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WAS

Items of interest to beekeepers January 14 2017
Thursday, January 26, 2017

 

 



IN THIS ISSUE

CELL PHONES COULD BE A LIFELINE FOR HONEY BEES AND BEEKEEPERS IN AFRICA
POLLINATORS, PESTICIDES IN FOCUS AT FRUIT RESEARCH AND EXTENSION CENTER
PICKY EATERS: BUMBLE BEES PREFER PLANTS WITH NUTRIENT-RICH POLLEN
BEES' ABILITY TO FORAGE DECREASES AS AIR POLLUTION INCREASES
RESEARCH JOBS LIST
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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In pollinator news from Pennsylvania State University -

1. CELL PHONES COULD BE A LIFELINE FOR HONEY BEES AND BEEKEEPERS IN AFRICA

A new Penn State project aimed at improving the food system in East Africa by enhancing pollination services and promoting bee-derived products has received a Food Systems Innovation Grant from the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation, based at Michigan State University.

The long-term goal of the two-year project is to create an information-gathering and decision-support system that combines global positioning systems, geographic information systems and cell phone technologies to translate field data into reliable, evidence-based management recommendations for smallholder farmers. Researchers will test the effectiveness of this approach by applying it to the management of honey bees, said lead investigator Maryann Frazier, senior extension associate in entomology, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.

http://news.psu.edu/story/376506/2015/10/21/research/cell-phones-could-be-lifeline-honey-bees-and-beekeepers-africa


2. POLLINATORS, PESTICIDES IN FOCUS AT FRUIT RESEARCH AND EXTENSION CENTER

An apple orchard in full bloom: for many, a simple harbinger of spring. But for David Biddinger and his colleagues and graduate students at Penn State’s Fruit Research and Extension Center, the delicate blooms carry the promise of a future in which bees and pesticides can do their work in harmony at fruit farms across the nation. Their work is part of ongoing efforts across the College of Agricultural Sciences and throughout the University to develop a holistic approach to pollinator health, an area in which Penn State has built a strong reputation.

Even in low doses, some pesticides have been found to have negative effects on bees and their offspring, said Biddinger, who is an associate professor in Penn State’s Department of Entomology. At the core of the research whether subtle alterations in the timing of early-spring pesticide applications or choice of pesticide can reduce or even eliminate bees’ exposure.

http://news.psu.edu/story/417369/2016/07/15/impact/pollinators-pesticides-focus-fruit-research-and-extension-center


3. PICKY EATERS: BUMBLE BEES PREFER PLANTS WITH NUTRIENT-RICH POLLEN

Bumble bees have discriminating palates when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.

"Populations of many bee species are in decline across the world, and poor nutrition is thought to be a major factor causing these declines," said Christina Grozinger, director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Penn State. "Our studies can help identify plant species and stocks that provide high-quality nutrition for bumble bees and potentially other bee species, which will help in the development of pollinator friendly gardens and planting strips." According to Anthony Vaudo, a graduate student in entomology who led the study, scientists previously believed that bees' preferences for flowering plants were driven by floral traits, such as color, scent, morphology or nectar concentration. "Here we show that bumble bees actually choose a plant for the nutritional quality of its pollen," said Vaudo. "This is important because pollen is bees' primary source of protein and lipids."

http://news.psu.edu/story/415996/2016/06/27/research/picky-eaters-bumble-bees-prefer-plants-nutrient-rich-pollen

4. BEES' ABILITY TO FORAGE DECREASES AS AIR POLLUTION INCREASES

Air pollutants interact with and break down plant-emitted scent molecules, which insect pollinators use to locate needed food, according to a team of researchers led by Penn State.  The pollution-modified plant odors can confuse bees and, as a result, bees' foraging time increases and pollination efficiency decreases. This happens because the chemical interactions decrease both the scent molecules' life spans and the distances they travel. While foraging for food, insects detect floral scent molecules in the air. Wind currents can carry these molecules up to thousands of feet from their original source to where bees have their hives.

"Many insects have nests that are up to 3,000 feet away from their food source, which means that scents need to travel long distances before insects can detect them," said Jose D. Fuentes, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science, Penn State. "Each insect has a detection threshold for certain kinds of scents and they find food by moving from areas of low concentrations of scents to areas of high concentrations." Plant-emitted hydrocarbons break down through chemical interactions with certain air pollutants such as ozone. This breakdown process results in the creation of more air pollutants, including hydroxyl and nitrate radicals, which further increase the breakdown rate of plant odors. The researchers sought to understand how these chemical interactions, which start with the presence of air pollutants, would impact bees' ability to find food.

http://news.psu.edu/story/416642/2016/07/06/research/bees-ability-forage-decreases-air-pollution-increases


Lots more good stuff from Penn State at http://ento.psu.edu/pollinators/news

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From Dr. Christina Grozinger and POLLINATOR-L -

RESEARCH JOBS LIST

1. REMINDER: North American Pollinator Protection Campaign Deadline
'Call for Research Proposals Related to Honey Bee Health'
DEADLINE 2/3/17

Background: The North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) is seeking proposals for research related to improving the health of honey bees. Proposals should focus on research to manage, suppress, and eradicate Varroa mites, small hive beetles, and other pests, pathogens, and diseases contributing to colony losses.  Summaries of previously funded projects can be found at http://pollinator.org/honeybee_health.htm. Review and selection of proposals will be conducted by members of the Honey Bee Health Task
Force.

Research Needs: We anticipate supporting several proposals, for a maximum of $10,000 for each individual proposal.  Students and post-doctoral research fellows are encouraged to apply.  Funds must be used within a one-year period. Focused, targeted projects with a high likelihood of providing tangible results that can be applied to improving bee health are.

Proposals providing valuable extensions of previously funded projects will be considered. Principal investigators of funded projects will be expected to present the results at the 2016 NAPPC meeting.  Conference travel and registration costs may be taken from the grant award.

Priority Areas: The Honey Bee Health Task Force has identified seven priority areas for funding, though other areas will be considered as well.
• Effects of pathogens and pests on honey bee behavior, physiology and/or colony health; including the development of novel methods to mitigate these effects, such as RNAi technology.
• Effects of nutrition on pest, pathogen, and disease incidence.
• Effects of pesticides on pest, pathogen, and disease incidence.
• Effects of parasite and pathogen spillover from other bee species to honey bees.
• Development of approaches for genetic stock improvement of honey bee populations to enhance resistance to pathogens and parasites.
• Effects of climate or environmental variables on pest, pathogen, and disease incidence.
• The development of diagnostics or indicators for the presence of pests, pathogens and diseases that affect honey bee health, particularly those that can be used by beekeepers.

Proposal Requirements:
• Proposal title.
• Priority area focus/focuses.
• 3 page-project description (Arial, 12-pt font, single spaced, with page numbers, references are not included in this page limit) with sufficient background and description of methods to ascertain the importance and feasibility of the studies.
• Detailed budget.  As a non-profit organization the Pollinator
Partnership/NAPPC does not pay overhead on funded research grants.
• Research timeline by month (approximately May 2017 to May 2018).
• 2-page resume of the principal investigator(s).
• Contact information including email(s), physical mailing address, and telephone number(s).
Please include if the proposal is under consideration by other funding organizations.

If the PI has previously received funding from NAPPC, please include information about the outcomes of that funding, including publications, presentations, and/or leveraging to obtain additional funding (up to 1 additional page).

Submission: Email your proposal packets as a single PDF file to Kelly Rourke (kr@pollinator.org) by 3PM PST on Friday, February 3rd, 2017.  Questions to Kelly.

Funding Decisions: The proposals will be evaluated by members of the Honey Bee Health Task Force and funding decisions will be made by Monday, March 13, 2017.


2. Postdoctoral Research Associate in Bee Ecology

A postdoctoral position is available in Michigan State University’s Department of Entomology (http://www.ent.msu.edu) to study bees in wild and managed landscapes. The successful applicant will have two main areas of responsibility: 1) Investigate bee communities in natural and agricultural sites across Michigan that were sampled up to 60 years ago. Using museum specimens, recently databased collections, and resampling sites for new collections, analyze the temporal patterns of pollinator abundance and diversity in these landscapes to explore factors that affect bee populations; 2) Explore the role of high-reward pollinator habitat for supporting wild bees and honey bees in farmland, using previously-established restoration plantings. Using current and archived samples from these sites, address questions of floral diversity and bee response over time and the risk of pesticide drift from adjacent crop fields. The postdoctoral associate will design and conduct studies, coordinate with collaborators, and prepare written and oral presentations. Expectations also include coordinate reporting for this multi-investigator project, and supervising technical staff and student workers. The position will be available starting March 1, 2017, or as negotiated. Funding is available for 2 years and will be renewed annually, based on performance. Apply for this position at https://jobs.msu.edu using posting reference 4739. Contact isaacsr@msu.edu with any questions about the position, using Bee Ecology Postdoc in the subject line. Michigan State University is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer.

More details about this position are at http://www.isaacslab.ent.msu.edu/Join.html

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From Kim Flottum at Bee Culture magazine -

CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Australian manuka honey a medicinal powerhouse -

Australian manuka honey is at least as powerful against bacteria as the more commonly known New Zealand variety, researchers have found.

A team led by Professor Liz Harry at UTS has studied more than 80 honey samples from NSW and Queensland flowering manuka (Leptospermum) trees and found the nectar-derived chemical that gives NZ manuka honey its unique antibacterial properties is present in Australian varieties.

The ground-breaking research also shows the antibacterial properties of honey remain unchanged over several years when stored appropriately.

“These findings put Australian manuka honey on the international radar at a time when antibiotic resistance is recognised as a global crisis,” said Dr Nural Cokcetin, of the ithree institute at UTS, a lead author of the study which also includes collaborators at the University of Sydney and the University of the Sunshine Coast.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-australian-manuka-honey-medicinal-powerhouse


2. Additional Information On The Veterinary Feed Directive. This is From the Beef Industry, But Guess What…It’s The Same For Bees -

Concerns about the use of antibiotics in the feed of food animals was first expressed back in the 1960s. Since then there have been multiple reports and evaluations by different groups around the world. Our use of antibiotics to prevent, control, and treat bacterial disease in food animals is currently under great scrutiny, with pressure to describe and reduce our use. In 2003, the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine began to require the evaluation of the microbial safety of antibiotics that were being approved for food animals through their release of Guidance for Industry (GFI) #152.  This was followed by a second document related to microbial safety, GFI # 159.  

These two documents set new standards for evaluating how antibiotic use in food animals might have an effect on the ability to treat infectious disease in people, and on the ability for a resistant bacteria to proliferate and cause disease in our own intestinal tract.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-additional-information-veterinary-feed-directive-beef-industry-guess-whatits-bees


3. Bees prefer to forage upside down on these flowers so their hind legs and bee butts are warmed by the dark petals as they drink nectar and collect pollen -

Peter Bernhardt, Ph.D., a professor of biology at SLU and research associate at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney, New South Wales, has been studying reproductive patterns in wildflowers in six countries for more than 40 years and, like most dedicated scientists, thrives on new discoveries such as how bees respond to the color of the flowers they pollinate.

“Remember how you were told that a dark coat keeps you a little warmer on a cold but sunny day?” Bernhardt said. “Some plants blooming in chilly environments have dark purple or almost black patches on their flowers to keep cold-blooded insects toasty warm as they pollinate.”

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bees-prefer-forage-upside-flowers-hind-legs-bee-butts-warmed-dark-petals-drink-nectar-collect-pollen


4. The Added Sugar Controversy Shouldn’t Be A Controversy At All. Sugar ISN’T Added To Honey. Period.

The federal register url for this issue is at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-05-27/pdf/2016-11867.pdf

Page 33742 Federal Register/ Vol. 81, No. 103 / Friday, May 27, 2016 / Rules and Regulations, third column…This is the contents page.
From the BUZZ –

In This section the Added sugars issue is addressed. As we understand it, as this reads, added sugars means sugar added that would be over and above what would normally be contained in a container or vessel of the material listed on the contents section of the label.

For instance, if a juice was concentrated, say, a cup of juice was concentrated to a teaspoon of concentrate that contained all of the natural sugars of the original cup of juice, then, when reconstituted, only three quarters of a cup of water was added, that three quarters of a cup would contain all of the sugar of a full cup, thus, it would have “added sugar” from that original full cup. How this applies to honey, as we interpret it would be that a one pound jar of honey should contain X grams of sugar and state that on the label as a ‘grams/serving”. If no other material is added to that honey…say, HFCS, or cane sugar, or…any kind of other sweetener, that one pound jar of honey WILL HAVE NO ADDED SUGAR. At least that’s the way we see it here.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-added-sugar-controversy-shouldnt-controversy-sugar-isnt-added-honey-period

 

 

 
 

Events & Links (• New)


Jan 10: Inside the Hive - Honey Bee Biology and Colony Structure and Organization, 7:30 pm. Rotary Nature Center, 600 Bellevue Ave., Oakland CA. This is part of the regular Alameda County Beekeepers monthly meeting. Arrive by 7 to make sure you get a seat.

Jan 10  - 14, 2017: Joint Convention of the American Beekeeping Federation and American Honey Producers Association, Galveston, Texas. Info http://nabeekeepingconference.com.

Jan 12: Mead Making Bootcamp. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 13 - 14: Beginner's Introduction to Mead Making. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 15: Backyard Beekeeping Class, 2 - 5 pm. Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkley CA. Cost $40. Instructor Jennifer Radke. Register at http://biofueloasis.com/workshops.
OR
Feb 12: Backyard Beekeeping Class, 10 am - 1 pm, same location, instructor and registration site.

Jan 25: World of Honey - Honey Tasting Series (North America). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 27 - 28: Alaska Treatment-Free Beekeeping Symposium 2017 III, "Bee Prospering", Glenn Massay Theater, Matanuska Susitna College, 8295 College Dr., Palmer AK. Page is still under construction, but keep an eye on http://matsu.alaska.edu.

Feb 3 - 4: New Mexico Beekeepers Association Annual Meeting, South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway St. SE, Albuquerque NM. The event will be a great opportunity  to learn more about building a business, or maybe just  earning some extra income by keeping honeybees. Topics  will include Products of the Hive, the Business of Beekeeping, and Native Bees and Beekeeping in New Mexico. We  will also have hands-on activities, honey samples, vendors  and food trucks. Check our website for more details!  http://nmbeekeepers.org

• Feb 11: Start of BC Ministry of Agriculture Introductory beekeeping series of four FREE webinars. No limitations on where you are located. Visit http://www.gov.bc.ca/apiculture for further details. Please also note the Ministry’s new initiative on supporting native pollinators at http://www.gov.bc.ca/foodforbees.

Feb 12: Fast Mead Making Class 2 - 5 pm, Sticky Art Lab, 1682 University Ave (at McGee), Berkley CA. Cost $40. Instructor Jim Veitch. Register at http://biofueloasis.com/workshops.

Feb 14: 2017 Bee Aware! Symposium, 9:30 - 3:30, San Joaquim County Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center Facility, 2101 E. Earhart Ave, Stockton CA. Info Karen Francone 559-297-3511, Karen.Francone@cdpr.ca.gov.

Feb 15: College of the Melissae 2017 Study Session begins. To register, fill out registration form online at http://collegeofthemelissae.com. Write a letter of intention describing your expectations of the program and skills/interests you are bringing to the Study Session. Set up an interview with the Director (email: laurafergusonabc@gmail.com). Costs are $1000 + $250 non-refundable deposit for early bird registration (before 1/20/17)  and $1250 +$250 (after 1/20/17). Two partial scholarships are available, all participants will be required to pay deposit. Questions can be directed to the email above.

Feb 24 - 25: Utah Beekeepers Association 2017 Convention, Hyatt Place Hotel, 3700 Outlet Parkway, Lehi, Utah. Speakers will include Dr. Keith Delaplane of the University of Georgia; Stephen Coy, Russian Bee Breeders Association; Diana Cox Foster, Professor Utah State University; Ed Irvine, USDA; Robert Neuenschwander, Utah Commercial Beekeeper; and Roger Stephenson, Utah Commercial Beekeeper. Program details are available at http://www.three-peaks.net/uba/2017ConventionAgenda.pdf. Pay up your membership and register for the convention at http://www.three-peaks.net/uba/paypal.htm.

Mar 3 - 5: 10th Annual Chemical-Free Beekeepers Conference, Oracle, Arizona. Info Dee Lusby deealusby1@aol.com

Mar 18-19: Wyoming Bee College conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Beginning beekeeping 101, beekeeping 102, journeyman level beekeeping, habitat conservation, butterflies and much more.  Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information http://www.wyomingbeecollege.org or Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Apr 18: World of Honey Tasting Series (International). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Apr 22-23: Wild West Gardening conference. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking gardeners and specialty crop growers to a new level of success.  Featuring; Neil Diboll, Kathy Kimbrough, Jeff Lowenfels plus many more.  Workshops and programs. Registration is $85 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information call Catherine at 307-633-4383.

May 5 - 6: California Honey Festival (Woodland, CA). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

May 7: 2017 Bee Symposium. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Aug 19: 4th Annual Oregon Honey Festival, Ashland OR. If you would like to be an exhibitor/vendor, please get in touch with us at oregonhoneyfestival@outlook.com or take a look at our webpage: http://www.oregonhoneyfestival.com.

Sept 5 - 8: Western Apicultural Society of North America 2017 40th Anniversary Conference, UC-Davis, CA. Info http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org

Nov 14 - 16: California State Beekeepers Association annual convention, Harrah's/Harveys in Lake Tahoe, CA. Info http://www.californiastatebeekeepers.com/events.html
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LINKS

These links will take you to important websites. Reprinting the items gets too voluminous, so I encourage you to visit the originals for some good reading any time.

• Penn State pollinator news  http://ento.psu.edu/pollinators/news

• If you are interested in receiving daily science articles on a multitude of issues, check out this websites. You can sign up for daily reports on several topics  (https://scienceblog.com)

2 great bee videos by Mukibrain - "Morning Bees": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfvYBDMwGZI
And his latest "Insects Before Winter": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUhXtd_p7zU

Beargrass Press - books, guides and cards - http://www.beargrasspress.com

Bee Certain Hive Monitoring System -
   Video - https://youtu.be/9XCGk_AvPNY
   Technical papers - http://bee-certain.com/pages/technical-papers

Dr. Malcolm Sanford's Apis Information Resource News website and newsletter  http://beekeep.info/apis-newsletter.

Washington State University info on bees and New Bee Lab building fund - http://bees.wsu.edu/

http://www.BeeCityUSA.org

Bee Diverse - about bees and pollination, particularly mason bees - how to mange them using homes and mason bee tools
http://www.Beediverse.com/blog

Winnie the Pooh Guide to helping British bees: http://www.friendsofthehoneybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06 E2463_BeeBooklet_Web.pdf

From Julie, an after-school child care worker: Looking for a good information site to teach children and beginning beekeepers? Try
http://www.serenataflowers.com/pollennation/flowers-bees-honey/

UC-Davis on-line Newsletter: http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/apiculture_newsletter.html

Apis Information Resource News - PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE from Apis Newsletter by Dr. Malcolm Sanford. The newsletter is still found at  http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=9296a3543dc631c8a50086511&id=ec6bf7d517
It can also be accessed through http://apis.shorturl.com

http://beecare.bayer.com/service-center/publications/beenow-magazin

California State Department of Food and Agriculture blog - http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov

Genetic literacy - http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org

Randy Oliver website -  http://scientificbeekeeping.com

Honey Bee Health Coalition - http://www.honeybeehealthcoalition.org

Pollinator Stewardship Council - http://pollinatorstewardship.org/?page_id=349, with the most recent one posting at the top of the page

Project Apis m. - http://www.ProjectApism.org

Washington State University on bee health - http://www.extension.org/bee_health

WSU 'Green Times' newsletter - http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/blog/category/green-times

Colorado State University Pollinator Protection office - http://www.cepep.colostate.edu/Pollinator%20Protection/index.html

Infographics on beekeeping stats, facts, management and honey labels - http://www.foodpackaginglabels.net/honey-labels

 
 


Items of interest to beekeepers November 26 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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



IN THIS ISSUE

HOW CRYOPRESERVATION TECHNIQUES MIGHT SUSTAIN A THREATENED SPECIES AND US IN THE PROCESS
POSITIONS AVAILABLE
ONLINE TOOLS TO ASSESS MONARCH HABITAT
CATCH THE BUZZ
Non-beekeeping related -
    LEONARD COHEN'S DEATH BY FALLING AMONG TOP 5 LEADING CAUSES
EVENTS
LINKS

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HOW CRYOPRESERVATION TECHNIQUES MIGHT SUSTAIN A THREATENED SPECIES AND US IN THE PROCESS
By Taryn Phaneuf

On a hot evening in June, Washington State University (WSU) entomologist Brandon Hopkins sat in front of a microscope in Orland, California, handling one honeybee after another as each committed one of life’s most important acts. Hopkins squeezed one drone at a time, contracting the male’s abdominal muscles to mimic a natural mating event. As the pressure exposed the drone’s penis and a speck of semen, Hopkins vacuumed it off carefully. “You do that hundreds and hundreds of times as quickly as possible,” he said.

The process is much more technical than the actual reproductive rituals of bees (which usually happen in mid-air), but the outcome is the same: The drone gives his life, and the species lives on. Rather than immediately contributing to the growth of the colony, however, this bee’s semen will be stored in liquid nitrogen and shipped to another state.

Hopkins is collecting the first-ever honeybee samples to deposit into the National Animal Germplasm Program, a national livestock gene bank run by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the main research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The bank contains the genetic material of approximately 31,000 species that have been deemed agriculturally important in the United States.

Much more at http://civileats.com/2016/11/02/a-new-sperm-bank-for-honeybees-could-save-agriculture/

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From Dr. Christina Grozinger at POLLINATOR-L, Penn State University  -

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

1. Garden Club of America Pollinator Fellowship
- Graduate Student Fellowship
- Award: $4,000
- Deadline: February 6, 2017
- Details: http://pollinator.org/GCAfellowship.htm


2. Request for proposals for the Healthy Hives 2020 initiative from Project Apis m. Here is the link for more information http://projectapism.org/?p=2485


3.  North American Pollinator Protection Campaign Call for Research Proposals Related to Honey Bee Health
- Several proposals to be funded to a maximum $10,000 each
- Students and post-doc research fellows can apply
- Priority areas: Effects of pathogens and pests, nutrition, pesticides, parasite and pathogen spillover from other bee species, climate or environmental variables, approaches for genetic stock improvement and of diagnostics or indicators for the presence of pests, pathogens and diseases.
- Deadline: February 3, 2017
- Contact: Kelly Rourke kr@pollinator.org
More info: http://pollinator.org/honeybee_health.htm
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Also from Dr. Christina Grozinger -

1. ONLINE TOOLS TO ASSESS MONARCH HABITAT

The eastern migratory population of monarch butterflies has declined by more than 80% over the last two decades. In support of the USGS' Monarch Conservation Science Partnership, Jason Rohweder and Wayne Thogmartin developed desktop and online decision support tools to help in conservation planning for the imperiled monarch butterfly. These tools, developed using the python scripting library with ESRI ArcGIS software version 10.3, include a 'County Ranking Tool' which can be used for national, regional, or local prioritization of conservation activity; a 'Milkweed Calculator' to tabulate the amount of current and expected milkweed in a particular area of interest, and; a 'County Area Adjustment Tool' (available for desktop only) which can tabulate consequences of land change (a tool which has utility well beyond monarchs and the resources that sustain them). These tools and an associated user's manual and instructional video are available at:

http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/management/dss/monarch.html

2. PENN STATE GRADUATE TRAINING PROGRAM IN INTEGRATIVE POLLINATOR ECOLOGY
- Research Areas: Taxonomy and Systematics, Population genetics, Genomics, Organismal Biology (physiology, toxicology, immunology and behavior), Ecology and Land MAnagement, Integrated Pest and Pollinator Management
- Participating Graduate Programs and Training Faculty -
Entomology: David Biddinger, Shelby Fleischer, Christina Grozinger, Heather Hines, Margarita Lopez-Uribe, Harland Patch, John Tooker
Geography/Ecosystem Science and Management: Doug miller
Plant Pathology and Microbiology: Cristina Rosa
Ecology: Grozinger, Miller Tooker

How to apply: Fellows will be housed in participating Penn State programs and complete additional requirements for the IPE program. Fellows must be advised by two co-mentors from different research areas. Prospective students are encouraged to contact training faculty members before submitting an application. Prospective students should submit materials to their selected graduate programs according to the guidelines of those programs by Dec. 31, 2016, and notify Christina Grozinger (cmg25@psu.edu). The IPE program is funded by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Strategic Network Initiative Program. Contact Christina Grozinger with any questions.

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Why Brexit could be bad news for bees -

Brexit could have serious consequences for bees and bee scientists, Norman Carreck, Science Director of the International Bee Research Association (IBRA) warns in an editorial in Bee World.

The UK has a long history of pioneering research into bees and beekeeping, dating as far back as the influential discoveries of the Rev. Charles Butler in the seventeenth century. However, the UK’s departure from the EU could have wide-reaching effects on the future of such research, threatening UK access to important funding streams and jeopardizing international collaborations between bee scientists.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-brexit-bad-news-bees


2.  Feds hit brakes on loans to big farms. Do the environmental evaluation BEFORE you ask for a loan -

By Catherine Boudreau, Drovers Journal

The Obama administration is slow-walking the credit it gives to large dairy and livestock farms out of fear that it could get slapped with another big environmental lawsuit, POLITICO has learned.

Big farms in the South, Midwest and Northeast are struggling to get the financing they need because of the slowdown, with applications for loan guarantees languishing for more than a year and a half in some cases, lenders and state farm groups say.

The foot-dragging stems from a 2013 lawsuit that the environmental law nonprofit Earthjustice filed against the administration over loans it guaranteed for farmers to build a concentrated animal feeding operation in northern Arkansas. The litigation has forced the Small Business Administration to reevaluate the way it vets the loan applications to include an assessment of the environmental impact of construction, causing major delays in approvals.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-feds-hit-brakes-loans-big-farms-environmental-evaluation-ask-loan


3. U.S. Organic farmland reached 4.1 million acres in 2016, a new record -

As of June 2016, the number of certified organic farms in the U.S. reached 14,979, a 6.2 percent increase of 1,000 farms compared to 2014 survey data.

The Mercaris Organic Acreage Report found that the top five states in organic cropland are California, Montana, Wisconsin, New York and North Dakota. California leads the U.S. with 688,000 acres. However, Montana has seen a 30 percent increase in organic farmland, reaching 417,000 acres in 2016, an increase of 100,000 acres since 2014 and adding 50 new organic farms. According to the Mercaris Organic Acreage Report, U.S. land for organic farming reached 4.1 million acres in 2016—a new record and an 11 percent increase compared to 2014.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-u-s-organic-farmland-reached-4-1-million-acres-2016-new-record


4. Robert E. Page Jr. Selected Fellow of California Academy of Sciences -

Internationally known honey bee geneticist Robert E. Page Jr., emeritus professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Arizona State University provost emeritus, has been selected a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS), San Francisco.

He is one of 10 Fellows, and the only one from UC Davis, to be inducted Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the annual CAS meeting and awards dinner.

The Fellows are a group of distinguished scientists, nominated and appointed in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the natural sciences. They help extend the Academy’s “positive impact on research, public engagement, and education, through individual and collaborative efforts with Academy researchers and staff,” a spokesperson said.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-robert-e-page-jr-selected-fellow-california-academy-sciences/?utm_source=Catch+The+Buzz&utm_campaign=a228d92f3f-Catch_The_Buzz_4_29_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0272f190ab-a228d92f3f-332001077

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Not bee-related but good reading nonetheless -

LEONARD COHEN'S DEATH BY FALLING AMONG TOP 5 LEADING CAUSES

The famous singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, as per his manager Robert B. Kory’s statement, “died during his sleep following a fall in the middle of the night on November 7th.  The death was sudden, unexpected, and peaceful.”

Ironically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released their estimates of preventable deaths from the five leading causes.  With preventable cancer, stroke and heart disease deaths down, it is unintentional injuries that surged 23% —mainly due to drug poisoning and falls.  

Full article at http://acsh.org/news/2016/11/18/leonard-cohens-death-falling-among-top-5-leading-causes-10458

 

 


Items of interest to beekeepers November 20 2016
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

SPECIAL ISSUE OF IBRA's 'BEE WORLD' ON BEE BREEDING
REQUEST FOR RESEARCH PROPOSALS - DEADLINE SOON!
NEW ENTOMOLOGY APPOINTMENTS
BAYER FEED A BEE & THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY KICK OFF FIRST ANNUAL FORAGE TOUR TO PLANT 50 MILLION SEEDS
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS - 'Morning Bees' video

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From the International Bee Research Association (IBRA) -

SPECIAL ISSUE OF IBRA's 'BEE WORLD' ON BEE BREEDING

The new issue 93(2) of Bee World is a Special Issue devoted to the important subject of bee breeding. For many years, beekeepers in Europe, especially in Germany, have been selectively breeding bees for improved performance. Fewer beekeepers in the USA breed their own bees.
Bee World Editor Kirsten Traynor says: “When my husband and I started keeping bees in the United States and mentioned we wanted to breed our own queens, we were told quite adamantly ‘You don’t breed queens. You buy them’. Undeterred by a challenge, we drove almost 2,000 km one-way to participate in a queen rearing class in Nebraska. Thankfully the industry is changing and there are now many local options to learn the basics of queen rearing in the United States. We still lack the organized mating stations and mating islands common in Europe, but breeding cooperatives are now forming”.

The issue contains a range of articles from both Europe and the USA. Elizabeth Walsh & Juliana Rangel from Texas A&M University, USA describe local honey bee queen production and quality. Susan Cobey of Washington State University, USA provides an introduction to the instrumental insemination of honey bee queens. Many bee breeders today focus on selecting for resistance to the parasitic varroa mite. In a “Scientist behind the science” interview, Greg Hunt of Purdue University, USA describes his selection program to produce “Mite-Biter” bees. This can be compared and contrasted to the varroa resistance efforts in Germany, described by Ralph Büchler and Aleksandar Uzunov of the Landesbetrieb Landwirtschaft Hessen, Kirchhain, Germany. In another article, Kaspar Bienefeld of the Institute for Bee Research, Hohen Neuendorf, Germany explores the importance of genetic diversity in breeding programs. Bee breeding can be most successful where beekeepers work as a team.

Dr Traynor points out that: “To improve queen quality, cooperatives of small scale beekeepers often work together. Such breeding co-ops have long existed in many European countries. Often dedicated individuals give generously of their time and knowledge to help other beekeepers learn how to graft and rear queens.”

The special issue of Bee World on bee breeding is available here-
http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tbee20/93/2?nav=tocList

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From Bill Marks at Porter Novelli -

REQUEST FOR RESEARCH PROPOSALS - DEADLINE SOON!

Earlier this year honey bee health organization Project Apis m. announced the seven research projects funded as part of the Healthy Hives 2020 initiative, and I thought you might be interested to know the 2017 request for proposals has been issued.

An initiative of Project Apis m. and funded by Bayer, the Healthy Hives 2020 RFP, seeks project to address critical research needs to improve bee health in four priority areas:

· Conducting an economic assessment of the “true” cost of commercial beekeeping operations to help beekeepers maximize efficiency and production;

· Creating a set of “Best Management Practices” for commercial beekeeping based on definitive colony health performance data;

· Evaluating the use of “smart hive” technology to monitor honey bee colony health during commercial migratory operations; and,

· Assessing honey bee genetics for traits relevant to colony resistance to pests and diseases, as well as pollination efficiency and honey production in the United States.

Proposals are due by 5 p.m. PST, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, and the full RFP can be accessed at http://projectapism.org/?p=2485.

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From Dr. Christina Grozinger at POLLINATOR-L -

NEW ENTOMOLOGY APPOINTMENTS

I am happy to announce that Maggie Couvillon will be starting as an Assistant Professor of Pollinator Biology & Ecology in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech in July 2017!  

Additionally, Roger Schurch will be joining Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech as Research Assistant Professor in Insect Ecology & Social Evolution.

It will be great to have Maggie and Roger as part of our growing pollinator group in the Northeast!

Christina

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From Beth Roden's weekly newsletter from Bayer -

BAYER FEED A BEE & THE WILDLIFE SOCIETY KICK OFF FIRST ANNUAL FORAGE TOUR TO PLANT 50 MILLION SEEDS

Feed a Bee and The Wildlife Society (TWS) have embarked on a six-week tour to establish additional pollinator forage at four locations across the U.S. Announced at TWS’ annual conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 15 – 19, approximately 50 million wildflower seeds will be planted at strategic locations in Texas, Kansas, Illinois and Florida, where TWS has a robust regional presence.

The original goal established for the Feed a Bee program this year was to generate enough social actions through “Tweet a 🐝, #FeedABee” to plant 25 million pollinator-attractant wildflower seeds. Each share of the bee emoji and #FeedABee online triggered additional, real wildflower seeds being tallied for the fall plantings. Thanks to overwhelming support from the public and partner organizations, the four plantings will take place across enough land to plant 50 million wildflower seeds total.

Existing Feed a Bee partners will plant native wildflowers this fall, including:
• Texas Tech University Department of Plant and Soil Science in Lubbock, Texas
• McCarty Family Farms in Scott City, Kansas
• Salem4youth in Flanagan, Illinois
• The Packers of Indian River in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Full article at https://www.cropscience.bayer.us/news/press-releases/2016/11012016-bayer-feed-a-bee-and-wildlife-society-first-annual-forage-tour-to-plant-50-million-seeds

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Some Honey Samples Found with Herbicide Residues -

Residues of the main ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup have been found in honey in Iowa, sparking an immediate lawsuit.

The environmental website EcoWatch reports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began glyphosate residue testing in a small number of foods earlier this year after the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

It is the first time the FDA has looked for glyphosate residues in food.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-honey-samples-found-herbicide-residues


2. Successful Farming Magazine’s Take On The Next SecAG -

Democrat Ken Salazar and Republican Chris Christie devoted months to assembling a plan that only one of their bosses can use beginning November 9 – the checklist of policy announcements and personnel appointments to be made by the newly elected president. The transition teams chaired by Salazar, for Hillary Clinton, and Christie, for Donald Trump, set the tone for an incoming administration by fleshing out campaign planks and sifting for nominees to run the government. “There’s a huge corral of people we are looking at,” said Sam Clovis, Trump’s chief policy adviser, in September in a rare description of a transition team’s labors.

Agriculture saw little attention during the presidential campaign, so there are few clues of who Trump or Clinton want at USDA. Traditionally, presidents-elect settle first on nominees for the big cabinet posts, the state, treasury, judiciary, and defense departments. For the remainder, including USDA, a new president’s goals of diversity of gender and racial background in the cabinet can compete with ideology and the desire to thank key blocs. To find out the rest of this story click on the link below, or copy and paste into your search engine. It’s worth the read.

http://www.agriculture.com/news/business/the-hunt-for-a-new-secretary-of-ag?utm_source=ag-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=todaysnews_110416&did=91659


3. Honey wars: crime and killings in New Zealand’s booming manuka industry -

An extraordinary rise in the popularity of manuka honey has led to mass poisonings of bees, thefts, vandalism and beatings

It was the day the bees died – tens of thousands of them in 300 hives, mysteriously killed.

“The massacre”, as it is being called, happened in the otherwise idyllic landscape of Doubtless Bay in New Zealand’s far north.

And for David Yanke and Rachel Kearney, co-owners of Daykel Apiaries, the cause of death was obvious: malicious poisoning.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-honey-wars-crime-killings-new-zealands-booming-manuka-industry


4. Mustard farmers join forces to protect British honey bees -

A cooperative of 18 mustard farmers have joined forces to embark on the UK’s biggest ever project to protect and eventually boost pollinator populations.

The English Mustard Growers (EMG), a farm collective based in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk which supply seed to the Colman’s English Mustard brand, are working in partnership with crop production specialists, Hutchinsons, to map the availability of nectar and pollen throughout the year.

The aim of the project is to ensure pollinators, such a honey bees, receive a steady supply of food resources, which will in turn support crop yields.

The ten year project, which began in 2014, is the biggest of its kind in the UK, covering a total of 10,000 hectares of land, and is fully supported by the British Beekeepers Association.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-mustard-farmers-join-forces-protect-british-honey-bees


5. Veterinarians’ loans repaid for working in rural communities -

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded more than $4.3 million to 48 American veterinarians to help repay a portion of their veterinary school loans in return for serving in areas lacking sufficient veterinary resources critical to America’s food safety, food security, and to the health and well-being of animals and humans. The awards, made through NIFA’s Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), will fill shortage needs in 27 states.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-veterinarians-loans-repaid-working-rural-communities


6. New Plant Growth Regulator Labeled For Almonds In Bloom -

Valent U.S.A. Corporation recently received label registration from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for its ReTain plant growth regulator.

The product is labeled for almonds as a means to help improve nut set potential.

ReTain extends the viability of almond blooms by giving more opportunity for pollination. The naturally-occurring active ingredient in ReTain works by reducing ethylene production in almond blossoms and delaying flower and stigmatic senescence.

This effect results in longer flower viability, which allows more time for pollination to occur. Field studies demonstrated that ReTain extends the life of an almond bloom by 43 percent over untreated trees.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-new-plant-growth-regulator-labeled-almonds-bloom

 


Items of interest to beekeepers November 12 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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

Items of interest to beekeepers November 12 2016

IN THIS ISSUE

NEWS FROM THE CANADIAN BEE HEALTH ROUND TABLE
USING HONEY'S GOOD NAME
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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NEWS FROM THE CANADIAN BEE HEALTH ROUND TABLE

From Executive Director Rod Scarlett in Edmonton, Alberta -

The Roundtable released this report a couple weeks ago and will be releasing some habitat information soon.

The report entitles 'Canadian Best Management Practices for Honey Bee Health' was commissioned for discussion purposes by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) on behalf of the Bee Health Roundtable, an industry-government forum.

The content of the report does not necessarily reflect the opinions or interests of the entire Bee Health Value Chain Roundtable (VCRT) membership  or AAFC, nor does it necessarily reelect the opinions or interests of all parties interviewed during the researching of this report. The recommendations resulting from the report are not binding on any participant of the VCRTs or AAFC.

A copy of this draft document can be seen at http://bcbeekeepers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/BMP-manual-Les-Eccles-Pub-22920-FINAL-low-res-web-English.pdf

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From Dewey Caron in Oregon, a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition team -

USING HONEY'S GOOD NAME
by Dewey M. Caron

Did you happen to catch the latest headline (Nov 2) from the Organic Consumers Association (OCA)  https://www.organicconsumers.org/
 
"Nonprofits File Lawsuit Against Sioux Honey Over ‘100% Pure’ and ‘Natural’ Labels on Products Contaminated with Glyphosate"

They are using our precious product honey to make a point. We get trampled in the meantime.

Background: The OCA and Beyond Pesticides have filed a lawsuit in the District of Columbia Superior Court against Sioux Honey Association, following earlier filing of a lawsuit against Sioux in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York for deceptive and misleading labeling of its Sue Bee and Aunt Sue’s honey brands. Sue Bee honey products are labeled “100% Pure” and “Natural.”

The lawsuit acknowledges the difficulties beekeepers face. They “are often the victims of, and have little recourse against, contamination of their hives caused by pesticide applications in the fields where bees forage,”  OCA  International Director, Ronnie Cummins additionally states in the press release “Regardless of how these products came to be contaminated, Sioux Honey has an obligation to either prevent the contamination, disclose the contamination, or at the very least, remove these deceptive labels.” Sioux Bee, a producer cooperative, established in 1921 (http://www.suebee.com) includes many of the largest US honey producers as members.

The lawsuit is based on information obtained under a Freedom of Information request. FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration), in their initial testing for Glyphosate residues, found levels to 123 ppb (parts per billion) of glyphosate; some honey samples had none or only trace amounts below levels of quantification .  Glyphosate, a known endocrine disrupter and, according to the World Health Organization, a probable human carcinogen, is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup® herbicide.
    
In addition to Sioux Honey, Quaker Oats was sued earlier this year on a similar claim regarding glyphosate residues. FDA found glyphosate residues in oatmeal cereals, including several types of infant oat cereal.

Carey Gillam, who first reported the glyphosate-in-honey story (Sept 9) in the Huffington Post updated her story November 2nd  (see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carey-gillam/more-bad-news-for-honey-a_b_12769698.html).

"More Bad News for Honey as U.S. Seeks to Get Handle on Glyphosate Residues in Food"

While many groups are likely to comment on the story, Gilliam quotes Sioux VP Bill Huser as saying “glyphosate is commonly used on farm fields frequented by bees, and the pesticide travels back with the bees to the hives where the honey is produced.” Sioux has not been notified officially of any test results by FDA. The most recent Huffington Post article by Gilliam additionally quotes  Darren Cox, president of the American Honey Producers Association. “It’s a chemical intrusion, a chemical trespass into our product …We have really no way of controlling it. I don’t see an area for us to put our bees….. They need to be able to forage in ag areas [but] There are no ag areas free of this product.”

Because there is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the U. S., any amount could technically be considered a violation, In the EU, the level is 50ppb. According to unnamed sources within EPA “EPA is evaluating the necessity of establishing tolerances for inadvertent residues of pesticides in honey….“PA has examined the glyphosate residue levels found in honey and has determined that glyphosate residues at those levels do not raise a concern for consumers.”

The agenda of OCA and Beyond Pesticides is to get EPA to ban certain pesticides such as glyphosates. They are using honey’s good name toward that end. Can our product withstand this latest insult to its good name?

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. The Bee Informed Partnership Kicks Off A Fund Raising Program To Help The Bees. You Can Help!

In time for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), the most trusted source of data on the health of America’s honey bees, today launched a campaign to raise public awareness of the vital roles that honey bees and beekeepers play in pollinating and producing many of the foods we love — especially at this time of year.

Through this multimedia campaign, Americans will learn more about where their food comes from and can take action to help improve the ability of beekeepers to manage the health of their honey bees. By participating in the campaign, the pubic will get to play a direct role in helping save the bees and save Thanksgiving.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bee-informed-partnership-kicks-off-fund-raising-program-help-bees-can-help


2. Best Management Practices For Almond Pollination, Honey Bee Health, And The Season Starts Now -

The Almond Board of California has directed significant resources toward understanding the issues surrounding honey bee health and communicating to growers the steps to take to avoid contributing to hives losses.

It has published “Honey Bee Best Management Practices for California Almonds” and related quick guides that outline bee best management practices for growers. To access these vital documents, go to http://www.Almonds.com/BeeBMPs.

The Almond Board will continue to work to get the word out on honey bee health and related best management practices through workshops, communication vehicles, and presentations at the annual Almond Conference, Dec. 6­–8, in Sacramento, Calif.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-best-management-practices-almond-pollination-honey-bee-health-season-starts-now


3. Hawaiian Study highlights a new threat to bees worldwide -

A recent study published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports highlights a newly identified virus—named Moku after the Hawaiian Island from which it was isolated—in the invasive wasp, Vespula pensylvanica. The research also warns that transmission of these kinds of viruses, especially from invasive species which can spread viruses to new locations, is a threat to pollinator health worldwide.

Particularly under threat are honey bees, which are as vital to our food systems as the crops they pollinate, and which are prone to a range of emergent diseases including Moku and Deformed wing virus (DWV).

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-hawaiian-study-highlights-new-threat-bees-worldwide


4. Bayer Must Change Its Pesticide Advertising -

Bayer Cropscience, the world’s largest agrochemical company, buckled to Massachusetts’ demand that it stop advertising that its neonicotinoid pesticides are like “giving ‘a daily vitamin’ to plants,” though the chemicals have been linked to honey bee colony collapse disorder.

Attorney General Maura Healey filed an Assurance of Discontinuance on Oct. 26 in Suffolk County Court to settle the dispute, which her office began investigating in September 2013. Bayer Cropscience promised to pay $75,000 and to stop its misleading advertising, for instance, that its neonicotinoid pesticide products are EPA-approved.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bayer-must-change-pesticide-advertising


Items of interest to beekeepers November 5 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

 



 

 

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

IN THIS ISSUE

SEAWEEDS SAVE BEES?
APIS INFORMATION RESOURCE NEWSLETTER OCT 26
MORE POSITIONS AVAILABLE
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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I missed this article in the August issue of the Canadian Honey Council magazine "Hivelights" earlier on. Better late than never...

SEAWEEDS SAVE BEES?
By Dara Scott (Advance Science)

I know it sounds strange, doesn’t it?  How could plants growing in the sea  help bees? New research confirms it can! Seaweeds, or macroalgae as they are also called, are full of bio-active properties, far more than land  based plants. It is for this reason that they have become extremely popular in animal health. They are now routinely used in animal feeds from pigs to poultry, horses to hamsters and salmon to shrimp!

The feeding of seaweeds has come a long way in the last 10 years or so. For  hundreds of years whole seaweeds were fed to animals for health benefits. Nowadays, bio-active properties are extracted out of seaweeds using specialized techniques that do not damage any of the functional actives. These extracts are fed to animals for a number of benefits, such as general health (in particular gut health), immune boosting, increased productivity and weight gain.

The reason seaweeds are so beneficial is due to their anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and immune boosting properties as well as high levels of vitamins and minerals. Different seaweeds have different properties; some are more anti-fungal, some have large amounts of specific vitamins etc. so selection of the correct seaweed species for extraction is important.

So how does all this affect the beekeeper and their bees? Recently there have been a number studies on the use of  seaweeds fed to honey bees. Scientists wanted to see if seaweed health benefits would apply to our flying friends. It turns out they do. This year a French university published a study on feeding seaweed extracts to bees with Nosema ceranae. They found that a number of extracts from different seaweed plants had benefits for the colonies. In particular, two extracts caused not only a decrease in the level of Nosema spores, but also a reduction in bee mortality. They concluded by saying “experiments showed that algal sulphated polysaccharides (seaweed  extracts) could be used to improve the  survival of N. ceranae-infected honeybees and reduce the parasite load. This could represent an alternative strategy to control nosemosis since fumagillin is no longer licensed in several countries.”

Encouraging, but this is not the first body of research on feeding seaweeds  to bees.  Advance Science,  an Irish company, pioneered  research in this field with a number of trials to document the properties of the product HiveAlive™. Seaweed extracts make up the bulk of HiveAlive along with thymol and lemongrass. Working with world renowned seaweed experts, specific seaweeds were selected, some of which are only available off the  coast of Ireland. The seaweed bio-actives are extracted using a unique patented process to ensure maximum efficacy. These extracts have been proven to promote bee intestinalwellbeing, maintain colony health, reduce over winter mortality and boost production.
 
Advance Science’s most recent trial on HiveAlive by the Hellenic Institute of Apiculture [accepted for publication by the Journal of Apicultural  Research] tracked two groups totaling 40 colonies over two years. The  only  difference between the two groups was that the test group had HiveAlive added to the sugar syrup, whereas the control group did not have HiveAlive added to their sugar syrup. Very early into the two-year study, the population of the HiveAlive group surpassed the control group. By the end of the trial, the HiveAlive population was 89% greater than the control. Over-winter mortality was also reduced; 15% of colonies failed in the control group with no losses observed in the HiveAlive group.

In addition, the levels of Nosema ceranae were tracked over the two years. Just under a third of the way into the trial there was an observable difference in Nosema levels between the two groups; the control groups had consistently higher Nosema levels. However, the HiveAlive group maintained lower levels for the remaining duration of the trial. Both the increase in population and difference in Nosema spore levels were statistically significant, P=0.001 and P<0.05 respectively.

The in-house trial on HiveAlive using 32 colonies further confirmed these findings. On completion of a one-year field trial, the HiveAlive group  (when compared to a control) had a 38% increase in brood, a 22% increase in colony population and, most importantly, showed a 45% increase in honey produced and stored by the colonies.

This article, with references, can be found on pages 24 and 25 of the August 2016 Hivelights at http:// http://www.honeycouncil.ca/images2/pdfs/Hivelights_August_2016_low_res.pdf.

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APIS INFORMATION RESOURCE NEWSLETTER OCT 26

Dr. Malcolm Sanford's most recent newsletter, written on his last day in Hawaii following the Western Apicultural Society Conference, contains a wealth of information about Hawaiian beekeeping history and other topics from around the world, and Malcolm's commentary on them.

Among them is a reference to the small size of honey bee colonies in Egypt and one reason for it. This resonated with me as my husband, Jim Bach, once spent a month in Egypt under a teaching program supported by the US government and forever after deplored his inability to affect a change in attitude among Egyptian beekeepers. Cultural perceptions are very hard to change, especially from outside, and often it takes years for the reasons behind them come to light.

Some years after Jim's stint in Egypt, a delegation containing some of the same group of Egyptian beekeepers visited the US. Among them were the then-largest beekeeper in the region and his daughter. Though the father received all the credit, the daughter actually ran the operation. In a private conversation, she reported that she had taken Jim's advice in amalgamating small colonies into stronger ones, with very positive results. She also revealed that the number of colonies, not the level of production, was the most prestigious factor in Egypt, therefore many small colonies was seen as far more important in the field of reputation than a lesser number of strong colonies. Nor was she, as a woman, given any credit whatever for her accomplishments in improving the viability of her father's operation.

Dr. Sanford's comments reveal yet another sad factor relating to the business of beekeeping elsewhere in the world. Is this mostly a matter of struggling to survive under cultural handicaps or simply one of greed? (Be careful not to put North American perceptions onto places with a very different reality…)

You can find current and back issues of Apis Information Resource News at http://beekeep.info/apis-newsletter/, the same page where you can sign up to receive them regularly.

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MORE POSITIONS AVAILABLE - via Dr. Christina Grozinger's POLLINATOR -L list -

1. Postdoctoral position in honey bee genomics and behavior

A postdoctoral researcher position is available for a USDA-funded project that seeks to elucidate the genetic and social mechanisms regulating honey bee traits associated with queen reproductive quality. This project is a close collaboration between the Linksvayer lab (http://sites.sas.upenn.edu/linksvayer-lab) in the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania and the Tarpy lab (http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/apiculture) in the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University.

We seek enthusiastic, talented, and driven individuals to carry out the funded research project as well as to conduct related research in the Linksvayer and Tarpy labs. We are especially interested in candidates with experience in one of the following two broad categories: 1) RNA sequencing, comparative genomics, evolutionary genetics, and bioinformatics (regardless of study system); or 2) honey bee behavioral ecology. Depending on the candidate's expertise, the position will be housed in either Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania or Raleigh at NC State University, with the opportunity to work at both universities to gain expertise in these and other approaches.

We will begin reviewing applications November 15, 2016, and continue considering applications as they arrive until the position as filled. The start date is flexible but can begin January 2017. Funding is available for multiple years, contingent on satisfactory progress. To apply, please send your CV, a short statement of research interests, and 1-3 representative papers or manuscript to Tim Linksvayer at tlinks@sas.upenn.edu. Please contact Tim Linksvayer or David Tarpy (david_tarpy@ncsu.edu) for further information.


2. Postdoctoral Position on Plant-Pollinator Interactions at Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research

Penn State’s Department of Entomology and Center for Pollinator Research seeks a Postdoctoral Research Associate to lead a USDA-SCRI funded project examining pollinator interactions with ornamental plant species.  The candidate should have extensive experience in (1) working with honey bees (2) evaluating foraging behavior of bees (3) palynology and (4) use of molecular tools to identify plant species from pollen samples.  The candidate should have excellent written and oral communication skills, the ability to collaborate with and coordinate the efforts of a large team of researchers from different universities, and a track record of publishing his/her work in scientific journals and presenting to broad audiences.  Preference will be given to candidates with a PhD in Entomology, Biology, or related field.  This is a one-year appointment, with possibility of extension.  For more information, please contact Christina Grozinger, Professor, Department of Entomology, Penn State University, cmg25@psu.edu.  

Apply at http:// https://psu.jobs/job/67504

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1.  Norm Gary still plays his tunes, talks to the bees, and entertains us all. Check this out -

This Buzz carries a picture of Dr. Gary covered with bees and playing the clarinet. It is the 2-page “center fold” for a book, “A Day in the Life of California”.  Pictures in this book were taken on April 29, 1988 and chosen from 115,000 photos submitted by 100 of the world’s most famous photojournalists.

Dr. Norm Gary started beekeeping as a teenager in Florida 69 years ago!  At 83, he is still doing bee research and is a busy professional musician.  His adventurous long career embraces every imaginable beekeeping experience, including 32 years of research and teaching as a professor at University of California, 40 years of bee stunts for Hollywood movies, TV entertainer on more than 70 shows, Guinness records for bee stunts, and public service projects concerning beekeeping.  His recent book, “Honey Bee Hobbyist” is a must read for all beekeepers, especially those who want to know Dr. Gary’s tips for avoiding bee stings.  This 2-minute link shows some of the exciting moments of his long beekeeping career.

http://www.abc10.com/news/local/citrus-heights/meet-the-honey-bee-charmer-of-citrus-heights/339443641

(Editor's note: Dr. Gary was also the first President of the Western Apicultural Society of North America and is looking forward to helping celebrate the Society's 40th anniversary at UC Davis on September 5 - 8 2017! Not only that, but Gary's then vice president, Dr. Eric Mussen, has come out of retirement to head up WAS 2017 as the current President. Full circle!)


