Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Honeybees on Crocus Flowers: Photographs

Posted: 26 May 2009 07:57 PM PDT

These photographs were taken by CBA member Gail Duncan on her property at Yoho Lake, New Brunswick, the last week of April 2009. Her honey bees were taking advantage of a lovely spring day to forage for pollen in the crocus blooms. (Click on each thumbnail photo if you’d like to view a larger version.)

Post from: Central Beekeepers Alliance

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Bee Talk: Spring-Summer 2009

Posted: 19 May 2009 05:33 PM PDT

Do you want to:

  • ask a question about bees or beekeeping?
  • make a comment?
  • share something you’ve read, heard about, or seen on the Web?
  • float an idea?
  • get a second opinion?
  • or, just chat about strange doings in your beeyard?

If it's about bees and beekeeping, this is the space to have your say. Please feel free to use the comment area below— Try it out!

Post from: Central Beekeepers Alliance

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

CATCH THE BUZZ US Colony Losses Down


Preliminary Results: A Survey of Honey Bee Colonies Losses in the U.S. Between September 2008 and April 2009.

Prepared by: Dennis vanEngelsdorp1, Jerry Hayes2, and Jeff Pettis3.

Note: A more detailed final report is being prepared for publication at a later date.

The Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and USDA-ARS Beltsville Honey Bee Lab conducted a survey between September 2008 and early April 2009 to estimate colony loses across the country.  Over 20% of the country’s estimated 2.3 million colonies were surveyed. A total loss of 28.6% of managed honey bee colonies was recorded.  This compares to losses of 35.8% and 31.8% recorded respectively in the winters of 2007/2008 and 2006/2007.  While a decrease in total losses is encouraging, the rate of loss remains unsustainable as the average operational loss increased from 31% in 2007/2008 to 34.2% in the 2008/2009 winter.

Find out what’s new at Mann Lake

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is characterized by the complete absence of bees in dead colonies or in apiaries.  This survey was not able to differentiate between verifiable cases of CCD and colonies lost as the result of other causes that share the “absence of dead bees” as a symptom.  The 26% of operations that reported some of their colonies died without dead bees lost 32% of their colonies, while beekeepers that did not lose any bees with symptoms of CCD lost a total of 26% of their colonies.

For a Comprehensive listing of Beekeeping events around the country and around the world see

To List YOUR event on our Beekeeping Calendar, simple send your meeting notice to

Only 15% of all the colonies lost during the 2008/2009 winter died with symptoms of CCD, this compares to a 60% colony loss with CCD-like symptoms in the winter of 2007/2008.  While losses from CCD may have decreased in the winter of 2008/2009, losses from other causes remain a significant concern.  58% of all beekeepers reported above normal losses last year, losing a total of 32.8% of their colonies compared to the minority of beekeepers who claimed a normal or below normal loss of 17%.  
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These findings emphasize the urgent need for research, not only of CCD, but of general honey bee health.

1.      Dennis vanEngelsdorp,. Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture/The Pennsylvania State University; Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA), President 717-497-1514


2.      Jerry Hayes, Florida Department of Agriculture, Past President AIA,, 352 372-3505

3.      Jeff Pettis USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, MD,, 301 504-8205

This message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping Proud supporter of EAS 2009



Sunday, 17 May 2009

Successful Homesteading, Issue # 16, Summer is Coming. Are You Ready?

Hello, Friend,

Issue #016, May 17, 2009. In This Issue...

--Strut Your Stuff on Organic Gardening and Homestead and win the chance for a free ebook!

--A reader asks about raising layers in the winter.

--An urban homesteading success story!

--Simple living savings tips.

--My favorite mixer.

--How to stop "killer bees".

Lots of great information and inspiration here, so read on!

Yes! You Can Build a Chicken Tractor

If you've ever thought of keeping free range chickens in a chicken tractor, this book is for you! In addition to providing full plans and giving you step by step instructions on how to build your own chicken tractor, this handy guide gives tons of great tips, including great sources of free wood, how to recover your costs by selling chicks, chicken care and egg recipes. All for the great low price of $12.95.

Or save money and the environment by purchasing the e-book at the ridiculously low price of $7.95! Click here to learn more.

What's New at Organic Gardening and Homesteading!

Here's Your Chance to Strut Your Homesteading Stuff!

I've just come out with a new section on Organic Gardening and Homesteading that will give you the chance to shine as well as earn a chance to win a free e-book!

