Wednesday, 30 June 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Chinese Honey tainted by Dirty Dealings


Chinese Honey Trade Tainted By Dirty Dealings

An inside look at the Chinese Honey Industry

Associated Press Writer -
June 30, 2010


BEIJING (AP) — Businessman Yan Yongxiang was trying to get around stiff U.S. levies on imports of cheap Chinese honey. So he sent 15 shipping containers of cut-rate honey to the Philippines, where it was relabeled and sent on to the United States.

It's called honey-laundering, and the subterfuge let Yan skirt $656,515 in taxes before he was caught in a bust and pleaded guilty. Yan's factory in central China's Henan province even filtered the metals and pollen from the honey so that U.S. tests would not show it came from China, according to the 60-year-old's plea agreement. Now he awaits sentencing in a U.S. jail.

Honey-laundering is just one of many unsavory practices that have besmirched China's vast honey industry and raised complaints from competing American beekeepers. China produces more honey than anywhere else in the world, about 300,000 metric tons (660 million pounds) a year or about 25 percent of the global total. But stocks are tainted with a potentially dangerous antibiotic and cheaper honeys are increasingly getting passed off as more expensive varieties.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seized 64 drums of Chinese honey tainted with chloramphenicol, an antibiotic, at a warehouse in Philadelphia. Last year, the agency said two Chinese honey shipments were found to contain the drug, which is approved for medical use but banned in food products because in rare cases it can cause aplastic anemia, a potentially fatal illness.

Experts say quality problems are hard to avoid in a business dominated by small manufacturers, many of whom are poor and uneducated.

Chinese honey collectors like Min Junguo, 47, spend every spring and summer chasing the flowers, lugging their bees from the chasteberry trees of south China to the yellow acacia blossoms around Beijing. While on the road, Min lives with his wife in a collapsible woodframe hut with a tarp draped over it and sleeps on a board propped up on boxes. He has a fifth-grade education and makes about $4,500 in a good year, though much of that gets spent on sugar to feed his bees in the winter and transportation fees.

Compared to the average rural income, which was just 5,153 yuan (about $760), in 2009, he is doing pretty well.

"I am not getting rich doing this, but it buys my freedom so I can be my own boss," said Min, as he stood in a shady patch of trees and flowers near the Great Wall, surrounded by more than 100 of his bee boxes.

Min denies using antibiotics. But China's supply chain for honey is long and little policed, so that it's hard to tell what corners are cut where. Min sells 5 tons of honey a year to roving middlemen, who batch it with other honey and resell it to factories and exporters.

One of Min's buyers, Wei Nianhai, said Chinese authorities have cracked down on illegal antibiotics like chloramphenicol in recent years, but it's still a hard habit to break for many bee keepers.

"If their bees got sick, the first thing in their mind is saving their bees instead of caring about the quality of honey," said Wei, a honey dealer from Chengde in central China's Henan province. "They can't afford the loss of bees."

He also admitted that he doesn't test the honey he buys for the antibiotic because he doesn't have the time or the equipment — an indication of the lax enforcement behind China's food safety regulations.

Peter Leedham, managing director of the Suzhou office of the food testing company Eurofins Technology Service, says many Chinese bee keepers are untrained and unknowingly give their bees the medicine.

"A lot of the honey farmers or honey collectors here are small businesses or even families and they do it basically to supplement income," he said. "They often will be told to add this wonderful mixture to whatever they are doing because it will help improve their yields. And they are not told what's in it by the sellers or what it does."

Leedham said his clients, who rely on Eurofins to test samples of Chinese honey to ensure it meets export standards, are increasingly concerned about authenticity or cheaper Chinese honey being passed off as more expensive varieties.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York has called for a federal standard for pure honey similar to guidelines already established for olive oil to help combat fakes or blends. He has also lobbied for tougher measures against customs cheats like Yan and says that between $100-200 million in duties are being lost because of Chinese honey being laundered through India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and other countries.

Honey fraud and honey-laundering are part of a controversial debate over whether or not the U.S. needs heavy subsidies to protect its homegrown honey industry.

Eric Mussen, an apiculturist or bee expert at the University of California, Davis, said it costs U.S. beekeepers about $1.40 to make a pound of honey, including colony maintenance, transportation to honey production areas, harvesting and packing. Before tariffs, he said, Chinese honey was coming into the U.S. at about 35 cents per pound.

