Friday, March 30, 2012

THIS IS WHAT THE PURCHASE OF PALM OIL LEADS TO

Documentary on the Indonesian rainforest, deforestation and orangutan extinction.It is a silent film (without narration, but with music) which addresses itself both to the Indonesians and the consumers of wood/paper/palm oil around the world.This important documentary was filmed in the fast disappearing Indonesian rainforest and is not narrated, however, its message is clear and frightening. The home of the Orangutan and many other wildlife species in Indonesia is being decimated at an alarming rate by consumer need and greed.The film features the widespread practice of 'slash and burn' to clear the lush rainforest to make way for extensive palm oil plantations which we, the consumer, support in our demand for our favourite foods, magazines, cosmetics, and, increasingly, biofuel. The practice has also seen Indonesia move into third place behind the US and China with regard to carbon emissions due to the uncovering of peat soil which has lain, undisturbed, below the tropical rainforest for centuries. The film exposes the illegal pet trade that thrives in Indonesia and the sick, despairing lives of those Orangutan who spend years, often all their lives, locked in small cages, suffering, alone.The story thread follows the fate of a female Orangutan who has been captured and brought in because her forest home has been decimated. She is one of the lucky ones -- most are slaughtered without mercy when caught. Her fate though, is not a happy one, as her trauma at the hands of man is too great. Your heart will break with resounding pity, but it is even more sobering to know that she is only one of hundreds every week who will suffer a similar fate.Make sure everyone you know watches this documentary. We owe it to our friends, the gentle Orangutan, we owe it to our planet, and we owe it to ourselves so that we can learn from it.

There is no such thing as sustainable palm oil: Palm oil: the hidden ingredient causing an ecological disaster

Less than 7% of total palm production is currently certified as sustainable. Furthermore manufacturers are proving reluctant to pay the premium associated with this product.

Manufacturers may claim to be using sustainable palm oil because they are members of, or supplied by members of, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. However, this in itself is no guarantee as members only need commit to "working towards" producing a sustainable product.


www.orangutans.com.au

Sunday, March 11, 2012

HIVES ALIVE!



My third spring without treating my bees for ANYTHING and they are still going strong. I've read where other beekeepers have gone 7-10 years without mite treatment and their bees did just fine so I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing and hope for the best.

Since both hives survived the winter I have to decide what I'm going to do about the splits. I cannot have four hives. My neighbors were really patient with me when the hives swarmed last year but I fear that patience runs thin. I know that if a swarm of bees attached itself to our home back when I knew nothing about bees I wouldn't have been a very nice neighbor so... I have to "do unto others...."

Since splitting hives in two is a swarm management system and I don't want four hives I decided to split both hives and give the bees away. The good thing is, there is no shortage of those who want bees. After posting that I wanted to give the bees away on beesource I received a bunch of private messages from people who wanted them. Problem is, most of the requests came from people who do not have an established presence on the forum, therefore it made me a little nervous. My nervousness comes from my wanting the one retrieving the bees to do the split for me. I figure if I'm giving them away and not selling them, the least they can do is the split. But... I'm nervous about letting someone dig into my hives when I have no idea how much they know about beekeeping. Luckily, one of the very experienced beekeepers on the beesource contacted me. He happens to live one state over and is willing to take the bees if no one else will. He suggested I look locally first so I contacted Natures Nectar (my bee supplier), and Jim (the owner) said he'd take them if they are still going strong at the end of April. I haven't heard back yet on whether he'll do the split though.

I've been told I should do the split, create nucs and just sell the bees myself but honestly, I have no idea how much to sell them for or how I even go about marketing that. I've never even seen a nuc before other than in a supply catalog. How do they work exactly? Can they be transported once the bees are inside?

Well... I have at least a month to sort it all out. Right now the bees are doing great! These warm days should make them happy.