On Thu, 10 Mar 1994 DRAEGER@WINROCK.ORG wrote:
> The honey bee-vetch connection!!
> I have a "testimonial" that I can back up with scientific principles and
> Some years ago the local electrical company worked up a hillside on our
> land. This left a barren and very erosion prone hill side, in addition
> the top soil had been removed over the large part of the area. We tried
> to counter the erosion physically with litter cover and also planted the
> area to vetch. After a couple of unsuccessful seasons trying to
> cultivate vetch I established bee colonies in the immediate vicinity.
> The results were amazing. The vetch took off across the hill side within
> a couple of seasons. As a soils scientist working with biological
> nitrogen fixation, I did not immediately make the connection between the
> prolific growth of the vetch and the bee colonies. Some months later I
> read in Duke, (1981) "vetches are insect-pollinated, and bee hives near
> each field ensure pollination of flowers and increase seed yields."
> So for people trying to establish vetch as a cover crop, for hay, silage
> or pasture, bees colonies can make a significant difference in your
> yield. Besides, if you have the land, bees are a fascinating and
> productive addition to any farming system.
> Now that I have provided a technical tidbit for the last few people
> posting who want "METHODS" I would like to comment on the one track
> thought process of some scientists who speak of statistics, techniques
> etc... and how narrow definition is affecting our reputation with the
> public. Fellow Scientists! We are losing the respect and confidence of
> the public!! I'm not saying that we have to lead a PR campaign and I
> know that scientists are stereotypically socially inept, but we have to
> validate the experiences and testimonials of those who are LIVING WITH
> THE REALITY WHILE WE ARE TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS! I am speaking of
> agricultural sciences now (obviously not astronomy!). I see that we are
> having a battle of who will emerge the authority in sustainable
> agriculture. Many scientist don't realize that this is the public
> domain, that there are individuals, non-profit organizations, private
> sector businesses etc... who are leading the way in this movement. And
> many of them feel that science got us into the mess we are in. So we
> need to work together, to understand the overarching issues that are the
> combination of biological, physical, and social. That, in my opinion is
> the role I see SANET playing in facilitating the dialogue (or
> multilogue). So be nice and get along! Respect other opinions and try to
> see the grains of scientific truth and frame scientific questions (the
> true root of science) in the larger context!
> Kathy Draeger
> These are still my opinions and possibly those of other, but not
> necessarily those of my institute of employment.