"Obviously, this is not a 'level playing field,'" Mussen wrote in an e-mail response to questions.

Mussen said if the antidumping tariffs were lifted, sales of U.S. honey "would probably drop way off, but not necessarily to zero. Many U.S. beekeepers would go out of business."

Fewer bees also could affect crops like California almonds, which rely on commercial crop pollination services that are carried out by bees, he said.

But Chinese honey makers and the Chinese government say the U.S. duties, which can be nearly double the sale value of the honey, are unfair and discriminatory.

China argues that because the U.S. subsidizes honey farmers, it doesn't need to protect them so vigorously from import competition. Chinese bee keepers this year welcomed a new measure that waived their highway toll fees, and they sometimes get local government support, but are not covered by a federal subsidy program.

Asked by a reporter to comment on honey laundering at a press briefing this month, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian sidestepped the question and expounded on China's frustration with U.S. import duties instead.

"Currently, the U.S. levies $2.63 in antidumping duties for every kilogram of Chinese honey," Yao said. "We hope to resolve this issue as soon as possible, and do away with this discriminatory measure. However, so far the U.S. side has not been very energetic in this regard."

The case of Yan, the seller busted for transshipping honey through the Philippines, so angered American beekeepers that a group of them wrote to Illinois District Court Judge Wayne Andersen in January, arguing he should get "the stiffest sentence that you are able to order."

E-mails seized by customs agents from Yan's buyer, a German company with offices in Chicago, showed staff there referred to him as "famous Mr. Non stop smoker." The buyer, Alfred L. Wolff, Inc., is being investigated for fraud.

Yet to his son, Yan is "a self-made entrepreneur who worked hard all his life," and became an unlucky pawn in an international trade dispute.

"I feel that this case is mainly about a controversy between the two countries and we're caught in the middle," said Yan Chaofeng by telephone from Changge, Henan province where his father's factory is located. "We've hired a lawyer but I'm afraid it won't make any difference, since the (U.S.) government is behind this."

Associated Press researcher Xi Yue contributed to this report.


Tuesday, 29 June 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Project Apis m Update


Latest News from Project Apis m.

Visit us on the Web at

June 29, 2010

Welcome to the latest edition of the Project Apis m. Newsletter

What is Project Apis m (PAm)?  A non-profit organization focused on finding realistic solutions to beekeepers' challenges by supporting practical, results-oriented in-field research.

  • PAm forging ahead on beekeeper BMPs - -  PAm received a Specialty Crop Block Grant to develop Best Management Practices (BMPs) for beekeepers pollinating California’s specialty crops.  The BMPs focus on having strong colonies for almond pollination.  Once there is enough healthy honey bee colonies in California for almonds, then the other crops will no doubt have their pollinating needs met.  PAm representatives are currently conducting phone and in-person interviews with migratory and California beekeepers to develop a set of guidelines for successful nutrition, pest and disease control, and colony management.  These guidelines will be a work-in-progress over the next three years.  Video clips, fact sheets and brochures are being developed for distribution at upcoming meetings and conferences and can be accessed on PAm’s website (click here)

  • Introducing “The Cummings Report” - - The name for the Almond Pricing Update on PAm’s website has been changed to The Cummings Report.  The Almond Pricing Update is a frequently accessed site on PAm’s Home Page that reviews the current status of the almond market.  Most commercial beekeepers are keenly interested in the almond market because it is so important to their businesses.  Dan Cummings, chairman of PAm, has been writing the almond update since August, 2009.  In acknowledgment of Dan’s credibility and knowledge of both the almond and bee industries, PAm’s board members suggested and unanimously approved the name change.  In addition to the almond status, The Cummings Report will soon also include a honey bee status report.  

  • UCD’s Sue Cobey is off to WSU part-time   - - UCD’s loss is WSU’s gain.  Sue Cobey has reduced her association with UC Davis to a half-time position, while accepting a half-time position at Washington State University.  Sue will be stationed at WSU’s Mount Vernon Research Center in the Skagit Valley of northwestern Washington.  The exemplary work Sue conducts in honey bee genetics will not be adversely affected.  On the contrary, this new association will allow her to move bees and research projects not unlike commercial beekeepers – taking advantage of the earlier California spring, and then on to more diversified forage sources.  Sue will now be able to work more closely with the experts at WSU who are known for their advances in cryopreservation and properties of honey bee semen.  Click here for more information on WSU’s Mount Vernon Research Center. 

