Sunday, 22 November 2009

Apis Newsletter November 20, 2009

Dear Subscribers,

This issue of Apis is somewhat delayed as I attended an acting workshop put on by Landmark Education.  This provided me a greater depth of understanding of  my personality; especially empowering is to consider yourself a character in your life which is really a play, and not you.  It took three days to distinguish who I was really, not the actor I portray in life.  This is only the 11th time the workshop has been given. The good news, I can deduct  the fairly pricey tuition as part of my activities (personal development) under the  rubric of Apis Enterprises, which also includes my acting career

We had a scare with hurricane IDA, but she went up the east coast and dumped gobs of rain on the Carolinas.  The downside was we got little rain out of the system.  It turned cool and then hot again.  It is normal to be in the 80s here well into November.

The Florida State Beekeepers Association held its 89th annual convention in historic Monticello, FL early this month.  I provided a report that the Association is growing by leaps and bounds; membership doubling in the last three years.  We elected a new executive whose  responsibility will be to ensure those bright eyed, bushy tailed new members will renew their membership in succeeding years.  This apparently is also happening around  the country.  I put up a discussion about this on the the Association's web site.

The  Cooperative Extension System Bee Health  site is mentioned in this month's Bee Culture and is certainly worth a look.  The newest edition provides an upclose and personal look at European foulbrood.  In addition, it provides a closer look at the American Association of  Professional Apiculturists (AAPA), which has published a position statement on the health of the U.S. honey bee industry.

I am grateful for the following  that was both a compliment and poem, communicating Christmas greetings somewhat early:

Christian greetings.
Information gap it intends,loose part to join the ends,Good and latest with facts contends.All of us happily recommend a round of applause just for  Apis Journal.
A lot in this time we have gained much of it,we have retained and we hope that the goal was attained.No article will go unexplained.Applause and applause to  Apis Journal.May you have the gift of faith  and the blessing of hope.Merry Chrismas to all staff and to all readers of  Apis Journal. 
Kind regards to all,
Christopher Saboi <>

Given the extent that introduced exotic pests have affected U.S. beekeeping, especially tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi, and the Asian mite, Varroa destructor, the news coming out of Australia is disquieting.  This was published by editor Flottum in his electronic ezine, Catch the Buzz. "

"Australian biosecurity workers have found the 50th Asian honey bee (Apis cerana) nest in far north Queensland as the more than two-year fight to eliminate the invaders moves to a new area.  Queensland state Primary Industries Minister Tim Mulherin says the latest nests were discovered by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service and a local council.

“One infestation was found on a business premises in the Cairns industrial suburb of Portsmith,” he says. “It was the 50th Asian honey bee infestation found since the pest was first detected in Cairns more than two years ago. The nest was destroyed along with another infestation at Greenhill.  Earlier, the Yarrabah Aboriginal Council's head ranger reported a swarm of foraging Asian Honey bees in the Yarrabah area, about 10 miles southeast of Cairns.  Mulherin says the nest, the first detection in the Yarrabah area, was found among mangroves and was destroyed. We have now destroyed 52 Asian honey bee nests and Biosecurity Queensland is determined to seek and destroy every infestation,” he says." 

An article in this month's Bee Culture by Doug Sommerville, author of the beekeeper's nutrition bible,

Fat Bees Skinny Bees, discusses the possible problems that  Apis cerana and relatives might bring to beekeeping  down under.

This month's links on Publish2 include those about a beekeeping education project, pollination and human livelihoods, intelligence of Africanized bees, the crazy raspberry ant, Bermuda's queen rearing  initiative, what has been called the honey bee reproductive groundplan, the effect of beekeeping in Kurdistan, epigenetics and honey bees, evidence of toxicity of hydroxymethylfurfural and the documentary film, The Vanishing of The Bees.  I would appreciated anyone who would care to comment on this application.

The Ecological Incident Information System is now up and running.  Also phone 703-305-7695 to report bee kills.  All incidents should be cataloged for the future health of the beekeeping industry.

Gleanings  from the  November, 2009  Bee Culture Magazine

Gordy Fawcett, Medina, OH writes that Editor Flottum's blog is one of the few reliable sources of beekeeping information on the web and  applauds the urban beekeeping initiative that Bee Culture has begun.  Howard Kogan no longer subscribes to American Bee Journal for he now finds Bee Culture "more  well rounded." 

S. MacReynoldson, London, England,  believes he's discovered link between honey bee illness and leaf blowers.  Ariane St. Claire wants to know what's in  Megabee.  George N. Bryan, Hyrum, UT discusses his problems with the Big Brother Hyrum City Bureacracy and promises to continue the fight to keep bees in that municipality.  A "Larry" in South Carolina has developed a forced air system using an inexpensive Wal-Mart fan in stored supers, which looks to keep wax moths at bay.  Kristina Z. wants to know what attracts bees to urine-soaked charcoal.  Mike Thomas, Lewisberry, PA writes that plans are well underway  for the next rendition of Honey Bee Awarness Day, August 21, 2010.  

