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April 18, 2022

Earth Day Update from Dr. Jonathan Lundgren (S4, E44)

Earth Day Update from Dr. Jonathan Lundgren (S4, E44)

Happy Earth Day… week. Earth Day is this Friday, April 22… and in recognition of that day, we’ve invited Dr. Jonathan Lundgren back to the show to talk about his work at Blue Dasher Farm and with the Ecdysis Foundation’s research on...


Happy Earth Day… week. Earth Day is this Friday, April 22… and in recognition of that day, we’ve invited Dr. Jonathan Lundgren back to the show to talk about his work at Blue Dasher Farm and with the Ecdysis Foundation’s research on regenerative agriculture and soil conversation.

We first learned of Jonathan in the Peter Nelson film, The Pollinators. If you have not seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it online at your earliest opportunity… if only for the photography alone! Peter has been a guest on the podcast a couple of times, as well.

Jonathan’s and the Ecdysis Foundation is working to show that regenerative agriculture is ultimately less expensive and healthier for the soil, crops and bees. Yes bees!  Bees that forage on farmlands using regenerative agricultural practices are showing to be more resistant to varroa mites and therefore healthier! It makes sense, since the bees tend to be less stressed by agricultural chemicals and have varied foraging opportunities – all contributing to a healthier colony, able to ward off varroa!

Research will continue as part of the 1,000 Farm Initiative.

Let us know what you think by leaving comments for this episode above. Start a discussion!

Thank you for listening!

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast: 

Honey Bee Obscura

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We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. Betterbee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer BetterBeeservice, continued education and quality equipment. From their colorful and informative catalog to their support of beekeeper educational activities, including this podcast series, Betterbee truly is Beekeepers Serving Beekeepers. See for yourself at www.betterbee.com

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help Global Pattiesensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at http://globalpatties.com and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode! 

Thanks for Northern Bee Books for their sponsorship of Bee Books: Old & New with Kim Flottum. Northern Bee Books is the publisher of bee books available worldwide from their website or from Amazon and bookstores everywhere. They are also the publishers of The Beekeepers Quarterly and Natural Bee Husbandry. Check them out today!

Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping TodayStrong Microbials Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website: https://www.strongmicrobials.com

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a regular podcast featuring interviews with leading bee and insect researchers in the world of pollination, hosted by Dr. Kirsten Traynor.

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We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments in the show notes of this episode or: questions@beekeepingtodaypodcast.com

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at www.beeculture.com

Bee Culture Magazine

Thank you for listening! 

Podcast music: Be Strong by Young Presidents; Epilogue by Musicalman; Walking in Paris by Studio Le Bus; Original guitar background instrumental by Jeff Ott

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC

Growing Planet Media, LLC

Transcript

S4, E44 – Earth Day Update From Dr. Jonathan Lundgren

[music]

Jeff Ott: Welcome to Beekeeping Today podcast, presented by Bee Culture. Beekeeping Today podcast is your source for Beekeeping news, information and entertainment. I'm Jeff Ott.

Kim Flottum: I'm Kim Flottum.

Global Patties: Hey Jeff and Kim. Today's sponsor is Global Patties. They're a family operated business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honeybees. It's a good time to think about honeybee nutrition. Feeding your hive's protein supplement patties will ensure that they produce strong and healthy colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Now is a great time to consider what type of patty is right for your area and your honeybees. Global offers a variety of standard patties as well as custom patties to meet your needs. No matter where you are, Global is ready to serve you out of their manufacturing plants in Airdrie, Alberta, and in Butte, Montana or from distribution depots across the continent. Visit them today at www.globalpatties.com

Jeff: Thanks Sherry and thank you Global Patties. Each week we get to talk about how much we appreciate our sponsor support, and we know you'd rather we get right to talk about beekeeping. However, our great sponsors are critical to help making all of this happen from the transcripts, the hosting fees, the software, the hardware, the microphones, the subscriptions, the recorders, they enable each episode.