  • Self-fertile almonds?  - - Beekeepers need not worry that self-fertile almonds will be taking over the almond industry any time soon.  Scientists have been working on self-fertile almonds for years and there are no varieties available that come close to the yield and popularity of the old standby’s like Nonpareil, Mission, Monterey, Butte, Padre, Carmel, the California varieties, etc.  Besides, even self-fertile almonds will set a better crop with some rented bees in the neighborhood. 

  • Speaking of almond pollination, how about more bees in 2011?  -- With an estimated 20,000 more bearing acres needing pollination this next season, almond growers will need 40,000 – 50,000 more honey bee colonies more than the 2010 pollination season requirements.    

  • PAm’s workload expanding  -- Project Apis m. has just over $200,000 in research projects currently underway.  In addition to managing this research, PAm has the three-year Best Management Practices project to produce educational and outreach materials on BMPs for beekeepers.  PAm is working with the California State Beekeepers Association to pursue much-needed funding for evaluation of forage crops in an effort to improve bee nutrition, bee health and bee strength.  Now working for PAm on a part-time contract basis, is a former school teacher, Meg Ribotto.  Meg is assisting in keeping PAm’s website current, conducting interviews, developing outreach materials, and managing exhibitor booths for dissemination of information.

  • Upcoming July Bee Culture article on pesticides is a beekeeping industry call to action - - In an effort to “raise the bar” in our discussion of pesticides and fungicides as they relate to honey bee exposure, July’s issue of Bee Culture will feature an article co-authored by PAm’s Christi Heintz and the Almond Board’s Gabriele Ludwig, both of whom have been involved in pesticide issues for many years.  The article is a balanced approach considering the synergistic relationship between beekeepers and growers and the need to define and discuss important factors involved in pesticide dialogues.  Here’s the bottom line – honey bees need better pest and disease control products and need better protection from grower-applied pesticides.  This article presents the facts and provides a bluepr int for successfully dealing with pesticide issues.

  • PAm to be visible at upcoming conferences - - Look for Project Apis m representation at upcoming bee meetings in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Oregon.  Penn State is hosting the First International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy from July 24-28, 2010 in State College, PA. Click here for more information on the PSU conference.  The Eastern Apicultural Society meets Aug 2-6 in Boone, NC.  Click here for more information on EAS.  And the Western Apicultural Society meets Aug 30 – Sept 2 in Salem, OR (click here for WAS conference information).  For more meetings, conferences and dates go to the Events section of Project Apis m’s website (click her e).

  • Donate now to PAm -- Why PAm?  Because PAm funds bee research that is selected and guided by beekeepers.  We are suggesting $1 per colony to support PAm's research efforts that seek to find practical solutions for managed colonies.  Click here to donate. 

If you sent hives to Paramount Farming Co. orchards during the 2009 pollination season, Paramount will generously match your contribution to PAm, dollar-for-dollar. Write your check to PAm, send it our address below, and include a note that you were a Paramount beekeeper.  “A buck a hive” becomes two bucks and will go a long way to help resolve our many bee challenges. Do your part, and Paramount will help!  

Subscribe Have a friend who would like Project Apis m News delivered directly to their email in-box? Email Mark Looker at and request their email address be added to the mailing list.


Donations. Suggested contribution: A buck a hive - beekeeper and grower. Write this contribution for research into your pollination contracts. Send your tax deductible contribution to:

Project Apis m.
1750 Dayton Rd.
Chico, CA 95928

 Find out What’s New At Mann Lake right Here

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

  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



Wednesday, 23 June 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Hot Time, Summer In The City...


Extreme, Scorching Weather through August

By Carly Porter, Writer

State College, Pa. -- 23 June 2010 -- reports summer has officially begun and Chief Long-Range Meteorologist Joe Bastardi is calling for more scorching temperatures to occur over much of the nation through August.

Average summer temperatures will rival some of the hottest summers ever recorded across the eastern half of the nation.