2. Road mortality potentially responsible for billions of pollinating insect deaths annually -

Pollinating insects are vital to the survival of many primary producers in terrestrial ecosystems, as up to 80–85 % of the world’s flowering plants require pollinators for reproduction. Over the last few decades however, numerous pollinating insect populations have declined substantially. The causes of these declines are multifaceted and synergistic, and include pesticides, herbicides, monoculture, urbanization, disease, parasites, and climate change. Here, we present evidence for a generally understudied yet potentially significant source of pollinator mortality, collisions with vehicles. Negative impacts from roads have been observed for the majority of vertebrate groups but studies of the effects on invertebrates have remained largely absent from the scientific literature. We documented road mortality of pollinating insects along a 2 km stretch of highway in Ontario, Canada and used our findings to extrapolate expected levels of road mortality across a number of landscape scales. Our extrapolations demonstrate the potential for loss of hundreds of thousands (on our studied highway) to hundreds of billions (generalised across North America) of Lepidopterans, Hymenopterans and pollinating Dipterans each summer. Our projections of such high levels of annual road mortality highlight the need for research to assess whether the mortality levels observed are contributing to the substantial declines of pollinating insects occurring on a global scale, thus putting the ecological functioning of natural areas and agricultural productivity in jeopardy.
 
http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-road-mortality-potentially-responsible-billions-pollinating-insect-deaths-annually


3.  University of Minnesota opens new Bee and Pollinator Research Lab. Congratulations Marla, Gary, Dan and all the researchers at UM -



Bee and pollinator researchers at the University of Minnesota are ready to take their research to the next level in a new, state-of-the-art Bee and Pollinator Research Lab. After a multi-year fundraising campaign and building construction, the University takes another step toward discovering solutions every day to protect bees, which in turn will help to protect our food supply and human health.

The new Bee and Pollinator Research Lab, a part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), will centralize and facilitate the important bee research projects currently underway. The facility expands and enhances the Bee Lab group’s internationally recognized research and teaching program and provides opportunities for enhanced interdisciplinary and international collaborations.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-university-minnesota-opens-new-bee-pollinator-research-lab-congratulations-marla-gary-dan-researchers-um


4. Navigating FSMA Documentation -

Seven rules have been issued under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and the compliance dates for the Preventive Controls for Human Food guideline has passed. FSMA requires that a written record be kept of the entire Hazard Analysis and Risk-based Preventive Controls (HARPC) plan. These records must be maintained for no less than two years, and evaluated whenever there is a significant change at the facility that might increase a known hazard or introduce a new one, or every three years if no significant changes occur.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-navigating-fsma-documentation

 

 
 

Events & Links (• New)


Nov 11-12:  Farm to Market conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking specialty crop growers to the next level of production, food safety, processing and marketing. Workshops on Food Acidification, Seed Saving, GAP, Market Manager and general programs.   Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com.  For more information contact Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Nov 12: 5th Annual Beekeepers' Ball, 7 pm, Bigham Knoll Ballroom, Jacksonville, Oregon. Dance the night away to The Brothers Reed, and The Flat Five Flim Flam. Local food and beverages available for purchase. 100% of food, drink, and silent auction proceeds go to the Bee Girl organization to support our mission.  Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-beekeepers-ball-tickets-28075878709#tickets. The Beekeepers Ball is a fundraiser for the Bee Girl organization, a nonprofit with a world-wide presence on a mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitat. Info http://www.beegirl.org.

Nov 15 - 17: California State Beekeepers Association Annual Convention, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego. Info http://www.californiastatebeekeepers.com/events.html. Book your room at https://gc.synxis.com/rez.aspx?Hotel=58621&Chain=11910&arrive=11/15/2016&depart=11/18/2016&adult=1&child=0&group=1114CSB

Nov 22 - 25: 6th Apimedica & 5th Api Quality International Symposium, Rome, Italy. Information in English is limited yet, but keep an eye on http://www.izslt.it/apicoltura/6th-apimedica-5th-apiquality-international-symposium/

• Dec 1 - 2: Idaho Honey Industry Association Annual Meeting and Conference, Red Lion downtowner, Boise. Speakers Dean Michael Parrella, Ellen Topitzhofer - BIP Team, Drs. Steve Sheppard and Brandon Hopkins - WSU research on fungi for virus control and indoor wintering concepts, John Proctor - Forest Service Intermountain Region on pollination, more to be announced. A draft of the conference schedule is on the web pageant http://www.idahohoney.org/conference.html. The registration form is attached to that page through a button that links to http://www.idahohoney.org/uploads/1/7/5/2/17522397/reg_form.pdf.

Dec 14: Bee Audacious Conference Report Back & Panel Discussion, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Angelico Hall, 20 Olive Ave., Dominican University, San Rafael CA. Following the invitational conference, the leaders (Tom Seeley, Marla Spivak, Mark Winston, Jim Frazier, Bill Klett, Stephen Martin, Heather Mattila, Chas Mraz, Francis Ratnieks, and Neal Williams) will present the findings at a panel discussion moderated by Peter Coyote and hosted by Dominican University. Tickets are available for $20 per person through Eventbrite. More info at http://www.beeaudacious.com.

Jan 10  - 14, 2017: Joint Convention of the American Beekeeping Federation and American Honey Producers Association, Galveston, Texas. Info http://nabeekeepingconference.com.

Jan 12: Mead Making Bootcamp. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 13 - 14: Beginner's Introduction to Mead Making. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 25: World of Honey - Honey Tasting Series (North America). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 27 - 28: Alaska Treatment-Free Beekeeping Symposium 2017 III, "Bee Prospering", Glenn Massay Theater, Matanuska Susitna College, 8295 College Dr., Palmer AK. Page is still under construction, but keep an eye on http://matsu.alaska.edu.

Mar 3 - 5: 10th Annual Chemical-Free Beekeepers Conference, Oracle, Arizona. Info Dee Lusby deealusby1@aol.com

Mar 18-19: Wyoming Bee College conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Beginning beekeeping 101, beekeeping 102, journeyman level beekeeping, habitat conservation, butterflies and much more.  Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information http://www.wyomingbeecollege.org or Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Apr 18: World of Honey Tasting Series (International). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Apr 22-23: Wild West Gardening conference. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking gardeners and specialty crop growers to a new level of success.  Featuring; Neil Diboll, Kathy Kimbrough, Jeff Lowenfels plus many more.  Workshops and programs. Registration is $85 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information call Catherine at 307-633-4383.

May 5 - 6: California Honey Festival (Woodland, CA). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

May 7: 2017 Bee Symposium. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

• Sept 5 - 8: Western Apicultural Society of North America 2017 40th Anniversary Conference, UC-Davis, CA. Info http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org
-----

LINKS

These links will take you to important websites. Reprinting the items gets too voluminous, so I encourage you to visit the originals for some good reading any time.

Beargrass Press - books, guides and cards - http://www.beargrasspress.com

Bee Certain Hive Monitoring System -
   Video - https://youtu.be/9XCGk_AvPNY
   Technical papers - http://bee-certain.com/pages/technical-papers

Dr. Malcolm Sanford's Apis Information Resource News website and newsletter  http://beekeep.info/apis-newsletter.

Washington State University info on bees and New Bee Lab building fund - http://bees.wsu.edu/

http://www.BeeCityUSA.org

Bee Diverse - about bees and pollination, particularly mason bees - how to mange them using homes and mason bee tools
http://www.Beediverse.com/blog

Winnie the Pooh Guide to helping British bees: http://www.friendsofthehoneybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06 E2463_BeeBooklet_Web.pdf

From Julie, an after-school child care worker: Looking for a good information site to teach children and beginning beekeepers? Try
http://www.serenataflowers.com/pollennation/flowers-bees-honey/

UC-Davis on-line Newsletter: http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/apiculture_newsletter.html

Apis Information Resource News - PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE from Apis Newsletter by Dr. Malcolm Sanford. The newsletter is still found at  http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=9296a3543dc631c8a50086511&id=ec6bf7d517
It can also be accessed through http://apis.shorturl.com

http://beecare.bayer.com/service-center/publications/beenow-magazin

California State Department of Food and Agriculture blog - http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov

Genetic literacy - http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org

Randy Oliver website -  http://scientificbeekeeping.com

Honey Bee Health Coalition - http://www.honeybeehealthcoalition.org

Pollinator Stewardship Council - http://pollinatorstewardship.org/?page_id=349, with the most recent one posting at the top of the page

Project Apis m. - http://www.ProjectApism.org

Washington State University on bee health - http://www.extension.org/bee_health

WSU 'Green Times' newsletter - http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/blog/category/green-times

Colorado State University Pollinator Protection office - http://www.cepep.colostate.edu/Pollinator%20Protection/index.html

Infographics on beekeeping stats, facts, management and honey labels - http://www.foodpackaginglabels.net/honey-labels

 

Events & Links (• New)


Oct 14 -16: BCHPA AGM on Friday, the 14th plus education days Saturday and Sunday Oct 15 and 16, at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, close to Vancouver airport. Details to come at (new website) http:// www.bcbeekeepers.com

Oct 20: World of Honey: California. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Oct 21 - 23: A case for Honey Conference, presented by Bee Culture Magazine, Bee Culture Conference Center, 640 W. Liberty St., Medina OH. Info & registration ($150) http://store.beeculture.com/a-case-for-honey-october-22nd-23rd-2016

Oct 22: Michael Palmer and The Sustainable Apiary - building a sustainable apiary, over wintering nucs, queen rearing and bee/queen genetics, 10 - 2, Central Kitsap High School, Silverdale WA. Fee $35. Info and tickets http://westsoundbees.org/ and http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2590636

Oct 28 - 29: Colorado Professional Beekeeping Association Annual Fall Meeting, Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, 1900 Ken Pratt Boulevard, Longmont, Colorado, 80501, (303) 682-2114 or http://www.PlazaConventionCenter.com for reservations. (Mention that you are a participant in the CPBA meeting to receive room discount.) Friday evening Round Table with Randy Oliver and Lyle Johnston. Saturday speaker program and casual dinner get-together. Check the CPBA Website at: http://coloradoprobeekeeping.org to purchase tickets. Cost $50.00 per person – including lunch (Friday evening free). Info CPBA Secretary Jacy at cpbeekeeping@gmail.com or Webmaster Matt at cpbeekeeping@gmail.com.

Oct 29: Grand Opening of Minnesota's Bee and Pollinator Research Lab, 2 - 6 pm, 1634 Gortner Ave, Saint Paul Campus.   Info http://www.beelab.umn.edu.

Nov 5: Colorado State Beekeepers Association Winter Bee Meeting, Kirk Hall, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Castle Rock, from 9am to 5pm. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Keith Delaplane, University of Georgia,
Hands-on workshops - Lotions, Potions, and Creams;, Making Creamed Honey; and Cleaning Wax. Kristina Williams will discuss the Flow Hive.  Also not to be missed is the Big Money Honey contest, with the grand prize of $300! The Meet and Greet Friday night with mead tasting kicks off the event. Tickets, lunch, and Meet and Greet info available at http://coloradobeekeepers.org/winter-meeting.html

Nov 11-12:  Farm to Market conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking specialty crop growers to the next level of production, food safety, processing and marketing. Workshops on Food Acidification, Seed Saving, GAP, Market Manager and general programs.   Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com.  For more information contact Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Nov 12: 5th Annual Beekeepers' Ball, 7 pm, Bigham Knoll Ballroom, Jacksonville, Oregon. Dance the night away to The Brothers Reed, and The Flat Five Flim Flam. Local food and beverages available for purchase. 100% of food, drink, and silent auction proceeds go to the Bee Girl organization to support our mission.  Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-beekeepers-ball-tickets-28075878709#tickets. The Beekeepers Ball is a fundraiser for the Bee Girl organization, a nonprofit with a world-wide presence on a mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitat. Info http://www.beegirl.org.

Nov 15 - 17: California State Beekeepers Association Annual Convention, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego. Info http://www.californiastatebeekeepers.com/events.html. Book your room at https://gc.synxis.com/rez.aspx?Hotel=58621&Chain=11910&arrive=11/15/2016&depart=11/18/2016&adult=1&child=0&group=1114CSB

Nov 22 - 25: 6th Apimedica & 5th Api Quality International Symposium, Rome, Italy. Information in English is limited yet, but keep an eye on http://www.izslt.it/apicoltura/6th-apimedica-5th-apiquality-international-symposium/

Dec 14: Bee Audacious Conference Report Back & Panel Discussion, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Angelico Hall, 20 Olive Ave., Dominican University, San Rafael CA. Following the invitational conference, the leaders (Tom Seeley, Marla Spivak, Mark Winston, Jim Frazier, Bill Klett, Stephen Martin, Heather Mattila, Chas Mraz, Francis Ratnieks, and Neal Williams) will present the findings at a panel discussion moderated by Peter Coyote and hosted by Dominican University. Tickets are available for $20 per person through Eventbrite. More info at http://www.beeaudacious.com.

Jan 10  - 14, 2017: Joint Convention of the American Beekeeping Federation and American Honey Producers Association, Galveston, Texas. Info http://nabeekeepingconference.com.

Jan 12: Mead Making Bootcamp. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 13 - 14: Beginner's Introduction to Mead Making. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 25: World of Honey - Honey Tasting Series (North America). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 27 - 28: Alaska Treatment-Free Beekeeping Symposium 2017 III, "Bee Prospering", Glenn Massay Theater, Matanuska Susitna College, 8295 College Dr., Palmer AK. Page is still under construction, but keep an eye on http://matsu.alaska.edu.

Mar 18-19: Wyoming Bee College conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Beginning beekeeping 101, beekeeping 102, journeyman level beekeeping, habitat conservation, butterflies and much more.  Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information http://www.wyomingbeecollege.org or Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Apr 18: World of Honey Tasting Series (International). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Apr 22-23: Wild West Gardening conference. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking gardeners and specialty crop growers to a new level of success.  Featuring; Neil Diboll, Kathy Kimbrough, Jeff Lowenfels plus many more.  Workshops and programs. Registration is $85 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information call Catherine at 307-633-4383.

May 5 - 6: California Honey Festival (Woodland, CA). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

May 7: 2017 Bee Symposium. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

-----

LINKS

These links will take you to important websites. Reprinting the items gets too voluminous, so I encourage you to visit the originals for some good reading any time.

Beargrass Press - books, guides and cards - http://www.beargrasspress.com

Bee Certain Hive Monitoring System -
   Video - https://youtu.be/9XCGk_AvPNY
   Technical papers - http://bee-certain.com/pages/technical-papers

Dr. Malcolm Sanford's Apis Information Resource News website and newsletter  http://beekeep.info/apis-newsletter.

Washington State University info on bees and New Bee Lab building fund - http://bees.wsu.edu/

http://www.BeeCityUSA.org

Bee Diverse - about bees and pollination, particularly mason bees - how to mange them using homes and mason bee tools
http://www.Beediverse.com/blog

Winnie the Pooh Guide to helping British bees: http://www.friendsofthehoneybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06 E2463_BeeBooklet_Web.pdf

From Julie, an after-school child care worker: Looking for a good information site to teach children and beginning beekeepers? Try
http://www.serenataflowers.com/pollennation/flowers-bees-honey/

UC-Davis on-line Newsletter: http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/apiculture_newsletter.html

Apis Information Resource News - PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE from Apis Newsletter by Dr. Malcolm Sanford. The newsletter is still found at  http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=9296a3543dc631c8a50086511&id=ec6bf7d517
It can also be accessed through http://apis.shorturl.com

http://beecare.bayer.com/service-center/publications/beenow-magazin

California State Department of Food and Agriculture blog - http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov

Genetic literacy - http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org

Randy Oliver website -  http://scientificbeekeeping.com

Honey Bee Health Coalition - http://www.honeybeehealthcoalition.org

Pollinator Stewardship Council - http://pollinatorstewardship.org/?page_id=349, with the most recent one posting at the top of the page

Project Apis m. - http://www.ProjectApism.org

Washington State University on bee health - http://www.extension.org/bee_health

WSU 'Green Times' newsletter - http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/blog/category/green-times

Colorado State University Pollinator Protection office - http://www.cepep.colostate.edu/Pollinator%20Protection/index.html

Infographics on beekeeping stats, facts, management and honey labels - http://www.foodpackaginglabels.net/honey-labels

 

Events & Links (• New)


Oct 21 - 23: A case for Honey Conference, presented by Bee Culture Magazine, Bee Culture Conference Center, 640 W. Liberty St., Medina OH. Info & registration ($150) http://store.beeculture.com/a-case-for-honey-october-22nd-23rd-2016

Oct 22: Michael Palmer and The Sustainable Apiary - building a sustainable apiary, over wintering nucs, queen rearing and bee/queen genetics, 10 - 2, Central Kitsap High School, Silverdale WA. Fee $35. Info and tickets http://westsoundbees.org/ and http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2590636

Oct 28 - 29: Colorado Professional Beekeeping Association Annual Fall Meeting, Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, 1900 Ken Pratt Boulevard, Longmont, Colorado, 80501, (303) 682-2114 or http://www.PlazaConventionCenter.com for reservations. (Mention that you are a participant in the CPBA meeting to receive room discount.) Friday evening Round Table with Randy Oliver and Lyle Johnston. Saturday speaker program and casual dinner get-together. Check the CPBA Website at: http://coloradoprobeekeeping.org to purchase tickets. Cost $50.00 per person – including lunch (Friday evening free). Info CPBA Secretary Jacy at cpbeekeeping@gmail.com or Webmaster Matt at cpbeekeeping@gmail.com.

Oct 29: Grand Opening of Minnesota's Bee and Pollinator Research Lab, 2 - 6 pm, 1634 Gortner Ave, Saint Paul Campus.   Info http://www.beelab.umn.edu.

Nov 5: Colorado State Beekeepers Association Winter Bee Meeting, Kirk Hall, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Castle Rock, from 9am to 5pm. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Keith Delaplane, University of Georgia,
Hands-on workshops - Lotions, Potions, and Creams;, Making Creamed Honey; and Cleaning Wax. Kristina Williams will discuss the Flow Hive.  Also not to be missed is the Big Money Honey contest, with the grand prize of $300! The Meet and Greet Friday night with mead tasting kicks off the event. Tickets, lunch, and Meet and Greet info available at http://coloradobeekeepers.org/winter-meeting.html

Nov 11-12:  Farm to Market conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking specialty crop growers to the next level of production, food safety, processing and marketing. Workshops on Food Acidification, Seed Saving, GAP, Market Manager and general programs.   Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com.  For more information contact Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Nov 12: 5th Annual Beekeepers' Ball, 7 pm, Bigham Knoll Ballroom, Jacksonville, Oregon. Dance the night away to The Brothers Reed, and The Flat Five Flim Flam. Local food and beverages available for purchase. 100% of food, drink, and silent auction proceeds go to the Bee Girl organization to support our mission.  Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-beekeepers-ball-tickets-28075878709#tickets. The Beekeepers Ball is a fundraiser for the Bee Girl organization, a nonprofit with a world-wide presence on a mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitat. Info http://www.beegirl.org.

Nov 15 - 17: California State Beekeepers Association Annual Convention, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego. Info http://www.californiastatebeekeepers.com/events.html. Book your room at https://gc.synxis.com/rez.aspx?Hotel=58621&Chain=11910&arrive=11/15/2016&depart=11/18/2016&adult=1&child=0&group=1114CSB

Nov 22 - 25: 6th Apimedica & 5th Api Quality International Symposium, Rome, Italy. Information in English is limited yet, but keep an eye on http://www.izslt.it/apicoltura/6th-apimedica-5th-apiquality-international-symposium/

Dec 14: Bee Audacious Conference Report Back & Panel Discussion, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Angelico Hall, 20 Olive Ave., Dominican University, San Rafael CA. Following the invitational conference, the leaders (Tom Seeley, Marla Spivak, Mark Winston, Jim Frazier, Bill Klett, Stephen Martin, Heather Mattila, Chas Mraz, Francis Ratnieks, and Neal Williams) will present the findings at a panel discussion moderated by Peter Coyote and hosted by Dominican University. Tickets are available for $20 per person through Eventbrite. More info at http://www.beeaudacious.com.

Jan 10  - 14, 2017: Joint Convention of the American Beekeeping Federation and American Honey Producers Association, Galveston, Texas. Info http://nabeekeepingconference.com.

Jan 12: Mead Making Bootcamp. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 13 - 14: Beginner's Introduction to Mead Making. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 25: World of Honey - Honey Tasting Series (North America). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 27 - 28: Alaska Treatment-Free Beekeeping Symposium 2017 III, "Bee Prospering", Glenn Massay Theater, Matanuska Susitna College, 8295 College Dr., Palmer AK. Page is still under construction, but keep an eye on http://matsu.alaska.edu.

Mar 18-19: Wyoming Bee College conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Beginning beekeeping 101, beekeeping 102, journeyman level beekeeping, habitat conservation, butterflies and much more.  Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information http://www.wyomingbeecollege.org or Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Apr 18: World of Honey Tasting Series (International). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Apr 22-23: Wild West Gardening conference. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking gardeners and specialty crop growers to a new level of success.  Featuring; Neil Diboll, Kathy Kimbrough, Jeff Lowenfels plus many more.  Workshops and programs. Registration is $85 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information call Catherine at 307-633-4383.

May 5 - 6: California Honey Festival (Woodland, CA). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

May 7: 2017 Bee Symposium. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

-----

LINKS

These links will take you to important websites. Reprinting the items gets too voluminous, so I encourage you to visit the originals for some good reading any time.

Beargrass Press - books, guides and cards - http://www.beargrasspress.com

Bee Certain Hive Monitoring System -
   Video - https://youtu.be/9XCGk_AvPNY
   Technical papers - http://bee-certain.com/pages/technical-papers

Dr. Malcolm Sanford's Apis Information Resource News website and newsletter  http://beekeep.info/apis-newsletter.

Washington State University info on bees and New Bee Lab building fund - http://bees.wsu.edu/

http://www.BeeCityUSA.org

Bee Diverse - about bees and pollination, particularly mason bees - how to mange them using homes and mason bee tools
http://www.Beediverse.com/blog

Winnie the Pooh Guide to helping British bees: http://www.friendsofthehoneybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06 E2463_BeeBooklet_Web.pdf

From Julie, an after-school child care worker: Looking for a good information site to teach children and beginning beekeepers? Try
http://www.serenataflowers.com/pollennation/flowers-bees-honey/

UC-Davis on-line Newsletter: http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/apiculture_newsletter.html

Apis Information Resource News - PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE from Apis Newsletter by Dr. Malcolm Sanford. The newsletter is still found at  http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=9296a3543dc631c8a50086511&id=ec6bf7d517
It can also be accessed through http://apis.shorturl.com

http://beecare.bayer.com/service-center/publications/beenow-magazin

California State Department of Food and Agriculture blog - http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov

Genetic literacy - http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org

Randy Oliver website -  http://scientificbeekeeping.com

Honey Bee Health Coalition - http://www.honeybeehealthcoalition.org

Pollinator Stewardship Council - http://pollinatorstewardship.org/?page_id=349, with the most recent one posting at the top of the page

Project Apis m. - http://www.ProjectApism.org

Washington State University on bee health - http://www.extension.org/bee_health

WSU 'Green Times' newsletter - http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/blog/category/green-times

Colorado State University Pollinator Protection office - http://www.cepep.colostate.edu/Pollinator%20Protection/index.html

Infographics on beekeeping stats, facts, management and honey labels - http://www.foodpackaginglabels.net/honey-labels

 

Events & Links (• New)


Oct 14 -16: BCHPA AGM on Friday, the 14th plus education days Saturday and Sunday Oct 15 and 16, at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, close to Vancouver airport. Details to come at (new website) http:// www.bcbeekeepers.com

Oct 20: World of Honey: California. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Oct 21 - 23: A case for Honey Conference, presented by Bee Culture Magazine, Bee Culture Conference Center, 640 W. Liberty St., Medina OH. Info & registration ($150) http://store.beeculture.com/a-case-for-honey-october-22nd-23rd-2016

Oct 22: Michael Palmer and The Sustainable Apiary - building a sustainable apiary, over wintering nucs, queen rearing and bee/queen genetics, 10 - 2, Central Kitsap High School, Silverdale WA. Fee $35. Info and tickets http://westsoundbees.org/ and http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2590636

Oct 28 - 29: Colorado Professional Beekeeping Association Annual Fall Meeting, Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, 1900 Ken Pratt Boulevard, Longmont, Colorado, 80501, (303) 682-2114 or http://www.PlazaConventionCenter.com for reservations. (Mention that you are a participant in the CPBA meeting to receive room discount.) Friday evening Round Table with Randy Oliver and Lyle Johnston. Saturday speaker program and casual dinner get-together. Check the CPBA Website at: http://coloradoprobeekeeping.org to purchase tickets. Cost $50.00 per person – including lunch (Friday evening free). Info CPBA Secretary Jacy at cpbeekeeping@gmail.com or Webmaster Matt at cpbeekeeping@gmail.com.

Oct 29: Grand Opening of Minnesota's Bee and Pollinator Research Lab, 2 - 6 pm, 1634 Gortner Ave, Saint Paul Campus.   Info http://www.beelab.umn.edu.

Nov 5: Colorado State Beekeepers Association Winter Bee Meeting, Kirk Hall, Douglas County Fairgrounds, Castle Rock, from 9am to 5pm. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Keith Delaplane, University of Georgia,
Hands-on workshops - Lotions, Potions, and Creams;, Making Creamed Honey; and Cleaning Wax. Kristina Williams will discuss the Flow Hive.  Also not to be missed is the Big Money Honey contest, with the grand prize of $300! The Meet and Greet Friday night with mead tasting kicks off the event. Tickets, lunch, and Meet and Greet info available at http://coloradobeekeepers.org/winter-meeting.html

Nov 11-12:  Farm to Market conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking specialty crop growers to the next level of production, food safety, processing and marketing. Workshops on Food Acidification, Seed Saving, GAP, Market Manager and general programs.   Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com.  For more information contact Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Nov 12: 5th Annual Beekeepers' Ball, 7 pm, Bigham Knoll Ballroom, Jacksonville, Oregon. Dance the night away to The Brothers Reed, and The Flat Five Flim Flam. Local food and beverages available for purchase. 100% of food, drink, and silent auction proceeds go to the Bee Girl organization to support our mission.  Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-beekeepers-ball-tickets-28075878709#tickets. The Beekeepers Ball is a fundraiser for the Bee Girl organization, a nonprofit with a world-wide presence on a mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitat. Info http://www.beegirl.org.

Nov 15 - 17: California State Beekeepers Association Annual Convention, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego. Info http://www.californiastatebeekeepers.com/events.html. Book your room at https://gc.synxis.com/rez.aspx?Hotel=58621&Chain=11910&arrive=11/15/2016&depart=11/18/2016&adult=1&child=0&group=1114CSB

Nov 22 - 25: 6th Apimedica & 5th Api Quality International Symposium, Rome, Italy. Information in English is limited yet, but keep an eye on http://www.izslt.it/apicoltura/6th-apimedica-5th-apiquality-international-symposium/

Dec 14: Bee Audacious Conference Report Back & Panel Discussion, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Angelico Hall, 20 Olive Ave., Dominican University, San Rafael CA. Following the invitational conference, the leaders (Tom Seeley, Marla Spivak, Mark Winston, Jim Frazier, Bill Klett, Stephen Martin, Heather Mattila, Chas Mraz, Francis Ratnieks, and Neal Williams) will present the findings at a panel discussion moderated by Peter Coyote and hosted by Dominican University. Tickets are available for $20 per person through Eventbrite. More info at http://www.beeaudacious.com.

Jan 10  - 14, 2017: Joint Convention of the American Beekeeping Federation and American Honey Producers Association, Galveston, Texas. Info http://nabeekeepingconference.com.

Jan 12: Mead Making Bootcamp. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 13 - 14: Beginner's Introduction to Mead Making. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 25: World of Honey - Honey Tasting Series (North America). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 27 - 28: Alaska Treatment-Free Beekeeping Symposium 2017 III, "Bee Prospering", Glenn Massay Theater, Matanuska Susitna College, 8295 College Dr., Palmer AK. Page is still under construction, but keep an eye on http://matsu.alaska.edu.

Mar 18-19: Wyoming Bee College conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Beginning beekeeping 101, beekeeping 102, journeyman level beekeeping, habitat conservation, butterflies and much more.  Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information http://www.wyomingbeecollege.org or Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Apr 18: World of Honey Tasting Series (International). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Apr 22-23: Wild West Gardening conference. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking gardeners and specialty crop growers to a new level of success.  Featuring; Neil Diboll, Kathy Kimbrough, Jeff Lowenfels plus many more.  Workshops and programs. Registration is $85 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information call Catherine at 307-633-4383.

May 5 - 6: California Honey Festival (Woodland, CA). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

May 7: 2017 Bee Symposium. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

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LINKS

These links will take you to important websites. Reprinting the items gets too voluminous, so I encourage you to visit the originals for some good reading any time.

Beargrass Press - books, guides and cards - http://www.beargrasspress.com

Bee Certain Hive Monitoring System -
   Video - https://youtu.be/9XCGk_AvPNY
   Technical papers - http://bee-certain.com/pages/technical-papers

Dr. Malcolm Sanford's Apis Information Resource News website and newsletter  http://beekeep.info/apis-newsletter.

Washington State University info on bees and New Bee Lab building fund - http://bees.wsu.edu/

http://www.BeeCityUSA.org

Bee Diverse - about bees and pollination, particularly mason bees - how to mange them using homes and mason bee tools
http://www.Beediverse.com/blog

Winnie the Pooh Guide to helping British bees: http://www.friendsofthehoneybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06 E2463_BeeBooklet_Web.pdf

From Julie, an after-school child care worker: Looking for a good information site to teach children and beginning beekeepers? Try
http://www.serenataflowers.com/pollennation/flowers-bees-honey/

UC-Davis on-line Newsletter: http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/apiculture_newsletter.html

Apis Information Resource News - PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE from Apis Newsletter by Dr. Malcolm Sanford. The newsletter is still found at  http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=9296a3543dc631c8a50086511&id=ec6bf7d517
It can also be accessed through http://apis.shorturl.com

http://beecare.bayer.com/service-center/publications/beenow-magazin

California State Department of Food and Agriculture blog - http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov

Genetic literacy - http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org

Randy Oliver website -  http://scientificbeekeeping.com

Honey Bee Health Coalition - http://www.honeybeehealthcoalition.org

Pollinator Stewardship Council - http://pollinatorstewardship.org/?page_id=349, with the most recent one posting at the top of the page

Project Apis m. - http://www.ProjectApism.org

Washington State University on bee health - http://www.extension.org/bee_health

WSU 'Green Times' newsletter - http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/blog/category/green-times

Colorado State University Pollinator Protection office - http://www.cepep.colostate.edu/Pollinator%20Protection/index.html

Infographics on beekeeping stats, facts, management and honey labels - http://www.foodpackaginglabels.net/honey-labels

 
 


Items of interest to beekeepers October 29 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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

TAKING STOCK AT HARVEST TIME SHOWS ABUNDANT PROGRESS
RESEARCH UPDATES FROM THE CSBA
MORE FACULTY POSITIONS OPEN
RESEARCH UPDATES FROM THE CSBA
CATCH THE BUZZ
REINVENTING HOW ANTIBIOTICS ARE USED
FOOD COMPANIES TARGET WATER RISKS IN GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN
FOOD: GMOs ARE OUR DESTINY
EVENTS

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News from Executive Director Danielle Downey at Project Apis m. -

TAKING STOCK AT HARVEST TIME SHOWS ABUNDANT PROGRESS
 
Our Seeds for Bees program, which offers free seeds to California's almond growers to increase diversity and duration of bloom for bee nutrition, has increased acreage 92% over last year!

We are preparing to launch our forage project in the Upper Midwest--the Honey Bee and Monarch Butterfly Partnership--from a pilot to a regional program in 2017.

This week we won a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the California Department of Agriculture and Food, to support our project breeding Varroa resistant bees, which will provide $320K over the next 2.5 years. Our staff has been traveling to meet with stakeholders to present our work almost weekly.

PAm nominated our first partner on a hedgerow project for a NAPPC Farmer-Rancher award, and they won!  Congratulations to Sran Family Orchards!

We just closed the call for proposals for the National Honey Board research funds, and we will select the first PAm-Costco Canada PhD Scholar at interviews next month. We are really on a roll!

There is so much good work to share, but here's a look at the best part--the bees! This short video captures the trait we select for in our Varroa resistance breeding program.  If you have never seen it, take a look (https://www.facebook.com/ProjectApis)!

It has reached over 90,000 people on our Facebook Page, a hot post! Although there are many mechanisms of Varroa resistance in honey bees, including grooming and hygienic behavior, this is the mechanism of Varroa resistance we know most about, called Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH). These bees can find the capped cells where a Varroa mite has entered to reproduce; they uncap those cells and remove the developing bee. As you can see in the video, the mite escapes alive, and she may try again.  But the bees will interrupt her reproduction again, and this stops mite populations from growing. This behavior was discovered at the USDA ARS Bee Lab in Baton Rouge, and since then they have selected and bred lines of bees to maintain this trait. The challenge remains to stabilize that behavior in a bee with the full suite of desirable traits for commercial beekeeping use, to encourage commercial adoption. This is a significant endeavor. Breeding is a long-term commitment, and verifying the VSH behavior requires opening 100s of brood cells to inspect mite reproduction for each colony. It's a big challenge, but we believe it's worth doing--to develop a long-term, sustainable tool for Varroa control.

We couldn't be more excited about all our projects to help bees. We look forward to sharing information with you at upcoming meetings!

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RESEARCH UPDATES FROM THE CSBA

1. Development of Bacillus thuringiensis as a Varroa mite biocontrol
By Kirk E. Anderson and Vincent Ricigliano
Conducted at Carl Hayden Bee Research Center Tucson AZ.

We have made significant progress in the development of a Varroa mite biocontrol strategy. Over the last 10 months we have successfully developed methodologies for isolation, genetic characterization, and toxicity assays (in vitro and host-associated) of candidate Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) strains.

Initial and widespread sampling of Varroa mite populations included two sources of commercial migratory colonies. Multi-gene analysis of the cultured BT enabled the identification of novel isolates and ensured genetic diversity and variable toxicity of our BT strain bank. Using in vitro bioassays we continue to identify an increasing number of BT strains exhibiting acaricidal potential. Strains with strong in vitro effects will be field tested for toxicity to both bees and mites at the colony level over the coming months and fall of 2017. We are presently assessing efficacy in cage experiments that include host-associated components. These findings confirm and extend the results shown in table 1, and will be discussed at the meeting in November.  Conclusive colony-level testing will require another yearly cycle of Varroa, allowing time to adequately design and quantify the critical fall treatment.   


2. Proposed project: Glycosylated Monoterpenoids: A Novel Miticidal Delivery Method to Combat the Varroa Mite
By Dr. William Collins and Dr. Elina L. Niño
Conducted at UC Davis, Davis CA
 
Our proposed research has initially focused on the development of a synthetic protocol to generate water-soluble monoterpenoids (essential oils) that can be fed to honey bee colonies as potential miticides to be delivered directly to reproductive mites in brood cells.. To this end, we have successfully prepared these modified molecules inexpensively on a large scale, and demonstrated a significant improvement in their aqueous solubility profile. In fact, stable solutions of up to 50% weight by volume can be generated in sugar syrup. Subsequent investigations show that when these solutions are fed to honey bee colonies, the modified monoterpenoid is transported by nurse bees to larvae without metabolic degradation. Laboratory assays thus  far show that these modified molecules do not cause significantly increased mortality when fed to immature and adult bees at the concentration of 0.1%. In semi-field studies, a higher concentration of 1% seems to have no negative effect on bees. Laboratory studies are underway to determine the miticidal effectiveness of modified monoterpenoid molecules against Varroa and will be followed by field trials.

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MORE FACULTY POSITIONS OPEN

This one from Reed Johnson via the POLLINATOR-L list and Dr. Christina Grozinger -

Central State University near Dayton, Ohio (which just received 1890 land-grant status) is advertising for a new bee-focused faculty position.

Find the details here:  http://careers.centralstate.edu/postings/4081

Questions about the position should be directed to Sharath Krishna in the Department of Natural Science at Central State (SKrishna@centralstate.edu)

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Canada Begins Its Own Bee Informed Tech Transfer Operation -

A “unique” team of specialists based in Bible Hill are working to strengthen and grow the honey bee population in Atlantic Canada.

Called the Atlantic Tech Transfer Team for Apiculture (ATTTA), the team, which is based at the Perennia Food and Agriculture facility, is beekeepers and members of the blueberry industries to review current honeybee management practices across the country in an attempt to customize it for the region’s more than 38,000 commercial bee colonies and nearly 39,000 hectares of blueberries.

Atlantic Canada is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of wild blueberries. For the industry to continue to expand, however, the number of commercial bee colonies will have to more than double to 100,000 hives by 2025. The project team is working to support improved productivity in the wild blueberry, beekeeping and pollination industries by helping regional beekeepers expand hives and increase hive density to meet the increasing demand for pollination in wild blueberry fields.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-canada-begins-beeinformed-tech-transfer-operation


2. High-fructose honey, NOT, and the diet of urban bees -

The Journal of Urban Ecology covers all aspects of urban environments. This includes the biology of the organisms that inhabit urban areas, human social issues encountered within

Mysterious red honey began to appear in the hives of New York City bees in the summer of 2010. At first, beekeepers thought their bees were foraging on some strange plant, possibly sumac. But after more beekeepers began to find red honey in their hives, they decided to get their honey tested. As it turned out, the honey was filled with Red Dye No. 40, and instead of foraging on flowers, the bees had been collecting sugar syrup from a Maraschino cherry factory in Brooklyn.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-high-fructose-honey-not-diet-urban-bees


3. EPA re-registers Sulfoxaflor for crop use, but restricts use on some crops -

New measures to protect honey bees and fewer crop uses are included in the latest registration of sulfoxaflor, a Dow AgroSciences insecticide that was canceled last year.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the registration decision Friday, 13 months after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that EPA lacked sufficient data to show that it was not harmful to honey bees.

EPA canceled the registration in November, but subsequently approved it for use on cotton and sorghum under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, and Rodenticide Act, which allows pesticides to be used to protect crops in “emergency” situations even if the pesticide is not registered for that crop use. It proposed the new registration in May.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-epa-re-registers-sulfoxaflor-crop-use-restricts-use-crops


4. USDA NIFA Awards $2.3 million to help rural veterinary services. Maybe they’ll teach them something about honey bees?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced 12 awards in 10 states totaling $2.3 million to help relieve shortages of veterinary services through education, extension, training and support for new or existing veterinary practices in designated rural shortage areas. These fiscal year 2016 competitive grants are funded through the new Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“The new Veterinary Services Grant Program will enable training and retention initiatives to support veterinarians and veterinary technicians so they can continue to provide quality services in rural areas,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “It also supports the expansion of existing veterinary educational programs and facilities, including mobile services.”

VSGP grants fund work by universities, veterinary associations, and state, local or Tribal agencies to help relieve veterinary workforce shortages in the U.S. food and agriculture sector. Funds may also be used to support the establishment or expansion of veterinary services in eligible rural areas.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-usda-nifa-awards-2-3-million-help-rural-veterinary-services-maybe-theyll-teach-something-honey-bees


5. Egyptair Cargo flight delivers 60 million bees to RAK Airport -

The inaugural Egyptair Cargo freighter touched down at Ras Al Khaimah International Airport at 3:45pm yesterday, carrying about 60 million honey bees from Cairo, destined for farms across the UAE.

As well as being a very traditional industry, honey production in the country has seen huge growth over the past five years. Over 1,800 tonnes of honey is now being exported on an annual basis to those with a taste for the world’s original and natural sweetener.

The inaugural flight was welcomed by Eng. Sheikh Salem Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, the chairman of Ras Al Khaimah International Airport and Department of Civil Aviation. He said: “RAK Airport is ideally positioned to handle this precious cargo and we are grateful to Egyptair Cargo and Al Najeh Honey & Bees Trading to give us the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities in this regard.  We also appreciate all the support provided by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, RAK Customs and other authorities.”

http://ttp://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-egyptair-cargo-flight-delivers-60-million-bees-rak-airport
-----

And in the "Worth reading but not necessarily bee-related" category -

REINVENTING HOW ANTIBIOTICS ARE USED

The news regarding antibiotic misuse is, needless to say, bleak.

But, the work of Dr. Sara Cosgrove of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is a ray of hope. And, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) - an arm of the US Department of Health and Human Services - must agree with me as they just gave her $16 Million (a LOT of money for that governmental agency.)

Dr. Cosgrove, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, is not interested in designing new antibiotics, or even antibiotic resistance so much. What she and her colleague, Dr. Pranita Tamma, are interested in is implementing change in the way that antibiotics are used in health care settings. They are focused on the front lines and how the health care community can make wide scale changes in order to preserve the antibiotics that we already have in our dwindling arsenal.

More at http://acsh.org/news/2016/10/25/two-women-johns-hopkins-are-reinventing-how-antibiotics-are-used-10332

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And this one from Beth Roden's weekly Bayer newsletter -

FOOD COMPANIES TARGET WATER RISKS IN GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN

Seven major food companies today announced commitments to work with thousands of growers in their global supply chains to reduce water use and pollution impacts.

The seven companies - Diageo, General Mills, Hain Celestial, Hormel Foods, Kellogg, PepsiCo, and WhiteWave Foods - are participants in what they call the AgWater Challenge, a collaborative initiative organized by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Ceres. As part of the challenge, companies must submit detailed sustainable sourcing and water stewardship plans meeting specific criteria. Ceres and WWF will evaluate and report on companies' progress against their commitments in one year.

 “Major food brands can be a powerful and constructive force for scaling water stewardship, especially at the farm level where the biggest footprint is by far,” Brooke Barton, senior director of Water and Food at the nonprofit sustainability group Ceres, said in a news release. “These brands recognize the material financial impact that water risks pose to their business, from supply disruptions, to higher operating costs, to growth constraints. More than ever, companies are responding to these supply risks through farmer incentives, local partnerships and bottom line reductions.”

http://www.agri-pulse.com/Food-companies-target-water-risks-in-global-supply-chains-10242016.asp

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And from Joy Pendell and the California State Beekeepers News Update this week, and article from Time magazine -

FOOD: GMOs ARE OUR DESTINY

On the occasional clear-frost autumn night, my dog takes the opportunity to re­mind me that she is not a dog. Bewitched by sounds that I cannot hear and by smells that I cannot imagine, she plants her four feet stolidly apart and raises her head up toward the treetops. Through her slack jaw she emanates a long, low, warbling bellow that echoes across the empty wood. After the last note fades, she is herself again and comes tripping back to my side. I rub her head and continue hiking through the dark forest with my GMO wolf.

Yes, my best friend is a genetically modified organism; deliberate selection has produced the blunt-­toothed, small-pawed wonder that walks by my side. Millennia passed as the most trusting puppy was selected from the litter born of a mother who herself had been the most trusting puppy, forever changing the original pattern of genes within the DNA. Now I live with a Canis species that sees food as a gift and can’t hunt to save her life but has somehow retained the ability to howl.

http://time.com/4521582/2016-election-food/?xid=tcosharehttp://time.com/4521582/2016-election-food/?xid=tcoshare
          


Items of interest to beekeepers October 21 2016
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

HIVE THEFT ALERT
2017 NORTH AMERICAN BEEKEEPING CONFERENCE & TRADESHOW AGENDA, GALVESTON, TEXAS
BEE-2-B: HOW WATSON AND WEATHER ARE HELPING CROPS GROW STRONGER
A PLAN TO DEFEND AGAINST THE WAR ON SCIENCE
INTERNATIONAL SURVEY ABOUT BEEKEEPING
UC DAVIS HONEY AND POLLINATION CENTER OCTOBER NEWSLETTER
MORE POSITIONS AVAILABLE
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS
-----

Six from Joy Pendell and the California State Beekeepers News Update -

HIVE THEFT ALERT

The theft season has begun early this year! Olivarez Honey Bees discovered 8 beehives missing on 10/12/16 from a bee yard west of Corning, CA. The hives were on bottom boards, which were loose on pallets. The hives, bottom boards and pallets were all taken. Because the hives were loose on pallets, it is possible (and even likely) that everything was moved by hand. The hives are 8-frame double deeps, white, and branded 42-51.

Olivarez Honey Bees also suffered the theft of queen banks in April of this year. At least 150 queens were taken. There was a report of someone trying to sell OHB queens for cash outside of the Mann Lake bee supply store in Woodland, CA shortly thereafter.

Ray Olivarez is personally offering a $2500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons responsible for either the theft of the hives or the theft of the queen banks. This is in addition to the up to $10,000 reward the CSBA offers. Please contact the CSBA at castatebeekeepers@hotmail.com to report any information.

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2017 NORTH AMERICAN BEEKEEPING CONFERENCE & TRADESHOW AGENDA, GALVESTON, TEXAS

http://nabeekeepingconference.com/images/2017/2017_NABC_Agenda_-_V10_WEB.pdf

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BEE-2-B: HOW WATSON AND WEATHER ARE HELPING CROPS GROW STRONGER

Fields of sunflowers stretch as far as the eye can see. Stacks of white boxes are tucked neatly amidst a small grove of trees.

The boxes are the homes of bees, the extraordinary winged creatures responsible for the flowers’ bright yellow blooms each summer. Their owner is Richard Adee, a beekeeper since 1957. A lot has changed since he began his career producing honey. For one, his family’s income now depends mostly on pollination services that his some 80,000 hives of bees provide across the country. The shift has caused new challenges, large and small, but one has remained a constant since the very beginning: the weather.

http://paidpost.nytimes..com/ibm/bee-2-b.html?tbs_nyt=2016-september-nytsocial_facebook-ibm-1003-1130#bee-2-b

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A PLAN TO DEFEND AGAINST THE WAR ON SCIENCE

Four years ago in Scientific American, I warned readers of a growing problem in American democracy. The article, entitled “Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy,” charted how it had not only become acceptable, but often required, for politicians to embrace antiscience positions, and how those positions flew in the face of the core principles that the U.S. was founded on: That if anyone could discover the truth of something for him or herself using the tools of science, then no king, no pope and no wealthy lord was more entitled to govern the people than they were themselves. It was self-evident.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-plan-to-defend-against-the-war-on-science/?WT.mc_id=SA_SP_20161010

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INTERNATIONAL SURVEY ABOUT BEEKEEPING

A group of Slovenian Students is seeking information to assist in their research. Please participate!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfZK05USGqy56LEfCEydg4U6TRS1McpT0-EuTcvURcrAWbr1A/viewform?c=0&w=1

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UC DAVIS HONEY AND POLLINATION CENTER OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=9d89a5a216486d5b19f45aaeb&id=dee49e5b32&e=f1b54d79e0

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MORE POSITIONS AVAILABLE

Two new positions at Xerces and two at New Jersey Insitute of Technology (NJIT) via Dr. Christine Grozinger and the POLLINATOR L list -

Plant Ecologist – Western Region - Xerces

Location: Preference is to locate this position at a home office, with easy access to a major airport in California (especially near Sacramento, the Bay Area, or the San Joaquin Valley) or Western Washington (Puget Sound region). For the right candidate, we may consider additional location options.
Application Deadline: Nov. 23rd
Start Date: No later than January 30, 2017

You’ll be joining a growing team of professionals working to conserve some of the world’s most important animals. Under the direction of the Pollinator Conservation Program Directors, and working closely with other members of the Pollinator Conservation Program, this position will: Develop and consistently improve habitat restoration methodology in California and the Pacific Northwest; provide regular habitat restoration technical support to other Xerces staff, clients, and partner organizations; source native plant materials for restoration projects; foster native plant materials production with nursery and native seed industry partners; support Xerces’ partners with science-based advice and consulting on restoration practice, seed sourcing and other aspects of habitat restoration. Please review full job details and application instructions here: http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Western-Region-Plant-Ecologist.pdf

 
Pollinator Conservation Specialist (Food Industry Supply Chain Projects) - Xerces

Location: Preference is to locate this position at a home office, with easy access to a major airport in California (especially near Sacramento, the Bay Area, or the San Joaquin Valley) or Western Washington (Puget Sound region). For the right candidate, we may consider additional location options.
Application Deadline: Nov. 23rd
Start Date: No later than January 30, 2017

Under the direction of a Xerces Pollinator Conservation Program co-director, this ground-breaking new position will collaborate closely with farm managers, as well as key staff at some of the largest food companies in the world to provide farm conservation on farms that serve the organic and natural food industry. Please review full job details and application instructions here: http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Pollinator-Specialist-Food-Industry-Supply-Chain-Projects.pdf

See also: http://www.xerces.org/job-opportunities


NJIT

he Department of Biological Sciences at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is looking to fill two new, 9-month, tenure-track faculty positions at the Assistant Professor level, beginning in 2017. We seek applicants with either of the following profiles:

  - Applicants with an interest and established record in bridging levels from systems or organismic function to behavior or ecology. Research areas can include - but are not limited to - ethology, microbiology, functional ecology, or evolution. Applicants with this profile should apply for the position at http://njit.jobs/applicants/Central?quickFind=55733. All inquiries for this position should be directed to Dr. Simon Garnier, at garnier@njit.edu.

  - Applicants with an interest and established record in bridging levels from cell biology or physiology, to systems or organismic function. Research areas can include - but are not limited to - neurobiology, ethology, evolution, or development. Applicants with this profile should apply for the position at http://njit.jobs/applicants/Central?quickFind=55732. All inquiries for this position should be directed to Dr. Farzan Nadim, at farzan@njit.edu.

Applicants should be prepared to upload a CV, a cover letter, and a statement of research interest. In addition, they should arrange for at least three references to send letters directly to Ms. Shamay Carty, at carty@njit.edu.

Candidates will be expected to maintain an active, funded research program, supervise graduate students, and contribute to the overall success of the Department.

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. A New Organic Acid Varroa Mite Medication -

At its October meeting, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the granting of a marketing authorization in the European Union (EU) for VarroMed (oxalic acid dihydrate / formic acid). This antiparasitic medicine treats the Varroa mite infestation in honey-bee colonies, which is considered to be the most significant parasitic health concern affecting honey bees worldwide.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-new-organic-acid-varroa-mite-medication


2. Invasive Honey Plants Dye Woodpeckers Red -

An ornithological mystery has been solved! Puzzling red feathers have been popping up in eastern North America’s “yellow-shafted” population of Northern Flickers, but they aren’t due to genes borrowed from their “red-shafted” cousins to the west, according to a new study in The Auk: Ornithological Advances. Instead, the culprit is a pigment that the birds are ingesting in the berries of exotic honeysuckle plants, a favorite nectar source for honey bees and other insects.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-invasive-honey-plants-dye-woodpeckers-red


3. No single protein determines queen development in honeybees -

In the first few days after they hatch, honey bee larvae feed on royal jelly secreted by the hypopharyngeal glands of adult honey bees. “It is a highly nutritious food comprising sugars, proteins and amino acids,” says Robin Moritz, Professor of Molecular Ecology at MLU. After a few days, most larvae start to receive honey and pollen in their food. These will develop into worker bees. Only the larvae that are destined to become queens continue to be fed exclusively on royal jelly. The queen is the only sexually reproductive female responsible for the production of all offspring in the colony.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-no-single-protein-determines-queen-development-honeybees


Items of interest to beekeepers October 7 2016
Friday, October 7, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

NORTHWEST FARMERS UNION HIGHLIGHTS HONEY BEES, THE LITTLEST LIVESTOCK
FIRST "KIM AND JIM SHOW" SOLD OUT - SECOND BOOKED
SOUTHBOUND STOPOVER BY MONARCH BUTTERFLY A BIG SURPRISE
CORRECTION
HAWAIIAN NATIVE BEES ADDED TO ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST FOR THE FIRST TIME
JOB POSTING - USDA-ARS AT BATON ROUGE
DR. MARGARITA LOPEZ-URIBE JOINS PENN STATE
PUYALLUP'S 'BEE CITY' DESIGNATION TO HELP SUPPORT POLLINATOR HABITATS
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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From "Bee Girl" Sarah Red-Laird -

NORTHWEST FARMERS UNION HIGHLIGHTS HONEY BEES, THE LITTLEST LIVESTOCK

This coming weekend, the place to be is Walla Walla, Washington, for the Northwest Farmers Union 2016 Regional Convention!  The event takes place on Saturday, October 8th, starting at 8:00am at the Walla Wall Community College Campus.  "Bee Girl" Sarah Red-Laird will give a keynote titled:  "Honey Bees, The Littlest Livestock" when she will highlight the Bee Girl organization’s, “Farming for Bees Initiative” and focus on new programs to enrich honey bee habitat in vineyards and livestock pasture.

Also speaking is Donn Teske, National Farmers Union Vice President, Kansas Farmers Union State President, and Military Veteran, speaking on the History of National Farmers Union, the National Farmers Union Year in Review, the "Amazing Grazing Program" and the "Farmer Veteran Program."  Attendees will also hear from Bill Aal, Community Alliance for Global Justice, on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and what it means for folks living in the Northwest.

Last year, after speaking and attending the NWFU conference in Spokane, Sarah was able to visit a holistic cattle ranch in Eastern Washington, and became inspired on how pasture managers and beekeepers can work together.  Check out her blog "Poop and Flower Petals on my Boots" at http://www.beegirl.org/single-post/2015/11/06/Poop-and-Flower-Petals-on-my-Boots.

Email the NWFU with any questions on the convention: kent@nwfu.org. You can register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/northwest-farmers-unions-2016-regional-convention-tickets-27318713006?ref=enivtefor001&invite

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FIRST "KIM AND JIM SHOW" SOLD OUT - SECOND BOOKED

The response to our first Kim and Jim Show was pretty overwhelming. To the point that the software we use hit its ceiling and we had to stop taking registrations. So, we fixed that by scheduling another show right after the first one. So, there will be a second ‘live’ show at 1 pm, EST, directly after the first one which starts at noon. So sign up now for the second showing. Don’t delay - Winter’s coming.

Kim Flottum, Editor-in-Chief, Bee Culture Magazine and Dr. James "Jim" Tew, Emeritus Professor, Entomology, OSU will be bringing you the very 1st "Live" show for their newly minted Kim and Jim Show. Click https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8590415456331636483 to Register
 
You don't want to miss: Must-Do Tasks To Save Your Bees This Winter.

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From this week's WSU Green Times newsletter -

SOUTHBOUND STOPOVER BY MONARCH BUTTERFLY A BIG SURPRISE

PROSSER, Wash. – When a butterfly dines in a homeowner’s garden, that’s not unusual. But when some internal compass guides that winged visitor into the yard of Kathy Keatley Garvey in northern California, it’s downright remarkable.

“‘What are the odds? What are the odds?’ kept going through my mind. I was totally amazed to see it,” recalled Keatley Garvey of the recent afternoon she spotted the monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a Mexican sunflower outside her home in Vacaville.

Affixed to the elegant orange and black insect’s wing was an adhesive tag the size of a small fingernail that read: Monarch@wsu.edu A6093.

