Sunday, 28 February 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Worst U.S. Honey Crop, Ever!


Worst U.S. Honey  Crop Ever!

Protein feeding pays off with better bee health, better survival, better production, and better wintering.  Learn More.

Find out What’s New At Mann Lake right Here

2009 was a terrible year to be in the honey business. Bee Culture’s unofficial poll last fall came up with a crop estimate of 119 million pounds, produced by 2,223,000 colonies. The USDA on Friday released their figures. Though higher than ours at 144,108,000 million pounds of honey, it is still the worst honey crop on record. Ever. USDA figures showed a colony count of 2,462,000…a couple hundred thousand higher than our guesstimate.

Honey stocks left over from 2008 plus imports during 2009 totaled 248,571,251 pounds, and when you subtract the honey that beekeepers exported – 28,924,255 pounds, the final figure gives a nice picture of how much honey was used in the U.S. overall during 2009. That total figure is 363,754,996 pounds. If you divide that total figure by the average U.S. population for 2009, you get per capita consumption, which is, for 2009 - .903 pounds, or right about 14.5 ounces. Did you eat your pound of  honey last year?

. Last year it was .960 pounds, or 15.4 ounces per person. The figure most honey experts use is a pound a person every year, so though a tad off, these figures are still in the ball park.

The imported figure is daunting not unlike a lot of other foods we consume. The U.S. imported 211,418,300 pounds…or almost 60% of the honey we ate last year. That percentage has been creeping up slowly for several years and no end is in sight. Less U.S. production coupled with the fact that U.S. honey costs more than almost all imported honey makes that easy to understand.

The average price of honey increased 2 percent over last year’s prices, from $1.421 to $1.445 per pound. Retail prices, however, were even higher, rising from $2.247 to $2.784 per pound, or just over 50 cents a pound. That’s a hike by any standard.  

The last caveat for this report is that the USDA does not contact, nor count, beekeeping operations that have 5 or fewer colonies. There are a lot of these in this country and their production does add up, but for the most part, the honey produced by these beekeepers does not enter the stream of commerce, but rather is consumed at home, shared with neighbors and family, or sold to friends or coworkers.


Subscribe to Malcolm Sanford’s Apis Newsletter right here For a comprehensive listing of beekeeping events around the country and around the globe, check out Bee Culture’s Global Beekeeping Calendar

This message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping, published by the A.I. Root Company.





Saturday, 27 February 2010

Central Beekeepers Alliance : New Honey Bee Exhibits at Canada’s Virtual Museum & Agriculture Museum

Central Beekeepers Alliance : New Honey Bee Exhibits at Canada’s Virtual Museum & Agriculture Museum

New Honey Bee Exhibits at Canada’s Virtual Museum & Agriculture Museum

Posted: 27 Feb 2010 05:10 AM PST

The Canadian Agriculture Museum in Ottawa announces a new exhibit to celebrate and educate the public about honey bees and beekeeping in Canada.
Taking Care of Beesness opens March 1st, 2010 — just in time to welcome March break visitors to the nation’s capital, if you’re heading that way — and it runs until October 2010.

Discover the essential role bees play in the pollination of many Canadian food crops such as blueberries and apples, as well as to the production of honey and many other by-products, while you explore the role and the tools of the beekeeper. Check out the Museum's live hive arriving in May and try to find the queen among all the workers and drones.

virtualmuseum-beesNot travelling to Ottawa?

You can still enjoy Bees, a Honey of an Idea, a new interactive “virtual” exhibit about bees, pollination, and apiculture presented by the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) and the Canadian Agriculture Museum.

Don’t miss the Hive Inspection Video, yummy honey recipes, and some great activities for school teachers, parents, and students of all ages… and maybe the rest of us, too!

New Honey Bee Exhibits at Canada’s Virtual Museum & Agriculture Museum was written and published by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. For more information, please visit

How to Keep Bees Like a 5 Year Old Kid

Posted: 26 Feb 2010 09:19 AM PST

Five-year-old Daniel helped his Uncle Don Miksha with the beekeeping chores at Summit Gardens Honey Farms near Calgary, Alberta in May 2008. We’re not sure who shot the video (Daniel’s father, maybe?), but it’s good fun to watch!