Are you keeping chickens successfully? Growing a fantastic organic garden? Have an awesome casserole recipe you'd love to share? Don't be shy about telling others; other aspiring self reliant souls will be inspired by your success. Tell us about it on My Homesteading Story and help others as they work toward self sufficiency!

Plus, if I feel your story is beneficial to others, I'll put your name in a hat (my gardener's straw hat, natch) for a chance to win You Can Build a Chicken Tractor. Just imagine! The satisfaction of knowing you helped others and a great book for free! Click here to learn more.

Raising Layers in the Winter

A reader asks; can you keep chickens in a tractor during the harsh Minnesota winters? The answer is a resounding yes! Read on.

Urban Homesteading Success in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!

David, who lives near Baton Rouge, Louisiana provides us with proof positive that homesteading can be done virtually anywhere. His story is inspiring because it shows how doable homesteading truly is. Read David's urban homesteading success story here.

Simple Living Savings

Simple living savings is the only way you will ever save enough money for that acreage or get out of debt. Why? Because unless you can get your spending under control, you will always spend more than you make.

There are famous celebrities making millions who file for bankruptcy. So don't wait for that ship to come in to get out of debt. Start Now. Here are some tips.

My Favorite Mixer

A good mixer is essential to the homestead kitchen. Want to know what my favorite is? I've listed it here. Learn more.

How to Stop Killer Bees

The spread of Africanized honey bees or "killer bees" has some people alarmed, but homesteaders - even urban homesteaders - can be an important part of the solution to these "killer bees". Learn how.

And as always, happy homesteading!

Like this issue of Successful Homesteading? Please forward it to a friend! And if a friend did forward this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe here.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think! And thanks!

You are subscribed to Successful Homesteading.

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Saturday, 16 May 2009

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Central Beekeepers Potluck Supper 9 June 2009

Posted: 15 May 2009 12:54 PM PDT

Want to learn more about Beekeeping? Central Beekeepers meet on the second Tuesday of the month. Visitors and new beekeepers are always welcome! The next meeting will be our spring potluck supper, so bring along your favourite supper dish and a good appetite!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Central Beekeepers Alliance Spring Potluck Supper
Keswick Ridge Community Hall,
Route 616, Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick
6:30 p.m.

View Larger Map

Post from: Central Beekeepers Alliance

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Apis Newsletter May 14, 2009

Dear Subscribers,

The Santa Fe and Suwanee rivers appear to have receded from flood levels.  We continue dry here in Florida, however, and there are many more wild fires this season than last.  Fortunately, most are now under control

The hottest honey bee news is that the White House will have a hive on the lawn.  “An organic garden and beehives at the White doesn't get much better, does it?”  So  the American Beekeeping Federation says .This will be great public relations for the industry it seems; the White House Hive graces the front of the May 2009 Bee Culture.  And a swarm of bees was collected also, The comments provoked by this site are worth a laugh or two.

Big news that has flown under the radar concerns changes at the American Beekeeping Federation, Inc. (ABF)  Current Executive Director Troy Fore, Jr. has sent a letter to state association leaders that ABF Management is being transferred to Media Expectations, Inc., 3525 Piedmont Rd., Bldg. 5, Ste. 300, Atlanta, GA 30305, ph 404-760-2875 .  He will continue as ABF’s Governmental and Media Relations contact, and also serve as Executive Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees .  These reduced responsibilities will also him to devote more time to publishing The Speedy Bee, which is being converted to a quarterly publication with a web presence http: //

According to the Federation’s March/April 2009 newsletter, “Meeting Expectations (ME) provides management services for some 40 regional and national associations.  For ABF, ME will be handling associations management, convention management, newsletter publication, website , membership and member marketing and financial activities.”  The shift is due to be completed by start of the new fiscal and membership year on July 1, 2009.

This is a significant change for the nation’s oldest national bee association.  Traditionally the Executive Director has been someone intimately acquainted with the beekeeping industry.  Troy Fore has been a beekeeper all his life, publishes a beekeeping newspaper, and has been Executive Director since 1988.  Previous directors include Bob Banker in Minnesota and Frank Robinson here in Gainesville Florida.  They all knew many of the beekeeper members in the Association and were ready to accept phone calls at a moment’s notice concerning issues of importance to the industry.  Given its colorful history, the new executive director association will have to really live up to its name.  I have provided reviews of Federation conventions over the years for The Speedy Bee and other publications.  Also see

Decision making in insects and other organisms is being looked at carefully, especially by Dr. Tom Seeley who has written for Bee Culture in the past.  “Bees, ants, locusts and plenty of other animals collectively make life-or-death choices.  The biologists studying animal groups are finding strange lab fellows these days in economists, social scientists, even money market specialists.  They are trading tales of humans and of nonhuman animals to understand collective behavior and what makes it go right or wrong.  “There is a new excitement in this whole field of decision making these days,” says ant biologist Nigel Franks of the University of Bristol in England.  Franks and Seeley organized a multidisciplinary conference on collective decision making held in January at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. And both biologists contributed to a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (March 27) on the same topic. The issue considers insects as well as the European Parliament.”  Professor Seeley is due to have a book out on the subject soon.

