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Round-up Ready Soybeans And Honey Bees

by wildflowerlanehoney
i spoke with the guy who farms the ground near my hives and next year the fields will be soybeans. i asked what they plan to spray and he said all their beans are "round-up ready beans".

earlier this year i asked a guy from the local USDA office if round-up was ok to spray around my hives to control weeds. he said it was fine and would not hurt anything. i never did, though.

my question is.....are the bees or is the honey quality going to be negatively affected by what the farmer is going to plant and spray near the hives? is it going to taint the honey any as well?

  • It never hurt mine and my hives was next to 100 acres of round up ready soybeans! I used round up (half the recommended dose) around my hives to control weeds but i only applied at night. Everything was fine! Another thing i searched online wanting to know about soybeans and if they was a good nectar source and alot of people say they are but not all "brands" of soybeans are a good nectar source! My bees didnt work the 100 acres like i thought they would! So apparently the round up ready soybeans wasnt the right brand or my bees found a better source that they liked better. Good Luck!!
    - honeybeekeeper, 4 years ago
  • This should tell you everything you need to know http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_genetic_engineering/roundup-ready-soybeans.html
    - Cactii, 4 years ago
  • RoundUp shouldn't be a problem, but ask about pesticide use. Of particularly interest, the insecticides used on soybeans for spider mites and aphids often have long-lasting residual effects.

    Is your area affected by Asian soybean rust? That's treated with a fungicide. I heard Dr. Keith Delaplane give a talk this summer about how insecticides, herbicides and fungicides can combine chemically to increase toxicity, i.e., alone they be okay for bees, but combined they may be deadly.

    Keep the lines of communication open with your farmer-neighbor.
    - indypartridge, 4 years ago
  • Russian roulette. Also, you are going to get Roundup in your honey.
    - mythomane, 4 years ago
  • Russian roulette. Also, you are going to get Roundup in your honey.

    How? Roundup is a systemic. It only works on the plants that it gets on. The plant has to take it up and it then kills the plant. Once it dries it is gone. There should be no problems with bees and roundup. Yes there are some insecticides that they use on beans that are really bad for bees.
    - mlknigh2, 4 years ago
  • Keep drinking the kool-aid.
    - mythomane, 4 years ago
  • Round up ready soybeans account for around 90% of the nearly 80 million acres of soybeans planted in the US each year. It has been in widespread use since the late 1990's. It is widely perceived as being one of the "good guys" in the herbicide world allowing the development of no till farming to flourish which drastically reduces erosion and saves untold amounts of fuel used with conventional old farming practices. A very high percentage of the honey produced in the US each year is produced in areas where soybeans are raised. If glyphosate (the active ingredient of roundup and its generic counterparts) contamination of honey is truly a problem I have to believe we would have heard about it by now.
    - jim lyon, 4 years ago
  • Ditto Jim. Although no till farming practices do cause more chemicals to be used for weed control. Farmers have a choice, no-till and use chemicals for weed control or use fuel to till for weed control. I've seen it done both ways by the same farmer. He indicates he alternates as each style has its pro and cons (costs, effort, machine wear & tear, and potential errosion) but nothing builds up a reisitance if you're using two styles.

    As for, is bad for the honey? My hives have always been right next to about 500 acres of soybeans. No ill effects to the honey of the bees. Some folks are "glass is half empty", mocking others, as they drink their own form of Kool aide.

    However, don't count on the beans to produce every year. I've found they need to be planted before June (I get no honey if they are planted if they follow the winter wheat harvest). The temp needs to be in the 90's and rain needs to be every week or so. In short it's not consistant.
    - D Coates, 4 years ago
  • Russian roulette. Also, you are going to get Roundup in your honey.

    I've been an organic gardener since the mid 70's, ran an organic market garden for about 10 years and would never consider using Round-up.

    Still, I have my doubts about your statement. Do you have any actual facts to support your statement or is your silly follow-up all you have to offer?

    I'd be interested in hearing actual information should you have any.

    Wayne
    - waynesgarden, 4 years ago
  • If any plant is labeled "herbicide"-ready, it's a good bet they are going to use that particular herbicide -- or worse.

    Just because they SAY there is no evidence of harm does not mean there is not harm. Herbicides + bees = potential for harm.

    The biggest problem here is that rarely, if ever, are herbicides used strictly according to label directions, and that is where trouble most often occurs.

    Also, consider for future reference: The majority of hybrid strains of ag commodities being created today are specifically created to be SELF-POLLINATING, not needing bees. By strange coincidence, many of those GMO s are unattractive to foragers. See if you can get him to plant a small patch of "old" soybeans that needed bees. That might help balance things ot a bit.

    At one time, most farmers rotated crops and would plant a field with clover, legumes, or buckwheat, and till it under eventually for the green manure effect. Fertilizers are expensive. There was always something, somewhere for bees to forage on. As the price of chemical fertilizers came down, their use increased. And here we are today, with some areas (like mine) being almost forage-free.

    In summary, be cautious; be watchful; and remember that progress does not always equate to improvement.

    Summer
    - summer1052, 4 years ago
  • so it sounds like the general concensus is i am good to go. he made no mention of any insecticide, though, i'll have to ask about that.

    as far as getting honey from the soybeans, that is not a concern. there is enough other sources around i feel. with the mention of that, how is "soybean honey"? i've heard dark and bitter, any truth?
    - wildflowerlanehoney, 4 years ago
  • RR soybeans are a GMO product. There have been a number of studies lately on adverse effects of feeding GMO products to animals and the DNA changes/damage that scientists are seeing. There is even concern over ingesting the pollen of these products and potential DNA damage. Some scary stuff in that they are not short term effects, but changes/damage affecting the next generations of the animals being studied, as well as the test group. I've begun trying to avoid GMO products as much as possible and it's getting very difficult to do so any more.

    www.mercola.com has some thought provoking articles regarding the concerns over GMO products.
    - beth14kk9, 4 years ago
  • Also, consider for future reference: The majority of hybrid strains of ag commodities being created today are specifically created to be SELF-POLLINATING, not needing bees. By strange coincidence, many of those GMO s are unattractive to foragers. See if you can get him to plant a small patch of "old" soybeans that needed bees. That might help balance things ot a bit.

