Sunday, 18 April 2010

Apis Newsletter April 19, 2010

Dear Subscribers,

There was precious little Spring in Gainesville, FL after the record cold snap that lasted way longer than it should, followed by a second flush of pollen from pines and oaks. The azaleas were spactacular after the cold weather.  We are rapidly inching upward into the 80s now.  The next concern is tornados and rainfall in an el niño year.    Tornados are typically stronger and rainfall in the summer can be reduced resulting in more wild fires. Bees are swarming and the orange flow is continuing although we have  little information on the final outcome of the season.

Lots of information coming out of Australia, now facing small hive beetle, while concerns about Apis cerana and Varroa continue.  The situation is forcing a re-evaluation of Australian Honey Bee Imports.  Comments are being collected until early May.

Mite treatments are also in flux.  Mite-Away Quick Strip Access in the United States - DELAYED   According to the MiteAway folks, "We have had a decision from California Department of Pesticide Regulation.  A Section 18 registration will not be pursued due to the Section 18 registration of Hivestan being in place, which is in effect until October of this year.  This decision took California two months to reach.  Also, due to the requirements of Section 18 emergency registrations and the Hivestan registrations currently in place in 15 states, EPA has determined that a Section 18 will not be allowed elsewhere.  I was told by my contact at EPA that there 'has to be a lack of viable alternatives', and there has to be the occurrence of a “non-routine event”, in order to allow a Section 18 registration.  The current varroa toolbox includes 2 thymol products, Apistan, Hivestan, Check-Mite+, and the EPA even talked about the illegal use of Amitraz.  Also, formic acid in the form of Mite-AwayII™ is registered.  The EPA does not see the need for another emergency registration."

Colony Collapse Disorder appears to have returned to California, "DAVIS, Calif.—After several mild years, colony collapse disorder has resurfaced in California leaving a substantial number of beekeepers reeling from the loss of bee colonies, according to Eric Mussen, apiculturist with the University of California at Davis. The California State Beekeepers Association estimates between 30 percent and 80 percent of the state’s bees have been lost so far, reported the Fresno Bee."  There continues to be disagreement about the cause of this malady.  Some novel ideas are being looked at.  Stay tuned.

Bee Loss Survey Concludes:  The Bee Loss survey conducted for the fourth year in a row by the Apiary Inspectors of America, the United States Department of Agriculture, and Penn State University concluded on April 16, but my guess is there will still be time to submit some data if interested.

Beekeeping legalized in New York City:  It was a long time coming, but finally reason prevailed:  "The New York City Board Of Health today ended the Giuliani-era ban on beekeeping in NYC! A very minimal level of regulation has been imposed, so we have good reasons to celebrate."

Pollinator Conference: Register Now for the International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy Hosted by The Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The first International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Heath and Policy is being hosted by the Penn State Center for Pollinator Research on July 24-28, 2010 at the University Park campus. The abstract submission deadline is May 15, 2010, and the early registration deadline is June 1, 2010. Registration is limited to 300 people.  See the Global Calendar for details

New Diesel Truck Regulations:   "On Dec. 12, 2008, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved a new regulation to significantly reduce emissions from existing on-road diesel vehicles operating in California. The regulation requires affected trucks and buses to meet performance requirements between 2011 and 2023. By Jan. 1, 2023, all vehicles must have a 2010 model year engine or equivalent.  At the board hearing held on Dec. 9, 2009, the ARB directed staff to propose amendments to the Truck and Bus Regulation that would provide additional flexibility for fleets adversely affected by the economy. For operators with fewer than three trucks, the requirements for retrofit is delayed until January 1, 2014. For those with more than three trucks, the regulations begin March 30, 2010. Besides retrofit requirements, there are requirements to file certain forms with the ARB. For complete information, all operators should visit the California Air Resources Web site at"  Brought to you by the American Beekeeping Federation, which is rolling out an electronic newsletter to its members

Impact of Pesticides on Bees:  "Conclusions/Significance: The 98 pesticides and metabolites detected in mixtures up to 214 ppm in bee pollen alone represents a remarkably high level for toxicants in the brood and adult food of this primary pollinator. This represents over half of the maximum individual pesticide incidences ever reported for apiaries. While exposure to many of these neurotoxicants elicits acute and sublethal reductions in honey bee fitness, the effects of these materials in combinations and their direct association with CCD or declining bee health remains to be determined." 

