Articles

American Bee Journal Extra

January 14, 2016

JOIN THE P. APIUM PROJECT! –
A CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT TO
TEST OUT A NEW
HONEY BEE PROBIOTIC

(Courtesy of www.beeinformed.org)

Dr. Vanessa Corby-Harris from the USDA-ARS is currently enrolling participants in a study to look at the effects of a probiotic, Parasaccharibacter apium (or P. apium) on colony health. In both lab and small-scale field studies, she sees a potential benefit of P. apium to colony health. Bees supplemented with this bacterium can survive better in the lab and are more resistant to Nosema. Supplemented hives also show a slight trend of being stronger in the spring. If you are interested in participating or know someone who might be interested, please direct yourself to the project website. Participation can be anonymous and is free of charge. It’s a win-win for bee research and beekeepers!

The P. apium Project

                  


American Bee Journal Extra

September 30, 2015

EPA Registers New Biochemical Miticide
to Combat Varroa Mites in Beehives

EPA has registered a new biochemical miticide, Potassium Salts of Hops Beta Acids (K-HBAs), which is intended to provide another option for beekeepers to combat the devastating effects of the Varroa mite on honey bee colonies and to avoid the development of resistance toward other products. Rotating products to combat Varroa mites is an important tactic to prevent resistance development and to maintain the usefulness of individual pesticides.

The registrant, a company called Beta Tech Hop Products, derived K-HBAs from the cones of female hop plants, Humulus lupulus. To control mites on honey bees, the product is applied inside commercial beehives via plastic strips.

Varroa mites are parasites that feed on developing bees, leading to brood mortality and reduced lifespan of worker bees. They also transmit numerous honeybee viruses. The health of a colony can be critically damaged by an infestation of Varroa mites. Once infested, if left untreated, the colony will likely die.

This biochemical, like all biopesticides, is a naturally-occurring substance with minimal toxicity and a non-toxic mode of action against the target pest(s). There are numerous advantages to using biopesticides, including reduced toxicity to other organisms (not intended to be affected), effectiveness in small quantities, and reduced environmental impact.

More information on this registration can be found at www.regulations.gov in Docket ID EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0375.

Find out about other EPA efforts to address pollinator loss: http://www2.epa.gov/pollinator-protection.

Learn more about biopesticides: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/.


Click here  to see a digital sample of the American Bee Journal.

To subscribe to the American Bee Journal click here and
choose digital or the printed version.

  For a calendar of scheduled beekeeping short courses and meetings, check our Events section of our website: http://www.americanbeejournal.com/site/epage/79331_828.htm


American Bee Journal Extra

August 21, 2015

Tips for August

(Courtesy of Joli Winer, The Bee Buzzer of the Northeastern
Kansas Beekeepers Association, August 2015

  • Use the weed eater and mow around your hives so that the bees can get in and out.
  • After pulling off your supers check your hives to make sure they have laying queens.
  • Provide water for your beesthis will keep your bees alive in this heat.
  • Bees are hanging on the outside of the hives to help keep it cooler inside the hivesnot much honey coming in so they are just keeping cool.
  • Harvest any fall honey & get it extracted. Any honey that you pull off to extract should be extracted within a few days; in this heat wax moth damage can happen in just a few days. Also, small hive beetle can also do a great deal of damage to your supers and your honey. Don’t pull your honey off until you are ready to extract.
  • Check moisture on your honey.
  • Complete a fall inspection for each hive
  • Take an inventory at your bee yards to see what equipment you need to repair or replace over the winter.
  • Get your entrance reducers on towards the end of September to keep mice out of your hives. Check for mice before installing mouse guards. Check your bottom boards for holes big enough for a mouse to go through.
  • Store any frames with drawn comb with paradichlorobenze (moth crystals). Wax moth damage can be devastating to your combs. Store them in a cool ventilated area. Do not store your supers in plastic garbage bags as this acts as an incubator for the wax moth!
  • Update your record bookyou won’t remember in the spring!
  • Check your hives for stored honey. Most colonies will need 40-60 pounds of honey to winter successfully. The top deep super/hive body should be packed full of honey. If it isn’t, you should feed the bees some syrup. If mixing your own syrup in the fall, the mixture should be 2:1 sugar to water by weight. That would be 4 lbs. of sugar to 2 lbs. of boiling water. You can also get high fructose corn syrup. However, you may not use corn syrup or any type of syrup that you purchase at the grocery store. It has things in it that can cause problems with your bees. NEVER feed honey purchased from the grocery storeit can spread diseases to your bees.