    At one time, most farmers rotated crops and would plant a field with clover, legumes, or buckwheat, and till it under eventually for the green manure effect. Fertilizers are expensive. There was always something, somewhere for bees to forage on. As the price of chemical fertilizers came down, their use increased. And here we are today, with some areas (like mine) being almost forage-free.

    In summary, be cautious; be watchful; and remember that progress does not always equate to improvement.

    Most agronomic crops grown in the US have always been self-pollinating. Crops that are native to the america's never had been to pollinate them. Soybeans have always been self-fertile. That has been one of the challenges to soybean breeders. Corn, wheat, oats, barley, etc. are primarily wind pollinated. Bees may use them as a pollen source but they do not pollinate these crops.

    Back in the "good ol'days" farmers used cover crops to add nitrogen to the soil because they did not have fertilizers to buy. Soybeans were originally used in the midwest as hay. While fertilizer is not free it is not expensive. Leaving ground fallow, or in a cover crop for a growing season is much more expensive. And, cover crops cannot provide the amount of nutrients fertilizers can.

    Cover crops do provide things fertilizers don't like organic matter. But, the increased use of no-till/reduced tillage farming methods has increased the organic matter in top soil and reduced the use of fossil fuels since farmers make fewer trips across fields.

    Fields are now "forage-free" because farming is a business. Land costs money and needs to be productive or farmers cannot stay in business. Why don't you rent some farmland and plant forage crops for your bees? When you look at the costs of rent and planting a crop compared to potential honey sales it can be an economically viable option.

    Progress equates farmers staying in business, maintaining profitability. Farmers cannot lose money and stay in business. My grandfather grew up farming with horses and mules and continued working on the farm into his 80's. He would always bristle when people who never supported themselves from the land would opine about the "good ol'days." They never spent day after day sitting behind a team of mules trying to use every second of daylight to plant a crop while conditions were right. They never spend week after week harvesting corn by hand. They never spent sleepless nights worrying out the "good old" open pollinated corn varieties dropping ears before they could be hand harvested or lodging during a storm making a back-breaking job even harder.

    You may not agree with modern farming practices. That is fine. But, you need to realize farmers are just trying to make a living. It the end it all comes down to dollars and cents. If they don't make money at the end of the year they cannot stay farming.

    Roundup/glyphosate is pretty safe compared to products used in the not so distant "good ol'days" like paraquat, furadan, DDT and many others.

    Should we question new technology? Absolutely! But, we also cannot stifle progress just because of a romantic, but unreal, notion we have of the past. Progress is coming whether we like it or not.

    Tom
    - TWall, 4 years ago
  • Excellent post TWall. We have many urban/hobbyist beeks on this forum who have no clue what farming is about or that it's a business. I guess they think most farmers do it as an adventure or a gift to mankind. That includes commercial beekeeping also. :lookout:
    - fish_stix, 4 years ago
  • I harvest 2 or 3 times a year, depending on flow and conditions. My last harvest is from July 4th +/- to Sept 1st +/-. It is the darkest harvest (not by much at all though). It is good and the strongest tasting though. I've also found it darkens with age the most of any of my harvests. By the time the next years crop arrives it is the color of light molasses. Some people want the distinctly darker stronger flavored honey and this fits their bill.

    Is it because of the soybeans? Not sure, can't prove it, there are still many other things in various stages of blooming during that time frame.

    GMO? I honestly don't care. I think it's all about nothing except getting funding for further research... that eventually claims some possible spooky stuff but needs more money to continue research. It's a sister to a government program, no end nor results in site, but it perpetuates itself.

    Life is simply to short and sweet to worry about 95% of the various crisis others claim.

    Tom, Excellent post as well.
    - D Coates, 4 years ago
  • I would be curious when the farmer sprays the herbicide. I would bet it is well before the beans bloom.
    - chiggerbait, 4 years ago
  • When I stated that it was Russian Roulette, it is because I believe there to be many variables in this scenario that could pose a danger to the bees and also lead to contamination of your product. I placed a couple of hives near some GMO cotton fields this summer. The Weevil Patrol and I are on good terms so they called me before they sprayed (Malathion) -- I moved them out. The farmer then called me later and told me it was "perfectly safe" to bring them back the next day. Why? Because the sprayer told him so. This stuff is used to kill mosquitos and weevils but will not hurt a bee? I also tried to find out exactly what he was planting. "Cotton" he says. He did not even know. This is a third generation farmer. They are coming up with new GMO seeds every day, none of which have been given any real testing as to their long term effects. This is info from the Roundup wiki:
    Roundup commercial formulations were never submitted to test by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); its main active ingredient, glyphosate, received EPA Toxicity Class of III for oral and inhalation exposure.

    Beyond the glyphosate salts content, commercial formulations of Roundup contain surfactants, which vary in nature and concentration. As a result, human poisoning with this herbicide is not with the main active ingredient alone, but with complex and variable mixtures.

    Roundup has been banned in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec due to high numbers of pesticide poisonings. The Province of British Colombia is now proposing restrictions.