"It's possible for record-breaking warmth in the first half of July for much of the nation," said Bastardi.

Between I-80 and I-20 from the Rockies eastward, temperatures will hold between the mid-80s and low 90s F through mid-July.

Humidity and uncomfortable heat will also cover the Great Lakes and much of the Northeast, and south from I-20 to the Gulf Coast through the same period. Temperatures will be slightly above normal, lingering around the low 80s in the Northeast and in the 90s across the south.

"The core of the strongest heat is centered in the Tennessee Valley through June," said Bastardi.

Temperatures in this region will be in the 90s F with ultra high humidity.

However, tropical systems brewing in the western Caribbean have the potential to cool most of the Southeastern states. Thunderstorms pushing through the Great Lakes and New England have the same cooling ability throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states throughout the summer.

Despite the overall trend for warmth this summer, regions of the western portion of the United States will stay cool.

"Temperatures near or below normal will be confined to the West Coast, Pacific Northwest and perhaps as far east as the western Dakotas," said Bastardi.

August will feature similar temperatures as July, and September will begin the cooling into autumn.

"August will be similar to July, so much so, I have identical temperatures," said Bastardi.

With vacation season ramping up and heat in the forecast for much of the nation's summer, the demand on energy will also be in full force.

As the heat will be cranking over much of the nation, the 2010 hurricane season will also be more active.

Bastardi predicts 18-21 storms, with at least eight impacts and six hurricanes, and two or three of those hurricanes having major landfalls.

Find out What’s New At Mann Lake right Here


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


 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.



Tuesday, 15 June 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Dogs Find Invasive Plants...darn it.

Got a NO BUZZ ZONE? Can’t keep bees where you live, or know someplace that beekeepers can’t be? Send me an email, with NO BUZZ in the subject line and tell me where, with your first and last name…Bee Culture Magazine, and Haagan Daz Ice Cream want to know. Send to today!




Weed-sniffing dogs help bust invasive plants. Dogs 1, Beekeepers 0


Invasive Plant Science and Management – A field test in Montana pitted dog against human in an effort to identify and eradicate spotted knapweed. This weed threatens the survival of native species and can bring about both economic and ecosystem damage. Finding plants in order to eradicate them before they can spread creates a challenge for human eyes, but not for dog noses.


An article in the June issue of the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management reports that trained detection dogs can locate spotted knapweed more accurately and at a greater distance than humans. While dogs and humans were comparable in finding large- and medium-sized plants, the dogs had an edge in locating small plants.


Domestic dogs have been successfully trained to search for specific odors. Their unique capabilities have been used in search-and-rescue efforts and to detect land mines and other buried items. They have the ability to thoroughly search over large areas and to accurately distinguish odors.


In this test, three dogs—one a mixed-breed Shepherd and two German Shepherds—and twelve humans surveyed a field for spotted knapweed during four sets of seasonal trials. The dogs, Nightmare, Tsavo, and Rio, had an overall success rate of 81% while the humans were successful 59% of the time. With small infestations, the dogs registered a 67% success rate versus 35% for the humans.


Humans did rate higher in precision than the dogs, with 100% for humans and 94% for the dogs. And Tsavo gave more false alerts than either of the other two dogs or the humans. A ground squirrel and Tsavo’s desire to give chase created an understandable distraction.


Find out What’s New At Mann Lake right Here

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

 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.


Thursday, 10 June 2010

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Central Beekeepers Meet 13 July 2010

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Central Beekeepers Meet 13 July 2010

Central Beekeepers Meet 13 July 2010

Posted: 09 Jun 2010 04:10 PM PDT

The next regular monthly meeting of the Central Beekeepers Alliance will be held on July 13th at the Agricultural Research Centre on the Lincoln Road.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

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

New beekeepers and "interested others" are welcome to join us, to learn more about beekeeping, and maybe find out if keeping bees is right for you!

Central Beekeepers Meet 13 July 2010 was written and published by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Schumer Blasts Chinese Honey Laundering

NO BUZZ ZONE? Can’t keep bees where you live? Check out nearly 80 places that have a no buzz zone! Know some place else? Send Kim an email at and let us know. We’ll add it to the wall of shame at



 Sen. Schumer Slams China For ‘Honey Laundering’

By Paul Bedard, Editor, Washington Whispers, U.S. News and World Report


 Concerns that China is dumping contaminated honey into the U.S. market, often laundered through third countries to avoid stiff anti-dumping tariffs, was raised in Congress today before a commission tasked with reviewing the 10-year-old deal to give the communist nation permanent normal trade relations (PNTR).

