Tag Archives: bees don;t like herbicides

Weather Permitting.

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare next working bee will be on  Saturday the 15th of December, from 9 am until 1 pm, at New Brighton chemical free site. We will be there removing Glory lily, Bitou bush and Ground asparagus seedlings. Please meet us at the first curve, on the left, at North Head Road. Park your car and walk into the beach. The site is towards the south directions and you will see us on the dunes. This is a short strip of land, between the ocean and the back of the houses. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water. Tools and first aid kit will be provided, however if you have a serrated knife, that you don’t mind to be used on the sand,  it will be great to bring for the Asparagus removal.


BSCFL is a project of Mullum Seed

Mullumbimby Sustainability Education and Enterprise Development Incorporated

How France and Germany Are Ousting Glyphosate In A Search For Healthy Soils and Pesticide-Free Crops


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Slovenia’s Rapid Bee Response.

Bees in my garden.


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From Pan.

Dear don,
Last week, two historic court rulings signaled to the pesticide industry that they no longer have free rein to profit at the expense of human health.
First, a panel of judges ordered EPA to ban Dow’s brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos within 60 days. Then a jury ruled that Monsanto must pay $289 million in damages to DeWayne Johnson, whose cancer has been linked to their flagship herbicide, Roundup.
It was quite a week.
The chlorpyrifos win is the outcome of a case we filed with partners way back in 2007, when there was already enough evidence to justify a ban. As I noted in our statement to the press, this court order was a huge win for children, farmworkers, rural families — and science.
The Roundup cancer ruling sets a precedent for the 4,000+ other legal cases against Monsanto that are expected to move forward in the coming months.
Each of these cases is a tremendous victory in its own right. Taken together, they could well mark the beginnings of real change — loosening the grip these corporations have held over food and farming for far too long.
As part of the PAN community, you’ve helped make this happen. From pressing your policymakers to act, to bringing your voice to public conversations, to making generous donations when you can, supporters like you make real progress like this possible.
We know there is much work ahead, but right now we’re taking a moment to celebrate these historic wins — and we invite you to do the same.
With gratitude for all you do, thank you.





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Marvell Hall. Byron Bay. Koala Habitat disappearing.


Towards Zero Deforestation Roadshow. Book here, it’s FREE.
BYRON RESIDENTS GROUP urges you to attend this FREE event being hosted by the Nature Conservation Council. Koalas in our Shire are threatened already and the NSW government has just made it worse for them.

“Nature in NSW is in crisis. New laws allow for devastating deforestation and broad scale land clearing of important wildlife habitat. At least 1000 species of plants and animals are facing extinction, including our iconic koala, and the destruction of their habitats is the leading threat.
As a result of these new laws, 99% of identified koala habitat on private land can be bulldozed, and a staggering 8 million hectares of forest and bushland has no protection from deforestation.
This devastation is firmly within our power to stop – join us for our Towards Zero Deforestation Roadshow!
Through a conversation style presentation, Jemilah Hallinan from the EDO NSW will give an overview of what the changes to the laws mean for nature. Daisy Barham and Shirley Hall from the Nature Conservation Council will cover how we can all work together to call for stronger laws for nature – and how you can get involved.
We’ll provide some light refreshments. If you would like to contribute by bringing a dish to share – that would be most welcomed and appreciated!
This is a free community event – all welcome.”

TOMORROW NIGHT Thu. 26 July 2018
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Marvell Hall, 37 Marvell Street. Byron Bay, NSW 2481
NB it is the end of Marvell on the eastern side of the sports fields, near Feros Care.

Dear Friends,
This is really important: one of the most deadly bee killing parasites – the varroa destructor mite – has been detected in Australia for the first time.
Thankfully officials believe the infected hive has been destroyed. But this is a wake up call. We cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to protecting our bees.
Evidence shows that neonicotinoid pesticides weaken bees’ immune systems and increase their vulnerability to the viruses spread by parasites like the varroa mite.
I’ve just signed this petition calling on the Australian Government to urgently follow the EU and introduce bans on neonicotinoids. Will you sign too and help protect our bees?

I’ve just signed this petition calling on the Australian Government to urgently follow the EU and introduce bans on neonicotinoids. Will you sign too and help protect our bees?