    There is more there if you care to look. The link is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roundup_%28herbicide%29Roundup works because the genetic resistance is spliced into the frankenplant. Everything else without a resistance is killed. This includes all "weeds" -- otherwise known as forage. You do not think spraying tons of this stuff regularly near your hives is going to get into your product? You think it just "disappears?" C'mon. Farming is not only about "dollars and cents" -- there are serious implications for our ecosystem as well as the quality and substance of what we are eating. I feel it is both near-sighted and irresponsible to view it in such terms.
    - mythomane, 4 years ago
  • Chiggerbait, they spray the roundup when the plants are small to kill the competition for the sun. After the competition is gone and the plants get to about 8"-1' they start to spread out and choke the weeds out. I put 5 hives in the middle of 1000 acres of RR soybeans and they exploded. They build alot of comb and put up significant amount of honey. The farmers usually do not spray when the blooms are on but when the blooms finish they spray for stink bugs and other insects. The farmer told me when to remove my hives!
    - lupester, 4 years ago
  • After reading a couple of the posts on this topic it makes you consider the positive side of "drinking the koolaid". If you talk to a farmer and he is going to be spraying tons or gallons or whatever the comment was around your hives you need to be concerned. Not because it's going to hurt the bees but at about 25 dollars a gallon for Roundup he won't be farming very long. There are a lot of people that are exactly correct, Farmers have to make a profit, They aren't trying to destroy the earth and everything on it, Roundup ready is not the end of civilization as we know it. Farming is extremely difficult, costs are higher than they have ever been. Fertilize and chemicals are driving profit margins down. Most of the farmers and people that work in agriculture in this area are extremely nice people. They will work with you to keep from harming your bees. I know several aerial applicators here that know that I have bees and avoid spraying in the area until late in the evening. If you believe evrything you hear about GMO Roundup ready and all the other buzz words that set off a panic :ws :)
    - mlknigh2, 4 years ago
  • If I use wikipedia as a source in any serious paper or article I'd be laughed out of the room. Rightly so, anybody can post anything on there with no one checking where they got their info or if it is factual.

    Mocking others "To keep drinking the Kool aide" while holding the same glass of a different color kool aide isn't constructive nor wise if one actually is trying to sway minds.
    - D Coates, 4 years ago
  • Well, TWall, where shall I start?

    I'm not going to go rent some farm land and plant forage for my bees (exactly) because I OWN FARM LAND AND HAVE HAD TO PLANT FORAGE BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING GROWING HERE FOR THEM TO FORAGE ON. Yes, I raised my voice. I won't do it again, sorry. :rolleyes:

    Please don't assume that because I do not agree with you, and have concerns about modern farming practices that I am either an urban beek, or otherwise clueless about the challenges we all face, while I hug a tree in my Birkenstocks, sing Kum ba Yah, and drive a Volvo on my way to Costco. (How's that for a mental picture?)

    I am concerned that very often, many of those chemicals are used improperly, and that is what causes a great deal of trouble. Naming a product "herbicide ready" is going to encourage its use, perhaps over use. I use roundup. Best (only!) thing ever on bindweed/tievine. But I wouldn't spray acres of it next to my hives. I wish they would bring back DDT, as I have seen West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease, and what they can do to people. But abuse of DDT is what led to its downfall.

    MY area happens to be mostly forage free because the farmers here abandoned the cotton and tomatoes and peaches and corn that were the main crops, and have gone to grass pastured cattle exclusively. In last year's drought, I saw bees collecting pollen off of Johnson Grass. That's desperate. Being hardworking, tidy, Czech and German farmers, they wage war on the "weeds" = bee forage in their fields. In the search for new and better grasses the old field rotation / planting legumes scheme THAT WAS STANDARD FOR A HUNDRED YEARS *IN* *THIS* *AREA* went away AS the prices of fertilizers dropped. As late as 1980, the *average* farmer in this area still could not afford lots of commercial fertilizers. (That was hand waving, not a raised voice, but it's hard to tell online.) :D

    In researching clovers and vetches that had been grown in this area before, I spoke with several gentlemen at TX A&M who noted that all the new clovers they have in the works, or have introduced in the last five years are self-pollinating. For clover and alfalfa, that IS something new. These kinds of GMOs cause me concern. Every spring, we get questions here on the Beesource garden forum: "Is ___ good bee forage?" Sometimes the answer is, yes, if you can find an old strain of it.

    I have not ridden behind the mules, but I have ridden the tractor, walked behind it, in front of it, and along side it. And the hay rake, and the baler, as well. I've picked corn, cotton, beans, and watermelons. I have also, as a farm wife, done all the work of a "kitchen" garden and orchard, plus the "putting aside" that involves. Plus the 4H project chickens and guineas. I've helped "pull" calves, and bottle fed babies of several species.

    Now, I do 75% of the hands on bee work with my DH. I do ALL the extracting, bottling, marketing, sales and promotion. I develop and create all the "value added" products like soap and candles and crafts that bring in 50%of my income. I handle the swarm calls, the cutout calls, and the "come get the bees from the big paper nest on my porch" calls. I do the bee programs in the schools, at the 4-H fair, and take calls from the local extension service office, because no one else in my area does bees anymore. My mentor is 97, and will go out if you drive him, but people don't like it when he puts a ladder in the back of a pickup and climbs it to collect swarms. Go figure.

    I know exactly how hard it is to make a living this way, because, darn it all, TWall, I'm doing it. And because I love it, I'm just too darn stupid to give it up and go try something easier that pays better. And I am willing to lose money and supplement it in some other way rather than give into the tyranny of the bottom line. The land itself, and what I leave my kids is just as important.

    Okay. I'm going to go eat chocolate and drink wine, and say, thanks for making me formalize why what I think about it all matters. Square?
    <holds out hand, while also reaching for chocolate> :popcorn:

    Summer
    - summer1052, 4 years ago
  • Well said, Summer, very well said.
    From a 58 year old, raised on "an 'ol 4 row farm" in central Illinois.
    Arvin
    - acb's, 4 years ago
  • This is called ad hominem, and is fallacious. There are 108 footnotes given at the bottom to cite where the information was derived, as well as some other books for further reading. What information given in that link specifically do you disagree with and why?













    If I use wikipedia as a source in any serious paper or article I'd be laughed out of the room. Rightly so, anybody can post anything on there with no one checking where they got their info or if it is factual.

    Mocking others "To keep drinking the Kool aide" while holding the same glass of a different color kool aide isn't constructive nor wise if one actually is trying to sway minds.
    - mythomane, 4 years ago
  • D Coates is right about Wikipedia. I would be interested in seeing any other link that you can find proving that there is a ban of glyphosate products in the provinces you mention. If you want to try to equate beekeeping near cotton where pesticides are routinely used with beekeeping near soybeans where glyphosate is routinely used I respectfully reject that comparison. I would whole heartedly agree that the best world would be one in which no chemicals of any kind were needed. It would also be really cool if everyone would just agree that there should be world peace but unfortunately reality always comes riding in. There are hungry people in this world and agriculture needs to be profitable to be able to feed a growing population. To you folks that choose to live a simpler life of raising foods organically and staying away from all chemicals I totally respect that; maybe it would be more correct to say that I actually envy you and would never ridicule your choices in any way. We would certainly have a better world if it was possible for everyone to live that way.

