Category Archives: Insects

Bee population recovering due to regenerative farming, producers say

Global News – Aug 14, 2019 – Nathaniel Dove

Paul Kernaleguen says regenerative agriculture has brought bees back to his farm.“With the flowering species [of plants] we have now, you definitely see more,” he said.

Bee population recovering due to regenerative farming, producers say

He’s referring to the mixture of plants in his fields, near Birch Hills, Sask. Along with his partner, Erin Dancey, he now grows flowers like red clover, phacelia and sunflowers, along with barley, oats and peas they grow to feed their dairy cattle.

Dancey and Kernaleguen manage their fields with regenerative agriculture. They said the practice has brought greater profits, efficiency and a higher bee population.

Regenerative agriculture, says Cover Crops Canada spokesperson Kevin Elmy, is designed to replenish “the biology in our soils.”

“We’ve mined our soils and our soil is going in the wrong direction,” he said.

Elmy says the mixture of different crops, which bloom at different times and grow at different rates, replenishes the nutrients and bacteria necessary for the soil to be fertile. And he says that the flowers have encouraged the bees to repopulate.

Kernaleguen said there were lots of bees when he was growing up before they all but disappeared around 10 years ago.“It’s encouraging,” he said. “It kind of lets you know [the bees are] happy with what you got and you’re helping out the ecosystem.

Kernaleguen didn’t switch to regenerative agriculture because he wanted more bees. He did it because, six years ago, he was worried about feeding his cattle.

“We were in some wet years, Kernaleguen said. “What we were growing — barley and oats — kept drowning. [So we] got the idea to try something else.”

He attributes the better water management in the soil now to having more active root systems in the soil, and having cover crops — like alfalfa or clover — that are grown for the enrichment of the soil.

Some cover crops are grown all year.

Dancey, who moved to the farm three years ago, says that mixing the crops in the field has allowed them to harvest the mixed rations they need to feed their cattle. She estimates it now “takes probably a third of the time to get the feed in front of the cows.”

She says the new method has also made the farm more money.

“When you get higher quality feed to the animal then that obviously comes through in the milk side of it,” she said.“We feel our cows are healthier [and that] they breed back better,” Kernaleguen said.

“They produce a lot more butterfat, butter protein and milk protein.”

He said that the cows now produce fewer litres of milk, but that the farm is making more money because Canadian dairy farms are paid for the kilograms of butterfat that they harvest.

He also said producing less milk has been better for the livestock.

“We don’t feel like we’re red-lining them like we used to. We used to push a lot more litres of milk per animal,” he said.“The cows are stronger [and] healthier.”

The new farming system, and increased number of bees, has attracted the attention of General Mills, the maker of Cheerios and Lucky Charms.“This is all-important to rebuild [the] soil health from areas where we source the ingredients,” said Jim Eckberg, a General Mills research agronomist. He said that GM is interested in the regenerative agriculture that Dancey, Kernaleguen and Elmy are using to improve the sustainability in their supply chain.

“Ultimately, to move into the 21st century, to be able to cope with the big challenges we have we need a healthier soil base,” he said, referring to soil depletion and sustainability.


The great death of insects | DW Documentary 42 min

DW – Oct 17, 2019 – Video 42 min (English)

Insects are dying out and scientists and environmentalists are sounding the alarm. Our film team meets entomologists, farmers, scientists, chemical companies and politicians in a bid to lay bare the causes of insect mortality.

Insects aren’t really likeable. They sting, bite, transmit diseases and frighten children. But, on the other hand, they are also fascinating: 480 million years ago, insects were the first animals to learn to fly, and they took over the Earth. Even now, they are fundamental to life on Earth, and are at the beginning of the food chain on which all human beings are ultimately dependent. But insect numbers worldwide are dropping, creating a rupture of the food chain. Environmentalists and scientists are now extremely worried. Landscape ecology professor Alexandra-Maria Klein from Freiburg, for example, has been researching the effects of human interventions in natural environments for decades and has launched an experiment in a fruit plantation on Lake Constance: What happens when insects disappear? An ominous silence is settling on places that were once humming and buzzing. Why are the insects dying? Author Christoph Würzburger takes a journey into the fascinating world of insects and meets entomologists, farmers, scientists, chemical companies and politicians in a search for the causes of insect mortality.


Paul Ehrlich & human cultural evolution – Audio (49 min)

Derrick Jensen Resistance Radio—June 16, 2019 – Audio (49 min)

Paul Ehrlich –
Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus and President of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.

Paul R. Ehrlich has been a household name since the publication of his 1968 bestseller, The Population Bomb. He is Bing Professor of Population Studies Emeritus and President of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.

Ehrlich is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the Crafoord Prize (an explicit substitute for the Nobel Prize in fields of science where the latter is not given), the Blue Planet Prize, and numerous other international honors. He investigates a wide range of topics in population biology, ecology, evolution, human ecology, and environmental science. Much of his current effort is focused on the mechanisms of human cultural evolution and ways of directing that evolution to ameliorate the human predicament.

13:50 Passenger pigeon ….connection to lime disease

15:40 Cod fish crash.

18:00 Sap suckers > Aspen tree > swallows.

20:45 Interdependency of species & lack of insight by

               mainstream news.

25:30 Ability to recongnize patterns as a sign of

              intelligence – Where did humans go wrong?

41:00 Book “Jaws” – The Story of a Hidden Epidemic.

              Teeth issues and ramifications for our children.

43:40 Cel phones and the rise of near sightedness.

45:50 Social side – Inequities regarding women’s

               rights and the ramificaitons.

46:45 Nuclear war issues

Video / Audio SOURCE

The insect apocalypse | DW Documentary – 42 min

DW Documentary – Apr 17, 2019 – 42 min

The insect apocalypse | DW Documentary

The world’s insect population has declined by three quarters in the last 30 years and many species have become extinct. And it’s all man’s fault. This documentary looks at the dramatic consequences of this hitherto unrecognized catastrophe.

The results of long-term monitoring published in 2017 have confirmed that as much as 75 percent of the world’s insect population has disappeared in the last 30 years. The extent of species extinction is so vast that many researchers fear that it will knock the entire natural cycle of life out of balance. Not only the decline of the bee population but mass insect mortality as a whole will have devastating consequences for all the Earth’s inhabitants. Top scientists from around the globe are warning that the developments are much more widespread and serious than anyone had realized. Many animals feed on insects. Insects also help to convert dead tissue into nutrient-rich soil. In addition, they even regulate each other. Species that humans see as pests are often the preferred prey of useful predators. But massive human intervention has thrown the functioning balance in the insect world out of whack. Chemical poisons, the progressive sealing of soils and the widespread use of fertilizers are affecting the world’s most species-rich animal class. This documentary looks at current studies and explains what is going wrong and where urgent action is needed. There’s still some hope: although many species have been irrevocably lost, mass extinction in the insect kingdom could still be stopped – but only if humans finally begin to act against it. And we’re running out of time.

VIDEO 42 min