With that, thanks to Bee Culture magazine for continuing their presenting sponsorship of this podcast. Bee Culture's been the magazine for American beekeeping since 1873. Subscribe to Bee Culture today. Hey everybody, thanks for joining us. We're really happy you're here. Before we get started, just a quick reminder to subscribe or follow Beekeeping Today podcast and give us a five star rating, it really does help.

Also, we are now adding complete transcripts of each episode on the website after the show notes, check them out. You can also leave questions and comments online. Under each show, you can leave a comment, ask a question, reply to a question hours or listeners. Click on leave a comment at the top of the episode's show notes to join the discussion. Have you listened to an episode and thought, "That person sounds really interesting and I'd like to know more about them?" Well, now you can. Each episode links to a guest profile. Each profile has a guest photo, bio, contact information including Instagram and Twitter details if they have them. Check it out.

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Hey, everybody we hope you had an enjoyable holiday weekend no matter how you celebrated it. Happy earth day or is it week or is it day? I'm not-- Anyways, earth day is this coming Friday April 22nd and in recognition of that day we've invited Dr. Jonathan Lundgren back to the show to talk about his work at Blue Dasher Farm, and with the Dice's foundation's research on regenerative agriculture and soil conservation. Kim will join us in that conversation. We first learned that Jonathan in the Peter Nelson film The Pollinators. If you've not seen it, do yourself a favor and rent it online at your earliest opportunity. If only for the photography alone, Peter has been a guest on the podcast a couple of times, search for it.

The film follows the bloom, talking with and filming migratory beekeepers and researchers several of whom we've had as guests in the podcast including Davey Hackenberg, Samuel Ramsey and today's guest Jonathan Lundgren. Peter is a beekeeper himself and his love of bees and his respect for all those involved in the pollination business is readily seen in his film. The film really captures the challenges facing beekeepers who make a living hauling their bees across the country, as well as the challenges facing the growers.

Well, let's get right to the interview with Jonathan Lundgren, but first a quick message from our friends at Strong Microbials.

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Jeff: Hey everybody, welcome back. Sitting across the virtual Zoom table right now is our friend of the podcast Dr. Jonathan Lundgren. Jonathan, welcome back to Beekeeping Today podcast.

Jonathan Lundgren: Yes, it's great to hear you guys again and see everybody.

Jeff: [laughs] Good to hear you again Jonathan. Well, Jonathan for those who don't know you and haven't-- Maybe it's been a while since they've seen the film The Pollinator and that's how I was introduced to you and the work that you do, you give us your background a little quick bio of what you're doing there.

Jonathan: Sure. I'm an entomologist, got a doctorate down in Illinois, started working for USDA ARS for around 11 years. About six seasons ago, I quit and started something totally different. We have a research non-profit called the DICE's Foundation, and we own a regenerative farm called Blue Dasher Farm here in south Dakota. The DICE's Foundation is trying to save the planet using our food system we're trying to change how science is done in order to usher in an evolution towards a regenerative food system.

Jeff: What is regenerative agriculture?

Jonathan: Well, yes depends on who you talk to. I think of it as having four central elements, soil health, biodiversity or life. Then growing nutritious food and profitably. Those are kind of the four things that I think most regenerative farms focus on.

Jeff: I play the Devil's advocate. Aren't most farms regenerative?

Jonathan: No.

Jeff: I mean they've been doing it for years and years and years. All right, they've been doing it wrong?

Jonathan: Yes. They've been depleted-- Most farms are mining operations, they're not farms they've been extracting the natural resource base of the farm for many, many years and that model of agriculture is actually starting to go away now. We're seeing the cracks in the ice and we need to start re-strategizing how to do this, but the good thing is that we're using science to show that it's probably twice as profitable to go regenerative than it is to stay conventional while you also do things like save the bees and stuff like that. It's a good solution.

Jeff: I just need to come back to this so that we have a better picture of this. This is something completely different than the big tractors with the football field plow behind it and tilling up the field and turning it over and smoothing it out and planting it in rows, it's a little bit different than that?

Jonathan: Yes, it doesn't use tillage, always has living roots on the ground, so there's always plants out there bare space on that soil for bare soil is something we try to avoid regenerative farming. Then so plant diversity becomes really important abandoning agrochemicals or reducing them substantially. Then integrating livestock in are some of the central principles of what a regenerative system is.