This monarch was from Keatley Garvey’s alma mater, Washington State University, located some 800 miles away. What’s more, two years earlier she had written a story about a monarch study underway at WSU.

Now, one of the study’s subjects was perched on a blossom just four feet away.

“I wanted to do a happy dance or a pirouette,” said Keatley Garvey, a science writer for the University of California-Davis’ department of entomology and nematology who also happens to be an insect photographer and author of the popular blog, “Bug Squad.”

Ever so quietly, she raised her macro zoom-lens camera to her eye and began to shoot.

Researcher wowed -

Later that day, WSU entomologist David James read Keatley Garvey’s email saying that A6093 had lingered in her yard all afternoon.

He recalled how, on Oct. 17, 2014, she had featured his research in a blog article encouraging readers to be on the lookout for tagged monarchs. The story explained that James was spearheading a study in which volunteers were tagging and releasing Pacific Northwest monarchs to track their mysterious migratory paths. (See http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=15624)

“I immediately recognized Kathy’s name and it took a few seconds for it to sink in,” he said. “It’s one of the biggest surprises of my research career.”

That’s because, of the 3,000 butterflies tagged and released by volunteers during August and September, monarch A6093 was among them. It had fluttered its way into the yard of a science writer and bug lover who had graduated from WSU and who, decades later, wrote about his research.

A6093 had been released seven days earlier from Ashland, Ore., James determined. The male monarch stopped by Keatley Garvey’s garden to consume enough calories to power the rest of its flight to the California coast to overwinter, he explained.

Weighing less than a dime, “it flew almost 41 miles each day to get to Kathy’s house,” he said.

Fly away home -

Two decades ago, roughly a million western monarchs migrated to their California wintering grounds each year. That number has plunged by 70-90 percent, said James.

By tracking their movements, he hopes to better understand where and why their journey unexpectedly ends. This, in turn, could help revive one of nature’s greatest migrations.

Hopefully, Monarch A6093 made it another 100 miles or so to a roosting grove of eucalyptus trees along the Pacific coast. Come March, it will lift off northward. And maybe, just maybe, it will refuel in Keatley Garvey’s garden once again.

http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/news-release/2016/10/03/southbound-stopover-by-monarch-butterfly-a-big-surprise

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Two items from Joy Pendell and the California State Beekeepers News Update -

CORRECTION

ABF President Gene Brandi pointed out the following to us: “The August 29 Catch the Buzz contains a gross error about the new FDA regulations pertaining to antibiotics for use in bee hives.  The following statement from the article is not correct: "(As we understand this, antibiotic use for minor species, including honey bees, will remain unchanged, so that beekeepers needing to purchase antibiotics may continue to do so without a vets prescription.)" We had a teleconference with FDA a couple of weeks ago which reaffirmed what we have been told for many months, that beekeepers will definitely need to obtain a veterinarian's prescription in order to purchase antibiotics when the new rule goes into effect.”

HAWAIIAN NATIVE BEES ADDED TO ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST FOR THE FIRST TIME

Seven species of bees native to Hawaii were declared endangered on Friday in what The Associated Press said was the first time any bee in the U.S. has received the protection.

Hawaii’s various species of yellow-faced bees will be protected by the Endangered Species Act effective Oct. 31. But one of the most effective safeguards ¯ controls on bee habitats ¯ won’t be part of the new declaration.

The Xerces Society, which advocates for protecting pollinators, pushed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to intervene on behalf of bees in 2009.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bees-endangered-species_us_57eeeb0be4b024a52d2f2791

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Two items passed on to us by Dr. Christina M. Grozinger -
 
JOB POSTING - USDA-ARS AT BATON ROUGE

Research Entomologist (GS 12/13)
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE, Baton Rouge, LA

The Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics & Physiology Research Unit in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is seeking a permanent Research Entomologist. The mission of the laboratory is directly related to improving honey bee stock and honey bee management. This broad mission includes components related to problems caused by parasitic mites, pathogens and depredators of honey bees. The incumbent’s specific assignment is to identify and characterize traits of honey bees that confer resistance to Varroa destructor and other biotic or abiotic health threats.

Vacant research positions may be filled at one of several grade levels depending upon the scientific impact of the person selected.  For this reason, you are encouraged to apply at all grade levels.  A peer review will be required for selections made at grades GS-13 and above and the selectee will be required to submit supplemental materials.

Research scientists have open-ended promotion potential.

The announcement opens 10/5/16 and closes 10/25/16. The link is listed at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/452494900


DR. MARGARITA LOPEZ-URIBE JOINS PENN STATE

Gary W. Felton, Professor and Head of the Department of Entomology at Penn State University is pleased to announce that Dr. Margarita Lopez-Uribe joined the Entomology Department as Assistant Professor in August 2016.  She will have research and extension responsibilities for pollinator health.  Her ultimate goal is to contribute informed strategies for conservation and restoration of bee populations and the ecosystem services they provide.  Margarita received her B.S. degree in Colombia, M.S. in Brazil, and Ph.D. in Entomology from Cornell University.  She was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at NC State prior to joining the Department.

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PUYALLUP'S 'BEE CITY' DESIGNATION TO HELP SUPPORT POLLINATOR HABITATS

In her garden at home, Puyallup City Councilwoman Heather Shadko gets visited frequently by a certain buzzing insect — the bee.

But where some might be fearful of getting stung, Shadko welcomes the pollinators.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/community/puyallup-herald/ph-news/article105866057.html#storylink=cpy

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. To Bee or Not To Bee: CBP and Partners Seized 132 Drums of Honey -

MIAMI – On Aug. 12, Import Specialists from the Miami based Agriculture & Prepared Products Center of Excellence & Expertise (APP Center) in collaboration with U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Officers and Special Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago, seized around 42 tons of illegally imported Chinese honey.  This represents the third such significant seizure of honey in four months.

The honey was contained in 132 fifty-five gallon drums that were falsely declared as originating from Taiwan to evade anti-dumping duties applicable to Chinese-origin honey.  The evaded anti-dumping duties on this shipment of Chinese honey would be nearly $180,299 based on the rates imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, had CBP not intervened.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bee-not-bee-cbp-partners-seized-132-drums-honey


2. USDA Market News – As Diverse as the Agricultural Landscape -

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-usda-market-news-diverse-agricultural-landscape


3. Can Plant Blindness Be Cured?

Tigers, elephants, and rhinoceroses garner a lot of attention. But plants are often ignored. In fact, scientists even have a term for our tendency to overlook plants — plant blindness.

For example, if shown a picture of a lion on a tree, people would be more likely to point out the lion, and ignore the tree. This bias against plants is widespread, and seriously limits conservation efforts, scientists say.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-can-plant-blindness-cured


4. Federal directive brings veterinarians and beekeepers together. Drugs for honey bee disease will require veterinary prescription in 2017 -

Come Jan. 1, 2017, hobbyist and commercial beekeepers alike will no longer be able to purchase antimicrobials over the counter, but instead, will need a veterinary feed directive or prescription for the drugs they administer to their honeybees.

The federal mandate requiring veterinary oversight of medically important antimicrobials in food-producing animals, including honeybees, is part of a Food and Drug Administration strategy to reform the way these drugs are legally used in food animals.

For the rest of the JAVMA article, click this link: https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/161015a.aspx

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-federal-directive-brings-veterinarians-beekeepers-together-drugs-honey-bee-disease-will-require-veterinary-prescription-2017


5. Scientists have shown that the drone can leave behind a virus that may infect the queen with the disease deformed wing virus. The Queen dies, the colony does too -

When a queen has sex with many different partners, it can increase her risk of infection with venereal disease. It can also lead to the collapse of her colony. This might read like ingredients for a juicy novel, but for bees it is reality.

Scientists from Aarhus University have teamed up with American and German colleagues and found that the mating behaviour of queen bees increases the risk of the whole colony succumbing to the syndrome Colony Collapse Disorder because of a venereal disease.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-scientists-shown-drone-can-leave-behind-virus-may-infect-queen-disease-deformed-wing-virus-queen-dies-colony

 


Items of interest to beekeepers October 2 2016
Friday, October 7, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

CORRECTION
GET READY TO KICK UP THE DUST ON LUKE BRYAN'S FARM TOUR 2016
A NEW METHOD FOR OBSERVING HONEY BEE BEHAVIOUR
THE TRANSMISSION OF VIRUSES BETWEEN WESTERN AND EASTERN HONEY BEES
US WINTER FORECAST: FREQUENT SNOW TO BLAST NORTHEAST; FREEZE MAY DAMAGE CITRUS CROP IN SOUTH
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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CORRECTION

Apologies to Dr. Brandon Hopkins of Washington State University, who got called "Brian" in last week's "Items.." My automatic spell-checker has a nasty habit to correcting to whatever it knows and I missed that one. Sorry Brandon.

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GET READY TO KICK UP THE DUST ON LUKE BRYAN'S FARM TOUR 2016

For the second straight year, Bayer is joining country music superstar Luke Bryan for the second straight year to bring his annual farm tour to eight cities across the U.S.  Bryan, the son of a peanut farmer from Georgia, launched the tour in 2009 as a way to highlight and celebrate the contribution America’s farmers make in putting food on tables in the United States and throughout the world.

“I come from a farming background so I understand the hard work it takes for farmers to feed America and feed the world,” said Luke Bryan.  “Bayer and I did some great things together during last year’s tour including donating to local farmers and raising money to help feed America.  I’m excited to do even more good work with them this year.”

The tour will highlight its annual #Thankful4Ag campaign which activates consumers to provide meals to those in need while thanking farmers for their contribution to feeding the planet. Last year, Luke Bryan and his fans provided over 300,000 meals to families across America—this year’s goal is 500,000 meals.  

“This tour is all about the farm and the farmer. Given the mutual commitment Bayer and Luke Bryan have towards American farmers, and with how much great work we accomplished together in 2015, we’re proud to team up with Luke for a second year,” said Ray Kerins, SVP for Bayer Corporation.  “Once again, for eight nights this harvest season, we’ll join Luke in giving thanks to those in agriculture who dedicate their lives to making everyone’s better. Farming is a 24/7 job so we’re excited to help give them a few nights of fun with one of today’s top stars.”

Dates and locations for the tour include:
October 5    Gaston, South Carolina     Culler Farms
October 6    Greenback, Tennessee     Maple Lane Farms
October 7    Elizabethtown, Kentucky   Highland Farms
October 8    Monroeville, Indiana          Spangler Farms
October 12   Batesville, Mississippi       F T Farms
October 13   Prairie Grove, Arkansas   Ogden Ranch
October 14   Centralia, Missouri           Stowers Farm
October 15   Effingham, Illinois             Mid America Motorworks

For details on show locations and tickets, visit http://www.lukebryan.com/farmtour.

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Two items from the International Bee Research Association based in England -

A NEW METHOD FOR OBSERVING HONEY BEE BEHAVIOUR

Observation hives have been used to study the behaviour of honey bees since the pioneering studies of François Huber in the 18th century. Observation hives generally consist of glass walled hives containing a small number of combs and bees. A frequent objection to their use is that they are usually housed and observed in daylight or artificial light, in contrast to the darkness of a natural bee nest. It has therefore been a criticism that results obtained using observation hives may not always represent normal behaviour. In a new study published in the Journal of Apicultural Research, Kaspar Bienefeld and colleagues from the Institute for Bee Research, Hohen Neuendorf, Germany, outline a new method for the long term undisturbed observation of bee behaviour under infra-red light, which minimises these problems.

Their novel setup comprises a glass walled observation unit consisting of a single comb containing a queen bee, workers and brood, together with an infra-red camera unit, and a supporting unit consisting of many combs of bees which is contiguous with the observation unit via a wire gauze. The supporting unit provides the normal temperature and humidity conditions of a complete colony, ensuring that conditions remain as normal as possible.

As an example of the use of this technique, the authors studied so called “hygienic behaviour”, whereby bees genetically disposed to being hygienic, remove diseased pupae from the hive, in this instance due to infestation by the parasitic mite varroa. Although it has previously been clearly demonstrated that hygienic bees will remove pupae infested with varroa, the mechanisms whereby the bees identify that the cells are infested have remained unclear.

 As described in the paper, the results of this study provide support for the hypothesis that bees are using foreign odours to detect the varroa mites and remove them from the hive.

IBRA Science Director Norman Carreck says: “This new technique will allow researchers to study undisturbed honey bee behaviour, and will have many uses in bee research”.

http://www.ibrabee.org.uk/news/press-releases/3809-a-new-method-for-observing-honey-bee-behaviour

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THE TRANSMISSION OF VIRUSES BETWEEN WESTERN AND EASTERN HONEY BEES  

New research published in the Journal of Apicultural Research shows that transfers of viruses between the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) and the Eastern honey bee (Apis cerana) are rare, even if honey bees of the two species are kept together.

In parts of Asia, the native Eastern honey bee A. cerana has coexisted with the Western honey bee A. mellifera imported from Europe, for more than a hundred years. It is thought that the parasitic mite varroa transferred from A. cerana to A. mellifera, where it has since become a serious pest and is generally considered as the most serious problem affecting honey bees worldwide, mainly due to its ability to vector a number of virus diseases. Transfers of viruses between the two bee species are, however, poorly understood.

In this new study carried out in Zhejiang Province, China, Dr Orlando Yañez and colleagues from the University of Bern and Agroscope, Switzerland, and from Zhejiang University and The Jinhua Academy of Sciences, China, examined the occurrence of eight different bee viruses in apiaries where colonies of A. mellifera and A. cerana are kept together, and other apiaries where the species are kept separately.

From samples collected over a three year period, the researchers found four viruses: deformed wing virus (DWV); Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV); black queen cell virus (BQCV), and sacbrood virus (SBV) to occur in both bee species. They found that virus infections and prevalence were generally lower in A. cerana compared to A. mellifera, and varied over the years. The RNA of samples was sequenced, and relationships between the strains present showed evidence for transfer between the bee species of IAPV, BQCV, and DWV, but the SBV strains seemed to be species specific. The authors conclude that interspecific transfers of viruses are rare, even if honey bees are kept in close proximity.

IBRA Science Director Norman Carreck says: “This important new study provides evidence that viruses can pass between honey bee species when kept together, but interestingly, this seems to occur less frequently than might be expected. The results are very relevant to our understanding of how bee health may be affected by man-made movement of bees around the world”.

http://www.ibrabee.org.uk/news/press-releases/3807-the-transmission-of-viruses-between-western-and-eastern-honey-bees

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US WINTER FORECAST: FREQUENT SNOW TO BLAST NORTHEAST; FREEZE MAY DAMAGE CITRUS CROP IN SOUTH

AccuWeather Global Weather Center – September 28, 2016 – AccuWeather reports it will feel like an extended winter for those living from the northern Plains to the eastern U.S., as cold and snowy conditions stretch into spring 2017.

Meanwhile, drier and milder weather will focus on the majority of the southern half of the nation. The Southeast may mark the exception as a chilly January threatens to damage the region’s citrus crop.

Frequent storms to bring above-normal snowfall to northeastern US -

Frequent storms across the northeastern U.S. this winter may lead to an above-normal season for snowfall.

“I think the Northeast is going to see more than just a few, maybe several, systems in the course of the season,” AccuWeather Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.

Unlike last season, in which most of winter’s snowfall came from a few heavy-hitting storms, this winter will last into the early or middle part of spring and will feature frequent snow events.

According to Pastelok, accumulation may be limited in areas south of New York City, such as Philadelphia, D.C. and Baltimore. These areas will see a handful of changeover systems, where falling snow transitions to rain and sleet.

“But still, Boston, Hartford, along the coastal areas up into Connecticut and southern New England, they can still have a fair amount of snow,” he said.

Overall, it’s predicted that the region will total a below-normal number of subzero days, though the temperature will average 3-5 degrees Fahrenheit lower than last year.

Damaging freeze may threaten citrus crop in southeastern US -

Winter will slowly creep into the Southeast this season, as very mild air hangs on throughout the month of December.

However, the new year will usher in a pattern change as a sudden burst of cold air penetrates the region.

“I am afraid that we have a shot at seeing a damaging freeze in central Florida in mid- to late January this year,” Pastelok said.

The chill could spell disaster for the area’s citrus farmers.

Cold air will once again retreat following January and the threat is predicted to shift to severe weather.

“Places like Atlanta, Chattanooga, even up into Roanoke, they could have some severe weather,” Pastelok said. “But if the storm track is a little farther east, then you’re looking more like Tallahassee to Savannah and, maybe, Charleston.”

Bitter cold to grip the northern Plains, Midwest -

Old man winter won’t hold back in the northern Plains this season with shots of brutally cold air predicted to slice through the region.

Developing snowpack in early December may contribute to even colder weather. Temperatures will plummet as the season goes on, averaging 6 to 9 degrees lower overall than last winter.

“…There are going to be some nights, especially if there’s snowcover in the heart of winter, that could get down to 20 or 30 below, especially in parts of Minnesota like International Falls and Duluth and parts of the Dakotas,” Pastelok said.

Cold air will also remain entrenched across the Midwest after arriving in late November. Coupled with warmer waters over the Great Lakes, an early start to lake-effect season is in store.

“I do feel we’re going to kick this season off pretty quick, especially the western lakes. But I think even the eastern lakes will get involved and it will extend all the way out to January,” he said.

Winter to get late start across southern Plains, Gulf Coast -

Fall-like weather will linger into the winter season across the southern Plains and Gulf Coast, but a change will loom on the horizon.

“A turnaround could come into late December and January as chillier air masses work down from the north,” Pastelok said.

Though the milder weather will retreat, dryness will stick around, becoming a major theme of the season.

“The area of the country that may miss out on big [snow] storms this year may be Dallas and Little Rock,” he said. However, a few disruptive ice events are not out of the question.

Early storms to blast Northwest, northern California -

Winter will waste no time in the northwestern U.S. and northern California, as the season kicks off with rain and winter storms.

“They’re going to start out pretty wet, especially from northern California into the Northwest coast,” Pastelok said. “I think that, right off the bat in December, we start to see the snow piling up in the mountains.”

November and December will see the most action, before high pressure builds in and stormy weather eases back in late January and February.

Dry, warm season in store for Southern California, Southwest -

While moisture aims for the Northwest, warm and dry conditions will span much of the season for central and Southern California and the Southwest.

“December is [looking] very warm [in the Southwest] and I think we could break some record high temperatures,” Pastelok said.

A few cold shots will hit areas like Phoenix and Flagstaff, Arizona, in January, but the warm weather will quickly rebound.

For Southern California, the pattern will exacerbate ongoing drought conditions.

“We’re in a pattern that doesn’t really show a lot of rain coming toward Southern California, so I don’t expect too much relief,” Pastelok said.

What precipitation does fall in California will aim primarily for the north, though it will fail to have the significance of last January when the region was hammered by heavy rain and snow.

“I do think in the early part of the season we’re looking good anywhere from San Francisco, Sacramento and into the mountains,” he said.

“…If we can get some snowpack built up in the north, we can fill up these reservoirs going into spring and summer.”

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-us-winter-forecast-frequent-snow-blast-northeast-freeze-may-damage-citrus-crop-south

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. We Can Protect Public Health and Protect Pollinators. Bees shouldn’t be sprayed, and beekeepers should control mosquitoes -

The recent bee kill of honey bees in South Carolina due to a mosquito pesticide spray application is cause for concern of every beekeeper.  The destruction of forty-three hives is not just a loss of honey bees, but their honey crop, the pollination of fall plants, and forty-three hives that would be available to pollinate crops next spring.  The loss of forty-three hives to a beekeeper is a $21,500 cost to just replace the beekeeping equipment (now toxic from the mosquito spray) and to purchase new honey bees.  This does not include the financial loss of the honey crop from this beekeeper’s livestock.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-we-can-protect-public-health-and-protect-pollinators-bees-shouldnt-be-sprayed-and-beekeepers-should-control-mosquitoes/


2. Global study shows link between fertilizer and plant diversity -

It’s well-established that the more species that thrive in a habitat, the better it is at weathering a variety of events from floods to drought to fire. Now, an international study with strong ties to the University of Minnesota is shedding new light on the effect of an increasingly common human-caused disturbance — the addition of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium — on a wide range of grassland ecosystems around the world.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-global-study-shows-link-between-fertilizer-and-plant-diversity


3. Who knew such a black market existed?

It looks like one Tesco (UK) branch has had it up to here with people stealing its honey, and has opted to put all of the jars into security boxes.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-who-knew-such-a-black-market-existed


4. Golden Goose Award Goes to Scientists Who Use Bees for Web Hosting -

Internet users have the honey bees and the research team that studied them to thank the next time a webpage loads up smoothly.

Five scientists mapped the complex system honey bee colonies apply when foraging for nectar to feed the colony, and transformed the bees’ procedures into a mathematical tool that now streamlines internet services across the globe.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-golden-goose-award-goes-scientists-use-bees-web-hosting


5. Bayer and Monsanto and CRISPR. Do Bees Have Any Role In Their Future?

CRISPR (Clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats) Cas-9 is the most high profile gene-editing tool today and a technique that’s far more palatable to those adverse to  genetic modification, because it mirrors a natural-occurring procedure. CRISPR basically uses a similar mechanism that living organisms use when repairing damaged DNA, snipping out unwanted fragments, and replacing or reorganizing what is left behind. Because this method does not introduce any foreign DNA, as some GMO technology does, it is arguably an advanced breeding method that could occur in nature over several years of evolution. Therefore, it’s not subjected to the same levels of regulatory scrutiny that traditional GMO technology has been in the past.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bayer-monsanto-crispr-bees-role-future
 
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Items of interest to beekeepers SEPTEMBER 25 2016
Friday, October 7, 2016

 


 

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



IN THIS ISSUE

CALLING FOR YOUR BEST IDEAS TO HELP OUR INDUSTRY
LAST CALL FOR SEEDS FOR BEES 2016 SIGNUP!
BREEDING A BETTER HONEYBEE
CENTRAL VALLEY FARMERS AIM TO STING BEEHIVE THIEVES
CHINA IS COPING WITH POLLUTION BY BUYING FANCY HONEY
FLOWER POWER SOWING BEE
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS

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From Executive Director Danielle Downey at Project Apis m. -

CALLING FOR YOUR BEST IDEAS TO HELP OUR INDUSTRY

PAm is Administering National Honey Board research proposals and the Request for Proposals is Now!  

Honey bee colony losses in the United States in 2015-2016 worsened compared with last year. United States honey production in 2015 from producers with five or more colonies fell 12 percent from 2014. As many crops which rely on honey bees for pollination are expanding, the need for a sustainable beekeeping industry is more clear than ever. Colony losses are attributed to pathogens, parasites, pesticides, hive management (queen mating, genetics, maintenance), climate, and available nutrition. With the National Honey Board as the funding sponsor, and PAm administering the proposals, accountability and funding process, together we are seeking solutions for a more sustainable industry.
    
With this call for research proposals, priority will be given to projects that focus on honey bee health and productivity that provide practical and tangible solutions to the beekeeping industry. Research outside the U.S. is possible, as are multiple year proposals. The goal of this research is to help U.S. producers maintain colony health, honey and crop production. The funds available for a particular proposal will depend on the number and merit of successful proposals; the estimated funds available for 2017 is $400K. The submission format can be reasonably short as long as proposals include the items specified in the submission guidelines, found at http://projectapism.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/RFP-NHB-Funded-Research-Proposals-FINAL.pdf. Proposals will be accepted until midnight Pacific Time, October 22.

Also, click http://files.constantcontact.com/f85a0ca6201/baffce08-693d-4134-8473-fa05ad249c0e.pdf for the California State Beekeepers Association Request for Proposals. Focus is on varroa management, queen health and nutrition. Proposals are due on October 7th, 2016.

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And from Project Apis m.'s Director of Pollination Programs, Billy Synk -

LAST CALL FOR SEEDS FOR BEES 2016 SIGNUP!

Participants are very excited about the program this year and are enrolling early.  Growers are starting to understand how crucial it is to plant as early as possible.  In almond orchards with drip irrigation, rainfall is the only source of moisture for the cover crops.  Ideally, the fall planted cover crops will get exposed to every drop of rain that is available. This is how the PAm Mustard Mix can provide a great stand of bloom before almonds and how the PAm Clover Mix can provide bloom after almonds.  The options we offer include:

PAm Mustard Mix is a mixture of Canola, Braco White Mustard, Nemfix Mustard, Common Yellow Mustard, and Daikon Radish. At a rate of 12 pounds per acre if broadcasting or 8 pounds per acre if using a drill, you can plant from mid-September to mid-November.  However, for those with less rainfall and/or limited irrigation allotments, planting before October 5th is best.   This cover crop option is great at adding organic matter, alleviating soil compaction, and capturing available nitrogen.  The Mustard Mix requires the least amount of water of our options and is the best at reseeding itself.  Bees love this mix because of the ample pollen it provides.

PAm Clover Mix is a mixture of five different species of clover (Crimson Clover, Hykon Rose Clover, Nitro Persian Clover, Frontier Balansa Clover, Beseem Clover) and Annual Medic.   At a rate of 15 pounds per acre if broadcasting or 10 pounds per acre if using a drill, you can plant from mid-September to mid-November.  Unlike the rapid fall growth of the Mustard Mix, the Clover Mix grows very slowly over the winter.  Depending on the planting date, bloom will begin in March and can be prolonged with irrigation or rainfall.  Clovers are nitrogen fixing.  Crimson Clover, for example, can add about 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre to the soil.  

Lana Vetch is a single species sometimes called Woollypod Vetch.  At a rate of 25 pounds per acre if broadcasting or 15 pounds per acre if using a drill, you can plant from mid-September to mid-November.  Vetch, like clover, has nitrogen fixation properties and can easily add nitrogen at a rate of 100 pounds per acre.  This cover crop is also good at weed suppression and erosion prevention.  If nitrogen fixation is a goal, and you don't have a lot of rainfall in your area, Lana Vetch is a good option.

Interested?  Read more on our website at http://projectapism.org/?page_id=2305.  Please email me at Billy@ProjectApism.org or call me at 614-330-6932.

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We've reported on it before, and it's nice to see this week's Capital Press out of Salem, Oregon pick up on the bee breeding projects at Washington State University in Pullman with Dr. Brian Hopkins and the team under Dr. Steve Shepard. You may need a subscription to read this.

BREEDING A BETTER HONEYBEE

http://capitalpress.or.newsmemory.com/?token=ab8018254b42a647500dcbeeee5bdec5_57e55f29_8742b&selDate=20160923

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Two items from the Joy Pendell and Carlen Jupe in the California Beekeepers News -

CENTRAL VALLEY FARMERS AIM TO STING BEEHIVE THIEVES

A growing number of thieves are targeting farmers in California’s Central Valley by stealing beehives, but those farmers are planning to fight back with a sting operation of their own.

Almond farmer and beekeeper Orin Johnson likes to call himself the poster child for bee theft.

“I’ve had four bee thefts,” said Johnson. “Three of the four were in the last three years.”

From January to March, California’s booming almond crop creates enough demand for bees that they’re shipped in from across country.

“Probably 90 percent of all the bees in the U.S.,” explained Johnson.

The increasing scarcity of a troubled bee population only drives up that demand.

“As you get closer to that income of renting them to almond growers, the value almost doubles,” said Johnson.

Add it all up and you get an annual bee crime spree. “I had a local friend of mine and they came in with a truck in the night and they took off I believe 120 hives,” lamented Johnson.

So after several years of bee heists, the problem is only getting worse. So this week, the California Beekeepers Association launched a series of meetings to prepare for next season. But keeping track of all of these hives is not going to be easy.

“I only run about 500 hives,” said Johnson. “A lot of people think that’s a lot.”

Farmers have come up with some ideas of how to keep an eye on all of those hives.

“Game cameras. Hunters and sportsmen use them to see game,” said Johnson.

Another option farmers are looking at is GPS tracking chips, but that presents a different problem.

“If you buy 10 of them and you have 5000 hives, you have what –1/100th of a percent of that? Those are the hives they’re going to steal,” Johnson explained. “That’s the problem.”

Farmers here have until January to draw up security plans, but odds are the help and honey delivered by these hives will be stung by another year of poaching from California’s bee bandits.

According to the Bee Keepers Association, this year alone an estimated 1,600 beehives have been stolen.

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/09/08/central-valley-farmers-aim-to-sting-bee-hive-thieves

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CHINA IS COPING WITH POLLUTION BY BUYING FANCY HONEY

Consumers in mainland China are demanding foreign brands that promise something many local products can’t: peace of mind. Worsening pollution and several product-safety scares have led to increased sales for imports that are considered safer, from baby formula and facial creams to fresh fruit and live seafood. “The fear of pollution is changing consumer spending,” says Shaun Rein, managing director of Shanghai-based China Market Research Group.

Comvita is one beneficiary of the growing appetite for all-natural foods. The company, the biggest honey brand in New Zealand, relies on Chinese consumers clamoring for manuka honey for about 60 percent of its sales. People in China have long eaten honey to improve digestion and bolster their immune systems. Touted as a superfood for its antibacterial qualities, manuka honey is made by bees that pollinate the Leptospermum scoparium, a plant native to New Zealand and Australia.

On Tmall, the online marketplace owned by Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, two 250-gram jars of Comvita’s manuka honey sell for 849 yuan ($127), more than nine times the price of a similar amount of the company’s clover honey. The brand is popular in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai but hasn’t yet caught on in less affluent cities, says Andrew Zhu, director of Auckland-based Trace Research, so there’s a lot of room for growth. On Sept. 5, Comvita announced a joint venture with a Chinese partner to distribute its honey on the mainland.

The company reported earnings of NZ$18.5 million ($13.7 million) on sales of NZ$231 million for the 15 months ended in June. That compares with profit of NZ$10.2 million and sales of NZ$153 million in the 12 months ended in March 2015. Still, Comvita says sales have suffered because of a slowdown in the Chinese economy, which is on track to grow about 6.7 percent this year, its weakest performance since 1990. The slowdown is putting pressure on the company to find new products.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-08/china-is-coping-with-pollution-by-buying-fancy-honey

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From Tina Juarez at the Alameda County Beekeepers in California -

FLOWER POWER SOWING BEE

Dear friends and anonymized acquaintances:

Over the last year I have collected your information as a way to tell you about the ACBA 100th anniversary, well, the idea was shelved, but that doesn’t stop the need for the bees.

This summer, one of my hives caught foulbrood, I learned a lot from this heartbreaking experience, but the number ONE takeaway was the reality that bees’ diseases from virus, bacteria, protozoa and even parasite all find refuge on flowers and can jump bee species! The truth is there is not enough floral pasture for all bees.

With this knowledge, I am going to revive the FLOWER POWER SOWING BEE in Alameda county and if you live outside of this area I encourage you to plant some organic bee-friendly seeds and cover with compost to kick start the soil-carbon requestration that will absorb carbon from the air and release oxygen into the atmosphere. If you are in Alameda Co. let’s do this!

Speaking of KICKSTARTERS… Check out this campaign of Louis Masai, a well-known British spraycan artist who is coming to the USA in October.. We are hoping he will paint something for Alameda County Bee Abundance!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/louismasai/the-art-of-beeing-louis-masai-usa-mural-painting-t?ref=nav_search

Here is another story about him:

http://www.theplaidzebra.com/this-activist-is-fighting-the-decline-of-the-honey-bee-with-explosive-city-street-art/

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Begging for water gets water collector bees busy -

Thirst is a sensation that we can all relate to; however, dealing with this basic physiological impulse takes on a whole new dimension when an entire bee colony craves water.

“We are interested in the social physiology of honey bee colonies, that is, how they work as physiological units”, says Thomas Seeley, from Cornell University, USA, who was curious how the elderly bees that are tasked with gathering water know when the colony’s collective thirst is running high.

“Water collectors do not spend much, if any, time in the brood nest, and yet somehow they know when to start collecting water to control its temperature”, explains Seeley. Intrigued, the scientist and his colleagues Madeleine Ostwald and Michael Smith turned up the heat to make a bee colony thirsty. They discovered that water collector bees begin searching for water when the colony is thirsty in response to insistent begging by nest mates; and when water is available and the colony is hot, water bottle bees store water for later use. The team publishes their findings in Journal of Experimental Biology.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-begging-for-water-gets-water-collector-bees-busy


2. Help Wanted at Bee Informed. What an Opportunity! -

The Bee Informed Partnership (http://www.beeinformed.org) is seeking additional Technical Transfer Team  members to work with commercial beekeepers in the following states: Minnesota (serving beekeepers in MN and ND), Florida (serving beekeepers in FL and GA), Texas (serving beekeepers in TX and ND), and possibly two new teams in the northern Midwest and northeast states. Teams will serve beekeepers in the home states as well as when they move their colonies into almonds in California.  The salary range is $40,000-42,000 (based on experience) per year and will include full medical and retirement benefits.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-help-wanted-at-bee-informed-what-an-opportunity


3. Even Sick Bees Can Find Food and Feed The Hive -

Honey bees are hardwired to efficiently search the landscape allowing them to continue working for the greater good of their hive even when they are sick. British researchers used radar technology to show for the first time that bees remain nimble and able to search and respond to their environment even when they have infections or viruses. The team, led by Queen Mary University of London researchers, fitted a transponder, a tiny dipole aerial much lighter than the nectar or pollen normally carried by the bee, to the thorax of the bee. Co-author Prof. Juliet Osborne from the University of Exeter, said the team tracked each bee individually, picking up a radar signal form the transponder showing where and how it was flying.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-even-sick-bees-can-find-food-and-feed-the-hive


4. Rock-boring Bee Named after Ancient Pueblo Native-American Cliff Dwellers -

Utah State University (USU) graduate student Michael Orr rummaged through drawer after drawer at the National Pollinating Insects Collection until his doggedness paid off. Inside one drawer, he spied what he’d been seeking: specimens of an unnamed, fuzzy gray bee and their nests-carved into chunks of sandstone.

Could these bees have made the same sandstone nests he had observed nearly a year before at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park in Utah? Intrigued, Orr contacted Frank Parker, a retired Federal researcher who first found the specimens 40 years ago for confirmation on the drawer’s contents. He then devised a plan to learn more, subsequently piecing together clues about the bee’s identity and nesting behavior gathered from sites in seven southwestern states, including Puebloan cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-rock-boring-bee-named-after-ancient-pueblo-native-american-cliff-dwellers
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Events & Links (• New)


Oct 7 - 8: North Dakota Beekeepers Association Convention, Ramada Inn, Bismarck. Speakers include Jerry Hayes, Florida beekeeper and writer for the American Bee Journal’s “The Classroom”, and head of Monsanto’s Beeologics; Rebecca Masterman, PHD, Minnesota’s “Bee Squad”; Clint Otto, Research Ecologist, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown; ND Danielle Downey, Executive Director for Project Apis m.  Hotel reservations 701-258-7000. Info Bonnie Woodworth 701-290-4647 or bon@ndsupernet.com.

Oct 9: Honey Harvesting, 10am-noon Oakland/Berkeley CA - location to be announced. Cost: $35. Instructor Jennifer Radke. Register at http://www.biofueloasis.com/workshops

Oct 12 - 15:  Western Apicultural Society Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii. Info http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org

Oct 14 -16: BCHPA AGM on Friday, the 14th plus education days Saturday and Sunday Oct 15 and 16, at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, close to Vancouver airport. Details to come at (new website) http:// www.bcbeekeepers.com

Oct 20: World of Honey: California. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Oct 21 - 23: A case for Honey Conference, presented by Bee Culture Magazine, Bee Culture Conference Center, 640 W. Liberty St., Medina OH. Info & registration ($150) http://store.beeculture.com/a-case-for-honey-october-22nd-23rd-2016

Oct 22: Michael Palmer and The Sustainable Apiary - building a sustainable apiary, over wintering nucs, queen rearing and bee/queen genetics, 10 - 2, Central Kitsap High School, Silverdale WA. Fee $35. Info and tickets http://westsoundbees.org/ and http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2590636

Oct 28 - 29: Colorado Professional Beekeeping Association Annual Fall Meeting, Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, 1900 Ken Pratt Boulevard, Longmont, Colorado, 80501, (303) 682-2114 or http://www.PlazaConventionCenter.com for reservations. (Mention that you are a participant in the CPBA meeting to receive room discount.) Friday evening Round Table with Randy Oliver and Lyle Johnston. Saturday speaker program and casual dinner get-together. Check the CPBA Website at: http://coloradoprobeekeeping.org to purchase tickets. Cost $50.00 per person – including lunch (Friday evening free). Info CPBA Secretary Jacy at cpbeekeeping@gmail.com or Webmaster Matt at cpbeekeeping@gmail.com.

• Oct 29: Grand Opening of Minnesota's Bee and Pollinator Research Lab, 2 - 6 pm, 1634 Gortner Ave, Saint Paul Campus.   Info http://www.beelab.umn.edu.

Nov 5: Colorado State Beekeepers Association Winter Bee Meeting, Douglas County Fairgrounds. More info soon at http://coloradobeekeepers.org/winter-meeting.html

Nov 11-12:  Farm to Market conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking specialty crop growers to the next level of production, food safety, processing and marketing. Workshops on Food Acidification, Seed Saving, GAP, Market Manager and general programs.   Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com.  For more information contact Catherine at 307-633-4383.

• Nov 12: 5th Annual Beekeepers' Ball, 7 pm, Bigham Knoll Ballroom, Jacksonville, Oregon. Dance the night away to The Brothers Reed, and The Flat Five Flim Flam. Local food and beverages available for purchase. 100% of food, drink, and silent auction proceeds go to the Bee Girl organization to support our mission.  Tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-beekeepers-ball-tickets-28075878709#tickets. The Beekeepers Ball is a fundraiser for the Bee Girl organization, a nonprofit with a world-wide presence on a mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitat. Info http://www.beegirl.org.

Nov 15 - 17: California State Beekeepers Association Annual Convention, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego. Info http://www.californiastatebeekeepers.com/events.html. Book your room at https://gc.synxis.com/rez.aspx?Hotel=58621&Chain=11910&arrive=11/15/2016&depart=11/18/2016&adult=1&child=0&group=1114CSB

Nov 22 - 25: 6th Apimedica & 5th Api Quality International Symposium, Rome, Italy. Information in English is limited yet, but keep an eye on http://www.izslt.it/apicoltura/6th-apimedica-5th-apiquality-international-symposium/

• Dec 14: Bee Audacious Conference Report Back & Panel Discussion, 7:00pm – 9:00pm, Angelico Hall, 20 Olive Ave., Dominican University, San Rafael CA. Following the invitational conference, the leaders (Tom Seeley, Marla Spivak, Mark Winston, Jim Frazier, Bill Klett, Stephen Martin, Heather Mattila, Chas Mraz, Francis Ratnieks, and Neal Williams) will present the findings at a panel discussion moderated by Peter Coyote and hosted by Dominican University. Tickets are available for $20 per person through Eventbrite. More info at http://www.beeaudacious.com.

Jan 10  - 14, 2017: Joint Convention of the American Beekeeping Federation and American Honey Producers Association, Galveston, Texas.

Jan 12: Mead Making Bootcamp. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 13 - 14: Beginner's Introduction to Mead Making. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 25: World of Honey - Honey Tasting Series (North America). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Mar 18-19: Wyoming Bee College conference, Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Beginning beekeeping 101, beekeeping 102, journeyman level beekeeping, habitat conservation, butterflies and much more.  Registration is $75 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information http://www.wyomingbeecollege.org or Catherine at 307-633-4383.

Apr 18: World of Honey Tasting Series (International). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Apr 22-23: Wild West Gardening conference. Cheyenne, Wyoming. Taking gardeners and specialty crop growers to a new level of success.  Featuring; Neil Diboll, Kathy Kimbrough, Jeff Lowenfels plus many more.  Workshops and programs. Registration is $85 on http://www.eventbrite.com. For more information call Catherine at 307-633-4383.

May 5 - 6: California Honey Festival (Woodland, CA). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

May 7: 2017 Bee Symposium. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

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LINKS

These links will take you to important websites. Reprinting the items gets too voluminous, so I encourage you to visit the originals for some good reading any time.

Beargrass Press - books, guides and cards - http://www.beargrasspress.com

Bee Certain Hive Monitoring System -
   Video - https://youtu.be/9XCGk_AvPNY
   Technical papers - http://bee-certain.com/pages/technical-papers

Dr. Malcolm Sanford's Apis Information Resource News website and newsletter  http://beekeep.info/apis-newsletter.

Washington State University info on bees and New Bee Lab building fund - http://bees.wsu.edu/

http://www.BeeCityUSA.org

Bee Diverse - about bees and pollination, particularly mason bees - how to mange them using homes and mason bee tools
http://www.Beediverse.com/blog

Winnie the Pooh Guide to helping British bees: http://www.friendsofthehoneybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06 E2463_BeeBooklet_Web.pdf

From Julie, an after-school child care worker: Looking for a good information site to teach children and beginning beekeepers? Try
http://www.serenataflowers.com/pollennation/flowers-bees-honey/

UC-Davis on-line Newsletter: http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/apiculture_newsletter.html

Apis Information Resource News - PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE from Apis Newsletter by Dr. Malcolm Sanford. The newsletter is still found at  http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=9296a3543dc631c8a50086511&id=ec6bf7d517
It can also be accessed through http://apis.shorturl.com

http://beecare.bayer.com/service-center/publications/beenow-magazin

California State Department of Food and Agriculture blog - http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov

Genetic literacy - http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org

Randy Oliver website -  http://scientificbeekeeping.com

Honey Bee Health Coalition - http://www.honeybeehealthcoalition.org

Pollinator Stewardship Council - http://pollinatorstewardship.org/?page_id=349, with the most recent one posting at the top of the page

Project Apis m. - http://www.ProjectApism.org

Washington State University on bee health - http://www.extension.org/bee_health

WSU 'Green Times' newsletter - http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/blog/category/green-times

Colorado State University Pollinator Protection office - http://www.cepep.colostate.edu/Pollinator%20Protection/index.html

Infographics on beekeeping stats, facts, management and honey labels - http://www.foodpackaginglabels.net/honey-labels

 
 


Items of interest to beekeepers SEPTEMBER 17 2016
Friday, September 23, 2016



IN THIS ISSUE

PROCRASTINATORS REJOICE: WAS HOTEL DISCOUNT EXTENDED TO SEPT. 26
BAYER, MONSANTO SIGN MERGER AGREEMENT
JOB ANNOUNCEMENTS
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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PROCRASTINATORS REJOICE: WAS HOTEL DISCOUNT EXTENDED TO SEPT. 26

If you haven’t yet booked your room at our conference hotel, the Ala Moana Hotel, we’re pleased tell you the discount deadline has been extended. Book on or before Sept. 26, to secure the conference room rate of $159 (plus tax) per night – Kona Tower, and $179 (+ tax)/night for rooms in the Waikiki Tower. Come join us and stay where the beekeeper action is!

Make your online reservations NOW. Or by phone, call the hotel directly at (800) 367-6025 or (808) 955-4811. Make sure to reference the Western Apicultural Society to obtain the group reservation rate.
A new speaker bios and schedule has been posted

Download the PDF at http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/waswp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Speakers-Bios-and-Tentative-Schedule-Sept-10-2016.pdf (3.6mb). We have an impressive line up of experts, coming from near and far to share their knowledge.

Still need to register?

Register online for the conference - http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/waswp/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/WAS-2016-Conf-Registration-form-2-1.pdf

All other information: http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/2016-conference

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BAYER, MONSANTO SIGN MERGER AGREEMENT

1. Bayer and Monsanto have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Bayer will acquire Monsanto for USD 128 per share in an all-cash transaction. Monsanto’s Board of Directors, Bayer’s Board of Management and Bayer’s Supervisory Board have unanimously approved the agreement.

http://www.presse.bayer.de/BayNews/Baynews.nsf/id/ADSF8F-Bayer-and-Monsanto-to-Create-a-Global-Leader-in-Agriculture


2. Bayer buys Monsanto for $66 bln.
By Greg Roumeliotis and Ludwig Burger

German drug and crop chemical maker Bayer clinched a $66 billion takeover of U.S. seeds company Monsanto on Wednesday, ending months of wrangling with a third sweetened offer that marks the largest all-cash deal on record.

The $128-a-share deal, up from Bayer's previous offer of $127.50 a share, has emerged as the signature deal in a consolidation race that has roiled the agribusiness sector in recent years, due to shifting weather patterns, intense competition in grain exports and a souring global farm economy.

"Bayer’s competitors are merging, so not doing this deal would mean having a competitive disadvantage," said fund manager Markus Manns of Union Investment, one of Bayer’s top 12 investors.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-monsanto-m-a-bayer-deal-idUSKCN11K128

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From Dr Christina M. Grozinger at POLLInATOR-L

JOB ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. via Dr. Diana L. Cox-Foster, ARS, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
    Research Entomologist - Molecular Insect Systematist
    Agricultural Research Service
    Full time, permanent
    Logan, Utah
    Closes Sept 30th
    Details: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/450281200/

2. via Dr. Robert Cox, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
    Assistant Professor, Evolutionary Ecology
    Department of Biology
    University of Virginia
    Closes October 14
    Details: To apply, submit a candidate profile online through Jobs@UVA and search for posting number 0619498. Electronically attach the following: cover letter, curriculum vitae, statements of research interests and teaching philosophy, and contact information for three references.
• Further information about the Department of Biology and Mountain Lake Biological Station can be found at http://bio.virginia.edu and http://mlbs.virginia.edu.
• Inquiries about the position should be directed to the Chair of the search committee, Robert Cox, rmc3u@virginia.edu
• Questions regarding the application process and Jobs@UVA should be directed to Richard Haverstrom, rkh6j@virginia.edu

3. via Dr. Peggy O'Day, University of California, Merced, CA
    Open Rank Faculty Positions in Sustainable Food, Water and Agriculture Assistant, Associate or Full Professor
    University of California, Merced
    Open Aug 25, 2016 through June 30, 2017
    Positions are open until filled, consideration of applications begins Nov 1.
    Details: https://aprecruit.ucmerced.edu/apply/JPF00383

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Earthworms are changing forest floors, and reducing the diversity of forest floor flora. Another piece of the honey bee habitat story -

Invading European earthworms are being blamed for a decline in plant diversity in North American forests.

German researchers, working with colleagues in the United States and Canada, say they have found that in invaded forests, the vegetation on the forest floor has changed dramatically.

The species diversity of native plants is declining, while the amount of non-native plants is increasing along with the amount of grasses.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-earthworms-are-changing-forest-floors-and-reducing-the-diversity-of-forest-floor-flora-another-piece-of-the-honey-bee-habitat-story


2. Another Piece In the Pollinator Habitat Puzzle. High cash rents and low commodity prices are driving producers and landowners to well-paying CRP ground -

At the end of September, contracts for nearly 1.7 million acres of land enrolled in the CRP will expire. Getting land into the CRP is more competitive than ever with low commodity prices and fewer CRP acres available because of the 2014 Farm Bill CRP reduction of 8 million acres.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-another-piece-in-the-pollinator-habitat-puzzle-high-cash-rents-and-low-commodity-prices-are-driving-producers-and-landowners-to-well-paying-crp-ground


3. Safe, Edible Bottle Coating Empties Every Last Drop of Honey, Syrup, Ketchup -

It is nearly impossible to get every last drop of liquid foods out of their containers. Ketchup and syrup are among the worst offenders. In fact, up to 15% of liquid foods can be wasted due to such inefficient packaging.

Superhydrophobic coatings, which are extremely water-repellent, have been proposed as a fix. A few years ago, a company called LiquiGlide made a big splash (no pun intended) with a video that showed ketchup sliding effortlessly out of a bottle. Their technology employs a “liquid-impregnated surface,” which as its name implies, involves a specialized surface that is able to contain within it a second liquid layer. In 2015, LiquiGlide signed a deal to license its technology to a European company that makes mayonnaise.

Now a separate team of engineers, mostly from Colorado State University, has devised its own solution to the world’s sticky container problem. Their superhydrophobic material is “fabricated with FDA-approved, edible materials using a simple, low-cost, scalable, single-step process.”

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-safe-edible-bottle-coating-empties-every-last-drop-of-honey-syrup-ketchup


4. 2017 Bee Culture Calendar Photo Contest Closes October 3, 2016 -

What honey bees do at home is the theme, so anything bees in the hive is what we are looking for. Resting, feeding, the queen, workers, drones, honey comb, honey, pollen, guarding, drinking, sleeping, making comb. Anything Bees Do At Home. Send your photos as jpgs to Kim@Beeculture.com ASAP for your chance to be a winner and have a spot on the greatest beekeeping calendar there is. Hurry!!!

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-2017-bee-culture-calendar-photo-contest-closes-october-3-2016


Items of interest to beekeepers SEPTEMBER 10 2016
Thursday, September 15, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

2016 WAS CONFERENCE
A SWARM OF CONTROVERSY - IN THEIR STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL AGAINST KILLER MITES, BEES GET AN UNLIKELY ALLY: MONSANTO
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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My apologies for missing last week's "Items…" as illness knocked me flat for a few days. Maybe it was a good time, as the flow of material to pass on slowed to almost nothing over the end of summer, the holiday long weekend and the start of the new school year. Hopefully, everything returns to normal now and I will continue to receive your news.
Fran

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2016 WAS CONFERENCE

Please be assured the 2016 WAS Conference is going ahead though we are still waiting for detailed information about the speakers and the Conference Program.

SEPTEMBER 12TH is the last day the hotel will guarantee the conference room rate of $159 (plus tax) per night – Kona Tower, and $179 (+ tax)/night for rooms in the Waikiki Tower. After that, it is on an "as available" basis only. Make your online reservations NOW, online at https://aws.passkey.com/event/15299495/owner/11602/home or through http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/2016-conference-location. Or by phone, calling the hotel directly at (800) 367-6025 or (808) 955-4811. Make sure to reference the Western Apicultural Society to obtain the group reservation rate.

More information will be circulated as soon as available.

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An in-depth study of the work of former Florida Apiary Specialist Jerry Hayes -

A SWARM OF CONTROVERSY - IN THEIR STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL AGAINST KILLER MITES, BEES GET AN UNLIKEY ALLY: MONSANTO

“Make a fist,” says Jerry Hayes, waving his own in the air.

“Now put it someplace on you.” About 150 people, the audience at a honeybee panel at the 2014 South by Southwest Eco conference, place their fists on their shoulders or collarbones. “Proportionally, this is how large a varroa mite is compared to a honeybee’s body,” Hayes says. The reddish-brown parasite, just a dot to the naked eye, drains the life out of bees and delivers a deadly cargo of viruses. “It would be like having a parasitic rat on you, sucking your blood.”

Full article by Hannah Nordhaus at http://www.wired.com/2016/08/jerry-hayes-how-to-save-the-bees-monsanto

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. A Look into the Cell: There’s A Lot More To Honey Storage Than You Thought! -

Honey bees, Apis species, obtain carbohydrates from nectar and honeydew. These resources are ripened into honey in wax cells that are capped for long-term storage. These stores are used to overcome dearth periods when foraging is not possible. Despite the economic and ecological importance of honey, little is known about the processes of its production by workers. Here, we monitored the usage of storage cells and the ripening process of honey in free-flying A. mellifera colonies. We provided the colonies with solutions of different sugar concentrations to reflect the natural influx of nectar with varying quality. Since the amount of carbohydrates in a solution affects its density, we used computer tomography to measure the sugar concentration of cell content over time. The data show the occurrence of two cohorts of cells with different provisioning and ripening dynamics. The relocation of the content of many cells before final storage was part of the ripening process, because sugar concentration of the content removed was lower than that of content deposited. The results confirm the mixing of solutions of different concentrations in cells and show that honey is an inhomogeneous matrix. The last stage of ripening occurred when cell capping had already started, indicating a race against water absorption. The storage and ripening processes as well as resource use were context dependent because their dynamics changed with sugar concentration of the food. Our results support hypotheses regarding honey production proposed in earlier studies and provide new insights into the mechanisms involved.

For the rest of this Plos One article, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0161059


2. Bees On The Road Need More, and Better Food. We Knew That, But Here’s Proof -

Travel can adversely affect bee health and lifespan, but North Carolina University says the impact of transporting honey bees to pollinate various crop can be reduced by moving bee colonies into patches with readily available food or by providing supplemental nutrition when there are few flowers for honey bees to visit.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bees-road-need-better-food-knew-heres-proof


3. FDA Issues Direct Final Rule Revising Categorization of Animal Drugs Used in Medicated Feeds -

August 23, 2016

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today a direct final rule to ensure that drugs used in animal feed remain available for therapeutic purposes in food-producing minor species after changes are made to remove the production claims from these drugs.

In December 2013, the FDA took a significant step forward in addressing antimicrobial resistance by publishing Guidance #213, which calls on animal drug sponsors of medically important antimicrobials used in food-producing animals to withdraw production indications (e.g., “growth promotion” or “feed efficiency”) as approved uses from their labels, and to bring the remaining therapeutic uses of these products under the oversight of a veterinarian by the end of December 2016. All of the affected animal drug sponsors agreed to make the recommended changes to their products within the timeframe specified in the guidance.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-fda-issues-direct-final-rule-revising-categorization-animal-drugs-used-medicated-feeds


4. Florida citrus breeders squeezed for time, as Greening takes out Sweet Orange varieties. Orange Blossom honey?

The sweet orange is not only the most widely planted tree fruit worldwide; it is by far the most economically significant crop to Florida. Since the discovery of the original sweet orange, advantageous mutations have been identified, clonally propagated, and introduced. Though the list of sweet orange varieties presents a range of traits and characteristics, genetic variation of the sweet orange genome remains quite narrow. Tremendous expansion of orange plantings and the development of multiple market channels resulted in efficiencies, but also has contributed to the creation of a monoculture. Sweet orange varieties have proven particularly susceptible to HLB.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-florida-citrus-breeders-squeezed-time-greening-takes-sweet-orange-varieties-orange-blossom-honey


5. The Buzz about Honey Bee Viruses. If you wondered about controlling Varroa, wonder no more…

In this short review, Laura Brutscher, AJ Menamin and Dr. Michelle Flenniken present their current understanding of the role of viruses on honey bee health and address some overarching questions in honey bee virology, edited by Rebecca Ellis Dutch, University of Kentucky.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-buzz-honey-bee-viruses-wondered-controlling-varroa-wonder-no


6. Yucatan Honey Production drops by 70% due to weather -

While some places in the world suffer terribly with drought, such has not been the case this year in Yucatan. Excessive rainfall and heat have had a negative impact on the flowering of plants that feed the bees. This, of course, results in decreased honey production. Usually when this happens, Yucatan state provides the beekeepers with sugar to feed the bees. Unfortunately, the price of sugar has gone up to the point that the state cannot completely underwrite the Yucatan beekeeping industry. This has led to a drop in the number of beekeepers from 12,000 to 10,000 and a drop in the number of hives from 240,000 to 200,000 since last year. That may not sound too bad, but the actual honey production has fallen by 70%. Since beekeepers do not have an alternate crop, this is a serious situation. Hopefully, the fall flowers will be abundant and this little short period will be just a bad memory within three or four months.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-yucatan-honey-production-drops-70-due-weather


7. Biofungicide receives registration for use on stone fruit and almonds -

Westbridge Agricultural Products announced that the California Department of Pesticide Regulation has approved the addition of stone fruit and almonds to the Botector label. California registration now provides stone fruit and almond growers with a new tool in preventing blossom blight and brown, a destructive disease that can significantly impact crop quality and yield.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-biofungicide-receives-registration-use-stone-fruit-almonds


8. Land Use Changes threaten 40% of U.S. Commercial bees -

The heart of the American commercial honey bee industry is under threat from land use changes.

