Thursday, 22 October 2009

Apis Newsletter October 22, 2009

Dear Subscribers,

The Apis newsletter is delayed this month.  With October, comes the first few fall days of the year, to turn quickly back to summer conditions, causing authors like me to fall into a funk.  The flowering the golden raintree is a welcome sign.  And we are extremely encouraged by the lack of hurricanes this year.  Perhaps the biggest sigh of relief comes out the state capital, Tallahassee, where  the legislature in its wisdom has decided to self insure the state against potential storm damage.  The 89th edition of the Florida State Beekeepers Association convention will be held in the historic town of Monticello near Tallahassee.  For details see:  For other events bee sure to check out the Global Beekeeping Calendar sponsored  by Bee Culture magazine.

Pollination Resource online:  "Folks- for those of you who don’t have access to John Free’s exhaustive review of research into insect pollination of crops (and I mean ALL crops!), you can now read it on-line thanks to the persistent efforts of Barbara Herren at the UN FAO in Rome.  You will be amazed by the wealth of detail, scope of literature and geographic coverage, and depth of chronological detail, all organized by the family, genus and species of crop plant (so for instance, Rosaceae: Prunus)."  Quote from Bee-L.  To view it, go to:  then click on:
“ Pollination Information Management System (PIMS)” ( bar in upper right region of your screen)
What is the current understanding of managing the pollination of a particular crop?
With this resource in hand, you can build on the studies that precede you and see where new research is needed.  It is a pity that John Free himself is no longer alive to see his book made available electronically for free to the world.

Internation Bee Research Association Appeals for Support: "I have just come back from an extremely busy Apimondia. Our main purpose there was to promote our new journal Journal of ApiProduct and ApiMedical Science (JAAS) and to encourage  subscriptions.  If you are interested in knowing more then all the information you require can be found on our web site.
JAAS has its own web site  Our main web site is (If you go to either of these you may like to look at our Apimondia slide show - it is fun).

"I hope we can get your support.  We are trying to give the very special science related to bee products a serious platform. Nobody else does that in one journal. To succeed we need the help of all those involved with bee products.  At the moment we are supporting the whole cost of the journal. In two years it must be self-sufficient we cannot go any longer so please help now and spread the word. We need subscriptions and we need them now."  Richard Jones, Director

Pesticides and Colony Collapse Disorder:  The volume is  ratcheting up in terms of pesticides and CCD.  A new film makes the connection.  Vanishing of the Bees, which will be released in Britain next month, claims the cause is the use of a new generation of pesticides that weakens the bees and makes them more susceptible to other diseases. Narrated by the British actress Emilia Fox, the 90-minute film tells the story of what has become known as colony collapse disorder.  see:  See more on the subject at Editor Flottum's Catch the Buzz

This month's
links saved on the website include information about radiation and honey bees and toxicity of HMF to bees,  a still controversial topic it seems. 

UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State research on honeybee health and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) will receive a boost as a result of a $100,000 gift from the E.B. O'Keeffe Foundation. The award will fund a competitive graduate fellowship that will pair a student's area of study with a leading researcher already working on that problem. The search for candidates will be conducted nationally beginning this fall.

Gleanings  from the  October, 2009 
Bee Culture Magazine

Michael Monroe, Newark, DE writes that he's disturbed by Clarence Collison's article on the impact of coumaphos on queen and sperm vitality.  Read more as editor Flottum replies with a discussion about the 500 pound gorilla in the room.  Roland Autran, Fort Lett, NJ discusses a local colony alive for 3 years without "medications."  Maria Glasser loves Jim Tew it seems.  She's particularly enamored by his article on lawns.  The sentiment is echoed by Joe Shultz, Elizabethton, TN whose whole attitude about weeds has changed and now advocates "keep on not mowing."
Charles  McCarthy, Highland, NY urges readers to take Lyme Disease seriously in spite of recent articles (Newsweek) that the disease is overhyped.  Buzz  Riopelle, Valley City, OH says he had big problems  with  commercially available sugar dusters.  He urges manufacturers to make a  better device.

Editor Flottum is looking for "six word stories" from beekeepers--one example, "smoker went out, really bad day."  If you have others, send them via e-mail: Recent census data indicates the baby boomers  are  upon us, over 50 years old, many retired and looking for something to do.  Guess what he suggests?  Beekeeping suppliers are already in the grips of this; at least one is adding space and buying automatic nailers to put supers together the older crowd want.  Read his analysis of the potential for more  beekeepers in the  "geezer" community.

Look What's New includes Laurence Cutts disposable beetleblaster.  Several othertraps are in the making as well. Read Jennifer Berry's  comprehensive article on trapping beetles in Georgia during October.  A new children's book series is out: Day 1 and Day 2 in the life of a baby bee by Terry Jones Ellis.  There's also a moisture elimination device from Smarter Bee and a new line of digial refractometers from Misco.  Read the review here.

Clarence Collison takes  a closer look at Genetic Diversity. This is required reading for all beekeepers in these trying times because genetic diversity provides the resliency for honey bee colony survival appropriate to a dynamic environment.  You can expect to see this topic come up again;  are your queens genetically diverse enough?

Larry Connor provides a new twist to going  to San Francisco. Read his discussion of beekeeping in this unique habitat. Read why the city might do with its own queen type and what traits might be most important.  Finally, learn what he thinks might be a good Varroa control strategy in the City by the Bay.

Editor Flottum visited CC Pollen, committed to producing high quality honey bee products.  Read about the genesis of this unique business and how its branching out in tune with the natural food movement.

Joe Traynor provides an analysis of the balancing act that is required to get honey bee colonies  to California and keep them alive.  It ain't easy.  Read how to avoid the "October surprise."

Jim Tew again writes about management in his trilogy on getting bees through winter. Read several beekeeper assessments of how to wrap (or not wrap) colonies and why it might be imporant (or not).  Good guessing seems to play a huge role in getting colonies through the cruel months  of winter.

Jennifer Berry provides readers with a good perspective on small hive beetle control.  Read why location is important and the variety of traps available for this elusive critter.

Abbas Eben looks at natural remedies in some detail.  Read how Acacia species, allspice, blue mink and blue mink might contribute to  human and bee health.

Ann Harman urges beekeepers to get ready for next season, Now!  Read her check list so you won't become a member of the Procrastinator's Society.

Ross Conrad provides tips on storing equipment in the off-season.  It turns out that many beekeepers run into  trouble with wax moths, small hive beetle, and mice if they don't manage this aspect of their operation properly.

Michael Brown describes the Tel Rehov dig in Isreal.  Is this one of the world's first commercial apiaries?  If so, it's  pretty old, having been around during Biblical times.

Leonard Riepenhoff sends notes from his California beekeeping operation.  Read what he recommends in terms of getting started  in the craft.  Learn  to make the EZ Feeder, described by Jill and  Bill Stackpole.  Finally, take a  look at Dave Hemendinger's ingenious modified inner cover. 

In All the News That Fits read the analysis of scientists on correlating RNA activity with  CCD.  Also take  a look at the new Bee Health web site Focus on honey bee health is one of several communities of practice the national extension service is focussing on.  Finally, read the obituary of the bee king of North Carolina, Braddy Mullinax.

Ed Colby relates a few Colorado bee stories in the Bottom Board.  Read about his experiences with electric fences and wildlife officers.


Malcolm T. Sanford

Bee sure to subscribe to Catch the Buzz, Bee Culture's latest releases of importance to beekeepers.  Also access the Apis Information Resource Center , which contains archived articles, listing of  posts on blogs, web sites, and links to related materials.  .