 “Even our honey industry is under siege from imports of Chinese-origin honey,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York. “Ongoing schemes by Chinese exporters to circumvent U.S. anti-dumping, food labeling and food safety laws, threaten the continued health of the U.S. honey industry and by extension the health of agricultural industries.”

 Schumer said that China is guilty of violating anti-dumping laws, is running honey through several other countries then into the United States to avoid tariffs, and is even shipping honey contaminated with antibiotics.

 “It’s just an indication of what China is doing to flaunt our laws,” the Democrat told the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The commission is tasked with monitoring and reporting on the successes and failures of the 2000 preferred trade status former President Clinton and the Senate granted to China amid claims it would open China’s doors to American businesses.

 Schumer and three other senators -- Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown, Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham -- all blasted the 2000 deal as hollow and one that has instead robbed over 2 million jobs and led to the closure of firms that can’t compete with Chinese exports.

 While the senators mostly criticized Chinese tariffs on American products like cars and the alleged manipulation of their currency to keep product prices low, Schumer used the commission hearing to raise issues about the honey trade. He said that America imports just over half the honey it uses, with much of that coming from countries that either make no honey or that don’t make enough for domestic consumption and that are presumably selling Chinese honey.

 “Four of the top eight [supplying] countries, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Indonesia, export far more honey than their domestic bees produce,” argued Schumer. “This trans-shipment, we call it ‘honey laundering,’ the intentional mislabeling of the country of origin, is costing the U.S. millions of dollars in unpaid duties and putting customers at risk for honey contaminated with antibiotics, a problem common with Chinese honey,” he added.

 He also said that some of the Chinese honey comes into the U.S. market intentionally mislabeled as “sweetener” to get around anti-dumping laws. He claimed that 160 million pounds of mislabeled honey was imported over the last two years, costing the government $200 million in unpaid anti-dumping duties.

 A Schumer aide said that he raised the honey dumping issue because New York is the nation’s 12 largest honey producer and Empire State beekeepers are under pressure to keep prices competitive with imported honey. The commission didn’t comment on his argument, though one member said that the plight of American jobs due to China’s bad trading practices will be addressed in the panel’s next report.

Find out What’s New At Mann Lake right Here


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

 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.





Central Beekeepers Alliance : Bee Tour 2010 in New Brunswick

Central Beekeepers Alliance : Bee Tour 2010 in New Brunswick

Bee Tour 2010 in New Brunswick

Posted: 08 Jun 2010 08:32 AM PDT

The New Brunswick Beekeepers’ Association will host the 2010 Maritime Bee Tour on the weekend of 23-24 July at St. Thomas University Conference Centre in Fredericton. If you plan to attend, please note that the deadline for registration is 2 July 2010.



Guest Speakers

  • Jerry Hayes, Chief of the Apiary Section for the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida. He has compiled the "Classroom" in the American Bee Journal for the past 25 years.
  • Dwayne Mitchell, Apiculture Specialist, Ministry of Agriculture, Canada, currently working in Fredericton, NB.

Accomodations & Reservations

St. Thomas University Conference Centre
368 Forest Hill Road
Fredericton New Brunswick
Free parking on site.

View Larger Map

Room rates: Single occupancy is $47.85 per night tax included.  Double occupancy is $62.86 tax included. Both include a continental breakfast.
Room reservations must be made by 22 June 2010 and can be made by calling 506-460-0328 or by email


Registration fee is $65 per person. Please make cheques payable to the New Brunswick Beekeepers’ Association. Deadline for registration is 2 July 2010.

Click here to download the registration form (Word doc).


For more information, contact Ann Vautourat 506-388-5127 or by email at

Onsite co-ordinators are Central Beekeepers Alliance members Dan and Mae Richards. They can be reached by email at or by phone at 506-455-4922.