    Please don't mistake me for someone who thinks that all chemicals are good, I am a commercial producer who hasnt used any "hard chemicals" on our hives for quite a number of years and try to use a "less is better" mentality when making treatment decisions.I am not sure it always leads to better bees but I dont lose any sleep wondering what might show up in my honey crop. I believe that pesticides are routinely overused and I have seen first hand the ramifications to beekeepers when they are improperly applied. I also, however , understand the financial pressures that come with raising a commodity and have seen a lot of farmers and beekeepers fail because they didnt properly monitor pests and diseases.
    - jim lyon, 4 years ago
  • I wouldn't touch round-up and avoid round-up ready if I can. It just makes me uneasy.

    Of course I don't actually KNOW anything about GMO, or Round-up or whether it really stays in the environment and causes harm. From reading the posts here, we are all pretty similar in that regard - just coming down on different sides of the table. We're all reading one story or another and deciding what to believe. Few can know that much about a picture so big as the potential ramifications of playing with genes to create a captive client base.

    One company has a choke hold on a vast portion of our food supply. Selling seeds that won't grow without their chemical supplies, and establishing agreements that make it illegal for farmers to replant the seeds of the plants they've grown. Patented seeds. It's disturbing to me. Sure, its a solid business model, but I can't really help but be little suspicious that something about that picture is bound to be biting us in the rear end somehow.

    I don't believe this is necessary. I believe our buying into such a situation has made it seem necessary. Once you have 250,000 farmers doing it - it makes it pretty hard to buck the trend and stay competitive.

    I certainly don't blame the farmers who are stuck in the groove at this point. It seems to me that farming is a tough business at the best of times. Once the dam broke on GMO, it really was hard for people not to buy in to compete. In many ways the battle was 'won' (or 'lost' depending on the side you take) at the store counter. If consumers will buy it - someone's going to make money selling it.

    But for my tiny part, I'm not buying. Round Up has been the key to Monsanto's dominance. So they're not getting my pennies, and I'll continue to make a conscious effort to avoid buying GMO and round-up ready anything.

    For the weeds around my hives... I used mulch.
    - Adam Foster Collins, 4 years ago
  • Do bees make honey from round-up ready soybeans ? I don't believe they do.There are 100's of acres near me no honey from the beans.
    - olddrown, 4 years ago
  • There is so much misinformation and misguided assumptions on this thread it isn't possible to address all of them.
    I only want to say that twall, Tom on post 14 hit the nail right on the head. I would put my bees on RR soybean any time that I can. As was stated to many posters inattention, most of the crops are wind pollinated. The bees just gather the pollen for their use without being the pollinater. I spray directly in front of my hives as well as all around them, during the day, with no adverse effects. If Roundup is so bad, how come you can plant seed directly behind it's use with any worry of ill effects. Sorry, but some of you don 't want to live in the real world.
    One last statement, My computer made 2 visits to wikipeda on the same visit, first and last. it's as bad as this site for getting some very bad information.
    - valleyman, 4 years ago
  • The biggest problem here is that rarely, if ever, are herbicides used strictly according to label directions, and that is where trouble most often occurs.

    I am concerned that very often, many of those chemicals are used improperly, and that is what causes a great deal of trouble.

    Where are you coming up with this? Farmers I know try to use chemicals exactly per the label, and they try to minimize the use as much as they can. Chemicals are not cheap, and farmers will lose money by using chemicals unnecessarily or improperly.

    I know farmers who are installing GPS on their sprayers, to avoid spray passes overlapping. If they are in a triangular section of the field, the GPS even turns on (or off) sections of the sprayer boom to avoid spray overlap.

    In what manner do you claim farmers "very often" use chemicals improperly, and what chemicals are you claiming they misuse?

    To answer the original question, some beekeepers say bees like the purple blossom beans, and some bees favor the white blossoms, and some beekeepers say their bees work beans that are planted in sandy soils, and some folks say their bees won't touch beans.

    Soybean honey is a lighter honey.
    - Countryboy, 4 years ago
  • One more tid bit;
    Monsanto no longer holds the exclusive patent on roundup. For about 5 years or more there are several brands, differient names, same chemical, lot cheaper price.
    - valleyman, 4 years ago
  • Farmers in just about every state, if they are mixing and applying the pesticides themselves, must be licensed by their state as a pesticide applicator.

    Some states allow employees to assist with mixing and application under the supervision of a licensed applicator, but a licensed applicator is to be involved in every purchase, mixture and application of pesticides at all times.

    every licensed applicator is responsible for adverse impact of chemical pesticide use.

    Farmers that are licensed know this and have to work very carefully to make sure all the equipment that is used is properly calibrated, mixtures are specifically mixed according to the label and when and how the pesticide will be applied. The licensed applicator is held responsible for things like run off and drift.

    The argument for whether a certain pesticide should be used is a different argument and in most cases is a discussion of economics and personal philosophies.

    Even for professional lawn care companies, pest exterminator companies any business that mixes and applies pesticides for others on a paid or volunteer basis is supposed to be licensed by the state they are doing the work in.

    Again, 'when', 'what' and 'if' pesticide chemicals are used is a different argument same as the one in agricultural.

    The biggest area for improper use, mixture and application of pesticides is in the residential, urban areas where consumer, over-the-counter, pesticide products are used and sold.

    Just remember, the label is the law. following the directions specifically listed in terms of mixture and application will help minimize the effects of over application and improper mixing.

    I am a state licensed commercial pesticide applicator.

    One of the main functions my business offers is "bee friendly" pest management services to urban/residential clients where the client is heavily involved in the discussion of 'if' and 'when' chemical pesticides are necessary and what other options can bee effective as part of a comprehensive IPM strategy.

    No, I am not saying all this to be an "ad". The point is, that as more urban and residential growers, businesses and residentials try to do things on their own, the potential for improper use, mixture and application of pesticides increases.

