Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, August 14, 2015, Page 2, Image 2

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CapitalPress.com
August 14, 2015
People & Places
Bee researcher touts flower power
Tim Lawrence’s
prescription for
helping pollinators is
more blooming plants
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Western
Innovator
By DON JENKINS
Capital Press
COUPEVILLE, Wash. —
Researcher Tim Lawrence has
been all around Washington
state testing bee hives for ne-
onicotinoids, a class of pesti-
cides banned by the European
Commission for their purport-
ed harm to honeybees.
Neonicotinoids in pollen
and beeswax were almost
non-existent in urban areas.
More were detected in agri-
cultural areas, but not enough
to justify a ban, Lawrence
said.
The Washington State Uni-
versity researchers expect to
publish their findings soon in
the Journal of Economic En-
tomology, adding to the body
of knowledge on an emotional
debate. So emotional, it’s hin-
dering an effective response
to honeybee losses, Lawrence
said. “I think the whole ne-
onicotinoid issue is a huge,
unnecessary distraction when
looking at what’s necessary
for bees.”
Neonicotinoids were in-
troduced in the 1990s as al-
ternatives to pesticides that
were more harmful to birds
and mammals. Critics say that
because plants absorb neon-
icotinoids, bees in turn pick
up the pesticide. The United
Kingdom recently relaxed Eu-
rope’s ban on neonicotinoids,
sparking an angry backlash.
Lawrence says the anger
is misplaced. To help bees, he
stresses flower power.
“We need to plant lots
of flowers. I mean acres and
acres of flowers,” he said.
Lawrence, 64, has been
thinking about what bees
Capital Press
Tim Lawrence
Age: 64
Position: Director of the
Washington State University
Island County Extension
Office
Education: Ph.D. in environ-
Don Jenkins/Capital Press
Washington State University research scientist Tim Lawrence shows a bee hive July .0 in Coupeville
on Whidbey Island. Lawrence, who heads the WSU Island County Extension Service, says bee lovers
should embrace flower power, not bans on neonicotinoids.
need since he was 12 years
old. He saw bees swarming
a tree limb, cut it down and
carried it home to show his
mother and announce his ca-
reer plans.
As a young man, he wran-
gled bees in California and
hammed it up by encouraging
thousands of swarming bees
to form a “beard” around his
face. He also met his future
wife, Susan Cobey, another
young bee wrangler, who is
now a WSU researcher and an
authority on honeybee breed-
ing.
Lawrence was a com-
mercial beekeeper who later
moved into academia, earning
a Ph.D. in environmental sci-
ence in his 50s at Ohio Sate
University.
He took a post-doctorate
job in Pullman as a bee re-
searcher and seven months
later, in 2010, was named
director of the WSU Island
County Extension Office,
where he has continued his
bee research.
Last year, he served on a
honeybee task force convened
by the Washington State De-
partment of Agriculture. The
task force concluded that par-
asitic varroa mites and lack
of forage are bigger threats
to honeybees than neonicoti-
noids.
The conclusion put the task
force in step with the U.S. De-
partment of Agriculture, but
out of step with European reg-
ulators and some local gov-
ernments, such as Olympia,
which have banned neonicot-
inoids on public property.
Lawrence readily agrees
that spraying neonicotinoids
in the presence of bees is
bad and that there can be an
over-reliance on chemicals
to control pests. He doesn’t
rule out the possibility that
evidence supporting bans
will come out and said that
researchers should continue
looking for new classes of
pesticides easy on bees.
But he’s unpersuaded that
banning neonicotinoids is the
answer for what ails honey-
bees, a position reinforced by
his recent research.
Mark Emrich, president
of the Washington State Bee-
keepers Association, read a
draft of the soon-to-be-pub-
lished paper. His hives in
Thurston County were tested,
and neonicotinoids were not
found. Nevertheless, he re-
mains concerned that widely
used neonicotinoids are dam-
aging bees’ ability to function
and maintain healthy hives.
“I’m more concerned
about sub-lethal degradation
of the bees as opposed to the
bees actually dying,” he said.
Emrich notes that other
research has concluded neon-
icotinoids are harming bees.
“Nobody has really given
me a good synopsis on why
all the stuff done before was
wrong,” he said.
Lawrence recalls shov-
eling piles of dead bees in
the 1980s killed by ill-timed
pesticide applications before
neonicotinoids were intro-
mental science and master’s
degree in agricultural eco-
nomics and rural sociology
at the Ohio State University;
bachelor’s degree in agricul-
ture and pomology from the
University of California-Davis
Family: Married to Wash-
ington State University
researcher Susan Cobey,
an authority on honeybee
breeding.