And if the family name sounds familiar to you… yes, this is the clan of Ron Miksha, author of the entertaining and educational Bad Beekeeping book, and his brother David Miksa, a Florida queen breeder — “one of about 50 specialists who are maintaining the endangered bee population by providing thoroughbred royalty to raise colonies,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

How to Keep Bees Like a 5 Year Old Kid was written and published by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Häagen-Dazs, City Bees and Boy Scouts


Häagen-Dazs® supports proposed overturn of new york city beekeeping ban

Häagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees™ Campaign Highlights Critical Need for

 Backyard Beekeepers

Protein feeding pays off with better bee health, better survival, better production, and better wintering.  Learn More.

 Find out What’s New At Mann Lake right Here

The honey bee crisis in the U.S. continues to threaten the U.S. food supply.  Bad weather in the Midwest and East this summer and fall seriously impacted the health of a significant number of hives over the winter, adding to the already difficult problem of keeping the bees alive.  The shortage is sending almond farmers scrambling to find enough hives to pollinate the almond orchards in California this month.  With colony losses at approximately 30 percent over the last several winters, it is not surprising that fewer and fewer colonies are available.

 Not only is the honey bee endangered, so too are the caretakers of our petite pollinators.  Today, the average age of a commercial beekeeper is 60 years old.  Beekeeping is a dying art that needs to be sustained and supported. To highlight the importance and need for more apiary enthusiasts, the Häagen-Dazs brand announced today the focus of its Häagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees™ (HD loves HB) campaign this year to help keep the hobby – and the hive – alive and buzzing.

 First, the ice cream maker is calling for support to overturn the New York City Health Department’s ban on beekeeping, set to be reviewed on March 16, 2010. Lifting the ban would allow city residents to keep bees without the risk of violating the current health code and being fined $2,000.  The Health Department currently considers honey bees to be wild animals. More information can be found at

 Unlike commercial beekeepers, backyard or hobbyist beekeepers typically have a small number of hives. The bees pollinate local gardens and plants and also help the honey bee population’s genetic diversity.

“More beekeepers means more honey bees, and that’s what we need right now,” says Dennis vanEngelsdorp, former president of Apiary Inspectors of America and Häagen-Dazs Bee Board member. “By allowing New York City residents to keep bees without penalty, more people will be encouraged to take up this hobby that’s both rewarding and important for our troubled bee population. Good pollinator health is crucial for all of us.”

The brand announced today it is also joining forces with 13 year-old Boy Scout Christopher Stowell, Troop 250, Skiatook, OK.  Christopher is also a beekeeper and is petitioning the Boy Scout Council for reinstatement of the Boy Scout Beekeeping merit badge that was discontinued in 1995.  To sign the letter and petition, visit “The Buzz” page at

“Now, more than ever before, the survival of the honey bee is important to us all,” said Stowell. “If other kids are not encouraged to learn how to become beekeepers, the honey bee will surely die out.” 


“Christopher is an amazing advocate for honey bees and serves as a great example of learning about a problem and working to find a solution,” said Mara Lowry, Häagen-Dazs brand manager. “It’s because of people like him that we continue to be encouraged and inspired to work to help both bees and beekeepers, and we urge everyone to do their part. Signing this letter and petition is one small but impactful thing people can do.”


Häagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees™ Program Encourages Consumers to Take Part


Committed to being part of the solution, the Häagen-Dazs brand is renewing its efforts for a third year to help in the preservation of honey bees and nature’s finest ingredients.  In 2010, Häagen-Dazs ice cream will continue to support Pennsylvania State University and the University of California, Davis, bringing the brand’s total donation to $620,000 over the past three years. In addition to university funding, the Häagen-Dazs brand is also continuing its Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream flavor and HD loves HB™ icon labeling on all packages of bee-built flavors of ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt and bars to drive awareness of the ongoin g issue.


