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Sustainable Alternatives: Mystery of the Disappearing Bees - Solved.

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greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 11, 2012
4:30 AM

Post #9078015

Just saw this article about Colony Collapse Disorder in bees:

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/04/09/mystery-of-the-disappearing-bees-solved/
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 12, 2012
10:43 PM

Post #9080484

Very interesting article, but sad. We need to change the way we farm in this country.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 13, 2012
8:20 AM

Post #9080830

I started keeping honeybees in 1976 and gave up beekeeping in 1985. During those years I attended beekeeper meetings where we discussed the perils of pesticides and their effects on bees. We wrote letters - nobody listened!

Perhaps NOW we have their attention!
GardenSox
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 13, 2012
9:52 AM

Post #9080935

I won't pretend to be an expert on this subject, but I find the following quote from this article to be extremely alarming: "Every spring millions of bee colonies are trucked to the Central Valley of California and other agricultural areas to replace the wild pollinators, which have all but disappeared in many parts of the country. These bees are routinely fed high-fructose corn syrup instead of their own nutritious honey."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that High Fructose Corn Syrup coming from the corn that has been sprayed with the very neonics that are thought to be the cause of the CCD?
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 13, 2012
10:30 PM

Post #9081752

That's a good point GardenSox.

Maybe the organic farmers/gardeners should keep honeybees as well so the bees don't completely die out.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 14, 2012
3:41 AM

Post #9081823

The problem is that unless you live out on a prairie, the bees will likely travel far enough to get into some nasty stuff even if your place is pesticide-free.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 14, 2012
1:33 PM

Post #9082377

greenhouse_gal - Honeybees usually collect nectar close to their home. BUT - if food is in short supply they will fly as far as five miles. Any further than that and they need to use up the nectar they just collected to get back home.

Ladypearl - organic gardeners do keep honeybees. Some of them have reported that they have not experienced colony collapse, others have said they have.

GardenSox -
Quoting:Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that High Fructose Corn Syrup coming from the corn that has been sprayed with the very neonics that are thought to be the cause of the CCD?


When I read that honeybees were being fed High Fructose Corn Syrup I thought it could not be correct. It's been many years since I kept honeybees, but if I remember correctly HFCS gave them diarrhea! The only substitute for nectar that should be fed to honeybees is plain old table sugar dissolved in pure water!
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 15, 2012
1:23 AM

Post #9082942

Good points Honeybee. I'm an organic garden and hope to get a couple of top bar hives after I educate myself on the ins and outs of bee keeping. I've been told that the book "Bee Keeping for Dummies" is a good source for learning the basics.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 15, 2012
11:06 AM

Post #9083400

Ladypearl - I have a copy of "The Hive and the Honeybee" which is now out of print. I suspect the book you mentioned will be a good start for you.

Be sure you and your family are not allergic to bee stings. You WILL get stung! Also the "supers" (which is what hive boxes are called) are very heavy when loaded with honey.

Good luck with your bee keeping adventure - like everything connected with gardening, it's a labor of love. :-)
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

April 15, 2012
6:56 PM

Post #9083968

Thank you Honeybee!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2012
8:33 AM

Post #9092712

Many of you know I promote high Brix to increase nutrient density in our foods. A couple of days ago I read that honeybees will not take nectar from plants with a Bx of less than 7. Our vegetables (and fruits) we grow have far less nutrient quality than they did 50 years ago (proven by USDA published numbers) so I believe in some ways our conventional ag practices (and our homeowner practices) also have contributed to the colony collapse.

When I consider my first measurments of Brix in my garden 5 years ago and it was a disappointing 5-6, I could see that I wasn't growing enough nutrition for me, much less now knowing what the bees need. I'm still working to improve my soil to get the Brix up. It's important to know and remember that in our soils, The Bacteria Eat First. If we don't feed them properly (and that's more than just NPK), they don't feed the plants well enough, and what the plants grow don't feed us well.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 22, 2012
9:02 AM

Post #9092743

I'm sure this would take volumes to explain, but I do wonder how you get your Brix up. And I assume that you have a means of monitoring your results, but how?

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2012
9:39 AM

Post #9092775

Increasing Brix is very much a matter of soil micro-organisms, and proper feed for them. Measurement is easy; I have a refractometer.

Here's an article I wrote on Brix for DG several years ago. (I've learned lots since then...)

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1670/

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2012
10:27 AM

Post #9092822

Facinating, darius. I just priced a refractometer on the web site link from your article and it was over $100.