Jeff: Well, does send it--

Kim: All sorts of common sense going on here Jonathan.

Jonathan: It does make a lot of sense, but it's not what we know. I mean we've been told that we need to farm simpler and bigger. I think that that was a real myth, and we're starting- the farmers are starting to really pay for it. I mean look at input costs right now for crying out loud. I mean right now everybody's looking at the price of corn, they're you know wringing their hands thinking, "Oh, my gosh eight buck corn, we're going to make some money," but they're not seeing the price of diesel and the price of fertilizers.

There's going to be a lot of people that make a heck of a lot of money off of farming this year, but it ain't the farmers. There's this system that's supporting an industrialized complex that's really hurting the American farmer and killing off the bees while they're at it.

Kim: Well, the one thing that has risen to the top of my attention here is you've got a project going over the next several years called the 1000 farms initiative. It sounds like, "I can't imagine 1000 farms," but it sounds like you can and you're about to do something with 1000 farms. You want to just take a look at that, let us know how-- What it is and how it's going to work.

Jonathan: Yes. Well, we're standing on the edge of a cliff right now in terms of our food system and the state of the planet, climates are changing pretty rapidly. I think it's all hitting us a little bit more personally than it ever used to before extremes are the new normal these days. Honestly as we deplete things like topsoil, we're also losing a lot of species. We're living through this massive extinction event on earth. We we're losing species at a rate that's never happened before. I reckon we've got about 10 years that we need to really reverse these issues. Or else the planet will be fine, but we won't be on it, [laughs] so it needs some bold action in incremental steps as in getting us where we got to go.

We proposed the largest agricultural experiment that's ever been attempted. We'll be doing full ecosystem assessments on 1000 farms across the United States. What we're trying to do there is we're just trying to show empirically. Number one, does regen work no matter where you live and what you grow? Number two, is farmers are developing strategies for transitioning as they've gone this road, can we learn from what they've done in order to make this remove a lot of the risks for folks that want to make a change to their own operations?

Kim: You're talking every crop system that's going on. You're talking cotton in the Southeast, grains in the Midwest, fruits and vegetables in the West, that sort of things. You're looking at all the kinds of crops and all the different kinds of things you're going to have to do to accomplish this with those very different crop requirements?

Jonathan: Yes. We compartmentalize US and Canada eco regions to help us logistically, but within each of those, we focus on certain commodities or food systems. We try to select the dominant ones, so you nailed it in your list, but probably it gets more complicated.

Kim: I can see where gaining information on a regional basis would be incredibly valuable, just because I'm guessing that even if you've got a crop, you're looking at a crop. You've mentioned cranberries in Wisconsin, but there's also other crops in Wisconsin that could adapt the information that you gather on cranberries and apply it to their corn or their whatever?

Jonathan: That's our hope is that these will have knock on benefits and the practices probably have to be optimized for each food system that we examine, but I think there'll be some consistencies there.

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Kim: Always in research there's the bigger question. How is this funded? [chuckles]

Jonathan: Partnerships, right now we're talking with various philanthropic groups. We know how much it costs us. It costs us about $7,500 per farm to do the analyses. We know what our target is. You can do the math, figure out how much this is going to cost us. We allow people to sponsor farms for inclusion. We've been using that model to help recruit farm sponsors. Even it could come from donors or philanthropic groups or grower organizations or corporate sponsors that are interested in changing their supply chain, or have sustainability goals that they need to try to meet, so there's a lot of options there.

Kim: I guess, a grass-roots thing right here would be to anybody listening is, if you are working or know of an organization in your community or that you're associated with, that might be interested in this. How can they get your information to the people who sign the checks?

Jonathan: Yes, www.ecdysis.bio. E-C-D-Y-S-I-S.B-I-O. That's where you can find all the info on this.

Jeff: We'll include those links in the show notes as well.

Jonathan: We place beehives on regeneratively raised ranches versus conventionally managed ranches here in Eastern South Dakota last summer. Hives gained I think it was something like 20% more weight on the regeneratively produced ranches. They had almost no Varroa mites at the end of the season.

