University Project

MeganR14

Member
Livestock Farmer
Hi everyone 👋 I am completing my university project and am investigating the impact of agricultural land management practices on bumblebee populations in rural areas of the UK.

If you are a farmer or land owner, please could spare 5 minutes to complete my survey of 14 short questions I would be extremely grateful. I have attached a link to the survey below. Thank you 😊🐝

 
something you may want to investigate is with a big reduction in osr the bees and insects that rely on on nector have got a lot less fields of early available nector when they re building up their numbers in the early spring
bumble bee by their design can operate in cooler temperatures than honey bees so early nector can be utilised by them
i have seen bumble bees in bean crops in the early morning before 6 am when spraying insceticide for bruchid
one of the reasons for stopping spraying besides the spray not controlling the bruchid and the early starts to prevent damage to the farmed honey bees we have

from my neibouring bee farmer his biggest problem is a reduction in crops that flower osr and beans

this will also impact the bumble bees
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
North Yorkshire
Done.

Beware of asking polarised questions like the one about the emergency approval for neonic seed dressings in sugar beet - try and keep them more open as that one really shows your bias.

I recommend that you talk to commercial honeybee keepers and see what they have to say. If no neonic seed dressings = no oilseed rape grown, are bees really the winner from a ban on such seed dressings? I hope that you are investigating other causes of bee decline, not just agriculture ;)
 

Wombat

Member
Location
East yorks
Done.

Beware of asking polarised questions like the one about the emergency approval for neonic seed dressings in sugar beet - try and keep them more open as that one really shows your bias.

I recommend that you talk to commercial honeybee keepers and see what they have to say. If no neonic seed dressings = no oilseed rape grown, are bees really the winner from a ban on such seed dressings? I hope that you are investigating other causes of bee decline, not just agriculture ;)

You mean Farmers aren;t responbile for COVID as well????? :ROFLMAO: 🤪
 

Boysground

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
Would have liked the opportunity to explain why I don’t do things, no sugar beet in Wiltshire so that question is irrelevant for me. My bee guy in the village has 30 or 40 hives, he is seriously concerned at the lack of oilseed rape in the area.

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MeganR14

Member
Livestock Farmer
Done.

Beware of asking polarised questions like the one about the emergency approval for neonic seed dressings in sugar beet - try and keep them more open as that one really shows your bias.

I recommend that you talk to commercial honeybee keepers and see what they have to say. If no neonic seed dressings = no oilseed rape grown, are bees really the winner from a ban on such seed dressings? I hope that you are investigating other causes of bee decline, not just agriculture ;)

I apologise if you thought it showed bias but I'd just like to state that this survey has been proof read by multiple university lecturers, professionally trained in this field, it would not have been distributed if it in any way showed bias. The statement regarding the impact of neonics on bumblebee health and welfare has been scientifically proven therefore does not show any bias.

I am considering other causes of bumblebee decline as well however agriculture has been scientifically proven to be the main cause, hence my choice to investigate this further. I personally do not agree that agriculture is the main driver as many farmers have adapted to more environmentally friendly farming approaches.
 

MeganR14

Member
Livestock Farmer
Would have liked the opportunity to explain why I don’t do things, no sugar beet in Wiltshire so that question is irrelevant for me. My bee guy in the village has 30 or 40 hives, he is seriously concerned at the lack of oilseed rape in the area.

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This survey isn't really investigating why certain practices aren't carried out, it's more about finding out how many farms have adapted or would be willing to adapt to environmentally friendly approaches to determine whether agriculture is the main cause to bumblebee decline or not. This survey does not concern bee hives as these are occupied by honey bees, not bumblebees. Honey bees are not at all threatened with extinction.
 

Boysground

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
Ok, lots of bumble bees here. Have some that burrow on my chalk down land. Also have a wall that one day will fall down because of the number of miner bees in it, hope it takes a while I like the bees.

