Items of interest to beekeepers 7 July 2017

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









MESSAGE FROM W.A.S. PRESIDENT DR. ERIC MUSSEN Conference Fast Approaching! We are about two months away from our conference. I hope that you have submitted your registration materials to our Treasurer. The sooner we know how many are coming, the better we can plan for food, in particular. You also should get your reservations made in one of our motels, since we do not have a convention center or convention hotel in Davis. I have prepared a separate Journal article on traveling to and driving around the campus, to reach the conference facility. Parking permits are going to be at the registration desk in ARC near Ballrooms A&B. You will be liable for a parking ticket if the ticket person spots your vehicle before you can get into ARC and return with your permit. I begged for a bit of leniency. If you get a ticket, it could be “fixed” if I submit your license plate number and your permit number on an appropriate list. But, I’m only going to do that for “best efforts.” Davis Visitor Information If you are going to be around Davis for a day or two extra, and you are wondering about what you might wish to do locally, our little Davis paper, The Davis Enterprise, just published and distributed a 24-page (including significant advertising) “Summer 2017 Davis Visitor’s Guide.”  I have prepared two other lists: Davis Restaurants and Davis Fast Food Places that appear in the Journal. Details in the Journal The July/August WAS Journal contains the schedule for the conference, as it stands today. (It will also be posted here on the website soon.) Of course, things are subject to change, but this is how it appears to be going: see conference schedule beginning on page 13. As you can see, the entire on-campus meeting is going to take place in the ARC Ballroom. That very large hall has a retractile wall that we will use to separate the space into two rooms. The larger room will seat the audience for presentations. The smaller room will house the vendors and the silent auction, and then on Friday afternoon will be set up for the banquet. The tours will leave in private vehicles from parking lots #25 and #35. Deadline for Award Candidate submissions is July 31 We are getting close to the closing date (July 31st) for submitting names and supporting information for the candidates for the “Outstanding Service to Beekeeping Award” (U.S. or Canada) and “Thurber Award for Inventiveness” (local award, probably from California). The Awards Committee has to have time to make the selection, contact the recipients, make arrangements for them to be present at the awards banquet, and have their plaques engraved. So, if you have one or more candidates, get that information to Awards Committee chair, Archie Mitchell, at: by July 31st. Looking forward to seeing you at this special 40th Anniversary WAS Conference. Eric Mussen —– Sent by Kriss Crilly, Washington State – BEEKEEPER TOUR TO CUBA Hello Beekeepers – and enthusiasts,   Transeair Travel is pleased to announce a Special BEEKEEPER Tour to Cuba featuring visits to Apiaries, Processing Plants, Research Centers, Agriculture Center, and Packaging Plants.  This is a unique tour arranged with the cooperation of the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture.   Dates:  November 11 – 19, 2017   Fully inclusive: island transportation, hotels, meals,and full touring program.    Check your calendar — and let me know if you are interested.   Please return the attached trip application and deposit to reserve your space.  Deposits are due as soon as possible.   Thank you for your reply. Benita Lubic CTC President Transeair Travel LLC 2813 McKinley Place NW Washington, DC  20015 202-362-6100 Tel 202-362-7411 Fax —– From Joanna Collin at Véto-pharma in France – VETO-PHARMA A NEW COLOSS NETWORK SPONSOR! Véto-pharma has recently initiated a partnership agreement with COLOSS to become a Network Sponsor, joining Network Sponsor the Ricola Foundation – Nature and Culture and Conference Sponsor the Eva Crane Trust to support COLOSS. For the past two years, Véto-pharma has sponsored COLOSS’ conferences. Now, Véto-pharma is engaging in new way by providing COLOSS with 10,000€ to support its networking activities. The COLOSS (Prevention of honey bee COlony LOSSes) is an international, non-profit association headquartered in Bern, Switzerland. It is focussed on improving the well-being of bees at a global level. Its members consist of scientific professionals that include researchers, veterinarians, agriculture extension specialists and students. The mission of COLOSS is to improve the well-being of bees at a global level, advocating for bees health, coordinating international research and disseminating knowledge and training related to improving the well-being of bees. COLOSS projects are recognized worldwide and greeted by the whole beekeeping community. This partnership is part of Véto-pharma’s