I'm all for getting more nutrition from my food. Do you have any pointers you care to share, either here or on your web site?

I do add trace minerals to my garden every year, plus crab shell and kelp meal. I also purchase several brands of organic fertilizers and mix them all together.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2012
10:39 AM

Post #9092847

You should be able to get a decent refractometer still for around $50, maybe a tad less. Shop around. The only requirement is that it go from 0-32 Brix; temperature compensation is nice but not necessary for the home gardener.

I'm working on an improved plan for soil amendments, once I understand all the various calcium compounds needed (4-6 different types). It's complicated, and ordinary (inexpensive) soil tests won't tell you enough, and the good ones are expensive in comparison. That's been one of my barriers because I can't afford to find out what my soil really has... but I'm hoping to do that this year. Of course, better health is far cheaper, in the long run!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2012
11:04 AM

Post #9092884

Quoting:Of course, better health is far cheaper, in the long run!


I've been telling folks that for years - but most of them don't get the connection.

I don't think anyone believed me when I told them my two children NEVER got a cold. I'm aghast at the idea that the "normal" number is five or six a year! I've only had one cold since I was 18. That was in 2006 when my hubby almost died - I think it was the stress that caused the cold.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 22, 2012
12:00 PM

Post #9092962

Honeybee, THAT (good health) has been my guiding principal over the last several years of writing about gardening, first for DG before the new ownership, and then on my blog.

Yet as you say, most don't get the connection; they still use chemically-formulated NPK indiscriminately, and use Roundup like it was plant elixer. sigh.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2012
6:54 AM

Post #9094055

darius - two houses up the street a neighbor has a lawn that looks like expensive green carpet. He's out there frequently with a large container of Roundup spraying anything that doesn't fit with his idea of a perfect lawn! I won't let the dogs anywhere near his place because I'm afraid they might be poisoned.

My front "lawn" is turning into an area covered in Dutch white clover. It's never watered or fertilized. We do have to be careful of honeybees attracted to the nectar.

The backyard is covered with a 6" to 9" deep layer of beautiful brown leaves, intersperesed with raised beds full of edibles or flowers. Sometimes I don't have to add mulch to the raised beds, the wind does it for me.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 23, 2012
8:24 AM

Post #9094249

I wish I had leaves... all our trees are up on the mountain behind the house (19 acres) but none make it down the hill to the yard. The trees I'm planting won't drop many leaves for a few years. The strip between our creek and the road has only black walnut trees, and of course those are allelopathic.

I intended to get some white clover sown last fall, but never got around to it. It's great for the soil!

Don't get me started on those using RoundUp! I'd keep my dogs away too.!!!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 8, 2012
6:29 PM

Post #9116409

Apparently the honeybee demise is NOT solved...
http://boingboing.net/2012/05/07/the-honeybees-are-still-dying.html

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 9, 2012
10:05 AM

Post #9117254

Thanks for the link, darius.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 12, 2012
2:35 PM

Post #9121202

Beekeepers Win Ban on Monsanto's GMOs in Poland
http://www.organicconsumers.org/bytes/ob328.htm

Monsanto's Mon810 corn, genetically engineered to produce a mutant version of the insecticide Bt, has been banned in Poland following protests by beekeepers who showed the corn was killing honeybees.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

May 12, 2012
8:21 PM

Post #9121619

Good to read this, but I wish that site put dates on their news items!

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

May 13, 2012
5:34 AM

Post #9121808

I had already emptied my email trash bin for the week before I posted that link, so I had to find the story online. The newsletters usually have dates and source links. Sorry.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 13, 2012
6:55 AM

Post #9121911

It's time for Monsanto to pick up their marbles and go home!
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

December 17, 2012
5:36 PM

Post #9361028

Just a brief howdy! Apparently I joined Dave's a few years ago. Probably didn't have time to keep up. Now it has to fit between my bee forums and my aquatics forum, but 2 years into beekeeping, I have more to listen to, and more to say. Working on sustainability too.

Guess I need to become a subscribing member to get to the good stuff. Like how to trade plants on this site? I've got some stuff going well and some I need.

Anyway, howdy. From Gypsi and her Bees.

Thumbnail by Gypsi
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

December 18, 2012
9:26 PM

Post #9361964

Hi Gypsi and welcome back - sounds like you are quite busy! Say, do you know any good bee sites for somebody just starting into top bar hives? I have been getting two hives ready for bees I'll purchase this coming spring (unless somebody finds some swarms they don't want.)
Did you try the "Plant Trading" forum?

