Items of interest to beekeepers 10 February 2018

Supplied by Fran Bach Editor of both WAS and Washington State Beekeepers newsletters









CALL TO ACTION This message is for all beekeepers having problems with their honeybee colonies collapsing or failing to build up etc Tom Steeger EPA 703-305-5444 would like to hear from you. He  would like to hear from as many beekeepers as he can . His comment to me  a few days ago was, if we don’t hear from beekeepers (and as many of them as we can) we  at the EPA can’t began to fix the problem. Send this to fellow beekeepers as well as encourage them to call. Don’t put it off. Do it today!! If Tom doesn’t answer  leave him a message with your phone number and best time to contact you and which time zone you are in. Tom will get back to you. He is concerned. I have known Tom for over 10 years and he is one of few people at EPA trying to help. Dave Hackenberg 813 713 1239 —– NON-PROFITS, INDUSTRY, UNIVERSITIES JOIN TOGETHER IN RECOMMENDATIONS TO KEEP HONEY BEES SAFE DURING CORN PLANTING The Corn Dust Research Consortium (CRDC) announced recommendations based on over three years of targeted research designed to keep honey bees safe during corn planting. The CDRC effort, managed by the non-profit, Pollinator Partnership (P2), engaged stakeholders from beekeeping, agriculture, manufacturing, research, and regulatory agencies to facilitate research designed to provide practical guidance to reduce bee-kills and long-term damage to honey bees as a result of “fugitive dust” produced during the planting of treated corn seed.       Honey bee exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides has been a growing concern with the ubiquity of treated corn seed planted in North America and Europe.  Risk reduction is a primary concern for beekeepers that have colonies in agricultural areas. Dr. Reed Johnson, the Ohio State University, Dr. Art Schaafsma, University of Guelph, and Dr. Jerry Bromenshank completed three years of study into risk reduction strategies that generated best management practice suggestions for US and Canadian regulators, growers, manufacturers and beekeepers.  Dr. Mary Harris, Iowa State University completed two years of study and contributed to the data used to develop the recommendations. The CDRC was created by Pollinator Partnership as a vehicle to fund, oversee and advise on research projects to further our understanding of best management practices for mitigating seed treatment exposure of honey bees during corn planting. This collaboration brings together industry, academia, government, and most importantly farmers and beekeepers to address key issues through a collaborative approach that is uniquely productive. The CRDC Recommendations can be found on the P2 web site at The recommendations begin on page 132 of the 2017 FINAL Report and are listed by the groups they are intended to influence: Farmers, Beekeepers, Pesticide and Lubricant Manufacturers, Equipment Manufacturers, Seed Dealers, Provincial, State and Federal Government Agencies and Regulators, and Extension Agents, Agricultural and Commodity Organizations and Agricultural Media. “We believe that the recommendations are significantly effective in reducing potential harm to honey bees and we are urging that they be taken very seriously by every institution involved in this collaboration,” says Pollinator Partnership President and CEO Val Dolcini. Funding and participation through the life of this project has come from:     American Beekeeping Federation American Honey Producers Association American Seed Trade Association Association of Equipment Manufacturers BASF Bayer CropScience Canadian Honey Council Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association Industrial Minerals Association – North America National Corn Growers Association Pollinator Partnership Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC University of Maryland The United States Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Health Canada’s Pesticide Management and Regulator Agency are key members of the CRDC and have received support for policy actions and best management protocols from the research findings. About Pollinator Partnership (P2) Established in 1997, Pollinator Partnership is the largest 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the health, protection, and conservation of all pollinating animals. Pollinator Partnership’s actions for pollinators include education, conservation, restoration, policy, and research.  P2’s financial support comes through grants, gifts, memberships and donations from any interested party.  Its policies are science-based, set by its board of directors, and never influenced by any donor.  To make a donation in support of our mission, or for information, visit View the press release online at – —– News from Bee Girl Sarah Red-Laird – TEN GALLON HATS, ROCKY MOUNTAINS AND BEES! The Wyoming Bee University and Bee College Conference in Cheyenne, at Laramie County Community College, is a three day bee extravaganza, featuring some of your favorite bee afficionados from around the US!  