Social Media at  The Bee Health extension site  has adopted the following social media strategy: Develop a YouTube Channel (Dr. Jamie Ellis at the University of Florida is the first contributor); Develop a Facebook, Twitter, and Second Life presence; Interaction/promotion of content on beekeeper web forums such as; Inclusion of content on, with references back to   (Dr. Jamie Ellis at the University of Florida is the first contributor)

See April's selected links ; these and others are also linked to the blog.

Gleanings from the April 2010 edition of Bee Culture:

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

Alan Buckley, Portola Valley, CA writes that it's never too late to begin to prepare for almond pollination and suggests getting a written contract for2011 now.  This  might work for a few more years until the pollinationless  almond comes  on the market.  Oops!  Kent Williams "A Mid South Beekeeper" urges  beekeepers to consider developing regional queens.  So does Chris Baldwin whos advocates letting bees be bees and reconsiders keeping wild insects in a human-made box.  Abbas Edun says he will give anyone writing him (17 Samuel Teitel court, Scarborough, ONT M1X 1sL Canada) information on "curl leaf mountain mahogany"(Cercocarpus ledifolius).  John Straub, Winnetka, IL wonders whyno one seems to be looking at sodium diacetate (SDA)  for AFB and EFB control.  Chester Ferguson asks who will receive the most ELAP (emergency loan program funding) , suggesting bees from Australia is the only way.  Jim Cowan says long-term record keeping pays off; his tried and true beekeeping practices have returned, but he's not sure  why.  Jerry Ballman, Millersville, MD writes that use of scale hives goes a long way back and believes that bees and flora fall out of synch as postulated by Dr. Wayne Esaias.  Dean Stiglitz, Leominister, MA takes issue with Jennifer Berry's writings about "global warming," suggesting that "climate change" in a constantly-evolving phenomenon.  Donald Chandler, Virgilina,VA (e-mail: is trying to get in touch with Pat Wagner of apitherapy fame.  Stephen march is a fan of 1/2 inch hardware cloth, which he says prevents a multitude of sins.  Mary El len Kirkpatrick counsels looking for mice if snakes are found checking out a hive and Kees Kolff, Port Townsend, WA strongly suggests counting your blessings  and zippers when working bees.

It's worth checking the honey report this month, with a new chart showing production in state from 1909 to 2009.  Note too the differences in imported sweet entering the country.

Editor Flottum  in the Inner Cover publishes some surprising statistics on farm land loss in the last 10 years.  He also attended the latest Tri-County meeting at The Ohio State University Bee Lab in Wooster, OH.  A record turnout as noted in last month's Apis newsletter, including the Governor's wife.

New for beekeepers this month are two books, The Wisdom of the Bees and The Quest for the Perfect Hive.  Mellifera millinery creations of both veils and hats and beezerkbelts  and a beekeepers tool belt are listed as well.

Clarence Collison takes a look at brood pheromone and its affect on foraging.  Read the three major ones  and why they are important.  This is important information for anyone keeping bees.

Hazel Freeman examines in depth the  origin of the movie "Yulee's Gold," and its basis, the Ogeechee tree.  Read about her journeys along the banks of the Apalachicola winding up in "Wewa" for a chat with Don Smiley.

Mark Hoffman continues his appreciating Langstroth series from 1848 through 1853.  Read the signifance of the Eureka moment on the streets of philadelphia and the events leading up to publication of Langstroth on the Hive  and the Honey Bee.

Ross Conrad discusses the proven road to treatment-free bees.  Read about going from 2 to 1 and then 1 to zero treatments with proven technologies.

