I am just back from addressing the Colorado State Beekeepers Association. Like others this group is going through a period of adjustment due to addition of new members and emergence of many urban beekeepers in the State. I provided them some ideas concerning my reflections found in the shared vision statement I published some time back. Ann Harman’s article this month is really appropriate to this discussion. Read why it’s time for the East Cupcake Beekeepers to take a hard look at their governance issues. I also discussed the root causes of CCD and the honey standard, both found at the Apis web site.
I left Denver in snow flurries as a line of de-icing machines, complete with modified cherry pickers, applied anti-freeze to all airplanes before taking off. I got off just in time as a blizzard descended on the Mile High City and then took off across the country’s midsection. I returned to 78 degree weather in Jacksonville, but now we will experience temperatures in the mid 30s here tonight. Let’s hope our southern bees will not bee to hard pressed during this cold front.
Florida is gearing up for the new year with the North American Beekeeping Conference coming to Orlando, January 12-16. This is a mega meeting with most of the alphabet soup organizations attending from both the U.S. and Canada, including AAPA and ABRC, CAPA, CHC, AIA, etc. See details at the revamped ABF web site. Advance registration is available through the rest of December.
There’s a lot of buzz about the proposed L.L. Langstroth postage stamp. Please write to the Stamp Advisory Committee, directly. Tell them: "LL Langstroth, the Father of American Beekeeping, deserves a commemorative stamp." If everyone could get 3 other people to send a letter to the Postal Service imagine the flood of letters. Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee c/o Stamp Development U.S. Postal Service 1735 North Lynn Street Suite 5013 Arlington, VA 22209-6432 Want to know more? Check out these links: Patent #9300 LL Langstroth's 200 Birthday Celebration Send a Letter OR Send an Email. Or for the biggest impact, do BOTH!” http://scifri.org/dte/about/projects/bee-science/postage-due/
Bee City is for sale for $375,000, if it hasn’t sold already. Retire to South Carolina in style see: http://www.beecity.net/ (in this market probably the biggest problem would be financing—cash is king right now)
Fran Bach reports that the Western Apicultural Society now has a home page complete with past issues of its newsletter . The next WAS conference will be in Salem, Oregon at the end of August 2010, with Dewey Caron driving it. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge. This now makes a trifecta of EAS, HAS and WAS for training beekeepers.
It’s time to circle the wagons as more and more beekeepers begin to have problems keeping bees in Urban areas. I am making a list of what municipalities indeed have both bee friendly and bee unfriendly ordinances. The idea is that any fight to legalize beekeeping should not be a local thing, but something that might better be nation wide. There’s more strength in numbers. So send me the name of the community you keep bees in and what is the current status. Also include a copy of any ordinance that specifically states whether beekeeping is legal or not and why. This will begin to provide the ammunition for a country wide-effort to legalize beekeeping everywhere. As an example, check out Ypsilanti City.
All you beekeeping teachers out there take heed! We no longer can say that Apis is an exotic genus introduced to the New World by Europeans. :Engel, et al., found their bee, which they named Apis nearctica, in a fourteen-million-year-old shale formation in the Stewart Valley Basin in west-central Nevada. The remains were partially disarticulated, but enough components were there that it could be diagnosed as a honey bee. A. nearctica closely resembles a contemporary species from Germany, Apis armbrusteri. It was found in company with fossil ants and wasps, one group of which is characteristic of forested environments.
‘Since only one specimen was found, we can’t know whether A. nearctica was social or solitary. But its European relative A. armbrusteri was represented by a swarm of workers that had succumbed to carbon dioxide at a hot spring. (Ludwig Armbruster, an arch-category splitter, described a number of separate species based on variations among the bees and named them after his friends and colleagues. Later researchers decided they were all the same kind of bee.)
‘Two questions come to mind: how did A. nearctica get to Nevada, and what happened to it? Through geological time, North America has had land connections with both Asia and Europe. During the Miocene epoch, when A. nearctica was extant, only the route from Asia—an early version of Beringia—was open.
EPA (in cooperation with Oregon State University) has launched a new portal for the reporting of ecological incidents related to pesticides, through their "National Pesticide Information Center" website. This is an effort by the Office of Pesticide Programs to improve the quantity and quality of incident data they receive for pesticides, so please check it out, use it, and get the word out to other interested parties!
Editor Flottum writes: “WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rolled out proposed guidance for new pesticide labeling to reduce off-target spray and dust drift. The new instructions, when implemented, will improve the clarity and consistency of pesticide labels and help prevent harm from spray drift. The agency is also requesting comment on a petition to evaluate children’s exposure to pesticide drift.
“The new label statements will help reduce problems from pesticide drift,” said Steve Owens, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “The new labels will carry more uniform and specific directions on restricting spray drift while giving pesticide applicators clear and workable instructions.”