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

December 19, 2012
10:37 AM

Post #9362293

Gypsi - You might want to try Dadant - they have been in business for many years.

http://www.dadant.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=32

I used to be a beekeeper in my (much) younger days :)
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

December 22, 2012
8:12 PM

Post #9365144

I already order from Dadant - but won't have to get much this year, I bought so much this past spring. Thank you though. I belong to a bee forum that is very helpful too, and they do have a small top bar forum.
It is http://www.beekeepingforums.com. Because I am too busy I just ordered Langstroth 10 frame everything, deep bottoms, medium (Illinois) supers. Being able to mix match and move stuff around without powering up a saw is a big plus. I do run foundationless frames mixed with plasticell, now that I know what I'm doing. I've heard that bees won't draw out comb on either. Mine did just fine.

Beekeeping today takes lots of experienced help. I went it alone with a local beekeeper who wasn't terribly studious when I got started in 2011, and had a dead hive by the end of July. Then I went and found a forum of people who knew what they were doing, got my dead hive warranted out for a couple of frames of bees and some beat up equipment. By October I had them mite-free and up to 7 frames but they got robbed out. (probably by the swarm I lost in early may)... I finally joined my local bee club right after the rob out. (short of moving my bees 20 miles away to an area without starving local hives I could not have saved them I think - chalk that up to small hive plus drought)

I only bought a couple of nucs this spring, at 5 living hives right now, plus my neighbor caught one of my swarms, bought himself a couple of boxes, and he's got hive 6. We're feeding bee candy this winter as we are in a drought and dearth, and they are marginal on winter stores. But I got mine all built up to 2 boxes of bees and stores, went through about 100 pounds of sugar (mixed with water) doing it.

CCD is not as mysterious among beekeepers as it seems to be to the media. Varroa carry several diseases,
I suspect the neonicotinid pesticides contribute, and certainly mosquito spraying didn't do the bees much good this year. Bee management is much more difficult with all of these factors, plus small hive beetle, but in my experience, it isn't impossible.

HFCS is not what I consider a good food to feed my bees. I left them all their honey, plus fed them Imperial Pure Cane Sugar, dissolved in water. Something about the minutae in each, the bee forum has better scientific info on that.

This message was edited Dec 22, 2012 10:14 PM

Thumbnail by Gypsi
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

December 26, 2012
8:35 PM

Post #9368041

That beekeepingforums.com certainly does have a lot of good info!
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

December 28, 2012
7:34 PM

Post #9369496

LadyPearl,

Dave's Garden has a ton of good info too.

I am so tired from dealing with the cold front and livestock, lost one of my hens on Christmas, Finally got the goat securely penned tonight I think. I have looked at the plant trading part, but haven't had time to really find out how it works, AND, I'd have to have time to list all that I have to trade and go through what is available. I may never find the time the way things are going. Have my 2 year old grandbaby this weekend so I can get some rest. (sure won't be opening beehives or running saws with her around.)

It's all a joy... My greenhouse is still full of Lowes surplus discounted plants, which, miraculously, haven't frozen out there. It isn't heated. But it is sheltered from wind.
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 2, 2013
9:50 PM

Post #9373785

Yeah, the weather has been bitterly cold since the 25th, especially at night. Sorry to hear you lost a hen! One of my silly bantams sat on a clutch in November unbeknownst to us and she hatched out seven chicks (on Dec 2nd). One died recently from the cold. At night I bring them in the house in an old portable cage and then put them back out if the weather is warm enough. For four days straight they had to stay inside though because their pen was full of snow! It has finally melted. It was warm enough today to actually get in the garden and pull weeds.
We've bought a bunch of bushes and plants on Lowes clearance before and it was quite a blessing. But the last two summers of drought did a lot of them in. Now we are only planting things like dessert willows, vitex and arbor vitae - plants that can take the heat and drought (we water them when neccessary.)
Yes, Dave's Garden does have a lot of info and I can (but shouldn't) sit for hours and just look stuff up - hard to get all my chores done when doing that lol !
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

January 14, 2013
9:13 PM

Post #9385451

This is my first time on here in a couple of weeks. I bought vitex and rose of sharon marked down 80% at Plant Shed before the great Lowes raid. Finally got those in the ground just before this cold front (friday/saturday).
The lowes stuff I just repotted, they can sit in the green house til their leaves match the weather. Got a couple of gardenias and vines, stuff I'm going to have to water, might as well hold them in the greenhouse til spring. If they go dormant in there I will plant outside.

