Merry & Burl H.
BeMerry
Portland, ME
Post #: 1
A poem--not mine--that I thought permaculture people would love, Merry

with love from Elliot Tarry


PRAYER FOR THE HONEYBEE


Einstein gave us
four years
from the last
of the
Honeybees
four times four
seasons
Til the end of:
corn, wheat and barley
Til the end of:
squash, kale and tomatoes
Til the end of:
echinacia, clover and lemon balm.
Til the end of:
us!


Ho---
We got wi-fi flat screen
teevee global high speed digital network beaming
pixilated profiles of idle American?s idol.
But, we ain?t got
no more
honeybees.
70 per cent
gone and
counting.

Ho---
We got Frankenfood bio-engineered genetically spliced monsanto-ized
corn and tomato plants
GMO hormone laden cow?s milk
penile implant steroid brain plastic tits,
?Shock and Awe? oilwells Halliburten profiteering empire of the
willing
Alphabet covert agencies NSA, CIA, FBI total information technology

end of privacy 1984 endless war for
Peace and Democracy
But we ain?t got
no more
honeybees.




So?..
Brothers and Sisters
Let us pray.
Pray for the honeybees
A prayer for the honeybees? return
Light the sacred fires
the burning sage
incense for the honeybee?s hive
Let us lift our hearts
in song
singing praise to the honeybee
totem
melodies to the honeybees Deva

Then take our prayers to
the River
Our intensions to the water?s edge
our offerings downstream
to the Ocean of Dreams
Let us dream the return
of the honeybees

And ?
Dance, the return of the
honeybees
A purely sweet and lovely
dance for the honeybees
Ecstatic jiggly wild shamanic
Dance for the honeybees
Return

Dance your prayers
Honey
Be
Dancing
Your
Prayers

For the honeybee.
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 46
I have a friend who just bought a behive for his property in Pittston. It cost about $300 for everything. He should get about 80 pounds of honey the first year which definitely justifies his investment.

Rather than lamenting the demise of the honeybee it would be better to get a beehive. I grew up around beehives. We had them on our property since I was a small child. They require some work but not that much. You must cut queen cells a couple of times a year, feed them a bit in the off season, and give them medication for mites. You have to add supers for honey and remove them to extract the honey. It's not an every day thing at all.

Most of the disease problems are with the commercial guys who truck bees and disease all over the country. Backyard beekeepers have fewer problems. There are several types of mites passing a number of viruses around. Also, some bonehead decided it would be a good idea to make the cell bases on the comb foundations 2mm wider yielding a bigger cell size and a bee twice the size. Bad idea. More energy to raise the larva, longer time before the cell can be capped over allowing more disease to enter. The what good is the bigger bee? None. They die more easily. More backyard hives would lessen the need for the commercial beekeepers and their irresponsibility. Bee populations have crashed in the past BTW and we have worked through it.

It should be noted that the honeybee is not a native species. It was brought here by white people who "discovered" this land. Same goes for earthworms which we all seem to love. Both species turned the ecology of the new world upside down screwing up the ecology for the natives who were doing just fine in a complex agararian culture without these "beneficial" invaders. They had harmony with nature and permaculture well figured out. Being a descendant of the Jamestown settlers myself, some of my own ancestors are responsible for screwing up our ecosystem. If you think you know history, read this National Geographic article for the awful truth about Jamestown and the invaders drive to grow tobacco. A lot about worms and bees and other "beneficial" things here:

http://www7.nationalg...­

There are dozens of types of native bees. In some cases they are better pollinators than honeybees. It should be noted here that the main reason for their small populations is loss of habitat. My post about making a bee house for native bees recently passed without comment. You can make a native bee house with a piece of 2x6 and a drill in a half hour or less for practically no money. My 3 beehouses cost me $0. I picked up the wood at the dump. See how here:

http://wildblueberrie...­

Rather than "dancing our prayers" making a native beehouse or getting a beehive would be far more useful.

David Spahr
Washington, Maine
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 140
Merry, thanks for posting that! It's great. David, thanks for the great links.

Some pray, some dance, some do, some do all that and more. It's all valuable.
Merry & Burl H.
BeMerry
Portland, ME
Post #: 4
Thank you, Lisa, for the much needed compassion and thank you, David, for the practical information about walking your talk. Burl and I certainly want to do something on the topic, and your information on keeping a hive was valuable. I still think dancing and poetry are too. Hey, that's my bent of spirit. Blessings, Merry
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 63
New York Times Editorial
A Virus Among Honeybees

Published: September 11, 2007

Last week, scientists reported having found a possible ? emphasis on possible ? cause of the collapse of honeybee populations reported in the past year. What is interesting isn?t just the virus, called Israeli acute paralysis virus, but the use of new methods of genetic screening to determine what pathogens the bees in collapsed colonies had been exposed to. Researchers were able to quickly screen the DNA from all the organisms present in the bees and compare them with the DNA in genomic libraries, a catalog of known organisms. Bees from collapsed hives had the virus. Healthy bees did not.