 The brand encourages everyone to find a way to become a bee crusader, and do their part to help save the honey bees. Here’s how to make a difference:

 Start a hive and become a backyard beekeeper – your garden will thank you for it. Look for a beekeeping club in your area to help you get started.

  • Create a bee-friendly garden with plants that attract honey bees. Select a plant with a long growing season or a group of plants that together will offer flowers from spring through fall.  A great resource for information can be found at, or from the horticulturalist at your local plant nursery. 

  • Avoid insecticides in your garden.  Instead, promote good bugs (called ‘beneficial insects’) – bugs that will happily eat the bad bugs chomping on your plants.  More information is available at and

  • When you buy a Häagen-Dazs ice cream bee-built product, a portion of the proceeds of the sale go toward helping the honey bees.

  • Tell a friend – Visit to send a Bee-Mail or to create your own animated honey bee to help spread the word.

  • Visit the Häagen-Dazs Bee Store at All proceeds from our bee store will fund CCD and sustainable pollination research at Penn State and UC Davis.

About Häagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees™


Alarmingly, over the last three winters, more than one in three bee colonies died nationwide.  Researchers are calling the mysterious bee disappearance Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).  Because the Häagen-Dazs brand uses only all-natural ingredients in its recipes, more than 50 percent of the brand’s flavors are bee-built, meaning they use ingredients pollinated by the bees.


In 2008, the Häagen-Dazs brand launched the HD loves HB campaign to create awareness of the honey bee crisis.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of HD loves HB labeled flavors fund sustainable pollination and CCD research at Pennsylvania State University and University of California, Davis, totaling $620,000 over three years.

About Häagen-Dazs


Crafted in 1960 by Reuben Mattus in his family’s dairy, Häagen-Dazs is the original superpremium ice cream.  True to tradition, Häagen-Dazs is committed to using only all-natural ingredients in crafting the world’s finest ice cream.  Truly made like no other, today Häagen-Dazs ice cream offers a full range of products from ice cream to sorbet, frozen yogurt and frozen snacks in more than 65 flavors.  Häagen-Dazs products are available around the globe for ice cream lovers to enjoy.  For more information, please visit www.Hä

Subscribe to Malcolm Sanford’s Apis Newsletter right here For a comprehensive listing of beekeeping events around the country and around the globe, check out Bee Culture’s Global Beekeeping Calendar



This message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping, published by the A.I. Root Company.



Sunday, 21 February 2010

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Starting a New Bee Hive

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Starting a New Bee Hive

Starting a New Bee Hive

Posted: 20 Feb 2010 09:18 AM PST

In this video, Colorado beekeeper Dan explains how he installs a 3-lb package of bees with queen into their new hive, showing the protective clothing, tools and equipment that he uses.

He places his hives on a hivestand (base) with a sloped landing deck on the front, set up on wooden pallets levelled into the ground to keep everything dry. His supers are 10-frame full-depth and the frames are filled with plastic foundation — more durable than wax, “and the bees don’t care,” he says. A thump of the package sends the bees to the bottom, then he sprinkles a little sugar water to distract them before dumping the bees into the new hive.

The process for installing the caged queen is demonstrated: removing the cork from the cage and replacing it with a piece of candy that the bees will eat away in a few days, releasing the queen.

An entrance reducer cuts down on the territory that this small new colony will need to protect. Sugar water (syrup) in a feeding jar with holes in the lid is provided for the bees to find and feed on, as it’s too early for forage plants to be much in bloom. Interestingly, he uses a field feeding system — the feeder is set out near the hive, rather than placed directly in or on top of the hive.

You’ll notice a two-wire electric fence set up around the hives. Dan explains that Colorado has quite a bear problem, and the 9000-volt fence gives enough of a jolt to the nose of any curious bears that they’ll keep away. It’s a “short pulse” current, however, so no real harm will be done to the bears or to any passing pets or children.

Later in the video, three days later, you’ll see that it seems like the queen didn’t make it out, so Dan comes to the rescue. He opens the cage, taking care that the queen won’t fly away, and shakes her gently into the hive between the frames.

