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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
bees in trees,

if lucky enough to have a good size hollow, bees will build up the near the top, then fill the top with honey before they expand down (bees not silly, heat rises, trees well insulated from extremes of exterior environment). Assuming a good deep hollow, it is doubtful that bees would venture down into the cold un- bee regulated depths of the bottom of the hollow. In the bottom of the hollow where moisture will drip. Two types of organism are capable of creating the hollow, ie capable of breaking down lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose. One is the borers, chewers and biters like termites, beetle, and some birds. Borers often make initial hole, or a branch snaps off and can't heal quick enough, rain enters, fungi take over, and the as rain follows gravity, the fungal created hollow progresses downwards. The bottom of a tree would be the wet site of fungal decomposition- Fungi who are natures star recyclers, brilliant metabolisers of many complex chemicals inc hydrocarbons, so they will also munch down on any wax fallen and dead insects etc. The bottom of the hollow tree would have many different life forms in a complex, balanced microcosm.

I believe nothing exists in a vacuum, so it is without question that the fungal and bacterial based ecology would have some relationship with the bees above, but the relevant question is how relevant? I've got a few edible fungi, and countless other fungi species growing allover the property and I've seen chooks peck at them occasionally but not yet bees. I always wondered if fungus would be a part of their self serve pharmacy. It is without doubt that both bacteria and fungal species play a role in bee biome, and it is is also reasonable to assume that the biological community with a bees body would be influenced by her exterior environment- but how much overlap is there, how much passive or active maniupluation of the fungal or bacterial genome occurs within the bee? ( Recall bacteria can transfer genes horizontally, and also endosymbionant theory- the two greatest success straetgies of life as we know it- mitochondria and chloroplasts).
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Farming/ organic orcharding- bee biomes

And one more thought about the same. bear with me..

You won't hear many people say they like to spray, but I love spraying my fruit trees. I love building, growing and spraying compost teas. An AACT (Actively Aerated Compost tea- kudos to Elaine Ingham, soil scientist), is a compost tea made with multitude of beneficial species that you spray on to the foliage, flowers, bark and soil. Some of these species will colonise the leaf surface, bark etc and play roles in disease control and plant health. What goes into it? food for multiplication, good quality inoculant ( LABs, or bacterial/ fungal composts, worm castings, and also flowers and green plant bits off healthy plants).The inoculant determines the bacterial community you end up with. Every surface everywhere has thousands of bacteria on it. By the fact that you're not dead, we know that most are harmless and many are benfeficial or intergral to health and survival. So the flowers and leaves have flower bacteria ( who can live in the air), and the woody compost will have fungal- soil and bark bacteria and fungi, who like soil or sheltered environments.

Same question as above- if I spray a AACT onto a blossom, does
a) the flower manipulate the bacterial community of genome in any way, or
b) goes gene expression/ or genotype of inoculant species change in the new arboreal world above the ground instead of in the soil? and
c) do any of these species coincide with the bee biome- aka organic and biodynamic farmers- is their worth for bees not only in absence of harmful things ( chemicals) but also the presence of good things ( high quality nutrition and diverse beneficial bacterial package?
d) I give my bees laboratory cultured, specific bee bacteria quarterly. As a bee biome is not represented in her gut but also in her mouth, it is reasonable to assume that there is a two way transfer of bacteria, and hence bees would in influence their environment as well.

Thoughts anyone?
Sorry i can't do small thoughts. welcome to the ADD brain. Tired of trying to change
 

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Farming/ organic orcharding- bee biomes

And one more thought about the same. bear with me..

You won't hear many people say they like to spray, but I love spraying my fruit trees. I love building, growing and spraying compost teas. An AACT (Actively Aerated Compost tea- kudos to Elaine Ingham, soil scientist), is a compost tea made with multitude of beneficial species that you spray on to the foliage, flowers, bark and soil. Some of these species will colonise the leaf surface, bark etc and play roles in disease control and plant health. What goes into it? food for multiplication, good quality inoculant ( LABs, or bacterial/ fungal composts, worm castings, and also flowers and green plant bits off healthy plants).The inoculant determines the bacterial community you end up with. Every surface everywhere has thousands of bacteria on it. By the fact that you're not dead, we know that most are harmless and many are benfeficial or intergral to health and survival. So the flowers and leaves have flower bacteria ( who can live in the air), and the woody compost will have fungal- soil and bark bacteria and fungi, who like soil or sheltered environments.

Same question as above- if I spray a AACT onto a blossom, does
a) the flower manipulate the bacterial community of genome in any way, or
b) goes gene expression/ or genotype of inoculant species change in the new arboreal world above the ground instead of in the soil? and
c) do any of these species coincide with the bee biome- aka organic and biodynamic farmers- is their worth for bees not only in absence of harmful things ( chemicals) but also the presence of good things ( high quality nutrition and diverse beneficial bacterial package?
d) I give my bees laboratory cultured, specific bee bacteria quarterly. As a bee biome is not represented in her gut but also in her mouth, it is reasonable to assume that there is a two way transfer of bacteria, and hence bees would in influence their environment as well.