Identifying this virus is only a first step in ascertaining the cause of colony collapse disorder, but it is a remarkable first step, a sign of how quickly new tools can be drawn from divergent scientific pursuits to track down and identify potentially global diseases.

Two other factors may also have played a role in this die-off. One is drought, which in some areas has affected the plants that bees draw nectar and pollen from. The other ? still unproved ? may be the commercial trucking of bees from crop to crop for pollination, a potential source of stress. These may have made bees more vulnerable to the effects of this virus.

In some ways, this newly reported research seems all the more important given all the speculation about what has been killing off the honeybees. These hive losses have inspired a kind of myth-making or magical thinking about their possible environmental origins. The suspected culprits include genetically modified crops and cellphones, to name only two.

Causation is a rigorous concept in science. It is vastly simpler in the popular imagination. Blaming cellphones and genetically modified crops for the death of bees is, mainly, a way of saying that we are worried ? not only about the death of creatures both benign and beneficial to us, but also about technology?s effect on our world. Causation, in the nonscientific sense, is just a way of organizing our worries.
Merry & Burl H.
BeMerry
Portland, ME
Post #: 9
"Causation is a rigorous concept in science. It is vastly simpler in the popular imagination. Blaming cellphones and genetically modified crops for the death of bees is, mainly, a way of saying that we are worried ? not only about the death of creatures both benign and beneficial to us, but also about technology?s effect on our world. Causation, in the nonscientific sense, is just a way of organizing our worries."

Thanks for sending that quotation along, from no less authoritative a source than the New York Times. Absolutely! I am worried BOTH about the death of creatures both benign and beneficial to us AND ALSO about technology's effect on our world. I couldn't have said it better myself. Moreover, I believe in BOTH the linear logic that makes scientific "proof" of causation virtually impossible AND ALSO the intuitive, imaginative logic that sees the web of being in which all things are connected to and causitive of all others. Science is a very minor god in my cosmology. Gaia speaks to me much more wisely. At least as I understand her, she is buzzing in my ear through the voice of the honey bees, "Help. You are destroying me."

Blessings, Merry
A former member
Post #: 62
I was speaking with my daughter in Florida last night and she mentioned that they recently bought some property in South Carolina and were thinking of options about what to do with it. She remembered that when she and her sister were little my sister and I planted hundreds of trees and shrubs that we obtained (for free if I remember correctly) from the county extension office to provide habitat for wildlife. Anyway, the person she talked to said, "What you should really think of right now is bees". It seems that the government is giving big subsidies to bee keepers right now, related to the big die off, of course.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I could look into what assistance is available in Maine?
Merry & Burl H.
BeMerry
Portland, ME
Post #: 10
Hi, Maine State Beekeepers Association maintains a website that may help.

The best person to give you the information you want, if it is available, is:
State Bee Inspector, Tony Jadczak, for information about hive inspection, bee diseases, pests and their control. Tony is also able to give advice on good beekeeping practice's, sound colony management, and licensing.


Anthony M. Jadczak
State of Maine Apiarist and Bee Inspector


Maine Department of Agriculture
Division of Plant Industry, SHS #28
Augusta, ME 04333


(207) 287-3891 or (207) 287-7562
Fax: (207) 287-7548
e-mail: anthony.m.jadczak@maine.gov
Elaine
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 77
Thank you everyone,

I don't have anything to contribute, just appreciating what I'm learning from all of you.

Elaine
Merry & Burl H.
BeMerry
Portland, ME
Post #: 11
Yesterday, I interviewed Adam Tomash out at Avant Gardens for my book, Mainely Organic. He has a neighbor who keeps four honey bee hives in the area (near Gardiner). He reports no die-off in his hives, but then he doesn't truck them all over hell and beyond either. Adam also reports a salamander sighting, which heartens him about his organic (actually permaculture in principle and practice, but without the name) spread. Salamanders are very sensitive to pollution and chemicals. Adam considers them "our canary in the mine." We must be doing something right in Maine.

Adam also had an interesting, innovative twist on hoophousing to extend the season. He places his hoophouse atop a huge "cooking" compost heap composed largely of partially rotted leaves. The compost heats the hoophouse sufficiently that he can start even non-hardy crops out there right after Mayday. What a neat source of renewable, cheap heating energy! He will be doing presentations on it at Common Grounds Saturday and Sunday at 1pm.
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