I lost one of my young oaks - it wasn't quite dead, but it started looking poorly on one limb during the 2005-2006 drought, and by this summer it was 80% poorly, at 10 years old, so I just took it down before oak wilt got it and spread it to my live oak. It was a shumardi.
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 15, 2013
10:32 PM

Post #9386718

Yep, Gypsi, the droughts have really taken a toll on the shrubs and trees. I haven't heard of a shumardi oak, will have to look that up.

Someday I hope to have a greenhouse since the garage is gettin kinda crowded! It's great that you have one and can keep those plants out of the weather.

Anybody tried growing vitex from seed? If the ones we planted make it through this cold snap, I'm thinking about getting some more (or planting the seed I saved if they grow from seed.)
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

January 16, 2013
9:14 AM

Post #9387127

I gave away a bunch of vitex seed at my bee club hoping someone would have time to start some. I haven't got the time and bad about not keeping things well watered. I THINK they would grow from seed. They may also start from long slips, a lot of shrubs will, if started in the winter. I may take a few cuttings tomorrow and stick them in the ground. Worse they can do is NOT grow.

Roses start that way. And so does Abelia.
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 16, 2013
3:47 PM

Post #9387542

Okay, I will try those methods too and see what happens. Thanks!
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

January 16, 2013
9:05 PM

Post #9387798

To do shrub or rosebush cuttings choose a fairly young stem (not heavy wood), cut a foot, be sure you have 6 inches or more underground and that there are a few nodes on the underground part. Keep ground moist. Don't plan on moving it or do it in very early spring as soon as you know which cuttings took.
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 16, 2013
10:14 PM

Post #9387817

I may try the shrubs. All my knockout roses died in the drought the last two years : (
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

January 17, 2013
11:58 AM

Post #9388281

I have old queen elizabeth roses, pink. Started from a neighbor's queen elizabeth JUST before her husband dug up her 20 year old rose bush back in the mid 90"s. Not hybrids or grafts.
They start from cuttings well. No idea where Iowa Park is but you are welcome to cuttings.

I also have red once a year bloom premier climbers that started as cuttings from a bush I bought around 1992. A rottweiler pup ate my rose, I trimmed the slips and shoved them in the compost pile and in the spring had 7 rosebushes to give away. Which is how I learned to start roses. But these only bloom, very heavily, in april. Queen E's bloom all year.

This message was edited Jan 17, 2013 2:00 PM

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 17, 2013
2:49 PM

Post #9388438

Ladypearl - I think the Knockout roses I have in containers are gonners, too. The ones under the tree still look okay.

Thumbnail by HoneybeeNC
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

January 17, 2013
2:51 PM

Post #9388441

Now is the time to start cuttings in Texas anyway, should I put these up on the have/want list? (I've found that takes hours trying to find the latin name)
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 21, 2013
8:45 PM

Post #9393176

Honeybee, wow, those roses are gorgeous! I'm sorry to hear they didn't make it!

I dont know about that Gypsi. Maybe need to ask on another forum. I know what you mean about the Latin names... I'm doing good to remember the names of plants in English, much less Latin...

We need a list of carefree plants (natives and weeds) that provide good nectar and pollen for the bees.
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

January 22, 2013
8:30 AM

Post #9393581

Nothing is carefree in a drought, but I've got a starter list somewhere. Vitex is at the top though, drought tolerant once established, and the bees LOVE it.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 22, 2013
10:28 AM

Post #9393697

I have English Thyme, Greek Oregano, Rosemary, Mint, and Sage, that have survived several years of drought. I grew Parsley in the ground for the first time last summer, and it survived triple digit temperatures. Sadly, most of it has not survived the voles!

Herbs are excellent sources for bees. I don't know if herbs produce nectar and/or pollen, but both are essential for honeybee survival.

The white Dutch clover in our front yard attracts honeybees.

Do not plant red clover (Trifolium pratense) for honeybees, their tongues are not long enough to reach the nectaries. It is, however, favoured by bumble bees.

Crimson clover, (Trifolium incarnatum) on the other hand, is attractive to honeybees. I sowed this one winter, and when it bloomed the following spring, I hated to pull it up because it was covered in honeybees.
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 22, 2013
9:17 PM

Post #9394337

A few years ago the cilantro in my flower beds grew like crazy (when we had rain) , bloomed and had lots of bees on it. But I can't get thyme, oregano or mint (which is a surprise) to live through the summer (have tried several times.) Someone else in this area suggested planting the mint on the north side of a structure to see if that would help it survive our heat. Rosemary and some kinds of basil grow pretty good here though so we'll plant more of those.