Jeff: Oh, wow.

Jonathan: We're going to examine which of them survived and which ones didn't, but there was no treatments on any of those hives.

Jeff: That was my follow up question. [chuckles] If there was any treatments on this, that's pretty amazing.

Jonathan: No, Varroa mites has never been the problem. Varroa mites is just a stress or it's a symptom, unless we stop poisoning and starving our bees varroa mites it'll go away. That's what we are showing with our research.

Kim: I'm going to guess for most of the people listening, that's why I'm listening is why is this important to me as a beekeeper?

Jonathan: This is the answer to the bee problem. Honestly, when the bees start dying, when did they start dying? 2006, 2008. Then how much money have we spent on the bee problem?

Kim: I think- and even- I don't know if it's a bigger issue, but certainly another issue going on with this is that if my bees are living in an environment where you are using far less inputs that are toxic to the environment, the better my bees are going to be, no matter what. That sounds exactly what I would be. I was looking for someplace to put 20 colonies. I want to be in one of those thousand farms.

Jonathan: That's right. As we make all of the farms regenerative, it'll make the world a lot better for bees. That's essentially the issue. We spent hundreds of millions of dollars treating this like it was a bee problem. We lost just as many bees as this year, as we did 2008. [chuckles] It's not working, so we have to understand that this isn't a bee problem. We have to treat it as such. That's the only way we're going to get out to this mess. When we started Blue Dash, I said, ”Oh, yes, we're going to help save bees." Then I started working on cropping systems and I got. Everything in the bee world ended up getting quiet. It was like, "What's that Lundgren doing?" "He's not working on beehives anymore or whatever." I'm like, "Actually, we are." "This is the only answer for the bee problem." It doesn't necessarily involve a lot of hives. We've always carried hives of course.

Jeff: We've had quite a few, or I should say several guests pointing out and working on the bee forage issue and bee forage been an issue or lack thereof. This fits right hand in glove with that discussion. [crosstalk]

Jonathan: Anything else? It's a good one.

Kim: I think another thing people listening to this should be interested in is, if you are doing far less land management, should I call it in terms of tillage and plowing and harrowing and what have you, you are releasing less carbon. You are addressing some of the climate issues that are going on, so you're getting two birds with one stone here. You're regenerating the soil and producing an environment that's healthier. You are not producing toxins and you are not releasing carbon that's going to do stuff down the road.

Jonathan: It sounds like a pretty good answer. While you make twice as much profit, huh, that sounds all right to bees.

Kim: My last six months, I've been spending some amount of time away from bees and more on looking at what's going on with the environment and what can be done to, I don't know, fix it, but at least help it recover. Farming is the big one. You can talk about fossil fuels, you can talk about all of the other things that are going on, but if you could turn farming carbon release off, you could take a deep breath and go, "Okay, now we got a minute to breathe."

Jonathan: Yes, 40% of the terrestrial land surfaces of our planet is agro-ecosystem, but we manage. That's a hell of a tool. Isn't it?

Kim: Exactly. What can I do? I'm a hobby beekeeper out here in Ohio.

Jonathan: Number one, change your life. [laughs] Know where your food is coming from. Know your farmer. That's step one. Put your phone away, after you're listening to the podcast after your, [crosstalk]

Jeff: Oh, I was just getting ready to say yes--

Kim: Absolutely, yes.

Jeff: -after the end of the podcast.

Jonathan: Connect with the natural world again. Beekeepers are some of the best naturalists that I've ever met. People ask me, "What would you do if you had a magic wand to save the planet?" I would say, "We've just lost what it means to be human." If I had a magic wand, I would take and remove everybody's socks and shoes and force them to walk through a Prairie for a while and feel, and experience the natural world again through all of their senses. I think that that's the kind of connections that we need again in order to get our way through this. Unless we fundamentally change or rediscover who we are slowing our lives down, the bees are just a Canary in the coal mine, aren't they?

Jeff: Back to of the thousand farms, I have a couple quick questions, or maybe not so quick. First, is there any specific sized farm you're looking for, or that you're working with?

Jonathan: We would like our samples to be representative of that, mean for each region, for each food system, so kind of what we're shooting at.