Here are the reasons bees die over the winter; make sure you take care of these problems in the fall:

  1. Bees run out of honey
  2. Too few bees to maintain the cluster
  3. The bees’ digestive tracts compact with too much wasted matter
  4. They exhibit parasitic mite syndrome
  • Check your colonies to see if you need to treat for Varroa mites.
  • Combine a weak colony with a stronger colony.
  • Keep a vigilant eye out for small hive beetles. Inspect your hives to make sure you have a good laying queen. You should see brood in all stages (eggs, larvae, capped).
  • If treating for mites, get your treatments on as soon as possible. Mark your calendar with the date they went in and the date they should come out. The earlier you can get your treatments on for Varroa mites, the better chance you have of getting healthy young bees into the hive to make it through the winter.
  • Make sure your brood is in the center of the bottom hive body. Arrange honey frames on the sides and in the top hive bodyit should be full of honey. If it isn’t, feed your bees syrup.
  • Make sure your hives are tipped forward, just slightly, so water doesn’t pool on the bottom board and cause moisture problems.


Pesticides Found in Most Pollen
Collected from Foraging Bees
in Massachusetts

Boston, MA — More than 70% of pollen and honey samples collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts contain at least one neonicotinoid, a class of pesticide that has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which adult bees abandon their hives during winter, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study will be published online July 23, 2015 in the Journal of Environmental Chemistry.

“Data from this study clearly demonstrated the ubiquity of neonicotinoids in pollen and honey samples that bees are exposed to during the seasons when they are actively foraging across Massachusetts. Levels of neonicotinoids that we found in this study fall into ranges that could lead to detrimental health effects in bees, including CCD,” said Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study.

Since 2006, there have been significant losses of honey bee colonies. Scientists, policymakers, farmers, and beekeepers are concerned with this problem because bees are prime pollinators of roughly one-third of all crops worldwide.

Previous studies analyzed either stored pollen collected from hives or pollen samples collected from bees at a single point in time. In this study, the Harvard Chan School researchers looked at pollen samples collected over time–during spring and summer months when bees forage–from the same set of hives across Massachusetts. Collecting pollen samples in this way enabled the researchers to determine variations in the levels of eight neonicotinoids and to identify high-risk locations or months for neonicotinoid exposure for bees. To do so, the researchers worked with 62 Massachusetts beekeepers who volunteered to collect monthly samples of pollen and honey from foraging bees, from April through August 2013, using pollen traps on the landings of beehives. The beekeepers then sent the samples to the researchers.

The researchers analyzed 219 pollen and 53 honey samples from 62 hives, from 10 out of 14 counties in Massachusetts. They found neonicotinoids in pollen and honey for each month collected, in each location–suggesting that bees are at risk of neonicotinoid exposure any time they are foraging anywhere in Massachusetts.

The most commonly detected neonicotinoid was imidacloprid, followed by dinotefuran. Particularly high concentrations of neonicotinoids were found in Worcester County in April, in Hampshire County in May, in Suffolk County in July, and in Essex County in June, suggesting that, in these counties, certain months pose significant risks to bees.

The new findings suggest that neonicotinoids are being used throughout Massachusetts. Not only do these pesticides pose a significant risk for the survival of honey bees, but they also may pose health risks for people inhaling neonicotinoid-contaminated pollen, Lu said. “The data presented in this study should serve as a basis for public policy that aims to reduce neonicotinoid exposure,” he said.

Nation’s Beekeepers Lost 40 Percent

of Their Bees in 2014-15

Summer losses eclipse winter losses for the first time on recordUNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

Beekeepers across the United States lost more than 40 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2014 to April 2015, according to the latest results of an annual nationwide survey. While winter loss rates improved slightly compared to last year, summer losses–and consequently, total annual losses–were more severe. Commercial beekeepers were hit particularly hard by the high rate of summer losses, which outstripped winter losses for the first time in five years, stoking concerns over the long-term trend of poor health in honey bee colonies.