A U.S. Geological Survey study says the Northern Great Plains of North and South Dakota – which support more than 40% of U.S. commercial honey bee colonies, are quickly becoming less conducive to commercial beekeeping as a result of land-use changes.

The USGS scientists found that landscape features favored by beekeepers for honey bee colony and apiary locations are decreasing in the region, and crops actively avoided by beekeepers, such as corn and soybeans, are becoming more common in areas with higher apiary density.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-land-use-changes-threaten-40-u-s-commercial-bees


9. South Carolina county inadvertently kills millions of honey bees -

Bees have turned out to be an unexpected casualty in the fight against Zika virus. After Dorchester County, South Carolina, dispensed a pesticide by plane Sunday targeting potential Zika-carrying mosquitoes, honey bees started dropping dead by the thousands. At one bee farm in Summerville, South Carolina, 46 hives containing a total of about 2.5 million bees died almost immediately after the area was sprayed.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-south-carolina-county-inadvertently-kills-millions-honey-bees


10. If you’re going to sell imported honey, don’t hide it, Flaunt It! -

To kick off National Honey Month, Buzz + Bloom honeys are making their journey from hives around the world to homes across America with the launch of premier, craft and spreadable honeys. Carefully preserving the honey making process, the new honey brand is dedicated to capturing the natural and diverse goodness of the honey bee’s surroundings. Sourced from its trusted beekeepers in the United States, Brazil, India, Vietnam, Ethiopia and around the globe, each Buzz + Bloom variety offers an unparalleled taste experience, highlighting the unique flavors of its country of origin.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-youre-going-sell-imported-honey-dont-hide-flaunt


11. Purdue entomologist awarded USDA grant for neonicotinoid research -

Purdue University entomologist Ian Kaplan and his team have received a $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture to fund their research into the environmental, ecological and socioeconomic effects of neonicotinoid pesticide use.

The five-year grant is part of the USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative, a program providing funds for research in plant breeding and genetics, pests and disease, production efficiency and profitability, technology and food safety hazards.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-purdue-entomologist-awarded-usda-grant-neonicotinoid-research


12. UMass Amherst research finds untreated lawns yield unexpectedly rich bee species mix -

Declining populations of pollinators is a major concern to ecologists because bees, butterflies and other insects play a critical role in supporting healthy ecosystems. Now a new study from urban ecologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests that when urban and suburban lawns are left untreated with herbicides, they provide a diversity of “spontaneous” flowers such as dandelions and clover that offer nectar and pollen to bees and other pollinators.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-umass-amherst-research-finds-untreated-lawns-yield-unexpectedly-rich-bee-species-mix
 


Items of interest to beekeepers AUGUST 27 2016
Thursday, September 1, 2016

IN THIS ISSUE
Supplied by Fran Bach  Editor of both WAS and Washington State Beekeepers newsletters
WAS CONFERENCE EARLYBIRD DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 1!

Aloha! Our annual conference is fast approaching and now is the time to register. The early registration deadline is SEPTEMBER 1st, after which the conference cost will increase by $25 for all participants. We sincerely hope you can join us this fall in Honolulu Oct 13-15.

One of several international speakers at WAS 2016, Dr. Stephen Martin (Chair of Animal Ecology, the School of Enviroment and Life Sciences,  University of Salford, Manchester, UK), a world leader with over 25 years experience in bee diseases, will present  “A Brief History of Honeybee Viral pathogens”.

His research program uses social insect systems (ants, bees & wasps) to investigate the role of pathogens and pests on their population dynamics and the evolution of chemical recognition systems.

Before moving to Salford University in 2012, Dr. Martin spent seven years in Japan studying the population dynamics of hornets, followed by seven years working with the National Bee Unit (England and Wales) on the impact of the Varroa mite, a serious pest of honey bees. In 2000, he moved to Sheffield University in South Yorkshire to continue honey bee research and start a new chemical ecology program along with Keele University in Staffordshire. His research has lead to almost 200 publications including ones in Nature and Science.

Current research is focused on understanding the molecular changes that give rise to virulence in an emerging viral pathogen, using the Varroa mite, honey bee, deformed wing virus system and also discovering the molecular mechanisms that underlie the production of chemical recognition cues in ants and honeybees, as its role in kin recognition. This last includes work in Hawaii and the continental US.

Remember that the deadline to book hotel rooms at the Conference rate of $159 (Kona Tower) to $179 (Waikiki Tower), based on single or double occupancy is SEPTEMBER 12th. Room requests after that date will be confirmed based on availability. Hotel rooms in Hawaii are at a premium so don't wait to book.

Reservations can be made online at https://aws.passkey.com/event/15299495/owner/11602/home or http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/2016-conference-location. Or you can call the following numbers and reference the Western Apicultural Society group:  (800) 367-6025 (U.S. & Canada), (800) 446-8990 (Neighbor Islands), or direct (808) 955-4811 Group Reservations.

See all other available conference information on the WAS website at http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/conference

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From Danielle Downey, Executive Director of Project Apis m -

PAm IN CANADA

Due to our great success with Costco's investment in bee research in the USA, we are expanding the program to Canada! We recently began funding several Canadian research projects, and are very excited to be currently accepting applicants for a PAm/Costco Scholar. With this investment in the future, we aim to secure quality research partners in our industry. We encourage PhD. students with honey bee focused projects enrolled in a Canadian program with honey bee focused projects to apply for this prestigious $60K award! Find more information on our website (http://projectapism.org/?p=2372), the deadline is soon!


PAm in HAWAII

Keeping bees in Hawaii makes good sense.  No winter means no break in the brood cycle.  There are abundant and diverse nectar and pollen sources year-round.  For this reason, Hawaii is ranked first in the nation for pounds of honey per hive, and many queen bees are produced there (about 80% of Canada's queen supply and 25% of mainland USA supply).  

Varroa didn't arrive in Hawaii until 2007, when the familiar mite-y disaster began again.  Not long afterward some efforts began there with Varroa resistant bees, importing semen from USDA-ARS Baton Rouge Bee lab.  Ever since, there has been a concerted effort to evaluate and improve this stock in Hawaii.  

The effort draws on the USDA lab and several of the researchers who worked on breeding VSH bees there (Danka, Harbo, Harris).  Also there is David Thomas, a passionate beekeeper in Hawaii who houses the project and built facilities specifically to incubate this research.  A European bee breeder, BartJan Fernhout, is using the same techniques to find the VSH trait in known European breeder stocks.  So far, they have identified VSH Buckfast and Carniolans.  

In Hawaii, there are over 500 colonies in the study, with 90 breeders and 150 instrumentally inseminated queens at any given time to evaluate for their traits.  There are also several thousand production colonies with F1 queens.  It's slow going, but each round brings us closer to a better bee!  Watch for PAm blog updates about this research project.

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BIG AGRICULTURE HAS THE CHANCE TO HELP OR HINDER OUR MOST IMPORTANT POLLINATORS, RESEARCH ARGUES

New research published August 9th in PeerJ has identified the most serious future threats to, but also opportunities for pollinating species, which provide essential agricultural and ecological services across the globe.

From the expansion of corporate agriculture, new classes of insecticides and emerging viruses, pollinators are facing changing and increasingly challenging risks. In response, researchers are calling for global policies of proactive prevention, rather than reactive mitigation to ensure the future of these vital species.

The study was conducted by an international group of scientists, government researchers, and NGOs led by Professor Mark Brown from Royal Holloway University of London, supported by the EU-funded network SuperB.

Prevention, not panic -

They used a method of horizon scanning to identify future threats that require preventative action, and opportunities to be taken advantage of, in order to protect the insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles that pollinate wild flowers and crops.

“35% of global crop production, and 85% of wild flowering plants rely on hard-working pollinators to thrive. We are increasingly adopting practices that damage these species. Then, we rather absurdly look to mitigate their loss, rather than prevent it in the first place,” explained Professor Brown.

“This is an expensive and back-to-front solution for a problem that has very real consequences for our well-being,” Brown continued, “Most research focuses on the battles already being fought, not on the war to come.”

Priority pollinator changes -

Out of a long list of sixty risks to, and opportunities for pollinators the team identified 6 high priority issues, including:
1)     Corporate control of agriculture at the global scale
2)     Sulfoximine, a novel systemic class of insecticides
3)     New emerging viruses
4)     Increased diversity of managed pollinator species
5)     Effects of extreme weather under climate change
6)     Reductions in chemical use in non-agricultural settings

The research highlights consolidation of the agri-food industries as a major potential threat to pollinators, with a small numbers of companies now having unprecedented control of land.

The rise in transnational land deals for crop production, for example the use of large areas of Brazil for soybean export to China, now occupies over 40 million hectares.

“The homogenization of agriculture effectively means that corporations are applying blanket production systems to landscapes that are vastly different, significantly reducing the diversity and number of native pollinators,” explained Sarina Jepsen, Director of Endangered Species and Aquatic Programs, The Xerces Society and Deputy Chair, IUCN Bumblebee Specialist Group.

Positives on the horizon -

Professor Brown continued, “However, it is not all doom and gloom. For example, such global domination provides an opportunity to influence land-management to make it favourable for pollinators at huge scales, but this would require the agri-food industry to work closely together with NGOs and researchers.”

Speaking about the influence of new insecticides, co-author, Lynn Dicks from the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge said, “Identifying environmental issues in advance, before they become large scale, allows society to plan responses and reduce environmental risks before they are upon us. It is a routine part of strategic planning in financial management, and it should also be routine in environmental planning and policy-making. Many of the pollinator issues we identified on the horizon can be responded to right now, for example by working with corporations already controlling large areas of agricultural land to develop pollinator management strategies, or by planning research on the sub-lethal effects of sulfoxaflor before it is widely used.”

However the study also found more explicitly positive opportunities for pollinators. For example, the current and future reduction of chemical use in non-agricultural land, gardens and parks, could be fruitful for pollinating populations.

“We must continue to encourage these practices across industry, government, and the public, so that we give our important pollinating species the support they need to do their vital work,” concluded Professor Brown.

http://phys.org/news/2016-08-big-agriculture-chance-hinder-important.html

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From the International Bee Research Institute, UK -

WINTER LOSSES OF CHINA'S HONEY BEE COLONIES ARE LOW

Since concern about widespread honey bee colony losses began ten years ago, there have been surveys carried out to assess winter losses in North America and many European countries. So far, the picture in China, the largest beekeeping country in the world, has been unclear. Now for the first time, information about winter losses from a large-scale survey carried out from 2010-13 has been published.

In this new paper published in the Journal of Apicultural Research, Zhiguang Liu and Wei Shi from the Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing and colleagues, report on a three year survey using standard questionnaires developed by the international COLOSS Association. In total, they received 3,090 responses, including 485 from part-time beekeepers, 2,216 from sideline beekeepers, and 389 from commercial beekeepers. Between them these beekeepers managed some 140,000 colonies, that is about 2.4 % of China’s six million colonies.

The results showed that colony losses were generally low (on average 10.1%), compared to published results from Europe and the USA. There were however variations between years (ranging from 8.5 to 12.0 %), between provinces (ranging from 2.5 to 19.0%), and between different sizes of beekeeping operation (ranging from 7.6 to 12.1%).

The authors speculate that reasons for the lower losses compared to those of other countries may be due to a high genetic diversity in their honey bees, regular replacement of queen bees by the beekeepers, and because the average size of beekeeping operation is small, meaning that beekeepers can pay close attention to their hives, in particular to the way they control the parasitic varroa mite. The authors also discuss why losses may be consistently higher in certain regions.

IBRA Science Director Norman Carreck says: “For the first time we now have a good picture of honey bee colony losses in China, the world’s biggest beekeeping country. Further studies of why losses there appear to be relatively low may assist our understanding of widespread colony losses elsewhere”.

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From the California State Beekeepers News Updates -

VARROA MITES - A COMMUNITY PROBLEM (Apis Information Resource Center)

Many beekeepers are individualists. Experience trying to get beekeepers to act in unison reveals at best a laissez faire attitude about cooperating together on certain projects. In fact, the history of associations and other groups dedicated to beekeeping issues more often than not shows that beekeepers actively work against each other. Evidence from seminars and other educational events also supports the thesis that beekeepers are content to go about their business independent of their neighbors.

To non beekeepers, the individuality of many beekeepers seems strange, for honey bees are just the opposite. They are the most social of creatures. A single individual in a beehive, be it queen, drone or worker, means nothing. Survival depends on working together for the common good. If this is a good strategy for bees, then why do beekeepers not subscribe to it?

http://beekeep.info/a-treatise-on-modern-honey-bee-management/managing-diseases-and-pests/varroa-short-history/varroa-mites-a-community-problem

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PLANTING FORAGE PAYS OFF WITH STRONGER HIVES, ENHANCED POLLINATION (Almond Board of California)

Planting bee forage in and around his almond orchard has paid off for East Oakdale grower Jeff McPhee, who farms 400 acres of almonds with partner Matt Friedrich at Lakeview Ranch. Every year, he plants a mixture of mustards in a field next to the orchard, and every other year, he seeds clover and vetch with a no-till drill in orchard middles. Seed is provided by Project Apis m., which has developed seed mixtures that are particularly nutritious and attractive to honey bees.

Bee forage planted in the fall bloom until long after almond pollination is complete, providing ample, nutritious forage for honey bees through April.

In return, McPhee’s beekeeper, Trevor Tauzer of Tauzer Apiaries, brings McPhee his strongest hives, and makes sure bees are available both early in the season, to catch the early bloom, and late, to ensure maximum pollination.

http://www.almonds.com/newsletters/outlook/planting-forage-pays-stronger-hives-enhanced-pollination

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HONEY BEES HEALTHY, TAXPAYERS STUNG (The New American)

One year and $82 million after the Obama administration launched its Pollinator Health Task Force, honey bee colonies are doing great — just as they were one year before the advent of Obama's costly initiative. In fact, 2014 witnessed a 20-year high in numbers of managed honey-producing colonies, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

So why do we need a Pollinator Health Task Force? Obama's excuse is that honeybees are dying in record numbers, jeopardizing both honey production and $15 billion worth of pollinated food crops.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/23867-honey-bees-healthy-taxpayers-stung

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Sent by Todd Myers, Washington State -

REAL WORLD RISK TO HONEY BEES IS LOW

While neonicotinoid pesticides can harm honeybees, a new study by Washington State University researchers shows that the substances pose little risk to bees in real-world settings. The team of entomologists studied apiaries in urban, rural and agricultural areas in Washington, looking at potential honeybee colony exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides from pollen foraging.

http://feedstuffs.com/story-real-world-risk-honeybees-low-45-145349

The results were published this spring in the Journal of Economic Entomology (http://jee.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/01/19/jee.tov397).

A summary of this study by lead author Dr. Timothy Lawrence, assistant professor and director of Washington State Island County Extension, was published in the May issue of the Washington State Beekeepers Association newsletter (http://wasba.org/beekeeping-news-info/newsletters)

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Apis Information Resource News - latest from Dr. Malcolm Sanford

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-apis-information-resource-news


2. Nicaragua Bee Project -

Have you ever wondered what an Africanized bee colony looks like? Have you ever wanted to see how beekeeping occurs in a developing country? Well, now is your chance. The Nicaragua Bee Project is traveling down to Nicaragua on October 22 through November 5, 2016 to conduct training workshops for new and existing beekeepers.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-nicaragua-bee-project

3. Mann Lake’s Thomas’ Break Ground On Paws and Claws Animal Rescue and Resort Project

Smiles, applause, even happy tears were evident at the Aug. 11 groundbreaking for Paws and Claws Rescue and Resort south of Hackensack.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-mann-lakes-thomas-break-ground-paws-claws-animal-rescue-resort-project


4. Brexit and England’s honey bees -

SURBITON, England – The honey bees buzzing inside the hives in this community garden outside of London appear blissfully oblivious of the follies of man. But the political drama that has engulfed their human keepers since Britain voted to leave the European Union could ensnare them as well.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-brexit-englands-honey-bees

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Not specifically bee-related but great reading anyway -

THE AGE OF STUPID
By Dr. Frank Schnell, a retired toxicologist for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the CDC, in Atlanta, Georgia, and a member of the American Council on Science and Health Scientific Advisory Panel

When, exactly, was the Age of Stupid? Was it when people practiced human sacrifice to placate the brutal gods they worshiped? Was it when people believed the Earth was flat and everything else in the universe revolved around them?  Or, was it when people thought that all diseases were due to an imbalance of the four humours and could be treated by bleeding the patient?

Maybe it was when they believed in witches and burned them alive at the stake for the on-lookers’ entertainment and spiritual enlightenment.  Or perhaps it occurred more recently when people took “comet pills” to protect themselves from cyanogen gas in the tail of Halley’s Comet, which they believed would envelope the Earth and cause mass extinction.

Surely, the Age of Stupid was in full flower when people believed in Piltdown man and perpetual motion machines, zero-threshold environmental toxins, and catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Or it’s the Age of Stupid today.

To paraphrase my favorite lines from the 1997 movie, “Men in Black”:

1,500 years ago, everyone knew the Earth was at the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everyone knew the Earth was flat. 40 years ago, everyone knew that dioxin in the dirt was killing people.  And, today, everyone knows that Global Warming will destroy civilization. Imagine what we will “know” tomorrow.

Given the timeless nature of humanity’s determination to embrace outrageously stupid ideas, maybe The Age of Stupid isn’t a specific time at all, but rather a persistent condition of the human race which has expressed itself throughout human history, and continues to do so, today.

Yet the mere fact of human progress, as slow and grudging as it is, testifies to the existence, and positive influence, of at least a few individuals, at every stage of human development, even during our stupid phases. To paraphrase “Men in Black” again: People in the aggregate are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it; but individuals can be smart in any age.

Thus, even as the general public was burning witches, downing “comet pills”, or fretting over the imagined hazards of the molecular basis of all life on this planet, there has always been a tiny minority of smart people who busied themselves with figuring out what really made things work the way they do, and how that knowledge might be applied to making everyone’s life a little bit better.

It has been an up-hill battle, though, because in every Age, there has also been another minority of smart people who sought, instead, to acquire wealth and power by playing on the ignorance & irrational fears of the majority. For the sake of this discussion, let’s call the first minority “scientists” and the second minority “salesmen.” Ideally, the former have no hidden, personal agenda while the latter always do.

Assuming, then, that The Age of Stupid has stretched from the Dawn of Man to the Present Day, the real question boils down to one of how to tell the difference between a real scientist and a salesman with a political agenda.  Toward, that end, allow me to offer the following guidelines which, as a retired scientist, myself, I feel eminently qualified to share.

A good scientist would rather live with an unpleasant truth than embrace a comfortable lie.

Good scientists do not suppress debate, they insist on it.

Good scientists with opposing views attack one another’s arguments, but not each other.

A good scientist knows that skepticism, whether or not it is the sign of a heretic, is actually essential to the practice of good science.

A good scientist would rather be right than be President.

A good scientist knows that 2 + 2 = 4, always has, and always will, no matter who occupies the positions of power in politics or culture.

A good scientist knows that science is not a democracy, that scientific truth is not determined by a show of hands, and that consensus and authority are there to be challenged, not to be accepted without question.  (If that were not the case, then I wasted a lot of time and money in graduate school, when all I really needed to do was brush up on my Aristotle.)

Anyone who is familiar with the defining characteristics of good scientists can always tell whether it is actually raining, or someone is just peeing on their leg.  Anyone who consults the work of good scientists on matters of science, instead of heeding the irrelevant rants of Hollywood celebrities and media pundits on TV, will be much more accurately informed than those who do otherwise. And, finally, those who persist in behaving like witless sheep will be forever doomed to getting fleeced, on a regular basis, by the politicians, celebrities, and others whom they permit to do their thinking for them.

Doubtless, investigating the facts for themselves would require a lot more mental effort than most people are willing to expend, especially to understand a topic that half of them don’t really care about, anyway, but assuming that you think the global economy and modern industrialized society are worth preserving, the real consequences of not learning the scientific facts are actually much graver than the imaginary consequences of “man-made” global warming, for example.  For, make no mistake, the priests of political correctness and other dangerous ideologues exercise more intense and widespread influence on Science today than at any other time since the Middle Ages.

And, under such conditions, ignorance will most assuredly not be Bliss.

http://acsh.org/news/2016/08/19/the-age-of-stupid/

 


Items of interest to beekeepers AUGUST 20 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

FRAUD ALERT – 2017 NORTH AMERICAN BEEKEEPING CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW
PROFESSIONAL JOB POSTINGS
DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR BAYER COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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Passed on by Joy Pendell and Carlen Jupe in the CSBA (California) New Update -

FRAUD ALERT – 2017 NORTH AMERICAN BEEKEEPING CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW

“We hope you are making plans to join us in Galveston for the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, a joint conference of the American Beekeeping Federation, the American Honey Producers Association and the Canadian Honey Council. It has been brought to our attention that a Housing Company (which is not affiliated with the conference) is contacting potential conference attendees and advising that the conference hotel is almost sold out and that you need to make reservations with them immediately. This is not accurate and appears to be a SCAM! No one should or will be calling you to make your hotel reservation. All reservations must be made directly with the hotel via telephone or online link (please visit the conference website at http://www.nabeekeepingconference.com for reservation links). We are not sure how this organization obtained conference attendee contact information. It appears they may be phishing websites that attendees have visited (i.e. San Luis Resort, conference website, etc.). We are working with the San Luis Resort to see what can be done to protect conference attendees from this SCAM.

Should you be contacted by this organization, please try to get as much information as possible (name of caller, organization name, rate offered, etc.) and pass this information along to info@nabeekeepingconference.com. Please do not give them any of your personal or credit card information. Thank you!”

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From Dr. Christina Grozinger via POLLINATOR-L list

PROFESSIONAL JOB POSTINGS

I am happy to announce the 2 pollinator health SY positions in Davis are advertised on USAJobs as of Monday morning:

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/447618200/

DAVIS, CA - The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, invites applications for two Research Entomologist positions GS-12 – 15 ($76,142.00 to $160,300.00 per annum) located in Davis, California.   The incumbents will conduct research on factors contributing to honey bee colony loss. The incumbents will develop long-term longitudinal studies of spatial and temporal changes in bee populations exposed to a number of abiotic and biotic stresses and management practices. The incumbents will publish research results in peer-reviewed journals and give research presentations at national and international scientific meetings and conferences. Research positions have an open-ended promotion potential.  Salary is commensurate with experience.  Citizenship restrictions apply.  Please view the complete text announcement and application instructions using the following link: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/447618200/

This vacancy announcement is open from August 15, 2016 to September 12, 2016.  For information on the research program contact Paul Pratt at Paul.Pratt@ars.usda.gov

AUGUSTA, ME - Posting vacancy for an Entomologist III (Apiarist) from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry in Augusta. Grade/Salary 27  $44,033.60 - $59,779.20. Open August 18 to September 9. Minimum qualifications -   Seven-year  combination  of  experience,  training  and education in the field of entomology, forestry, biology, or related field.
 
Preference given  to candidates with at least three years of bee keeping experience. Applicants must  possess  a  Pesticide  Applicator  License  as  issued  by  the  Board  of  Pesticides Control prior to attaining permanent status.

All NRSC Departments job postings can be viewed at http://www.maine.gov/nrsc/jobs/index.shtml.

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From Colin Dunn at Porter Novelli for Bayer -

DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR BAYER COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP AWARD

I wanted to alert you that Bayer CropScience is extending the deadline for applications for the 2016 Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award. Originally due August 19, applications will now be accepted until August 26, 2016. I hope you will alert your members who may be interested in applying.

The Bayer Bee Care Community Leadership Award recognizes a partnership between a beekeeper and a grower who work together to protect pollinators and benefit their community. The recipients are awarded $6,000 to be used in support of their community partnership, demonstrating the importance of collaboration in supporting bee health.

Please see http://www.beehealth.bayer.us/beekeepers/community-leadership-award for more detailed information, including past recipients and this year’s judges. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at colin.dunn@porternovelli.com or 202-973-2931.

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From Kim Flottum at Bee Culture Magazine -

CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Drought is building in places other than California -

A checkerboard of drought conditions has developed across the United States east of the Rockies between spring and summer 2016. Since March, the total drought-affected area of the country nearly doubled from 12.41%—as low as it’s been in five and half years—to 21.12% as of August 2, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center’s August 4 report.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-drought-building-places-california


2. USDA Grants Helping the Specialty Crop Industry Reach Food Safety Goals -

Across the country, farmers growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops – or specialty crops – are being asked to be certified in USDA’s voluntary audit program, Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).  From restaurants and hotels to schools and institutions, wholesale buyers want to ensure the fruits and vegetables they purchase meet food safety standards under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  One challenge for growers in many states is the lack of in-state auditors to perform the GAP certification reviews.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-usda-grants-helping-specialty-crop-industry-reach-food-safety-goals


3. A new study which tracked four bumblebees over the course of their lives found a surprising discrepancy in their attitude to foraging for food for the hive -

Bees provide us with an invaluable service by pollinating plants, an indispensable part of natural and agricultural ecosystems. This is why declining bee populations are such a big concern. Of course, bees don’t do this as a favour to us – pollination is a side effect of bees collecting nectar and pollen for their nests. But in order to understand bees better, we need to understand more about how they go about finding flowers and deciding how to make the most of them. And this is why I have spent my summers tracking female bumblebees.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-new-study-tracked-four-bumblebees-course-lives-found-surprising-discrepancy-attitude-foraging-food-hive


4. After more than 70 years, North Little Rock honey plant changes hands, but the family that ran it for decades continues to do so -

Margaret Faryewicz continues to keep track of accounts at Fischer Honey Co. in North Little Rock even after the sale of the company in July to Texas beekeepers.

At Fischer Honey Co., the books are kept by hand, just as they have been since the company incorporated in 1945.

Except now, instead of penciling in $20 orders for mom-and-pop retailers around Little Rock, Margaret Faryewicz keeps tabs on how many cases of Fischer honey are sent to Wal-Mart stores across the country.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-70-north-little-rock-honey-plant-changes-hands-family-ran-decades-continues


5. Northern Michigan Stands to Gain Hundreds of Jobs in beekeeping. Here’s How -

The business of beekeeping may bring hundreds of jobs to Northern Michigan. A new apiary in Otsego County is using state-of-the-art technology and an open door approach to bring opportunities to the area. Miles Apiaries Incorporated will open its doors in Waters next month. Wednesday, the company held an open house. Staff can monitor the insides of hives using apps and smart technology. It can show them possible threats to bees. The company also uses drones to help keep human workers from disturbing them. In 3 to 5 years, the apiary hopes to employ 500 workers, including veterans and people without high school diplomas.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-northern-michigan-stands-gain-hundreds-jobs-beekeeping-heres


6. Honey Bee antibiotics won’t be over the counter after Jan1. Get Ready. -

“Bees are insects, but few veterinarians realize they are also classified as food animals,” said Dr. Don Hoenig, co-owner of One Health Veterinary Consulting, and part of the team at Betterbee Beekeeping, speaking at the American Veterinarian convention this past July. “This January, the FDA will be enforcing new rules regarding honey bees and prescriptions. This is a new opportunity for veterinarians, and we should tap into the need for education.”

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, antibiotics used by beekeepers will no longer be available over the counter. In an effort to address concerns with antibiotic resistance, the FDA has ruled that antibiotics used to treat common bee diseases will now need to be ordered by a veterinarian either through a prescription or Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Beekeepers can no longer diagnose and treat problems requiring antibiotics without a licensed veterinarian.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-honey-bee-antibiotics-wont-counter-jan1-get-ready


7. What kind of insect pollinators are commonly found in corn and soybean fields?

Although corn and soybeans do not need insects for pollination, they do offer floral resources that are used by insect pollinators. So what kind of insects are commonly found in corn and soybean fields? The answer to that question can be found in a new article published in Environmental Entomology.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-kind-insect-pollinators-commonly-found-corn-soybean-fields


8. National Institute of Food and Agriculture 2015 Annual Report -

“Funding research should be considered as an investment in our nation’s future, an investment that will pay big dividends in the years to come.”

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-national-institute-food-agriculture-2015-annual-report/

 


Items of interest to beekeepers AUGUST 14 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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


IN THIS ISSUE

CORRECTION - WAS CONFERENCE HOTEL RESERVATIONS
REVELATIONS OF BEE GUT BACTERIA
CANNIBALIZING HONEY BEES TARGET DEADLY MITE THAT KILLS COLONIES
THE COLONY-KILLING MISTAKE BACKYARD BEEKEEPERS ARE MAKING
CATCH THE BUZZ
WANT MILK TO LAST FOR TWO MONTHS? DO THIS FOR ONE SECOND
EVENTS • North Dakota Beekeepers Convention
    • Michael Palmer & the Sustainable Apiary
LINKS

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WAS CONFERENCE HOTEL RESERVATIONS

Please update the web address to book rooms for the Western Apicultural Society Conference at the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. The new location is either http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/2016-conference-location ORhttp:// https://aws.passkey.com/event/15299495/owner/11602/home. (The old address of https://aws.passkey.com/event/15299495/owner/11602/landing as reported in the President's Message last week no longer works).

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From the California State Beekeepers News Update -

REVELATIONS OF BEE GUT BACTERIA

Bacteria in the gut of young honey bees may provide clues about the impact parasites have on bee health. That and other experimental findings were published by U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Because young honey bees don't have gut bacteria, entomologist Jay Evans and post-doc Ryan Schwarz at ARS' Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, and University of Texas at Austin professor Nancy Moran conducted tests to determine the impact different combinations of a common bacterium and a common parasite had on honey bee health. The scientists hypothesized that increasing the gut bacterium would make the bees more resistant to the parasite, but instead it lead to surprising results.

"This was 180 degrees opposite of our original hypothesis," said Schwarz. "We suspected introduction of the bacterium would promote a resistance to the parasite, but the opposite occurred."

Other findings from the research include,

    If the gut of the young bees were colonized by parasites and/or by an unusually large number of the gut bacterium, they would have a much different gut make-up (microbiome) in later life than normal bees.

    Bees treated with combinations of the bacterium and/or parasites showed greater key detoxification gene activity when placed in a stressed (low-protein diet) condition. This is significant as these genes affect a bee's ability to breakdown foreign molecules, including insecticides.

    Bees with greater parasite infestations might spend more time in the hive as workers and thus increase the likelihood of parasite transmission within the colony and impact the ability of the bees to gather food.

These results highlight how shifts in the bees' gut make-up might play a crucial role in the health of the honey bee colony.

"Bee keepers need to be more mindful of what goes into their hives whether antibiotic, probiotic, or parasite," said ARS entomologist Jay Evans. "Eight types of bacteria usually inhabit a bee's gut. It's clear that more research is needed in order to gain a better understanding of these microbes and their impact on bee health."

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2016/160802.htm

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More from the CSBA and Jeff Harris' work at Mississippi State University -

CANNIBALIZING HONEY BEES TARGET DEADLY MITE THAT KILLS COLONIES

Bees with the VSH gene are able to detect bee pupae within the brood nest that have mite families, and they cannibalize those bees. “The bee nest can tolerate losing individual bees,” Harris says, “because they’re producing thousands per day from the queen, but the mite family can’t tolerate the interruption. The bees eat the mite offspring as they cannibalize an infested pupa. The female mite will attempt to reproduce only three to five times in her life. If every time she tries to reproduce the VSH bees interrupt the cycle, the mite population declines.”
The VSH honey bee can detect pupae infested with varroa mites; they then cannibalize the infected pupae and eat the mites in the process.

The bee lab team produced stocks of the VSH bees that are still maintained at Baton Rouge. A cooperator Tom Glenn, in California, who Harris says was “probably the biggest seller of instrumentally inseminated queens in the world,” entered into an agreement with the USDA to disseminate the VSH stock. He then produced breeder queens and sold them across the U.S., helping to distribute the resistance gene. “There’s now an entire body of work to support that this works in the field,” Harris says.

“This is definitely a first step, and where I think where we need to be going for controlling the varroa mite. But all the activist and media focus on pesticides and bees has sort of taken attention away from these unique bees.”

IT’S FREE! Stay informed on what’s happening in Mid-South agriculture: Subscribe to Delta Farm Press Daily.

Because honey bees are quicker to inbreed than most animals, the challenge, he says, is how to sustain a breeding program that focuses on certain traits without inbreeding too rapidly.

“One of the things I’m trying to do here at Mississippi State is establish a breeding plan that is more long term and designed to avoid inbreeding. I’m trying to develop a VSH bee that will be good for Mississippi beekeepers and isn’t inbred.

http://deltafarmpress.com/soybeans/cannibalizing-honey-bees-target-deadly-mite-kills-colonies?page=3

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From THE SALT - WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE website, forwarded by Todd Myers -

THE COLONY-KILLING MISTAKE BACKYARD BEEKEEPERS ARE MAKING

While experts welcome the rising national interest in beekeeping as a hobby, they warn that novices may be inadvertently putting their hives — and other hives for miles around — in danger by not keeping the bee mite population in check.

Many hobbyists avoid mite treatments, preferring a natural approach, says Marla Spivak, a bee expert at the University of Minnesota. But that's often a deadly decision for the bees, she says.

National surveys by the Bee Informed Partnership show backyard beekeepers are taking the greatest losses nationally, and those losses are often the result of an out-of-control infestation of the varroa mite, says Spivak.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/08/12/489622982/the-colony-killing-mistake-backyard-beekeepers-are-making
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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. CNN Story – Spraying for Mosquitoes – Cover Your Bees! -

After the first locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus were identified in a small area north of downtown Miami, officials began to spray an insecticide over a 10-square-mile portion of Miami-Dade County on Thursday morning. But what was in the insecticide, and how does it work?

The main ingredient of the insecticide, Dibrom, is the chemical Naled. It works by killing mosquitoes on contact. Sprayers produce very fine droplets that are small enough to stay airborne and intercept mosquitoes in flight.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-cnn-story-spraying-mosquitoes-cover-bees


2. New Hive created by a designer, not a biologist -

Ellie MacLeod wanted to create an urban beehive that would make beekeeping more accessible by removing the need for specialist equipment while also ensuring that her hive was the best possible environment for honey bees.

Her final product, Mella, reduces the risk of stings by removing as much direct contact as possible. Budding beekeepers can watch their charges by removing a wooden outer shell to look through the device’s clear plastic dome. This allows beekeepers to view inside the hive without opening it up, reducing the risk of disturbing the bees or introducing infection into the colony.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-new-hive-created-designer-not-biologist

3. Insecticide can hamper yield increase from bees in soybeans -

Although soybean aphids remain at low levels, Reed Johnson and Andy Michel, two Ohio State University researchers are concerned that many growers are going to add insecticides to spray tanks when applying fungicides.

“Well, I’m going over the field anyway so I thought I’d add an insecticide for insurance purposes! The insecticide is relatively cheap and soybeans are worth so much!” is what researchers say they hear from farmers this time of year.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-insecticide-can-hamper-yield-increase-bees-soybeans


4. Niagara College one-year hands-on commercial beekeeping graduate certificate program -

Niagara College in Ontario is introducing a one-year hands-on commercial beekeeping graduate certificate program – the first of its kind in Eastern Canada – designed to meet the significant demand for highly trained beekeepers across Canada and around the world.

The post-grad program is open to students with a diploma or degree from an accredited college or university in agribusiness, agricultural sciences, environmental science/resource studies, horticulture or natural sciences, or an acceptable combination of education and experience.

The three-semester program will see its first intake of about 30 students begin studies at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus next January.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-niagara-college-ontario-introducing-one-year-hands-commercial-beekeeping-graduate-certificate-program


5. First Hexagonal Coin Features A Honey Bee, and has Resin Inclusion -

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has unveiled (August 1) a new coin paying homage to the humble honey bee, or Apis mellifera. The honey bee is an integral part of our lives, providing honey while pollinating flowers and plants that provide the human race with needed sustenance. The life and hierarchy of the honey bee is complicated, with an organized society of three adult castes comprising of the queen, workers, and drones, each with a specific purpose and function.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-first-hexagonal-coin-features-honey-bee-resin-inclusion


6. International colony losses nearly 12% last year -

The number of honey bee colonies fell by nearly 12% last winter, an international study involving the University of Strathclyde indicates. Beekeepers in 29 countries reported that, out of nearly 400,000 colonies they managed, 11.9% had failed to survive the winter.

Cases of colonies perishing after problems occurred with their queen were higher than expected.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-international-colony-losses-nearly-12-last-year


7. EPA bans Bayer’s Belt Insecticide in First-of-its-kind Decision -

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer AG has lost a battle with the Environmental Protection Agency over flubendiamide, an insecticide used on about 200 crops in 49 states.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-epa-bans-bayers-belt-insecticide-first-kind-decision


8.  USDA is working for pollinators. A refresher about what they are doing -

A refresher from the DC folks. Under the President’s National Strategy, as well as through other existing efforts, USDA is working to build healthy habitat for pollinators, conduct research to better understand the causes of their population declines, and raise public awareness about steps that all of us can take that will help to boost their numbers.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-usda-working-pollinators-refresher


9. Sidney, Montana Agricultural Laboratory not only fends off cuts, but will add New honey bee research position

Not only does it appear that supporters of the Sidney, Montana Agricultural Research Service unit have fended off budget cuts that would have reduced its staff by four and eliminated wheat stem sawfly research, but the federal research lab is now poised to add two new positions.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-sidney-montana-agricultural-laboratory-not-fends-off-cuts-will-add-new-honey-bee-research-position


10. Almond prices tank - Joe Traynor's newsletter

Almond prices took a precipitous drop in March – from over $4/lb to the grower to below $2/lb. Prices have since rebounded to over $2 and growers can still make a profit with $2 almonds (unless they have super-expensive water). Due to increased acreage, the 2016 almond crop will be a record for California (but not a yield/acre record). Because much of our almond crop is sold to other countries, our strong dollar puts a damper on foreign sales.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-beekeeper-newsletter-august-15-2016


11. Approaches and Challenges to Managing Nosema Parasites in Honey Bee Colonies

The microsporidia Nosema apis (Zander) and Nosema ceranae (Fries) are common intestinal parasites in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies. Though globally prevalent, there are mixed reports of Nosema infection costs, with some regions reporting high parasite virulence and colony losses, while others report high Nosema prevalence but few costs. Basic and applied studies are urgently needed to help beekeepers effectively manage Nosema spp., ideally through an integrated pest management approach that allows beekeepers to deploy multiple strategies to control Nosema when Nosema is likely to cause damage to the colonies, rather than using prophylactic treatments. Beekeepers need practical and affordable technologies that facilitate disease diagnosis and science-backed guidelines that recommend when, if at all, to treat infections.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-approaches-challenges-managing-nosema-parasites-honey-bee-colonies

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Not bee-related but good reading just the same, from the American Council on Science and Health -

WANT MILK TO LAST FOR TWO MONTHS? DO THIS FOR ONE SECOND

Spoilage in milk, and risk of food poisoning, happens because of the presence of harmful bacteria. That is why pasteurization saves so many lives and the raw milk food fad has orders of magnitude greater risk of causing illness.

It’s also why an “add-on” to pasteurization can extend the shelf life of milk by several weeks, which reduces food waste and therefore is less strain on the environment. Where pasteurization is a high-temperature, short-time method that gives milk a shelf life of about two to three weeks, the new technique,which involves increasing the temperature of milk by 10 degrees Celsius for less than a second, eliminates more than 99 percent of the bacteria left behind even after pasteurization.

The low-temperature, short-time (LTST) method developed by Millisecond Technologies of New York was validated in a recent study by spraying tiny droplets of pasteurized milk, which was inoculated with Lactobacillus and Pseudomonas bacteria, through a heated, pressurized chamber, rapidly raising and lowering their temperatures about 10 degrees Celsius but still below the 70-degree Celsius threshold needed for pasteurization. The treatment lowered bacterial levels below detection limits, an by the West Sound Beekeepers Association, 10 - 2,,tedd extended shelf life to up to 63 days.
hos“With the treatment, you’re taking out almost everything, Whatever does survive is at such a low level that it takes much longer for it to multiply to a point at which it damages the quality of the milk,” Bruce Applegate, Purdue associate professor in the Department of Food Science, said in their statement.

It requires no extra energy, since the heat for pasteurization is already used, and after reducing the bacteria panelists could not detect differences in color, aroma, taste or aftertaste between pasteurized and LTST milk. They intend to see if it can simply replace pasteurization in the next study.

http://acsh.org/news/2016/08/07/want-milk-to-last-for-two-months-do-this-for-one-second/
 


Items of interest to beekeepers AUGUST 7 2016
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

WAS CONFERENCE HAWAII UPDATE
7th ANNUAL HAWAIIAN HONEY CHALLENGE
IMPORTING FROZEN HONEY BEE SPERM IS KEY TO CONSERVATION
POST-DOC POSITION AVAILABLE AT U OF PITTSBURGH
FOUNDATION FOR PRESERVATION OF HONEY BEES 2017 SCHOLARSHIPS
HONEY BEE DEATHS PREDATE AG CHEMICALS
HERE'S THE COLONY-KILLING MISTAKE BACKYARD BEEKEEPERS MAKE
CATCH THE BUZZ
CREATIVE MARKETING - CHINESE FARMER'S MELONS SELL OUT AFTER HE CARVES AUSPICIOUS CALLIGRAPHY IN SKINS
EVENTS
LINKS - •New - Bee Certain

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From the Western Apicultural Society President, Dr. Ethel Villalobos -

WAS CONFERENCE HAWAII UPDATE

Aloha!

The summer is progressing and the Hawaii WAS conference is right around the corner! The University of Hawaii Honeybee Project and the Hawaii Apiary Program are looking forward to welcoming you to our lovely island this October!

We can’t wait to share new ideas, research, and Hawaii’s culture with you during your visit. The conference theme is “New Insights into Old Questions” and we hope you come with an open mind and lots of questions for our speakers.

The talks will include a diversity of opinions and research subjects; this bird’s eye view perspective of current issues will help us be more prepared for the challenges of improving bee health and promoting pollinator conservation. The sessions will have a healthy balance of technical and practical knowledge, with national and international speakers sharing their findings.

We have a few sample titles of the upcoming presentations that will give you an idea of the diversity and scope of the conference:

• Dr. Stephen J. Martin from the University of Salford (UK), a world leader with over 25 years experience in bee diseases will present “A Brief History of Honeybee Viral pathogens”. Having such an illustrious researcher present distilled information on bee viruses is an opportunity not to be missed.

• Dr. Jonathan Koch, a researcher at the University of Hawaii in Hilo (Big Island of Hawaii) will speak to us about “The Value of Natural History Collections in Bee Conservation”.

• Graduate student Scott Nikaido has been focusing on the health of the young bees, a stage often ignored by researchers. Scott will be presenting the latest on his work. The title of his talk is “Banking on the Future: Brood Mapping the Next Generation of Bees”.

• Dr. David Biron from the National Center for Scientific Research in France will share with us the importance of conserving genetic diversity within the European honey bee races. His talk is titled: “Honey bee Conservation Centers in Western Europe: an innovative strategy using sustainable beekeeping to reduce honey bee decline.”

• Graduate student Jessika Santamaria will present her current work on disease transmission in the insect community; her presentation is aptly named “The Mite-y Mess! Evidence of Varroa induced viral spillover in Hawaii”.

• Dr. Yamandu Mendoza Spina will introduce us to “Beekeeping in Uruguay”. The beekeeping community in Uruguay is very large, and the country, along with Argentina, is among the leaders in honey production in South America.

• MSc. Lauren Rusert, Director of the Hawaii Apiary Program will give us her insights on the “Queen Breeding Industry in Hawaii”

• The small hive beetle can be a difficult pest to predict and control, especially in warmer climates. Graduate student Jason Wong has been tracking beetle populations for over two years and is ready to share his data about colony dynamics and small hive beetle pressure here in Hawaii.

• Lic. Marianyela Ramirez Montero from CINAT of the University of Heredia in Costa Rica will introduce us to the health issues present in Africanized honey bees. The title of her talk is “Truth or Dare: Do Africanized Bees Need Treatment?”

• Many well respected and familiar names will also be presenting, including, Dr. Eric Mussen (sharing his knowledge about pesticides), Dr. Elina Lastro-Niño (UC Davis, an expert in queen breeding and in-coming 2017 WAS president), Dr. Karl Magnacca (local expert on native bees), and Dr. Patricia Couvillon (an expert on bee behavior and learning).

A detailed scheduled of individual talks will be provided at a later time, but please feel free to check the general program provided to start planning your activities.

WAS Awards Banquet

We look forward to having you join us at the Award Banquet to be held at the Hibiscus Ballroom. Enjoy a wonderful meal prepared with extra Aloha for you by the chef at the Ala Moana Hotel. Meet researchers and beekeepers from other countries and renew your contacts with fellow beekeepers from the western region. Dr. Elina Lastro-Niño in-coming 2017 WAS President will be there to help welcome you to Hawaii and to tell you about her vision for the 40th anniversary meeting at UC Davis next year.

If you would like to submit names for the following award categories:
Outstanding Service to Beekeepers and the Thurber Award for Inventiveness, please contact me directly at emv@hawaii.edu with your suggestions. This is a great opportunity to thank those that contribute so much of their time to help us keep the bees healthy. Make their day and nominate them!

Cultural activities during the conference

• We will have cultural activities during break times including a show and tell about the art of Lei Making in Hawaii. Mr. John Dalire, a Hawaiian beekeeper will be offering an informal workshop on the tradition of making floral garlands. Don’t miss this fun and unique event.

• Have you ever seen a cacao fruit? Did you know they grow right on the trunk and older growth of the tree? Have you ever wondered how chocolate is made? Come join us and see fresh cacao fruits and taste freshly made chocolate by our local expert Dr. Skip Bittenbender.

• Curious about honeys from other parts of the world? We will be having exhibits about pollinators and honey samples from different world regions. Let’s celebrate the natural diversity and acknowledge the global importance of pollinators!

Tours and Workshop (all day – Saturday Oct 15th)

• The last day will be filled with exciting options, as we will be offering two beekeeping/ sightseeing tours. These tours will give you an opportunity to peek into local colonies, see small hive beetles, and “talk story”, as we say in Hawaii, about the health issues of the bees in this area. In addition, you will be able to see many beautiful sites along the way, and spend some time at a local beach. The tour buses are extremely comfortable, air conditioned, and a staff of the UH Honey Bee Project will accompany each of the groups. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see Hawaii’s honey bees, but also the spectacular scenery of Oahu’s mountains and beaches along the way (hint-hint: lots of photo opportunities here!).

• If you are an educator or work with the community teaching about science you should consider attending the Educational Workshop on Oct 15. The workshop will include a complete package, from the basics about flowers, bees and other pollinators, classroom ready activities including games, art, and experiments. Unlike previous workshops this one aims to help train the trainers by providing materials, lectures, and hands-on activities to develop the skills needed regularly interact with the public such as extension agents, master gardeners, teachers, agricultural tour guides and farm managers.

Additional conference activities with an Aloha flavor

Conference Luau at Sea Life Park

• If you want to experience the food and atmosphere of Hawaii you must attend a Luau! This typical Hawaiian event held at sunset is the perfect ending to an exotic adventure. Put on an aloha shirt, if you have one, or casual summer attire and come join us to celebrate the beauty of the islands and the exquisite taste of local cuisine. The luau costs include the bus transportation to and from the hotel, the park entrance fee, and the luau dinner. The luau will be held on the Eastern part of the island, near scenic Makapu’u beach, overlooking Mânana Island, also known as Rabbit Island. The workshop and beekeeping tours will end in time to allow you to refresh yourself and get ready to enjoy this unique event.

Honolulu, a vibrant city, is waiting for you!

For those of you who have not yet visited the Hawaiian Islands, or Oahu in particular, we want to provide a bit of information about the city and the hotel. Honolulu is a large and active city that sits between the mountains and the ocean.

Hotel Reservations: Ala Moana Hotel

The Ala Moana Hotel is located at the west end of the Waikiki strip. Across the street there is a beach park and a marina. The park has a very protected beach with little surf where you can sit and enjoy the sunset.

The hotel is connected to one of the largest shopping centers, the Ala Moana Shopping Center, via an elevated walkway. The mall has a large food court with many options for those in a rush to get a bite, and those with more time for a leisurely fancy meal will find some good options as well. Craving “Udon Noodles”? No problem. Want a local burger with some heat? Try the Kilauea Burger, named after one of the Hawaiian volcanoes. Try some of the local breweries or enjoy a Mai Tai by the beach.

The hotel rooms have been recently renovated and they are absolutely gorgeous. Stylized blue wave designs remind you of how close you are to the ocean, and the rooms have fridges, coffee makers, and microwaves for your convenience. WiFi is also available free of charge.

The conference prices are a great deal for the location and the quality of the hotel. Make sure to reserve your room by the deadline of SEPTEMBER 12TH to benefit from the excellent conference rate offered to WAS for this event.

Room rates for the WAS conference are $159 (plus tax) per night – Kona Tower (246 square feet/23 square meters, 1 queen bed : 2 double beds not available. Maximum 2 persons); and $179 (+ tax) per night in the Waikiki Tower (335 square feet /31 square meters, 2 double beds or 1 king bed and 1 sofa bed. Maximum 4 persons. More room and a nicer view.)

Online reservations are available at http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/2016-conference-location  or  https://aws.passkey.com/event/15299495/owner/11602/landing.  Or you can make your reservations by calling the hotel directly at (800) 367-6025 or (808) 955-4811. Make sure to reference the Western Apicultural Society to obtain the group
reservation rate.

A big Mahalo for your continued support of WAS! Looking forward to seeing you all!

Sincerely,
Ethel M Villalobos

Dr. Ethel Villalobos, WAS President
Director of the University of Hawaii Honeybee Project
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, HI

(PS: Don’t forget to pack a bathing suit)

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7th ANNUAL HAWAIIAN HONEY CHALLENGE

The 7th annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge presented by Big Island Beekeepers Association, is a yearly statewide competition of raw unheated, unfiltered natural Hawaiian honey, tended, extracted, and jarred by it's beekeeper entrant.

Formal judging  of liquid, solid and comb honeys will be in Hilo in September.

This year, the public tasting and People's Choice aspect of the Challenge will occur in conjunction with the WAS conference on Oahu, in October.

We are excited to share the exotic honeys that our lush tropical environment allows the honey bee to create. We look forward to seeing you there.

For more information contact peggy@thebeecompany.buzz or call 808-965-0000

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From the Washington State University 'Green Times' -

IMPORTING FROZEN HONEY BEE SPERM IS KEY TO CONSERVATION
By Scott Weybright, WSU, Pullman

Going through customs can be frustrating for travelers. Imagine going through with a container of frozen bee sperm.

“It’s certainly a challenge,” said Brandon Hopkins, Washington State University entomology research associate and lab manager of the WSU Apiary Program. “Most customs agents aren’t used to seeing that, so it takes a lot of explaining.”

It’s complicated by the fact that WSU has the only permit issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to import honey bee semen into the U.S.

Honey bees are not native to North or South America, and importing into the U.S. has been tightly restricted since the 1920s. As a result, U.S. honey bees have limited genetic diversity.

“We’re importing germplasm from Old World populations around Europe to increase genetic diversity here,” Hopkins said. “The goal is to improve commercial breeding for bees so they can better fight off diseases and parasites.

“Everything we do in this effort is to ensure bees survive to pollinate our food sources,” he said.

Hopkins and other WSU entomologists have collected genetic material in Italy, Slovenia, the Republic of Georgia and Kazakhstan since they received a USDA permit to import honey bee semen in 2008.

Freezing bee semen

WSU scientists also transport fresh sperm, but its shelf life is only about two weeks. Hopkins developed a method for freezing the material as part of his master’s degree at Eastern Washington University, and he refined it further when he came to WSU to earn his Ph.D.

“Cryogenic freezing has been used to preserve germplasm from animals like cattle for decades,” he said. “I adapted it for honey bees. Right now we are the only repository for bee germplasm in the world.”

The importation process starts with a trip to collect material overseas. Once WSU scientists arrive in a country, they work with local beekeepers or government agencies equivalent to the USDA to visit a variety of hives.

“We try to collect hundreds of microliters of sperm every day we’re there, so those are long days,” Hopkins said.They collect mature male bees, called drones, and then extract semen. Each male produces about one microliter. For comparison, a single drop of water is approximately 100 microliters.

The semen is frozen in the origin country because freezing fresh material yields the best results. A special substance is added to avoid damaging the cells during freezing. Once back at WSU, the samples are stored at -196°C (-320°F) in a tank of liquid nitrogen.

Theoretically, the sperm can stay viable at that temperature for 10,000 years or more, Hopkins said. It can then be thawed out and used to breed honey bees here.