Jeff: At a high level, what do you do when you identify a farm? What's your step from identifying it through to actually fulfilling and getting them up to speed as one of your test farms?

Jonathan: What we end up doing is, we put out a call, we have about 850 farms registered so far. We don't know where we're going to be able to sample of the farms that register, but we do know that we won't be able to sample any of the farms that didn't register, so that's our first step is to ask for people to take two minutes and put your farm in. There's about, I don't know, 15 yes or no questions or something like that, but we need to know the location of what you've been doing on there. It doesn't take long, and then based on that, we could look at different food systems, as well as regions and clusters are going to make life a lot easier for us, so the logistics of this experiment are daunting. Having farms that are clustered together makes our jobs a heck of a lot easier.

Jeff: What are you sampling in those farms?

Jonathan: We'll be looking at carbon levels, deep carbon, soil micronutrient levels, physical chemical properties of the soils, microbiology in the soils, water, invertebrates, insects, plants, birds, mammals, nutrient analysis of the plants themselves, as well as their yields and then economics and management decisions on each of these farms, so it's a lot of work. These are going to be the best study farms ever.

Jeff: [laughs] Are you going to have teams working with these folks?

Jonathan: Yes, yes, we deploy teams of eight to 10 for weeks at a time or a week at a time or so into each food system and then we just blitzkrieg through and get the information that we need. One of the things we desperately need and we're running our bee program on a shoestring right now, but we need people that are willing to help either by donating nucs or support in order to get beehives on somebody, so we could demonstrate the impact of regen on honeybee production. I think that this could really help the industry a lot.

Kim: Well, real quick, I'm going to interrupt here then you've got a cluster of farms in somewhere in Ohio, let's say you or your organization, or somebody could be contacting Ohio state beekeepers, or Michigan beekeepers, or whoever taking it the next step and say, "We need 100 colonies on the best land you're ever going to put bees on, do I have any volunteers?"

Jonathan: Yes, right. That's a great idea. I think that's what we need to be doing, isn't it? Then it's a matter of studying those, so we'd have to get some sensors deployed that could collect data real time, but I think that that'd totally be doable.

Kim: Well, you've got a lot of states have inspectors. There's some foot in the door with identifying at least current status when they move in and then your team could be coming and monitoring it from moving into the end of the season or whenever your program is over on that particular plot, but for people listening, if you've got a state association and you're looking for a good place to put bees, what's that webpage that we're going to go to?

Jonathan: ecdysis.bio. E-C-D-Y-S-I-S.B-I-O.

Kim: All that information is there, right?

Jonathan: Yes.

Kim: Okay. Good. All right. Well, there you go.

Jeff: Well, that sounds really interesting. You're looking for bees on each one of these farms, or at least in several of the farms to be able to determine the quality impact that the regenerative farm approach really does have on the bees, and it'll be really interesting.

Jonathan: Yes, I think that could be a really helpful outcome. We've tried a bunch of different stuff over the last few years, holistic approaches like probiotics and vitamin C supplements and all these different nutritional supplements, and our bees just crashed every year, and we put them on these regenerative ranges and we watch them thrive, and you're like, "Yes, why am I peddling around with inputs right now, when this is obviously the answer that we need to be doubling down on.

Kim: Well, I'll go back and I'll say it again. If you're looking for the best place in the world to put your bees, get a hold of one of these farms and get your truck ready and get them moved. From a farmer's perspective, I donate my farm. I raised my hand, I volunteered my farm. I'm guessing that you've got a book of rules and regulations I'm going to have to follow.

Jonathan: No, not a bit. You have to answer a two minute survey about where your farm is, then you have to point us in the direction of your farm or field, specific field that we're interested in, and then at the end of the season, there's like a 45 minute survey that you'd have to answer. Lynette's real nice, she's nice to talk to, it's not much of a hard shift and then you get $7,500 with the data about your farm.

Kim: You're looking for farmers who are basically practicing not industrial farming, but something a little less rigorous, and are there some guidelines or boundaries or something?