The survey, which asks both commercial and small-scale beekeepers to track the health and survival rates of their honey bee colonies, is conducted each year by the Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). A summary of the 2014-2015 results is available upon request prior to May 13, 2015; thereafter the results will be added to previous years’ results publicly available on the Bee Informed website.

“We traditionally thought of winter losses as a more important indicator of health, because surviving the cold winter months is a crucial test for any bee colony,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and project director for the Bee Informed Partnership. “But we now know that summer loss rates are significant too. This is especially so for commercial beekeepers, who are now losing more colonies in the summertime compared to the winter. Years ago, this was unheard of.”

Beekeepers who responded to the survey lost a total of 42.1 percent of their colonies over the course of the year. Winter loss rates decreased from 23.7 percent last year to 23.1 percent this year, while summer loss rates increased from 19.8 percent to 27.4 percent.

Among backyard beekeepers (defined as those who manage fewer than 50 colonies), a clear culprit in losses is the varroa mite, a lethal parasite that can easily spread between colonies. Among commercial beekeepers, the causes of the majority of losses are not as clear.

“Backyard beekeepers were more prone to heavy mite infestations, but we believe that is because a majority of them are not taking appropriate steps to control mites,” vanEngelsdorp said. “Commercial keepers were particularly prone to summer losses. But they typically take more aggressive action against varroa mites, so there must be other factors at play.”

This is the ninth year of the winter loss survey, and the fifth year to include summer and annual losses in addition to winter loss data. More than 6,000 beekeepers from all 50 states responded to this year’s survey. All told, these beekeepers are responsible for nearly 15 percent of the nation’s estimated 2.74 million managed honey bee colonies.

The survey is part of a larger research effort to understand why honey bee colonies are in such poor health, and what can be done to manage the situation. Colony losses present a financial burden for beekeepers, and can lead to shortages among the many crops that depend on honey bees as pollinators. Some crops, such as almonds, depend entirely on honey bees for pollination. Estimates of the total economic value of honey bee pollination services range between $10 billion and $15 billion annually.

“The winter loss numbers are more hopeful especially combined with the fact that we have not seen much sign of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) for several years, but such high colony losses in the summer and year-round remain very troubling,” said Jeffery Pettis, a senior entomologist at U.S. Department of Agriculture and a co-coordinator of the survey. “If beekeepers are going to meet the growing demand for pollination services, researchers need to find better answers to the host of stresses that lead to both winter and summer colony losses.”

How Does a Honey Bee Queen Avoid

Inbreeding in Her Colony?

UPPSALA UNIVERSITY

Matthew Webster and Andreas Wallberg at Uppsala University, have studied
recombination in honeybees.
Credit: Petra Korall

Recombination, or crossing-over, occurs when sperm and egg cells are formed and segments of each chromosome pair are interchanged. This process plays an crucial role in the maintanance of genetic variation. Matthew Webster and Andreas Wallberg at the Biomedical Centre, Uppsala University, have studied recombination in honey bees. The extreme recombination rates found in this species seem to be crucial for their survival.Like other social insects, honey bees live in colonies consisting mainly of closely related members of the worker caste. High genetic diversity among the workers is important for the whole colony’s survival. There are several theories as to why: for example, a genetically variable workforce may be best equipped to perform the diverse tasks required in the colony, and diverse colonies may also be less susceptible to disease. But how can the queen, the colony’s only fertile female, prevent inbreeding and maintain genetic variation?The queen bee solves the problem in two ways. One is through polyandry. She mates with a score of drones and uses their sperm to fertilize the eggs randomly so that workers often have different fathers. The second is through extremely high rates of recombination.By sequencing the entire genome of 30 African honey bees, the research team has been able to study recombination at a level of detail not previously possible. The frequency of recombination in the honey bee is higher than measured in any other animal and is more than 20 x higher than in humans.