    Most un-licensed applicators don't have the knowledge or experience of calibrating equipment, and preparing for application properly.

    Quiet a few take the gunslinger approach, just 'point and shoot". Which can get to be dangerous, for people as well as bees.

    Before you consider using a pesticide that you might want to take other controls into consideration first.

    Big Bear
    - bigbearomaha, 4 years ago
  • There is so much misinformation and misguided assumptions on this thread it isn't possible to address all of them. Sorry, but some of you don't want to live in the real world.

    Thanks for your opinion and input of those of us who differ with you. I'll take your comments in the spirit in which they were intended, and with all due appropriate consideration. And you're correct: In the world in which I wish I lived, I look like Rita Hayworth, my husband looks like Mark Harmon, cash in the bank account was self-regenerating, and varrora, SHB and wax moths are non-existent, as are tie vine, brambles, feral hogs, and the common cold. My real world, alas, includes the above, sans cash and Mark Harmon. :p

    Farmers in just about every state, if they are mixing and applying the pesticides themselves, must be licensed by their state as a pesticide applicator.

    That's true here, as well. And while I do get many calls to "help" with Africanized bees, I don't have that ($750) license, and I won't do it. I always recommend a couple of local pest control folks who deal with this. They call me if they come across "tame" bees, and think I can get them. I am always careful to say, "if it were in MY yard, I would call ___", rather than, "you have to kill them, so call ___"

    Herbicides are a different product than insecticides. Some require documentation, especially if bought in quantity, but many are available over the counter. And you can't guarantee people won't take it home, and add 2-4-D, or God knows what. You can't guarantee the sprayer is completely empty from last time.

    Yes, responsible farmers don't do such things, but then, responsible drivers don't speed, tailgate, run stoplights, use a cell phone, or text while driving, do they? And that is also a rare occurrence, isn't it? :rolleyes:

    As was stated to many posters inattention,
    No, I caught it, but I was making a point.
    most of the crops are wind pollinated The bees just gather the pollen for their use without being the pollinater.

    Exactly. They don't have to be the catalyst of pollination to collect the pollen. IF there are lots of other sources available, the bees might ignore it. They may not. We do NOT know for sure that large amounts of round up or weed b gon, or miracle gro, for that matter are safe around bees. I urged caution and consideration, not a moratorium.

    Where are you coming up with this? Farmers I know try to use chemicals exactly per the label, and they try to minimize the use as much as they can. Chemicals are not cheap, and farmers will lose money by using chemicals unnecessarily or improperly.

    I know farmers who are installing GPS on their sprayers, to avoid spray passes overlapping. If they are in a triangular section of the field, the GPS even turns on (or off) sections of the sprayer boom to avoid spray overlap.

    Farmers in your area are cash flush enough to ALL have GPS and automated spray functions on their (new?) rigs? Lucky them. Good for them.

    As for using products improperly? Ask any feed&seed or farm&ranch store owner. They sell to family farmers who have a business, usually not directly to the farmers who work for the BIG corps. They can refuse to sell merchandise if they KNOW you are going to use it improperly. But they can't stop you. Sure they can report you, but Texas Ag is short staffed on almost every front.

    Bigbearomaha, adam, and Arvin: Thank you very much for your thoughtful imput, and recognition that many voices have many thoughts to offer. You gentlemen make me a better beekeeper. As Thomas Edison noted after some 10,000 failed attempts at creating a glass light bulb, he didn't fail ten thousand times, he found ten thousand solutions that didn't work, before he found one that did.

    :ot: Twall, valley, and country, Thank you very much for reminding me why this forum is an uncomfortable, hurtful place to visit where an alternative view, or differing opinion, based on differing experience and location and circumstances are not valued. I feel I have had my judgement questioned (at an 'are you an idiot?!' level) and my honesty impugned. My accumulated wisdom, such as it is, and honestly differing experience have been decreed irrelevant, useless and ignorant. Just because it isn't yours.

    I'll check back in and see if the question I posted ever gets answered or not. But rest assured, I will avoid conversation in the future. I don't need to be beat about the head and shoulders by the likes of you. :(

    Tell Hambone, go Rangers! and good luck with deer season!

    Summer
    - summer1052, 4 years ago
  • Bear,
    Good post, but also you must have that liscense to buy the pesticide. To get that liscense you have to attend several hours of schooling, and pass a test. Not so with herbicides.

    I love the disclaimer at the bottom of your post.
    - valleyman, 4 years ago
  • Valleyman,

    in Nebraska at least, herbicides, fungicides, rodenticides, etc... are a sub-section of pesticides in general and one must be licensed by the state to purchase restricted use pesticides of any kind.

    non-classified or general use pesticides, such as those sold over the counter at hardware stores, Walmart, Tractor Supply, etc... are not restricted use and therefore can be purchased by anyone.

    Things might be different in your state, but I would guess that since the EPA regulates what restricted use and non-classified pesticides are, my guess is most, if not all states, are the same as Nebraska.

    Big Bear
    - bigbearomaha, 4 years ago
  • Summer,
    I had no intention of singling you out with my post, so sorry for the hurt feelings.
    Let me go a little farther and explain my real world statement. I grew up looking the old mule/horse in the rear for many a long day. I also spent many long days with the hoe in my hand. every spring the hands would have softened from only milking 12-20 cows BY HAND night and morning. So the first few days were so painful from the bursted blisters before the callousis came back. This I did from the time I was 10 until I was 18. It was neccesary because we had to get rid of the filth as we called it in our crops. There are to many invasive varietys to list here. We were limited by the lack of a better way to raise good crops. I remember thefirst herbicide we used. It was Balan, we mixed it into our tobacco fertilizer. That was in the late 50s. It cut our equine cultivating in half, and our hoeing to 1/4. Wow we could raise more with less work. Then came MH30 a chemical to keep the tobbaco from suckering out. Wow, It eliminated, to me the worst job I had, because I would get deathly sick from what is now known to be tobacco poisining. As far as our corn and hay crop, they were still left to suffer because the lack of a herbicide for them at this time. Thank God for 24d, and later versions of it. Many of these noxious plants and other pests were introduced by well meaning people who couldn't see the problems that were going to be created by them. Johnson grass, Canadian thistle, Starlings to name a few.
    I hope all of you can get my meaning of the real world that was before herbicides. Todays farmer could not keep up with the worlds demand for food without the herbicides. Many more would starve in the world than do today.
    I OFFER NO APOLOGY for understanding the neccesity of the herbicide and pesticides which I didn't mention in the above but are just as important for the production of our food supply. I also understand that there are misuses and abuses of these chemicals. But in my experience it is very limited. I understand that there may be a few that may get sick and even die from these chemicals. I understand that is better than people starving. I truly feel sorry for those of you that can't accept the neccesity for these chemicals. [edit] :s
    - valleyman, 4 years ago
  • I know for a fact that there are sometimes 'needs" that require use of chemical pesticides.

