Dear MOTHER: February/March 2010

Reader letters about colony collapse disorder, growing a food garden, used tractors, water heaters, and more.

| February/March 2010

Our December 2009/January 2010 article about growing $700 worth of food in 100 square feet prompted a report from the Wendell Berry Community Garden in Olympia, Wash. They harvested more than 4,800 pounds of food from just a quarter acre! We welcome more reports on the incredible productivity of your gardens — post a comment to Grow $700 of Food in 100 Square Feet!

We’re also hearing a loud buzz of interest and concern following the recent articles Keeping Bees Using the Top-bar Beekeeping Method and Colony Collapse: Are Potent Pesticides Killing Honeybees?. Here’s hoping more and more gardeners will opt to keep backyard hives, which will provide safe havens for bees, as well as higher crop yields and delicious honey for their keepers.

Monoculture; CCD; Artificial Honey

The article on pesticides harming bees (Colony Collapse: Are Potent Pesticides Killing Honeybees?) brings much-needed awareness about the connection of neonicotinoids to colony collapse disorder (CCD).

Neonicotinoids are synthesized products that kill off various pests that have come to exist in larger numbers because of the practices of monoculture agriculture. Monoculture farming is the real culprit. Neonicotinoids are only one of the newest tools of that system, and I fear what will come next.

I was also very pleased that you had Keeping Bees Using the Top-bar Beekeeping Method. Having read extensively on beekeeping, I found this article of great interest. The top-bar hive is a more practical system, and will probably be far more efficient than the current Langstroth system of hives, unless, as stated, the honey is the only thing you want.

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