This is the insect and arthropod company. It seeks to maximize profits from insect-related activity, primarily that which is related to moths and butterflies. Expressing interest in biodiversity, a national and international concern, the Band seeks to learn of the ecology of the insects of the area. It gives greatest attention to the more conspicuous and attractive butterflies but works with the entire realm of entomology...from pests to production of commodities and crafts.
One emphasis is increased production of crops (not just reduced losses) due to managed insect populations. This enterprise seeks to develop a comprehensive bee- and insect-related system distributed throughout the region.
It promotes interest in bees and in honey production. Other activities include cooperative honey buying/marketing, bee and butterfly "clubs," pollination service, insect damage appraisals, newsletters, sale of supplies, computer software and education, and photography. The Bee Party Kit is of special interest.
The Band's profound strategy is to secure a toxicant-free environment for bees (thus people and wildlife). It sells equipment for honey production, sells honey and wax, rents pollinators in season, and supplies products for venom therapy research. Hives are set up in approved areas near secure sites. Small areas are planted to produce specifically designed (computer aided) supplies. A co-op of local producers is developed or existing ones used. Supplies of quality honey are processed in various styles, color, taste, and quality to maximize profit.
Farouk Jiwa in Kenya co-founded Honey Care. It sponsores a program with 3 days of training for farmers, then sets them up with hives and connects them to a microcredit orgaiization and advisor agents to help with glitches. The company collects the honey, pays the farmers cash on the spot. The honey is packaged elsewhere. The Rural System Tracts are likely to be hit by various insects and developing appropriate damage management strategies is needed. These must be integrated with other objectives of the area.
Promoting butterfly gardens and, in special areas, built habitats for them.
A collection is maintained with the Laboratory, later considered for museum-like displays.
Insects are a primary food of fish, birds, and mammals. This enterprise is a "service group" in the same sense that the rangeland component of The Pasture and Rangeland Group works to provide plant forage for livestock and wildlife. Managing insect biomass is a new function in the wildland. Including the invertebrate fauna in "biodiversity" is a massive problem that few in the general public or legislatures have contemplated. Other enterprise actions include:
It conducts insect surveys (and contract agricultural insect surveys for state and federal agencies) for property owners interested in comprehensive biodiversity surveys. It engages in insect-community relations research, particularly in forest areas. It is uniquely qualified to engage in baseline wilderness surveys.
It continues studies and applications of Heikkenen's hypothesis for pine tree stand moisture stress.
It seeks contracts for threatened or endangered species recovery projects. It publishes Bug Notes a newsletter for everyone interested in any and all of the above topics and Hex Notes for those having bee interests [An organization for people interested in butterflies (and other insects) and butterfly gardens will be studied.]
Freelance writing and photography are encouraged for alternative funding and name recognition.
Bee costumes for youth and others are made. "Bee parties" for small children (full range of games, food, costumes, and decorations are supplied - a party package for children age 4-7 in units of 5 for Halloween, parades, etc. A party consultant will be available.
Willing cooperators in households throughout the region (after being given instructions and equipment) will do many of the tasks listed. Pest control operators (Dodson, Orkin, etc.) are likely to be (irregular) customers for identification and other services.
Consulting is freely provided to the Pest Force promoting a version of integrated pest damage management. "Bug Notes" is sold to cooperators, pest control operators, Nature Folks, and farmers. It advertises the Rural System services.
See the potentials of a Butterfly Festival.
Perhaps you will share ideas with me about some of the topic(s) above .
Robert H. Giles, Jr.
July 2, 2005