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Press release
Brunswick Chemical-free site poisoned

Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare volunteers came across an unpleasant and disappointing surprise, on Saturday May 19th. They arrived for their working bee at the chemical-free site in Brunswick Heads Crown Land. Ready to chop Bitou Bush with their loppers in their hands, they noticed that the small remaining patch of Bitou Bush, in the far South East of the area, where it meets Tyagarah Nature Reserve, had been poisoned with synthetic herbicides. Any information from the public that has witness the spray will be really appreciate.

BSCFL volunteers have been working on the Brunswick chemical free site, with permission of Crown Lands for the past 8 years, clearing and following up an area of 5 hectares of very dense Bitou bush, a weed of national significance. We have done this voluntarily with no cost to the taxpayer. We have also spent much time removing large amounts of rubbish, reporting camping etc.

After 8 years we were so close to finishing – we would have done so by the end of June (a requirement from Rous County Council for the Bitou Containment Zone). We also noticed that the pesticide application had not been highly successful. With our method the Bitou is gone! It was so disappointing!

Under the NSW Pesticide act, anyone spraying on public land is required to give notification of use. “We received no notification. You would think that through Duty of Care, the volunteers would be informed because we come into direct contact with the pesticide on the Bitou Bush as we work. Although we are there fortnightly, we also come at other times and we could be there the next day for example, when the dying-back signs are not yet present.” explained Ellen White. “Luckily some of us knew the first signs of spray die-back and stopped working”.

Who sprayed the site is unknown at this stage. BSCF coordinator, Nadia de Souza Pietramale was informed by Andrew Petroeschevsky, Dept. Industry, Crown Lands and Water Division, “I haven’t requested any contractor to spray lot 428 as far I can remember, and I will investigate the matter. However it could be a communication error as I have two contractors spraying in the area at moment: Rhonda James (Bushland Restoration Services) in Toraquina Park and the South Rock Wall, and Madhima Gulgan in the Belongil area.” He commended our work on the site.

We also contacted Rous County Council, the state government authority that enforces the Biosecurity Act In our region. They have been notifying private and public land owners North of the Byron Cape that all Bitou Bush needs to be exterminated by the 30 of June. When BSCF coordinator spoke with the organisation’s Education Officer Kim Curtis regarding the spraying on our site and our concerns with the exposure of volunteers to the herbicide she said, “It wouldn’t hurt them” illustrating a cavalier attitude to pesticide use. We asked Kim what research she had to back up her comments. No answer.

Until we know exactly which chemical was used we will stay away from Brunswick and work on the New Brighton site. However BSCFL have requested from Crown Lands that no further pesticide is used on this site, as we don’t need any assistance to meet the 30th June target.

Nadia stressed the fact that our work is free of charge to the taxpayer – there is no need to pay contractors from the public purse to spray on this site. However we do need assistance with illegal camping, a serious risk to the threaten species Pink Nodding Orchid, as our site holds the largest concentration in the Shire. “Before this species was protect by the Bitou Bush but the whole site is open now, become very attractive to illegal camping”, said Nadia.

We will be at the New Brighton site on 26th of May and 2nd and 3rd of June. Please meet us at the first curve, on the left, at North Head Road. Park your car and walk into the beach. The site is towards the south and you will see us on the dunes. This is a short strip of land, between the ocean and the back of the houses. Wear boots, long sleeve shirt, long pants, a hat, gloves, and bring water. Tools and first aid kit will be provided.


After the deep disappointment felt by ALL herbicide free Active Volunteers.


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Its all about endurance until these poisons are withdrawn from sale.

Did you know that SumOfUs members around the world chipped in to defend the strongest ban to date on bee-killing pesticides?
And it worked!
When Dow Chemical tried to undermine France’s historic ban on neonics — the class of pesticides known to pose a deadly risk for bees and other pollinators — our partner in France, Générations Futures, was ready to sue.
With the help of thousands of SumOfUs members chipping in to cover the legal costs, they stopped Dow Chemical in court.
Dow’s move: The chemical giant tried to get around the French ban by pushing for a new kind of neonicotinoid — Sulfoxaflor — not to be counted as a neonic so they can go on selling bee-killing pesticides.
But thanks to our partners and SumOfUs members like you, the authorization of Dow Chemical’s dangerous sulfoxaflor pesticides is now on ice.
We have proven yet again that together, we can hold even the biggest corporations to account.