Thoughts anyone?
Sorry i can't do small thoughts. welcome to the ADD brain. Tired of trying to change
I believe you work harder at beekeeping than I do. I didn't know there was bacteria that could be fed to bees. I provide flowers, clean dry housing, a protected location vs a vis predators and clumsy creatures, and pretty much rob first week of July and a little fall robbing in November. I never take more than half of their honey, in November I take about 1/4. I figure they can provide what they require and they seem to.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I believe you work harder at beekeeping than I do. I didn't know there was bacteria that could be fed to bees. I provide flowers, clean dry housing, a protected location vs a vis predators and clumsy creatures, and pretty much rob first week of July and a little fall robbing in November. I never take more than half of their honey, in November I take about 1/4. I figure they can provide what they require and they seem to.
You sound like a very good beekeeper! (ie. intelligent and practical and kind).

Yeah my philosphy is same, leave them alone, i've tried the frame swapping and all that, but now I just provide a big box with insulation and let them figure it out themselves. I inspect monthly in warm months, sprinkle bee microbes on with icing sugar two or three time over the season, don't feed otherwise (I want tough bees), leave them 8 frame of honey for winter in a 2 deep, 8 fr hive, and thats pretty much it. Where I live isn't a very floriferous area- it's alpine countryside dominated by grazing, horse paddocks and big sheds on green lawns. Very little horticulture or agriculture. Next to national forest so when it flowers it's all on, and the honey is very aromatic and bold, v nice indeed, but they flower every 2-6 years and flowering events are all or nothing. I'm a bit of a keen grower and only my tiny acre and a half I've put about 25 trees, 90% of which are bee trees, and a few small 'meadow gardens'. Gift of quality not quantity. I'm giving a talk at my bee club next month about growing for bees and hope to inspire a few more people to plant a bit more..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You sound like a very good beekeeper! (ie. intelligent and practical and kind).

Yeah my philosphy is same, leave them alone, i've tried the frame swapping and all that, but now I just provide a big box with insulation and let them figure it out themselves. I inspect monthly in warm months, sprinkle bee microbes on with icing sugar two or three time over the season, don't feed otherwise (I want tough bees), leave them 8 frame of honey for winter in a 2 deep, 8 fr hive, and thats pretty much it. Where I live isn't a very floriferous area- it's alpine countryside dominated by grazing, horse paddocks and big sheds on green lawns. Very little horticulture or agriculture. Next to national forest so when it flowers it's all on, and the honey is very aromatic and bold, v nice indeed, but they flower every 2-6 years and flowering events are all or nothing. I'm a bit of a keen grower and only my tiny acre and a half I've put about 25 trees, 90% of which are bee trees, and a few small 'meadow gardens'. Gift of quality not quantity. I'm giving a talk at my bee club next month about growing for bees and hope to inspire a few more people to plant a bit more..
oh yeah ps, and about the first spiel about spraying trees with AACT, it is primarily for the tree and soil health. But between the inter-connectnessness of all things, and the elephant- in- the- room fact that bacteria are crucial to all biological systems and organisms, one can't help wondering about the potential for deeper and more complex inter relationships between plants and bees. Whether the above theory holds water or not, I am sure the flower- bee relationship is more complex and sophisticated than we currently know ( and it already looks very impressive with what we do know!). The more we know, it would appear that symbioants are more common than we previously thought. nature is wonderful. Wonderful = full of wonder. Holding onto a sense of wonder will stop the soul from growing mediocre.
 

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I have 2 lots, a house on one. When I bought in 2001 there was one 5 gallon fruitless mulberry planted in the back yard and about a 12 ft cedar elm at the back corner of the corner lot. Other than that bermuda grass and weeds, St augustine grass in the front yard and the back of the corner lot. I planted 2 eldarica pines and a live oak that are still alive today. Had some fails, red oak died of drought, couldn't water enough, and so did the sweetgum and some kind of chinese tree the grasshoppers ate. I planted abelia and queen elizabeth roses from cuttings from my old house, turks cap and bridal veil spirea. That was 2001. In 2010 some fool of a pest control company killed off every pollinator in the neighborhood and half the possums by poisoning the honey he removed from a rent house that was full of bees. In 2011 I bought a hive full of africanized bees with a Cordovan queen for $300 and when they took off I let them. Got a warranty hive with 2 frames of bees and a good queen in August 2011, ignored her advice to put it in deep shade, stuck it in full sun, and learned to raise bees in a full blown drought with dearth. I think we had about 58 days over 100 degrees that summer, it was hot in a bee suit. I planted fruit trees and enlarged my vegetable garden after I got bees. The africans came back, long story, I think I have a journal on here somewhere....

Anyway I treat the yard with beneficial nematodes for chiggers and fire ants. (If you don't have those you don't want them.) And I have a huge compost pile and 4 ponds. But I trust the earth to have the right bacteria, especially when I use compost and mulch as fertilizer and try not to kill off the bacteria that is there. Although I think we lose a lot during the droughts. I can't even keep all of my property watered, ground around here is bone dry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To further my comment #5, i just watched a little short film about fungi/ bacteria/ be relationships, confirming what I have been certain of but previously had not found research to confirm .


