Happy New Year Everyone!
If you attended the recent WAS (Western Apiculture Society) meeting here in Boulder, you may have heard Jonathan Lundgren speak. He is offering a real, evidence-based way to help the bees. This is NOT another Flow Hive! I have made a personal donation, but I think this would be a worthy cause for local bee associations as well.
The letter below is copied from Fran Bach's (of WAS) Items for Beekeepers e-newsletter.
LUNDGREN FUNDING CAMPAIGN
I am contacting you to see whether you would be interested in sponsoring our effort to help the bees.
The bees face a lot of problems right now, from pesticides to poor nutrition to diseases to Varroa. But all of these are symptoms of a greater issue: we have lost much of the biodiversity in agriculture that used to support bees. The only way to support monoculture farming is with pesticides, which hurt the bees. Starving, poisoned bees are much more susceptible to things like Varroa and diseases. Unless we offer farmers a better way to farm, the bees are going to keep dying.
You may have seen that a growing number of farmers, ranchers, and bee keepers are using ecological principles and biodiversity to produce nutrient dense food profitably. But the guys and gals on the front edge of this movement largely lack scientific support. We created Blue Dasher Farm to try to fill this void (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/blue-dasher-farm). Blue Dasher provides cutting edge, farmer-driven research to bridge the gap between science and application. We also have an education mission; we will pair the top agroecologists in the world with the most innovative producers and beekeepers to train the next generation of scientists and farmers in regenerative agriculture. Finally, Blue Dasher Farm is an operating farm where practices like tying multiple revenue streams (e.g. honey production) and farming in nature’s image are put into play. Our vision is to set up a national network of these hubs to help address local and regional needs of farmers, ranchers, and beekeepers to help usher in a transformational change to our food production system.
Ideologically, Blue Dasher Farm is not anti-GMO, we are not anti-pesticide. We are pro-farmer, and pro-natural resources, and we are strong advocates for the bees. We are showing that when farmers increase biodiversity on their farms, they don’t need to use so many pesticides. That is good for the farmers, and it is VERY good for the bees.
We also are doing directed research on honey bees. At Blue Dasher Farm and the non-profit Ecdysis Foundation, we are developing non-chemical controls for Varroa mite. We are conducting independent research on the risks of pesticides like neonicotinoids and RNAi, so the beekeepers can have the truth. And we are developing flowering crops that make great bee forage while also earning farmers profit.
At great personal risk to my career, family, and research team, I have communicated plainly and truthfully about the political hurdles facing the beekeepers and how the current food production paradigm is affecting bee conservation. At this point, we need your help.
If you value independent science, then please take action now. Our business model is a strong one; one revenue stream we are using is crowdfunding (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/blue-dasher-farm). Sponsor a bee hive on the farm for $500 (larger or smaller donations are also welcome)! Your name will be seen positively by millions on social media, and thousands on the farm itself in the coming months. If you can’t afford a donation or sponsorship (or even if you can!), could you please consider forwarding this message to others in your network, so that they can think about helping?
Thank you for considering helping us raise money for Blue Dasher Farm. 2016 is going to be an amazing year!
Dr. Jonathan Lundgren and Jenna Lundgren
For more information:
· http://www.mprnews.org/story/2015/12/23 ... initiative
· http://www.honeycolony.com/article/heal ... e-problem/
·https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fed ... utterflies/
Discussion and questions.
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