    I am of the opinion that we sometimes become too dependent on using them because they are at times "easier" and "cheaper" than using other control methods.

    One of the primary reasons I became a licensed pesticide applicator is precisely to offer people who are interested in using other control methods when possible those alternatives and to mix and apply the chemical pesticides correctly when they are necessary.

    Personally, my focus is on Integrated Pest Management as a practice, it's not just for beehives. Working with each clients specific circumstances and situations, creating a plan and flowing through with it. IPM is more than just a mechanism (like a screened bottom) it's a combination of tools and methods that may or may not require the use of chemical pesticides over the long term.

    We all know people whose approach to pest control, be it in the field or insects in the house or rodents in the warehouse, etc... is the 'gunslinger' approach and their first and only method is to go straight to the chemical.

    As people who make our living from nature, such as farmers, honey producers, etc... we more than anyone understand and appreciate the value of protecting that natural ecology around us so that we can continue making our living with it in the future.

    It is in our best interest to use methods and controls that help us achieve what we need to achieve with the least damage left behind as we do it.

    at least, that's what I think

    Big Bear
    - bigbearomaha, 4 years ago
  • It is in our best interest to use methods and controls that help us achieve what we need to achieve with the least damage left behind as we do it.

    at least, that's what I think

    Big Bear[/QUOTE]

    I am in complete agreement with this statement. Also everything else you said is true. I am not advocating the use of chemicals on anything unless it is totally neccesary. That's why I've spent lots of time and money to get my pure Russians started. I will not treat for any thing unless I absolutely have to. I want to keep my honey as pure as possible, and have bees that survive naturally.:D
    - valleyman, 4 years ago
  • you a good man Charlie Brown. ;)

    Big Bear
    - bigbearomaha, 4 years ago
  • U 2 how's business?
    - valleyman, 4 years ago
  • Apology accepted, valley.

    DH is older than I but 28 years. And he farmed down here in south Texas in the late 40's and 50's. And he well remembers some of the problems that modern science improved on. Screw worms, and the development of sterile male screw worm flies, 2-4-D, DDT and malaria mosquitoes, not to mention the POLIO vaccine. He has commented several times, that in our climate, it's not a matter of getting things to grow, it's a matter of keeping them from taking over the countryside -- a la kudzu, or wild grapes around here. Science *can* be a good thing. There is also such a thing as too much of a good thing. (Not counting chocolate or bacon.)

    I fight the fight with Johnson grass and bahia grass and tie vine (bindweed) and brambles every day. Some things need serious tools. I dig, by hand, the Canadian thistles in our 20+ acres of pasture every spring. (The digging seems more effective in the long run than spraying.) Last spring, it was over 100 bushels of thistle plants. But Omahabear is also right. As a whole, this country/society is inclined to throw more chemicals at a problem than try IPM, herbal medicine, or a .22 as needed. So, we wind up developing herbicide resistant seed, self-pollinating clover, antibiotic resistant staph and nerve gas components in the hives for varrora. Between both ends of the spectrum, is balance.

    Some of it is cost, some of it is plain laziness. We have approached several farmers in the area about planting clover, and they flat "don't want to work that hard." That's a direct quote -- said with a smile, but true. Just let the grass grow and make hay. Disk, seed, mow? Not if we don't have to. For 250 acres, I get it. But not for 10. And cotton and tobacco are notorious for weeds, chemicals, and soil depletion. But the smell of cotton blossoms in the rain . . . oh, my.

    Remind others that we have made serious improvement over serious problems. Folks don't know or forget that. But help remind them, too, that at least one lemming needs to stop and look over the top of the herd (flock?) to see where the crowd is running.

    Summer
    "Be polite. Speak kindly. Even in a declaration of war, one must observe good manners." -- Otto von Bismarck
    - summer1052, 4 years ago
  • Thats pretty much what I'm saying. My sons and I have together around 500 acres, I am done as far as hard work that I used to do because of the Arthritis in my spine. So we have to use more chemicals to control invasive species. I understand that pigweed in the South is becoming chemical resistant. It is one of the hardest thing to get rid or, as are cockleburrs. We don't have cotton here and tobacco is about done and needs to be. ( wow that may start another rant). Enough of this off topic so I still would let my bees work RR soybeans.

    And I like the one that says you can catch lots more flys with honey than you can vineager.
    - valleyman, 4 years ago
  • Around here the beans bloom about the same time as our major sunflower bloom and the bees seem to prefer the sunflowers for nectar. I don't know about pollen.

    Almost all the beans grown around here are "Roundup Ready" and more will be when the patent runs out and they can keep seeds to plant next year. I don't think they are going away.

    My bees are across the road from a field that rotates wheat, beans and milo and all are "no tilled". I always hold my breath (literally) when the sprayer shows up, but so far, my bees don't seem to be affected.

    Just my observations.

    BB
    - BuzzyBee, 4 years ago
  • Farmers in your area are cash flush enough to ALL have GPS and automated spray functions on their (new?) rigs? Lucky them. Good for them.

    I didn't say that ALL of them have GPS. You stated that chemicals are very often misapplied, and I was pointing out that around here, MANY farmers are using GPS and automated sprayers.

    Most (but not all) of the farmers who do not have GPS and automated sprayers hire their spraying done. Very few farmers around here are still using the old pull behind sprayers that don't have automated controls of some kind.