Ensuring genetic improvement

Unfortunately, the breeding process is not as simple as inseminating one queen and then providing the second generation of bees to breeders. Second generation queens contain only 50 percent of the imported European DNA.

If those queens are released, the imported genes would quickly become diluted as they breed with U.S. bees. To prevent genetic dilution, Hopkins and WSU researchers inseminate second generation queens with imported material as well, ensuring that third generation bees have 75 percent imported DNA. Then that generation of bees is inseminated as well. The iterative process results in dozens of queens with more than 85 percent of imported genetic material.

These multiple rounds of insemination are where the frozen semen is most helpful.

“Without frozen semen, this process would require trips back to Europe every year or multiple times per year,” Hopkins said. “With frozen semen, we simply thaw the semen to use for each generation.”

The genetically diverse bees are provided to U.S. bee breeders to breed future generations that are adapted for certain geographic regions.

“We want to improve the genetic background of honey bees so they can fight off diseases and be more likely to survive in their climates,” Hopkins said.

Honey bee conservation

Beyond increasing disease resistance, the cryogenic program has a conservation component. A few countries and regions are interested in preserving the genetic material of their distinct bee varieties.

“You can’t put a fence around bees,” Hopkins said. “So in Italy and France and other locations, they’re trying to conserve their unique subspecies. Freezing semen conserves those specific genetic lines or entire subspecies inexpensively for a long time.”

He said the WSU bee program has worked with researchers from around the world to create more honey bee genetic repositories like the one at WSU. With the potential of a new Honey Bee & Pollinator Research Facility established at WSU, Hopkins said the university will be able to do even more research to diversify the gene pool for U.S. honey bees.

“We’re still really early in studying this,” he said. “But we’re learning more every day, and that center will be a huge boost to our program and the body of knowledge about saving the honey bees here.”

To learn more and to donate to the WSU bee program, visit http://bees.wsu.edu/.

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From Dr. Christina Grozinger via POLLINATOR-L list -

POST-DOC POSITION AVAILABLE AT U OF PITSBURGH

The Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh invites applications for a 2-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ecology and Evolution-- broadly defined--and including the study of biodiversity, community assembly, species interactions, population and landscape genetics, sexual systems, speciation and reproductive isolation, phenotypic, behavioral and molecular evolution. The goal of the EE Postdoctoral Fellowship is to broaden expertise, diversify perspectives, and stimulate synergistic interactions between faculty interested in these fields. The successful candidate will be expected to conduct original independent research that bridges the interests of two or more faculty members in the Ecology and Evolution section of Biological Sciences and to lead a graduate seminar or workshop in their area of expertise each year.

The Ecology and Evolution group is a collaborative environment within the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh (http://www.biology.pitt.edu). Pittsburgh, PA is often voted the most livable city in the US featuring eclectic neighborhoods, diverse culinary and entertainment opportunities as well as easy access to natural areas.

Qualified candidates should submit a 2-4 page coherent research proposal to be completed in 2 years and under the guidance of faculty member(s) and a brief description of the proposed course or workshop. The position does not include research funds so the extent of contributions from the faculty sponsors should be addressed in the proposal. We strongly encourage candidates to contact appropriate faculty sponsors before applying.

Preference will be given to candidates with novel ideas, demonstrated research ability, and strong communication skills. Along with the research proposal, applications must include a CV, a short description of research accomplishments and a description of how your research, teaching or service demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Two recommendation letters from non-UPitt faculty, and letters from the UPitt faculty sponsor(s) should be emailed to the address below. The salary will depend on experience but is expected to be $44,000 per year with a start date as early as October 2016.

Application materials should be emailed to Dr. Tia-Lynn Ashman at: tia1@pitt.edu, and be received by September 1. The subject line should read “EE Post-doctoral application”.

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From Regina Robuck, Executive Director of the FPHB -

FOUNDATION FOR PRESERVATION OF HONEY BEES 2017 SCHOLARSHIPS

Foundation Offering Five Graduate Student Scholarships
Submission Deadline September 21, 2016

The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. (The Foundation) is offering five $2000 scholarships to apiculture graduate students in 2017. This is the Foundation’s eleventh year to award these scholarships.

The Foundation is a charitable research and education foundation affiliated with the American Beekeeping Federation (ABF). The Foundation has benefited from a number of generous gifts, including the estates of Glenn and Gertrude Overturf and Margaret and Victor Thompson, and continues to be sustained by ongoing gifts from ABF members and other supportive individuals.

The Foundation Trustees have chosen to use a portion of these gifts to offer five graduate student scholarships to foster professional development for emerging apicultural scientists. The scholarships are available to all currently enrolled graduate students studying any aspect of honey bees, bee husbandry and/or the apicultural industry.

The purpose of the scholarships, in addition to providing modest financial support, is to allow the recipients to attend the 2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow at Galveston Island Convention Center at The San Luis Resort on January 10-14, 2017. Each awardee will be given a $2000 scholarship check; in addition, the Foundation will cover all lodging expenses and up to $750 in travel expenses. Graduate students enrolled in a university, either within the United States or internationally, are eligible to apply. The recipients will have an opportunity to meet other researchers and beekeepers and to present their research at the meeting. The Board of Trustees always looks forward to interacting with recipients and hearing about their research during the conference.

Applications for the scholarships will be accepted until September 16, 2016.

Criteria:
Applicants should submit the following for consideration, as one collated PDF document titled with his or her name (“Applicantsname”.pdf):

1. A one-page cover letter from their university advisor outlining:
    · The student's progress toward their graduate degree (Master’s or PhD)

    · Tentative graduation date

    · Any other information about the student

    · Any information about their research that would help "get to know" the student.

2. The student’s curriculum vitae, or resume, not to exceed two pages.

3. A research proposal (not to exceed three pages), written by the graduate student. This proposal should:

· Begin with an introduction to the research problem, followed by clear goals and objectives that state the research questions and hypotheses

· Outline specific research experiments the student is conducting for their degree

· Describe research the student is planning to perform, or the progress the student already has made toward that research

· Clearly state how the research benefits bees, beekeepers, and/or the apicultural industry

· Discuss the methods that will be used to answer their research questions, and the expected results or results to date

· Be written for a general audience. The reviewers of the proposals are beekeepers that really want to understand the importance and implications of the research.

Recipients will be selected in October 2016. Each chosen recipient will receive detailed information about the scholarship, travel arrangements and conference expectations in late October 2016.

Applications must be submitted as one PDF document electronically, including name, address, e-mail address and phone number, to:
The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc., e-mail address reginarobuck@abfnet.org: with the subject line: 2017 Foundation Scholarship Application.

If you have questions or need more information about the scholarship program, contact: Regina Robuck, Executive Director, American Beekeeping Federation and The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. at 404.760.2887 or reginarobuck@abfnet.org.

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Passed on by Joy Pendell of the California Beekeepers newsletter this week -

HONEY BEE DEATHS PREDATE AG CHEMICALS
(July 26, 2016 by Hembree Brandon in the Delta Farm Press

“In the long history of man’s relationship with honey bees, going back to Aristotle, who wrote the first manual on beekeeping, there have been many instances of unexplained colony losses — and many  occurred long before agricultural pesticides came into widespread use," - Jeff Harris

First of a series

Environmental and anti-pesticide activists have made honey bee deaths “the poster child” of their ongoing crusade against ag chemicals, particularly neonicotinoids, says Jeff Harris.

But the Mississippi State University Extension/research apiculturist says pesticides are just a part of the cause of colony collapse disorder, which has wiped out thousands of bee colonies in the U.S. and worldwide in recent years. “I would never say pesticides don’t harm bees — that’s what they’re made to do, kill insects — but at the same time I wouldn’t single them out as the predominant cause of bee losses. The beekeeping landscape “has been changed forever” by the tiny varroa mite, says Jeff Harris. The mite vectors diseases that have wiped out honey bee colonies worldwide.

“In the long history of man’s relationship with honey bees, going back to Aristotle, who wrote the first manual on beekeeping, there have been many instances of unexplained colony losses — and many  occurred long before agricultural pesticides came into widespread use.

“There have also been episodes of losses with a known cause.  In the early 1900s, a bacterial disease, American foulbrood, was so contagious that the only way to deal with it was to burn hives that were contaminated. Then, there were gut parasites; Nosema, which wiped out colonies in colder climates; and tracheal mites from Asia, which were devastating in the 1980s.

“In the Deep South in recent years, we’ve had to contend with economic loss of beekeeping equipment by two pests, the Greater Wax Moth and the Small Hive Beetle from South Africa. Both of these pests can overrun colonies weakened by other diseases.  Beekeepers have been confronted with many non-pesticide related situations over the decades that have caused large-scale colony losses.”

Despite all the anti-pesticide hoopla by activists and the mainstream media about pesticides and their impact on honey bees, Harris and other experts say it’s the tiny varroa mite, combined with other pests, parasites, and stresses —including putting colonies of bees on trucks and transporting them thousands of miles around the country to pollinate crops — that have decimated colonies in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere “

This and other topics in this series (Cumulative stresses take a toll; Miticide options are limited; Commercial beekeeper numbers declining) can be found at http://deltafarmpress.com/cotton/jeff-harris-honey-bee-deaths-predate-ag-chemicals?page=1

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HERE'S THE COLONY-KILLING MISTAKE BACKYARD BEEKEEPERS MAKE
By Dan Gundeerson, Fargo ND on Moorhead Public Radio website
 
Jonathan Garaas has learned a few things in three seasons of backyard beekeeping: Bees are fascinating. They're complicated. And keeping them alive is not easy.

The Fargo attorney lost hives in his first two years as a novice beekeeper. With nine hives now established near his home and a couple of University of Minnesota bee classes under his belt, he feels like he's got the hang of it, although it's still a challenge.

Every two weeks, he opens the hives to check the bees and search for varroa mites, pests that suck the bees' blood and can transmit disease. If he sees too many of the pinhead sized parasites, he applies a chemical treatment.

"You can get the book learning. You can see the YouTubes. You can be told by others," he said, but "you have to have hands-on experience. When you start putting it all together, it now starts making sense."

Scientists wish every beginner beekeeper was as diligent.

While experts welcome the rising national interest in beekeeping as a hobby, they warn novices may be inadvertently putting their hives — and hives for miles around — in danger because they aren't keeping the bee mite population in check.

Many hobbyists avoid mite treatments, preferring a natural approach, but that's often a deadly decision for the bees, said University of Minnesota bee expert Marla Spivak.

National surveys by the Bee Informed Partnership show backyard beekeepers in fact are taking the greatest losses nationally," and those losses are often the result of an out-of-control infestation of the varroa mite, said Spivak.

Varroa mites arrived in the United States nearly 30 years ago. But they've become a bigger problem in recent years.

Researchers partly blame backyard beekeepers who don't treat their hives.

Untreated hives can spread mites and viruses to other hives within several miles, Spivak said. Healthy bees will invade a dying hive to steal the honey. When they do, they also carry mites with them back to their hives.

"The combination of the mite and the viruses is deadly," said Spivak.

The University of Minnesota Bee Squad, a group that provides beekeeping education and mentoring in the Twin Cities, is seeing more healthy hives rapidly infested with mites and the viruses they carry.

Fall is an especially critical season, said Rebecca Masterman, the Bee Squad's associate program director.

"That late season reinfestation means that your bees are going through winter with a lot of mite pressure and it's really hard for them to come out of that and survive," she said. "It's something that is important enough to really try to get every backyard beekeeper in the country to at least be aware of it."

Masterman said she's also encouraging commercial beekeepers to check their bees more often for surprise mite infestations.

A new online mite monitoring project lets beekeepers anywhere in the country share data on mite infestations and will help researchers track the spread, she added.

A mite control experiment set up this summer should provide more information about the best methods for treating mites in bee colonies.

Bees face other challenges beyond mites, including poor nutrition, disease and pesticides. Even veteran beekeepers say it takes more effort to keep their bees alive.

Beekeepers are independent, so Spivak said she doesn't like to tell them how to care for their bees. But the mite and virus threat to bees, she added, is something that can be controlled.

"I really understand why some people might not like to have to treat their bee colony for mites. It just sounds so awful. It's such a beautiful bee colony and to have to stick some kind of a treatment in there seems so unnatural," she said.

But our bees are dying," she added. "And it's very important to help do whatever we can to keep them alive."

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/08/03/backyard-beekeeping-mites-untreated-kills-bees

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From Kim Flottum at Bee Culture Magazine -

CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Researchers discover how honey bees ‘telescope’ their abdomens -

Honey bees are able to wiggle their abdomens in a variety of ways. Now new research published in the Journal of Insect Science shows how they are able to do it.

In 2015, a team of researchers from Tsinghua University in Beijing used a high-speed camera to observe how honey bees curl their abdomens while in flight and under restraint, confirming that bees can manipulate the shape of their abdomens, but only in one direction — down, toward the bee’s underside.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-researchers-discover-honey-bees-telescope-abdomens


2. Making sure consumers get what they pay for -

When ARS researchers wrote the definitive report on the composition of honey in 1962, they made it possible to detect whether other substances might have been added, thus allowing consumers to have confidence when the label says “100 percent honey.”

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-making-sure-consumers-get-pay


3.  Researchers identify how queen bees repress workers’ fertility -

Researchers from New Zealand’s University of Otago have discovered the molecular mechanism by which queen honeybees carefully control worker bees’ fertility.

It has long been known that worker bees have a very limited ability to reproduce in a hive with a queen and brood present, but in their absence, a third of them will activate their ovaries and lay eggs that hatch into fertile male drones.

It is queen pheromone that represses worker bee fertility, but how it achieves this has remained unclear.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-researchers-identify-queen-bees-repress-workers-fertility


4. Keeping The Colony Cool. Fanning, Leaving, and Collecting and Storing Water In The Hive -

When a honey bee colony gets hot and bothered, the crisis sets tongues wagging. Middle-aged bees stick their tongues into the mouths of their elders, launching these special drinker bees to go collect water. That’s just one detail uncovered during a new study of how a colony superorganism cools in hot weather.

Using light bulbs to make heat waves in beehives, researchers have traced how honeybees communicate about collecting water and work together in deploying it as air-conditioning.    The tests show just how important water is for protecting a colony from overheating, Thomas Seeley of Cornell University and his colleagues report online July 20 in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-keeping-the-colony-cool-fanning-leaving-and-collecting-and-storing-water-in-the-hive

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Not bee-related but a good read anyway -

From Beth Roden's weekly newsletter from Bayer -

CREATIVE MARKETING - CHINESE FARMER'S MELONS SELL OUT AFTER HE CARVES AUSPICIOUS CALLIGRAPHY IN SKINS

A villager in Henan province has sold 3,000 kilograms of watermelons in just 11 days by carving calligraphy in the outer skins, a mainland news website reports.

Gu Xinliang, a 56-year-old from Pingdingshan, found that the calligraphies he carved on the watermelons for fun created a significant boom in his sales. All the melons he harvested in July, as well as 1,000 kilograms of uncarved muskmelons, sold out in less than two weeks, Dahe.cn reported.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/1998598/creative-fruits-chinese-farmers-melons-sell-out-after-he-carves
             


Items of interest to beekeepers July 30 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

SEEDS FOR BEES
BEES MAKE A COMEBACK IN ALBERTA
ABSTRACTS FROM 3RD INTERNATIONAL POLLINATION CONFERENCE AT PENN STATE U
USING FORMIC & OXALIC ACID FOR TREATING VARROA & TRACHEAL MITES
POST-DOC RESEARCH ASSOCIATE POSITION AVAILABLE
HOW THE GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS YOUR JUNK FOOD HABIT
WHY AGRICULTURAL BIOTECH HASN'T REACHED ITS POTENTIAL

CATCH THE BUZZ
AUTISM INCREASE MYSTERY SOLVED
EVENTS
LINKS

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Billy's Blog from the Project Apis m. newsletter this week -

SEEDS FOR BEES

It's that time of year again!  The 2016/2017 Seeds for Bees program is here.  I am pleased and excited to be managing this great project for a second time.  I have learned a lot during the past year.  Traveling throughout California to see big healthy stands of forage being utilized by bees from around the nation was a pleasure.  Talking with growers and beekeepers about what strategies worked is how I gained knowledge about how our seed mixes are performing.  We are still offering three options:  PAm Mustard Mix, PAm Clover Mix, and Vetch.  However, to better serve your needs, I have made some minor adjustments to the ratios and species of the mixes.  Please read about this year's mixes here.

Starting this month I will be calling growers and beekeepers to enroll them in our Seeds for Bees program.  If you are interested in planting cover crops in or near your almond orchard please give me a call.  I know late summer/early fall is a busy time for growers harvesting an almond crop.  But planting early is very important.  Proper planning is needed to get the best stand possible.  Do it for soil health; do it for bees--either way give me a call!  I look forward to hearing from you.  Billy Synk (614) 330-6932.

Billy Synk
Director of Pollination Programs

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From the Alberta Agriculture newsletter, Agri-News -

BEES MAKE A COMEBACK IN ALBERTA

Timely research, robust communications, and new products have helped Alberta bee populations recover in recent years. At critical moments, Growing Forward 2 funding was there.

In one way, agriculture in Alberta is all about scale: millions of head of livestock, millions of acres of canola, billions of dollars each year in economic impact.

In another way, the smallest participants more than pull their weight. Alberta’s bees, raised and managed by 1,000, mainly small-scale beekeepers, play an indispensable role in crop pollination and make a thriving honey industry possible too.

The good news is, Alberta’s bees are currently strong and healthy. The deeper story is just how close the province came to losing this priceless resource.

Medhat Nasr, provincial apiculturist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, has been closely involved in the challenges and comeback of the province’s bees in recent years.

“Over the past 25 years, average winterkill of bees across the province has been 15 per cent to 18 per cent,” says Nasr. “Starting in 2006-07, we saw a few years where winterkill was up to 40 per cent per year. We started looking at what had failed in terms of management practices to cause this level of winterkill.”

With funding from Growing Forward 2 and others, Nasr began the apicultural detective work of finding the causes behind this dramatic increase in winterkill. Time was certainly a factor. If annual winterkill losses continued to be 40 per cent, the province’s bee population could reach a tipping point from which recovery would be very difficult. Beekeepers were understandably worried. Over the next few years, Nasr fielded 1,500 phone calls from producers trying to cope with these challenges.

While similar dynamics were playing out across North America, Nasr studied the question with specific reference to Alberta. One major contributing factor was that the varroa mite, a pest that affects hives and bees, had developed resistance to the chemical products used to manage it.

“We started working on alternative products to bring to the industry,” says Nasr. “We found a product in France known as Apivar that had no cross-resistance to other products around the world. The active ingredient was about to be deregistered here on the grounds that it had no use in Canada. Within eight months, we were able to secure Apivar for Canada.”

By using Apivar, and implementing new management practices to enhance bee health, hive numbers in Alberta began to recover. By 2015, Alberta had 295,000 hives, even higher than the last pre-crisis year, 2006, when the province had 250,000 hives. Aided by mild temperatures, careful management, and good varroa mite control, the winter of 2014-15 saw Alberta’s lowest-ever bee winterkill at just 10 per cent.

To guard against the development of Apivar resistance, Nasr helped shepherd another control product known as Hopguard to registration. In 2015, with funding from Growing Forward 2, he led development of the first bee health app in Canada, called Honey Bee Health. The app, which helps beekeepers implement health management practices, has been downloaded more than 3,000 times by beekeepers all over the world.

As Nasr looks back, he’s proud of his role in the comeback of Alberta bee populations, and glad Growing Forward 2 funding was available. All things considered, it was a close call.

“Thirty or forty per cent winterkill year after year; if you add that up, we should not have an industry,” says Nasr. “Our program was built on finding causes, giving producers new tools, and communicating better management practices. That is how we came out of the dark days to where we are today.”

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From Dr. Christina Grozinger at Penn State University -

ABSTRACTS FROM 3RD INTERNATIONAL POLLINATION CONFERENCE AT PENN STATE U

The abstract booklet, including both verbal presentations and posters for the above conference is available as a downloadable PDF at http://ento.psu.edu/pollinators/conference-materials.

Keynote speakers for each day were Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the National Insititute of Food & Agriculture, Washington DC with "Perfect Storm to Nutritional Scurity: Role of Pollinators"; Rachael Winfree, Department of Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, Canada with "What can pollinators tell us about biodiversity and ecosystem services in real-world landscapes?"; and Gene E. Robinson, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, Department of Entomology, Neuroscience Program University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with "Understanding the Relationship Between Genes and Social Behavior: Lessons from the Honey Bee".

Besides the US and Canada, speakers came from Germany, Australia, France, Belgium, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, poster presenters were from Kenya, the UK, France, Israel, Chile, Germany and the us.

While it would be nice in include highlights  here, with 45 separate talks and 85 posters (all of which are abstracted), the volume is simply too great. I urge you to download the PDF for a comprehensive, international view of this very broad field of science.

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I have just received the last bulletin from Bill Ruzicka at MiteGone in British Columbia, Canada. You can find his information at http://www.mitegone.com and a great deal more on the subject is available through the honeybeeworld website. Bear in mind that not all the treatments mentioned are legal everywhere.

USING FORMIC & OXALIC ACID FOR TREATING VARROA & TRACHEAL MITES

http://www.honeybeeworld.com/formic/

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From Ramesh Sagili at Oregon State University via Elina Nino at UC Davis via Christina Grozinger at Penn State U -

POST-DOC RESEARCH ASSOCIATE POSITION AVAILABLE

Oregon State Honey Bee Lab in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University invites applications for a full-time (1.00 FTE), 12-month Post Doc (Research Associate) to conduct research on honey bee health (primarily focused on potential impacts of pesticides).

Position duties:
  Conduct research related to potential impacts of pesticides on learning, memory and behavior of honey bees.
  Designing and conducting experiments independently.
  Assist the principal investigator in securing extramural funding.
  Communicate research results through peer refereed publications and presentations at professional meetings.
  Supervise and train graduate research assistants and student employees in the bee lab.

Minimum Qualifications:
  PhD in biology, zoology, entomology or related field.
  Good understanding of insect physiology and pollination biology.
  Demonstrated expertise working with honey bees.
  Excellent communication and writing skills.
  Demonstrated record of publications.

Preferred qualifications/skills:
  Experience dissecting honey bees (especially honey bee brain and glands).
  Experience conducting taste assays (Proboscis Extension Response).
  Experience conducting electrophysiological experiments and enzyme assays.
  Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as a member of the team.

Appointment start date: November 1, 2016.

To apply and view the job posting please go to http://jobs.oregonstate.edu/postings/29322

Ramesh Sagili, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor-Apiculture
Department of Horticulture
4017 ALS Building
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR-97331
http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/content/ramesh-sagili
http://honeybeelab.oregonstate.edu/

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From Joy Pendell at the California State Beekeepers newsletter -

1. HOW THE GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS YOUR JUNK FOOD HABIT (New York Times)

At a time when almost three-quarters of the country is overweight or obese, it comes as no surprise that junk foods are the largest source of calories in the American diet. Topping the list are grain-based desserts like cookies, doughnuts and granola bars. (Yes, granola bars are dessert.)

That’s according to data from the federal government, which says that breads, sugary drinks, pizza, pasta dishes and “dairy desserts” like ice cream are also among Americans’ top 10 sources of calories.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/07/19/how-the-government-supports-your-junk-food-habit

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2. WHY AGRICULTURAL BIOTECH HASN'T REACHED ITS POTENTIAL (UC Berkley Blog)

Some of the key questions we raised as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the ICABR consortium were “why haven’t GMO crops been accepted and adopted as Green Revolution crops or medical rDNA?” “What are the constraints to the adoption of GMO?” “What are the differences among nations?” Several speakers addressed these questions and here is my interpretation of their answers.(David Zilberman)

http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2016/07/19/why-agricultural-biotech-hasnt-reached-its-potential

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Research colonies stolen in Canada, worth $10,000 each -

A research project in Canada has been hit after thieves stole four hives that were part of a four-year, C$7.1-million (US$5.43-million) national project aiming to develop high-producing colonies capable of resisting disease and surviving Canadian winters.

The four hives were among 30 stolen from the Miels D’Anicet apiary in Ferme-Neuve, Que., 175 miles northwest of Montreal

Laval University researcher Pierre Giovenazzo, one of the project leaders, says the four colonies were among 1,000 in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec that researchers have identified as strong performers in terms of breeding and honey production.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-research-colonies-stolen-canada-worth-10000


2. Master Gardener, Ohio State U Extension, Medina County Phenology Garden Tour, August 13 -

The Phenology Garden at A.I. Root Candle Co. contains 28 plants, which includes Herbaceous Perennials, Woody Ornamentals, and Native plants.   The garden was established in 2014.  The garden is one of 30 Phenology gardens across Ohio that is a replicate garden.  Phenology is the study of recurring, seasonal biological events and their relation to weather.     Medina Master Gardeners visit the garden weekly to record data on first and last bloom of each plant, and the pollinators that visit each plant. The goal is to learn more about pollinator activity and flower preference across the entire blooming season. Come and see the garden, the flowers, the pollinators and visit with the Medina Master Gardener Volunteers on August 13th.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-master-gardener-osu-extension-medina-county-phenology-garden-tour-august-13


3. Organic symposium proceedings now available -

Summaries of presentations from the 2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS) held in Pacific Grove are now available online at http://eorganic.info/node/16778. Many of the workshops and keynote presentations were recorded live and may be viewed via the eOrganic YouTube channel.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-organic-symposium-proceedings-now-available


4. Florida’s citrus no longer commercially viable by 2019?

According to Bob Shatters, a research molecular biologist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Fort Pierce, Fla., the Florida citrus industry knew citrus greening disease could come but was not well prepared to tackle the disease once it appeared.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-floridas-citrus-no-longer-commercially-viable-2019

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Not bee-related but good reading still -

AUTISM INCREASE MYSTERY SOLVED

The number of autism cases has skyrocketed in the past few decades. In the 1970s and 1980s, about 1 out of every 2,000 children had autism. Today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 150 8-year-olds in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. This expanded definition refers not only to autism but also to a collection of brain development disorders such as Asperger’s syndrome.

https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/10/13/autism-increase-mystery-solved-no-its-not-vaccines-gmos-glyphosate-or-organic-foods


Items of interest to beekeepers July 23 2016
Monday, July 25, 2016


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

IN THIS ISSUE

TRANSSHIPPED CHINESE HONEY BLAMED FOR DESTROYING CANADIAN HONEY MARKET
GLORYBEE IS LOOKING FOR HONEY
CANADIAN WINTERING LOSSES 2016
A CALL FOR HELP FROM THE HIVE TRACKS COMMUNITY!
ANT FARMERS
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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TRANSSHIPPED CHINESE HONEY BLAMED FOR DESTROYING CANADIAN HONEY MARKET

Canada is under siege from mountains of cheap honey suddenly pouring in from strange suppliers, and the Canadian Honey Council believes the honey is being transshipped to disguise its true origin – China, the well-known marketer of low-quality, tainted product.

Unusual volumes entered Canada in the first quarter of this year from countries as diverse as Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Moldova and even Zambia.

The statistics, supplied to Bee Culture by the council, show Zambia shipped 2,395 kg in the first quarter with a value of C$19,862.

It is the only country in southern Africa to suddenly find a growing market in Canada.

It is all the more dramatic because Zambia shipped just 10,985 kg for all of last year.

Moldova, on the other hand, began boosting shipments in 2012, rising from just 480 kg in 2011, to 6,900 kg the next year. Last year it was 6,966 kg, but it started this year with a 1,838-kg first-quarter windfall.

In four of the five years from 2009, Vietnam sent just 20 kg of honey to Canada. But in 2013 it popped up with sales of 19,209 kg and last year was 17,843 kg, a figure overwhelmed by its first-quarter sales this year of 29,360 kg.

Ukraine exported 5 kg to Canada in the four years before 2015 when shipments soared to 445,421 kg. Last year the total was 155,262 kg and this year’s first quarter saw 26,254 kg land in Canada.

Myanmar, still better known as Burma, shipped no honey to Canada between 2009 and 2013 as a result of international sanctions, but then moved 58,200 kg in 2014 and 201,002 kg last year. The bees had to be working extra hard for it to be able to boost its shipments to 140,701 kg in this year’s first quarter.

Council executive director Rod Scarlett doesn’t think it is bees doing the overtime.

He believes most of the honey entering Canada is produced by China and marketed by other players in an elaborate honey-laundering industry involving third countries.

“It is a slow process in getting the message out,” he tells Bee Culture.

It may not in fact be pure honey, but a blend of honey and corn syrup.

“We have a serious food-fraud problem,” Scarlett is quoted as saying in Vancouver newspapers.

The council is asking the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to expand its operation from not only looking at food safety but also at food fraud.

What raises suspicions about the origins of the imported honey is that Saudi Arabia, for instance, is one of the world’s larger importers of honey, while Myanmar is a tiny player.

Saudi Arabia jumped from 5,439 kg in in 2012 to 27,023 kg in in 2013 and 61,610 kg a year later. Last year total shipments to Canada were 36,484 kg. This year it has exploded to 22,491 kg in just the first quarter.

Thailand has a similar record. It shipped only 579 kg of honey to Canada in the five years from 2009 before soaring to 764,835 kg last year and then to 171,680 kg in this year’s first quarter.

Spain is also a suspect in the transshipping scheme. Its Canadian shipments ranged between 2,000 and 6,000 kg for years before dramatically increasing to 75,514 kg in 2014 and then 766,116 kg in 2015. In this year’s first quarter it sent 123,053 kg.

“What we’ve seen in the latest import stats, is that countries … have unusually high imports into Canada,” Scarlett tells the Western Producer farm weekly. “It’s countries that really don’t produce a lot of honey.”

China has a reputation for poor-quality honey loaded with contaminants and is working hard to avoid using a “Made in China” label on the product, he says.

Twice this year, U.S. federal agents in Chicago have seized 50-ton shipments of Chinese honey with fake documentation claiming it came from Vietnam.

“Honey is coming to Canada from countries that have no tradition of honey production, so we know it’s being transshipped,” Scarlett says. “That honey – and I use the term loosely – is 50 cents a pound, or more, cheaper, so it drives down the price for everyone.”

What is happening with Canada is remarkably similar to the situation with Australia 17 years ago.

A media investigation into the scale of the Australian honey relabeling operations, found that up to 2,228t of Chinese honey was shipped to Australia, mainly through Singapore, and then re-exported to the United States in the 2001-02 financial year at a time when the U.S. had banned Chinese honey.

A survey of the Australian beekeeping industry at the time released by the Australian Rural Research and Development Corp. showed that Australia’s honey imports from bee-less Singapore jumped from zero to 1,447t that financial year.

At the same time, Singapore’s honey imports from China rose from 2t in 2000-01 to 751t the following year.

Not coincidentally, Australian exports to the U.S. rose from 108t in 1999-00 and 168t in 2000-01 to 2,344t in 2001-02 – a year when Australian honey production was decimated by the worst drought since European settlement in 1788.

This time around, there’s no honey from Singapore, but what is happening in Canada has seen the price paid to Canadian producers fall from C$5.35 a kilogram (US$1.88/lb.) last year to about C$2.85 (US$1/lb.) this year – below the cost of production for most apiarists.

“This is having a huge impact on honey producers, especially on the Prairies where most of the bulk honey for export is produced,” Scarlett says. “Typical cost of production is around C$3.30 a kg (US$1.15/lb.), so there are a lot of guys sitting on honey or selling it at a loss just for the cash flow.”

He says this year’s unprecedented shipments of honey from Saudi Arabia, Moldova and Zambia during the first quarter this year are puzzling.

As is China, the world’s biggest honey producer, in shipping only C$910 (US$702) or 165 kg worth of honey to Canada in the first quarter, while shipments from its immediate neighbors totaled more than C$1.1 million (US$848,264).

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports Manitoba beekeepers say the low prices as a result of the imported honey glut could force some out of business.

Allan Campbell, who co-owns Durston Honey Farms near Dauphin, Man., tells the broadcaster he is still sitting on some of last year’s crop and not even lowering prices is making it move.

“I’ve spoken with many different producers who are still sitting on tons and tons of last year’s honey,” Campbell says. “To make matters worse, there seems to be quite an issue with Chinese honey being transshipped through other countries and coming into the country illegally.”

Canadian Honey Council chairman Kevin Nixon tells the CBC that beekeepers across Canada are dealing with the same issues.

“The market is saturated globally, and it is affecting all of us right now,” he says. “We’ve been told there is a global over-supply of honey.”

Nixon says Chinese honey loaded with antibiotics was essentially shut out of the North American market the mid-2000s.

“They started shipping it to other countries, and those countries re-exported it,” Nixon says. “”We’re seeing honey coming from Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar.”

Nixon says the honey can be traced through its pollen and floral patterns.

“This isn’t about food safety; this is about food fraud,” he says. “This is really damaging to the industry.”

Nixon believes large amounts of the transshipped honey is also entering the U.S. and those imports are affecting Canada’s southern market.

The Saskatoon-based Western Producer quotes Ron Phipps, a global honey expert, as saying in a report for the American Honey Producers Association that with both Thailand and Ukraine, the number of hives and level of beekeeping activity does not justify the quantity of honey exported.

“A review of Thailand’s honey trade over the past 10 years reveals a correlation between sharp increases in export and increases of imports of honey from China and its surrogates,” Phipps wrote.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-canadian-honey-council-blames-transshipped-chinese-honey-destroying-honey-market

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GLORYBEE IS LOOKING FOR HONEY

Nancy Burnett of GloryBee Foods in Eugene, Oregon wrote to say that Glorybee is looking for honey again this year. Contact her at

Nancy Burnett    
Natural Products & Imports Sr. Buyer | Purchasing
GloryBee Foods
Phone: 541-689-0913 ext 132 | Direct: 541-868-2296
Fax: 541-607-2142
Nancy.Burnett@GloryBee.com

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Excerpt from the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists on

CANADIAN WINTERING LOSSES 2016

"The national percentage of colony winter loss was 16.8% with individual provincial percentage ranging from 7.7% to 24.4%. The overall national colony loss reported in 2016 is one of the lowest losses since 2006/07. Despite reported wintering losses in recent years across Canada, beekeepers have been able to replace their dead colonies and increase the number of colonies from 2007 to 2015 by 22.4%."

Full report at http://www.capabees.com/shared/2015/07/2016-CAPA-Statement-on-Colony-Losses-July-19.pdf

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Another chance to be involved in data collection to support beekeeping research -

A CALL FOR HELP FROM THE HIVE TRACKS COMMUNITY!

We are pleased to announce that Hive Tracks has been awarded the Healthy Hives 2020 grant through Project Apis m. The goal of this funding is to create a standardized data platform that allows for consistent and reliable data collection techniques among commercial and backyard beekeepers. The expected outcome is to improve best management practices for modern beekeepers leading to improved yield, performance and bee health.

How Can You Help?

Become a citizen scientist! As a citizen scientist, you will be influential in determining the most critical data to impact the health of honey bees!
Let’s begin!

Step 1 – Complete our short ‘Citizen Scientist Survey’ by clicking here:
https://hivetracks.typeform.com/to/aK4dmU.

Step 2 – Join Hive Tracks now and get your first month FREE!

Step 3 - Once you sign up by completing our survey, we will send you an invitation to join a special “Citizen Science Group” on Hive Tracks. Here you can get connected with other beekeepers who are participating as citizen scientists.

Step 4 – We will keep you routinely updated via email and share the results that you help create.

Thank you for your help with this effort to use data science to improve global bee health and productivity!

Happy beekeeping,
Hive Tracks Research Team

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This fascinating item comes from the Independent, a UK newspaper, via Beth Roden's weekly newsletter for Bayer -

ANT FARMERS

Humans traded the hunter-gatherer lifestyle for farming many, many years ago, but did you know that a tribe of ants made the same switch? Scientists recently discovered that farmer ants emerged right after dinosaurs died out. Humans only developed this practice about 10,000 years ago (rather than 65 million). Native to South America, this type of ant farms fungus on decomposing wood. A published paper on this research stated that these ants evolved “complex societies with industrial-scale farming,” and they continued to adapt their practices over time to be more efficient and increase yields. Knowing the complexity and toughness of farming, I find this quite impressive!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/ants-invented-farming-60-million-years-hunter-gatherer-lifestyle-scientists-genes-genetics-a7146186.html

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Congress OKs Bill Requiring First GMO Food Labels, BUT HONEY’S NOT a GMO FOOD!

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers wanting to know if their foods contain genetically modified ingredients will be able to find out for the first time.

Congress sent legislation to President Barack Obama on July 14 that would require most food packages to carry a text label, a symbol or an electronic code readable by smartphone that indicates whether the food contains genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs. The Agriculture Department would have two years to write the rules.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-congress-oks-bill-requiring-first-gmo-food-labels-honeys-not-gmo-food/


2. Pollinator Partnership and Bee Culture Magazine Team Up For Pollinator Projects -

The Pollinator Partnership (P2) has partnered with Bee Culture Magazine on two of its Ohio research projects; Monarch Wings Across Ohio (MWAO) and the U.S. Bee Buffer Project. MWAO is P2’s monarch research initiative and part of the national effort, Monarch Wings Across America. The U.S. Bee Buffer Project is P2’s honey bee forage research program that started in 2014 in California and North Carolina and expanded to Ohio in 2015.

MWAO’s goal is to gain a science-based understanding of what plant species adult monarchs use to fuel their 3,000 mile migration and how to best install monarch habitat in various settings; farms, corporate lands, gardens, urban lots, utility right-of-way, roadsides, and parks.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-pollinator-partnership-bee-culture-magazine-team-pollinator-projects/


3. Bayer increases Monsanto offer and provides certainty on financing and regulatory matters. But what will happen to the bees?

 Over the past several weeks Bayer has engaged in private talks with Monsanto. Following receipt of additional information Bayer has raised its all-cash offer to Monsanto shareholders from USD 122 to USD 125 per share verbally on July 1 and in an updated proposal submitted to Monsanto on July 9. In addition, it has comprehensively addressed Monsanto’s questions concerning financing and regulatory matters and is prepared to make certain commitments to regulators, if required, to complete the proposed acquisition of Monsanto.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bayer-increases-monsanto-offer-provides-certainty-financing-regulatory-matters-will-happen-bees/


4. Air pollutants degrade floral scents and increase insect foraging times -

Insects increase the time to encounter target floral plumes in polluted air masses due to the modified chemical composition of floral scents. Plant-pollinator interactions could be sensitive to changes in floral scent composition, especially if insects are unable to adapt to the modified scentscape.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-air-pollutants-degrade-floral-scents-increase-insect-foraging-times


5.  California almond forecast increases -

The latest almond crop forecast for California has this year’s almond production up over last year’s production by almost eight percent. The objective measurement report, which was released on Wednesday, has this year’s crop bigger than what was estimated in the subjective report released in May.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-california-almond-forecast-increases


6. New FSMA Rule -

New FSMA Rule looks at roadside stands, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs and other such direct-to-consumer platforms in determining an establishment’s primary function and thus whether it meets the definition of a retail food establishment.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-new-fsma-rule


7. Sensory training in honey by the American Honey Tasting Society -

The American Honey Tasting Society (AHTS) is launching three more Honey 101: Introduction to Honey Tasting training course using the Italian methods for sensory analysis on October 22-23, 25-26 and 29-30, 2016 in Connecticut and Boston.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-sensory-training-honey-american-honey-tasting-society


8. Infra-Red Light and Observation Hives make studying bees easier, and better -

Observation hives have been used to study the behavior of honey bees since the pioneering studies of François Huber in the 18th century. Observation hives generally consist of glass walled hives containing a small number of combs and bees. A frequent objection to their use is that they are usually housed and observed in daylight or artificial light, in contrast to the darkness of a natural bee nest. It has therefore been a criticism that results obtained using observation hives may not always represent normal behavior. In a new study published in the Journal of Apicultural Research, Kaspar Bienefeld and colleagues from the Institute for Bee Research, Hohen Neuendorf, Germany, outline a new method for the long term undisturbed observation of bee behavior under infra-red light, which minimizes these problems.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-infra-red-light-observation-hives-make-studying-bees-easier-better



 

 

Events & Links (• New)


July 5 - 31:    Entry period for Good Food Awards. Info http://www.goodfoodawards.org/entrants

July 25 - 9: Eastern Apicultural Society 2016, Richard Stockton University, Galloway NJ. Short Course July 25 - 27; Conference July 27 - 29. Info http://www.easternapiculture.org

July 26: Next Generation Beekeepers Breakout Session with Sarah Red-Laird  and Noah Wilson-Rich at Eastern Apicultural Society Conference, Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey, 7 p.m., venue still to be announced. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/eas-next-gen-beekeeper-breakout-session-tickets-26087116267. Sarah and Noah will also team up to teach a "train the trainer" workshop on July 25th at 2:30 at the university.

Aug 20: Hive to Table - a fund-raising dinner for the Bee Girl organization, Hanley Farm, Central Point, Oregon. Info http://www.beegirl.org and http://www.chefkristin.com.

Aug 20 - 21: Oregon Honey Festival, Ashland, OR. Registration at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oregon-honey-and-mead-festival-saturday-aug-20-2016-presale-tickets-21599445523?aff=es2. The website is: http://www.oregonhoneyfestival.com. Also on Facebook!

• Aug 28: Be a Better Beekeeper - Celebrating the Alameda County Beekeeping Association Centennial Symposium, 9:00 AM, to 5:00 PM, Ed Roberts Campus, Berkley (at the Ashby BART station). Tickets: $60 - $70. Sign up at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/be-a-better-beekeeper-celebrating-the-alameda-co-beekeeping-association-centennial-tickets-26522071229?aff=es2

Sept 6 - 10:  World Conference on Organic Beekeeping, Argentina. Info http://www.ifoam.bio.

Sept 12 - 16 8th Caribbean Beekeeping Congress, Rovanel’s Resort and Conference Centre, Store Bay, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago, under the auspices of the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations, Scientific Commission on Beekeeping for Rural Development. Information and registration at http://www.acboonline.com.

Oct 12 - 15:  Western Apicultural Society Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii. Info http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org

Oct 14 -16: BCHPA AGM on Friday, the 14th plus education days Saturday and Sunday Oct 15 and 16, at the Pacific Gateway Hotel in Richmond, close to Vancouver airport. Details to come at (new website)http:// www.bcbeekeepers.com

Oct 20: World of Honey: California. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

• Oct 21 - 23: A case for Honey Conference, presented by Bee Culture Magazine, Bee Culture Conference Center, 640 W. Liberty St., Medina OH. Info & registration ($150) http://store.beeculture.com/a-case-for-honey-october-22nd-23rd-2016

Nov 5: Colorado State Beekeepers Association Winter Bee Meeting, Douglas County Fairgrounds. More info soon at http://coloradobeekeepers.org/winter-meeting.html

Nov 12: Beekeepers' Ball, Jacksonville, Oregon. Info http://www.beegirl.org.

Nov 15 - 17: California State Beekeepers Association Annual Convention, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego. Info http://www.californiastatebeekeepers.com/events.html. Book your room at https://gc.synxis.com/rez.aspx?Hotel=58621&Chain=11910&arrive=11/15/2016&depart=11/18/2016&adult=1&child=0&group=1114CSB

• Nov 22 - 25: 6th Apimedica & 5th Api Quality International Symposium, Rome, Italy. Information in English is limited yet, but keep an eye on http://www.izslt.it/apicoltura/6th-apimedica-5th-apiquality-international-symposium/

Jan 10  - 14, 2017: Joint Convention of the American Beekeeping Federation and American Honey Producers Association, Galveston, Texas.

Jan 12: Mead Making Bootcamp. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 13 - 14: Beginner's Introduction to Mead Making. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Jan 25: World of Honey - Honey Tasting Series (North America). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

Apr 18: World of Honey Tasting Series (International). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

May 5 - 6: California Honey Festival (Woodland, CA). Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

May 7: 2017 Bee Symposium. Info http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events

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LINKS

These links will take you to important websites. Reprinting the items gets too voluminous, so I encourage you to visit the originals for some good reading any time.

• Dr. Malcolm Sanford's Apis Information Resource News website and newsletter  http://beekeep.info/apis-newsletter.

Washington State University info on bees and New Bee Lab building fund - http://bees.wsu.edu/

http://www.BeeCityUSA.org

Bee Diverse - about bees and pollination, particularly mason bees - how to mange them using homes and mason bee tools
http://www.Beediverse.com/blog

Winnie the Pooh Guide to helping British bees: http://www.friendsofthehoneybee.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06 E2463_BeeBooklet_Web.pdf

From Julie, an after-school child care worker: Looking for a good information site to teach children and beginning beekeepers? Try
http://www.serenataflowers.com/pollennation/flowers-bees-honey/

UC-Davis on-line Newsletter: http://elninobeelab.ucdavis.edu/apiculture_newsletter.html

Apis Information Resource News - PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE from Apis Newsletter by Dr. Malcolm Sanford. The newsletter is still found at  http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=9296a3543dc631c8a50086511&id=ec6bf7d517
It can also be accessed through http://apis.shorturl.com

http://beecare.bayer.com/service-center/publications/beenow-magazin

California State Department of Food and Agriculture blog - http://plantingseedsblog.cdfa.ca.gov

Genetic literacy - http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org

Randy Oliver website -  http://scientificbeekeeping.com

Honey Bee Health Coalition - http://www.honeybeehealthcoalition.org

Pollinator Stewardship Council - http://pollinatorstewardship.org/?page_id=349, with the most recent one posting at the top of the page

Project Apis m. - http://www.ProjectApism.org

Washington State University on bee health - http://www.extension.org/bee_health

WSU 'Green Times' newsletter - http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/blog/category/green-times

Colorado State University Pollinator Protection office - http://www.cepep.colostate.edu/Pollinator%20Protection/index.html

Infographics on beekeeping stats, facts, management and honey labels - http://www.foodpackaginglabels.net/honey-labels

 
 


Items of interest to beekeepers July 15 2016
Monday, July 25, 2016

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



IN THIS ISSUE

UPDATE ON DR. MALCOLM SANFORD AND A REMINDER OF HIS APIS NEWSLETTER
TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR OREGON HONEY & MEAD FESTIVAL
LATEST STUDY FROM DR. JONATHAN LUNDGREN
THE DEADLIEST JOBS: FATAL INJURIES AND SUICIDES
HOW SQUARE WATERMELONS GET THEIR SHAPE AND OTHER GMO MISCONCEPTIONS
MEND: PILOT STUDY REVERSES COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT OF ALZHEIMER'S
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS
LINKS

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It seems to be a 'slow week' for bee news so this issue has more from other fields you may be interested in. Certainly there is no shortage of great articles out there that do, or may, affect the lives of beekeepers. Enjoy!


UPDATE ON DR. MALCOLM SANFORD AND A REMINDER OF HIS APIS NEWSLETTER

It's permanently listed in our "LNKS" section, but this is a reminder that Dr. Malcolm Sanford's Apis Information Resource News website and excellent  newsletter is available at  http://beekeep.info/apis-newsletter. In this issue, he comments (and provides links to) several programs that assist returning soldiers to re-establish civilian life as beekeepers, opportunities through the now-open Core Fullbright Scholar Program, and extension efforts in various places. Sign up to get regular updates.

Dr. Sanford has been fighting cancer this year and reports he is much improved after surgery, physical therapy and is now managing with home care nursing, though some of his annual bee-oriented activities have had to be curtailed. Follow his progress and beekeeping insights in the newsletter. Best wishes, Malcolm, for a full recovery.

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From Sharon Schmidt in Ashland, Oregon -

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR OREGON HONEY & MEAD FESTIVAL

Beekeeping, honey sensory analysis, pollinator art, live musics, speakers, cheese sampling, chocolate tasting. Saturday, August 20, 10 - 7, 255 E. Main, Ashland.  Also in the EVENTS list below.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oregon-honey-and-mead-festival-saturday-aug-20-2016-presale-tickets-21599445523?aff=es2

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LATEST STUDY FROM DR. JONATHAN LUNDGREN

A new study we just published is published. http://www.nature.com/articles/srep29608

Neonicotinoids were found to contaminate conservation strips meant to conserve pollinators on organic farms. The quantity of clothianidin found in the bee pollen was negatively correlated with declines in bee health.

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More good reads, not necessarily bee oriented:

This one in the New York Times was pointed out by Bayer's Beth Roden in her weekly newsletter. Lots of reassurance for those who fear GMOs - many products you thought contained GMOs don't!

HOW SQUARE WATERMELONS GET THEIR SHAPE AND OTHER GMO MISCONCEPTIONS

To start with, those odd-looking square watermelons in the picture above? Their genes weren’t messed with. They were grown in boxes.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/07/12/science/gmo-misconceptions.html?emc=edit_tnt_20160711&nlid=65254796&tntemail0=y&_r=3

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Several from the American Council on Science and Health -

1. THE DEADLIEST JOBS: FATAL INJURIES AND SUICIDES

Every year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its most recent data on the deadliest jobs in America. As usual, the “farming, fishing, and forestry” occupation group was by far the deadliest, with a fatal injury rate of 24.7 per 100,000 workers.

http://acsh.org/news/2016/07/07/the-deadliest-jobs-fatal-injuries-and-suicides


2. MEND: PILOT STUDY REVERSES COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT OF ALZHEIMER'S

A small study but interesting and encouraging -

http://acsh.org/news/2016/07/11/mend-pilot-study-reverses-cognitive-impairment-of-alzheimers/


3. AN AUSTRIAN FAMILY AVOIDS ALL PLASTICS. GUESS WHAT HAPPENS

Be prepared for a shock on this one. Fascinating!

http://acsh.org/news/2016/07/14/an-austrian-family-avoids-all-plastics-guess-what-happens/


4. COLD VIRUSES ATTACK WHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS COLD

http://acsh.org/news/2016/07/11/cold-viruses-attack-when-your-immune-system-is-cold/

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1.  Australia Varroa find is jacobsoni, NOT destructor -

Confirmation from the federal and Queensland governments and industry sources that the two mites in a feral Asian honey bee hive in Townsville, 830 miles north of Brisbane, were jacobsoni means Australia has again dodged the Varroa bullet.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-australia-varroa-find-jacobsoni-not-destructor


2.  Honey bee circadian rhythms are affected more by social interactions -

Circadian rhythms are internal clocks that determine many of an organism’s daily rhythms, for example sleep-wake, feeding, urinary output and hormone production. Aligned with the environment by external forces such as sunlight and ambient temperature, circadian rhythms are important for animal health and survival. Disturbances of the circadian clock are associated with a variety of diseases in humans and animals, including cancer, mental illnesses and metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and obesity.

The dominant role of light in adjusting the circadian rhythm to the local environment has consistently been emphasized in studies on individually-isolated animals in laboratories. Interactions with others of the same species, while very important for animal survival and fitness in nature, are not considered important external stimuli that affect the animal circadian clock.

Now, a study conducted by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and published in the journal Nature Communications challenges this view.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-honey-bee-circadian-rhythms-affected-social-interactions


Items of interest to beekeepers July 9 2016
Monday, July 25, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

ON BECOMING A MASTER BEEKEEPER
FORAGE & NUTRITION TASK FORCE OF THE NORTH AMERICAN POLLINATOR PARTNERSHIP CAMPAIGN - SHORT SURVEY
HELP SAVE HOBBIT WASH
VANISHING ACT: WHY INSECTS ARE DECLINING AND WHY IT MATTERS
CATCH THE BUZZ

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A revelatory commentary on the value of master beekeeper programs, with particular reference to the University of Montana course, by "Rusty" on the http://honeybeesuite.com website -

ON BECOMING A MASTER BEEKEEPER
 
http://honeybeesuite.com/becoming-master-beekeeper/

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From Joy Pendell and the California State Beekeepers newsletter -

FORAGE & NUTRITION TASK FORCE OF THE NORTH AMERICAN POLLINATOR PARTNERSHIP CAMPAIGN - SHORT SURVEY

“We are reaching out to beekeepers to help us determine appropriate standards for granting tax incentives to beekeeping. The data gathered from this 1-minute survey will allow us to propose evidence-based guidelines on how many acres per hive should be granted these tax benefits, which will help beekeepers and our most important pollinators.”

http://www.americanbeeproject.com/

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This comes from folks in Las Vegas via organic beekeeper Dee Lusby in Arizona. Take a look and see if you can help -

HELP SAVE HOBBIT WASH

Save Hobbit Wash Wetland in urban Las Vegas from destruction!
https://www.change.org/p/clark-county-nevada-commissioner-chris-giunchigliani-save-hobbit-wash-wetland-in-urban-las-vegas-from-destruction?recruiter=6485108&utm_source=petitions_show_components_action_panel_wrapper&utm_medium=copylink

The Hobbit Wash is home to some of the last desert wildflowers and wildlife remaining within built-out Las Vegas. It is a green refuge and educational resource for modest income children living in the adjacent neighborhood. It also has great potential as an urban trail destination and as an example of economical, natural flood control. You can learn all about this on: http://www.HobbitWashWetland.org.

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From Peggy Beckett in Hilo, Hawaii -

VANISHING ACT: WHY INSECTS ARE DECLINING AND WHY IT MATTERS

An international take on declining insect populations.

Many biologists support more intensive monitoring efforts, but point out that in Europe there’s already enough knowledge about insect decline to start addressing root causes — mainly in agricultural policy. According to conservation organizations like BirdLife International, new attempts are necessary to "green" EU agricultural policy in a substantial way by creating incentives for enriching landscapes with hedgerows, reducing fertilizer and pesticide use, and better rewarding organic agriculture. Previous efforts to do so have largely failed.

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/insect_numbers_declining_why_it_matters/3012/#.V36TAdowWkc.facebook

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Tabitha Mansker, 2016 American Honey Princess Picasa -

Tabitha Mansker, the 2016 American Honey Princess, will visit New Jersey July 26-29. She will be a guest of the Eastern Apicultural Society and will participate in its annual conference being held this year at Stockton University in Galloway Township. She will be a guest speaker and will participate in the Kids and Bees program, a hands-on, interactive, educational program sponsored by the American Beekeeping Federation for children of all ages.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-tabitha-mansker-2016-american-honey-princess-picasa


2. Lots went on during pollinator week that wasn’t about pollinators. Here’s some of those, plus some pollinator stuff.

If signed into law, the bill would set a goal for the USDA and other agencies of conserving, restoring, or enhancing 3 million acres of forage habitat — i.e. fields of flowering plants and shrubs — a step towards the goal of 7 million acres of pollinator habitat set by the White House in 2014.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/06/23/3791659/pollinator-week-bill/

The cool spring in Prince Edward Island could put a dent in the blueberry crop. While blueberry farmers seem to have dodged repeated frost warnings, the same can’t be said for pollination. Simply put, bees don’t like working in cooler than normal weather.