99% of koala habitat can be bulldozed if it’s on private land in NSW under new land-clearing laws.
Now, read that line again.
99% of koala habitat can be bulldozed if it’s on private land in NSW under new land-clearing laws.
Are you outraged? I am. So I can imagine, like me, you’d want to do something about it. don, will you sign our urgent petition to call for habitat for koalas to be off limits to clearing?
This is out of control. Our Environment Minister signed off on new land-clearing laws that make it easier to bulldoze koala habitat. Even though she knew that 99% of koala habitat could face the axe.
This is yet another reason we’ve taken the NSW Government to court – to challenge some of the worst elements of its dangerous land-clearing laws.


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Peter Andrews.

Peter Andrews, who Don Watson writes about in THE BUSH, believes weeds are in the eye of the beholder and in general, he shares the view articulated by the environmental scientist and writer, George Seddon, that weeds are stateless persons with no civil rights ‘, dissidents, plants that don’t properly belong. Essentially, as Seddon says, plants are ranked as weeds if they are contrary to human intentions. But what if the intentions are contrary to common sense? For Peter Andrews, so called weeds are an essential aid to the lands regeneration. If blackberries and willows are holding the banks of a stream together, leave them there. ( Poisoned coral tree roots pulling the banks of Wilson’s Creek into the water as viewed last Friday ). Control them by slashing,planting natives shade trees etc. but don’t poison them. For Andrews, the residual effects on the food we eat, the water life and the people who work and grow the food constitute one of the major arguments against herbicides and chemical farming in general. Weeds deep fibrous roots draw up moisture and minerals and not only hold the the soil together, but make it porous, fertile and ready for the emergence of native grasses and other plants. The weed, to quote an earlier admirer, is the “”’pioneering agent of Nature’.


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Saturday 29th……….walking the walk.


Byron Shire Chemical Free Landcare’s next fortnightly working bee will be on Saturday, the 29th of July, from 9 am to 1 pm, at Brunswick Heads Crown Land Reserve site. Meet at the end of South Beach Road fire track gate, not far from the Surf Club. Please wear boots, long sleeve shirt and long pants, a hat, gloves and bring water, rain coat  and some morning tea. Tools and first aid kit will be provided.

If you come later, we will be doing followup work of Bitou Bush seedlings at the front dunes. Walk South from the dog beach access track and look west into the dunes for us. You will probably hear us but cooee just in case.

The weather is really beautiful at the moment, the follow-up work is quite light, and the dunes are responding with great growth. Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who are making such a difference. Last working bee this was Stephanie, Aparamit,  Jackie, John, and myself.


BSCFL is a project of Mullum Seed
Mullumbimby Sustainability Education and Enterprise Development Incorporate




And probably a good start on the swamping of the planet with greedy humans. Men in the Western world are losing their fertility.



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Sunny weekend.

Excellent week-end with Nathan visiting to do a tour of the new regeneration sites.

Inspiring stories from infra cameras he has monitored. We are going to place a night camera here.

Camphor laurel ( introduced from China) has always been denigrated and its ecological niche as a habitat for native fauna has never been discussed to my knowledge.

Camphor was introduced because farmers needed a quick growing shade tree because all natives had been chopped down. Their poor cattle were frying in the sun.

When we work as Herbicide free volunteers alongside the public road and beneath giant camphor trees, we have witnessed Black Cockatoos with their young feasting on its seeds. Amongst white headed pigeons, parrots ect. we have witnessed the food value alone of this tree.

Thank-you Nathan for allowing me to publish your Assessment.

N.Burton – An Assessment of Camphor Laurel_s Habitat Value for Tiger Quolls in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales

And the very disappointing Green party. A strong principled voice in Lee Rhiannon which some want to shut up. Hardly democratic.

Get back to the environment I say.

A wishy washy party as we see here in Byron Shire with its supposedly Green majority on Council.


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From Nature Plants UK.

Reducing Pesticides

All too often, pesticides are allowed onto the market before their impact is fully understood and harms to our health and the environment are discovered years later. The science is increasingly clear that even low levels of exposure can harm human health and children are particularly vulnerable.

