Thursday, 6 May 2010

Apis Newsletter May 5, 2010

Dear Subscribers,

Happy Cinco de Mayo, the unofficial, official Mexican Independence Day in the U.S.   We are getting some rain in Gainesville, Florida as storms come out of the west; we got a serious down draft of energy last Friday night, taking out a bunch of trees and part of the power grid; the same system that took out parts of Tennessee. We  look for more from the west as Spring turns to Summer quickly in the Sunshine State.

It's no longer a honey bee paradise in Australia and Hawaii.  The former now looks to be under a more serious condition with Apis cerana found further inland  and small hive beetle spreading; the latter now has small hive beetle as well as Varroa to contend with. Bees from Hawaii are now stuck in holding areas in Alberta and Manitoba, Canada as the authoritiess determine if they should be released or not.

Ballots have been mailed to eligible voters for the U.S Honey Producer Board. The official referendum period is May 17 to June 4, 2010. The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) urges the eligible voters to consider the issue carefully and to cast their ballots in time to be counted. Strong participation is necessary for the referendum to reflect the wishes of the producers.

Check out a new fact sheet on Varroa, still the honey bee's and by extension  the beekeeper's most important challenge

I am having trouble keeping up with the number reports about bees on the Internet, but Apinews doesn't.  It's amazing what's on this site and most of it in English from Analia Manriquez <>.  Warning it can be additive.

Losses increasing according to the Apiary Inspectors of America :  “In all 4,207 beekeepers responded to the on-line survey and an additional 24 werecontacted by phone. This response rate is orders of magnitude greater than previous yearsefforts which relied on phone or email responses only (2008/2009 n=778, 2007/2008n=331, 2006/2007 n=384).
On average responding beekeepers lost 42.2% of their operation, this is an 8 point or 23%increases in the average operational loss experienced by beekeepers in the winter of2008/2009.

Average losses were nearly 3 times greater than the losses beekeepers reported that theyconsidered acceptable (14.4%). Sixty-one percent of beekeepers reported losses in excess of what they would consider acceptable.”
Each month a check of the bee health site is in order:There's now a site, featuring some terrific   videos from Dr. Jamie Ellis at the University of Florida 

Chinese honey keeps on coming: “A Texas A&M University scientist is continuing to find honey samples labeled as coming from other countries but originating on China.  Vaughn Bryant, a palynologist and an anthropology professor, spends hours at a time peering at slides of pollen samples, comparing them to track down the origins of honey with questionable heritage.  Changing the county of origin from China is designed to avoid tariffs of up to 500% imposed after exporters there were “dumping” it in the U.S. – selling it at a much lower price than its cost, which is about one-half what it costs U.S. honey producers.”

West Virginia Mountain State Queens.  See what's brewing in West Virginia beekeeping; Dr. Larry Connor visited and a local regional queen rearing initiative is now selling queens

European  meeting on bee treatments:  The European Medicines Agency, on 14-15 December 2009, held a workshop to discuss a specific aspect concerning bee health – the availability of medicines for bees in Europe, in particular what medicines are needed and what the Agency can do to increase the availability of needed medicines.

It is acknowledged that the problems of the bee keeping sector and the decline in the bee population all over Europe and the world are complex and diverse. One of the concerns raised by interested parties and Member States over the years is the lack of adequate medicines to treat bee diseases.

The European Medicines Agency has been active since many years in supporting the availability of veterinary medicines to treat diseases in animals where authorised medicines are lacking, and initiated or promoted initiatives on EU level in this respect. Therefore, the Agency organised this workshop aimed to contribute to the availability of appropriate treatment options for bees.

New Book: The Wisdom of Bees by Dr. Michael O'Malley:  This is not about beekeeping but what one  can learn from bees, When O’Malley took up beekeeping in 2002, he thought it would be a nice hobby and a good way to bond with his ten-year-old son. But as he started to observe these industrious insects, he noticed that they do a lot more than make honey. Bees not only work together to achieve a common goal but, in the process, create a highly coordinated, efficient, and remarkably productive organization. The hive behaves like a miniature but incredibly successful business—one we can all learn from.