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/159768/Canada-Cool-temps-slows-bees-and-blueberries

Traditional pollination machines only blow pollen up into the plant canopy once, resulting in the fairly low hit rate. An expensive exercise, when pollen costs $3000 per kilogram.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/81373426/inventor-helps-others-while-helping-himself-back-to-health

The USDA also said that according to a new review of acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, “farmers and ranchers across the country have created more than 15 million acres of healthy habitat and forage for pollinators.” Nearly 270,000 acres are enrolled in one pollinator-specific program, but pollinators “are also helped by several

http://www.agri-pulse.com/USDA-signs-MOU-with-beekeeping-groups-06232016.asp


3. Leadership Award, Veteran’s Program, Hofmann Apiaries To Be Preserved -

Bayer’s Annual Leadership Award – It’s all about Partnerships.

4th Annual Bayer Community Leadership Award Celebrates Partnerships that Protect Pollinators, Offering $6,000 in Program Support

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bayer-seeks-nominations-for-award-honoring-collaboration-between-beekeepers-and-growers-300289196.html

 
Veteran’s Gain From Partnering With Honey Bees

BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, June 23—Honey bees may reduce stress and become a new business venture for those who have served in the U.S. military.

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2016/160623.2.htm

 
Historic Beekeeping Facility

The Hofmann Apiaries, which ran from about 1903 to 1985, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in January. That was the beginning of an effort by current owner Larry Hofmann to save a family legacy.

http://www.southernminn.com/janesville_argus/news/article_510065db-0b26-5443-bcec-a90ca83fa0bb.html


4. The EU Can’t Decide Yes or No to Glyphosate -

The European Union Appeals Committee failed to make a ruling on the continued use of glyphosate, throwing the decision whether to extend the license for the herbicide back to the European Commission.

The Commission had proposed extending the approval of glyphosate – popularly known as Roundup – for 18 months, the estimated time needed by the European Chemicals Agency to deliver an opinion on its continued use.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-eu-cant-decide-yes-no-glyphosphate



5. Scientists to examine spread of disease in bees with NIH grant. So, how DO pathogens get from point A, to point B?

A team led by Cornell researchers has received a five-year, $2.2 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop an approach to better understand how pathogens that infect bees and other pollinators are spread.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-scientists-examine-spread-disease-bees-nih-grant-pathogens-get-point-point-b


6. Forensic Pollen Science is a way of life for Vaughn Bryant. Solving murders is one of the perks -

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-forensic-pollen-science-way-life-vaughn-bryant-solving-murders-one-perks/

http://www.houstonpress.com/news/vaughn-bryant-uses-pollen-to-pinpoint-where-a-victim-has-been-and-maybe-solve-a-crime-8519184


7. Picky eaters: Bumble bees prefer plants with nutrient-rich pollen -

Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-picky-eaters-bumble-bees-prefer-plants-nutrient-rich-pollen/


8. EpiPen Price Skyrockets, Lack of Competition -

For people who suffer from allergies and anaphylaxis, it appears the price of EpiPens are on the rise—with many people attributing the increased cost to lack of competition.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-epipen-price-skyrockets-lack-competition


Items of interest to beekeepers July 1 2016
Monday, July 4, 2016

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

BUG BITE SALIVA HIJACKS IMMUNE CELLS TO SPREAD VIRUS
HIVE TO TABLE - A FUND-RAISING DINNER FOR BEE GIRL
CATCH THE BUZZ
MORE GOOD READS: ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM IS BIGGEST THREAT TO MODERN SOCIETY
EVENTS

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From Joy Pendell at the California State newsletter -

BUG BITE SALIVA HIJACKS IMMUNE CELLS TO SPREAD VIRUS

Depending on your perspective, one of nature’s perverse ironies—or exquisite feats—is that some mosquito-borne viruses appear to benefit from their victims’ immune responses to bug bites. Simply put, the body’s defensive reaction to pathogens, including dengue or West Nile, acts as a handmaiden for the viruses themselves. The first glimpses into exactly how these pathogens manage to hijack the body’s defense systems to enhance disease were revealed Tuesday in a new mouse study.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bug-bite-saliva-hijacks-immune-cells-to-spread-virus

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From Bee Girl, Sarah Red-Laird -

HIVE TO TABLE - A FUND-RAISING DINNER FOR BEE GIRL

On Saturday, August 20th at 7:00 pm, Farm Chef Kristen Lyon and Sarah Red-Laird, a.k.a., Bee Girl, invite you to join us for a sweet feast at the Historic Hanley Farm in Southern Oregon! Our multicourse dinner will be created in the “farm to table” style, featuring food from local farmers, with Bee Girl Honey weaved through every course.

This event is a fundraiser for the Bee Girl organization, a nonprofit with a mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees, their flowers, and our food system.

Kristen and Sarah met at a local food event at RoxyAnn Winery in 2011. Kristen was directing the kitchen, and Sarah was volunteering as a server. A common love for local food, Sarah’s busy as a bee work ethic and Kristen’s quick wit forged a fast friendship, and the two have been working together to promote the locavore lifestyle and bee love since. This event is the materialization of a dream five years in the making, and we hope you can join us to indulge in this year’s honey harvest!

The evening wouldn’t be complete without live music, so we are happy to announce the perfect pairing for the honey harvest dinner, and the historic farm backdrop - Southbound!  Southbound plays “homegrown, grass-fed folk and country,” and will fill the summer air with sweet melodies while you dine and sip.        

Learn more about the Bee Girl organization at http://www.beegirl.org, and more about Chef Kristen and her work at http://www.chefkristen.com.

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And from Kim Flottum at Bee Culture -

CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Phony (not very smart) bee inspectors suspected in Grant County, Wisconsin -

A beekeeper contacted Grant County Sheriff’s Office last week when a couple of suspicious travelers on a remote Jamestown road claimed to be state bee inspectors.

The two white males driving a black Chevrolet SUV stopped at a residence on Plum Hollow Road in the town of Jamestown, west of Highway 61, according to sheriff’s reports.

They were there to inspect the resident’s bee hives, they said. The resident had sold the hives two years earlier, however. The former beekeeper contacted other beekeepers in the area, who reported no inspectors.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-phony-not-smart-bee-inspectors-suspected-grant-county-wisconsin-always-something


2. How squash agriculture spread bees in pre-Columbian North America -

Using genetic markers, researchers have for the first time shown how cultivating a specific crop led to the expansion of a pollinator species. In this case, the researchers found that the spread of a bee species in pre-Columbian Central and North America was tied to the spread of squash agriculture.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-squash-agriculture-spread-bees-pre-columbian-north-america


3. USDA Scientists and Beekeepers Swap Colonies to Better Bees -

The U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Bee Research Laboratory and Geezer Ridge Farm apiary have begun an unusual partnership that may help honey bees take another step up the survival ladder.

“Usually with science, researchers finish a study and turn the results over to beekeepers to apply; then researchers start on the next experiments and so on,” explains entomologist Jay Evans, research leader of the Beltsville, Maryland lab and one of the USDA’s pioneers in bee health science.

This time, the Bee Research Lab is studying the success Geezer Ridge Farm in Hedgesville, West Virginia, has had improving honey bee health after applying USDA research results.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-usda-scientists-beekeepers-swap-colonies-better-bees


4. Pollinator Week: Celebrating Blue Butterflies on the Great Lakes -

Located within the Great Lakes Basin, the Huron-Manistee National Forest’s Baldwin/White Cloud Ranger District provides important habitat for the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. The butterfly depends on a rare natural community called savanna—open areas with scattered trees and abundant wildflowers. Savannas have declined to less than 1 percent of their former extent due to extensive reforestation, fire control efforts, human development, and the process of natural selection. To address this, the BWC Ranger District has been actively working to restore the area’s oak savanna habitat since 1992.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-pollinator-week-celebrating-blue-butterflies-great-lakes


5. HSI Chicago seizes nearly 60 tons of honey illegally imported from China, AGAIN!!!

Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) again seized nearly 60 tons of illegally imported Chinese honey Wednesday that was destined for U.S. consumers.

The smuggled honey was contained in 195 55-gallon drums that were falsely declared as originating from, where else, Vietnam, to evade anti-dumping duties applicable to Chinese-origin honey.

The honey likely originated from the same exporter in Vietnam as another 60 tons of honey that was seized by HSI Chicago in the Midwest in April.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-hsi-chicago-seizes-nearly-60-tons-honey-illegally-imported-china/

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More good reads, though not bee-oriented -

ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM IS BIGGEST THREAT TO MODERN SOCIETY

As a society, we never grew up beyond high school. Not being smart continues to be cool. Rejecting the collective wisdom of scientists, economists, academics, and journalists is applauded. Spurning the “establishment” (defined, it seems, as anybody with expertise on any subject) has become the new national pastime.

This trend has lethal consequences.

http://acsh.org/news/2016/06/26/anti-intellectualism-is-biggest-threat-to-modern-society/

 


Items of interest to beekeepers June 24 2016
Thursday, June 30, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

WSU BEE LAB ADDED TO LINKS LIST
INVITATION TO EAS IN JULY
RESEARCH CHAIR IN BEE HEALTH NAMED
25 MILLION FLOWERS PLEDGED FOR HONEY BEES THIS NATIONAL POLLINATOR WEEK
SCIENTISTS SELECTED TO FURTHER QUEST FOR ANSWERS TO KEY BEE HEALTH QUESTION
PAm ANNOUNCEMENTS
HONEY BEES PRODUCE MILLIMOLAR CONCENTRATIONS OF NON-NEURONAL ACETYLCHOLINE FOR BREEDING: POSSIBLE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF NEONICOTINOIDS
CATCH THE BUZZ
NOT BEES BUT A GOOD READ: ENGINEERING IMMUNE CELLS TO RECOGNIZE AND KILL CANCER

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I missed doing this last week along with the report on the Washington State University kick-off to funding their new bee lab. Apologies. Check the LINKS at the end of these Items reports for info and a place to make your contribution to this building project (http://bees.wsu.edu). All funding must come from private donations. Your help is needed.

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Here is a special invitation from Past Chairman Jim Bobb to visit the Eastern Apicultural Society conference in New Jersey next month -

INVITATION TO EAS IN JULY

EAS is holding their annual conference next month at Richard Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey, outside Atlantic City. The Short Course will happen July 25th to 27th, and the Conference the 27th to 29th. Presenters include James Frazier and Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Jeff Pettis and Medhat Nasr, Maryann Fraizier, Sarah Red-Laird, David Tarpy and many more. Hotel housing is going fast, so book early if you want a hotel room.  Dormitory housing is also available so check it out when you register. Info and registration at http://www.easternapiculture.org. More details in their 70-page spring journal at  http://www.easternapiculture.org/images/journal/Spring2016.pdf.

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And from the University of Guelph, Ontario -

RESEARCH CHAIR IN BEE HEALTH NAMED
By Rob O'Flanagan

The University of Guelph has received a $1-million gift from an Ontario family to help protect pollinators.  

The gift, and the Pinchin Family Chair in Bee Health it establishes, is in memory of Donald Pinchin. The funding also launches the Don Pichin Scholarship in Honey Bee Research and Beneficial Insect Health.

University of Guelph school of environmental sciences professor Ernesto Guzman has been named the Pinchin Family Chair. He in an interview the research chair and scholarship will allow researchers to continue their extensive field working examining the many pressures that threaten pollinator health and populations.

In general terms, Guzman said, modern agricultural practices have put pollinators, especially honey bees, at risk. What exactly the causes of these stresses are, and what they are doing to pollinator health, are complex issues that must to studied intensely.

The Pinchin Family Chair and the concurrent scholarship will contribute greatly to that knowledge, Guzman indicated.

There is a long answer and a short answer to why the bee population is decreasing, Guzman said. For the sake of expediency, he offered the short answer.

“What’s killing the bees?” Guzman said. “Modernity is killing the bees.”

Pinchin was a scientist, and a philanthropist, who founded Pinchin Ltd., an environmental and building consulting firm. He had a love of agriculture rooted in his upbringing on a farm and orchard in the Toronto area.  He understood from a young age the indispensable role pollinators played in agriculture, a U of G press release indicated.  

The chair and the scholarship will support important teaching and research that will benefit the environment and the economy, Wayne Caldwell, acting dean of the Ontario Agricultural College, said in the press release. He said the decline in pollinator populations around the world is threatening agriculture and the food system.

The annual scholarship will go to a graduate student intent on studying subjects such as ecotoxicology and integrated pest management. The funding is expected to enhance the recruitment of students and post-doctoral researchers.

Guzman is an international expert on honeybees. He has been with U of G since 2005, and was previously a research entomologist at the National Institute for Agricultural and Animal Research in Mexico.

Modern agricultural practices, he said, brought with them a host of brand new stressers for pollinators, conditions that they didn’t have to deal with in the past.

In former times, mites were not as big a problem as they became in modern times. Mites were largely responsible for a 35 per cent decline in honeybees in the first decade of this century, Guzman's own research found.

Parasites have been imported into North America that bees were not previously exposed to, Guzman said.

“Now, most agricultural fields have a single culture,” he added. “The practice of monoculture has been widely adopted in North America. That was the way to compete. That has a price.”

Those massive crops use pesticides that may be harmful to bees, and they reduce the biodiversity that bees have come to depend upon. The crops also need a huge number of pollinators at blooming time, and if the population is reduced, agricultural production can be negatively impacted.

https://www.guelphtoday.com/local-news/research-chair-in-bee-health-named-318404

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25 MILLION FLOWERS PLEDGED FOR HONEY BEES THIS NATIONAL POLLINATOR WEEK

Honey bees and other pollinators are responsible in some way for many of the everyday things we take for granted. The apples that fill our favorite pies and many of the beautiful flowers that make up our bouquets are readily available thanks to our pollinator friends. That is why this National Pollinator Week (June 20-26), The Wildlife Society and Feed a Bee said “Thank you!” to them in a big way.

Announced on Wednesday, the Bayer Bee Care Program has engaged as a Premier Partner of The Wildlife Society (TWS). The groups will work together toward the goal of planting 25 million pollinator-attractant wildflower seeds, increasing forage and nutrition options for hungry bees that are suffering from a limited menu. So far, thousands of people have participated in  #FeedABee,” the social initiative driving the number of seeds being planted. By partnering with TWS and encouraging even more people to get involved online, Feed a Bee hopes to double the number of current engagements to reach the 25 million seeds by the fall, when the planting will take place.

TWS will engage its nearly 10,000 members to identify key areas in the U.S. in need of more forage and announce where the millions of seeds will be planted at its 23rd Annual Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, in October. The planting will occur later in the fall, just in time for the pollinator buffet to bloom and establish spring 2017 forage. In addition to partnering for the premier planting event of the year, TWS will involve its dedicated membership of scientists, managers, educators, consultants, students and other pollinator allies to distribute and plant 60,000 wildflower seed packets, contributing to even more forage across the nation.

Full article at https://www.cropscience.bayer.us/news/press-releases/2016/06222016-the-wildlife-society-partners-with-feed-a-bee-to-plant-25-million-flowers

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SCIENTISTS SELECTED TO FURTHER QUEST FOR ANSWERS TO KEY BEE HEALTH QUESTION: Part of 4-year, $1 million Healthy Hives 2020 Initiative to Find Tangible Solutions to Improve Colony Health
 
Paso Robles, Calif. (June 20, 2016) – Project Apis m. announced today the names of scientists and research projects seeking to answer key questions around bee health to receive funding as part of the Healthy Hives 2020 initiative.  Healthy Hives 2020 is an initiative of the Bayer Bee Care Program and administered by Project Apis m. with the goal of improving the health of honey bee colonies in the United States by the year 2020.
 
Projects funded cover critical bee health topics such as bee nutrition, Varroa and disease management, and enhanced management techniques through smart-hive technology. The recipients were selected from a total of 23 research proposals seeking to provide practical and tangible solutions to the key issues affecting the U.S. beekeeping industry. More projects will be funded as the Healthy Hives initiative moves forward.
 
“Project Apis m. is dedicated to honey bee health and we are so excited about this initial round of grant recipients,” said Danielle Downey, the director of operations for Project Apis m. and Healthy Hives 2020 program manager. “Today’s beekeepers are faced with a broad range of issues and are in urgent need of practical solutions to improve the health of their hives. We believe these projects will be critical to helping us enhance the vitality of honey bee colonies, while also improving crop productivity.”
 
Projects Funded:
 
In February 2016, Healthy Hives 2020 issued a call for research proposals to address priority areas established by the program. The Healthy Hives 2020 Steering Committee reviewed the nearly two dozen proposals received and selected the seven research projects based on their direct correlation to the objectives set forth by the advisory council. Awarded projects* include:
 
Dr. Arathi Seshadri, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University - Phytochemicals as management tool for sustainable honeybee colony health and Productivity

Develop laboratory studies to test the effects of phytochemical nutritional supplements on forager longevity and pathogen tolerance. Evaluate the field benefits of nutritional supplements using pollen patties infused with phytochemicals by measuring foraging activity and colony survivorship.
 
Dr. Brandon Hopkins, CEO, Advanced Beekeeping Solutions - Evaluation and comparison of management strategies and economics of apicultural practices in commercial beekeeping operations

Develop accurate “real-time” data to enhance management decisions and optimize economic output, especially for large migratory operations spread over wide geographies. The research will use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology on bee pallets to provide a detailed economic evaluation of the data and to identify best management practices among collaborating beekeepers.
 
Dr. Jody Johnson, Cullaborate, LLC - Pesticide Toxicity Analysis of Varroa mites

Evaluate the efficacy of potential varroacides with novel modes of action with the intent to provide beekeepers with new tools to combat Varroa. These efforts will accelerate the discovery and field testing of new varroacides and facilitate quicker notification and commercial registration by the respective regulatory agencies.
 
Dr. Joseph Cazier,  Center for Analytics Research and Education, Appalachian State University - Electronic Data Collection and Sensor Integration for Data Aggregation, Best Management Practices Data Mining and Smart Hive Development

Establish a standardized platform for consistent and reliable collection of human and natural order data from commercial and hobby beekeepers, using advanced data analytics across multiple locations, crops and forage locations. The comprehensive analysis will examine beekeeping economics, best management practices, smart hive development and robust data collection and analytics.
 
Dr. Quinn McFrederick, Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside - Determining how Nosema ceranae infection alters the honey bee midgut microbiome

Determine how Nosema alters the honey bee midgut microbiome and how the microbiome differs in bees that are resistant to the parasite. The researchers will partner with a local beekeeper to identify Nosema-resistant or susceptible colonies to determine if there is a pattern in the microbiomes composition that could lay the groundwork for future midgut engineering to protect against infection.
 
Dr. Stephen Martin, Professor, School of Environmental & Life Sciences, University of Salford - Establishing the Deformed Wing Viral (DWV) diversity across the USA

Characterize the distribution and associations of DWV strains within different U.S. honey bee populations (e.g. managed, feral, Varroa-tolerant, hygienic). Screen 1,000 bee colonies to detect and isolate benign types from the virulent strains. Determine if non-virulent strains can be linked to increased colony survival to develop a long-term solution to the problem of Varroa-transmitted viruses.
 
Dr. Steve Sheppard, Washington State University - Comparison of US honey bee genetic lines for queen production and pollination efficiency under field conditions

Compare subspecies performance as it relates to mating success and queen production, foraging behavior and pollination efficiency, overwintering survival, productivity/vigor and Varroa tolerance. Old World subspecies and three commercial lines will be examined under differing climatic environments to increase our knowledge of apiculturally-relevant characteristics associated with crop pollination.
 
*Note:  Only the lead researcher is listed
 
Healthy Hives 2020 is a major initiative focused on identifying tangible solutions that will improve the health of honey bee colonies in the United States by the year 2020. Through the initiative, Crop Science, a division of Bayer, is partnering with experts on bee health and establishing an advisory council to discuss strategies to improve honey bee health by:  

• Better quantifying the characteristics of a healthy honey bee colony;
• Enhancing collaboration, communication and partnerships to address honey bee health issues; and
• Identifying and developing new strategies and tangible solutions that will improve colony health.
 
As part of the Healthy Hives initiative, an advisory council of bee health stakeholders, including academia, government, agriculture, business and the beekeeping community, was established. The group assembled in 2015 to review honey bee health conditions and set four urgent priority objectives to improve colony health:
 
• Conduct an economic assessment of the true “cost” of commercial beekeeping;
• Create a set of “Best Management Practices” for commercial beekeeping based on definitive colony health performance data;
• Evaluate the use of “smart hive” technology to monitor commercial migratory operations; and,
• Assess available honey bee genetics for traits relevant to colony resistance to pests and disease, as well as pollination and honey production.

Project Apis m. (PAm) is the go-to organization at the interface of honey bees and pollinated crops. Since 2006, we’ve infused over $6 million into honey bee research which aims to provide healthier bees, resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields for the grower, and lower losses and better honey production for the beekeeper. We work closely with commercial beekeepers, growers, and top bee scientists in the USA and Canada to direct strategic efforts focused on practical solutions. PAm funds research studies, purchases equipment for research labs, supports graduate students through scholarships to encourage careers in pursuit of science-based solutions to honey bee challenges, and has expanding efforts to enhance honey bee health and nutrition by putting forage on the landscape where it counts most for bees. We are a non-profit 501 (c) (5) organization governed by a nine-member board. Our board members are beekeepers, pollinators and honey producers representing major national and state industry organizations. PAm also has four scientific advisors who review project proposals with the board.
 
For more information on Project Apis m., visit their website: http://www.projectapism.org.

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PROJECT APIS m. ANNOUNCEMENTS

1. Christi's retirement -

After 10 years, $6 million in honey bee research and programs, 53 board meetings, and hundreds of presentations and articles, Christi Heintz is passing the baton for PAm 2.0 to Danielle Downey, PAm's new Executive Director.  

Says Christi, "PAm 1.0 was far more successful than any of us could have imagined.  Providing funds for scientists working to help honey bees, awarding scholarships to build the next generation of new scientists, purchasing equipment for bee labs, initiating habitat and BMP programs, gaining a solid reputation not only within the bee industry, but also among scientists, regulators and with corporate sponsors - and then leaving PAm financially sound with an awesome new leader make me proud of what we have accomplished during the reign of PAm 1.0.  

"I still have many years of mountains to climb, grandchildren to love, and even some bee projects where I can assist, but running PAm is a big job and requires new vision with more youth and energy!  An overwhelming thanks to our great board, staff, science advisors, scientists, sponsors, donors and most of all to an industry where people are not just colleagues, but life-long friends."

2. PAm announces PAm-Costco Fellowship award

Project Apis m. and Costco could not be more impressed with the caliber of applicants we received for the PAm- Costco Scholar Award, we would like to fund them all! Congratulations to the new PAm-Costco Fellowship awardee, Rodney Richardson. Rodney is a PhD candidate under Dr. Reed Johnson at Ohio State University.  His research includes using pollen bar-coding techniques to study bee immunology and nutrition, integrating human health expertise and applying these cutting-edge tools to study honey bee health. We anticipate great things from this young scientist and are pleased to support his development!

3. PAm and Costco support bee research student

We are fortunate this year to be able to help support the research work being done by Cameron Jack. Cameron is working on his PhD with Dr. Jamie Ellis at the University of Florida. His project focuses on IPM of Varroa mites and specifically developing an in-vitro method to rear Varroa mites.

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New research from Germany, sent by Alban Corle of Vancouver, British Columbia -

HONEY BEES PRODUCE MILLIMOLAR CONCENTRATIONS OF NON-NEURONAL ACETYLCHOLINE FOR BREEDING: POSSIBLE ADVERSE EFFECTS OF NEONICOTINOIDS

Abstract

The worldwide use of neonicotinoid pesticides has caused concern on account of their involvement in the decline of bee populations, which are key pollinators in most ecosystems. Here we describe a role of non-neuronal acetylcholine (ACh) for breeding of Apis mellifera carnica and a so far unknown effect of neonicotinoids on non-target insects. Royal jelly or larval food are produced by the hypopharyngeal gland of nursing bees and contain unusually high ACh concentrations (4–8 mM). ACh is extremely well conserved in royal jelly or brood food because of the acidic pH of 4.0. This condition protects ACh from degradation thus ensuring delivery of intact ACh to larvae. Raising the pH to ≥5.5 and applying cholinesterase reduced the content of ACh substantially (by 75–90%) in larval food. When this manipulated brood was tested in artificial larval breeding experiments, the survival rate was higher with food supplemented by 100% with ACh (6 mM) than with food not supplemented with ACh. ACh release from the hypopharyngeal gland and its content in brood food declined by 80%, when honeybee colonies were exposed for 4 weeks to high concentrations of the neonicotinoids clothianidin (100 parts per billion [ppb]) or thiacloprid (8,800 ppb). Under these conditions the secretory cells of the gland were markedly damaged and brood development was severely compromised. Even field-relevant low concentrations of thiacloprid (200 ppb) or clothianidin (1 and 10 ppb) reduced ACh level in the brood food and showed initial adverse effects on brood development. Our findings indicate a hitherto unknown target of neonicotinoids to induce adverse effects on non-neuronal ACh which should be considered when re-assessing the environmental risks of these compounds. To our knowledge this is a new biological mechanism, and we suggest that, in addition to their well documented neurotoxic effects, neonicotinoids may contribute to honeybee colony losses consecutive to a reduction of the ACh content in the brood food.

Article at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0156886

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1.  Protecting bees from pesticides: Now there’s an app for that -

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Protecting bees from pesticides just got easier with the release by Oregon State University of a smartphone app that farmers and beekeepers can use to consult a publication when they’re out in the field.

The smartphone app accompanies OSU Extension’s 2013 publication, How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides, PNW 591.

Farmers and beekeepers can now remotely consult the publication’s pesticide tables on their phones or tablets. The popular guide lists 150 insecticides, fungicides, miticides, slug killers and growth disruptors—all of them now searchable by trade name or chemical name in the new app.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-protecting-bees-pesticides-now-theres-app


2. Varroa Mites Pick The Best Bees To Bite -

New insights into the reproductive secrets of one of the world’s tiniest and most destructive parasites – the Varroa mite – has scientists edging closer to regulating them.

“If you know your enemies better, you can come up with new ways of controlling them,” said Michigan State University entomologist Zachary Huang, whose research explores the fertility of the notorious mite, a pest that is devastating honeybee populations worldwide. The mite sucks the blood of honey bees and transmits deadly viruses.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-varroa-mites-pick-best-bees-bite


3. Bees Buzz Throughout Texas for Saint Arnold Icon Gold – Honey Saison -

The bees involved in making honey for Saint Arnold Brewing Co.’s latest creation deserve frequent flyer miles. The oldest craft brewery in Texas (www.saintarnold.com) is rolling out Saint Arnold Icon Gold – Honey Saison made with Texas Wildflower Honey from Burleson’s Honey in Waxahachie, Texas. Data from the National Honey Board indicates the bees flew a total of 44 million miles to provide the 800 pounds of honey in each batch of Saint Arnold Icon Gold – Honey Saison.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bees-buzz-throughout-texas-saint-arnold-icon-gold-honey-saison

4. The secret lives of London’s bees will be uncovered. London bee tracking project begins -

Hundreds of bees with individual coloured number tags will be released from the rooftops of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) on Tuesday 21 June and over the next month for a project that hopes to uncover the secret lives of London’s bees.

Biologists from QMUL’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences will attach weather-resistant number tags on the backs of bees, and encourage the public to identify them and take photos for a competition.

Prizes of £100 Amazon gift vouchers will be awarded for the best photo of a QMUL-tagged bee on a flower, for the highest number of QMUL-tagged bees spotted and for the best photo of a London bee-friendly garden (as judged by the research team).

The London Pollinator Project aims to understand the bees’ preferred patches in London, in particular their favourite flowers, which reward them with nectar and pollen.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-secret-lives-londons-bees-will-uncovered-london-bee-tracking-project-begins


5. Use This Card to Identify the Bees in Your Garden -

Ohio’s bees are more than honey bees. They’re bumble bees, carpenter bees, cuckoo bees and others, and you can identify more than a dozen of them — types you’re likely to see in your garden — using a new pocket card from The Ohio State University.

Single copies of “Common Bees of Ohio,” a 4-by-6-inch laminated card, are free through June 30 by sending a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope to Ellsworth at Department of Entomology, OARDC, The Ohio State University, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-use-honey-bee-native-pollinator-education-program-ohio-states-college-food-agricultural-environmental-sciences

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More good reading though not bee-specific. Interesting we have to "engineer" cells to do what they should be able to do naturally. This study comes from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana -

ENGINEERING IMMUNE CELLS TO RECOGNIZE AND KILL CANCER

http://acsh.org/news/2016/06/16/engineering-immune-cells-to-recognize-and-kill-cancer/
 


Items of interest to beekeepers June 19 2016
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

KICK-OFF TO THE NEW WSU BEE RESEARCH LAB
MORE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR ALAMEDA COUNTY (CA) BEEKEEPERS BOOTH AT THE FAIR
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS

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KICK-OFF TO THE NEW WSU BEE RESEARCH LAB

I'm just back from Pullman, Washington, the "Insider Tour" of existing bee research efforts and an introduction to plans for a new bee lab at Washington State University. Some of the key people in the group were WA State Senator Judy Warnick, a strong bee supporter, active on the Agriculture and Finance Committees, and one of those responsible for solidifying a second permanent position in the bee lab for Dr. Brandon Hopkins; Gary Clueit, President of the Washington State Beekeepers Association, and the WASBA Legislative Chair, Tim Hiatt; mycologist Paul Stamets of 'Fungi Perfecti', who is partnering with the WSU bee lab in exciting new immunological studies using mycelium (Google his name and see what he has been up to!); and long-time beekeepers and WSU supporters Eric and Sue Olson of Yakima, Washington state's largest beekeeping operation.

The morning session consisted of demonstrations by Sue Cobey, WSU's bee artificial insemination specialist, an introduction to the cryopreservation techniques perfected at WSU by Dr. Brandon Hopkins that have allowed the national germplasm repository to add honey bees to their list of species, and a look at the diagnostic laboratory in action. Cobey is an international authority on instrumental insemination of honey bees. She coordinates the stock improvement project at WSU, part of which is the incorporation of sperm from Old World European honey bees into their breeding program. This, in turn, is the driving force for Dr. Hopkins' development of the cryopreservation (nitrogen freezing) technique.

Frozen semen has been used in cattle breeding since the 1950s, but transferring the technology to honey bee breeding proved to be a far more complicated business. Hopkins only cracked the code recently, bringing international students to WSU to learn the fine points. In January 2016, the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado announced plans to develop the techniques to support a honey bee program. Hopkins' presentation alerted them to the fact the work has already been done and is ready to roll. The first collections of bee semen for Fort Collins were made by WSU's Hopkins and Dr. Steve Sheppard just two weeks ago. Says Sheppard, "Obviously, we're not very good at getting the message out there about what we've accomplished." Their work puts the NCGRP several years ahead on their program.

After lunch, we visited the site of the proposed new lab, one which will take all the scattered bits of the bee department that currently reside in whatever corner can be found for them (the original lab was a converted garage) and relocate it all to the new state-of-the-art facility, with enough room to properly organize equipment and projects.  

The 15,000-square-foot research facility will include a diagnostics lab, a cryogenic germplasm repository, a molecular lab and controlled atmosphere rooms. In addition to research labs, the new building will include a screened observation area, allowing the public to watch bees in demonstration gardens. It will also include classrooms and instructional facilities, something the program currently lacks.

We returned to the lawn in front of the Lewis Alumni Center in time to help kick off the fund-raising program to get the lab built. What would such an event be without bee beards? After initial hesitation, the bees submitted to forming a solid 'beard' around the neck and shoulders of the old pro himself, Dr. Sheppard. Surprisingly, they offered no such resistance to  WSU provost and novice bee bearded Dan Bernardo who appeared calm and fearless as the bees swarmed over him. "My only fear is eating one!" he quipped when asked to describe the sensation of being host to a cloud of insects.

Paul Stamets, also a newbie to the beard experience, took the opportunity to present a check for $50,000 from his company, Fungi Perfecti, to kick off the funding campaign. Bernardo and Eric Olson then declared their intention of matching all donations of up to $250,000 made by June 30th. State Senator Judy Warnick braved the clouds of bees in the air and two heavily bee-bearded men to declare her own and her legislative colleagues support of the new lab. No doubt there will be bee folks visiting Olympia to capitalize on the interest there. Meanwhile, the thanks of the Washington bee industry goes to Senator Warnick for taking the time to attend the event and take our message back with her to the Legislature.

The total cost of the facility will be $16 million, and the goal is to raise all of that money from private donations, meeting full construction cost-analysis obligations. The University has designated an 18-month window to raise the money.

To find out how to help fund the lab online, go to http://www.bees.wsu.edu.

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A call for help at the fair from Judy Kovacovich!

MORE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR ALAMEDA COUNTY (CA) BEEKEEPERS BOOTH AT THE FAIR

"We would like to have more volunteers for the Alameda County Fair, which goes until July 4.  I will leave an entry and parking ticket for anyone interested in a 2-4 shift.  Our booth turned out very well. So far we have received 1 First Place Ribbon, 2 Second Place Ribbons and 1 Third Place Ribbon. This is a very fun event! I was in the booth today and enjoyed talking to visitors and especially enjoyed watching the young children observing the live bees.  
 
Please have anyone that is interested call me on 510 206-6762 or email me at judy.kovacovich@yahoo.com."

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Brexit? What might it mean for Vita?

On 23 June 2016, the UK will hold a referendum to decide whether it will remain in the European Union (EU).

Many beekeepers have asked what a possible UK exit from the EU (the “Brexit” scenario) might mean for Vita. As a biotech enterprise headquartered in the UK and trading internationally with a substantial market in the EU and subject to various international pharmaceutical regulatory systems, Vita has of course been looking into the potential impact.

One thing is certain: there are no quick, definitive or simple answers. The scenario of a country leaving the EU is unprecedented and therefore far from predictable.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-brexit-might-mean-vita

2. USGA National Water Quality Assessment Shows Declining Quality Of America’s Aquifers -

Chloride and nitrate concentrations are rising and arsenic levels are holding steady or falling. Those are two of the conclusions from a U.S. Geological Survey assessment of changes in the nation’s groundwater quality in the last two decades. The federal science agency published the results on Thursday in an interactive online map.

The contaminants in the assessment are a roster of two dozen undesirable intruders that can cause health and environmental damage if not cleansed before consumption: cancer-causing chemicals, radioactive elements, and nutrients that foul the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico with algae.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-usga-national-water-quality-assessment-shows-declining-quality-americas-aquifers

3. Two Is Always Better Than One, and Honey Bees Get The Benefit -

Project Apis m. (PAm) and the National Honey Board (NHB) are pleased to announce that PAm will be administering the NHB production research funds starting in 2017. This collaboration will streamline efforts to support the beekeeping industry, by merging the NHB funding opportunities with several other efforts which PAm coordinates. The NHB funds are collected by a federal research and promotion program ($0.015/lb) with one of the focuses to conduct research which includes maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. In 2016, these funds were $416,000.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-two-always-better-one-honey-bees-get-benefit
4. How honey bees do without males -

Most animals reproduce sexually, which means that both males and females are required for the species to survive. Normally, the honey bee is no exception to this rule: the female queen bee produces new offspring by laying eggs that have been fertilised by sperm from male drones. However, one isolated population of honey bees living in the southern Cape of Africa has evolved a strategy to do without males.

In the Cape bee, female worker bees are able to reproduce asexually: they lay eggs that are essentially fertilised by their own DNA, which develop into new worker bees. Such bees are also able to invade the nests of other bees and continue to reproduce in this fashion, eventually taking over the foreign nests, a behaviour called social parasitism.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-honey-bees-without-males


Items of interest to beekeepers June 11 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

WAS CONFERENCE 2016
ZOMBIE FLIES: A POTENTIAL NEW THREAT TO BEEKEEPING?
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS

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WAS CONFERENCE 2016

The 2016 Western Apicultural Society (WAS) Conference is to be held at the Ala Moana Hotel on Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii from October 13 to 15th. The current issue of the WAS Journal contains an outline of planned events, hotel booking arrangements (in the President's Message) and a registration form. Some of the key speakers have been confirmed, others are still less firm but an exciting speaker program is being built. This should be finalized by mid-July and the August issue of the Journal will contain a full conference schedule. This information has also been posted on the WAS website.

As a general outline, Wednesday (October 12th) will have a WAS board meeting in the afternoon, initial conference registration and the opening Bee Buzz Social in the evening. General speaker sessions fill Thursday and Friday, with the WAS annual meeting and awards banquet occupying the late afternoon and evening on Friday. Saturday is for optional events - choose from workshops geared especially for teachers who will be involved in introducing various age groups into the science of bees and beekeeping; two tours (choose one), both of which incorporate visits to beekeeping locations, other agricultural operations unique to Hawaii, and sightseeing along the spectacular Hawaiian coast. The workshops and tours culminate mid afternoon to make time to prepare for the Saturday night luau at Sea Life Park. Much more on that later!

In other WAS news, we welcome Peggy Beckett as the official new representative from Hawaii on the WAS board, and suggest you have a look at the Sponsorship section on the WAS website (http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org) to see if there is an area you can help fund. It isn't posted yet, but should be there early next week. Until then, a contact is shown so you can find out more. Funding enterprises as large and complex as the WAS conferences have become are expensive and a solid base is needed to support them. Thanks for any help you can give. See you in Hawaii!!

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This article appeared in the June 5th California Beekeepers newsletter. (Editor's note: Zombie flies were identified in September 2012 by OSU's Dr. Ramesh Sagili: http://www.opb.org/news/article/latest-threat-to-honeybees-attack-of-the-zombie-fly)

ZOMBIE FLIES: A POTENTIAL NEW THREAT TO BEEKEEPING?

By Jon Zawislak, EAS Master Beekeeper and Program Associate – Apiculture, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service

As though parasitic mites, hive beetles, a new strain of Nosema, and a legion of microbes weren’t enough for beekeepers to contend with, scientists recently announced a potentially devastating new honeybee parasite in North America. The so-called “zombie” fly parasite, Apocephalus borealis, is a native species of phorid fly known to attack bumble bees and paper wasps, but not honeybees. Researchers in California caused a bit of a buzz when they suggested the case is changing.

Dr. John Hafernik, a biology professor at San Francisco State University, had collected a few honeybees to feed a captive praying mantis. After few days in a jar, fly larvae began to emerge from the bees’ bodies. The discovery prompted him to identify the fly, which led to further investigations with other scientists.

Genetic tests confirmed that the flies emerging from captured bumble bees and honeybees were the same species of parasite. Its ability to attack honeybees was previously unknown, and is believed to be a recent adaptation to a new host. Normally, dying honeybees remain in one place with little or no movement. Bees attacked by the fly parasite remained alive, but disoriented. They walked in circles or were unable stand. Researchers who observed the bees compared their uncoordinated movements to those of movie zombies.

The researchers noted that bees which left their hive at night, attracted to nearby lights, were more likely to contain the parasites than those foraging during daylight hours. The scientists studying the fly-bee interactions are hoping to shed light on similar hive-abandonment behaviors associated with Colony Collapse Disorder. While some have been quick to associate this discovery as a significant culprit behind CCD, there is no evidence that the fly is a major contributing factor.

So what does it all mean for beekeepers? Is this the dawn of the next major catastrophe for a struggling industry? Will it reach the epidemic scale of Varroa mites, or remain a minor pest like the bee louse, Braula coeca? None of us can predict the future, but the problem is far from epidemic. So far.

The presence of A. borealis is nothing new. Since the 1920s, specimens have been collected by entomologists from diverse habitats across the United States and Canada. It was not until 2008 that it was found killing honeybees in the San Francisco area. Some parasitized bees were also confirmed in samples from South Dakota, but so far, no other data concerning honeybee attacks have been confirmed. The fly itself is a widely distributed native species whose natural hosts include bumble bees and paper wasps. While the fly has presumably been here for ages, honeybees are relative newcomers in the new world. As Apis mellifera is among the most closely studied animals on the planet, if this relationship with the fly was not novel, it’s reasonable to expect it would have been observed in hives before now.

http://agnetwest.com/2016/05/31/agri-view-honeybees

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CATCH THE BUZZ from Kim Flottum of Bee Culture Magazine -

1. Ontario Bee Kills Continue -

Milton, ON. A few good weeks of corn planting weather in May has turned out to be bad news for beekeepers. While Ontario grain farmers have been able to get on the field and get their crops planted, Ontario beekeepers are reporting bee kills and pesticide related problems with colony build-up in corn planting areas.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-ontario-bee-kills-continue


2. Changes in Goldenrod, a Key Source of Honey Bee Nutrition -

Honey bee health and climate change would both rank high on anyone’s list of hot topics in agriculture these days.

Lewis H. Ziska, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant physiologist, with what is part of the Northeast Climate Hub in Beltsville, Maryland, knows this. He also knows that any study involving both honey bees and climate change should be carefully conducted and cautiously interpreted.  Ziska has been studying the effects of climate change on plants since 1988. He has been focusing on how rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels accompanying climate change are affecting a wide range of plants—from important food crops to noxious weeds.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-changes-goldenrod-key-source-honey-bee-nutrition


3. Newfoundland allows importing bees from Western Australia -

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is allowing the importation of honey bees from Western Australia, one of the few other places in the world where bees are disease-free.

Dave Jennings, a director with the provincial forestry and agrifoods agency, says beekeeping is becoming more popular here, but there aren’t enough local bees to satisfy the demand.

“We’ve seen some growth in our honey bee industry recently,” said Jennings in an interview with the Corner Brook Morning Show.

“It’s really good, but it hasn’t gotten to the point where there are enough bees available to permit people who want to grow into a bigger, more commercial enterprise the ability to buy within the province.”

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-newfoundland-allows-importing-bees-western-australia


4. Mississippi gets EPA approval to use unauthorized pesticide to save grain sorghum crop -

Farmers in Mississippi will now have another tool to avoid economic losses by using a unauthorized pesticide to defend certain crops from bugs that destroy them. Experts disagree over the impact the pesticide poses to honey bees. As MPB’s Mark Rigsby reports, the Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comment on a new plan to put the pesticide, Sulfoxaflor, back on the market.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-mississippi-gets-epa-approval-use-unauthorized-pesticide-save-grain-sorghum-crop


5. Australian Honey Packer Raising Capital, Expanding -

Australian honey producer Capilano Honey Ltd. Announces a A$16.8-million ($12.1-million) capital raising offer on the Australian Stock Exchange, saying the money will be used to fund expansion.

Chairman Trevor Morgan says in a letter to shareholders that the proceeds will be used to fund the company’s acquisition of beekeeping enterprises; strengthen the balance sheet by reducing debt; increase the company’s working capital to support business growth and new export market sales; invest in select production efficiency upgrades and new product capabilities; and allow the introduction of a dedicated marketing budget supporting new product developments and export market growth.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-australian-honey-packer-raising-capital-expanding


6. Are OZ Bees Good For Canada? Some Think Not -

A Newfoundland beekeeper says importing bees from Western Australia to supply a growing demand in the Canadian province is putting the thriving local bee population at risk.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is allowing the import of disease-free bees from Western Australia because it says the local supply isn’t large enough to satisfy the growing popularity of beekeeping

“We got a clean colony,” Holyrood beekeeper Brendan Quinlan, who runs 120 hives, tells the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

“So why take a chance, why even think about doing it?”

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-oz-bees-good-canada-think-not

 


Items of interest to beekeepers May 28 2016
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

PAm ANNOUNCES NEW PAm-COSTCO SCHOLAR
PAm AND NATIONAL HONEY BOARD: WORKING MORE LIKE ONE HIVE!
CATCH THE BUZZ
THE NAME GAME: HOW UNETHICAL ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS AND TOXIC FANATICS SCARE YOU WITH WORDS
WHAT ORGANIC AND CHEMICAL ACTUALLY MEAN: A GLOSSARY OF HIJACKED TERMS
CANCER IMMUNITY CAN BE OUTSOURCED

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News from Project Apis m. -

PAm ANNOUNCES NEW PAm-COSTCO SCHOLAR

Congratulations to the new PAm-Costco Scholar, Morgan Carr Markell! We had an exceptionally competitive field of applicants and wish we could fund them all!  Morgan is bright, determined, and an excellent communicator with a variety of audiences and we couldn't be more excited about awarding her this scholarship.  Morgan is working on her PhD at the University of Minnesota, studying honey bee usage of native prairie plants. The award is $150,000 over three years, a significant investment in the future of honey bee research.  Watch for Morgan to do great things!

Christie Heintz

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PAm AND NATIONAL HONEY BOARD: WORKING MORE LIKE ONE HIVE!

Project Apis m. is very pleased to announce that we have been asked to administer the production research funds for the National Honey Board! Starting in 2017, PAm will manage the NHB funds ($0.015/lb) collected by federal marketing order with a focus on maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. In 2016, these funds were $416K. Uniting our efforts moves us one big step closer to harmonizing the many opportunities in our industry: to propose, review, support, and direct research projects efficiently and for the greatest benefit. Proposals received and funded by PAm and NHB have much in common, reflecting our similar interests in supporting the industry. By combining our efforts, there is one less round of independent writing and reviewing proposals AND ALSO the opportunity to connect funding and ideas with much broader resources, everyone wins! PAm is perfectly poised to facilitate this streamlining. We are grateful for the confidence NHB has in our work, and we hope other organizations will consider joining this effort. As we appreciate the elegance and efficiency of our beloved honey bees, let them inspire how we do our work!

Danielle Downey

Check the Links section at the end of this "Issues.." to see PAm's newsletter for more.

CATCH the BUZZ

1. US (CA): Citrus psyllid found in Tracy, FL still fighting homeowners -

The discovery in Tracy, California, of the feared crop pest, the Asian citrus psyllid, mobilized local, state and federal farm officials, Tuesday 3rd May. A single Asian citrus psyllid was identified in the area of Lammers and Valpico roads in Tracy on April 27; government experts are now setting out traps and inspecting trees and shrubs in the immediate area.

Tim Pelican, San Joaquin County agricultural commissioner, said the tiny insect is a dangerous pest.

“While San Joaquin County has very little commercial citrus, there is a $10.7 billion dollar industry statewide not counting the nursery industry,” he said in a news release Tuesday. “It is our duty to not only help protect the industry … but also the citrus that many of us grow in our own backyards.”

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-us-ca-citrus-psyllid-found-tracy-fl-still-fighting-homeowners

2. UK Govt. Ministers reject plan for ’emergency’ use of banned bee-harming pesticides -

Ministers have rejected an “emergency” application from the National Farmers Union (NFU) to use banned pesticides on a third of all oilseed rape crops.

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been shown to be harmful to bees and were banned from use on flowering crops by the EU in 2013, a move opposed by the UK government. But ministers granted a temporary lifting of the ban in 2015 after the NFU argued it was needed to fight the cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB).

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-uk-govt-ministers-reject-plan-emergency-use-banned-bee-harming-pesticides

3. SARE Grants Available To Help Bees, Beekeepers and Beekeeping. But Hurry! -

Preproposals for Research and Education and Professional Development

The deadline to submit a preproposal for either a Northeast SARE Research and Education grant or a Professional Development grant is June 23, 2016.

A preproposal is a brief concept document that describes project content, outcomes, and milestones. Only applicants with an approved preproposal can progress to a full proposal, due in the fall.

Learn more about Research and Education awards or copy the address below and paste into your browser:

http://www.nesare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Research-and-Education-Grant

Learn more about Professional Development awards or copy the address below and paste into your browser:

http://www.nesare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Professional-Development-Grant

If you have questions that aren’t answered in these materials, feel free to call Northeast SARE at 802-656-0471 or send your question to nesare@uvm.edu.
4. New Food Nutrition Labels Change The Message. The food industry has two years to comply -

Nutrition facts labels on food packages are getting a long-awaited makeover, with calories listed in bigger, bolder type and a new line for added sugars.

And serving sizes will be updated to make them more realistic — so a small bag of chips doesn’t count as two or three servings, for example.

First lady Michelle Obama is expected to announce final rules for new labels in a speech Friday morning as part of her “Let’s Move!” campaign to combat childhood obesity. The changes were first proposed by the Food and Drug Administration two years ago, and are the first major update of the labels since they were created in 1994. They are now found on more than 800,000 products.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-new-food-nutrition-labels-change-message-food-industry-two-years-comply

5. 'Monsanto and Bayer. A Match Made…

Bayer has offered a $62 billion deal to buy Monsanto which would create a global giant in agriculture technology touching much of global food production through the development of seeds and pesticides. Monsanto is considering the offer.

The takeover would create the world’s largest seed and farm chemical company with a strong presence spread across the U.S., Europe and Asia. Bayer says the deal would give the world more productive agriculture to meet the food needs of a growing population.

However …

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-monsanto-bayer-match-made
6.  U.S. organic sales post new record of $43.3 billion in 2015 -

The booming U.S. organic industry posted new records in 2015, with total organic product sales hitting a new benchmark of $43.3 billion, up a robust 11 percent from the previous year’s record level and far outstripping the overall food market’s growth rate of 3 percent, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2016 Organic Industry Survey.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-u-s-organic-sales-post-new-record-43-3-billion-2015
7. OZ Beekeepers Looking For Manuka Substitute -

Australian researchers are testing 80 varieties of bush and trees around Australia that assist bees in making honey with medicinal properties similar to the lucrative Manuka product in New Zealand.

Initial results from a five-year research project due to run through 2019 have found some types of Australian honey that can compete with New Zealand’s Manuka honey when it comes to fighting bacteria.

The researchers predict their results will result in a premium price for Australian Leptospermum honey for Australian beekeepers, as has been the case in New Zealand.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-oz-beekeepers-looking-manuka-substitute
Otherwise in Science -

THE NAME GAME: HOW UNETHICAL ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS AND TOXIC FANATICS SCARE YOU WITH WORDS

ACSH's latest publication authored by Dr. Josh Bloom breaks down how benign terminology is being manipulated in such a way as to create fear and panic about common household products and ingredients. This misinformation — telling people to fear things they cannot pronounce, is merely a clever technique to undermine the American public’s confidence in science.

http://acsh.org/the-name-game-how-unethical-environmental-groups-and-toxic-fanatics-scare-you-with-words/

-----

WHAT ORGANIC AND CHEMICAL ACTUALLY MEAN: A GLOSSARY OF HIJACKED TERMS

Those who are looking to make a quick buck have no qualms about twisting the definition of highly precise scientific terminology to suit their own agendas. In honor of Dr. Josh Bloom's latest publication, we have created a brief glossary of some of the most commonly abused, misused, and misunderstood scientific terms.

http://acsh.org/news/2016/05/24/what-organic-and-chemical-actually-mean-a-glossary-of-hijacked-terms

-----

CANCER IMMUNITY CAN BE OUTSOURCED

Cancer cells are like terrorists. Under normal circumstances our immune system has state-of-the-art surveyng capabilities and suspect cells are recognized and destroyed. Sometimes the guardians of our immune system are blinded, or the cancer cells blend in with the normal cells and are able to evade detection – thus hijacking our immune system and wreaking havoc.

There has been a paradigm shift in cancer research where it is now recognized that our body’s own immune system can be used to effectively recognize cancer cells, and use its own machinery to get past what’s referred to as “immunological checkpoints” in order to mount a robust immune response. These checkpoints allow our bodies to guard against the threat of autoimmunity, such distinguishing malignant cells as foreign invaders versus “self-cells” that they need to avoid. Tumors express a variety of molecules on the cell surface, which scientists are hoping the immune system, will recognize and attack, once those inhibitory checkpoints are surpassed.

New research in cancer immunotherapy from the University of Norway, published in Science, discusses the inability to mount an immune response in individuals with a tumor can be overcome by utilizing donor immune cells instead. Mutations in DNA found in cancer cells trigger the immune system’s alarm allowing them to be discovered. But this does not always occur. However, when these same cancer cells are grown in the presence of a healthy donor’s immune cells this “borrowed immune system” allowed the cancer cells to be recognized as an aberration and killed.

http://acsh.org/news/2016/05/23/cancer-immunity-can-be-outsourced-using-healthy-donors/

 

 

 
 
 


Items of interest to beekeepers May 21 2016
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

KILLER BEES - OMG!
NATION'S BEEKEEPERS LOST 44 PERCENT OF BEES IN 2015 - 16
3 NON-PESTICIDE REASONS BEEKEEPERS LOST 44 PERCENT OF BEES IN 2015-16
BAYER USA FOUNDATION AWARDS $150,000 GRANT TO NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL CENTER & HALL OF FAME
CATCH THE BUZZ

-----

This item was sent by Catherine Edwards of Alameda County Beekeepers in California -

KILLER BEES – OMG!

Everyone is talking about the stinging incident in Concord with a certain amount of freak – out among beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike.  What we don’t know for sure, though many people are already accepting it as fact, is whether the bees in question were actually Africanized bees. We are hoping DNA testing will resolve that question. Either way, there are some lessons to be learned from this. Many experienced beekeepers know these “rules” but maybe not all, and beginners would do well to learn them. It seems the tragic event was not simply caused by there being aggressive bees in a hive. It was apparently caused mainly by a beekeeper not following some common sense rules of beekeeping and then panicking on top of that to make matters worse. There are beekeepers who manage Africanized bees. There are also beekeepers among us in the Bay Area who have ended up with pretty aggressive “hot” hives of regular European bees that they have had to deal with in a responsible manner to prevent problems. It’s important to know how to meet these challenges.