vision for sustainable honey bee health around the world by promoting research and by providing high quality products designed for bees. We hope this partnership will further increase the visibility of COLOSS, and promote the great work they do in support of honey bee health. If you want to learn more about the COLOSS, visit To learn more about Véto-pharma, visit —– From Sandy Carroll, Sustainability Manager at GloryBee – GLORYBEE SUSTAINABILITY REPORT NOW ONLINE Sustainability is our way of creating the change we seek in the world, ensuring transparency in our supply chain and efficiency in our operations. The sustainability report is our story, but more than that, it is a true and honest look at the last calendar year; what went well, what didn’t, and what we can work on in the future. We’d like to invite you to read our 2016 sustainability report here ( A few key points in the 2016 Sustainability Report:     People are like family; over half of employees at GloryBee receive professional development training. Training is paying off; 16 people received an internal promotion in 2016.     Planet: 303,682 lbs. were delivered by bike in 2016, with our partners Peddlers Express in Eugene and our B Corp buddies in Portland; B Line!     Prosperity in business means more than making money. In 2016 we were able to donate over $300,000 in product and charitable donations to our partners like School Garden Project, Family Works, and OSU Honey Bee Lab. At GloryBee our sustainability program is embedded in all aspects of our business, from how we manage waste, to the impact our suppliers have on the environment. Thank you for being our partner! We couldn’t do it without you! Sincerely, Sandy —– Good reading, not necessarily bee-related – ‘CLIMATE SMART SOILS’ MAY HELP BALANCE THE CARBON BUDGET Here’s the scientific dirt: Soil can help reduce global warming. While farm soil grows the world’s food and fiber, scientists are examining ways to use it to sequester carbon and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. “We can substantially reduce atmospheric carbon by using soil. We have the technology now to begin employing good soil practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Johannes Lehmann, Cornell professor of soil and crop sciences, co-author of the Perspectives piece, “Climate-smart Soils,” published in Nature, April 6. Decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, sequestering carbon and using prudent agricultural management practices that tighten the soil-nitrogen cycle can yield enhanced soil fertility, bolster crop productivity, improve soil biodiversity, and reduce erosion, runoff and water pollution. These practices also buffer crop and pasture systems against the impacts of climate change. Currently, Earth’s atmosphere holds about 830 petagrams (1 trillion kilograms) of carbon and humans add about 10 petagrams of carbon to the atmosphere every year, because of industrial and agricultural waste, and fossil-fuel burning vehicles, according to Lehmann. Soils, however, hold about 4,800 petagrams of carbon to a depth of 2 meters, which is six times the amount of carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere. The good news is that soils have the potential to hold even more, said the scientists. “Improving prediction models, finding ‘big data’ approaches to integrate land use, soil management and technology to engage land users are key parts to realizing greenhouse gas mitigation from climate-smart agricultural soils,” said Lehmann, a faculty fellow at Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. One strong mitigation strategy includes avoiding degradation of native ecosystems, while restoring marginal land to perennial forest or grassland. It’s not all about science: Realizing the potential for climate change mitigation through global soil management requires understanding cultural, political and socio-economic contexts, said the scientists. Land users, farmers and producers can abate greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon using several methods, but these stakeholders must be educated and need the decision tools to choose the most appropriate approach tuned to their situation. Practices to minimize greenhouse gas emissions include reducing tillage; improving grazing management, crop rotation and nutrient management; applying biochar; adding cover crops; and providing perennial vegetation for inactive production fields. “The mitigation potential of existing and future soil management practices could be as high as 8 petagrams per year, but how much is achievable depends on the implementation strategies, and socio-economic and policy constraints,” said Lehmann. In addition to Lehmann, researchers writing the Nature piece included lead author Keith Paustian and Stephen Ogle, both of Colorado State University; David Reay, University of Edinburgh; G. Philip Robertson, Michigan State University; and Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen. —– CATCH