Not the first film narrated by Samuel Ramsey (all respect there) bu the second film, titled 'Sym bee osis'

If you don't want to watch, here is synopsis
Well people are starting to research about the bee- plant symbiosis, and it turns out ( unsurprisingly for me) that it is actually a 3 player symbiosis- bees, microbes, and plants. Crucial in pollen storage, propolis deposition, conversion of nectar top honey, royal jelly production and more, microbes ( broadly referring to bacteria, fungi and archaea) are not only helpful, they are essential. Bees like all living things, are so interconnected with the microbial world that to deprive them sees hives severely sickened, with fewer workers, smaller queens and starving brood. Colony collapse, anyone thinking? We haven't had here in Aus but I follow beekeeping in other countries. Colony collapse, it was thought was not entirely attributable to nicotinoids, but they were asking the wrong questions. Bee keepers have observed that fungicide hurt bees more than pesticides, but research had shown the fungicides don't hurt bees directly. What they do is smash the intrinsic microbiome that's fundamental to their fitness. Bees get all bacteria and fungi from flowers ( just as they could pick up AFB). Lesson- don't spray chems. Certainly in a garden or natural habitat, there should be enough biodiversity that in the complex food web, bad guys are kept in check- this includes not only the arthropods and insects we can see but the unseen world of very small life. Just because we can't see it, does not mean it's not as dynamic if not more so than 'higher' life forms. After all bacteria, archaea and fungi have been around for a very very long time- one of lifes big success stories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have 2 lots, a house on one. When I bought in 2001 there was one 5 gallon fruitless mulberry planted in the back yard and about a 12 ft cedar elm at the back corner of the corner lot. Other than that bermuda grass and weeds, St augustine grass in the front yard and the back of the corner lot. I planted 2 eldarica pines and a live oak that are still alive today. Had some fails, red oak died of drought, couldn't water enough, and so did the sweetgum and some kind of chinese tree the grasshoppers ate. I planted abelia and queen elizabeth roses from cuttings from my old house, turks cap and bridal veil spirea. That was 2001. In 2010 some fool of a pest control company killed off every pollinator in the neighborhood and half the possums by poisoning the honey he removed from a rent house that was full of bees. In 2011 I bought a hive full of africanized bees with a Cordovan queen for $300 and when they took off I let them. Got a warranty hive with 2 frames of bees and a good queen in August 2011, ignored her advice to put it in deep shade, stuck it in full sun, and learned to raise bees in a full blown drought with dearth. I think we had about 58 days over 100 degrees that summer, it was hot in a bee suit. I planted fruit trees and enlarged my vegetable garden after I got bees. The africans came back, long story, I think I have a journal on here somewhere....

Anyway I treat the yard with beneficial nematodes for chiggers and fire ants. (If you don't have those you don't want them.) And I have a huge compost pile and 4 ponds. But I trust the earth to have the right bacteria, especially when I use compost and mulch as fertilizer and try not to kill off the bacteria that is there. Although I think we lose a lot during the droughts. I can't even keep all of my property watered, ground around here is bone dry.
Some bacteria make what is called an endospore. When times get rough, the bacteria packs up genetic material into a tough little protein case,that goes into a dormant state. The bacteria then dies. But the endospore can hang around for years, maybe centuries. When conditions are right, it will become a bacteria again.

So don't worry that it gets bone dry. If there's a niche, or resource to be be exploited, something will always find a way. Evolution, inc adaption is constant and ongoing and hence bacterial & fungal species will be well adapted to your part of the world. Given that under .5% bacteria are harmful to us , we'll assume a similar figure for the rest of the biotic world, and then make the further comforting assumption that the bacterial life who is hanging out in your bone dry envirnment is either beneficial or harmless, and moreover, persistent.
 

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Some bacteria make what is called an endospore. When times get rough, the bacteria packs up genetic material into a tough little protein case,that goes into a dormant state. The bacteria then dies. But the endospore can hang around for years, maybe centuries. When conditions are right, it will become a bacteria again.

So don't worry that it gets bone dry. If there's a niche, or resource to be be exploited, something will always find a way. Evolution, inc adaption is constant and ongoing and hence bacterial & fungal species will be well adapted to your part of the world. Given that under .5% bacteria are harmful to us , we'll assume a similar figure for the rest of the biotic world, and then make the further comforting assumption that the bacterial life who is hanging out in your bone dry envirnment is either beneficial or harmless, and moreover, persistent.
I have thick mulch on the lot, the one the garden is on, with only a strip of grass streetside left. And since I water the garden and my pine trees, and fenceline plantings, it doesn't get bone dry. The back yard and the bee yard, they get bone dry. Water bill is what I can live with. The bees are doing amazingly well. My large swarm hive of oh about 2017 did send off a swarm this year but the young queen came back mated and laying a nice pattern, bees look good. They have some honey and I let them keep it, they have more mouths to feed, and my other hive gave me about 3 gallons without cleaning them out, so I have enough for this year. I didn't treat for mites, too much capped brood and that is where the mites hide. I'll wait til there is less brood then treat with OAV. But yes, my biome around here seems to be pretty healthy.
 
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