Wild pollinators out-gunned by honeybees

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elainemary 

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What are your views on the latest grauniad article? Plight of pollinators out competed by the honeybee, on the back of M&S supporting 1000 new hives as part of their support for farmers and pollination.

In grand scheme of things represents just 0.4% increase in the number of hives & the retailer says they will be in small groups.

Are the Bumblee trust & conservationists grasping the wrong end of the nettle for PR? There isn’t a huge increase in beekeeping in the uk with older retirees being largely replaced with new beekeepers, rather than massive growth.

However from views expressed on our beginners courses I see there is a lot of mis-information about honeybee colonies being the saviour, when really we need to stop tarmacing our drives and start planting more forage for all pollinators.

What are your views?

 

Finman 

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We read here in Finland same articles like you. Perhaps translated directly from UK news.

Our agriculture field area is 8% out of total land area of Finland. From Finnish forest areas continue along Sìberian taiga up to Korea.

Nature is gone, nature is gone. People will die in next 4 years. Amen!

When I wrote in Face Book, that it will not happen, guys said that I am allways so negative.

PS: cows are destroying the whole globe.
Do something!
 
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madasafish 

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The problem is:
There are a small number of Bumble Bee supporters.
Compared to the honey bee supporters they get no publicity.

So they invent some..

The fact that most honey bee keepers plant bee friendly plants and trees- and more importantly - encourage others to do so is ignored.
(The BBKA have a programme to encourage architects and councils to be more bee friendly and it works...)
 

WoodenBeam 

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Looking at the M&S blog I read it that David Wainright is putting 600 - 1000 colonies onto 25 select farms that produce for the company, some 30 million bees...........

So that’ll be 600 colonies at the magic figure of 50,000/hive. This is just todays brand of marketing telling a wokey snowflakey story to be bought by the general public and assist sell the produce that David’s bees will produce on the select farms, will there actually be 30 million new bees..............probably not. Hopefully it will highlight British honey which will be good, probably sold at a premium which again will do no harm. M&S gets to tick a box and they can all sleep soundly at night knowing in their own minds ‘they done good (y)‘.
Interestingly I was in a store today (every little helps ;)) - not a single jar of English Honey.
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Looking at the M&S blog I read it that David Wainright is putting 600 - 1000 colonies onto 25 select farms that produce for the company, some 30 million bees...........

So that’ll be 600 colonies at the magic figure of 50,000/hive. This is just todays brand of marketing telling a wokey snowflakey story to be bought by the general public and assist sell the produce that David’s bees will produce on the select farms, will there actually be 30 million new bees..............probably not. Hopefully it will highlight British honey which will be good, probably sold at a premium which again will do no harm. M&S gets to tick a box and they can all sleep soundly at night knowing in their own minds ‘they done good (y)‘.
Interestingly I was in a store today (every little helps ;)) - not a single jar of English Honey.
Letter to the Times from concerned resident perhaps "why don't our M&S store stock UK Honey?"
 

elainemary 

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Thanks for your comments, agree. Will carry on pricking out more wildflower seedlings for a new meadow area I'm planting. Prepped it last autumn, spent days digging off old turf, gathering yellow rattle from my other meadow and sowing some locally collected seed. Pricked out 600 seedlings into rootrainers so far. Aiming to plant 1000 this Spring in addition to the seed I've scattered. One for each M&S hive! Better crack on with more!!
 

hemo 

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Instead of blaming honey bees that do a great job, bemoaners need to look back through many decades of land management change and wide scale use of pesticides not only farming but the millions of homes using diy garden products. Also Mr Perfect Garden must use pesticides at every opportunity to rid fauna of bugs and paths of every weed in every visible crack etc,etc.

One only has to look at the past tv ads promoting Resolva weed killers and others, these garden nasties need banning as anyone can willy nilly drench soil in using them.
 

Brian Bush 

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Honey bees out competing other pollinators is not a good arguement. Most pollinators have differing adaptations for forageing. For instance honey bees do not have a long enough tongue to feed on some varieties of beans. Some insects are plant specific.
With a mix of forage plants there is enogh variation in plant and pollinator for all to be successful.
 

hemo 

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As we all see likely in our gardens other species visit fauna that the honeybees don't bother with in great numbers. My Globosa although attracts honey bees it appears out numbered by Bombus species ( just a shame the flowering is so short) , like wise the weeds attract smaller solitairies so there is diversity if one looks and watch.
 

Woodland bees 

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This is something we thought about before getting honey bees. We spend a fair bit of time looking around and never saw any honey bees but wondered if they'd out compete the bumbles, solitary bees etc.

Now we have a few colonies we tend to see the honey bees on different plants than bumbles, as has been said different bees are suited to different plants.

Round here this year there's been quite a few pasture fields ploughed for cereal crops, and an increasing use of fodder beet which I expect has more of an impact on the other pollinators than my hives.
 

elainemary 

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Maybe someone could ask Dave Goulson why the Bumblee conservation trust are so anti-honeybees, when we should be working together to solve the plight of our pollinators?

He's speaking next Wednesday ev with Cambridge beekeepers and founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. I would ask myself but unfortunately I'm helping with our beginners course on a Wed ev. Will watch on catch up if someone is willing to ask him.....or report back here. I'm keen to understand their PR strategy. I've had a challenges from one of my apiary owners about the impact of honeybees out-competing bumblebees / solitary bees, on the back of media features. Fortunately we have a v good relationship & regularly do plant swops.


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viridens 

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pargyle 

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I think we did this topic to death a few weeks ago and the thread ended up in the cupboard under the stairs if I recall ... both those who believe honey bees are a threat to other pollinator species and those of us who think it's a load of nonsense put about by people with vested interests end up on polar sides of the argument and it gets nowhere.

There are studies, but they have been carried out in specific locations and in specific circumstances - they do not suggest a global threat to pollinators comes from honey bees. The more pressing threat to our pollinators comes from the loss of natural habitat and forage caused by the way humanity currently seeks to destroy our planet with apparently little concern for the legacy we leave our children and their offspring.

There are far bigger issues we should be considering and campaining against than whether some flawed studies have demonstrated whether honey bees are a threat to our wildlife. End of ....
 

madasafish 

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There are far bigger issues we should be considering and campaining against than whether some flawed studies have demonstrated whether honey bees are a threat to our wildlife. End of ....

Oh no there are not..:cool:
 

Somerford 

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Letter to the Times from concerned resident perhaps "why don't our M&S store stock UK Honey?"
To be fair to M&S they do stock UK honey

the one referred to is Tesco.

I’m currently writing a paper which I hope will be published in the bee press on honey origin in the UK
KR
S
 

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