    Sprayers are the most expensive piece of machinery (more than a combine) and they are the piece of machinery on a farm that will pay for itself faster than any other piece of machinery. I don't think it is a matter of farmers around here being cash flush to be able to have GPS and auto functions on their sprayers. Around here, it is a matter of being a good businessman.

    Around here, farmers often pick up an additional 1200-1500 acres to justify hiring another hand. Around here, someone who 'farms' 10 acres may play around at farming, but you would be hard pressed to call them a farmer unless their name is Farmer.

    How do you tell a real farmer from someone who thinks they are a farmer? A real farmer rides IN a tractor, while someone who rides ON a tractor just think they are a farmer.

    As for using products improperly? Ask any feed&seed or farm&ranch store owner. They sell to family farmers who have a business, usually not directly to the farmers who work for the BIG corps.

    Would you please explain that? Are you saying that farmers who work for big corporation use products improperly? Or are you saying the family farmer is using chemicals improperly?

    What do you mean by big corps.? Family farms around here often work 2000-5000 acres, but I can think of a few 1000 acre farms. Much smaller than that and they are either truck patches or hobby farms that rely on a day job because they are too small to make a go of it.

    Twall, valley, and country, Thank you very much for reminding me why this forum is an uncomfortable, hurtful place to visit where an alternative view, or differing opinion, based on differing experience and location and circumstances are not valued.

    Be prepared to take some flak and have people call your bluff if you are going to make blanket statements such as:
    The biggest problem here is that rarely, if ever, are herbicides used strictly according to label directions, and that is where trouble most often occurs.
    I am concerned that very often, many of those chemicals are used improperly, and that is what causes a great deal of trouble.

    Once again, where are you coming up with this? How are you coming to the conclusion that chemicals are rarely, if ever, applied properly? How are you coming to the conclusion that chemicals are used improperly, and causing a great deal of trouble?

    (The digging seems more effective in the long run than spraying.)

    For some plants, you're exactly right. Around here, the best method we have to control pokeweed is a chisel plow. You'll end up with big pokeweed roots on the chisel shanks, but the next year, your field will be clean of pokeweed. With chemicals, it's a constant battle.
    - Countryboy, 4 years ago
  • refering back to my original question.........

    i think next time i will just ask the guy at the USDA office.........

    you people are crazy.
    - wildflowerlanehoney, 4 years ago
  • This was just posted on Sott.net today. I know the original poster only mentioned the GMO seeds (called "Round-Up Ready") and didn't mention if the farmer would be using a herbicide or not. I figure though if a farmer buys a product called "Round-Up Ready" it's pretty likely he's going to use Round-Up.

    So here's a link that talks about, and links to, a study that links birth defects in humans and glyphosate (Round-Up).

    http://www.sott.net/articles/show/216685-Monsanto-Roundup-Linked-to-Birth-Defects-in-New-Study
    - Cactii, 4 years ago
  • Sorry for your disappointment. But I said repeatedly that I would put my bees on RR soybeans anytime. But do ask about pesticides.
    - valleyman, 4 years ago
  • Wildflower -

    Don't get discouraged. Certain words, including anything to do with chemicals, will always get people started. Just scan through the posts and pick up what you can use. There is usually good info among the rants. Even in the rants sometimes.

    You are doing the right thing. You are keeping lines of communication open with the farmer. You are asking questions. All our bees have the potential of being exposed to something. We all do our best in our own ways to minimize it. Can't do away with it 100% without giving up beekeeping.

    Roundup degrades quickly under UV light. Keeping your bees in when the farmer sprays for a day or two will help if you're worried.

    JC
    - green2btree, 4 years ago
  • i spoke with the guy who farms the ground near my hives and next year the fields will be soybeans. i asked what they plan to spray and he said all their beans are "round-up ready beans".

    earlier this year i asked a guy from the local USDA office if round-up was ok to spray around my hives to control weeds. he said it was fine and would not hurt anything. i never did, though.

    my question is.....are the bees or is the honey quality going to be negatively affected by what the farmer is going to plant and spray near the hives? is it going to taint the honey any as well?

    Back to the original post, I had 11 hives on RR soybeans this year, and they were producing like gangbusters!! UNTIL the farmer sprayed for worms...during a bloom. :ws
    I figure I lost 3 days of my forager populations, and the hives never recovered to produce surplus honey after the spraying. The farmer WILL spray for worms and other pests before, during, and after blooming, depending on when the worms or other pests appear.

    Yes, I'll put bees on soybeans again next year, but the farmer and I now have an understanding that I'll be notified before he sprays so I can move them for a few days.
    Regards,
    Steven
    - StevenG, 4 years ago
  • Country boy, my last word on the subject, and how YOU handle it will determine whether or no your are a gentleman, or play at one. I have come to the conclusion that you will argue with me about the green of the grass, the blue of the sky, and the sun rising in the east. I'm working hard to restrain the red headed Irish that I am, but I'm struggling for calm.

    EVERYTHING I said, was in terms of what I see going on in my area, the people I am dealing with, and their experience for the last hundred years or so. I haven't got a clue about Ohio. I went to Columbus for a wedding one time, and that's all I know about it. I was unimpressed by what I saw, but that wasn't farmers or farmland or even a group of people I would normally associate with, except for the wedding. I have seen pretty pictures of the countryside, and I'd like to see that someday, but haven't made it yet. I know there is variety out there.

    I live in TX. Not all of it looks like John Wayne movies (some of which were filmed in AZ, and called "Pecos" something or other.) Not everyone is a cowboy. Dallas is unto itself, and different from anywhere else. Even my corner is unusual, being heavily Czech and German. Church services are still held in Czech weekly. Local Polka band music plays on the radio every day at lunch time. Think you know all there is to know about TX and farming and ranching here? I doubt it. Even Texans don't.

    Yes, most farmers (75-90%) in this area have 100-500 acres. Some have more. If they have more, they are running cattle on them, and improving pasture grass, which is another set of issues entirely.