Bee Tour 2010 in New Brunswick was written and published by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - Hearing On Trade Relations with China


Hearing On Trade Relations With China to be held Wednesday, June 9, 2010

From Ron Phipps: We understand a very thorough briefing has been provided for the senators who will speak.  We anticipate that a press release will be issued today and the story will be pitched to the media prior to tomorrow’s hearing.  Senator Charles Schumer will speak at 9:45 a.m. and is expected to raise the issue of honey laundering.  Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan will also speak.



“Evaluating China’s Past and Future Role in the World Trade Organization”


Hearing CoChairs:

Chairman Daniel M. Slane and Commissioner Patrick A. Mulloy

WHAT: Public Hearing on “Evaluating China’s Past and Future Role in the World Trade Organization.” The hearing will examine the economic, political and security implications of China's entry into the WTO and China’s compliance with WTO rules.


WHEN: Wednesday, June 9, 2010, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Reservations are not required to attend – seating is available on a firstcome, firstserved basis.


WHERE: Room 562, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510.


PANEL INFO: Panelists’ bios and written statements will be available on the Commission’s Web Site at on Wednesday, June 9, 2010. A live audio feed of the hearing will be streamed on the home page of the Commission web site beginning at 9:00 am on the day of the hearing.


Panel I – Congressional Perspectives: Senator Lindsey Graham (RSC); SenatorDebbie Stabenow (DMI),Senator Sherrod Brown (DOH), Senator Chuck Schumer (DNY) Congressman Tim Murphy (RPA)


Panel II U.S. and Chinese Expectations for China’s Entry in the WTO: Mr. Alan Wm. Wolff, former Deputy U.S Trade Representative and Of Counsel at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP; Ms. Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff at the AFLCIO; Mr. RobertLighthizer, for mer Deputy U.S. Trade Representative and international trade attorney

Panel III CurrentU.S.China Relations in the WTO: The Reality a Decade Later: Mr. James Bacchus, former Chairman of the Appellate Body of the WTO and shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP;  Mr. Clyde V. Prestowitz, President of the Economic Strategy Institute;  Dr. Oded Shenkar, professor in the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University

Panel IV Recommendations for Future U.S.China Relations within theWTO:  Mr. Terence Stewart, Managing Partner at Stewart and Stewart;  Mr. Gilbert Kaplan, President of the Committee to Support U.S . Trade Laws and Partner at King & Spalding;  and Dr. Calman Cohen, President of the Emergency Committee for American Trade.

The Message Brought to you By Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping



Monday, 7 June 2010

CATCH THE BUZZ - APHIS Looking For Trouble

Got a NO BUZZ ZONE? Can’t keep bees where you live, or know someplace that beekeepers can’t be? Send me an email, with NO BUZZ in the subject line and tell me where, with your first and last name…Bee Culture Magazine, and Haagan Daz Ice Cream want to know. Send to today!


APHIS  Is Looking For Trouble. That's spelled   T r o p i l a e l a p s

Alan Harman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture launches a 13-state survey of honey bee pests and diseases to help USDA scientists determine the prevalence of parasites and disease-causing microorganisms that may be contributing to the decline of honey bee colonies nationwide.


   The survey will take place in Alabama, California, Georgia, Indiana, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.

   It is being conducted by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Pennsylvania State University (PSU).

   Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says bee health is critical for the success of pollination-based agriculture, which produces about a third of the food in the U.S.

   “There has been a disturbing drop in the number of U.S. bee colonies over the last few years, while the demand for commercial bee pollination services continues to grow,” he says. “This survey will help us to better understand the factors threatening our honey bees so we can take effective action to protect them and the crops that they pollinate.”

   The voluntary survey includes 350 apiaries across 13 states and will last through the end of the year. APHIS developed the survey protocol jointly with ARS and PSU and allocated $550,000.

   Survey kits have been mailed to state apiary specialists, who will collect samples of bees and debris from the apiaries in their states. ARS and PSU scientists will test the samples for specific pests and pathogens. APHIS is particularly interested to know whether foreign mites of the genus Tropilaelaps have entered the U.S.

Find out What’s New At Mann Lake right Here

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

 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, 5 June 2010

Apis Newsletter June 6, 2010

Dear Subscribers,

Hurricane season has begun in our neck of the woods.  Now we have to worry in the Sunshine state not only about high winds and rain, but the potential that storm surges  might bring the oil now found in the Gulf of Mexico ashore.  If the oil  makes it into the so-called  "loop current," then even the east coast might be affected. 