If you have any comments or questions about this video, please contact Dan by email at

Starting a New Bee Hive was written and published by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. For more information, please visit

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Apis Newsletter February 20, 2010

Dear Subscribers,

I find myself way behind this February of 2010.  A perfect storm of things has conspired to keep me from delivering this edition of the Apis Newsletter on time. right on the heels of the mega North American Beekeeping Conference in Orlando, I signed up to address the Southeast Organic Beekeepers event in Palm Beach County and the Georgia Beekeepers Association in Moultrie, GA.  Finally, I am in agreement with my friend Dr. Eric Mussen at the U of California, Davis says in his Nov/Dec 2009 newsletter From the  UC Apiaries, "I can't keep up" with all the information.  Now I'm trying to keep up with world  events through the Global Beekeeping Calendar.

On top of this has come the unexpected cold that seems to linger, including snow in Moultrie in south Georgia last weekend.  The maples and willows have  popped as is there habit in early February each year.  How much pollen the bees were able to get to begin population buildup is only a guess at present.  If they are like us humans, they will find themselves behind the eight ball; a lower population level for them, significantly inflated power bills for us.  On the other hand cold weather may shock the maples into secreting nectar and the citrus also.

No doubt this long cold spell and snowy winter adds fuel to global warming skeptics' arguments, but we have always taught in apiculture that averages are more important than local short-term events; thus photoperiod is what the plants and bees go by rather than localized temperature, but although more predictive in the long run, everyone can be caught short during extremes.  And it is the preponderance of extreme weather events that are on the climate change scientists' minds, rather than "global warming." 

The Southeast Organic event  was certainly different, featuring Sam Comfort, large-scale beekeeper turned small-scale advocate of top bar hives .  I have a running dialogue with the organizer of the Southeast event who wants "no scientists, just good beekeepers," the motto of last year's event.  There is something to be said, however, for hands-on activity rather than lecture, which includes offbeat ideas like manipulating honey bees at night and doing a "cut out" on site from a chest of drawers.  Also present was Beekeeper Linda Tillman from Atlanta, who described the event on her blog.This is a popular event; look for the third edition to be organized next year.

The Georgia meeting featured more scientists, including yours truly, Jennifer Berry and South carolina's Dr. Mike Hood.  The resurrection of Patsy cline at Rossman Apiaries during a snow event was surreal, but featured also down-to-earth fried fish and shrimp in classic Georgia style. 

I have a special place in my heart for Rossman Apiaries, where I started my short commercial beekeeping career and went on to write a series for The Speedy Bee on this experience  Linda Tillman was also there as I guessed the correct weight of a couple of set ups.  Don't ask me how.

Hunting for Bees:  We are excited to announce Bee Hunt, an opportunity for you and your group to participate in science research about the natural world.  Many of you already know about our Bee Hunt project, but some of you do not, and we want to get the word out far and wide... help us spread the word!  Bee Hunt is a project of Discover Life  ( Discover Life provides unique online tools for studying natural history and tracking the impacts of ecological problems. We are building a network of study sites across North America and we’d like to invite you to participate!

There has been a great deal of discussion within the Florida State Beekeepers Association about food safety regulations.  Many small-scale bottlers find themselves with what they call an untenable financial burden.  Perhaps the best rundown on this issue is Dennis Riggs discussion on the Southwest Florida Association's web site.

Check out my February 2010 links at  They include:  Apis cerana spread (big discussion on Bee-L about this), colony collapse disorder, bees as biocontrol of crows in Japan, Britian's train the trainer course, bees give warning of  danger, bees more efficient than cars, Phil Chandler The Barefoot Beekeeper and his podcasts, bees recognizing faces, old hive designs, and decline of bees in Europe,

Finally, check out Clint Walker's take on queen rearing and CCD.  This is a unique queen  producer perspective

Also make plans to attend the Brushy Mountain Webinar series.  The last one on urban beekeeping attracted a big buzz.