Message: Honeybees need
more forage and an effective
defense against varroa
mites. The anti-neonicotinoid
campaign is a distraction.
duced. The mass die-offs of
bees have stopped, he said.
“If they ban neonicotinoids,
what are they going to replace
them with? What are the con-
sequences of that?”
To those who want to be-
come beekeepers to save bees,
he says: Don’t do it! Neophyte
beekeepers can cause more
harm than good by unwitting-
ly allowing diseases to spread.
If you want to please bees,
plant flowers, Lawrence says.
Pollen- and nectar-rich plants
stimulate bees. Stimulated
bees are healthy and good
pollinators. For Lawrence, the
central question is, “How do
you get these guys jazzed up
about getting nectar and pol-
len?”
Camping trip provides sweet times for all
By RYAN M. TAYLOR
For the Capital Press
Cowboy
Logic
TOWNER, N.D. — I baled
hay well into the night when
the conditions were finally
right and I still had windrows
of hay needing to be wrapped
up for next winter. I got home
and my oldest son met me with
a downright sad look and said,
“so I guess we won’t be camp-
ing tonight.…”
Call it a case of father/son
miscommunication. I don’t re-
member talking to him about
camping that night, but when
he asked his mom about doing
that and she said, “Maybe, you
can ask your dad if he can,” I
think he might have skipped
over the asking me part and
started packing up the tent and
sleeping bags and sat there
waiting for me to come home
from the field.
I told him I was sorry, but I
Ryan Taylor
didn’t really know he had his
heart set on it. I said, “tomor-
row night,” and I promised
him I’d get back from the field
early enough to go find a prime
tent spot and build a campfire
out in one of our pastures.
Heading out
And I did. He had the
sleeping bags, the tent, a
brother, a cousin and a dog
packed up and ready to go
when I got home. I added a
few provisions — a big can
of beans, hot dogs, marsh-
mallows, fudge stripe cookies
and, selfishly, a coffee pot and
some coffee grounds for my
morning joy and addiction.
We drove off toward the
setting sun in our trusty side-
by-side UTV and found a spot
about a mile from home with
plenty of firewood and a stock
tank with a water valve to fill
the all-important coffee pot.
Old-time fire-starter
After we pitched the tent, I
dug a little fire pit and used the
old-time cowboy fire-starting
method — I rubbed two sticks
together, then I piled a bunch of
newspaper under those sticks
and flicked my handy butane
lighter. I watched it come to
life with the same satisfaction
that the caveman who invented
the controlled warmth of flick-
ering flames must have felt.
We cooked up some meat
and marshmallows, and,
knowing that a third basic food
group of camping existed, I
peeled open the can of beans
with my Swiss army pocket
knife and put it on some coals
of the fire to heat up. I pulled it
out with my pliers and the four
of us stuck our spoons in.
‘Blue moon’ rises
There, as the sun set in the
west and the fire flickered in
front of us, we watched the
biggest, brightest moon you
ever saw come up in the east. It
was a “blue moon,” the second
full moon in a single month,
a phenomena not seen since
2012, and it was spectacular.
We spotted the dippers, big and
little, and tried our best to find
Orion’s belt in the starlit sky.
Three sleepy young boys
and one rather stiff, sore, un-
comfortable old Dad fell
asleep in their sleeping bags
on the not-so-soft ground in
a big, roomy tent. Coyotes
howled and kids snoozed.
Best coffee around
In the morning, I made the
Capital Press Managers
Mike O’Brien .............................Publisher
Joe Beach ..................................... Editor
Elizabeth Yutzie Sell .... Advertising Director
Carl Sampson ................Managing Editor
Barbara Nipp ......... Production Manager
Samantha McLaren .... Circulation Manager
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best dang coffee I’d ever had.
Well, it was the best coffee for
at least a mile around, and it
tasted pretty good sitting on
a hillside while the sunlight
woke my campmates.
When the boys peeled out
of their sleeping bags and
came to the fire, we threaded
some bacon onto our marsh-
mallow roasting sticks, ate the
rest of our beans and broke
camp.
Their smiles were as wide
as the space between the blue
moon rising and the west sun
setting of the night before
when I asked them how they
liked their camping trip.
Simple satisfaction from a
campfire instead of a micro-
chip. We need to do it more
often and we won’t be waiting
for the next blue moon. Camp-
ing with kids is as special and
beautiful as a blue moon, but
it shouldn’t be as rare.
