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Old 06-27-2020, 10:44 AM   #1
Hydrophilic
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Default Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

In the healthcare field it gets agitating dealing with patients who wish to treat their problems with a bandaid and forgo lifestyle changes which would actually prevent the problem from developing in the first place. Examples of this are many. Diet can completely resolve many health issues. Learning how to properly move can alleviate back pain. I have prevented many teeth from needing a root canal because I simply adjusted their bite, for free. The problem isnt the tooth, its how the tooth bites against the opposing tooth, an issue commonly overlooked by dentists because it is easier just to focus on the individual tooth, do the root canal and make some money. The bigger problem is not adequately understood.

It is easy for me to recognize this attitude in nearly every facet of society. I have read about the history of our destruction of PNW salmon rivers. The common solution to this problem has not changed much - instead of working to address the big underlying issues, the answer, over and over, is to simply just create more fish in a hatchery.

With the decline of bees across the country I would think a rational solution would be to understand the reason behind the decline. This would allow us to address the underlying issue. Instead, I cannot count the number of articles I have read on developing artificial pollination. Spray pollination, bubble pollination, robo pollination, etc. Another interesting observation of running from our problems, rather than addressing them and making the appropriate changes to our lifestyles.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt...al-pollinators

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/s...ting-bees.html


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Old 06-27-2020, 12:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

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Originally Posted by Hydrophilic View Post
In the healthcare field it gets agitating dealing with patients who wish to treat their problems with a bandaid and forgo lifestyle changes which would actually prevent the problem from developing in the first place. Examples of this are many. Diet can completely resolve many health issues. Learning how to properly move can alleviate back pain. I have prevented many teeth from needing a root canal because I simply adjusted their bite, for free. The problem isnt the tooth, its how the tooth bites against the opposing tooth, an issue commonly overlooked by dentists because it is easier just to focus on the individual tooth, do the root canal and make some money. The bigger problem is not adequately understood.

It is easy for me to recognize this attitude in nearly every facet of society. I have read about the history of our destruction of PNW salmon rivers. The common solution to this problem has not changed much - instead of working to address the big underlying issues, the answer, over and over, is to simply just create more fish in a hatchery.

With the decline of bees across the country I would think a rational solution would be to understand the reason behind the decline. This would allow us to address the underlying issue. Instead, I cannot count the number of articles I have read on developing artificial pollination. Spray pollination, bubble pollination, robo pollination, etc. Another interesting observation of running from our problems, rather than addressing them and making the appropriate changes to our lifestyles.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt...al-pollinators

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/s...ting-bees.html


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Well, in a way, honey bees are artificial pollination, since they aren't native to North America. I like to do things to encourage other native bees....bee boards for mason bees have kept thing "humming" around our fruit trees. Seems to be a pretty good crop of bumble bees this year too, and our fruit and berry orchard is good habitat for them, because I don't try to eliminate mice and their holes which bumble bees like to use for nesting. These things may not be practical for large scale agriculture though, and the more alternatives, the more food we produce.
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Old 06-27-2020, 01:32 PM   #3
Don G Baldi
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Default Re: Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

Seems to beg the question of how long a species has to be in a location before it assumes 'native' status?
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Old 06-27-2020, 01:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

Lets hope we don't kill the pollinators and end up like some countries...

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Old 06-27-2020, 01:53 PM   #5
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With the decline of bees across the country I would think a rational solution would be to understand the reason behind the decline.
WRT the honeybee, I think it's a generally accepted fact its the worldwide varroa mite plague. And the world is spending millions to find a solution.
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Old 06-27-2020, 02:26 PM   #6
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I am not as familiar with the European honey bees, but I would prefer to keep them around vs robo pollinating.

The native bees are getting hammered by habitat loss and pesticides, just like the western monarch which is at 30,000 remaining butterflies. We still do not know exactly how bumblebee queens overwinter, and many of the other life cycles. Here is an effort to figure out the former.

https://www.queenquest.org/about.html

I have read studies and observations of native bees primarily utilizing native plants and honey bees preferring cultivars. I have noticed this in my own yard, although the honey bees will visit some natives, and the bumblebees enjoy the lavender. The way to support native bees is to plant native plants or to lookup cultivars which support them, as many do not. Also using pesticides responsibly or not at all. Just passing along some info, it is an issue I follow closely.


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Old 06-28-2020, 09:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

At the nursery where I grew up, we stored and hand pollinated some plants that didn't flower at the same time to hybridize magnolias.
It's still done today at places like the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and National Arboritum.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:27 AM   #8
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Accepting the reality of bee losses and the consequences is a topic so sad that I can barely address it. It is huge. Just devastating.

A lesser known but similar pattern exists with certain desert bats which pollinate wild agave cactus in our desert southwest.