Jim Tew reflects on top bar hives.  Read what he considers disadvantages and advantages of this system.  More and more people are gravitating toward this system it seems and are asking thoughtful questions about it.
Dewey Caron describes the history and current status of GloryBee Foods  Read about the firms educational efforts, including sponsoring the Western Apicultural Society (WAS) meeting in Salem Oregon August 30 through September 2.

Larry Connor poses three answers to the question of how to purchase bees;  read the difference between installing package bees, nuclei (nucs) and full-sized colonies.  He also provides some good advice about possibly free bees.

Ed Simon suggests making a "Cloake Board" and provides detailed sketches and advice on building this useful device.  It is designed to provide an alternative for "small-scale beekeepers wo want to raise queens but can't afford to dedicate one colony as a cell builder."

Al Avitable and Diana Sammataro provide readers with an alternative, indirect way to install a package.  Read about their modified "Hansen" method and also tips  on ensuring that drifting is minimal in an apiary.

Read an abstract of the mega American Beekeeping Federation meeting in Orlando; over 850 attended.  New officers were elected and the President's award was given to Liz Vaenoski of Clinton, WI.

Abbas Edun writes that Apricot, Avocado and Absinthe are excellent natural remedies.  Read her description of these important plants.

Ann Harman urges those talking to folks who aren't beekeepers to provide relevant, important information.  She says there are plenty of resources out there on this subject, including the extension bee health site.

Peter Seiling
provides plans for making the simplest hive. Read the many uses this hive can be used for, including swarm traps.

Janno Daniel Lewis and Dave Tarpy suggest those traveling this summer to EAS in Boone, NC, take in the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro.  It seems the honey bee exhibit "The Honey Bee Garden" is a must see. 

Read the creative entries submitted for "swarm stories in only six words."  Among the notables, "Pulled branch hard, bees on head," and "Don't position ladder directly under swarm." Send yours in response to the following  statements: "That honey tastes like......," and "The weather last winter where I was, was so bad......"

In "All the News That Fits" read about how the honey market will pass 1.9 million tons by 2015, how bees warn hive mates of danger, and the award won by Eric Mussen, University of California, Davis' irrepressible extension beekeeping specialist.

Finally, Ed Colby in the Bottom Board provides a review of the December 2009 Colorado State Beekeepers Association meeting in Longmont. I was glad to personally meet him at that event.

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.  .



Pesticide/Pollinator Symposium At Alfred State in Alfred, New York In July

A steady decline in pollinator species has been noted for decades. Additionally, the increasing loss of honey bee colonies suffered by the commercial beekeepers that provide pollination services to commercial growers indicates that many food supplies are imperiled. This symposium introduces attendees to some of the recent findings related to honey bee and pollinator losses.

Presenting from Penn. State University/Center for Pollinator Research:
Maryann Frazier, Pennsylvania state extension entomologist - A survey of recent research     findings regarding honey bee health.
Dr. James Frazier, Professor, Department of Entomology - Synergistic and sublethal effects of pesticides on honey bees.

Presenting from the USDA-ARS Honey Bee Pollination Lab in Tucson, Arizona:
Dr. Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, Research Director - Do pesticide contaminants alter the microflora in healthy honey bee colonies?
Dr. Diana Sammataro - Beneficial lactic acid bacteria microflora of honey bees.
Dr. Kirk Anderson - Microbiota in the stored food sources of social insects.
Dr. Mark Carroll - Varroa mite attractants; potential solution for varroa mite/viral challenges to honey bees.

The Symposium will be July 22, 2010. 10 AM - 11:30, 1 PM - 4 PM. Alfred State SUNY College of Technology, 10 Upper College Drive, Alfred, NY.

There is no cost to attend; we do however require registration through the New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group at the following e-mail - or at 716-316-5839. Include name, affiliation (eg. Grower, researcher/college , beekeeper/organization, etc), and phone # or e-mail address.Note: For those wishing to bring a picnic lunch, a designated area will be announced at the meeting.

This Symposium is Sponsored by Alfred State SUNY College of Technology/Institute for Sustainability; The Western New York Honey Producers Association; The New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group; and Bee Culture - the Magazine of American Beekeeping.

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.

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