If you are anywhere near Cheyenne, Wyoming, Friday, March 16th to Sunday, March 18th, please join us!  Sarah will be giving the opening keynote and teaching a workshop on kids’ education, and BG Board Member, Scott Debnam, will be teaching a whole day-long workshop on advanced beekeeping skills.  And there are many more opportunities to learn about mead, queen breeding, native bee conservation…  More Information and Registration at —– ALL HAIL THE NEW QUEEN BEE! Last autumn we received some very sad news, our QB (Board of Directors President) Ellen Wright, was to leave us, and move to Minnesota to be closer to her family, and new grand baby!  However, this created an awesome opportunity for one of the existing board members to step up and in to the role.  We unanimously agreed the supercedure should be by Mariah Moser, long time Bee Girl org board member, volunteer, and advocate.  Please read on to learn more about our new Queen Bee! Does Mariah Love Bees%3F&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter —– THE LONG HAUL A blog by Dan Wyns, Bee Informed Partnership The changing agricultural landscape and current economic conditions of the bee industry have led most commercial beekeepers to undertake significant migrations to pollinate crops, access better forage, and seek favorable wintering conditions. General beekeeping activities and short distance moves are generally accomplished with a variety of light and medium duty flat-deck trucks, but long haul moves typically involve moving bees on semis. Colony carrying capacity of a semi is limited by both weight and space. The maximum legal gross weight is 80,000 pounds. A truck + trailer unit generally weighs around 30,000 pounds leaving approximately 50,000 for cargo. The number of colonies that can be loaded on a typical 53’ trailer while staying under height restrictions varies depending on several factors including colony configuration, 8 frame vs. 10 frame, and pallet design (6-way vs. 4-way and overall dimensions). It generally takes 400-450 full size colonies to fill a semi with 408 and 432 being common numbers. Considering the cargo capacity, this means the average weight of individual hives (including pallets) cannot exceed 110-120 pounds. Commercial beekeepers have consistently refined bee shipping practices to minimize the potential for negative colony health associated with long haul moves. Care in handling when loading and unloading, sufficient tightening of straps, and high quality trailer suspension all play a role in the mitigating risks of mechanical damage (bees/queens getting squished) during transit. After a short distance of travel it is recommended to stop and check strap tension and minimize any potential for load shift which may result in unnecessary colony damage or much more serious consequences. Bee hauling practices have also been improved to minimize biological stress on colonies during transit. Adequate ventilation while underway is critical … More at —– From Dr. Christina Grozinger at POLLINATOR-L – RESEARCH JOBS 1. Assistant professor evolutionary chemical ecology, /University of Amsterdam, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), Department Evolutionary and Population Biology. We are looking for a dynamic researcher (F/M) with a specific interest in the evolution of sexual communication in moths. We are especially interested in candidates who can combine behavioral analyses with genetic and molecular analyses, and are keen to develop both fundamental and applied research lines. The candidate will contribute to teaching courses at BSc and MSc level for Biology, Psychobiology and Future Planet Study students. For more information: 2. PhD position available to study pollinator ecology, Calgary This is a renewed search for a position advertised last fall. We are seeking a graduate student to begin work on a PhD in September 2018, to join the labs of Paul Galpern and Ralph Cartar at the University of Calgary, in a biology department with considerable expertise in pollination and pollinator ecology, and in beneficial insects. For more information, visit Applications are welcome immediately, with the search closing on 01 April 2018. To apply, please email a statement of interest, a CV:  Paul Galpern <> or Ralph Cartar <>. Candidates selected for interview will be asked to provide the names of two referees who can speak to their academic and/or research accomplishments. 