See May's selected links at  ; these and others are also linked to the blog  as they are archived.
Gleanings from the May 2010 edition of Bee Culture:

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

Harry Whitehead, Farmersville Station, NY provides advice on swarming in his part of the world.  Mike Thomas, Lewisberry, PA writes that National Honey Bee Day is August 21, 2010 David Lacasse, Elizabeth City,NC gives a history behind one of the photos in Bee Culture's calendar. Candy Boise, Norwich, NY discusses her efforts to  teach teachers.  Christopher Stowell, Skiatook, OK urges all to sign a petition to bring back the Boy Scout beekeeping merit badge

Editor Flottum discusses “dinks” and “poisons” and effects on bees and beekeepers.

New items on the shelf include Why Do Bees Buzz?, Rutgers U. Press, Bee (scanning electron microscopy of the bee) Princeton Architectural  Press, Beekeeping For All, Abbe Warre's classic French text translated into English.  Finally check out the newest ventilated beesuit jacket.

Check out colony losses 1009/10 (starvation more prevalent?) and the May honey price report.

Clarence Collison and Audrey Sheridan take  a closer look at propolis.  This is pretty powerful stuff and extremely variable, which is a problem when it comes to looking at human health benefits.

Steve Sheppard reviews two papers on fungi; one a possible Varroa control; the other revealing how honey bees can be used in biocontrol by distributing spores.

Tom Webster provides the latest Managed Pollinator CAP (Coordinated Agricultural Project) news about Nosema ceranae.  Incidences of this are on the rise; how is it detected and what can be done?

Tom O'brien writes about what's going on in Canadian bee research.  A lot. Read about Dr. Ernesto  Guzman of Ontario and Dr. Medhat Nasr of Alberta, and how their investigations tie to other Canadian efforts.

Samuel Soza says the latest Iraqi bee project focuses on women.  Read how this effort is part of the military strategy to get the country's agriculture back on its feet.

Larry Connor reveals two tools that beekeepers can use, including the new website  and keeping nuclei going all year, part of his increase essentials philosophy .

Jim Tew takes on swarm control and management.  Read why he says it's no longer just about a lost honey crop.

Eric Schmiedlin writes from N.E. Ohio about his Hive Considerations.  Read his analysis and why he's looking for bees to remove in his region.

Jennifer Berry is a fan of Savannah Bee Company. Who wouldn't be?  Ted Dennard's story is a golden one,  for the love of honey.  Read his story and how he maintains his  enthusiasm and creativity.

John Phipps, Editor of Beekeeper's Quarterly has provided his Grecian home with a bevy of Langstroth hive furniture.  Read his philosophy and how he goes about this.

Jim Agsten asks Queenless or Queenright? He asks this question all the time.  Read how he answers it.

Jerry Bromenshenk believes CCD is alive and well.  Read why and what he thinks is or has happened.

Hazel Freeman talks Tupelo and makes a trip to “Wewa” in west Florida on the trail of Peter Fonda and  Ulee's Gold to the tupelo honey festival.  Read her interviews with the families of the region, Lanier, Rish, and Smiley.

Joe Traynor urges beekeepers to vent.  Even summer bees need ventilation he says. Read how Californians vent and why “drill baby drill”  is a good slogan for beekeepers.

Gail Karr looks at the  Memphis Zoo's honey bee exhibit and bee house.

Fred Hembree suggests everyone think about becoming a beekeeping mentor.  Read how this can enhance your beekeeping experiences in many ways.

Ross Contrad  reportst on G.I. Bees, that the largest source of funding for apiary research comes from the Pentagon and U.S. Military.  Read how swarming is becoming a major military strategy and how the honey bee relationship with humanity is being reformed.

Ann Harman gardens along side her bees in Virginia. Read how walled gardens make bee plants available and makes the gardener healthy as well.

Connie Krochmal provides a list of plants that will give nectar and pollen at least three seasons of the year. Read  about bulbs, Mahonia shrubs, viburnums, evodia, St.  John's Wort, borage and summersweet.

In All The News That Fits read about questionable Indian honey, city bees in Calgary, a  possible breakthrough in Varroa control, Varroa  implicated  in Ontario bee deaths and Kopert Biological's quest for pollen.

Alan Harman provides three areas of research he calls, new bee biology.  Read how fast sight, heater bees and mean males are turning some heads in bee research.

Peter Seiling in the Bottom Board takes on the topic of rattlesnakes.  Read his recommendations to beekeepers  and others in snake country.

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.  .