Moving hives -

When beekeepers on our swarm list capture swarms, they try to leave the catch box at the site until nightfall so that all the foragers and scouts can come home to the queen and the box can be collected with all the members of the swarm inside. That way there are no leftover homeless bees harassing folks. This principle is even more important when moving a full size colony. We do not move it during the day while the foragers are out, leaving them homeless and pissed, as happened in Concord, but we close the hive entrance at night when all the bees are home and move it either at night or early in the morning. (I prefer morning, myself.) I am sure there are many different procedures beekeepers have for successfully moving hives and I invite people to share them for the newsletter. I was talking to Judy Casale who told me she places a bed sheet under the hive during the day, then wraps the sheet around the hive at night when all have come home. She can move the hive then or in the early morning before the bees want to fly. If the hive is big, it can be divided and each part given a landing board and cover and wrapped in a sheet. The hive is then put back together right after the move.

Hot Hives -

When working a hive, if you find it unusually aggressive to the point where it frightens you, stop. Close the hive and let the bees settle. Go away. Let your mind settle. A settled hive is a less aggressive hive, so, you can give yourself time to deal with it, rather than thinking you have to act right away. Contact other beekeepers for advice and help, if needed. Try to assess whether this is a conditional situation due to a number of possible stressors or whether it is truly an aggressive colony in its basic personality. Make a plan on how you are going to deal with it. You might want to move it to a location that is more remote or you might want to re – queen and wait for all the aggressive bees to die off and be replaced by gentler ones. This spring I split an aggressive hive I had into several nucs since it was highly successful at building population and there was a lot of brood and bees. I gave each nuc a queen cell from gentler stock and moved the nucs where they were less likely to be close to people. Just being smaller took some of the stuffing out of their bad behavior. These naughty bees successfully raised the new queens and the new queens’ first brood, then died off naturally, leaving several gentle colonies.
I would like to invite other beekeepers to share their experience and expertise on this topic.

Talking with non-beekeepers about this event -

Just be calm and confident and share what you know to reduce people’s fears. Sympathize and give them the facts as you know them. This was a rare event, not a common one, so there is no need to be fearful of bees in the neighborhood.

Two links with more details. Please read what Dr. Eric Mussen has to say.

Africanized Bees: How Far North? -
http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=21056

-----

NATION'S BEEKEEPERS LOST 44 PERCENT OF BEES IN 2015 - 16
Summer losses rival winter losses for the second year running

Beekeepers across the United States lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. Rates of both winter loss and summer loss—and consequently, total annual losses—worsened compared with last year. This marks the second consecutive survey year that summer loss rates rivaled winter loss rates.

The survey, which asks both commercial and small-scale beekeepers to track the health and survival rates of their honey bee colonies, is conducted each year by the Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Survey results for this year and all previous years are publicly available on the Bee Informed website.

“We’re now in the second year of high rates of summer loss, which is cause for serious concern,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and project director for the Bee Informed Partnership. “Some winter losses are normal and expected. But the fact that beekeepers are losing bees in the summer, when bees should be at their healthiest, is quite alarming.”

Beekeepers who responded to the survey lost a total of 44.1 percent of their colonies over the course of the year. This marks an increase of 3.5 percent over the previous study year (2014-15), when loss rates were found to be 40.6 percent. Winter loss rates increased from 22.3 percent in the previous winter to 28.1 percent this past winter, while summer loss rates increased from 25.3 percent to 28.1 percent.

The researchers note that many factors are contributing to colony losses. A clear culprit is the varroa mite, a lethal parasite that can easily spread between colonies. Pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also likely taking a toll, especially among commercial beekeepers.

A recent study, published online in the journal Apidologie on April 20, 2016, provided the first multi-year assessment of honey bee parasites and disease in both commercial and backyard beekeeping operations. Among other findings (summarized in a recent University of Maryland press release), that study found that the varroa mite is far more abundant than previous estimates indicate and is closely linked to several damaging viruses. Varroa is a particularly challenging problem among backyard beekeepers (defined as those who manage fewer than 50 colonies).

“Many backyard beekeepers don’t have any varroa control strategies in place. We think this results in colonies collapsing and spreading mites to neighboring colonies that are otherwise well-managed for mites,” said Nathalie Steinhauer, a graduate student in the UMD Department of Entomology who leads the data collection efforts for the annual survey. “We are seeing more evidence to suggest that good beekeepers who take the right steps to control mites are losing colonies in this way, through no fault of their own.”

This is the tenth year of the winter loss survey, and the sixth year to include summer and annual losses in addition to winter loss data. More than 5,700 beekeepers from 48 states responded to this year’s survey. All told, these beekeepers are responsible for about 15 percent of the nation’s estimated 2.66 million managed honey bee colonies.

The survey is part of a larger research effort to understand why honey bee colonies are in such poor health, and what can be done to manage the situation. Some crops, such as almonds, depend entirely on honey bees for pollination. Estimates of the total economic value of honey bee pollination services range between $10 billion and $15 billion annually.

“The high rate of loss over the entire year means that beekeepers are working overtime to constantly replace their losses,” said Jeffery Pettis, a senior entomologist at the USDA and a co-coordinator of the survey. “These losses cost the beekeeper time and money. More importantly, the industry needs these bees to meet the growing demand for pollination services. We urgently need solutions to slow the rate of both winter and summer colony losses.”

This survey was conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, which receives a majority of its funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (Award No. 2011-67007-20017). The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA.

A summary of the 2015-2016 survey results has been added to previous years’ results publicly available on the Bee Informed Partnership’s website at https://beeinformed.org/.

-----

3 NON-PESTICIDE REASONS BEEKEEPERS LOST 44 PERCENT OF BEES IN 2015-16
By Hank Campbell, President of the American Council on Science and Health
This entry was posted in Chemicals and Environment May 11, 2016.  

The Bee Informed Partnership takes an annual survey of commercial and backyard beekeepers in order to track health and survival rates of honey bee colonies. The latest results show that colonies declined 44 percent during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016.

That sounds alarming, and it is in contrast to studies showing that bee numbers are not in decline, they were instead at a 20-year high last year.

How can the claims be so different? Should we be alarmed or not?

There are three reasons why lazy journalists who rewrite Friends of the Earth press releases are not only getting it wrong claiming pesticides are a cause, they are misrepresenting the data:

1) Surveys are not studies. Beekeeping has become a fad and that means a whole lot of amateurs have killed a whole lot of bees. Despite what the kind of people who go into amateur beekeeping in the last few years think, you can’t just stick a hive in your backyard and watch the awesome power of nature take over.  Well, nature will take over, but it will be the mean kind of nature – the bees will die. More bees are killed in truck accidents than due to pesticides, but that doesn’t show up in surveys or in press releases from environmental groups. If I were a bee, I’d be really ‘stressed’ about being hauled on a truck out to some place that will sell or rent me to an amateur beekeeper likely to kill me with incompetence.

2) They use both winter loss and summer loss combined. Lots and lots of bees die during the winter, and the harsher the winter the more they die, so this combined number doesn’t have much validity because it hasn’t been gathered long enough – only six years. On the other hand, the more recent term Colony Collapse Disorder is actually a recurring that has been documented for as long as beekeeping has been documented. See reports in the years 950, 992, 1443, 1853, 1868, 1891, 1896, 1903, 1905, 1918, 1919, in the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1960s, 1975 and 1995. During those early years they had low literacy. Imagine how many collapses would have been recorded if everyone knew how to write.

The real difference this year over last: 3.5 percent. In nature, that is statistical wobble.

3) One-off results are not really telling much of a science story. Activists are promoting this latest number as an impending Neonicotinoid pesticide doomsday only your check or credit card donation (act now!) can prevent, but scientists recognize there are many factors contributing to wild swings in bee deaths. The biggest culprit is the varroa mite, a deadly parasite that rapidly spreads spread between colonies but doesn’t show up in surveys. And there are changes in climate and land use that make a difference – weather is the big reason northern Europe seemed at one point to have more bee losses while Australia, which uses plenty of neonics pesticides, had no decline in bees at all.

Though journalists are making this a pesticide issue, the scholars behind the work don’t.

“We’re now in the second year of high rates of summer loss, which is cause for serious concern,” Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and project director for the Bee Informed Partnership, said: “Some winter losses are normal and expected. But the fact that beekeepers are losing bees in the summer, when bees should be at their healthiest, is quite alarming.”

He said much the same thing last May, and implicated parasites. “Our biggest surprise was the high level of varroa, especially in fall, and in well-managed colonies cared for by beekeepers who have taken steps to control the mites. We knew that varroa was a problem, but it seems to be an even bigger problem than we first thought. Moreover, varroa’s ability to spread viruses presents a more dire situation than we suspected.”

Indeed. They are, as he called them, dirty hypodermic needles that are a vector for viruses.

Who will be impacted most by these mites? Small beekeepers, like the amateurs in point 1, who don’t have any varroa control strategies in place, and due to that lack of knowledge or unwillingness to engage in pest control, their problem will result in even good beekeepers who control mites losing colonies as the disease spreads.

Estimates of economic “value” say  honeybee pollination is worth up to $10 billion annually. At some point it might make sense to pay Natural Resources Defense Council donors to not become amateur beekeepers thinking they are saving Gaia. They are probably doing more harm than good.

http://acsh.org/news/2016/05/11/87403/

----

BAYER USA FOUNDATION AWARDS $150,000 GRANT TO NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL CENTER & HALL OF FAME
Grant Will Create New Children’s Exhibit To Support Museum’s Mission Of Increasing Agriculture Education

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 25, 2016) – Committed to developing the next generation of thinkers and leaders in modern agriculture as part of its mission of “Science For A Better Life,” the Crop Science division of Bayer has announced increased support of the National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame, commonly known as the Ag Center, through a $150,000 Bayer USA Foundation grant. This three-year grant will help create a new children’s exhibit within the Ag Center’s Children’s Agriculture Science Center. The new exhibit is set to open in 2018.

Located in Bonner Springs, Kansas, the mission of the Ag Center is to educate people on the historical and present value of American agriculture and to honor the leadership in agribusiness and academia. Created by a rare federal charter signed in 1960 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Ag Center is largely funded by private and corporate donations, and Bayer is one of the museum’s main supporters.

“We are so thankful to Bayer for its generous support of the Ag Center through this grant from the Bayer USA Foundation,” said Dawn Gabel, executive director of the National Agriculture Center & Hall of Fame. “It is exciting to imagine that a child who will visit this future exhibit could one day become an inductee into our very own Hall of Fame thanks in part to what they learned here about agriculture.”

Through this new children’s exhibit, as well as other educational initiatives like Making Science Make

Sense ® – a program advancing science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning – Bayer seeks to inspire students of all ages to learn more about what makes agriculture not only exciting, but also essential to the future of our planet.

Over 900 million people in the world suffer from chronic hunger. When the global population reaches 9 billion by 2050, that number will increase drastically unless farmers can produce at least twice as much food as they do today – all while using less water and less land in the face of a changing global climate. To meet the food demands of the future, Bayer is leading efforts to make agriculture better, faster and more efficient by providing farmers with cutting-edge agricultural innovations.

These efforts require more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) knowledge than ever before to cultivate safe, healthy crops that will feed the world. High-quality STEM education is necessary to fill the nearly 58,000 jobs open each year in the agriculture industry, and Bayer is committed to supporting programs that instill a lifelong love of STEM in students at an early age.

-----

CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Bringing Home Honey Liqueur -

Honey liqueur? Yes, it is a thing and most popularly recognized in Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Wild Turkey American Honey Sting. Tennessee Honey is a blend of whiskey and honey liqueur, specially crafted by Jack Daniel’s. The underlying flavor of Tennessee Honey continues to be Tennessee Whiskey, however Tennessee Honey adds a sweet taste and nutty finish.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bringing-home-honey-liqueur


2.  $5 Million Available for Farmer Food Safety Training Projects -

Following recently finalized federal food safety requirements for produce farmers and food processors, there is a critical need for targeted food safety outreach, education, and training. In fact, when Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), it authorized the development of a brand-new competitive grants program specifically dedicated to providing farmers, processors, and wholesalers with the education and training needed to prepare for and adapt to new FSMA requirements.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-5-million-available-farmer-food-safety-training-projects


3. Food Safety, SQF Certification -

Consumers’ increasing scrutiny of the food industry continues to crank up the hot seat for processors and manufacturers. Consumers not only want to ensure the food they’re putting into their bodies is safe, they want proof. This has led to a slew of third-party food safety certifications. The globally recognized Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification is one specific program gaining traction among food companies thanks to its comprehensiveness and consistency. Approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the SQF program follows a “one world; one standard” vision, reducing the need for multiple food safety audits. So, what’s involved in a SQF certification? Let’s take a look at the basics of obtaining an SQF certification, from the fees to the steps involved.

http://www.beeculture.com/16719-2/?utm_source=Catch+The+Buzz&utm_campaign=57975e9c1f-Catch_The_Buzz_4_29_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0272f190ab-57975e9c1f-332001077


4. Canadian Company Places Hives in Backyards, Balconies or Roofs for Homeowners -

Montreal-based start-up company Alveole (https://www.alveole.buzz/en/) is cashing in on the growing popularity of urban beekeeping by renting out hives to people interested in producing their own honey.

The CTV television network reports Alveole says the number of hives being rented out this coming season isn’t final yet, since many people start don’t start the process until later in the spring.

Once rented, the company places hives in either a backyard, a balcony or a flat roof. The renting period lasts one year, and costs C$65 (US$51) a month. Alveole staff does all the beehive maintenance.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-canadian-company-places-hives-for-homeowners

Items of interest to beekeepers May 21 2016

IN THIS ISSUE

KILLER BEES - OMG!
NATION'S BEEKEEPERS LOST 44 PERCENT OF BEES IN 2015 - 16
3 NON-PESTICIDE REASONS BEEKEEPERS LOST 44 PERCENT OF BEES IN 2015-16
BAYER USA FOUNDATION AWARDS $150,000 GRANT TO NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL CENTER & HALL OF FAME
CATCH THE BUZZ

-----

This item was sent by Catherine Edwards of Alameda County Beekeepers in California -

KILLER BEES – OMG!

Everyone is talking about the stinging incident in Concord with a certain amount of freak – out among beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike.  What we don’t know for sure, though many people are already accepting it as fact, is whether the bees in question were actually Africanized bees. We are hoping DNA testing will resolve that question. Either way, there are some lessons to be learned from this. Many experienced beekeepers know these “rules” but maybe not all, and beginners would do well to learn them. It seems the tragic event was not simply caused by there being aggressive bees in a hive. It was apparently caused mainly by a beekeeper not following some common sense rules of beekeeping and then panicking on top of that to make matters worse. There are beekeepers who manage Africanized bees. There are also beekeepers among us in the Bay Area who have ended up with pretty aggressive “hot” hives of regular European bees that they have had to deal with in a responsible manner to prevent problems. It’s important to know how to meet these challenges.

Moving hives -

When beekeepers on our swarm list capture swarms, they try to leave the catch box at the site until nightfall so that all the foragers and scouts can come home to the queen and the box can be collected with all the members of the swarm inside. That way there are no leftover homeless bees harassing folks. This principle is even more important when moving a full size colony. We do not move it during the day while the foragers are out, leaving them homeless and pissed, as happened in Concord, but we close the hive entrance at night when all the bees are home and move it either at night or early in the morning. (I prefer morning, myself.) I am sure there are many different procedures beekeepers have for successfully moving hives and I invite people to share them for the newsletter. I was talking to Judy Casale who told me she places a bed sheet under the hive during the day, then wraps the sheet around the hive at night when all have come home. She can move the hive then or in the early morning before the bees want to fly. If the hive is big, it can be divided and each part given a landing board and cover and wrapped in a sheet. The hive is then put back together right after the move.

Hot Hives -

When working a hive, if you find it unusually aggressive to the point where it frightens you, stop. Close the hive and let the bees settle. Go away. Let your mind settle. A settled hive is a less aggressive hive, so, you can give yourself time to deal with it, rather than thinking you have to act right away. Contact other beekeepers for advice and help, if needed. Try to assess whether this is a conditional situation due to a number of possible stressors or whether it is truly an aggressive colony in its basic personality. Make a plan on how you are going to deal with it. You might want to move it to a location that is more remote or you might want to re – queen and wait for all the aggressive bees to die off and be replaced by gentler ones. This spring I split an aggressive hive I had into several nucs since it was highly successful at building population and there was a lot of brood and bees. I gave each nuc a queen cell from gentler stock and moved the nucs where they were less likely to be close to people. Just being smaller took some of the stuffing out of their bad behavior. These naughty bees successfully raised the new queens and the new queens’ first brood, then died off naturally, leaving several gentle colonies.
I would like to invite other beekeepers to share their experience and expertise on this topic.

Talking with non-beekeepers about this event -

Just be calm and confident and share what you know to reduce people’s fears. Sympathize and give them the facts as you know them. This was a rare event, not a common one, so there is no need to be fearful of bees in the neighborhood.

Two links with more details. Please read what Dr. Eric Mussen has to say.

Africanized Bees: How Far North? -
http://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=21056

-----

NATION'S BEEKEEPERS LOST 44 PERCENT OF BEES IN 2015 - 16
Summer losses rival winter losses for the second year running

Beekeepers across the United States lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016, according to the latest preliminary results of an annual nationwide survey. Rates of both winter loss and summer loss—and consequently, total annual losses—worsened compared with last year. This marks the second consecutive survey year that summer loss rates rivaled winter loss rates.

The survey, which asks both commercial and small-scale beekeepers to track the health and survival rates of their honey bee colonies, is conducted each year by the Bee Informed Partnership in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Survey results for this year and all previous years are publicly available on the Bee Informed website.

“We’re now in the second year of high rates of summer loss, which is cause for serious concern,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and project director for the Bee Informed Partnership. “Some winter losses are normal and expected. But the fact that beekeepers are losing bees in the summer, when bees should be at their healthiest, is quite alarming.”

Beekeepers who responded to the survey lost a total of 44.1 percent of their colonies over the course of the year. This marks an increase of 3.5 percent over the previous study year (2014-15), when loss rates were found to be 40.6 percent. Winter loss rates increased from 22.3 percent in the previous winter to 28.1 percent this past winter, while summer loss rates increased from 25.3 percent to 28.1 percent.

The researchers note that many factors are contributing to colony losses. A clear culprit is the varroa mite, a lethal parasite that can easily spread between colonies. Pesticides and malnutrition caused by changing land use patterns are also likely taking a toll, especially among commercial beekeepers.

A recent study, published online in the journal Apidologie on April 20, 2016, provided the first multi-year assessment of honey bee parasites and disease in both commercial and backyard beekeeping operations. Among other findings (summarized in a recent University of Maryland press release), that study found that the varroa mite is far more abundant than previous estimates indicate and is closely linked to several damaging viruses. Varroa is a particularly challenging problem among backyard beekeepers (defined as those who manage fewer than 50 colonies).

“Many backyard beekeepers don’t have any varroa control strategies in place. We think this results in colonies collapsing and spreading mites to neighboring colonies that are otherwise well-managed for mites,” said Nathalie Steinhauer, a graduate student in the UMD Department of Entomology who leads the data collection efforts for the annual survey. “We are seeing more evidence to suggest that good beekeepers who take the right steps to control mites are losing colonies in this way, through no fault of their own.”

This is the tenth year of the winter loss survey, and the sixth year to include summer and annual losses in addition to winter loss data. More than 5,700 beekeepers from 48 states responded to this year’s survey. All told, these beekeepers are responsible for about 15 percent of the nation’s estimated 2.66 million managed honey bee colonies.

The survey is part of a larger research effort to understand why honey bee colonies are in such poor health, and what can be done to manage the situation. Some crops, such as almonds, depend entirely on honey bees for pollination. Estimates of the total economic value of honey bee pollination services range between $10 billion and $15 billion annually.

“The high rate of loss over the entire year means that beekeepers are working overtime to constantly replace their losses,” said Jeffery Pettis, a senior entomologist at the USDA and a co-coordinator of the survey. “These losses cost the beekeeper time and money. More importantly, the industry needs these bees to meet the growing demand for pollination services. We urgently need solutions to slow the rate of both winter and summer colony losses.”

This survey was conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, which receives a majority of its funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (Award No. 2011-67007-20017). The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA.

A summary of the 2015-2016 survey results has been added to previous years’ results publicly available on the Bee Informed Partnership’s website at https://beeinformed.org/.

-----

3 NON-PESTICIDE REASONS BEEKEEPERS LOST 44 PERCENT OF BEES IN 2015-16
By Hank Campbell, President of the American Council on Science and Health
This entry was posted in Chemicals and Environment May 11, 2016.  

The Bee Informed Partnership takes an annual survey of commercial and backyard beekeepers in order to track health and survival rates of honey bee colonies. The latest results show that colonies declined 44 percent during the year spanning April 2015 to April 2016.

That sounds alarming, and it is in contrast to studies showing that bee numbers are not in decline, they were instead at a 20-year high last year.

How can the claims be so different? Should we be alarmed or not?

There are three reasons why lazy journalists who rewrite Friends of the Earth press releases are not only getting it wrong claiming pesticides are a cause, they are misrepresenting the data:

1) Surveys are not studies. Beekeeping has become a fad and that means a whole lot of amateurs have killed a whole lot of bees. Despite what the kind of people who go into amateur beekeeping in the last few years think, you can’t just stick a hive in your backyard and watch the awesome power of nature take over.  Well, nature will take over, but it will be the mean kind of nature – the bees will die. More bees are killed in truck accidents than due to pesticides, but that doesn’t show up in surveys or in press releases from environmental groups. If I were a bee, I’d be really ‘stressed’ about being hauled on a truck out to some place that will sell or rent me to an amateur beekeeper likely to kill me with incompetence.

2) They use both winter loss and summer loss combined. Lots and lots of bees die during the winter, and the harsher the winter the more they die, so this combined number doesn’t have much validity because it hasn’t been gathered long enough – only six years. On the other hand, the more recent term Colony Collapse Disorder is actually a recurring that has been documented for as long as beekeeping has been documented. See reports in the years 950, 992, 1443, 1853, 1868, 1891, 1896, 1903, 1905, 1918, 1919, in the 1920s, the 1930s, the 1960s, 1975 and 1995. During those early years they had low literacy. Imagine how many collapses would have been recorded if everyone knew how to write.

The real difference this year over last: 3.5 percent. In nature, that is statistical wobble.

3) One-off results are not really telling much of a science story. Activists are promoting this latest number as an impending Neonicotinoid pesticide doomsday only your check or credit card donation (act now!) can prevent, but scientists recognize there are many factors contributing to wild swings in bee deaths. The biggest culprit is the varroa mite, a deadly parasite that rapidly spreads spread between colonies but doesn’t show up in surveys. And there are changes in climate and land use that make a difference – weather is the big reason northern Europe seemed at one point to have more bee losses while Australia, which uses plenty of neonics pesticides, had no decline in bees at all.

Though journalists are making this a pesticide issue, the scholars behind the work don’t.

“We’re now in the second year of high rates of summer loss, which is cause for serious concern,” Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and project director for the Bee Informed Partnership, said: “Some winter losses are normal and expected. But the fact that beekeepers are losing bees in the summer, when bees should be at their healthiest, is quite alarming.”

He said much the same thing last May, and implicated parasites. “Our biggest surprise was the high level of varroa, especially in fall, and in well-managed colonies cared for by beekeepers who have taken steps to control the mites. We knew that varroa was a problem, but it seems to be an even bigger problem than we first thought. Moreover, varroa’s ability to spread viruses presents a more dire situation than we suspected.”

Indeed. They are, as he called them, dirty hypodermic needles that are a vector for viruses.

Who will be impacted most by these mites? Small beekeepers, like the amateurs in point 1, who don’t have any varroa control strategies in place, and due to that lack of knowledge or unwillingness to engage in pest control, their problem will result in even good beekeepers who control mites losing colonies as the disease spreads.

Estimates of economic “value” say  honeybee pollination is worth up to $10 billion annually. At some point it might make sense to pay Natural Resources Defense Council donors to not become amateur beekeepers thinking they are saving Gaia. They are probably doing more harm than good.

http://acsh.org/news/2016/05/11/87403/

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BAYER USA FOUNDATION AWARDS $150,000 GRANT TO NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL CENTER & HALL OF FAME
Grant Will Create New Children’s Exhibit To Support Museum’s Mission Of Increasing Agriculture Education

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (April 25, 2016) – Committed to developing the next generation of thinkers and leaders in modern agriculture as part of its mission of “Science For A Better Life,” the Crop Science division of Bayer has announced increased support of the National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame, commonly known as the Ag Center, through a $150,000 Bayer USA Foundation grant. This three-year grant will help create a new children’s exhibit within the Ag Center’s Children’s Agriculture Science Center. The new exhibit is set to open in 2018.

Located in Bonner Springs, Kansas, the mission of the Ag Center is to educate people on the historical and present value of American agriculture and to honor the leadership in agribusiness and academia. Created by a rare federal charter signed in 1960 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Ag Center is largely funded by private and corporate donations, and Bayer is one of the museum’s main supporters.

“We are so thankful to Bayer for its generous support of the Ag Center through this grant from the Bayer USA Foundation,” said Dawn Gabel, executive director of the National Agriculture Center & Hall of Fame. “It is exciting to imagine that a child who will visit this future exhibit could one day become an inductee into our very own Hall of Fame thanks in part to what they learned here about agriculture.”

Through this new children’s exhibit, as well as other educational initiatives like Making Science Make

Sense ® – a program advancing science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning – Bayer seeks to inspire students of all ages to learn more about what makes agriculture not only exciting, but also essential to the future of our planet.

Over 900 million people in the world suffer from chronic hunger. When the global population reaches 9 billion by 2050, that number will increase drastically unless farmers can produce at least twice as much food as they do today – all while using less water and less land in the face of a changing global climate. To meet the food demands of the future, Bayer is leading efforts to make agriculture better, faster and more efficient by providing farmers with cutting-edge agricultural innovations.

These efforts require more science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) knowledge than ever before to cultivate safe, healthy crops that will feed the world. High-quality STEM education is necessary to fill the nearly 58,000 jobs open each year in the agriculture industry, and Bayer is committed to supporting programs that instill a lifelong love of STEM in students at an early age.

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Bringing Home Honey Liqueur -

Honey liqueur? Yes, it is a thing and most popularly recognized in Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Wild Turkey American Honey Sting. Tennessee Honey is a blend of whiskey and honey liqueur, specially crafted by Jack Daniel’s. The underlying flavor of Tennessee Honey continues to be Tennessee Whiskey, however Tennessee Honey adds a sweet taste and nutty finish.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bringing-home-honey-liqueur


2.  $5 Million Available for Farmer Food Safety Training Projects -

Following recently finalized federal food safety requirements for produce farmers and food processors, there is a critical need for targeted food safety outreach, education, and training. In fact, when Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), it authorized the development of a brand-new competitive grants program specifically dedicated to providing farmers, processors, and wholesalers with the education and training needed to prepare for and adapt to new FSMA requirements.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-5-million-available-farmer-food-safety-training-projects

3. Food Safety, SQF Certification -

Consumers’ increasing scrutiny of the food industry continues to crank up the hot seat for processors and manufacturers. Consumers not only want to ensure the food they’re putting into their bodies is safe, they want proof. This has led to a slew of third-party food safety certifications. The globally recognized Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification is one specific program gaining traction among food companies thanks to its comprehensiveness and consistency. Approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the SQF program follows a “one world; one standard” vision, reducing the need for multiple food safety audits. So, what’s involved in a SQF certification? Let’s take a look at the basics of obtaining an SQF certification, from the fees to the steps involved.

http://www.beeculture.com/16719-2/?utm_source=Catch+The+Buzz&utm_campaign=57975e9c1f-Catch_The_Buzz_4_29_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0272f190ab-57975e9c1f-332001077

4. Canadian Company Places Hives in Backyards, Balconies or Roofs for Homeowners -

Montreal-based start-up company Alveole (https://www.alveole.buzz/en/) is cashing in on the growing popularity of urban beekeeping by renting out hives to people interested in producing their own honey.

The CTV television network reports Alveole says the number of hives being rented out this coming season isn’t final yet, since many people start don’t start the process until later in the spring.

Once rented, the company places hives in either a backyard, a balcony or a flat roof. The renting period lasts one year, and costs C$65 (US$51) a month. Alveole staff does all the beehive maintenance.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-canadian-company-places-hives-for-homeowners


 


Items of interest to beekeepers May 6 2016
Thursday, May 12, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

CORRECTION! OREGON HONEY AND MEAD FESTIVAL, Aug 20 - 21
THE BUZZ ABOUT BEES IN WESTERN MONTANA
CITIZEN SCIENTISTS COLLECT DATA ON URBAN WILD BEES
CAUSE OF DEATHS: HTS
IT'S A RUFF JOB, BUT THIS DOGGY DETECTIVE GETS IT DONE
BANNED PESTICIDES 'NOT EQUALLY HARMFUL' TO BEES
CATCH THE BUZZ

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CORRECTION! OREGON HONEY AND MEAD FESTIVAL, Aug 20 - 21

The link on the past "Items.." is incorrect. Try these.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oregon-honey-and-mead-festival-presale-tickets-21599444520?aff=ehomesaved

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/call-for-exhibitors-for-the-oregon-honey-and-mead-festival-2016-tickets-21600495664?aff=eac2

And now for the Festival itself -

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/oregon-honey-and-mead-festival-presale-tickets-21599444520?aff=ehomesaved

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This note sent by Art Dreiling, Vice President of Big Sky Beekeepers in Western Montana -

THE BUZZ ABOUT BEES IN WESTERN MONTANA

This past Thursday, Jill Valley of KPAX TV, did a great special on honey bees and the local bee club, Big Sky Beekeepers.  She expertly addressed the value of honey bees and their environmental challenges.  I thought you might find her "Special" interesting.  As she did such a super job of informing the public about the joys and benefits of beekeeping, please share this link with your colleagues, friends, and family.  

http://www.kpax.com/story/31850300/the-buzz-about-bees-in-western-montana-is-growing#.VyYq0yEseF5.gmail

You may also "thank" Ms Valley at jill@kpax.com and/or on the KPAX Facebook site.  Enjoy!

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This item appeared in the May edition of WSU's "Green Times", from Sylvia Kantor -

CITIZEN SCIENTISTS COLLECT DATA ON URBAN WILD BEES

SEATTLE – City dwellers concerned about recent declines in pollinators can contribute to bee research as citizen scientists. Elias Bloom, a Washington State University doctoral student, is seeking volunteers to collect data on wild, native bees in Seattle in order to promote pollinator health.

He will offer volunteer training starting May 7. For more information, visit http://nwpollinators.org.

Read the entire article at
http://cahnrs.wsu.edu/news-release/2016/05/02/citizen-scientists-collect-data-on-urban-wild-bees

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Here's a great tip for any beekeeper who tends to be a little heavy-handed, from Gilroy Beekeepers President Wayne Pitts via Dave Stocks and 'The Buzzz" -

CAUSE OF DEATHS: HTS

HTS is the acronym for Hive Tool Syndrome; defined as the beekeeper inspecting the hive and causing the demise of the queen. This is not to say that the beekeeper shouldn’t inspect the hive and it will live longer.

Any opening of the hive should be accompanied by a clear objective as to why the hive is being opened. Let’s explore one objective. ‘I want/need to find the queen’. Finding a queen is very difficult if you haven’t accomplished this task previously.

You have probably heard, “You don’t know what experience is worth until you get some”. There are ways to confirm the queen is present without physically seeing her. If in the process of confirming her presence you see her, viola, you now have experience. First, is there open larva of various ages? This means the queen was there and laid eggs in the past few days, 8 or less, since the larva is capped on day 8.

How about eggs? This means she was here a day or so ago.
As you can see, it is not required that you find the queen, just evidence that she is present and doing her job.

Techniques for finding the queen.

Brute force – examine each frame until you give up in frustration and find her on the lid that you have set aside… Yes, this happens.

Divide and conquer – Have an empty box for holding examined frames available. After opening the hive, remove one of the end frames, checking carefully for the queen. Using your hive tool as a lever, insert it into the gap between 5 and 6 and move the 4 frames as a unit towards the gap created when you removed the end frame. Now you have created a gap that, in theory at least, the queen will not cross. Starting with the frame that was 5 or 6, remove it and check for a queen. Set it aside, not back in the box, and continue working one frame at a time towards the side. If you don’t find her, examine the remaining frames, starting in the center.

When you find her, be very careful when placing the frame back in the hive. Replace the other frames also very gently.

Good luck! Hopefully, you won’t become a victim of HTS.

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From the Alameda County Beekeepers Nresletter -

IT'S A RUFF JOB, BUT THIS DOGGY DETECTIVE GETS IT DONE

The newest apiary inspector at the Maryland Department of Agriculture has four legs, golden fur and a powerful sniffer.

Mack, a 2-year-old yellow Lab, joined the team last fall to help his mom, chief apiary inspector Cybil Preston, inspect beehives for American foulbrood — AFB — a highly contagious bacterial disease that infects honeybee brood and, eventually, kills the colony.

"Maryland has a thriving beekeeping industry, and most of our beekeepers have thousands of hives that travel from state to state for pollination," explains Preston. "It's our job to make sure that infected hives don't cross state lines."

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has had a "bee dog" on staff since 1982 and is believed to be the only state agency in the nation using a dog to detect AFB.

In Australia, a black Labrador named Bazz has taken on the role of apiary inspector and reports to work wearing a custom bee suit to protect him from getting stung.

Alice Whitelaw, co-founder of Working Dogs for Conservation, a nonprofit organization in Montana that trains dogs to sniff out invasive species, isn't surprised that a dog is helping prevent the spread of a deadly bee disease.

Read the rest of the story at
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/04/28/474403993/meet-the-dog-who-s-saving-the-bees

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This also from Alameda County newsletter on a UK study -

BANNED PESTICIDES 'NOT EQUALLY HARMFUL' TO BEES

One of the chemicals widely considered as being the most toxic wasn't shown to affect bees at a level found in the countryside.

However other "neonics" were shown to cause significant harm to bumblebees.

The results of the study are published in the journal Scientific Reports.

This study examined the three types banned by the EU in 2013. It shows that different types affect the brains of bumblebees in distinct ways.

Read the rest of the story at
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36154134

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Seeing the Beauty in Pollinators -

On most days, you’ll find Kathy Keatley Garvey outside finding, photographing and documenting insects, especially pollinators. This Communications Specialist for UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology – as well as a 4-H county program – is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-seeing-beauty-pollinators


2. Bees Diversify Diet to Take the Sting Out of Nutritional Deficiencies -

While pesticides and pathogens pose clear threats to honey bee health, the need of bee colonies for balanced nutrition is gaining increasing appreciation. As colonies are kept in agricultural areas for crop pollination, they may encounter nutritional deficits when foraging predominantly on one pollen source. In California almond orchards for instance, 1.6 million colonies are kept every year, despite the risk of low floral diversity, which can reduce the life expectancy of bees.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bees-diversify-diet-take-sting-nutritional-deficiencies

3. Pesticide Drift Publication Now Available from Purdue Extension -

A new Purdue Extension publication examines the causes and effects of pesticide drift, including information on how to recognize and report a drift incident.

The publication can be downloaded as a free PDF from Purdue’s The Education Store at https://edustore.purdue.edu/item.asp?Item_Number=PPP-110. You need to put PPP-110 in the search box on the top right to have it come up so it can be downloaded. Single printed copies are also available at no charge.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-pesticide-drift-publication-now-available-purdue-extension


4. Beyond Milkweed: Monarchs Face Habitat, Nectar Threats -

 In the face of scientific dogma that faults the population decline of monarch butterflies on a lack of milkweed, herbicides and genetically modified crops, a new Cornell University study casts wider blame: sparse autumnal nectar sources, weather and habitat fragmentation.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-beyond-milkweed-monarchs-face-habitat-nectar-threats


5. California Land Values Tied to Almond Prices, Just Like Pollination Prices -

Recent declines in nut prices, notably for almonds and walnuts, have made the jobs of California’s rural appraisers a lot more challenging. The lowered prices for those commodities compounds decision making around at least nine sectors of the state’s agriculture, causing a variety of ripple effects in land planted to other commodities.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-california-land-values-tied-almond-prices-just-like-pollination-prices


6. Nutrition Company Nu-Health Products Fraudulent Royal Jelly -

The owners of a Los Angeles nutritional supplement company were sentenced to home detention and probation for illegally importing honey bee royal jelly from China under deceptive labels and other offenses.

Their companies were given major fines.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the couple pleaded guilty to a wide variety of criminal activity, including falsely classifying goods to avoid import duties, and importing mislabeled food into the United States from China.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-nutrition-company-nu-health-products-fraudulent-royal-jelly


7.  USDA Announces $22 Million Available for Research to Combat Citrus Greening -

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of $22 million in grants to help citrus producers fight Huanglongbing (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease. This funding is available through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-usda-announces-22-million-available-research-combat-citrus-greening

 


Items of interest to beekeepers April 22 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

EUROPEAN BEES COMING TO HELP?
BEE AUDACIOUS!
SURVEYS AND SIGN-UPS
2,500 YEARS OF BEE POETRY
RETURN OF THE CICADAS
CATCH THE BUZZ

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Unintended consequences! After we ran the article in last week's "Items for beekeepers…" Ann Harmon wrote from the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern Virginia to report this priceless conversation -

EUROPEAN BEES COMING TO HELP?

I was at dinner last night with seven others. Four, including me, are beekeepers. One of the non-beekeepers said to me:

"I read in the Washington, DC, Post that bees from Europe are being sent here to help our bees with their problems. "

This is what the Washington, DC Post printed: "WASHINGTON CAPITOL SOON TO BE HOME TO 30,000 HONEY BEES - About 30,000 European honeybees will arrive at the Washington State Capitol..."

Ah - what people write and what people read! (and how people interpret!)

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This looks like a lot of fun and extremely valuable as well. From Bonnie Morse of the Marin County Beekeepers in California -

BEE AUDACIOUS!
Presented by beekeepers in Marin County (and beyond) with Planetwork as a fiscal sponsor.

Please help us get the word out about “Audacious Visions for the Future of Bees and Beekeeping”, or Bee Audacious for short!

You may have seen Mark Winston’s editorial in the April 2015 Bee Culture magazine.  He finished it up by suggesting that conference planners include a session at their next conference “Audacious Ideas for the Future of Beekeeping”.  Beekeepers in Marin County, California, thought it was a great idea!  But why just a session?  Why not a whole conference?   So we’re working to get some of the best bee minds on the planet together for a working conference December 11-13, 2016.   Be part of the solution and help us make this bee think tank happen!

Your financial support is very much needed to help make this all possible. Buy a t-shirt or make a donation to support conference expenses, including leader travel and accommodations, AV for panel discussion, post conference writings and more.  The current booster.com campaign will run until May 15, 2016. Click here to order a t-shirt now: http://www.booster.com/beeaudacious3. Or go to: http://www.beeaudacious.com/index.php/the-fundraising/ and click on the word "donations" to download the form to make a donation in any amount.

Mark your calendars for the panel discussion that will be live streamed at 7:00 pm PST on December 14, 2016 and available through http://www.beeaudacious.com.   (If you can make it to San Rafael, CA, you can see it in person at Dominican University of California.)  The ten conference Thought Leaders (Tom Seeley, Marla Spivak, Mark Winston, Jim Frazier, William Klett, Stephen Martin, Heather Mattila, Chas Mraz, Francis Ratnieks, and Neal Williams) will be presenting the ideas generated by the two-day gathering.

Feeling audacious?  Half of the 90 participants will be selected from submitted registration applications.  Seeking constructive, collaborative and thoughtful people who will bring experience from a wide variety of fields that produce impacts on pollinators and how pollinators are viewed by the general public.   Applications available at: http://beeaudacious.com/index.php/conference.

The Vision:

These aren’t normal times for bees. The conventional wisdom about how to keep bees and encourage wild pollinator diversity and abundance no longer serves beekeepers, farmers or the critical societal imperative for environmental sustainability. It’s time for bold new ideas that recognize beekeepers as stewards of both managed and wild bees, promoters of healthy environments, and managers of economically sustainable apiaries.
 
The Conference:

The Bee Audacious Conference will present a timely and unique opportunity for in-depth dialogue on the latest ideas, research, and technology to advance survival of honeybee colonies, beekeeping, and wild bees.

The Conference will be a thought-provoking gathering unlike any other conference. From December 11 to 13, guided by methodology used by the Simon Fraser University Center for Dialogue and Thomas Seeley’s article “Five Habits of Highly Effective Hives,” the critical social, economic, and environmental issues that are impacting the survival of bees and pollination will be explored. Ten experts (Tom Seeley, Marla Spivak, Mark Winston, Jim Frazier, William Klett, Stephen Martin, Heather Mattila, Chas Mraz, Francis Ratnieks, and Neal Williams) will be engaged as Thought Leaders in a format led by Dr. Mark Winston, Professor and Senior Fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue.

The Thought Leaders will facilitate discussion between ninety individuals divided into nine working groups in active dialogue, using an agenda developed in advance by the participants themselves. The Thought Leaders will recommend 45 individuals for participation. The other 45 participants will be selected from Conference registration applications.

After two days of high-level collaboration, the Thought Leaders will present the findings at a Panel Discussion held at Dominican University of California on December 14. The Panel will be open to the general public, live-streamed and posted to the http://www.beeaudacious.com website. Dr. Mark Winston will write the Proceedings for future posting to the website.
 
The Outputs:

The panel discussion with thought leaders immediately following the meeting will be webcast, and available subsequently on our website, allowing an online portal for dissemination of the meeting's outcomes and global access to the conference's ideas.

Participants – including many published authors - will be encouraged to write about all aspects of the conference.  Additionally, Mark Winston, award winning author of “Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive,” will produce a readable and comprehensive post conference report that will be freely available online. We have engaged an experienced research assistant to coordinate note taking and summarize the extensive notes from breakout groups, insuring that all the conversations are included as part of the conference outcomes.

Participants have regional and international influence and are the perfect conduit to disseminate information from the conference and work towards implementation of ideas generated.   Conference sessions will be devoted to addressing how those attending can carry the conference's outcomes back to their home communities.

Conference Details:
    Main Conference: 12/11/16 – 12/13/16, Marconi Conference Center, Marshall, California
    Panel Discussion: 12/14/16, 7:00pm, Dominican University of California, San Rafael

Website address:  http://www.beeaudacious.com

For more information, contact:
Bonnie Morse, Project Manager
info@beeaudacious.com
tel: 415-250-9720

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SURVEYS AND SIGN-UPS

National Bee Informed Colony Loss and Management Survey - http://10.selectsurvey.net/beeinformed/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=BIP2016#

Driftwatch/Fieldwatch - https://driftwatch.org/

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2,500 YEARS OF BEE POETRY

Virgil wrote of bees, as did Shakespeare, Burns, Coleridge, Emerson, and Whitman, among many others. Amid the crisis befalling bees—hives collapsing, wild species disappearing—the poems collected in If Bees Are Few speak with a quiet urgency of a world lost if bees were to fall silent.

A portion of the proceeds will go to support research on bee and ecosystem health at the Bee Lab at the University of Minnesota.

For more information on this title please visit http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/if-bees-are-few

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Now on to the "Other good reading (and watching)" section -

From Al Summers come links for two videos about the emergence of the 17 year cicadas - an amazing occurrence within the animal world -

RETURN OF THE CICADAS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjLiWy2nT7U
and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JJz36rSob0&ebc=ANyPxKrWQHzL42UTID0fHBYC7g9VnNutM1JfWkkFdtl7BVdv70oAoSmqcWplCvecCLCIOFisV7yMgotApphM6i2ZXHSY2SaMDA
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And from Kim Flottum at Bee Culture magazine, our weekly serving of -

CATCH THE BUZZ

1. A Case for (Local) Honey

Fully 80% of the honey consumed in this country is imported. Vietnam and India make up half of what’s sent to the U.S. How much of that is Chinese is a matter of discussion, but even if none of it is, the quality of the honeys from both of these countries no way compares to the many, many quality honeys produced right here in the U. S. This is a GOLDEN opportunity for U. S. honey producer/packers to capture a greater market share when selling LOCAL honey, and learning how to capitalize on the quality aspect of that fact. As a result of this we are beefing up the marketing aspect of our program to focus on producing the best product possible, making sure it stays that way in the processing and getting the word out on the care and quality a LOCAL honey has.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-case-local-honey


2. Banned EU Pesticide Affects Learning of Honey Bees But Not Bumblebees. First-of-its-Kind Research by The University of Sussex Has Implications For Insecticide Regulation

Exposure to a pesticide banned by the European Union significantly affects the learning of honey bees but has no effect on bumblebees – scientists from the University of Sussex have discovered.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-banned-eu-pesticide-affects-learning-honey-bees-not-bumblebees-first-kind-research-university-sussex-implications-insecticide-regulation


3. Small but not Forgotten: New Ideas on Pollen’s Ecology and Evolution American Journal of Botany Special Issue Explores Latest Research on Pollen Performance

Pollen grains may be small but they have a big job. Delivering a sperm to an egg is a little more complicated when the parents don’t move around. For plants, pollen success means reaching a receptive stigma, germinating and growing a pollen tube into the ovary, locating an ovule, and only then entering and delivering a sperm to a receptive egg. Despite the importance of these events to plant reproduction, pollen performance is relatively understudied.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-small-not-forgotten-new-ideas-pollens-ecology-evolution-american-journal-botany-special-issue-explores-latest-research-pollen-performance


4. Pollination Research – We’ve Been Planting Flowers, are They Doing What We Want?

Check out this new video The Xerxes Society has produced about the day-to-day workings of research on the Integrated Crop Pollination project (http://www.projecticp.org). The video takes you inside a collaborative research project involving over 50 scientists and Extension professionals, 100 farm fields and 15 organizations working to understand and compare approaches to the pollination of almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, pumpkins, and watermelons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2KYsQ1yFm8

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-pollination-research-weve-planting-flowers-want


5. Neonics in the South a Different Story, By a Little

Scientists from Mississippi State University have found that treating soybean seeds with neonicotinoid pesticides (imidacloprid or thiamethoxam) provides higher yields in southern U.S. states. The results of their study, which are published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, contrast with a 2014 report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which stated that neonicotinoid seed treatments offered no economic benefits.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-neonics-south-different-story-little


6. Which Trees Face Death in Drought? Fewer Trees, Certainly Less Honey Bee Food. Study Identifies Tree Traits That May Contribute to Drought Vulnerability

Two hundred-twenty-five million trees dead in the southwest in a 2002 drought. Three hundred million trees in Texas in 2011. Twelve million this past year in California. Throughout the world, large numbers of trees are dying in extreme heat and drought events. Because mass die-offs can have critical consequences for the future of forests and the future of Earth’s climate, scientists are trying to understand how a warming climate could affect how often tree mortality events occur – and how severe they could become.

A University of Utah biologist may be able to help. William Anderegg and his colleagues looked for patterns in previous studies of tree mortality and found some common traits that characterized which species lived and which died during drought. The results, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can help chart the future of forests.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-trees-face-death-drought-fewer-trees-certainly-less-honey-bee-food-study-identifies-tree-traits-may-contribute-drought-vulnerability


Items of interest to beekeepers April 15 2016
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

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

IN THIS ISSUE

LETTER FROM JEFF PETTIS, BELTSVILLE BEE LAB
POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
WASHINGTON CAPITOL SOON TO BE HOME TO 30,000 HONEY BEES
CANADA'S FEDERAL BUDGET SUPPORTS GENOMICS RESEARCH TO BENEFIT AGRICULTURE
CATCH THE BUZZ

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LETTER FROM JEFF PETTIS, BELTSVILLE BEE LAB

Fellow Beekeeper,

I am asking for a few minutes of your time to fill out the BIP surveys.  Yes I know we are all a bit surveyed out but we really need your input, this year and next, to have a three year comparison with the NASS survey that you helped make possible.  We can’t stop now.  The NASS survey reaches a broad audience but the BIP loss survey has 10 years of data that we will be able to compare to; if we can indeed have three years of overlap between the two survey efforts.  Additionally, the BIP surveys (loss and management) gather valuable data on management practices and allows us to say what works and what does not work.

So I am asking you to please send the following email to all the beekeepers in your organization. The surveys are open only from 1 April through 30 April 2016.  Should you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the BIP team at: askbeeinformed@gmail.com.

Please take time to do both the Loss and Management survey http://10.selectsurvey.net/beeinformed/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=BIP2016#. With data from the management survey over the past 5 years we have determined year after year that treating for Varroa is one core actionable practice you can do to help your colonies survive. Only 46% of beekeepers reported using a varroa mite product last year but we see that those respondents who DO treat, lose ~27% fewer colonies. That is marked reduction in losses! This is a trend that has remained consistent from every management survey we have conducted to date.

Please encourage any and all of your fellow beekeepers to participate!

It only takes a few minutes to add your voice and your data to the surveys.

Thanks for your time,
Jeff Pettis, Research Leader
Bee Research Laboratory
Bldg. 476; BARC-East, Beltsville, MD 20705
301-504-7299
jeff.pettis@ars.usda.gov

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POLLINATOR-FRIENDLY BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Protect your bees. Talk to the farmer planting corn this season. Give him this information to protect your bees.

As the planters start to roll this spring, please encourage your neighbors to implement pollinator-friendly best management practices for treated seeds.

• Observe wind speed and direction during planting and when opening seed containers.
    
• Fill the planter at least 10 yards inside your field to protect nearby honeybee hives and flowering plants.
    
• Avoid shaking the bottom of the treated seed bag when filling the planter to reduce the release of dust that could have accumulated during transport.
    
• For pneumatic planters, direct air exhaust downward towards the soil surface to decrease the potential for dust drift.
Properly dispose of any spilled treated seed to minimize exposure to people, livestock, wildfire and the environment.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-protect-bees-talk-farmer-planting-corn-season-give-information-protect-bees-tell-use

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From Todd Myers in Kirkland, WA -

WASHINGTON CAPITOL SOON TO BE HOME TO 30,000 HONEY BEES

About 30,000 European honeybees will arrive at the Washington state Capitol next week as part of an effort to raise awareness about the decline of bee populations across the country, as well as to boost pollination of plants at the governor's mansion and on the Capitol campus.

The Department of Enterprise Services announced in a news release Wednesday that on April 20, the Olympia Beekeepers Association will be placing the bees in two hives that will be set up on the front lawn of the governor's mansion.

"There's a lot of buzz about our new honeybee neighbors, and Trudi and I are looking forward to meeting them next week," Inslee said in a statement in his which he cited pollination benefits to the plants and gardens on campus. "The hives are a great addition."

The hives —which will be installed this week, before the arrival of the bees— will initially consist of a stand and a single large box where the queen bee will lay her eggs. Later in the spring, smaller boxes to store excess honey will be stacked on top.

Beekeepers from the association will be responsible for the care and upkeep of the hives.

Bees are critical to the food supply because about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and honeybees are responsible for 80 percent of that pollination. Concern about bee health is growing, with federal officials considering whether to protect two species of wild bumblebees.

On Tuesday, garden care company Ortho said it would stop using a class of chemicals that is believed to harm bees. The company said it has already removed neonicotinoids from the majority of its products used to control garden pests and diseases. It plans to remove it from all the rest in two to five years.

A United Nations study released in February said that neonics and other pesticides, along with disease and declining diversity in gardens and landscapes, are among the causes of declining bee populations worldwide.

"We know a healthy bee population is a part of a healthy ecosystem, and it's our hope these hives will bring some sweet results to our neck of the woods," Inslee wrote.

Later in the month, different bee species will be brought to the east side of the Washington Capitol campus, set up in eight mason bee "condominiums" — eight-foot-tall cedar posts, that will have a hundred holes drilled into each one. Several thousand mason bee cocoons will be inserted into the condos.

According to the Department of Enterprise services, there are several species of mason bees, including one that is native to the coastal Pacific Northwest.

The agency cited the Olympia Beekeepers Association in noting that honeybees are non-aggressive and will usually only sting in self-defense or when protecting a hive. Mason bees also rarely sting and do not act aggressively around their nests, but unlike honeybees, they are solitary, the release said.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/article71676532.html

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Other good reading:

From Beth Roden, Bayer's Communications Head, in her weekly newsletter -

CANADA'S FEDERAL BUDGET SUPPORTS GENOMICS RESEARCH TO BENEFIT AGRICULTURE

Canada’s government allotted some cash to innovation. They’ve set aside $30 million over six years to support research in ag genomics and to mitigate biological threats on the field! Right now, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has their hands on 17 million specimens—insects, plants, fungi, bacteria and nematodes—and now they’ll use this budget to digitize their collection and identify the most harmful ones. The Minister of AAFC says the “multi-year investment in the cutting-edge field of genomics demonstrates our commitment to scientifically informed decision-making and to fundamental research to support innovation in the agriculture and agri-food sector." It’s great to hear about other groups committed to proactive pest management using modern technologies.

https://eresearch.fidelity.com/eresearch/markets_sectors/news/story.jhtml?storyid=201604121603MRKTWIREUSPR_____1050374001&provider=MRKTWIRE&product=USPR____&category=&sourcePage=article&gic

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From Kim Flottum at Bee Culture magazine

CATCH THE BUZZ

1. GMOs Not Labeled In Canada

Companies planning to voluntarily label products in the U.S. containing genetically modified ingredients aren’t going to follow suit in Canada.

Health Canada does not require labelling on genetically modified food because the items have been assessed for safety and nutritional adequacy. Before selling or advertising a genetically modified food in Canada, manufacturers and importers must submit data to Health Canada for a safety assessment, which takes years to complete, the agency says on its website.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-gmos-not-labeled-canada

2. Cheap Imports Hurting Canadian Honey Producers. Familiar Story In The U. S.

Right now there are 7000 beekeepers, mostly family farms in Canada who tend to 600,000 hives of honeybees and depend on them to make a living. Canadians produce 75 million pounds of honey annually. Approximately 1/3 is produced in Alberta, 1/3 in Saskatchewan & Manitoba, and 1/3 from the rest of the country. Annually we produce more than enough honey to supply our domestic demand and then some!

But we are now in danger of losing the family farm. Canada’s largest honey packer, Billy Bee, and their international corporate parent McCormick have all but stopped buying Canadian honey. Instead they choose to import cheaper honey from countries like China and Argentina and blend them with just enough Canadian honey so that they can still say Canadian on the bottle simply to improve their bottom line. There is definitely no shortage of Canadian honey!