THE BUZZ 1. Bee Groups Embrace New EU Partnership: Trust Is The Key – Beekeepers, scientists, policy-makers and other relevant parties are to set up a European bee partnership that could transform the way bee health is assessed in the EU. The pledge was the main outcome of a major scientific meeting held in Brussels yesterday entitled “Towards a European Bee Partnership” that was attended by more than 120 delegates from scientific organisations, EU bodies, researchers, beekeeper and farmers’ groups, and NGOs. Willingness to collaborate Simon More, who chairs EFSA’s MUST-B working group on risks to bees, said: “One clear theme from today’s meeting is that there is a willingness to collaborate on the part of all the groups represented here. “We have a clear way forward: EFSA will facilitate the establishment of a group to make the European Bee Partnership happen. But this is just the beginning. Many more discussions will be needed to make this partnership as broad and representative as possible.” He added: “This has to be a partnership of stakeholders for stakeholders, a partnership of the willing founded on mutual trust. That is the only way it can be successful.” 2. Field experiments show how removing a pollinator species disrupts foraging patterns – The absence of a single dominant bumblebee species from an ecosystem disrupts foraging patterns among a broad range of remaining pollinators in the system — from other bees to butterflies, beetles and more, field experiments show. Biology Letters published the research, which may have implications for the survival of both rare wild plants and major food crops as many pollinator species are in decline. “We see an ecological cascade of effects across the whole pollinator community, fundamentally changing the structure of plant-pollinator interaction networks,” says Berry Brosi, a biologist at Emory University and lead author of the study. “We can see this shift in who visits which plant even in pollinators that are not closely related to the bumblebee species that we remove from the system.” 3. N.Y. honeybees stung hard by varroa mite, researchers find – A small mite is causing big trouble for New York’s honeybee population and putting in peril the fruit and vegetable crops that depend on these pollinators. Other beekeeper team findings: A study of 30 apple orchards revealed a high level of pesticide exposure (five acute cases, 22 chronic). The majority of the high-risk insecticides appear to be coming not from the apples or the pollen that bees are collecting from the apples, but from wildflowers surrounding the orchards, which points to a potential issue in grower spray practices. A study to determine the impact of different landscapes and farming practices on wild bees found that colonies placed in suburban sites performed poorly, weighing 40 percent less and having 19 percent fewer bees than those colonies placed in natural areas, and conventional agriculture and organic agriculture landscapes. This study adds to the growing literature highlighting the influence of landscape on pollinator populations. 4. MSU lands $6.8 million USDA grant to improve landscapers for healthy pollinators – A team of Michigan State University entomologists will use a nearly $1 million U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to expand and enhance habitat for honey bees, wild bees and monarch butterflies. The grant, part of a $6.8 million USDA grant announcement, also will be used to disseminate best management practices for pollinator conservation in agricultural landscapes. “The challenges faced by honey bees, wild bees and other flower-visiting insects threaten our food security,” said Rufus Isaacs, MSU entomologist who will be leading the grant. “Addressing this in Michigan is of particular importance. The state is home to a significant honey bee industry that provides local and national pollination services and honey production, and Michigan is a leader in fruit and vegetable production, which depends on these insects for pollination.” 5. USDA Authorizes Emergency Grazing in Drought-Stricken Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota – WASHINGTON, June 23, 2017 – Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.  All or parts of these states are experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions – indicated as categories D2 and D3 on the U.S. Drought Monitor. “Due to reduced availability of forage, ranchers in the hardest hit locations have already been culling their herds,” said Perdue. “Without alternative forage options like grazing CRP lands, livestock producers are faced with the economically devastating potential of herd liquidation.” CRP is a voluntary program administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) available to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land and, when needed, provide emergency relief to livestock producers suffering the impacts of certain natural disasters.