John G. Hoffman, Mt. Holly Springs, PA writes about his observations conjured up by Jim Tew's article on wintering  honey bees.  Many of the various methods of insulating combined with the screened open bottom board are promising.  Larry Hensley, Florissant, MO sends a photo of comb built under a screened bottom board.  The Purvis crew, Leoma, TN has put up their business for sale.  The good news is they are downsizing, not going away  and will continue to maintain the Goldline Bee.

Finally, Alvalea Fong, Oregon City, OR is looking for a basic beekeeping book in Chinese.  Contact Editor Flottum for contact information if you find one.

The biggest buzz this month has got to be the newly designed Bee Culture web page.  They have pulled out all the stops on this, including all kinds of resources to find bee  associations, inspectors annd others involved in U.S. Beekeeping.  Most exciting is the digital edition, which will  roll out next month and will cost only $15.  This  is especially good for foreign subscribers, who will stand to save a lot on  postage.  Check out the sample digital copy to see the possibilities.  Note that this is still in beta version, which means Editor Flottum asks that anyone encountering problems, please contact him.  One example is that the digital edition may not function with all browsers currently in circulation.

Editor Flottum waxes on the Asian honey bee situation.  Read what his take is on  the precautions APHIS and Australians are implementing to ensure none of these critters reach U.S. shores.  The historical record on this is not encouraging.

Two resources are listed in the What's New section, the book Honey for Health & Beauty by both a physician and chef, and Bees in Art, the world's first art gallery devoted to honey bees.  Also check out the new mite control MAQS based on formic acid and  new frame holders from  Check out the Beehaus, a pricey example of new materials incorporating a mesh floor.  Finally, consider composer Marjorie de Muynck's Vibrational  Healing  Music.

Clarence Collison takes a closer look at the mysterius Dufour's gland.  It is ten-times greater in volume in a queen than a normal worker gland and also is found in all female hymenopterans (ants, bees and wasps)

Steve Sheppard reviews a special issue on  "Bee Conservation" in Apidologie 40:193-416.  It contains  twelve papers providing a bigger picture of the importance of bees as pollinators. 

Marla Spivak and colleagues declare that the hygienic stock developed at the University of Minnesota is in good  hands.  This is the first certifiable stock to be delivered  to the beekeeping community.  Read more about this at the new Extension Bee Health site.  Keith  Delaplane follows this with a discussion of the CAP grant.  This is a $4.1 million endeavor that also partners with the extension site.  He promises more articles on the results of this initiative in the future.

Mike Hood takes on Integrated Pest Management for beekeepers.  Read how he says this  technology is changing the ways beekeepers think.  This is the first of a four-part series.

Jim Tew concludes: "There goes the neighborhood."  Read  why bees are not always in the right or best places and how they and exotic plants might cooperate with unintended consequences.

As noted elsewhere, Doug Sommerville concludes that Asian honey bees found in Australia are  not good news. Read in depth what this might mean to beekeepers everywhere.

Kitty Keifer describes how the Cards of Merrimack Valley Apiaries get their bees ready for California.  Read how this is all about timing and honey bee population control.

Jennifer Berry says that three independent studies have concluded that small cell foundation does not do much for Varroa control.  Read the results and materials and methods summary.

Larry Connor complains that beekeepers are not getting the best training.  Read how includingbiological and geographical information into courses would provide an improved way to "think like a bee."

Ann Harman provides a list of possible activities for the East Cupcake Beekeepers Association.  Read why Robert of Roberts Rules of Order should take a back seat in many meetings.

Tom Obrien believes a long Langstroth hive has many potential benefits for both bee and beekeeper.  Read how a five-foot Lang might be in your future.

Ross Conrad reveals that Apis is after all not an exotic genus.  Read how Apis neartica was found the Americas and what its discovery means.

Connie Krochmal believes in small trees for bees.  Read her list including dogwood, smoketree, redbud, mountain ash and golden rain tree.  The latter is no small tree in some areas of Florida.  As in India it can reach 25 feet with a crown to match.

Roger Hoopingarner, a pioneer in the SMR, now VSH initiative, gives further impetus to the idea that continuous selection is necessary in the direction of Varroa tolerance.  Read how all beekeepers can take advantage of this technology right now and what it might mean to the future of beekeeping.

In all the news that fits, read about the fire at A.H. Myer and Sons, new citrus releases in California, Chinese importers pleading guilty to selling adulterated product, the mega meeting in Orlando in 2010 and the New Zealand company that plans to sell premium beehive shares in an innovative marketing campaign for manuka honey.  Read too about Virginia and Carl Webb of Clarkesville, GA winning  again The Best Honey in the World at Apimondia in Montpellier, France.  Finally, view  the trailer of the new movie "Vanashing of the Bees" in the UK.

Ed Colby writes about his vacation to Minnesota to learn how to rear queens.  Read about his experiences at airports in getting his queen cells packed in a thermos jug through security.  The ease with which this happened brings chills to any one interested in keeping exotic biological material at bay. 


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.  .