I continue to get e-mails to update the Global Beekeeping Calendar initiative at  The Apis Newsletter in conjunction with Bee Culture magazine continues this ambitious project is an attempt to collect all the events in the beekeeping world at one place.  I would be interested in your reflections on this effort and keep forwarding to me entries as they arise.

It looks like the swine flu situation has been controlled to a low level.  But an outbreak of American foulbrood in South Africa  reveals that the epidemic of movement of biological organisms continues around the world.  How it will be dealt with is an ongoing question. 

Emerging markets are looking more carefully at beekeeping as reported in India and elsewhere like Ethiopia ..

For a collection of web sites I’ve selected this month, check out .  Included are titles like Bees for Development :: What We DoHoneybee or Honey Bee? | Archetype; Africanized Honey Bees in Florida | Nuisance Wildlife Removal Inc.; Honeybee Collapse Strikes Japan, Up to Fifty Percent of Honeybees Gone 26; Apitherapy News: Manuka Honey Producers Split on Medicinal Test Standard, and others.  

Of special interest are sites which discuss the potential toxic effects of the ubiquitous herbicide Roundup on honey bee brood and information being put out that the pollination/bee crisis isn’t all it’s cracked up to be "The honey bee decline observed in the USA and in other European countries including Great Britain, which has been attributed in part to parasitic mites and more recently to colony collapse disorder, could be misguiding us to think that this is a global phenomenon,”said Aizen in a statement. "We found here that is not the case."  The Current Biology study finds that farmers worldwide have increased their dependence on domesticated honeybees 300% in the last 50 years to pollinate crops such as plums, raspberries, and ch erries.  The study authors warn that "the rapid expansion in the cultivation of many pollinator-dependent crops has the potential to trigger future pollination problems for both these crops and native species in adjacent areas."


Gleanings from the May 2009 Bee Culture:

Jim Cowan, Aberdeen, WA writes how to calculate the age of worker bees.  Terry Mortnesen, Aberdeen, WA asks who sets the local price of honey and reports that beeswax from a 16th century Spanish galleon continues to wash ashore and is being put into a local museum.  Joseph Fitzpatrick, Blue Bell, PA describes a new small hive beetle trap.  He promises to continue to share his observations on its utility over time.  Glen Stanley, Ames, IA recommends weighing hives to ensure there are adequate stores and provides a description how to do that.  Becky Burdick decries the use of bees and other creatures as experimental subjec ts in the “booze and bees” article previously published.  Daniel T. Collins, Alton, MO still misses Dr. Richard Taylor’s articles.  while attending the 2009 Apimondia Congress John Kefuss, Toulouse, France invites beekeepers to stop by his place and observe his efforts in breeding Varroa-tolerant bees,.

Editor Flottum fleshes out the bees at the White House story and the official beekeeper in charge, Charlie Brandt.  Read about his philosophy and how the bees will have to “hang tough” just like the Obamas.

New this month are reviews of Plan Bee by Susan Brackney, everything you wanted to know about bees, and Bee Genetics and Breeding by Dr. Tom Rinderer, republished by Northern Bee Books.  Finally, consider the new DVD from Swarm Plus

Steve Sheppard reviews a paper by Jeff Harris on the effect of brood type on Varroa sensitive hygiene.  Read how the investigator came to an intriguing conclusion that might show where Varroa tolerance could lead in the future.

Clarence Collison and Audrey Sheridan take a closer look at laying workers.  Read how workers detect and remove (police) eggs  that are not viable and how pheromones are used in the process.

Ross Conrad takes an in-depth look at artificial bee feed, from cane sugar to soy flour.  Read his surprising conclusions. 

Larry Connor takes on the neighbors in his sideline beekeeping column.  They range from the good and bad to the ignorant.  Read his 6 commandments about urban beekeeping designed to keep any bee manager out of trouble with the neighbors.

