Jan 31, 2013
It is the last day of January 2013 and my resolution to do more recordings has again been overtaken by other priorities - but here we are again with another Barefoot Beekeeper podcast.
It's been an exciting couple of days, with two of the UK's biggest retailers - B&Q and Wickes - announcing that they would be removing garden products from their shelves that contain neonicotinoids - and then a third big company - Homebase - announced that they were following suit.
UK supermarkets are now under seige by campaigners eager to press home their advantage and persuade them to take more garden pesticides off their shelves, so I think we have more good news to look forward to.
There was a session yesterday of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee on pesticides, in which Bayer's representatives gave a rather lame performance, I thought. They looked dazed and confused by questions they seemed ill-prepared for - and then Professor Vyvyan Howard of Ulster University followed up with a calm dismissal of most of their arguments, leaving MPs - at least it seemed to me - in a position of little doubt when it comes to deciding which way to go on the neonicotinoids issue.
So, today's podcast is an interview I recorded in Denver, Colorado, last November with Valerie Solheim, who has some very interesting experiments running with bees.
This interview will be of particular interest to people who have considered the possiblility that there is more to hive location than just choosing a level piece of ground. Valerie suggests that we may need to take account of 'geopathic stress', as her findings suggest that the health of bees may be influenced by forces of which we currently have little knowledge.
I think there is still a lot of work to be done in testing her theories, and I hope some of you will be inspired to carry this forward. Valerie has just published a book about her work called The Beehive Effect, and you can read part of the first chapter at her web site - healingbees.org
Please bear in mind that when I made this recording, I had already been speaking for over 2 hours and the ultra-dry air had given me a sore throat and an attack of the sniffles, which I have tried to suppress in this recording - but not entirely successfully.
Right at the end is a little more all-female close-harmony singing, recorded immediately after the interview in the hotel bar.