    Yes, most farmers (75-90%) in this area use pull behind sprayers. Migl does some spraying, but their biggest rig has 12'-0 booms on each side, and goes out rarely. So says the secretary/receptionist/dispatch/office manager/boss' wife. I asked her at Monday night's Jr. High volleyball game, where our girls played. (We won. Now 6-1 for the season.)

    I don't know anyone with 10 acres unless it's in town. 10 is the minimum for the Ag exemption of property taxes, and in TX that is a HUGE deal. Down here, having 1000 acres involves dozing hundreds of acres of mott and rose hedges, or letting it sit (and spread.) You can run cattle on it, sure, but you have people invloved in fencing and dozing full time to keep up with it. There is no down season here. Just busy and busier. Stuff grows year round, just slowing down some in hottest or coldest weather -- maybe 2 months a year. Hobby farmers have a place in the world too. Be kind to them. They will be the ones who save farmland from subdivisions and Walmart when our grand kids are grown.

    Farmers who work for corps have licenses. "Family" farmers don't. Yes, some family farmers use things improperly. So do some corporate farmers. Farmers are human, too, and some driven by the bottom line. Or just "good business".

    I made no blanket statements. I said,
    The biggest problem here is that rarely, if ever, are herbicides used strictly according to label directions, and that is where trouble most often occurs.
    I am concerned that very often, many of those chemicals are used improperly, and that is what causes a great deal of trouble.

    See those "qualifiers" in there? "Here", "strictly", "often", "improperly". I'm not implying, nor did I state that anyone was making malicious use of chemicals anywhere for the sake of eeeeevil.

    I won't take flak from you because you did not read it closely, did not understand it, or are just having a bad hair day. If it's unclear, I'll try to make it clearer, but don't hammer on me if you just don't or won't get it.

    I didn't bluff, lie, or exaggerate. I chose my words with care to make my point. You didn't look to see the whole picture, and I'm sorry for that. But don't impugn my honesty, integrity, experience or intellect because you disagree with me. I understand that your experience is different from yours. But guess what? That means yours is different from MINE, and just as subject to clarification.

    Wildflower -- be cautious placing lots of bees next to large fields of anything you are not growing yourself. Something labled as Herbicide ready implies that there is at least a chance of that herbicide (or another) being applied. Spraying lots of anything is potentially unhealthy for bees -- even sugar water!

    As for on or in a tractor? Oh, honestly country, here we go again. Most of the tractors here (except the mowers used by the state, and the big cotton rigs) are open cabbed. Down here, the common phrase is ON.
    - summer1052, 4 years ago
  • I would be curious when the farmer sprays the herbicide. I would bet it is well before the beans bloom.

    It is.
    - DutchBee, 4 years ago
  • I made no blanket statements. I said,
    The biggest problem here is that rarely, if ever, are herbicides used strictly according to label directions, and that is where trouble most often occurs.
    I am concerned that very often, many of those chemicals are used improperly, and that is what causes a great deal of trouble.

    "Rarely, if ever are herbicides used strictly according to label directions" and "very often, many of those chemicals are used improperly" are blanket statements.

    Please provide examples to back up your allegations.

    I'm not looking to argue for the sake of arguing. I'm simply calling you on your bluff. You're accusing farmers of misusing herbicides as a common practice, and that is not what I have seen in farming operations.

    The vast majority of the acreage in my area gets sprayed with self-propelled sprayers that usually have booms from 90-120 feet. Pasture is being torn out to plant grain crops. Fences are being torn down and fields made larger. Around here, there isn't a need for small sprayers, as there aren't very many small fields.

    Golf courses use sprayers with 12 foot booms.

    We have a lot of grain farming in my area, (which gets herbicides) and to do very much grain farming, you need tractors than can pull serious tillage equipment. If you are going to till very many acres, you want a minimum of a 200 HP tractor, (400 HP is fairly common) and you don't see many open cab 200 HP tractors.

    Around here, you have to have 10 acres to get CAUV on your property taxes too. Around here, hobby farmers are not stopping urban sprawl - they are a part of urban sprawl. We do see farmland being put in programs to remain farmland, but when you see this happen, it is several hundred acres.

    i think next time i will just ask the guy at the USDA office.........

    I'm not aware of anyone presently at the USDA office who has experience with bees. Neither John Barker nor Troy Cooper have hives that I know of - they aren't on hive registration lists. Odds are, you will get better information here if you separate the wheat from the chaff. Harold Bowers is the retired county forester for USDA, and he does have experience beekeeping, and regularly attends club meetings. Harold would be a good guy to talk to if you want someone with a USDA background.
    - Countryboy, 4 years ago
  • Please provide examples to back up your allegations.

    Done. Go back and read every word.
    I'm simply calling you on your bluff.

    I didn't bluff, lie, or exaggerate. I chose my words with care to make my point. You didn't look to see the whole picture

    You're accusing farmers of misusing herbicides as a common practice

    EVERYTHING I said, was in terms of what I see going on in my area, the people I am dealing with, and their experience for the last hundred years or so.

    I'm not looking to argue for the sake of arguing

    That onus is upon you.

    Steve and Cacti, thank you for your imput.
    :ws Barry, if you please, do me the courtesy of letting me know via PM if my message re candy boards vs syrup feeding over winter in the south -- not Ohio -- gets answered. I need to make plans for feeding a few hives, and I have serious ant problems around here. I need input. I'll be back in several months when the testosterone and rut wears off. Maybe after deer season?

    While I understand the need for neutrality on the boards, I repeat myself:
    See those "qualifiers" in there? "Here", "strictly", "often", "improperly". I'm not implying, nor did I state that anyone was making malicious use of chemicals anywhere for the sake of eeeeevil.

    I won't take flak from you (Countryboy) because you did not read it closely, did not understand it, or are just having a bad hair day. If it's unclear, I'll try to make it clearer, but don't hammer on me if you just don't or won't get it.

    I didn't bluff, lie, or exaggerate. I chose my words with care to make my point. You didn't look to see the whole picture, and I'm sorry for that. But don't impugn my honesty, integrity, experience or intellect because you disagree with me. I understand that my experience is different from yours. But guess what? That means yours is different from MINE, and just as subject to clarification.
    - summer1052, 4 years ago

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