize individuals, much like crows can, especially if they get to know your genetic signature up close and personal, such as simply familiarizing themselves with your finger prints!
All we have to do is LISTEN... and bee.
Thanks so much for the podcast! Y'all keep me sane with all your dialogues about stuff that actually matters in life!
While some things can be and are known, most things are unknown.
The Greenhouse of the Future ebook by Francis Gendron