3. Post-doc position in native bee ecology at Oregon State University – Postdoctoral scholar position to study native bee ecology in grasslands and riparian areas available at Oregon State University through the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. The full-time position is located in eastern Oregon at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center. The project focuses on the effects of non-native annual grasses, ungulate grazing (including cattle, deer, and elk), and fire on native bee communities in the Zumwalt Prairie and in riparian areas in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon, primarily within the USFS Starkey Experimental Forest & Range. Two years of funding are currently available, but the postdoctoral researcher will be hired on an annual basis and extended pending appropriate progress and continued funding. Please indicate your availability in the cover letter. The project begins in April 2018; applications will be reviewed as they are received. A full description of the position can be found at: —– CATCH THE BUZZ 1. Florida Beekeepers: ‘Fewer Bees Could Spell Higher Prices for Food’ – Bee keepers across Florida and the nation are wondering what the future holds. That’s because bees are dying by the millions and that could spell higher food prices at the store. “Honey bee population in Florida is really in a crisis,” said Dave Hackenberg. Hackenberg runs a large operation in Trilby, north of Dade City in Pasco County. He rents his bee hives to farmers so bees can pollinate crops. But for the last 10 years, the bee population has dwindled, and Hurricane Irma didn’t help. “Irma probably took out 75, according to state’s numbers, took out 75 to 80 thousand hives of bees just from flooding and wind and damage and so on,” said Hackenberg. 2. Hundreds of Beekeepers in Caribbean Get Emergency Assistance from National Rescue Efforts – The Pollinator Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems, cited major progress in the disaster relief campaign it began last October following the devastating hurricanes that tore through Puerto Rico and neighboring islands.  Pollinator Partnership President and CEO Val Dolcini highlighted the delivery and ongoing distribution of supplemental protein and replacement hives to help beekeepers on Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and other islands in the Caribbean recover from the impacts of hurricanes Maria and Irma.    Dolcini noted important progress on several fronts.  The first relief flights delivering emergency bee protein to Puerto Rico landed within days of the hurricane and were quickly followed by other shipments.  The rapid success of these efforts allowed beekeepers on Puerto Rico to share emergency bee protein supplies with beekeepers on the USVI, Dominica, Barbuda, and other nearby islands.  The campaign also provided funds to help pay the costs of volunteers capturing honeybee swarms and escaped colonies.  With protein needs met and the floral landscape beginning to recover, the focus of the relief efforts has shifted to providing bee hives to island beekeepers.  Three shipments containing over 1,000 replacement hives and other supplies have recently been shipped to San Juan, and volunteers will soon begin working to assemble the hives and distribute them to beekeepers in need. 3. U.S. Scientists Found Neonicotinoid Insecticides In About Three-Quarters Of Samples From 10 Major Great Lakes Tributaries. A variety of neonicotinoids—harmful to aquatic organisms—are reported in major Great Lakes streams. The study ( is the first to examine the insecticides—gaining notoriety in recent years as a prime suspect in bee die-offs— in the world’s largest freshwater system and suggests Great Lakes’ fish, birds and entire ecosystems might be at risk. 4. Manuka Honey Goes from Monofloral 5 to Multifloral 1, and Is Now Called Multifloral Manuka Honey – The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) (similar to USDA in US) has reissued the General Requirements for Bee Products Export Notice. The revised Notice adjusts the level of a chemical marker known as 2’-MAP from greater than or equal to 5 mg/kg, to greater than or equal to 1 mg/kg for the definition for multifloral mānuka honey. There is no change to the definition for monofloral mānuka honey, which remains at equal or greater than 5mg/kg for 2’-MAP. The implementation date of the Notice remains 5th February. The change means that the legal claim challenging the definition by New Zealand Beekeeping has been resolved. 5. NAFTA Negotiations Worrying Local US Farmers – Farmers are growing more and more anxious with the negotiations over the North American Free Trade Agreement. Several Wisconsin farmers’ organizations have joined a new coalition in support of keeping the NAFTA deal alive. Local farmers may suffer if NAFTA negotiations come undone. Many farmers depend on NAFTA to export their goods to other countries. Darin von Ruden, president of the Wisconsin’s Farmers Association: “Ninety percent of what we produce in Wisconsin, leaves the state. About 50 percent of that goes into Canada.” The new coalition to help lobby Congress and President Trump consists of thirty state and national organizations, including the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers and Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Associations.   According to a article, the bulk of Wisconsin’s dairy and produce is exported to Canada and Mexico, who are also under the NAFTA agreement. In 2016, Wisconsin exported about $3.4 billion worth of agricultural products to 150 different countries. If NAFTA were to fall through, farmers would have to find other ways of exporting those goods at a fair price.