Gleanings from the February 2010 edition of Bee Culture:

See the current digital copy of Bee Culture at

Allen Dick, swalwell, Alberta, Canada asks how can we evaluate pollen supplements. He looks at consumption rate and other issues. See more on his influential web site.  Maria Concilio, South Orange, NJ says to tell more folks to leave their gardens in a natural state and minimize lawns.  Harold Boretz, East Hampton, CT says enough!  He complains that beekeeping has gone to the dogs; he writes he's going fishing instead.  John Hoffman, Mt. Holly springs, PA answers many questions on open bottom boards.  Colin Taylor, Bury, Manchester, UK also writes  about screened bottom  board issues.  Sheri Kisch, Laurel, MT asks about apitherapy and MS (Multiple Sclerosis).  She is referred to the American Apitherapy Society. Thomas Mani, Yelm, WA argues that beekeepers shouldn't give up on small cell beekeeping in spite of scientific evidence that its falls short.

Ben and Teri Whitney, Ridge Manor, FL watches Bob the real live snake watch his bee hive.  Larry Krengel urges beekeepers to take the survey found at

Editor Flottum writes that producing local queens is not easy but very rewarding. Read his take on the various projects going on around the country.

New books for 2010 include Dr. Larry Connor's new essential volume on queen rearing and Dr. Reese Halters The Incomparable Honeybee and the Economics of Pollination. Finally, Dr.  Roger Hoopingarner's updates his classic The Hive and the Honey Bee Revisited - Annotated.

Clarence Collison takes a closer look at Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus and its relatives.  Read why it's relatively easy to detect IAPV, but not what to do about it.

Katherine Aronstein reports on the Coordinated Apicultural Project (CAP) and the potential for detecting nosema in time.  Read about this "dipstick" technology.

Roger Hoopingarner reviews some of L.L. Langstroth's findings as a bee biologist; he was not just a  "mover of boxes."

Larry connor tries to answer an important question from a reader; what kind of bee do I have?  Read his analysis of the North American honey bee story.

Ross Conrad reviews stress reduction techniques in bee  management.  Surprise! Chemicals (drugs and pesticides) are big culprits.  Read about the best ways to mitigate these stressors.

Joe Traynor writes his notes from the almond conference. Read how what happens in california affects beekeeping elsewhere.

Jim Tew takes a step back and contemplates doing more with less.  Read why being over 50 and doing all the work yourself is a good start.  Read what else he makes up as he goes along.

Kim Flottum profiles queen producer Jennifer Berry. Read how she plans to rear queens using the same principles as she has advocated in her printed column in Bee Culture.

Tom Obrien suggests meeting the Ontario Beekeepers Association's technical transfer team. Read about this innovative program and how it might be a model of things to come.

Jennifer Berry describes how beekeepers might play a significant role as citizen scientists looking at climate change and beekeeping.  Read her take  on Dr. Wayne Esaias' research project.

Abbas Edun writes about natural remedy plants.  Read about the benefits of Algarrobo, Agrimony and Glossy Abelia.

Walt Wright discusses taking the age distribution into account when making splits.  Read about the differences between second-year and established colonies and why he makes a distinction between the verb "split" and noun "nuc."

Mike Hood begins a series on integrated pest management for small hive beetle.  Read about the basics of beetle biology and how beekeepers might use this knowledge to keep beetle levels down.

Ann Harman says new beekeepers can be overwhelmed by all the newest, best items in bee catalogs.  Read about her big three:  tool, veil and smoker, and some surprising others, like  the cappings scratcher and tool container.

Dan Stiles takes on skunks, which he knows a lot about.  Learn about the skunk's most problematic characteristic, its size.  Maybe they should make an action movie about large-size skunks, complete with fumigation of the audience.

In All The News That Fits, my friend Medhat Nasr receives the Distinguished Achievement Award, Alberta Beekeepers Commission, two pioneers have died, beekeeping Milton carlyle Knoefler of California and Dr. E.W. (Bert) Martin, who retired from an academic life to become a U.S.D.A. Program Leader in pollination and bee management.  Read how bees and tractors team up, the spread of more exotic Asian bees  in Australia, and how the exotic asian hornet is spreading in Europe.  Finally, read reports of pesticide-resistant Varroa in New Zealand and the controversy about the Manuka  honey standard.