The bats and the plants cannot exist without each other, Lose one and we lose both forever. A looming tragedy for our desert ecosystems, especially in Mexico.

The villain in the chain of causation is the American tequila industry, but to understand this takes multiple dimensional critical thinking and a mindful attitude attitude with long term goals.

.One of the most read and responded to recent posts on Ifish is about men talking about their long underwear, Over 2,200 readings with plenty of responses.

Sometimes the madness of peoples priorities drive me crazy.
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Old 06-29-2020, 04:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

All is not completely lost, I recently read an article that said that moth's also pollinate flowers at night, at as about same rate as bee's do during the day.

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Old 06-29-2020, 07:57 AM   #10
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Default Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

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All is not completely , I recently read an article that said that moth's also pollinate flowers at night, at as about same rate as bee's do during the day.

That would be great but last time I checked Moths were on the list with all the other insects rapidly declining. If the link below doesnt work you can google insect apocalypse and find plenty of articles.

As DB pointed out, there are native plants which have specialized relationships with native pollinators, this could be a beetle, ant, bee, moth, bat, etc. Lose the pollinator, lose the plant. If that plant is also a host plant for a butterfly or moth, then their reproductive cycle is broken and they are lost as well, and every insect which depends on them is therefore lost. Its a nasty cascade. It also goes beyond pollination. Some seeds are designed to be picked up by ants and taken into their burrows (trillium, pacific bleeding heart are examples). If for some reason the ants disappeared this life cycle would be broken.

Basically it is too complex for us to take on with artificial pollination. If one looks at the Willamette valley which is 90%+ private land it becomes clear what we need to do. The individual homeowner needs to understand the issue and help out. The established ornamental garden industry is often of little help. Sure, there are some cultivated plants the bees like, but what the bees and bugs really want are the plants they grew up with - native plants. Visit your native plant nursery.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nyt...lypse.amp.html


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Old 06-29-2020, 08:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

Here is another example of specific plant relationships here in the PNW. The acorn woodpecker. Relies on Oak trees for diet and dead trees for nesting.

The Willamette valley, as I mentioned above is 90%+ private property. Homeowners and our society at large do not value dead trees (which are also important bee habitat). The Willamette white oak has little timber value and is therefore wiped out to plant Doug fir for logging money, or for development. As a result, native white oak habitat is at 2% of its former range in the valley and conservation agencies are begging landowners to help conserve what is left. The acorn woodpecker is, of course, also on the way out. Luckily just in the valley for now, but dont hold your breath if you think habitat destruction wont spread through the rest of its range in the next hundred years.

Again, what it comes down to is understanding the natural world around us and working with it. As the natives did for thousands of years. We have really done a number in 100 years, especially if you look at salmon. We need to decide what kind of world we want to live in.


https://www.oregonconservationstrate...rn-woodpecker/


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Old 06-29-2020, 08:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

Are the native plants struggling to be pollinated? Or just introduced crops by introduced pollinators?

Several factors affect this issue, don’t know if trying to compare it to our salmon runs is a good way to compare the decline of an invasive species. I would think the biggest thing would be how many wild hives we have today compared to decades ago. With honey being a niche health food, wild honeybee hives are hard to come by anymore. Is that due the die off or is that due to backyard bee keepers collecting them?


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Old 06-29-2020, 09:19 AM   #13
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With honey being a niche health food, wild honeybee hives are hard to come by anymore. Is that due the die off or is that due to backyard bee keepers collecting them?


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Probably both
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Old 06-29-2020, 12:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: Artificial pollination - an all too familiar path

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Are the native plants struggling to be pollinated? Or just introduced crops by introduced pollinators?

Several factors affect this issue, don’t know if trying to compare it to our salmon runs is a good way to compare the decline of an invasive species. I would think the biggest thing would be how many wild hives we have today compared to decades ago. With honey being a niche health food, wild honeybee hives are hard to come by anymore. Is that due the die off or is that due to backyard bee keepers collecting them?


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There are no "wild" honeybees in the wild. At least not in the U.S. They are all feral. Swarms seldom survive in the wild. A captured swarm is usually a saved swarm. Far too many things out there killing them. The worst is a damn mite.

Dr. Spivak is one of the smartest people on earth when it comes to honeybees. She has been a guest speaker at the Oregon Honeybee Association annual conference a couple times. Maybe she can best explain the problem.

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Old 06-29-2020, 05:19 PM   #15
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Dr. Spivak is one of the smartest people on earth when it comes to honeybees.

Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing - YouTube
Excellent video, one of the best I have seen. Thanks for the share.

Food deserts, as Dr Spivak calls them, are a real problem not just on farms, but cities as well. Here is one of my charts I like to refer to, for those interested.

The goal is to have something blooming all spring and summer. The different colors are the different bloom colors.


https://www.salixassociates.com/pdf/...2011-07-19.pdf



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