Gleanings from the December 2009 Bee Culture
Lynn Kallus, Merry Point, VA agrees with Jim Tew and is about to intentionally annoy her neighbors and friends. John Koster writes that the Allendale NJ Borough Council voted unanimously in October to rescind a ban on apiaries. Joe Traynor says that guttation is the latest buzz in beekeeping circles and was discussed at Apimondia 09 in France . LeRoy Miller, Jr. Galion, OH asks about winter cover as described by Dave Hemendinger in the October 09 issue.
Sky and Basil Campbell, Athens, GA suggest more research be done on organic beekeeping methods by those studying this area. Peter Leighton, Jackson, NJ suggests a way to increase genetic diversity. Peter Smith, Great Missenden, England sends a great picture of a wasp nest in his attic complete with wasps; a thing of beauty he says. Joe Fitzpatrick, Blue Bell, PA suggests different placement of small hive beetle refugia traps. Jim Cowan, Aberdeen, WA asks if bees are getting gentler; his experiences show they are. Enos Miller, Ogdensburg, NY decides he likes 1/8 inch mesh for bottom boards rather than ¼ inch.
David Bancalari, Norfolk, England is looking for a diseased comb and a web developer; for details, e-mail email@example.com. John Hoffman, Mt. Holly Springs, PA uses a mirror to check his brood chamber via an open bottom board. A Concerned Reader urges caution for Lyme disease; if one feels fatigued seek a physicians advice as if caught early the disease can be treated. Robert Helmacy, Hop Bottom, VA is concerned that CCD articles do not point directly to neonicotinoids (imidacloprid and others in the same class). This concern nets a response from Editor Flottum concerning the complex nature of CCD.
Postage Due, celebrating honey bee science with the 200th birthday of L.L. Langstroth, indicates that a flood of letters is needed to the U.S. Postal Service Service Citizens’ Stamp Committee for their January meeting. Write CSAC, c/o Stamp Development, U.S. Postal Service, 1735 North Lynn St., Arlington, VA 22209-6432 and also e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
New for the beekeeper is Beekeeping 101 by Dana Stahlman, ISBN 9780984275304; bulk orders from email@example.com. The 90-minute documentary, The Vanishing Bees looks to open pretty soon and is being marketed to bee clubs; $100 nets five copies to be sold or given away. Bee-Pro Max patties are being offered by Mann Lake Supply, http://www.mannlakeltd.com and the IBRA publishes a number of volumes, including Anatomy and Dissection of the Honey Bee, Beekeepers Protective Clothing and Skeps, Tools and Accessories, http://www.ibrastore.org.uk.
Clarence Collison takes a closer look at Varroa and small hive beetles a virus vectors. Read how both organisms are culpable.
Reed Johnson discusses When Varroacides Interact, a heretofore little studied situation that has big implications. Read the situation surrounding P450 detoxification and what happens when you mix chemicals as humans sometimes have with catastrophic results (Tylenol and excessive alcohol).
Dan Stiles set up a camera system with motion detector in his back yard. Look at some of the images that resulted.
Larry Connor looks at bee biology and how it effects colony management. Read his analysis of pollen foraging and use by bees, nectar collection, water collection and even resin collection.
Ross Conrad says there are two approaches to requeening, actively doing so as part of management or letting nature take its course. Read how Mr. Conrad confesses he has never re-queened a colony because he basically simply lets the bees do it.
Allen Lassiter describes producing queens in North Carolina. He looks at Spring Bank Apiaries as an example of a growing number of “micro-breeders.” Read why timing is so essential in this activity.
Jill Jonnes describes the Paris Beekeeping School. See pictures of beekeepers in the Jardin de Luxembourg in the 6th Arrondisement. See another discussion at the old Apis Newsletter site.
Jim Tew has jumbled thoughts at what new beekeepers should know about old beekeepers and vice versa. Read about penalties for today’s mistakes, changes in information technology and compartmentalization. These are all part of a very new boat that is current beekeeping.
Melanie Kirby begins a several part series on integrated top-bar hive management. Read how the Peace Corps experience in Paraguay in 1997 shifted her thinking and what that means for fusion of both top-bar and Langstroth beekeeping technique.
Joe Traynor discusses immunity and resistance in the honey bee world. Read his prescription for maintaining healthy bee colonies.
Walt Wright objects to the double deep brood chamber for several reasons. Read what configuration he uses and why. See his point of view at http://www.beesource.com.
Ann Harman writes it’s time for a change. Read what this means for governance of beekeeping associations.
Abbas Edun looks at acerola, aconite, and globe artichoke as natural remedies. Read what each plant appears to be good for and how to use it.
Leonard Riepenhoff writes that to be a good beekeeper one must keep good records. Read why diaries aren’t just for lovesick girls.
I met the Bottom Board guy, Ed Colby in Longmont, CO this month. He’s a unique individual to bee sure. Check out this month’s contribution “Vandals In The Apiary,” as he searches for answers to this timeless problem.
Malcolm T. Sanford
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