On the Bottom Board, Peter Seiling reports on his activities as the "bee whisperer," a combination of ancient alchemy and witchcraft that delights audiences and scares  them at the same time.  The bee performance artist emerges "to confront the nihilistic existentialism of Post Modernism's archetypal paradigm." Consider this the next time someone wants  you to do an interview.


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.  .

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Clarity on Honey Bee Collapse?

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Clarity on Honey Bee Collapse?

Clarity on Honey Bee Collapse?

Posted: 17 Feb 2010 05:00 AM PST

Beekeepers will be interested in highlights from an article published recently in Science magazine, called Clarity on Honey Bee Collapse?. It’s by Francis L. W. Ratnieks and Norman L. Carreck of the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects, Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Sussex, UK.

Over the past few years, the media have frequently reported deaths of honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Most reports express opinions but little hard science.

It is not the mite itself that causes bee death, but a range of normally innocuous bee viruses that it carries.

A recent study of beekeeping history pointed out that extensive colony losses are have occurred at different points in time in many parts of the world. In other words, Colony Collapse Disorder is not the unique event that media attention would lead us to believe — and concern for honey bees has been “magnified by their vital role in agriculture” in the United States, where the $2-billion-per-year California almond industry depends on the pollination services of honey bees. Theories as to the cause of CCD have ranged from mobile phones and genetically modified crops (theories that were quickly dismissed by scientists) to more credible theories that have been the subject of more serious research: pests and diseases, environmental and economic factors, and pesticides.

Although full explanations for these losses are still debatable, the consensus seems to be that pests and pathogens are the single most important cause of colony losses.

There is also growing evidence that the ability of a particular pathogen to kill colonies may depend on other factors, such as the Varroa mire — but it’s not the mite itself that is killing bees, Ratnieks and Carreck point out, but the bee viruses that it carries and passes from one weakened, stressed honeybee to another.

Clarity on Honey Bee Collapse?
Francis L. W. Ratnieks and Norman L. Carreck
Science 8 January 2010: 152-153

Clarity on Honey Bee Collapse? was written and published by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. For more information, please visit

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Monday, 15 February 2010

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Suspect Named in Canadian Bee Losses

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Suspect Named in Canadian Bee Losses

Suspect Named in Canadian Bee Losses

Posted: 15 Feb 2010 05:00 AM PST

Bees across Canada have declined by 30 to 40 percent every spring since 2006, and the numbers are similar across the northern hemisphere. It may come as a surprise to struggling beekeepers, then, that University of Guelph entomological researcher Dr. Ernesto Guzman says Colony Collapse Disorder may not even exist.

In the past two years alone, hundreds of books have been published on the plight of domestic honeybees.

“CCD is an arbitrary name,” Dr. Guzman told the Toronto Star, “designed by U.S. scientists to define a high mortality of colonies that have no explainable reason… Radio waves, even terrorist plots” are among some of the theories.

Certainly, what’s going on in Canada is not the same as what’s been happening in the United States — our bees are not actually disappearing. And that’s the main symptom of CCD cases, that beekeepers don’t find dead bees in the hive. “It’s like they have died in the field and they never came back,” Dr. Guzman says.

“We don’t see that in Canada, I believe, because in the winter they cannot fly out.”

Instead, Canadian beekeepers tend to find piles of dead bees in the bottom of hives when they open them up in the spring.

What's been killing off our Canadian honeybees?
Varroa mites are strongly suspected.

Heartbreaking for beekeepers, but those sad little corpses actually turn out to be a good thing for us, however — it means that Canadian bee researchers have something to study! And Guzman’s been doing just that. He followed 413 Ontario bee colonies for a year and took a close-up look at the 27 percent of those hives that didn’t make it through the winter.

In a forthcoming report in the journal Apidologie, Guzman blames the varroa mite — that tiny crab-like parasite that sucks the blood out of bees, hopelessly weakening them so even if they aren’t killed outright they become more susceptible to disease –in combination with poor bee populations and low food reserves going into the winter.