I have seed for the Dutch clover and will be planting it when we get a good soaking rain (may it be soon.) I'm guessing that the crimson clover also likes the cooler weather (???) Will work on getting seed for that.

Ah yes, vitex - will definately be planting/propogating more of that.
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

January 23, 2013
7:40 AM

Post #9394600

Stock Seeds in Nebraska sells Crimson Clover seed for about $3.95 a lb - I planted some last winter and the bees liked it. But it isn't drought hardy at all, I could only keep the parts by my organic garden wet enough to keep it alive long enough to bloom. It is an annual. I replanted with wildflower seeds there this year, they send deeper roots down.

New petition to try and get neonic pesticides off the U.S. market, they may be responsible for CCD

New study shows @EPAgov should suspend use of the #pesticide that's killing #bees. Take action now: http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/efsa_bees/?rc=tw1

(from my tweet)

This message was edited Jan 23, 2013 9:42 AM

This message was edited Jan 23, 2013 9:43 AM
kathy4836
Indiana, PA
(Zone 5a)

January 27, 2013
8:17 AM

Post #9398993

Want bees? We live in a 200 year old farmhouse and, every year, bees move into a wall of the north side of the house. A couple of months later, the hive gets so big that it splits and the half that splits off gathers on the neighbors deck railing - as it did last year, and then leaves a day or two later. We are doing our part keeping our area supplied with bees. I wish we could get a beekeeper in here, but have a hard time finding one that can get them out of the wall. Several years ago, we had the house sided, and they cut the wall open and removed the nest. (This was in a Pennsylvania January). The following spring, the bees found a way in again. You should hear the sound coming from the wall next to my computer desk when they are swarming!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 27, 2013
8:49 AM

Post #9399027

kathy4836 - there is a way to permanently remove honeybees from inside a wall, but it is complicated, and should not be attempted by anyone not used to handling these insects.

The worse thing to do, is fill the hole(s) so they can't come-and-go. The bees would die within the wall, and believe me DEAD BEES STINK VERY BADLY!
Gypsi
Fort Worth, TX

January 27, 2013
7:07 PM

Post #9399544

After the beekeeper comes and removes the bees, or as part of the agreement for his visit, it is important to find all the openings the bees are using to come and go. I am a "handyman" type contractor with business liability insurance so we do a bit more in looking for access points, but working on ladders and doing caulk work at the peak of an old house is a fairly risky business, and whether the beekeeper would do a followup and do this is up to his individual terms.

If you would like to find a beekeeper to do your removal, you can check at
http://www.beekeepingforums.com/forums/73-Find-a-Beekeeper.

I'm in Texas, so the drive would be a bit much for the bees. And most beekeepers won't do the removal til it is warm enough for the bees to survive the move. Charges may vary. A new beekeeper or one who has had significant losses may charge much less, as they need the bees.

Gypsi
tnbeelady
Ashland City, TN
(Zone 6b)

March 20, 2013
6:06 AM

Post #9455641

I just found this forum and am glad to see so many concerned about bees and gardening for health and other reasons. I just read a good book that has me wondering if I am a good steward of the land. Teaming with Microbes by Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis has me rethinking a lot about gardening. They really talk about the microbes, bacteria, nematodes, and fungi, to name a few, of the organisms needed for healthy plants. All of them affected by the chemicals that are abusing the soil and those who live beneath our feet.

I have organically gardened and bee kept for the last 15 plus years --at least I thought I was! When I found this forum, I was looking for one on compost tea--but diverted when I saw 'bees' in the title. I think that compost tea made to feed the soil organisms will be my 'go to' additive from now on.

I haven't ever had colony collapse disorder, but I do get a lot of hive beetles, a few mites and wax moths do a number on my bees in winter. Working to be a better beekeeper and gardener...
Gazoodles
Iowa Park, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2013
9:34 PM

Post #9457720

Hi tnbeelady I'm curious to know if you have Langstroth hives, Warre hives or top bar hives?

Also, did you find any forums where they were discussing compost tea? I've heard of people using an aquarium pump to aerate compost tea so that the benificial bacteria can multiply faster - don't know much else about it though.

I'll be looking for the book Teaming with Microbes, sounds interesting.

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