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Capital Press ag media
One man’s weeds are another man’s lunch
By PETER ROSEN
KSL-TV
EAGLE
MOUNTAIN,
Utah (AP) — There are weeds
in Mike Wood’s small back-
yard garden that he planted on
purpose.
“A friend of mine across the
golf course here called me one
day and asked if I’d help out
with (a presentation on wild
edibles),” he said. “I didn’t
know about that stuff at that
time and I said, sure, I’d love
to and so I started researching.
I was stunned. I was astounded
at what was here in the desert
that was edible.”
Now, what other people
call weeds, Wood calls lunch.
A brief stroll through an
empty lot in his Eagle Moun-
tain subdivision yields a spice
called “poor man’s pepper,”
edible flower salsify and a
crunchy snack of wild grass
seeds.
Wood spies dried sego lily
flowers and starts digging for
something that helped sustain
the Utah pioneers.
“In 1848, 1849, they came
here and it was winter and they
were starving and some of the
Native Americans took pity on
them and showed them how to
find these sego lily bulbs,” he
said.
Wood, who at his day job
helps people set up websites,
created wildutahedibles.com
to catalog the local wild edible
and medicinal plants.
“I really got hooked,” he
said.
He warns anyone interesting
in wild edibles to be absolutely
sure what they’ve got before
snacking on it.
Now, so he doesn’t have to
forage far from home, he grows
weeds in his garden. Beside to-
matoes and herbs, he grows yel-
low dock, mallow and broad-
leaf plantain. On route from
church one Sunday, he spotted
a small wild spinach plant and
transplanted it in his backyard.
It’s now a thriving wall of wild
spinach and a source of greens
for salads, sandwiches and egg
dishes.
Wood points out a small
succulent, purslane, growing in
a planter box. Here in Utah, it
invades lawns and sprouts along
sidewalk cracks and is often the
target of herbicide. In Mexico,
it’s served with pork. In Turkey,
it’s sprinkled in salads.
“This one almost has a fruity
taste to it,” Wood said munching
on a sprig.
Wood, weeding his weeds,
pulled small volunteer tomato
and carrot plants. The irony —
extracting vegetable plants to
save the weeds — is not lost on
Wood and he laughs.
Index
California ................................ 7
Dairy .....................................11
Idaho ...................................... 8
Livestock ..............................11
Markets ............................... 1.
Opinion .................................. 6
Oregon ................................ 10
Washington ........................... 9
Correction policy
Calendar
Saturday-Sunday
Aug. 15-16
Saturday-Sunday
Aug. 15-16
Wednesday-Sunday
Aug. 19-23
Harvest Fest, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.,
Yamhill Valley Heritage Center
Museum, McMinnville, Ore.
Cost: Adults $5, kids under 12
Pioneer Power Show & Swap
Meet, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.,Fullbright Park,
Union Gap, Wash. Cost: Adults $5,
Clackamas County Fair & Rodeo,
10 a.m.-10 p.m. (midnight Friday
and Saturday), Clackamas County
Event Center, Canby, Ore. Cost:
free. Tractor parade, threshing,
binding and baling oats using
antique farming equipment and
horses.
www.capitalpress.com
www.FarmSeller.com
www.AgDirectoryWest.com
www.OnlyAg.com
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www.blogriculture.com
kids under 12 free. Highlights this
year include farm equipment dis-
plays, vintage trucks and engines,
farm tractor pulls, lawn tractor
pulls and an equipment parade.
Adults $9, discounts for senior
citizens and youths.
Saturday, Aug. 22
Rural Living Field Day, 8: .0 a.m.-2 p.m.,
Howell Territorial Park, Sauvie Island,
Ore. Cost: $15/person; $20/family
Thursday-Saturday
Aug. 27-29
Farwest Nursery Show, 8 a.m.-7: .0
p.m., Oregon Convention Center,
Portland
Thursday, Sept. 10
Oregon State University Dairy
Open House, 10 a.m.-. p.m., OSU
Dairy, Corvallis. The OSU
Dairy has been converting to a
grazing-based operation.
Thursday-Friday
Sept. 17-18
California Poultry Federation
Annual Meeting and Conference,
8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monterey Plaza
Hotel, Monterey, Calif. Cost:
$250
Accuracy is important to Capital
Press staff and to our readers.
If you see a misstatement,
omission or factual error in a
headline, story or photo caption,
please call the Capital Press
news department at
50.-.64-44.1, or send email to
newsroom@capitalpress.com.
We want to publish corrections to
set the record straight.