Suspect Named in Canadian Bee Losses was written and published by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. For more information, please visit

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Automatic Beekeeping?

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Automatic Beekeeping?

Automatic Beekeeping?

Posted: 12 Feb 2010 08:18 AM PST

“Automatic hive – no beekeeper needed!” That’s what the man says, and offers an online manual with “detailed instructions for constructing and operating fully automatic hives, for which no bee knowledge is required of any kind, since only open to harvest.”

I’m not sure if this method of beekeeping is (a) legal or (b) wise, in this part of the world — but the theory is certainly sure to get beekeepers thinking and talking!

The website that explains this system is Apicultura Extensiva Natural by Oscar Perone, a professional beekeeper since 2002 and teacher of beekeeping at a college in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The photographs and diagrams are interesting in themselves, and Google will give you an English translation to read to get the details.

Automatic Beekeeping? was written and published by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. For more information, please visit

Thursday, 11 February 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Really, Bees on Nicotine & Caffeine?


Are bees also addicted to caffeine and nicotine?

A study carried out at the University of Haifa has found that bees prefer nectar with a small concentration of caffeine and nicotine over nectar that does not comprise these substances at all

From EurekAlert

Protein feeding pays off with better bee health, better survival, better production, and better wintering.  Learn More.

 Find out What’s New At Mann Lake right Here

Bees prefer nectar with small amounts of nicotine and caffeine over nectar that does not comprise these substances at all, a study from the University of Haifa reveals. "This could be an evolutionary development intended, as in humans, to make the bee addicted," states Prof. Ido Izhaki, one of the researchers who conducted the study.

Flower nectar is primarily comprised of sugars, which provide energy for the potential pollinators. But the floral nectar of some plant species also includes small quantities of substances known to be toxic, such as caffeine and nicotine. The present study, carried out by researchers at the Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Science Education at the University of Haifa-Oranim, headed by Prof. Ido Izhaki along with Prof. Gidi Ne'eman, Prof. Moshe Inbar and Dr. Natarajan Singaravelan, examined whether these substances are intended to "entice" the bees or whether they are byproducts that are not necessarily linked to any such objective.

Nicotine is found naturally in floral nectar at a concentration of up to 2.5 milligrams per liter, primarily in various types of tobacco tree (Nicotiana glauca). Caffeine is found at concentration levels of 11-17.5 milligrams per liter, mostly in citrus flowers. In the nectar of grapefruit flowers, however, caffeine is present in much higher concentrations, reaching 94.2 milligrams per liter. In order to examine whether bees prefer the nectar containing caffeine and nicotine, the researchers offered artificial nectar that comprised various natural sugar levels and various levels of caffeine and nicotine, alongside "clean" nectar that comprised sugar alone. The caffeine and nicotine concentrations ranged from the natural levels in floral nectar up to much higher concentrations than found in nature.

The results showed that bees clearly prefer nectar containing nicotine and caffeine over the "clean" nectar. The preferred nicotine concentration was 1 milligram per liter, similar to that found in nature. Given a choice of higher levels of nicotine versus "clean" nectar, the bees preferred the latter.

According to the researchers, it is difficult to determine for sure whether the addictive substances in the nectar became present in an evolutionary process in order to make pollination more efficient. It can be assumed, however, based on the results of the study, that the plants that survived natural selection are those that developed "correct" levels of these addictive substances, enabling them to attract and not repel bees, thereby giving them a significant advantage over other plants. The researchers emphasized that this study has proved a preference, not addiction, and they are currently examining whether the bees do indeed become addicted to nicotine and caffeine.

Subscribe to Malcolm Sanford’s Apis Newsletter right here For a comprehensive listing of beekeeping events around the country and around the globe, check out Bee Culture’s Global Beekeeping Calendar

 This message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping, published by the A.I. Root Company.



Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Central Beekeepers Meet 9 March 2010

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Central Beekeepers Meet 9 March 2010

Central Beekeepers Meet 9 March 2010

Posted: 09 Feb 2010 03:10 PM PST

Central Beekeepers will hold our regular monthly meeting on 9 March 2010 at the Agricultural Research Centre, Fredericton, New Brunswick (see the map on the ‘Meet Us’ page).

Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Central Beekeepers Alliance Meeting
Agricultural Research Centre, Fredericton, NB
7:30 p.m.

Visitors and new beekeepers are welcome.

Central Beekeepers Meet 9 March 2010 comes from the Central Beekeepers Alliance of New Brunswick, Canada. For more information on Honey Bees and Beekeeping, please: * Visit * Subscribe to our RSS feed * Get free updates by e-mail

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Clorox Company Does Good


The Clorox Company – It Pays To Do Good


Protein feeding pays off with better bee health, better survival, better production, and better wintering.  Learn More.

 Find out What’s New At Mann Lake right Here

The Clorox Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with fiscal year 2009 revenues of $5.5 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products; Green Works® natural cleaners; Armor All® and STP® auto-care products; Fresh Step® and Scoop Away® cat litter; Kingsford® charcoal; Hidden Valley® and K C Masterpiece® dressings and sauces; Brita® water-filtration systems; Glad® bags, wraps and containers; and Burt's Bees® natural personal care products. With approximately 8,300 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in more than two dozen countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has aw arded cash grants totaling more than $77 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2009 alone, the foundation awarded $3.6 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $7.8 million. For more information about Clorox, visit

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Monday, 8 February 2010



Global Honey Market to Expand, BIG TIME

By Alan Harman

Protein feeding pays off with better bee health, better survival, better production, and better wintering.  Learn More.

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The global honey market is forecast to exceed 1.9 million tons by 2015.

   A new report by California-based Global Industry Analyst Inc. (GIA) says the market is being primarily driven by increasing awareness levels and health consciousness among the consumers, leading to increasing demand for healthy and natural food products.

   In line with the trend, several honey producers are launching new products and varieties at regular intervals. The increasing trend of organic and healthy spreads is expected to continue giving rise to new variants and flavors in the global honey market.

   “Increasing preference among consumers for honey-based products, is leading to a boost in the variety and assortment of honey based food products, baby products, yogurts and drinks,” the report, which GIA is selling for $3,950, says. “Moreover, honey contains antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and proteins, making itself an appealing ingredient as compared to artificial sweeteners.”

   Europe and the Asia Pacific, including Japan, dominates the global honey market, the report says but warns the global honey sector is not devoid of any challenges.

   Honeybee losses represent one of the major challenges encountered by honey sector worldwide. Honeybees are also susceptible to threats such as environmental stress, pests and diseases, among others. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) leading to death and disappearance of honeybees, is another key challenge faced by the global honey sector.

   Lately, the U.S. honey sector is facing a steep decline in production volumes triggered by declining number of bee colonies, and increased costs, leading to rising honey prices.

  Apart from disease and pests, including colony collapse disorder, the report says calamities such as drought and wildfire also affected the bee production and costs in the recent past. Various macroeconomic factors such as U.S. dollar depreciation and weak economic conditions also led to the price rise in the honey market.

   The report says key players dominating the Global Honey Market include Bee Maid, Billy Bee Honey, Capilano Honey, Comvita Ltd., Dabur India Ltd,, Dutch Gold Honey Inc., Golden Acres Honey, Hebei Wuqiao Mtl. Co. Ltd., Odem International Inc., Rowse Honey Ltd, Shriro Pvt. Ltd., Sioux Honey Association and Yanbian Baolixiang Beekeeping Co. Ltd.

   The report titled Honey: A Global Strategic Business Report, provides a comprehensive review of industry overview, product overview, product introductions/innovations, profiles of major players, and recent industry activity.

   The study analyzes market data and analytics in terms of volume sales for regions including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

   For more details about this comprehensive market research report, visit -


 Subscribe to Malcolm Sanford’s Apis Newsletter right here For a comprehensive listing of beekeeping events around the country and around the globe, check out Bee Culture’s Global Beekeeping Calendar


This message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping, published by the A.I. Root Company.