According to recent research published in Nature Plants, the reduction of pesticide use is one of the critical drivers to preserve the environment and human health. Many farmers are also interested in cutting their usage, especially in view of lawsuits alleging that the most commonly used herbicide, glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), may be causing non‐Hodgkin’s lymphoma in farmers.

In some ways, the cards are stacked against them. Since the people who often advise farmers on pesticide usage are agrochemical company employees working on commission, reducing pesticide usage is not in their interest, or the company’s, best financial interest, which encourages overuse. Without knowledge of how to reduce pesticide usage, and how it might affect yields, many farmers are reluctant to try.

The Nature Plants study is a major step forward, as it found most farmers can reduce their pesticide usage without decreasing their productivity and profits; and in some cases, the move may even increase them. In a study of nearly 1,000 French farms, there was no conflict between low pesticide use and high productivity and profitability in 77 percent of the farms. Researchers also found 59 percent of them could cut pesticide usage by 42 percent without harming their production and forty percent of these farms would improve production. This corresponded to an average reduction of 37, 47 and 60 percent of herbicide, fungicide and insecticide use, respectively. Results demonstrate that pesticide reduction is already accessible to farmers in most production situations.

The findings are eye‐opening, especially since the pesticide industry has long maintained that their products are necessary to feed the world. Worldwide, an estimated 7.7 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops each year, and that number is steadily increasing. Crop rotation, mechanical weeding and other non‐chemical forms of pest control were mentioned as ways that farmers could successfully lessen pesticide use. The current major barrier appears to be education. Nicolas Munier‐Jolain of France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research told The Guardian: “If you want real reduction in pesticide use, give the farmers information om how to replace them. This is not the case at present. A large proportion of advice is provided by organisations that are both selling the pesticides and collecting the crops. I am not sure the main concern of these organisations is to reduce the amount of pesticide used.”

Agricultural pesticides come in many forms. Whilst many people think of them as the type sprayed onto crops after planting, seeds are often treated as well. The majority of soybean, corn, canola and sunflower seeds planted in the U.S. are pre‐coated with neonicotinoid pesticides. Neonics persist and accumulate in soils, and since they’re water‐soluble they leach into waterways where other types of wildlife may be affected. Yet, according to an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), treating soybean seeds with neonicotinoids provides no significant financial or agricultural benefits for farmers. The researchers also noted there are several other foliar insecticides available that can combat pests as effectively as neonicotinoid seed treatments, with fewer risks.

Other studies suggest reducing the use of pesticides may reduce crop losses. The reason for this is because neonic‐coated seeds harm beneficial insects that help kill pests naturally, thereby making any infestation far worse than it needs to be. Biopesticides, which are those derived from natural alternatives, are projected to grow at a faster pace than chemical pesticides in the coming years. Among them are fungal-based pesticides, which are made from parasitic fungi that infect insects, ultimately killing them. So-called entomopathogenic fungi, which can kill insects, collectively make up about 1,000 species, enough to target virtually every agricultural pest.

Unlike synthetic pesticides, many of which are losing effectiveness due to resistance, fungi interact with pests in a way that makes the development of resistance unlikely. As NPR reported, the risks, if any, are minimal. Currently, biopesticides cost more than synthetics, take longer to work and must be applied more often, but they can be environmentally sensitive, losing effectiveness at certain temperatures/humidity levels. However, as they grow in popularity, new biopesticides can be developed to tackle some of these issues, thus making them more attractive to farmers.

It’s clear that pesticides are not the answer to solving world hunger; they are a contributor to environmental and human health demise. Planting a variety of crops is key to restoring soil health and ultimately feeding the world, as is reducing pesticide usage. According to David Montgomery, professor of earth and space sciences at the University of Washington and author of ‘Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life’ “It makes no sense to continue incentivising conventional practices that degrade soil fertility. We must begin supporting and rewarding farmers who adopt regenerative practices. Once we see through myths of modern agriculture, practices that build soil health become the lens through which to assess strategies for feeding us all over the long haul. I now see adopting farming practices that build soil health as the key to a stable and resilient agriculture. And some farmers have already cracked this code, adapting no-till methods, cover cropping and complex rotations to their particular soil, environmental and socioeconomic conditions.

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