Jonathan: Well, we're interest in farms that span a continuum of management practices, but yes, we want the leaders in regen to be well represented in this study because they're one of the positive control groups, right? Then we want true conventional farms out there as well, because those are the other control group for the two extremes, but then, depending on most farms end up falling in the middle somewhere, don't they? We can use that to partition. We're interested in established farms, but then we're also interested in farms that are interested in transitioning, so adopting more regenerative practices, like no till cover crops, abandoning pesticides, livestock integration, compost, compost Ts, those kinds of things into there and operation because then we'll study those farms, we'll repeatedly return to those farms over the next 10 years.

Jeff: These aren't necessarily the entire farm converted to, [crosstalk]

Jonathan: No, it's just one field.

Jeff: One field.

Jonathan: Our experimental unit is the field.

Kim: For us, non-farmers one field is how many acres?

Jonathan: Well, it depends on the commodity, but usually it's, around 10 acres, or to 160 acres or whatever.

Kim: A section, yes. Are you recommending if I'm-- I'm a farmer and I want to transition and I'm looking at what you want to happen on this piece of land, and one of the things you want to have happen is you just mentioned cover crops. Who recommends the cover crop I can plant there?

Jonathan: Well, the farmers in the region are going to be some of the teachers there. That's built into the whole thousand farm model is that there's a support network for people that are interested in making change, and we're learning from the farmers that are the leaders in this in order to see how they make changes to their own operations back when they got started. Lots and lots of information on what to use and how to implement it. We're going to consolidate that down into best management practices for each food system and regions to make that easier for farmers.

Kim: Well, that sounds, I guess again, I'll go back to the people that want to transition, how do I put this? I don't want to get left guessing, how's that?

Jonathan: Yes, yes, yes, yes, no, no, you won't be, there's lots of support, so, yes, I'm not worried about that bit.

Kim: Okay, good, good, because in my experience, first, I worked at extension a bunch of years ago and my experience was with the farmers I work, if I was left guessing I went back to what I used to do, because I know how to do it, as opposed to learning what I need to be doing different. You mentioned the best management book, I'd like to get a hold of that best management book. I'll tell you that right now.

Jonathan: We're writing them as we go a little bit, by allowing farmers to decide what those look like.

Kim: Good. What have we missed? We got 1,000 farm program coming up, you got farmers in transition, you got a place to put bees, it's better than anyplace else on the planet. What am I missing here?

Jonathan: Yes, I don't know. Now we need to start thinking about what regenerative beekeeping looks like, don't we? Is it all just hive placement? What do you guys think? What does that look like to you, all ready? I don't think you can use all these inputs that we've been doing, that's not regenerative, is it?

Kim: How do I put this. My experience in the last few several years has been, I'm tired of putting poison in a beehive. You have a giant step in the right direction, I think. From a beekeeper who wants to be regenerative, I'm going to start looking at what you're looking at and keep doing what I'm not doing, is putting poison in a beehive.

Jeff: Again, I hate playing the devil's advocate all the time, but a lot of times you're stuck with where you're at. If the farmers around you are not regenerative, and you have nothing but acres of soybean or acres of corn or whatever the commodity is, you're like, SOL, at that point, unless you can move your bees around and find an ideal location, one of the 1,000 farms.

Jonathan: You're SOL, if you leave them there though too, aren't you? So you're SOL no matter what. You get to choose, do you really want to lay down and die, or do you want to fight this?

Jeff: Lay down and die? You're right Jonathan, that's--

Jonathan: It's there's one way you're going to die on right now [crosstalk].

Jeff: Yes.

Kim: That's where I'm taking this book you've got on best management practices.

Jonathan: We already have one for Almonds, you guys can look it up, where [crosstalk] developed one for almonds all ready.

Kim: In a heartbeat, but I got no almonds growing here in Ohio-

Jonathan: I know.

Kim: -but I got corn across the road. I could take your corn information, go talk to this guy and say, look, more corn, less money, more profit, and my bees are alive. What do you think? I'm interested.

Jonathan: We'll get it to you, don't worry.

Kim: Okay, good. Jonathan, this has been enlightening.

Jeff: Yes.