Meanwhile it's becoming pretty hot here, with projected  temperatures into the mid nineties this weekend.  The major spring honey flows are ending, the swarming season is abating and the dog days of summer will be upon us.  The major thing beekeepers need to be concerned with now is to ensure their colonies have access to water. 

And it's the time when complaints about honey bees gathering water at swimming pools begin in earnest. Now's  the time to begin planning your attendance at one of the  regional events, HAS in July, EAS in August and WAS end of August

I received the following in response to my comments last month about queens entering Canada from Hawaii from Medhat Nasr, Alberta Provincial Apiculturist, CAPA Bee  Import Committee Chair: "Queens were inspected. Attendant workers in battery boxes were removed and replaced with attendants from canadian bees. Then, queens were released. In some cases queens w/o attendants were released for beekeepers to bank them. Future shipments are hand picked queens and attendants in 3 hole cages. Now shipments are in transit  to Canada. Business is back as usual.  Thanks to efficient communications and quick responses from all authorities at Provincial, Canada Federal, and USA Federal and Hawaii State government and CAPA. Queen suppliers and beekeepers get also credits for giving us time and for their cooperation with us through the process."

New insurance offering: Joe Price writes the fastest way to get coverage is to contact him directly (407) 456-0030 and he will then email or fax over the applications. A competitive proposal of coverage is generally completed within one business day. The agency website is  He is product manager and main contact for the bee program. Lester Kalmanson Agency, Maitland, FL, USA, 407-456-0030,

There's a lot going on in Latin American beekeeping as the run up to Apimondia in Buenos Aires Argentina for September 2011 begins.  Those who speak Spanish can also see more at

Male Varroa Targetted:  The male Varroa mite is an intriguing creature, living only in the cell and never emerging.  An article in the May 2010 American Bee Journal focuses on using formic acid to get to these individuals underneath the cappings: Mite-Away Quick Strip™  Mid Honey Flow Efficacy Trial.  "Determining the overall efficacy is a challenge in this model of varroa control. The traditional methods of determining efficacy (positive control comparison of phoretic female varroa kill) will not give a fully accurate efficacy picture. Mite-Away Quick Strips™ are designed for kill under the cap, so looking under the cap was on option. An alternative is an extended trial that monitors the trend of phoretic varroa mites using alcohol wash or a similar method." Research is continuing.

New Honey Board Referendum scheduled to end June 4:  The referendum is for eligible producers of U.S. honey to decide whether a new national U.S Honey Producer Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Order should be established. If the referendum passes, what has been called the U.S Honey Producer Board will be established. It would be similar to the National Honey Board (NHB), except where the NHB is funded by assessments paid by importers and honey packers, the new board would be funded totally by assessments on U.S.-produced honey. Additional information regarding the program, the proposed order and referendum procedures can be found on the American Beekeeping  Federation web site . Producers who feel they are eligible, but did not receive a ballot, should contact Kimberly Coy, Research and Promotion Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, Stop 0244, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-024 4; by calling 888.720.9917; faxing 202.205.2800; or e-mailing

More on CCD: New research from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) identifies a new potential cause for “Colony Collapse Disorder” in honeybees.  A group of pathogens including a fungus and family of viruses may be working together to cause the decline.  Scientists report their results today at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego. “There might be a synergism between two very different pathogens,” says Jay Evans of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, a researcher on the study.  “When they show up together there is a significant correlation with colony decline.”

Remember that each month a check of the bee health site is in order: .  Read about European foulbrood and its treatment, including the "Shook Swarm"  method.

Check out the relevant links I selected this month;  These include: GPS to track stolen hives, changes in beekeeping in Uruguay, all about beekeeping in Ontario, Canada, a no-nonsense article on  CCD by Joe Traynor, first community apiary in Pittsburg, hives on the Toronto Opera House, how British bees are recovering and Hawaii is being closely studied as a queen source across the pond.