Volume 1, no 2 of the Science of Bee Culture includes articles on flight activity in Australian package-bee colonies used for almond pollination, overwintering of Russian bees, effect of cellular phone radiation on the behavior of bees and preliminary observations on autumnal feeding of Russian bees.  Editor Flottum asks for reader feedback from this new initiative.

Jim Tew gazes into the future, discussing that he will be 77 in 2025.  Read how beekeeping changed with reference to two pivotal years, 1977, 1993 and might in the year 2025 or how it might stay much the same, according to Bee Culture’s beekeeping Nostradamus. 

Dick Marron takes readers “On the Road Again.”  Read how the bees might view the 12,000-mile journey that hives take from Florida to California to the northeast in the beekeeper’s quest for commercial pollination contracts.

Walt Wright calls propolis another 5 percenter.  Although a problem for the beekeeper, it just might be that it returns over five percent to bees in terms of improved health.  See how this might play out especially by looking at referenced, older articles published at

Urban beekeepers are on the rise and Gwen Rosenberg allows we should cultivate them by designing beekeeping around their particular situation.  Read what she suggests from selling full-blown beginner kits to marketing installed packages.

Jason Nelson describes his adventures in collecting pollen for human consumption.  Read how “Mr. Diversity” couldn’t complain due to his wife’s suggestions.  She was after all ordering him to spend time with bees.

Ann Harman discusses the beekeeper as an editor of an association newsletter.  Read about things like deadlines and how editors might have to field complaints.  Getting out a newsletter is no joke; she concludes, directing would be editors to the editorial dilemma check list developed by Kim Flottum

Connie Krochmal looks at coneasters, plants quite popular among bees.  Some 200 species exist.  Read how to purchase and plant them.

In all the news that fits, Oregon State University has a new honey bee researcher, Haagen-dazs makes a $125,000 gift to bee research and over 70 companies have vowed not to use or sell genetically modified beet sugar.

Ed Colby mourns “The Passing of Granny” in the Bottom Board.  She wasn’t his granny, but might have been.  She was 84 and certainly not typical.  How she died was a complete surprise.

Malcolm T. Sanford

Bee sure to Catch The Buzz, Bee Culture's latest releases important to beekeepers at <>.  Also access the Apis Information Resource Center <>, which contains Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford's archived Bee Culture articles at <> and check out his blog <>.  Finally, take a look at the Global Bee Breeders Association’s efforts to increase honey bee diversity with minimal risk <>



Saturday, 9 May 2009

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Invitation to Apimondia 2009

Posted: 08 May 2009 12:37 PM PDT

Apimondia 2009 - international beekeepers congress - France Apimondia 2009, the 41st annual congress of International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations, will be held in the south of France, 15 - 20 September 2009.

  • 200 scientists
  • 200 exhibitors
  • 10 000 delegates
  • More than 100 countries represented

The theme this is year is The bee, the sentinel of the environment:

Because the health of honey bee populations is of concern to all, Apimondia 2009 plans include a special welcome for all interested members of the general public — as well as beekeepers and bee breeders, scientists and researchers, policy makers, advocates for the environment, and representatives of agriculture, industry, and governments — with its Apimondia for Everyone venue and program of events.

Meanwhile, the call for papers has gone out to potential presenters at the conference. Scientists and researchers are invited to submit their papers to the Apimondia committee through the website at (English, French, German, and Spanish versions of the website are available by clicking on the appropriate flag in the upper right corner of each page.) Program details are also being added to the website regularly, as the details are finalized, so do check back there often for updated information.

For more information:

Post from: Central Beekeepers Alliance

Friday, 8 May 2009

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Field Day Beekeeping Photographs: Spring Inspection

Posted: 07 May 2009 09:42 AM PDT

Central Beekeepers Alliance held a beekeeping field day for new beekeepers on Sunday, 3 May 2009. We unwrapped the hives and opened them up for inspection, for the first time since they were put away last fall.

Fortunately (?) there were a couple of deadouts too — a useful learning opportunity as we carried out a “post mortem” to figure out if disease was present, or if the bees had died for some other likely reason. As soon as the rain stops again, the next step will be applying formic acid pads (for Varroa mite control) to those hives that were successfully over-wintered.

Here’s a selection of photographs for those who missed this afternoon of spring hive inspection, socializing, and cinnamon buns. Click on any picture for a larger image and more information about what it shows:

Post from: Central Beekeepers Alliance

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Bee Registration Time in New Brunswick

Posted: 06 May 2009 03:06 AM PDT

beekeepingReminder, it’s time to register your bees!