Recombination affects how efficiently natural selection can promote favorable genetic variants. In line with this, the researchers have found that genes involved in the new adaptations to the environment in honey bees also undergo more recombination. But recombination is not entirely risk free.

“Recombination is not only beneficial for bees. When parts of chromosomes broken and exchanged, errors can sometimes occur during their repair due to a process called “GC-biased gene conversion”, says Matthew Webster.

This process leads to gradual fixation of mutations that may be harmful to the honeybee. Although a similar process occurs in humans, it is more than ten times stronger in honeybees. Over time, recombination is expected to lead to a deterioration of the gene pool, a process that seems to have accelerated in bees. The extreme recombination rates – crucial for maintaining genetically diverse honey bee colonies – come with a high price.

“There are no free lunches. Not even for a honey bee”, says Matthew Webster.

U.S. Honey Certification Program

Joins Sen. Bob Casey in Calling for

Honey Standard of Identity

 

Washington, D.C. – March 26, 2015 – The True Source Honey CertificationTM Program (www.TrueSourceHoney.com) commends Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) for his action last week calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish a federal standard of identity for honey, and echoes his plea for such a standard to be executed quickly to help protect U.S. beekeepers and honey producers from the continuing threat of illicitly sourced honey and false honey products.While many of Americans’ most basic food staples – from butter and milk to mayonnaise and maple syrup – have federal definitions to protect consumers from fraudulent products, honey still does not have such a federal standard, despite repeated requests for almost a decade by U.S. beekeepers and others. Late last year the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sent a report to the FDA, as required by the 2014 Farm Bill, which summarizes comments received on the issue of creating a federal standard; according to the American Beekeeping Federation, 90% of the comments supported the establishment of a federal standard.“We believe that setting a federal definition for honey could support enforcement and compliance efforts in the face of continuing efforts by some bad actors to trade in illegally sourced and sometimes mislabeled honey or imitation honey,” said True Source Honey Executive Director Gordon Marks. Marks noted that some illegally traded honey is found to contain added syrups or sweetener extenders.As recently as January 2015, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported that agents had just seized almost half a million pounds of illegally imported Chinese honey valued at $2.45 million destined for U.S. consumers. Customs officials have been working for years to crack down on illegal trade in Chinese honey, activity that True Source Honey estimates is costing U.S. taxpayers up to $100 million a year in lost duties and is threatening the U.S. honey industry –
from beekeeper to packer – by undercutting fair market prices and damaging honey’s reputation for quality and safety.“A federal standard of identity would protect producers and consumers across the nation from substandard or falsely labeled honey,” Casey states in his letter to FDA.A federal standard would be a helpful enforcement tool, but would not replace the need for a honey source-certification program, Marks said. The True Source Certification Program is an industry-supported, voluntary program that has been applauded by U.S. beekeepers and honey industry leadership because it provides traceability from hive to table, helping ensure the food safety and security of the honey used in North America. Companies that are True Source Certified now represent about one-third of honey sold in North America.The True Source Certified™ logo on honey packages ensures that the source of the honey has been independently certified through a third-party audit system. Further information, including a search function to check honey products, can be found at www.TrueSourceHoney.com.

The text to Sen. Casey’s letter can be found here.

True Source Honey, LLC is an effort by a number of honey companies and importers to protect consumers and customers from illegally sourced honey; and to highlight and support legal, transparent and ethical sourcing. The initiative seeks to help maintain the reputation of honey as a high-quality, highly valued food and further sustain the U.S. honey sector. Visitwww.TrueSourceHoney.com. Follow us on Facebook.


     Dr. David Tarpy, photo                                                                                 Queen bee, marked

Researchers used a marked queen in order to track her movements in the hive.

New Research Finds Queen Bee Microbiomes are Starkly Distinct From Worker Bees

Indiana University

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — An Indiana University researcher and collaborators have published the first comprehensive analysis of the gut bacteria found in queen bees.

Despite the important role of gut microbial communities — also known the “microbiome” — in protecting against disease, as well as the central role of the queen bees in the proper function and health of the hive, similar analyses of honey bees have previously only been performed on worker bees.