Gleanings from the June 2010 edition of Bee Culture:

Remember that Bee Culture is now available in a digital edition:

Stephen Homewood, Gainesville, Florida writes that he was overrun with beetles until he began using opaque plastic covers that let light in.  He requests more beekeepers experiment with this and report their results. Harold  Cooper, Wilkesboro, NC is a fan  of Walt Wright's offerings and urges him to  continue to experiment. John McKelvey, Richfield Springs, NY gives kudos to Ross Contrad about his column, "The Road to Treatment Free Bees." Jim Cowan, Aberdeen,  WA urges bee managers to  "Let bees be bees."  Virginia and Carl  Webb, Clarkesville, GA sent in a picture of what they call the biggest hive in Georgia (their honey stand).  Gunder Thompson, Oconto,  WI provides his ideas about  helping the bees remove moisture from  the hive.  Ned and Jenni Glysson, Ann Arbor, MI ask  Glen Stanley for clarification on the "middle opening technique."  Finally, Loren Sadler, Elizabethtown, PA provides information on mouse guards and a nifty apparatus for collecting bees for apitherapy use.

The latest research out on cell phones and colonies shows an effect when comparing those colonies with cell phones and those that don't , but this research remains controversial.  Now comes Cameo Wood of San Francisco who is using smart cell phones to keep records about hives via  Read the explanation in this month's Bee Culture and also visit another web site run by the author.

Editor Flottum waxes on the AIA's  recent survey of winter losses  It looks like  33% of U.S. colonies perished  during the winter.  He's more  interested in queens, however, and is planning to do his own survey via the Internet,  using  various tools, including his Catch the Buzz Newsletter

New things for the beekeeper include  JZs BZs' queen cell shipping protector and new books including A Ton of Honey by Grant Gilliard, who also wrote beekeeping with  25  hives  and Managing Alternative  Pollinators, published by SARE

Clarence Collison and Audrey Sheridan take a closer look at grooming and tracheal mite resistance.  Read why auto-grooming may be effective,  while allo-grooming is not.

Tammy Horn lists a number of influential women beekeepers during Langstroth's time.  Read about their struggles to become recognized beekeepers in their own right.

Heather Clay says that the the revolution in canola (CANadian Oil Low Acid) growing in Canada is analagous to that of almonds in California.  Read her analysis of this important crop, its history and potential in the future.

Cindy Hodges describes a cut out made by the "bee whisperer," Cindy Bee in the environs  of Atlanta, Georgia.  The elegance of the act is surprising in its telling and  makes every future "bee  remover" ready to rumble.  Fortunately, there is a book on the subject coming out later this summer on how to ensure the experience is  a good one for beekeeper and customer alike.

Larry Connor discusses the joy of drones. He urges beekeepers  not to curse these  male bees, but put them to work as part of Varroa control.  Read how he does it in his  own operation.

Jim Tew writes that he will still buy package bees as they are still a relative bargain, but he is concerned about the survival rate, which seems to be inexorably rising.  The  problem  is he can't find the "smoking gun" to say what's going on.  He is beginning to wonder more and more about queen quality. Read more  about his package bee experiences and how his queen introduction practices have changed.

Kathy Kellison has developed a new concept via her non-profit startup Partners for Sustainable Pollination, the Bee Friendly Farming program , complete with logo and guidelines.  Read how anyone can now help honey bees and other pollinators through  this unique program.  Go to the  Bee Culture home page and click on the logo to certify your operation.

Jennifer Berry curses this year's "abnormal" conditions in Georgia, bringing out the  swarms.  Read how she dealt or not dealt with some; now that the swarming season is over, it's nice to read what one should have done.  Maybe next year.

Ann Harman sings "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes."  The source can be many things, she says, but each possibility  should be considered carefully.  Remember all that second-hand smoke many of us suffered from when everyone lit up a generation or two ago.  Ann does.

In all the news that fits, there's an obituary for legendary Canadian Provincial Apiarist John Corner, the Australians continue hunting for far-flung nest of Apis  cerana and the newest invasive pest, electric ants (sounds like a horror movie!), the L.L. Langstroth historical marker has been approved (donate) and mite thefts in Japan exacerbated by discovery of tracheal mites for the first time.  In addition, Bees for Development's Cameroon project is off and running and England reports 50% more bee loss than the rest or Europe.

On the Bottom Board Ed Colby discusses his relationships.  They include Wolf Girl and her friend, not amused when he offered the latter propolis.  The others are with his pollination customers and reveals why small-scale commercial pollination is full of risks and demands a written contract.


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.  .