Today, we pick up on the third installment of our exploration of the Honey Bee Health Coalition’s programs as we talk with Pete Berthelsen. Pete runs the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, a non-profit organization working to improve the habitat for all bees and butterflies, anywhere people can make it happen. They have projects in 12 states and are looking to get as many more as they can. They work with the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), trying to get seed mixes used on these 24 million set aside acres more bee and butterfly friendly, among many other projects. That means working with and coordinating activities between the USDA, seed company organizations, farmers, commercial beekeepers and others. The CRP has been in place since 1985 and has been successful in improving the soil, water quality of the land rented from farmers so it can be improved. Mostly, however, it is planted to grasses, and not pollinator friendly habitat.
It’s no wonder then that he’s intimately involved with the Honey Bee Health Coalition’s Honey Bee Nutrition and Forage program. Focusing on pollinator health and habitat is what he does, every day. The 12 states his Bee and Butterfly projects are in are prime locations for commercial honey production, the monarch butterfly migration route and very productive agricultural land.
So, when all of the members of the HBHC sat down at the table – Ag Supply companies, conservationists, food producers and food buyers, commercial beekeepers, honey packers and a host of others – there was some uneasiness in the room. But as Pete puts it, to solve a problem as big as turning around modern agriculture, you have to be a lumper, not a splitter. All of the people involved have to be part of the solution. No one can advance at the cost of other’s moving down. And Pete is working to make this happen for all the bees and all the birds, and better soil and clean water.
Find out what more this arm of the Honey Bee Health Coalition is doing to improve the health of our honey bees, and butterflies, too.
First, though we talk with Zach Techner of Cascadia Venom Collection. Zach recently stopped by Jeff’s house to ‘collect’ a large Bald Faced Hornets’ nest and a smaller in-ground Yellowjacket nest. This time of year, beekeepers are typically the first to receive calls to remove ‘bees’… and they’re typically not honey bees but hornets. Zach talks with Jeff about his full-time business collecting hornets for labs who use the venom and provides some information all beekeepers should know about hornets.
It’s an exciting episode so listen today. If you like what you hear, subscribe/follow, leave a review and let all your friends know about Beekeeping Today Podcast.
Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:
Honey Bee Health Coalition - https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org Bee and Butterfly Fund - https://www.beeandbutterflyfund.org Cascadia Venom Collection - https://www.cascadiavenomcollection.com Honey Bee Obscura Podcast - https://www.honeybeeobscura.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 ensure 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!
We welcome Betterbee as sponsor of today's episode. BetterBee’s mission is to support every beekeeper with excellent customer service, 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
Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today 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 quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.
HiveAlive is the #1 feed supplement for honeybees worldwide. HiveAlive has been proven to give more bees, more honey, improved overwinter survival and improved intestinal wellbeing. It contains a unique blend of seaweed extracts, thyme and lemongrass. Whilst it is unusual for bees to be fed seaweed, the practice of adding seaweed to other animal feed is long established. Seaweeds are fed to animals for multiple benefits...