Apis mellifera — or the western honey bee — contributes significantly to agriculture, including pollinating one out of every three mouthfuls of food globally. Understanding the role of microbes in the productivity of queen bees and health of bee colonies may provide critical insights into the decline of bees in recent years, with colony losses as high as 40 percent over winter.

The research, “Characterization of the honey bee microbiome throughout the queen-rearing process,” appears online and will appear in print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Also contributing to the study were researchers at Wellesley College and North Carolina State University.

“This might be a case in which ‘mother does not know best,'” said Irene L.G. Newton, assistant professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology at IU Bloomington, who is corresponding author on the study. “In many animals, transmission of the microbiome is maternal. In the case of the honey bee, we found that the microbiome in queen bees did not reflect those of worker bees — not even the progeny of the queen or her attendants. In fact, queen bees lack many of the bacterial groups that are considered to be core to worker microbiomes.”

The study’s results are the opposite of microbiome development in many mammals, including humans, in which infants’ microbiomes are influenced by their mothers. Babies delivered through natural birth possess microbiomes similar to those found in their mother’s birth canal, for example, while babies born through cesarean section harbor gut bacteria that resemble bacteria found on the skin.

Honey bees, in contrast, acquire their gut bacteria from both the surrounding environment and the social context — a phenomenon known as horizontal transmission.

In a healthy colony, worker bees typically acquire their gut bacteria through interaction with microbes inside the hive, including fecal matter from adult bees. But the most likely route of microbiome transmission in queen bees is the “royal jelly,” protein-rich food source produced by worker bees and responsible for the development of queen bees during the larval stage. Unlike other bees, queens continue to feast on royal jelly through maturity, eschewing the honey and “bee bread” consumed by workers.

The queen’s royal isolation from the dirt and grime of everyday life in the colony may account for the difference in her microbiome.

“In some ways, the development of the queen microbiome mirrors that of workers, with larval queens’ associated bacteria resembling those found in worker larvae,” Newton said. “But, by the time they mature, queens have developed a microbial signature distinct from the rest of the colony.”

Newton’s study tracked the development of the queen microbiome at every point in the commercial rearing process — from the larval stage to their emergence as adults capable of reproduction. The scientists also tracked worker populations interacting with the queens at each point in their development, including the queens’ introduction to new colonies, a common practice in commercial beekeeping. At the end of the process, DNA collected from the honey bees’ guts were sequenced and analyzed.

Sequencing was performed at the Indiana Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics in Bloomington, Ind., as well as in Massachusetts. The field research, including honey bee collection, was conducted at the North Carolina State University Lake Wheeler Honey Bee Research Facility in Raleigh, N.C.

The study’s discovery that queen bees’ microbiome remains unaffected by workers’ interaction with the queen, and by the movement of queens to different colonies, suggests that modern beekeeping practices — in which queen bees are regularly removed from their home colonies and introduced into new hives — may not detrimentally affect the health of the colony.

“Because the queen microbiome does not reflect the workers within a specific colony, the physical movement of queens from one colony environment to another does not seem to have any major effects on either the queen gut or worker gut communities,” she said. “The research provides no evidence that beekeepers who regularly replace their queens from outside genetic sources harm their colonies by disrupting the gut microfauna of a particular colony. In many ways, these conclusions are very reassuring for the commercial-production apiculture industry.”

In addition to Newton, authors on the study are David R. Tarpy of the W.M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology at North Carolina State University and Heather R. Mattila of the Department of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College.

This work was supported by a grant from the National Honey Board, as well as support from the Knafel Endowed Chair in the Natural Sciences at Wellesley College.