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-cheap-imports-hurting-canadian-honey-producers-familiar-story-u-s


3. Western Lifestyle Spells the End of Biodiversity

Contrary to what many economists suggest (see, for example, an article in The Economist entitled Hang On, published in September 2013) “development is not always good for Nature”, a biologist at Tomsk State University argues. It is broadly accepted that biodiversity and the ecosystem are both fundamental to sustaining humanity and life on Earth, but in recent centuries they have been subject to heavy pressures due to over-exploitation. Environmental protection is also raising concerns because of our improved understanding of the interconnections between human wellness and ecosystem health.

– The problem is that, even if the will to follow a sustainable lifestyle in ‘Western countries’ is increasing, many developing countries are experiencing economic growth, which threatens to subject their environments to over-exploitation

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-western-lifestyle-spells-end-biodiversity


4. Saudi Firm Buys Up California Water Rights. They Have Outsourced Their Drought

A company from Saudi Arabia is buying up water rights and setting up farming operations in the drought-stricken Southwest, ushering in a new round of controversy about the merit of American water laws that take pains to accommodate farmers.

“Almarai Co. bought land in January that roughly doubled its holdings in California’s Palo Verde Valley, an area that enjoys first dibs on water from the Colorado River. The company also acquired a large tract near Vicksburg, Ariz., becoming a powerful economic force in a region that has fewer well-pumping restrictions than other parts of the state,” The Associated Press recently reported.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-saudi-firm-buys-california-water-rights-outsourced-drought


5.  Rising CO2 Levels Reduce Protein in Crucial Pollen Source for Bees

Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have reduced protein in goldenrod pollen, a key late-season food source for North American bees, a Purdue University study shows.

Researchers found that the overall protein concentration of goldenrod pollen fell about one-third from the onset of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the 21st century.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-rising-co2-levels-reduce-protein-crucial-pollen-source-bees



6. Common Pesticides Kill Amphibian Parasites, Study Finds, But Like Every Other Organism, Resistance Develops

The combined effects of pesticides and parasites threaten wildlife populations worldwide (e.g. amphibians, honeybees). Pesticides are predicted to exacerbate the effects of parasites on their hosts by reducing the host’s ability to defend against parasite infection. Many studies have examined the effects of pesticides on the host organism, but not much attention has been paid to how pesticides directly affect parasites – until now.

A recent study by Jessica Hua, assistant professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University, New York, and colleagues, explored the effects of six commonly used pesticides on two different populations of a widespread parasite of amphibians.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-common-pesticides-kill-amphibian-parasites-study-finds-but-like-every-other-organism-resistance-develops


7. Parasitic Mites That Transmit A Honey Bee-Infecting Virus May Benefit From Spreading The Pathogen, A Study Shows. A Definite Parasite-Pathogen Partnership. Destroy Honey Bee Immunity, Increase Varroa Reproduction

Honey bee colony losses concern beekeepers and agriculturists alike, as Apis mellifera are important crop pollinators. A pair of factors that affect the health of honey bee colonies are the mite, Varroa destructor—which parasitizes honey bee larvae—and the pathogenic deformed wing virus (DWV), which V. destructor can transmit. Scientists have long tried to understand the details of the mite-virus-bee ecology. It was already known that DWV benefitted from its association with the mite, as the parasite helps the virus spread. But it had been less clear whether the mite gained anything from serving as a viral vector. It turns out that mites show more reproductive successes when parasitizing honey bees with active DWV infections, according to a study published today (March 7) in PNAS.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-2


 


Items of interest to beekeepers April 8 2016
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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

   
IN THIS ISSUE

STARVATION HELPS BABY BEES BECOME STRONGER AS ADULTS
DOUBLE WIN FOR WASHINGTON STATE BEEKEEPERS
TWO NEW BOARD MEMBERS FOR PROJECT APIS M.
NEW TOOL HELPS WHEAT FARMERS ADAPT TO CHANGING CLIMATE
EX-CONS BECOME BEEKEEPERS AND STAY OUT OF PRISON
CATCH THE BUZZ

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FROM Phoenix News.Net 1st April, 2016 -

STARVATION HELPS BABY BEES BECOME STRONGER AS ADULTS

The stress of short-term nutritional deprivation as larvae actually makes honeybees -- critical to the world's food supply -- more resilient to starvation as adults, a new study has found.

"Surprisingly, we found that short-term starvation in the larval stage makes adult honey bees more adaptive to adult starvation. This suggests that they have an anticipatory mechanism like solitary organisms do," said Ying Wang, assistant research professor at Arizona State University in the US.

The findings showed that when bees experienced starvation as larvae, they could reduce their metabolic rate, maintain their blood sugar levels and use other fuels faster than the control bees during starvation. This increased the probability of their survival under a starvation situation.

The anticipatory mechanism, also called "predictive adaptive response", explains a possible correlation between prenatal nutritional stress and adult metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes in humans.

The researchers, in the study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, found evidence of this mechanism in several areas such as behaviour, endocrine physiology, metabolism and gene regulation in the bees.

"Manipulations during development may be able to increase the bees' resistance to different stressors, much like how an immunisation works," added Wang.

Managed honeybee colonies have declined worldwide, down to 2.5 million today from 5 million in the 1940s. This comes at a time when the global demand for food is rising to meet the nutrition needs of 7.4 billion people.

A lack of adequate nutrition is blamed as one of many possible causes for colony collapse disorder or CCD -- a mysterious syndrome that causes a honeybee colony to die.

Parasites, pesticides, pathogens and environmental changes are also stressors believed responsible for the decline of honeybees.

Since multiple stressors are negatively impacting bee health, the new findings may provide a different strategy to help solve the problem of colony collapse disorder, the researchers concluded.

See more at: http://www.phoenixnews.net/index.php/sid/242732525#sthash.rlHC7dGU.dpuf

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From Tim Hiatt, WSBA Legislative Chair -

DOUBLE WIN FOR WASHINGTON STATE BEEKEEPERS

On March 29, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law EHB 2478. This bill directs the State Noxious Weed Board to conduct a four year pilot project to investigate best methods of recovering honey bee forage when noxious weeds which are also blooming plants and good bee foraage have been eliminated. This project anticipates participants from all areas of the state, using a variety of techniques and materials, to compile a list of recommendations based on geographical area. The goal for the project is to give guidance to interested landowners and managers on providing honey bee and other pollinator forage when controlling noxious weeds. "Many plants listed as noxious weeds are also great pollen and honey plants," said Tim Hiatt, Washington State Beekeepers Association legislative chair. "We're excited to make this information generally available and increase the forage in Washington for honey bees and other pollinators."

The compromise supplemental budget contains funding for a new bee research position at Washington State University. "Senator Warnick and Representative Blake were instrumental in achieving this step toward healthier honey bees in the Pacific Northwest," said Hiatt, "as well as those members of the legislature who see the importance of honey bees and pollinators to provide pollination for agriculture and for general ecosystem services." This position has been funded for one year with this supplemental budget, a main legislative priority for WSBA in 2017 will be to seek permanent funding. "Washington is the #2 state in the nation in terms of agricultural acres pollinated, yet we have only one bee researcher at our land grant college. More research on honey bee health, including against parasitic mites which have been a major challenge for bees and beekeepers, will result in stronger hives of bees to those who need pollination."

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From Christi Heintz at Project Apis m. -

TWO NEW BOARD MEMBERS FOR PROJECT APIS M.

Paso Robles, CA— Project Apis m. (PAm) announces the appointment of two new members to the Board of Directors to advance Project Apis m.’s mission to fund and direct research to enhance the health and vitality of honey bee colonies while improving crop production.

Joining the Board of Directors are Pat Heitkam and Dr. A. Gary Shilling. “Our newest Board members bring a blend of talent and expertise, perspective from inside and outside the beekeeping industry. We are very fortunate to have them join PAm to strengthen and build our organization as we continue to support honey bees in agriculture,” said Christi Heintz, PAm Executive Director.

Gary Shilling is an acclaimed and accomplished economic forecaster and portfolio strategist. He studied physics at Amherst College and then completed MS and PhD degrees in Economics at Stanford. Prior to establishing A. Gary Shilling & Co, Inc., in 1978, he was an economist for companies including Standard Oil; White, Weld & Co.; and Merrill Lynch. He has been rated twice as Wall Street's top economist. He is a frequent contributor to the financial press including the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and writes the “Financial Strategy” column for Forbes Magazine. He has been an avid beekeeper since 1990. He lives in Short Hills, New Jersey.

Pat Heitkam is the owner of Heitkam’s Honey Bees with his son Russell. He has 35 years of experience in beekeeping, pollination and queen production, and has served as President of the California Bee Breeders Association, California State Beekeepers Association, and the American Beekeeping Federation.  He is currently Vice President of Bee Informed Partnership, Inc., a national project. He is motivated to give back to the industry and to see it thrive through research projects, developing more forage and habitat for bees, and supporting technology transfer throughout beekeeping. He lives in Orland, California.

Shilling and Heitkam join current PAm board members Dr. Gordon Wardell (Chairman), John Miller (CFO), Brent Barkman, Gene Brandi, Zac Browning, Doug Hauke and Dave Mendes.  Project Apis m. is the largest non-governmental, non-profit honey bee research organization in the USA.

Established by beekeepers and almond growers in 2006, PAm has infused over $4 million into bee research to provide growers with healthier bees resulting in better pollination and increased crop yields.  PAm has personal relationships with the nation’s commercial beekeepers and the top bee scientists in the USA and Canada. In addition to funding a variety of research projects, PAm produces Best Management Practices for beekeepers and growers, provides Seeds for Bees to supplement bee forage in agriculture, and supports graduate students through scholarships to encourage their pursuit of science-based solutions to honey bee challenges.  

For more information about Project Apis m., visit http://www.projectapism.org.  

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More good reading:

From WSU Green Times -
    
NEW TOOL HELPS WHEAT FARMERS ADAPT TO CHANGING CLIMATE

Wheat farmers find that harvesting with a “stripper header” leaves more residue in the field, which reduces temperatures and conserves soil water, and ultimately helps the next crop’s seedlings withstand hotter, drier summers.

http://csanr.wsu.edu/stripper-headers

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From the Alameda County (CA) Beekeepers newsletter -

EX-CONS BECOME BEEKEEPERS AND STAY OUT OF PRISON

Once out of jail, it can be extremely hard for ex-cons to find good, steady work. This lack of opportunity can be very problematic and can ultimately put ex-cons back in jail. One unique program is turning former prisoners into beekeepers, helping these people stay out of jail, while simultaneously helping to increase diminishing honeybee populations.

Once out of jail, it can be extremely hard for ex-cons to find good, steady work. This lack of opportunity can be very problematic and can ultimately put ex-cons back in jail. One unique program is turning former prisoners into beekeepers, helping these people stay out of jail, while simultaneously helping to increase diminishing honeybee populations.

Sweet Beginnings, created by Brenda Palms-Barber, is a social enterprise business that is located in Chicago’s West Side. The business hires former prisoners and turns them into beekeepers. The success rate of the interactions between ex-convicts and honeybees is strikingly high for both parties.

http://www.realfarmacy.com/ex-cons-become-beekeepers-and-stay-out-of-prison/

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From Kim Flottum at Bee Culture Magazine -

CATCH THE BUZZ

1. More Sugar Consumed Than Grown This Year. Prices will Rise.

Global sugar consumption is set to outstrip supply this year, but despite doom and gloom reports of the world running out of the sweet stuff, analysts say the sector is well-placed to meet the demand.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-sugar-consumed-grown-year-prices-will-rise


2. Biologists Discover Sophisticated ‘Alarm’ Signals in Honey Bees ‘Stop Signals’ Found to Encode Predator Danger and Attack Context

Bees can use sophisticated signals to warn their nestmates about the level of danger from predators attacking foragers or the nest, according to a new study.

Biologists at UC San Diego and in China found that an Asian species of honey bee can produce different types of vibrational “stop signals” when attacked by giant Asian hornets.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-biologists-discover-sophisticated-alarm-signals-honey-bees-stop-signals-found-encode-predator-danger-attack-context

3. Commercial Bumblebees Help Spread Nosema bombi to Wild Bumbles

Several species of bumble bee, including Bombus occidentalis, pictured, are experiencing steep population declines. (ARS photo)

The research finds the American commercial bumble bee industry accidentally helped spread a fungal pathogen of bees.

Scientists hoping to explain widespread declines in wild bumble bee populations conducted the first long-term genetic study of Nosema bombi, a key fungal pathogen of honey bees and bumble bees.

They report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences they found that N. bombi was present in the U.S. as early as 1980, well before several species of wild bumble bees started to go missing across the country.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-commercial-bumblebees-help-spread-nosema-bombi-wild-bumbles


4. Extra Floral Honey From Rubber Trees In India Boiled, Watered Down And Then Exported. U.S. Imported 79.7 Million Pounds Of Honey From India in 2015. Some Of It Was Rubber Honey

When rubber prices started going down, rubber farmers in the mountainous terrains of Kerala started tapping the nectar out of honey bees for a living. It didn’t take them long to realize that the business of bee keeping had the potential to yield a profitable business, export wise. But the farmers had one small problem. They were unable to store the honey for long periods of time, which proved a deterrent.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-extra-floral-honey-rubber-trees-india-boiled-watered-exported-u-s-imported-79-7-million-pounds-honey-india-2015-rubber-honey


5.  A Smart Kid and Local Honey Win The Day!

Mikaila Ulmer received a $60,000 investment on Shark Tank for her BeeSweet lemonade

Not many kids turn their lemonade stands into successful ventures, but 11-year-old Mikaila Ulmer has raised the bar by securing a four-state contract with Whole Foods.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-smart-kid-local-honey-win-day


6. Spieth Road Stories – UnWintering

We unearthed the bees a couple of weekends ago. Well, unwrapped them actually. I learned winter in northern Wisconsin and it stuck. I’ve always wrapped in winter here in Ohio. Some years not needed at all. Some years wish I’d added another layer.

http://www.beeculture.com/spieth-road-stories-unwintering
 


Items of interest to beekeepers April 2 2016
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

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



IN THIS ISSUE

WELCOME TO CANADIAN HONEY COUNCIL - THE NEWEST MEMBER OF WAS
WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE PASSES BILL TO SUPPORT A SECOND HONEYBEE RESEARCH POSITION AT WSU
MORE DETAILS ON THE WSU BEE THEFT
SWARM LURE
HONEY BEE HEALTH & MANAGEMENT FEATURED AT UC DAVIS SYMPOSIUM
PESTICIDES, PEOPLE, POLLINATORS AND THE PLANET: SAFER, HEALTHIER PRACTICES AND POLICIES CONFERENCE
LOOKING FOR PARTICIPANTS FOR OREGON HONEY FESTIVAL
HONEY BEES USE 'BEE PASTURES' PLANTED BY ALMOND FARMERS AS ALMOND POLLINATION WINDS DOWN
ONE SHAKE, ONE HARVEST - NEW ALMOND VARIETY HAS MULTIPLE TRAIT APPEAL, AND WORRY FOR BEEKEEPERS
NEONIC DUST: MORE LEGAL PROBLEMS, RULES IN 6 STATES PLUS CANADA
CATCH THE BUZZ

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WELCOME TO CANADIAN HONEY COUNCIL - THE NEWEST MEMBER OF WAS

I would like make special acknowledgement of the Canadian Honey Council, which has just become the newest member of the Western Apicultural Society (WAS)! Welcome CHC. We look forward to working with you, especially as plans develop for Apimondia 2019 in Montreal, Quebec.

CHC's decision to join us is a good example of the connections that can be made across the beekeeping industry in North America. The opportunity is open to all beekeeping clubs and associations, just as it is to individuals. By connecting with bee groups, we are able to inform many more beekeepers about industry developments and gatherings than previously. Think about it. Cost is only $20 per year, with another $20 if you want a PRINT copy of the quarterly newsletter, payable when new or renewable memberships are made. Go to http://www.westernapiculturalsociety.org/membership and choose the Association category, or print out a membership form and send it in with a check if you prefer.

The 2016 WAS CONFERENCE will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii October 12 - 15th! Information, as it becomes available, will be posted on the website and in the WAS Journal.

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WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE PASSES BILL TO SUPPORT A SECOND HONEYBEE RESEARCH POSITION AT WSU

Word was received Monday from Sue Olson in Yakima that efforts by individual beekeepers and associations in Washington State have paid off as the State Legislature secured funding for a second honey bee research position at Washington State University in the 2016 legislative budget. Special thanks go to Senator Judy Warnick for her interest and assistance in getting this through.

More when an official release is received.

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From Dr. Steve Shepard at Washington State University -

MORE DETAILS ON THE WSU BEE THEFT

“Basically – we had about 110 WSU colonies in an almond orchard right next to Hughson, CA.  60 of them were headed by instrumentally inseminated queens representing three different strains -including nearly pure carniolan and caucasian stocks from our program.  Thieves went through and stole 4 or 5 frames from each of 21 of the colonies. They were sophisticated enough to make sure the open space was left in the bottom box.  In some cases, they missed the queen – so I think they were hurried – but in general tried to catch the queen.  In many cases … this theft would not have been found until the hives returned back to the home place or at least went to the next set in PNW cherries. Since we were going though 60 of the colonies to take measurements and evaluate for potential queen mother use – we caught it. The hives were removed the next night for travel back to the PNW.

The irony of this particular theft is that these stocks were only available for this research project as a result of funding support from the Almond Board. The placement of relatively pure subspecies/potential breeder queens into Almonds is part of the research project of a new Phd student in my lab.  She (Megan Asche) is conducting a side-by-side comparison of different subspecies under actual field conditions.  Given the 1922 passage of the honey bee act, this is the first experiment of this type possible in almost 100 years, as the Act restricted any significant importation of Old World honey bees in an attempt to keep tracheal mites from reaching the US.”

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Just received the Pigeon Mountain Trading Company e-newsletter from Georgia with an interesting little item in it -

SWARM LURE

As the temperatures starts to rise, so do the possibilities of swarms. Capturing a swarm is an economical way to start a hive. We found a new product that can help you capture a hive. The Swarm Commander Super Lure is made from a patented product that is infused with Swarm Commander Premium Swarm Lure and will last for a minimum of 90 days. Open the package that holds the Super Lure and hang it on the end of a top bar on one of your frames or hang it in your swarm trap. Swarm Commander Super Lure releases just the right amount of pheromone to lure honey bees to your hive.

This lure can be reused as long as you store it inside a Ziploc® type plastic bag. The shelf life of the lure in it’s original package is two years. It sells for $14.95. Contact Steve McCloud at info@pigeonmountaintrading.com

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Here's news from UC-Davis on their up-coming Bee Symposium May 7th -

HONEY BEE HEALTH & MANAGEMENT FEATURED AT UC DAVIS SYMPOSIUM

Yves Le Conte, Director of the French National Bee Lab and Dennis vanEnglesdorp, professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland, will be speaking at the University of California, Davis, on Saturday, May 7, 2016 during the 2nd Annual Bee Symposium: Keeping Bees Healthy. The Symposium, held in the University Conference Center, is presented by the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute and the Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Le Conte, known throughout Europe for his work researching varroa mites and their effects on honey bees, will address “Honey Bees that Survive Varroa Mite in the World: What we can Learn from the French Bees.” In addition to groundbreaking work on the continent, Le Conte collaborated with Gene Robinson at the University of Illinois to isolate the pheromone that helps regulate labor in the honey bee colony. Le Conte has also worked with Mark Winston, Marion Ellis and many others throughout the country. He now sits on the Advisory Board of the Bee Informed Partnership, a ground breaking organization that helps beekeepers keep healthy and stronger colonies. A Le Conte interview, by MEA Mcneil was featured in the April issue of Bee Culture magazine if you would like additional information on his program.

Research in Dennis vanEnglesdorp’s lab is focused on pollinator health and honey bee health. He uses an epidemiological approach to understanding and (importantly) improving honey bee health. This approach is multi-faceted, requiring understanding individual bee diseases and the large scale monitoring of colony health. vanEnglesdorp was one of several founders of the Bee Informed Partnership, an idea that many beekeepers had. “As I traveled across the country sampling bees to try to find out what was killing them, beekeepers everywhere said that what they needed was a way to find out what other beekeepers did and which of those things worked“ says vanEnglesdorp. “Along with a group of our country’s most influential apiculturists, the Bee Informed Partnership took hold.”

“This is going to be a very exciting Symposium,” says Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the UC Davis Robert Mondavi Institute and organizer of the symposium. “Not only are we bringing together two leading researchers for our keynote sessions, we will have presentations from several other ground breaking entomologists in the state: Claire Kremen, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow from UC Berkeley, Quinn McFrederick from UC Riverside and Rachel Vannette and Brian Johnson from the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.”

“Last year’s inaugural Bee Health Symposium was an overwhelming success” said Clare Hasler-Lewis, Executive Director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. “With a focus on exploring best management practices that help sustain the bee population for the future, we believe the 2016 Symposium will have even greater impact!”

Other Program Highlights

Graduate Student Research Poster Competition: Learn from the top graduate student entomologists from UC Davis and UC Berkeley when they present their research during the lunchtime poster session.

This year’s lightning round includes information from Elina Niño, California Extension Apiculturist, about the development of California’s first Master Beekeeping Certification Program. Five other researchers and beekeepers will also give five-minute presentations during this lightning session.

Vendors and educational exhibits will line the corridors of the Conference Center with beekeeping equipment, honey tastings, cool T-shirts and bee clubs. The UC Bookstore will be on site selling bee and honey-related books.

The day-long symposium will conclude with a reception in the Robert Mondavi Institute’s Good Life Garden featuring appetizers, mead, cyser, local honey beers and an assortment of other beverages.

UC Davis was recently ranked No. 1 nationally for its Department of Entomology and Nematology, and continues to lead the way in agricultural innovation and sustainability, in part through fostering pollinator-related research and conferences, like the Bee Symposium. The symposium is made possible through a generous gift from the Springcreek Foundation and sponsor Natural American Foods.

Tickets are $80, which includes breakfast, lunch and the reception. Student tickets are $20 (with valid ID). To register for this event: http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events/2016-bee-symposium. For more information, contact Amina Harris: aharris@ucdavis.edu. For vendor opportunities, contact Liz Luu: Luu@caes.ucdavis.edu.

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These from Festival organizer Sharon Schmidt in Ashland, Oregon -

PESTICIDES, PEOPLE, POLLINATORS AND THE PLANET: SAFER, HEALTHIER PRACTICES AND POLICIES CONFERENCE at Southern Oregon University April 16. See the EVENTS section for details.

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LOOKING FOR PARTICIPANTS FOR OREGON HONEY FESTIVAL

Oregon Honey Festival is seeking  Beekeepers, mead and honey producers, conservationists, innovators, creative foodies, educators and bee artists to exhibit and demo at the Festival on August 20 and 21 in Ashland, Oregon. The Festival is a celebration of bee-culture. Although it particularly supports small and medium size beekeeping operations, all are welcome!  Begin the Registration at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/call-for-exhibitors-for-the-oregon-honey-and-mead-festival-2016-tickets-21600496667?aff=ebrowse

The website is: www.oregonhoneyfestival.com. Also on Facebook!

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From the Almond Board of California -

HONEY BEES USE 'BEE PASTURES' PLANTED BY ALMOND FARMERS AS ALMOND POLLINATION WINDS DOWN

By the time petals fall from almond blossoms, the nectar and pollen that honey bees collect and spread from flower to flower to pollinate the crop are gone.  So as the almond bloom draws to a close, beekeepers arrive to remove their hives from the orchards, often moving their bees to pollinate other crops.  But in the meantime, honey bees look outside of almond orchards for alternate food sources.

Bee-friendly flowering plants, like this flowering mustard, provide a great source of food for honey bees when the almond trees have nothing left to give.
At Lakeview Ranch they don’t have to go far.  That’s because almond grower Jeff McPhee thoughtfully planted a field of bee-friendly flowering plants last fall, as he does every year, knowing it would provide a great source of food for honey bees when the almond trees have nothing left to give. McPhee grows 400 acres of almonds with his partner, Matt Friedrich, in Stanislaus County, Calif., where almonds are the No. 1 crop.

This year’s bee pasture at Lakeview Ranch is a mixture of mustard species.  Mustards are among the many plants that provide excellent food for bees. Other popular plants are vetch, clover and legumes, such as beans, and each blooms at a different time of the year, providing an extended season when bees have ample and nutritious food.

More than 150 almond farmers have planted 3,000 acres of alternate honey bee food sources because they know they are good for the bees, and what’s good for the bees is good for the pollination of the almond crop, year after year.

Bee pastures also are good for beekeepers who bring in thousands of hives every year for the largest managed pollination event on Earth. When bees have a nutritious and plentiful source of food after almond blossoms are spent, beekeepers can leave hives in the orchards and continue to build bee strength until it is time to move on to their next pollination gig, which could be for cherries, oranges, melons, or one of many other crops that rely on managed honey bees for pollination.

More than 150 almond farmers have planted thousands of acres of flowering plants because they are good for the bees.
Lakeview Ranch’s bee pastures are also feeding wild bees that find their way onto the property, supplementing nature’s offerings and helping to secure the health of wild bee populations.  The bee pastures are so successful at providing an alternate food source that McPhee has reached out to properties around Woodward Lake to increase their habitat.

When the mustard dries up as summer approaches, McPhee mows and tills the pasture, improving the health of the soil by adding a natural source of nitrogen and organic matter. “Every year we see the benefit of improved soil health with bigger and stronger flowering plants for the bees,” he says. “And rather than let the pastures idle in the summer, we plant either sunflowers or pumpkins, which our kids and their friends love.”

Seed for bee pastures is provided at no cost from the nonprofit organization Project Apis m. The name comes from the scientific nomenclature for honey bees — Apis mellifera.  Project Apis m.’s mission is to fund and direct research to enhance the health and vitality of honey bee colonies while improving crop production.  Project Apis m. has developed seed mixes to provide floral diversity prior to and after almond bloom in California for the nearly 1.8 million colonies that are brought to almond orchards for pollination.  Just like humans, honey bees are best able to deal with stress issues when they get ongoing nourishment after the vital almond bloom.

And if they are lucky enough to be brought to a place like Lakeview Ranch, they can feed first among the almond blossoms, and then in the bee pasture before it’s time to move on.
- See more at: http://www.almonds.com/blog/bees/honey-bees-use-'bee-pastures'-planted-almond-farmers-almond-pollination-winds-down

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And a new development in the almond industry as it takes hold, from the National Public Radio "the salt" site  -

ONE SHAKE, ONE HARVEST - NEW ALMOND VARIETY HAS MULTIPLE TRAIT APPEAL ... AND WORRY FOR BEEKEEPERS

Beekeepers flock from all over the country to California every February and March to watch billions of honeybees buzz around the state's almond trees. Eighty percent of the country's commercial bees visit the Golden State each spring.

So I went to check out the scene at an almond orchard at the California State University, Fresno, in Central California.

"Really, the key is to stay calm around bees, because if you're afraid, then your body physiologically changes and they can sense that," beekeeper Brian Hiatt tells me. "They literally can smell fear."

He should know: In this orchard alone, Hiatt has about 1.5 million bees.

Spring is usually a really busy time for beekeepers. But this year, Hiatt says he is worried that a relatively new variety of almond called Independence could harm the longevity of his business.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/03/23/471437025/with-bees-in-trouble-almond-farmers-try-trees-that-dont-need-em

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NEONIC DUST: MORE LEGAL PROBLEMS, RULES IN 6 STATES PLUS CANADA

This week, Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture compensated two beekeepers after investigators found that neonicotinoid-filled dust from a neighboring cornfield damaged their hives last spring.

http://agfax.com/2016/03/22/neonic-dust-more-legal-problems-rules-in-6-states-plus-canada-dtn/

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From Kim Flottum at Bee Culture Magazine -

CATCHh THE BUZZ

1. Vermont Works on Pollinator Protection

Vermont has just held its first ever conference on beetles, bees and butterflies, to consider the threats that all pollinators face in Vermont. The conference was a response to President Obama’s directive to create a national strategy to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators.

As a member of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, Bill Mares went as a representative of the honeybees, pollinators for roughly $20 billion of U.S. crops. Worldwide, all pollinators are critical to $500 billion dollars’ worth of food crops.

Listen to the rest of Bill’s Story at http://digital.vpr.net/post/mares-pollinators#stream/0


2.  Fraudulent Honey – Again

About a third of honey marketed in the United Kingdom as manuka product from New Zealand does not meet the label specifications.

The figure is contained the annual strategic assessment carried out by the National Food Crime Unit for the Food Standards Authourity and Food Standards Scotland of the food crime threat to the UK’s £200-billion (US4282.3-billion) food and drink industry.

“UK testing has identified non-compliances in around a third of tested samples of products labeled as Manuka, in terms of quality, declared activity or botanical origin compared to the declarations on the label,” the report says.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-fraudulent-honey


3. U.S. Per Capita Consumption of Honey Drops 3%, Imports Climb to 80% of Consumed Honey and Prices Drop 4%

Bee Culture Magazine’s annual computation of U. S. per capita consumption of honey was published March 31, based on data obtained from USDA NASS, USDA AMS, The Farm Service Agency, and The Census Bureau. The NASS data for 2015 can be found at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/Hone/Hone-03-22-2016.pdf , the 2015 July census data is at https://www.census.gov/popest/data/national/totals/2015/files/NA-EST2015-01.csv, and import figures are at http://search.ams.usda.gov/mndms/2016/02/FV20160217MHONEY.PDF#xml=http://search.ams.usda.gov/mnsearch/hiliteinfo.aspx?i=2&docid=FV20160217MHONEY.PDF

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-u-s-per-capita-consumption-honey-drops-3-imports-climb-80-consumed-honey-prices-drop-4


4. 2015-2016 COLONY LOSS AND MANAGEMENT SURVEY IS LIVE: TAKE THE SURVEY TODAY!

It is April 1st and that can only mean one thing at the Bee Informed Partnership – our National Loss and Management survey is LIVE!  Starting now and continuing until April 30th, your responses from this survey provide invaluable information that helps us obtain a clear picture of honey bee health throughout the country and helps guide best management practices. Thank you for all the beekeepers who, for 10 years now, have taken the time to complete the Colony Loss survey. Additional appreciation goes to those beekeepers who have provided data for our Management survey for the past 5 years. Correlating management practices with colony losses have enabled us to soon release data based management plants for beekeepers in different regions of the country.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-2015-2016-colony-loss-management-survey-live-take-survey-today


5. Bee Vectoring Technologies Confirms Key Demonstration on Sunflower Crop. Honey Bees Deliver!

Bee Vectoring Technologies International Inc. (the “Company” or “BVT”) (TSX VENTURE: BEE) is pleased to announce a key demonstration and replicated trial of its organic crop inoculation system to control the disease Sclerotinia on sunflowers. The demonstration is scheduled to take place in July and August 2016 at the Langdon Research Extension Centre of North Dakota State University (“NDSU”).

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-bee-vectoring-technologies-confirms-key-demonstration-sunflower-crop-honey-bees-deliver

 


Items of interest to beekeepers March 25 2016
Tuesday, March 29, 2016



IN THIS ISSUE -

US NATIONAL BEEKEEPER SURVEY DEADLINE EXTENDED
NEXT GENERATION FARMER/BEEKEEPER EVENT
NEW 'FEED A BEE' PROGRAM LAUNCHED THIS WEEK
STATE OF VERMONT WILL REQUIRE GMO LABELING
USDA HONEY PRODUCTION STATS
IF YOU POLLINATED ALMONDS THIS YEAR, TAKE THIS SURVEY
NEW SMALL HIVE BEETLE SURVEILLANCE AND BEE MOVEMENT CONDITIONS FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA & ALBERTA
CATCH THE BUZZ
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US NATIONAL BEEKEEPER SURVEY DEADLINE EXTENDED
 
While there are very succinct colony loss and honey production surveys each year, there hasn’t been a comprehensive “beekeeper” survey for years.  With the popularity of beekeeping on the rise, no one can argue with the fact that the beekeeper demographic has changed in the last decade.  As educators, researchers, and individuals making up an industry, we should know who we are.  Moving forward, having a grasp on census data of the industry will help us to know where, who, and how to reach out for better policy making, research, issue advocacy, continuing education, etc.    
 
Through this brief questionnaire we are hoping to gain a better understanding of current beekeeper demographics.  We aim to provide current statistics to the beekeeping industry, beekeepers, and also better focus our education, outreach, and networking efforts in the beekeeping community.  Your information is completely anonymous.  Data will be analyzed by the Bee Girl organization’s Executive Director, Sarah Red-Laird, and Scientific Adviser, Scott Debnam, and published on http:// www.beegirl.org.  This survey will close on April 1st, 2016.
 
Take the survey at http://beekeepersurvey.weebly.com

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NEXT GENERATION FARMER/BEEKEEPER EVENT

Join the Bee Girl organization, the NW Farmers Union, and Rouge Farm Corps for a collaborative event in Ashland, Oregon, at Pioneer Hall on April 15 @ 6pm!

What's a "Next Generation Beekeeper"? “Next Gen” is defined as, “The step forward that perpetually propels us into our impending destiny.” We are the next generation in our family of beekeepers, we are the drivers of the next stage of development in the products, services, expertise, and knowledge our industry provides. This beekeeper is a commercial or small scale beekeeper, or works as an educator or researcher. They are passionate about bees, and want to be involved in future beekeeping innovation, research, policy, technology, advocacy, or community leadership.

What’s a “Next Generation Farmer”?  According to the USDA, this is one who has operated a farm for ten years or less.The term next-generation farmer is used to describe young people who will be the next generation of farmers. Sometimes the term specifically suggests the next generation of the family to take over an existing farm.This, however, can anyone from a first-year farm apprentice to someone pursuing a mid-life career change to agriculture.

Moving forward, we need a functional model of collaboration between these two groups. This event is aimed to bring the two groups together for networking, beer drinking (provided by Full Sail Brewing), a potluck dinner (bring a dish to share), great music by “The Brothers Reed”, and a breakout session. The facilitated session is to develop a few ideas for collaboration, as well as finding how the Bee Girl organization and the NW Farmers Union can best serve you at local, state, and national levels. You tell us what that needs to be done, we’ll listen and help to develop a positive action plan.

Please RSVP here: https://www.universe.com/nextgencollaborative

Join and share our Facebook event page here:  http://www.facebook.com/events/1698438197045845

If you are coming from out of town - we've bartered some deals for you at local hotels! This one is in walking distance from Pioneer Hall: $105 plus tax for 1 King Bed as they are sold out on d the double queen rooms. Ask for Allie.

Another hotel with a great deal for "Next Gen Event" attendees coming in from out of town: $99 plus tax for 2 Queen Beds and add $10 per person over 2 people per room. Ask for Jennifer.

For more on the Next Generation Beekeepers Initiative, check out my write up on the Savannah Bee Blog (http://savannahbee.com/blog/next-generation-beekeepers)

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From Bayer Head of Communications, Beth Roden, in her weekly news round-up -

NEW 'FEED A BEE' PROGRAM LAUNCHED THIS WEEK

Bayer's new 'Feed a Bee' program (http://feedabee.com) launched this week. You can now “tweet a bee to feed  a bee,” meaning you can tweet a bee emoji and a flower will be planted on your bee-half. You can also sign up to get a free seed packet that you can plant to support pollinator health. And I have to warn you that when you watch the new video, the song will get stuck in your head!

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Also from Beth Roden -

STATE OF VERMONT WILL REQUIRE GMO LABELING

Vermont will require GMO labeling, effective July 1, after the U.S. Senate voted 48-49 against a bill that would have blocked state laws. Food companies will have to spend millions to comply, and some are considering pulling their products from the state. The Grocery Manufacturers Association wants a national solution instead of “a patchwork of confusing and costly state labeling laws,” while others wonder how will consumers perceive GMO labels?

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USDA HONEY PRODUCTION STATS

United States honey production in 2015 from producers with five or more colonies totaled 157 million pounds, down  12 percent from 2014. There were 2.66 million colonies from which honey was harvested in 2015, down 3 percent from  2014. Yield of honey harvested per colony averaged 58.9 pounds, down 10 percent from the 65.1 pounds in 2014.  Colonies which produced honey in more than one State were counted in each State where the honey was produced. Therefore, at the United States level, yield per colony may be understated, but total production would not be impacted. Colonies were not included if honey was not harvested. Producer honey stocks were 42.2 million pounds on December 15, 2015, up 2 percent from a year earlier. Stocks held by producers exclude those held under the commodity loan program.

United States honey production in 2015 from producers with less than five colonies totaled 720 thousand pounds. There  were 23 thousand colonies from which honey was harvested in 2015, with an average yield of 31.3 pounds harvested per  colony. This yield is 27.6 pounds less than what was pulled per colony on operations with five or more colonies.  Comparisons to 2014 are unavailable because no data prior to 2015 was collected for operations with less than five colonies.

United States honey prices decreased during 2015 to 209.0 cents per pound, down 4 percent from a record high of 217.3  cents per pound in 2014. United States and State level prices reflect the portions of honey sold through cooperatives, private, and retail channels. Prices for each color class are derived by weighting the quantities sold for each marketing channel. Prices for the 2014 crop reflect honey sold in 2014 and 2015. Some 2014 honey was sold in 2015, which caused some revisions to the 2014 honey prices. Price data was not collected for operations with less than five colonies.

More data at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/Hone/Hone-03-22-2016.pdf

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IF YOU POLLINATED ALMONDS THIS YEAR, TAKE THIS SURVEY

Recent reports indicate that many beekeepers have noticed significant loss of brood in their colonies about two weeks after fungicides and/or fungicide/IGR combinations were applied to blooming almonds. In many cases the hive entrances have been clogged with dead young fuzzy bees and pupae that failed to hatch. All beekeepers who experience such losses are encouraged to file a report of loss with the agricultural commissioner’s office in the county where the loss took place. If no report is filed there is a rebuttable presumption that no loss occurred.

If you experienced such brood losses in your colonies, which pollinated almonds, please fill out and send in the following survey:

• Did you experience any abnormal loss of brood in your colonies that pollinated almonds in 2016?

• How many of your colonies experienced severe brood losses?

• Are you aware which pesticide products were applied in the area where your bees were pollinating almonds?

• Did you file a report of loss with the agricultural commissioner in the county or counties where your bees were exposed the pesticides?

• Please describe location of the colonies while in the almonds using Section, Township/Range, or Road names/numbers and County

• Have pollen or dead bee/brood samples been collected for chemical analysis?
 
• Have these losses been reported to any other bee industry brood loss survey in 2016?

Please e-mail your completed survey to: gbrandi@sbcglobal.net

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As reported by British Columbia Ministry of Agricuture Apiculture Program Manager Paul Van Westendorp in the Spring issue of BeesCene, the newsletter of the BC Honey Producers Association -

NEW SMALL HIVE BEETLE SURVEILLANCE AND BEE MOVEMENT CONDITIONS FOR BRITISH COLUMBIA & ALBERTA

In the fall of 2015, BC beekeepers learned about the arrival of Small Hive Beetle in the Fraser Valley. The first diagnosis resulted in an extensive survey with a few additional findings in apiaries near the Canada-US border in the central Fraser Valley.

Since then, BC has been in consultation with Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to develop a set of inspection standards and protocol to manage the risk of beetle introduction and spread while enabling beekeepers to move their colonies within the province and across provincial boundaries.

Conditions affect inspections, SHB treatment and control, bee packages and nuc sales, and inspection of bee breeders.

The Small Hive Beetle is classified as a "reportable pest" under federal and provincial legislation. This means that any beekeeper who detects a beetle in the hive must report the finding. Beekeepers are encouraged to collect any beetle sighted in the hive and submit to the Apiculture Office for identification.

The inspection standards and bee movement conditions are available from Paul Van Westendorp (paul.vanwestendorp@gov.bc.ca).

Alberta has developed an additional set of conditions for colonies imported from any area where SHB has been confirmed. Contact Alberta Agriculture (bees@gov.ab.ca) for details.

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CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Little Risk to Bees from Widely Used Insecticide, Reports Expert from The University of Arkansas -

A type of insecticide widely used to treat crops such as cotton and soy beans poses little risk to pollinators, including honey bees, an Arkansas-based researcher has concluded.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-little-risk-to-bees-from-widely-used-insecticide-reports-expert-from-the-university-of-arkansas


2. US Specialty Crop Grant for Fruit and Vegetables, Even Pollinator Health -

A specialty crop is not some kind of exotic plant, not an obscure herb or flower, specialty crops are quite simply the fruits and vegetables that are (or should be) a staple of most diets. Even though specialty crops consist of some of the healthiest foods for us to eat, they are often left out in the cold when it comes to attention from government programs. Thankfully, as demand for fresh, local foods has increased, so too has support for and funding of programs for specialty crops.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-us-specialty-crop-grant-for-fruit-and-vegetables-even-pollinator-health

3. The Larger The Colony, The Weaker The Immune Response -

Research from North Carolina State University finds that among eusocial insects – like ants, bees and termites – the more individuals there are in a typical species colony, the weaker the species’ immune response. The finding strongly suggests that hygiene behaviors, and not just immune systems, play a key role in keeping eusocial insects healthy.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-the-larger-the-colony-the-weaker-the-immune-response/

4. Zika Virus Risk and Potential for Mosquito Spray. Potential Zika Virus Risk Estimated for 50 US Cities -

Factors that can combine to produce a Zika virus outbreak are expected to be present in a number of U.S. cities during peak summer months, new research shows.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is spreading the virus in much of Latin America and the Caribbean, will likely become increasingly abundant across much of the southern and eastern United States as the weather warms, according to a new study led by mosquito and disease experts at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-zika-virus-risk-and-potential-for-mosquito-spray-potential-zika-virus-risk-estimated-for-50-us-cities


Find more BUZZes at Bee Culture/Catch the Buzz in the LINKS section below.
 


 


Items of interest to beekeepers March 18 2016
Tuesday, March 22, 2016



IN THIS ISSUE -

UNCONSCIONABLE BEE THEFT
WITH USDA MICROLOANS, YOUR FARMING IDEA IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK
THESE FARMERS SLASH AND BURN FORESTS - BUT IN A GOOD WAY
CATCH THE BUZZ
EVENTS (• New additions)

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From Christi Heintz of Project Apis m. comes this sad reflection on some beekeepers. Amid a nasty year of thefts, this one takes the cake.

UNCONSCIONABLE BEE THEFT

Thieves stole the heart out of at least 20 colonies, impacting several different research projects underway at Washington State University (WSU).

When scientists Dr. Brandon Hopkins and Dr. Steve Sheppard traveled to evaluate their colonies east of Modesto CA this almond pollination season, they were saddened by what they found.  

“Someone knew what they were doing”, said Dr. Sheppard.  “In most cases the queen was gone, as were 4-5 frames from the bottom box”.  He went on to say, “Somebody formed some nucs out of our research colonies, and then probably went on to sell them at a pretty good price, given the value of bees in almonds.”  

These bees were particularly valuable because of the time and effort WSU invested in the artificial insemination of the queens, the investment made in breeding, and in collecting data leading up to the planned subsequent evaluation in almonds.  

Colonies were located in the Empire area, and frames may or may not have WSU stamped on them.  If you have any information, please contact Dr. Brandon Hopkins at 509-868-1250 or email him at bhopkins@wsu.edu.  

Project Apis m. will collect money for WSU to help replace these colonies.  Please see our website at http://www.ProjectApism.org to donate via check or PayPal.  Write “WSU colonies” on the memo line (check) or purpose (PayPal).  Thank you!

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From Judy Olson and Chris Beiker at USDA Farm Service Agency in Spokane WA comes this new/improved financing option for farmers nationwide, including beekeepers -

WITH USDA MICROLOANS, YOUR FARMING IDEA IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

Access to reliable credit has been an important issue for farmers and ranchers long before President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Federal Farm Loan Act back in 1916. In fact, even a century later, with all of the financial options available today, one of the biggest challenges to entering agriculture - or even growing an existing farming or ranching operation - still can be the cost of land and equipment.

At the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA), we believe starting or expanding a farm or ranch should never be out of reach, nor should it require buying thousands of acres of land, borrowing significant sums or committing to unreasonable interest rates.

That’s why three years ago, FSA created a new microloan program tailored especially to borrowers who have small or medium-sized needs. With its streamlined paperwork, no mandatory minimum amount and up to $50,000 in borrowing authority, microloans have become one of our most popular programs to date, providing $25.8 million to more than 17,000 borrowers, with fully 70 percent of microloans having gone to new farmers and nearly 50 percent to first-time FSA customers.

These “farm operating microloans” can be used for tools, equipment, livestock, seed, fertilizer, utilities, even marketing, distribution and certification expenditures. But unlike conventional FSA farm operating loans, the microloan offers a simplified application process, and eligibility requirements have been modified to recognize new and smaller operations.

This January, FSA expanded the microloan concept to now cover farm ownership expenses, such as land purchases, constructing or upgrading farm structures and even implementing soil and water conservation practices. With a “farm ownership microloan,” no appraisals are needed, and eligibility has been expanded to include other important skills like experience with a non-farm business, military leadership or advanced education in an agricultural field.

So if you operate a truck farm with direct marketing and sales, if your farm uses hydroponics, aquaponics, organic or vertical growing methods, if you work a smaller number of acres and do business with farmers markets, restaurants or community-supported agriculture businesses, perhaps a microloan is just what you need to make your business succeed and grow!

At FSA, we work each day to help farmers and ranchers achieve their own version of the American Dream of brighter days for their farms, their families and their future. To learn more about how microloans can help you, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/microloans or contact your local FSA office. To find your local office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

How may I use a Microloan?

Direct Farm Ownership Microloans -
•    Make a down payment on a farm
•    Build, Repair, or Improve farm buildings, service buildings, farm dwelling
•    Soil and Water Conservation Projects
•    May be used as a Downpayment Farm Ownership Loan
•    May be used in Joint Financing    

Direct Farm Operating Microloans -
•    Essential tools
•    Fencing and trellising
•    Hoop houses
•    Bees and bee equipment
•    Milking and pasteurization equipment
•    Maple sugar shack and processing equipment
•    Livestock, seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents, family living expenses, and other materials essential to the operation
•    Irrigation
•    GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), GHP (Good Handling Practices), and Organic certification costs
•    Marketing and distribution costs, including those associated with selling through Farmers’ Markets and Community Supported Agriculture operations
•    Pay for qualifying OSHA compliance standards (Federal or State)

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Another interesting piece from Thailand, published in National Geographic and sent on by Steve Peterson of Fairbanks, Alaska -

THESE FARMERS SLASH AND BURN FORESTS - BUT IN A GOOD WAY
By Gleb Raygorodetsky

Farmers in northern Thailand cut small patches of forest, grow crops, then let the trees regrow. The result: good harvests and happy woods

HIN LAD NAI, THAILAND; In the dark, unfurnished room where Chaiprasert Phokha sits, in a house on stilts, a sunbeam falls through the pane-less window and fills a glass jar with amber light. Phokha leans his wiry body into the light and pops the vacuum-sealed lid off the jar. With an encouraging nod, he passes it to me. The sweet aroma of rainforest blossoms fills my nostrils. “We’ve harvested 3,000 jars (1,500 lbs) of wild honey this year,” Phokha says. “All of it came from wild bees living in the forest around our village.”

The villagers here practice “shifting cultivation,” an age-old and worldwide practice of clearing patches of forest to plant crops for a few seasons, then letting the woods return. It’s also called “swidden agriculture.” But “slash-and-burn” is the pejorative term that captures how many foresters and development experts, both in Thailand and around the world, perceive this tradition. The honey in my hand, though, tells a different story. It’s evidence of a forest with rich soils and abundant wildlife—including that key indicator of a healthy ecosystem, bees. “Hin Lad Nai forest has remained remarkably healthy, despite centuries of shifting cultivation,” says Prasert Trakansuphakon, a Thai social scientist and Karen himself who has worked with the village for years. “And, at a time when numbers of honeybees are declining worldwide, local wild bees are thriving.”

In a 1957 report, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) declared shifting cultivation a “backward type of agricultural practice” and “a backward stage of culture in general.” Ever since, the predominant view among experts has been that the practice devastates forests and biodiversity. More recently it has been charged with contributing to climate change. The criticism is to some extent based on confusion with an entirely different kind of slashing-and-burning, says Thailand-based agricultural anthropologist Malcolm Cairns. When farmers, ranchers, or corporations destroy intact forests and permanently transform them into pastures or plantations, it’s clearly not good for the forests or the environment in general. But “that’s very different,” Cairns says, “from the sustainable, rotational shifting cultivation practices of indigenous peoples.”

Those practices, which are found on every continent, are extremely varied. But they follow a common pattern. First, most of the trees and shrubs are cut down in a relatively small patch of forest, typically around one hectare, where they are left to dry. In a few days, the withered vegetation is burned to put nutrients into to the soil in preparation for planting crops.

Over millennia, forests like Hin Lad Nai have been influenced, and likely formed, by shifting cultivation.

Malcolm Cairns, agricultural anthropologist:

This practice makes the use of artificial fertilizers unnecessary. What’s more, weeds and pests are destroyed by the fire, eliminating the need for herbicides and pesticides during the short period of crop cultivation.

After one or two growing seasons, the field is fallowed, or set aside to rest. Eventually the forest returns, and the cycle is repeated.

Hin Lad Nai’s fields have been part of such a cycle for at least 400 years, sustaining both the villagers and the forest with its diverse wildlife. Even endangered tigers are seen there, Phoka says.

The controversy around shifting cultivation has recently been heating up because of a global campaign aimed at slowing climate change by keeping carbon locked up in forests. Advocates of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, or REDD, as the United Nations campaign is called, tend to see all kinds of slash-and-burn agriculture as a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

When it comes to permanent land conversion programs for industrial agriculture, they’re surely right. Last year in Indonesia, for instance, fires set to clear the land for oil palm and pulp and paper plantations produced an acrid haze that enveloped Southeast Asia, and a surge in greenhouse gas emissions.

But a multi-year study of Hin Lad Nai and neighboring Karen villages in northern Thailand found that the area where shifting cultivation is practiced absorbs significantly more carbon than it releases each year. Burning trees do add carbon to the atmosphere, of course—but in a given year only around 10 percent of the land around Hin Lad Nai is burned and planted. The rest lies fallow for six to 10 years, soaking up carbon in growing trees and soil.

"Soils formed under shifting cultivation have more organic matter, and therefore more carbon, than most permanent agricultural fields or tree plantations,” Cairns says. “Consequently, carbon storage under swidden-fallow systems is greater both above and below the ground.”

“Over millennia, forests like Hin Lad Nai have been influenced, and likely formed, by shifting cultivation. The REDD program is now trying to ‘protect’ the forests from the very thing that has made them what they are.”

According to Chaiprasert Phokha, to have food security, Hin Lad Nai villagers must grow 1.2 tons of rice per person annually in their swidden fields and paddies.

Far from aggravating climate change, shifting cultivation could help indigenous peoples and the rest of humankind adapt to it. “The shift to a Green Economy must include shifting cultivation,” says Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez of Columbia University’s Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability.

Swidden-fallow systems, he argues, maintain a mosaic of fields, fallows, and forests, that is heterogeneous and therefore resilient to climate change. When managed properly—it’s essential, for instance, to resist the pressure to farm the fallows too soon—such systems preserve local biodiversity, even as they enable villagers to harvest a broad range of vegetables, herbs, and fruits from the fields and wild medicines and edible plants from the forests.

And also wild honey. Before leaving Hin Lad Nai, I buy a few jars of amber rainforest goodness to share with family and friends, imagining a day when “Swidden Honey,” with its rich floral flavor, becomes as coveted in certain circles as shade-grown coffee.

Maybe the Karen could get a marketing boost from a seal of approval bestowed by some enlightened international organization—maybe it could even be the FAO. According to the FAO’s Yon Fernandez de Larrinoa, the organization is now reconsidering whether shifting cultivation is really as backward as it used to think.

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From Kim Flottum at Bee Culture magazine -

CATCH THE BUZZ

1. Bee Hive Thefts On The Rise -

As many as 1,700 bee hives have been stolen from California orchards this year – and those are only the reported thefts.
According to Joy Pendell, Media Director for the California State Beekeepers Association, no one has really been keeping an accurate record of hive thefts. But she’s hoping that will change.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-bee-hive-thefts-on-the-rise/


2. Learning to Identify a Common Cause of Winter Death in Northern Climates -

Beekeepers in northern climates have already lost a lot of colonies this winter.  While official counts won’t be recorded for a few months, some trends are starting to emerge.  One of these trends is a specific type of colony death.  In Michigan, I’ve received so many calls describing the scenario below, that I can describe the deadout before opening the hive, or before the beekeeper describes it over the phone.  While I may impress some with these predictive powers, the frequency of these types of losses indicates a real epidemic that is affecting honey bee colonies in northern states.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-learning-to-identify-a-common-cause-of-winter-death-in-northern-climates


3. Crisis Declaration Allows Use of Antibiotics in Florida Citrus in Bloom -

The much-anticipated emergency exemption allowing the use of bactericides to enhance overall trees health of trees infected with HLB has been granted under EPA’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, & Rodenticide Act. The exemption allows the foliar application of the antibiotics; streptomycin sulfate (FireWall 50WP, AgroSource Inc.), oxytetracycline hydrochloride (FireLine 17WP, AgroSource Inc.), and oxytetracycline calcium complex (Mycoshield, Nufarm Americas Inc.).

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-crisis-declaration-allows-use-of-antibiotics-in-florida-citrus-in-bloom


4. Clemson Research on Watermelons and Wildflowers Gaining Some Buzz -

Besides adding beauty to a field of watermelons, colorful patches of wildflowers might also provide benefits that would improve the quality and increase the yield of one of South Carolina’s most important vegetable crops.

Ongoing studies based at Clemson University’s Coastal Research and Education Center are investigating how a more diverse agroecosystem — swarming with native bees, wasps and other beneficial insects – might complement honeybees and enhance watermelon production.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-clemson-research-on-watermelons-and-wildflowers-gaining-some-buzz


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