All New Brunswick beekeepers are required to complete an Application to keep bees form and send it in to the Provincial Apiarist by May 31st, 2009.

This applies to everyone who owns honey bees, or who has honey bees in their possession.

The Provincial Apiarist will assign a registration number for each apiary, and send the beekeeper a certificate of registration that is valid until May 31st, 2010.

There is no fee, but annual registration is required by law.

You can download the registration form as a PDF file here, pick up a copy at the next Central Beekeepers Alliance meeting, or contact Chris Maund at the Crop Development Branch, New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture.

Post from: Central Beekeepers Alliance

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Central Beekeepers Alliance

Beekeepers Field Day at Keswick Ridge

Posted: 02 May 2009 07:10 AM PDT

beekeeper field dayNew beekeepers and friends are invited to suit up and join us for a beekeeping field day at Rick and Rebecca’s place on Keswick Ridge, on Sunday, 3 May 2009, at 2:00 p.m.

We’ll be cracking open a couple of over-wintered colonies and doing a bit of spring management — and carrying out a post mortem on a couple of deadout hives, too.

If you put your name down at a previous CBA meeting as being interested in attending the field day, you should have received an email about this by now.

If not, and you’d like to attend, please email ( for directions — or meet Dan Richards at the lookout above the Mactaquac Dam about 1:30 p.m and he’ll lead you over.

Post from: Central Beekeepers Alliance

Friday, 1 May 2009

Successful Homesteading, Issue # 15, How to Prepare for a Swine Flu Epidemic

Hello, Friend,

Issue #015, May 1, 2009. In This Issue...

--How to Prepare for a Swine Flu Epidemic

--Why Keeping Chickens are the First Step in Self-Reliance

There's timely and relevant information here, so read on!

It's Finally Here! You Can Build a Chicken Tractor

If you've ever thought of keeping free range chickens in a chicken tractor, this book is for you! In addition to providing full plans and giving you step by step instructions on how to build your own chicken tractor, this handy guide gives tons of great tips, including great sources of free wood, how to recover your costs by selling chicks, chicken care and egg recipes. All for the great low price of $12.95. Ready to buy? Click here.

Want to learn more? Click here.

How to Prepare For a Swine Flu Epidemic

There's been a lot of talk in the media these days about swine flu and a possible pandemic. If the illness strikes in your area, what can you do to be prepared? Here are a few tips:

Buy Dried Beans

The best way to keep from getting sick is to stay away from public areas where the virus can be easily spread. The more food you have on hand, the less time you have to spend at the grocery store where the germs could be running rampant.

Therefore, beans should be at the top of your list of items to stock up on in an emergency.

Why Beans?

Beans are cheap, so you can buy a lot of them for not much money. Think you don't have time to cook beans? Lentils only take 20 minutes to cook, can be used as a substitute for ground beef in most recipes and are an excellent source of iron. You can also grow sprouts from almost any bean, meaning you can have fresh greens along with your excellent, low-fat protein source.

Buy Colloidal Silver

This is a natural antibiotic that is safe to use both as a preventative as well as a way to boost your immune system during an illness. This worked wonders on my two-year-old the last time he had the flu. He woke up in the morning with a 102.5 fever. Within an hour of taken colloidal silver, he felt well enough to play with his sister. We always keep a bottle or two of this on hand for an emergency. You can get this at any health food store.

Buy Oscillococcinum

And while you're at the health store, also stock up on Oscillococcinum. It's made by Boiron, a homeopathic remedy with a long name and a lot of power. It will boost your immune system and help you recover more quickly from the flu.

Eat Healthy

Start today. Cook those beans and eat them. Cook your foods from scratch and quit going to fast food places. You will avoid germs as well as tons of fat and chemicals.

Stock Up Now

Get emergency supplies. Buy a three-week supply of diapers, medicines and other necessary supplies. If you can get it, buy bulk wheat along with rolled oats. Learn tips on storing bulk grain here.

What's New at Organic Gardening and Homesteading!

Got a Question About Homesteading?

Is there something you'd like to know about living the self reliant life that you haven't found on my website? Ask me and I'll answer it.

Interested in Increasing Your Hive of Bees?

Learn to catch of swarm of bees, and you can add to your hives and increase your honey output. Here are some tips.

And as always, happy homesteading!

Like this issue of Successful Homesteading? Please forward it to a friend! And if a friend did forward this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe here.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think! And thanks!

You are subscribed to Successful Homesteading.

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