 

 

Bayer Bee Care Seeks Nominations for Award Honoring                      Innovations in the Beekeeping Community

3rd Annual Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award
Celebrates Individuals with $5,000 in Program Support; Trip to
Washington, D.C. During National Pollinator Week
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (Jan. 26, 2015) – Bayer CropScience today announced it is seeking nominations for its third annual Bee Care Community Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual who uses their interest in and commitment to honey bees to benefit the community in which they live.The award, an initiative of Bayer’s North American Bee Care Program, provides a $5,000 grant to the winner to be used in support of a community beekeeping project. The winner will also receive an all-expense paid trip to a reception in Washington, D.C. during National Pollinator Week.The criteria to be considered by a panel of four judges for the award include:
  • Describing a project that leverages the power of a honey bee hive and beekeeping to benefit a community;
  • Answering a set of essay questions on the application form; and
  • Submitting a letter of reference from an apiarist, community organization or member of a relevant organization, such as a beekeeping association.
“Honey bees play an important role in supporting our food supply, pollinating as much as a quarter of all plants consumed in the U.S. and $15 billion of American crops,” said Dr. David Fischer, manager of the Bayer North America Bee Care Center. “Beekeepers not only care for these important insects, but also provide a positive influence in their communities by encouraging others to explore innovative ways to incorporate honey bee colonies in their work.”The past winners of the Bee Care Community Leadership Award exemplify beekeepers who leveraged their passion for honey bees into benefiting their neighbors and communities.
  • 2014 winner Herbert Everhart of Kearneysville, West Virginia, created an initiative that is considered the first beekeeping program for veterans in the United States. Sponsored by the West Virginia Beekeepers Association, the Youth and Veteran Beekeeper Programs were designed to educate young people and veterans on all aspects of beekeeping, including establishing hives and marketing their products.
  • 2013 winner Steve McNair of Flanagan, Illinois, is the director of development atSalem4youth, a therapeutic residential program for at-risk men ages 12-18 years old. Through beekeeping, he provided a unique skill set and approach to teaching responsibility and discipline to Salem4youth teens.
“Since we received the award this past summer, we have been able to expand our programs and reach even more veterans by engaging them in the pleasure and responsibilities of beekeeping,” said Everhart. “Bayer’s grant allowed us to tap into the growing interest in beekeeping and help a new generation of beekeepers develop an awareness of the importance of bees and their colonies.”Any beekeeper or individual with a focus on honey bees may apply. Activities the beekeeper or individual may be engaged in include, but are not limited to, the use of beekeeping in therapy, such as with at-risk youth or veterans, bee care education for children or adults and community events that allow non-beekeepers to understand the inner working of a bee hive and more. Individuals interested in applying for the award can obtain an application atwww.pollinatorweek.bayer.com. The deadline for submission is April 3, 2015.The Community Leadership Award is only one of several initiatives celebrated by the Bayer North American Bee Care Program. Others include:
  • Partnership with the National FFA Organization to provide grants to inspire interest among America’s youth in agriculture and apiculture professions;
  • Donation of $100,000 to Project Apis m. (PAm.) to provide mustard and vetch seed mixes to be planted by almond and other crop growers in California and Washington; and
  • The award-winning Bayer Bee Care Tour, which traveled to major agricultural schools and other events in seven states to foster collaboration among beekeepers, growers, researchers and others concerned about bee health.

For more information on Bayer’s bee health initiatives, please visit: http://www.bayercropscience.us/our-commitment/bee-health.