Kim: I am more than interested in talking to you down the road again. We are more than interested in talking to you to see where this first year has gone, or even in the middle of the first year, if you're seeing some positive results, or it's skewing in a direction you hadn't anticipated that maybe we need to be aware of. Keep us informed, okay?

Jonathan: Oh, absolutely. We'll just make the Earth Day, the Ecdysis podcast about, we'll just give you an annual update.

Jeff: We'll count on that. That can be our annual update will be Earth Day Week, we'll have Jonathan back every year going forward.

[laughter]

Jonathan: I've pissed enough people off, right? Isn't that how it works?

Jeff: If they need that little bit of motivation each year, they know where to find it, so I think it'd be good. Jonathan, I enjoy having you on the show, especially on Earth Week, I do like that idea. We were talking before we started recording, if you want to give us a brief update or an update along the way, you can send this audio postcard and we'd be happy to run it and give an update for our listeners. Again, thank you for for joining us on Beekeeping Today this year.

[music]

Jonathan: It's always a pleasure to talk to you guys. Keep doing what you're doing. This is great.

Jeff: Thank you.

Kim: Thanks, Jonathan and good luck with your project this year, and I can't wait to talk to you again.

Jonathan: Okay, take care guys.

Jeff: Bye. Kim, I really enjoyed having Jonathan back on the show. He was such a big part of the pollinators film, seeing him hold that piece of dirt and the dirt in his hands and just how sterile and horrible that soil was, and just crumbling and not an impact on the ground. His message about that has really struck a nerve for me. It's so important and I'm glad to see he's continuing his work. It helps us all.

Kim: Not only continuing, but expanding it, incredibly expanding. He's taking not only the soil, but all of the things above the soil and other things below the surface of the soil and making them healthy, wealthy and hopefully ask ways on what we should be doing in terms of how we treat the planet.

Jeff: Oh, absolutely. Bring it back around full circle to bees. His statement about the bees that were on the regenerative farm acreage are healthier, had a lower infestation of varroa. I think he said no, but I'll go with lower just because and I think that is true. I think that the healthier the honeybee is, the better they're able to fend off the varroa and or all the associated viruses and diseases the mites bring.

Kim: Healthy comes from the stresses of the world they live in, the toxins on all of the plants that they visit, the toxins in the beeswax that they live on. All of the things that are in putting and stressing them all of the time, you take away most of that and you're going to have much healthier bees without having to do anything. They're just better off because they don't have all of the stuff in their life.

Jeff: And increase the abundance of the different things they can forage on too.

Kim: Yes, exactly.

[music]

Jeff: Variety is the spice of life. That about wraps it up for this episode. Before we go, I want to encourage our listeners to rate us five stars on Apple podcast, wherever you download and stream the show. Your vote helps other beekeepers find us quicker. Even better, write a review and let other beekeepers looking for a new podcast know what you like. You can get there directly from our website by clicking on reviews along the top of any webpage.

As always, we thank Bee Culture, the magazine for American beekeeping for their continued support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. We want to thank our regular episode sponsor, Global Patties. Check them out at globalpatties.com. Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of this podcast. Check out their probiotic line at strongmicrobials.com. We want to thank Better Bee for their longtime support. Check out all their great beekeeping supplies at betterbee.com.

Thanks to Northern Bee Books for their support of bee books, old, new, with Kim Flottum. Check out all of their books at northernbeebooks.co.uk. Finally, and most importantly, we want to thank you the Beekeeping Today Podcast listener for joining us on the show. Feel free to leave us comments and questions that leave a comment section under each episode on the website. We'd love to hear from you. Thanks a lot, everybody.

[00:37:37] [END OF AUDIO]

Jonathan Lundgren Profile Photo

Jonathan Lundgren

Director

Dr. Lundgren is an agroecologist, Director ECDYSIS Foundation, and CEO for Blue Dasher Farm. Lundgren’s research and education programs are helping applied science evolve in ways that foster the evolution of a regenerative food system. One of his priorities is to re-envision how science is conducted to help fuel a revolution in regenerative agriculture.

He regularly interacts with the public and farmers around the world regarding ecologically intensive farming and how diversity fuels the resilience and productivity of an agroecosystem and rural communities.