Do think it’s hard to separate honey bees and bumble bees in your research, knowing nothing about sugar beet I wonder if bumble bees forage in it. Certainly the loss of nicatinamoids is having unintended consequences.

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teslacoils

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Well, I've gone from 33 percent beans and osr to zero in three years simply due to removal of seed dressings (osr) and lack of profitability (beans). The only bees here are either in my lawn or in the ab15 stewardship that I'm paid to have. I don't feel in any way obligated to provide habitat for bees, and my crops don't suffer for the lack of them. This is a direct consequence of government policy to ban seed dressings, and undervalue non-gm, homegrown protein sources.
 
This survey isn't really investigating why certain practices aren't carried out, it's more about finding out how many farms have adapted or would be willing to adapt to environmentally friendly approaches to determine whether agriculture is the main cause to bumblebee decline or not. This survey does not concern bee hives as these are occupied by honey bees, not bumblebees. Honey bees are not at all threatened with extinction.
I have done a lot of things for the environment (with double fencing hedge banks, and planting hedges, I seem to have done around 200m a year for the last 7 or so years). However the questionnaire did not seem to be aimed at a permanent pasture organic farm and there were no questions really that applied. Remember 65% of the land in the UK is pasture (where sugar beet is not grown). As to, has the double fencing/hedges done anything for bumble bees, I have no idea at all. I am guessing it must be better than what was there before? I am aiming to start trying mob grazing this year, again, will it help? Your questions may have been proof read by a your supervisor, however they do not give scope for upland stock farmers to answer, are there no bumble bees in the uplands?
 

MeganR14

Member
Livestock Farmer
Ok, lots of bumble bees here. Have some that burrow on my chalk down land. Also have a wall that one day will fall down because of the number of miner bees in it, hope it takes a while I like the bees.

Do think it’s hard to separate honey bees and bumble bees in your research, knowing nothing about sugar beet I wonder if bumble bees forage in it. Certainly the loss of nicatinamoids is having unintended consequences.

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I agree. Show me the evidence that beet seed dressings are harming bumblebees. I think the concreting over of gardens probably has more impact




Just a few scholary journals of many showing the scientific proof, feel free to read at your own leisure.
 

Boysground

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
@MeganR14 I didn’t actually discuss research in my post. I was referring to what has actually happened at farm level. The loss of nicatinamoids has resulted in a huge loss of flowering crops over the countryside, I doubt that enough wild flower areas can replace this. Speaking for myself I have reduced my osr area by 60% I have friends who now grow none, some of my area has been replaced by beans. I do not see the number of bees in the bean crop as I do the osr. At the same time I can nolonger use the insecticides in my non nectar producing crop, this has resulted in the use of old technology insecticides which will kill everything in the field. In the past with nicatinamoid seed dressing this was not necessary and therefore made the chemical selective and it did not effect the non target insects. This is the unintended consequence I was referring to.

Like every farmer I know I reduce my chemical use as much as possible if it is not necessary I won’t use it. The problem that arises is that to feed myself and my family I need to make a profit then I may be able to invest in wild flower plots.

Please do not go down the route of thinking all farmers want to do is Chuck chemical all over the environment just for the sake of it. In reality you will find the TFF membership know far more about the environment on their farms than you will ever do, you would be much better off discussing the issues with us and being prepared to listen to opinions from both sides of the debate. Don’t take the easy and simplistic route of a short and slightly loaded survey. You will do so much better in your degree if you do this.

Just note I still haven’t given you my opinion of the research just the reality of a decision made many miles from my farm, whether I like it or not.

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Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

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Update on the Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot

Written by Lisa Applin

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In July, we opened the applications window for farmers to join our Sustainable Farming Incentive pilot.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive is 1 of the 3 new environmental land management schemes. It sits alongside the future Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes.

Through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, farmers will be paid for environmentally sustainable actions – ones that are simple to do and do not require previous agri-environment scheme experience.

We are piloting the scheme to...
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