   Representatives Blumenauer and Conyers Reintroduce Legislation                            to Protect Pollinators, Prevent Mass Bee Die-Offs
                     United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC – Today, March 4 2015, Representative Earl Blumenauer and Representative John Conyers announced the reintroduction of the Saving America’s Pollinators Act. The legislation requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to take swift action to prevent mass bee die-offs and protect the health of honey bees and other critical pollinators by suspending the use of certain bee-toxic insecticides, known as neonicotinoids. It also requires the Secretary of the Interior, in coordination with the Administrator of the EPA, to monitor the health of native bee populations and to identify and publicly report the likely causes of bee kills.Recent research provides convincing evidence of a link between neonicotinoids and poor bee health. Bee populations have declined steadily since 2006, and the continued decline will have serious implications to our food supply.“Honey bees and native bees jointly provide U.S. agriculture an estimated $18 to $27 billion in pollination service annually, and one out of every three bites of food people eat is from a crop pollinated by bees,” said Representative Blumenauer.  “It is imperative that we take a step back to make sure we understand all the factors involved in bee population decline and move swiftly to protect our pollinators.”The crops pollinated by bees include apples, avocados, cranberries, cherries, broccoli, peaches, carrots, grapes, soybeans, sugar beets and onions. However, these crops and numerous others are threatened by the dramatic decline of pollinator populations throughout the country. Over the past decade, documented incidents of honey bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) and other forms of excess bee mortality have been at a record high with some beekeepers repeatedly losing 100 percent of their operations.“The EPA plans to wait until 2018 before reviewing the registration of neonicotinoids,” said Representative Conyers. “But America’s bees cannot wait three more years. Neither can the thousands of farmers that rely on pollinators. Our honeybees are critical to ecological sustainability and to our economy. I am urging all of my colleagues to please protect our pollinators and support the Saving America’s Pollinators Act.”With the introduction of the Saving America’s Pollinators Act, Congress will follow the example of local communities like Eugene, OR, Spokane, WA and Seattle, WA that have already adopted measures to ban the use of neonicotinoids on municipal lands. The federal government has also taken action to discontinue the use of neonicotinoids on national wildlife refuge system lands. This is a small step in the right direction, but greater action needs to be taken to protect bee populations at the federal level.“The Saving America’s Pollinators Act remains the gold standard when it comes to legislation designed to protect bees and other pollinators from exposure to toxic insecticides,” said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of Center for Food Safety. “We rely on bees and other pollinators for so much of our food and it’s in everyone’s best interest to do all we can to protect them. EPA has remained tone deaf to the influx of damning scientific evidence identifying neonicotinoids as a primary culprit in poor pollinator health and it is high time that the U.S. take action, just as other countries have, to suspend their use.“It is time for the Environmental Protection Agency to take a stronger stance on pollinator protection.” said Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director of the Xerces Society. “We hope that the reintroduction of this bill further encourages EPA to work with its partners to better manage the possible risks to bees posed by pesticides, including neonics.”


 

NONE OF YOUR BEESWAX! (should be wasted)

Posted by on Sep 8, 2011 in General News | Comments Off on NONE OF YOUR BEESWAX! (should be wasted)

This is an overview of methods of handling beeswax, saving beeswax, and using beeswax. Recipes for oinments, lip balm, and other beeswax products are included.

read more

Illegal Honey Flooding the US Markets

Posted by on Aug 23, 2011 in General News | Comments Off on Illegal Honey Flooding the US Markets

Food Safety News – Breaking News for Everyone’s Consumption Home Foodborne Illness Outbreaks Food Recalls Food PoliticsEventsSubscribeAbout Us FOOD POLITICS Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves FDA has the laws needed to keep adulterated honey off store shelves but does little, honey industry says. BY ANDREW SCHNEIDER | AUG 15, 2011 A third or more of all the honey consumed in the U.S. is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. A Food...

read more

Beeyard Hints

Posted by on Feb 13, 2011 in General News | Comments Off on Beeyard Hints

Inspections Mini Just a peek, for example check stores and out. Often used in the winter at a window of opportunity on a day better than 40 degrees. Basic Examination of several frames in the area of brood activity, not necessarily in the cluster. Generally referred to as a normal inspection. Often the first real examination in the spring looking for queen activity. Above 50 degrees or flying weather best. Thorough All frames in area of activity Generally done as the last examination in the fall and first major examination in the spring. If a...

read more

BEE BREW AND SUCH; Syrup recipes

Posted by on Feb 13, 2011 in General News | Comments Off on BEE BREW AND SUCH; Syrup recipes

Hot and Dry Syrup 2 parts water 1 part sugar This is recommended for extreme hot/dry weather. Rule of thumb: the weather determines the formulation used. Light Sugar Syrup 1 part water 1 part sugar Mixes well in very hot tap water. Used to stimulate the brood rearing processes in the spring, never in the fall. Intermediate Sugar Syrup 1 part water 1.5 parts sugar Used when installing packages and when administering medication, such as Fumagilin-B®. Best syrup mix for late summer and very early fall when the temperature is still high and the...

read more

“Those OTHER Bee Products”

Posted by on Jun 11, 2010 in General News | Comments Off on “Those OTHER Bee Products”

……link to document has been added on the right menu under LINKS.  Enjoy!

read more