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Archived Latest News August 2013


The materials and information included in this Latest News page are provided as a service to you and do not reflect endorsement by the American Honey Producers Association (AHPA). The content and opinions expressed within the page are those of the authors and are not necessarily shared by AHPA. AHPA is not responsible for the accuracy of information provided from outside sources.

 


 

National Honey Board Accepting Bee Research Proposals


Firestone, Colo., August 30, 2013 – The National Honey Board is requesting proposals for research dealing with honey bee colony production.

The goal of this research is to help producers maintain colony health while assuring the maintenance of honey quality. The NHB is encouraging proposals on Varroa research, but will consider proposals dealing with Acarapis woodi, Nosema Ceranae, and small hive beetle; the investigation into the causes and controls of Colony Collapse Disorder; and honey bee nutrition, immunology, and longevity.

The NHB is open to both projects that find new methods of maintaining health, and ones that combine current methods to increase efficacy rates. Other projects will be considered and research outside the U.S. is possible.

The amount of funds available for a particular proposal will depend on the number and merit of proposals finally accepted. The funds will be available for approved projects for the duration of the calendar year 2014 and may be carried into early 2015 if necessary; the duration of projects being funded should generally not exceed 12 months.

Proposals must be received at the National Honey Board office by 5:00p.m. Mountain Time, November 15, 2013. Proposals received after the deadline will not be considered. Instructions on how to submit a research proposal may be found on the NHB website at www.honey.com.

The National Honey Board is a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight that conducts research, marketing and promotion programs to help maintain and expand markets for honey and honey products. These programs are funded by an assessment of one cent per pound on domestic and imported honey.

 

CATCH THE BUZZ

Aussi Bees – 1. Aussie Environmentalists – 0.

Wouldn’t It Great If The US Did The Same Thing?

Alan Harman

After spending years being chased out of government forests by over-enthusiastic environmentalists, Australian beekeepers may finally be getting a break.

The Victoria state government says it aims to revitalize the honey bee industry by opening up more beekeeping sites on public land, cutting licensing red tape and providing greater security of access for the state’s beekeepers.

Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh told the Central Victorian Apiarists Association conference the state government had worked with beekeepers and public land managers to develop a new, more bee-friendly apiculture on public land policy.

Walsh said the previous Labor government shut down hundreds of beekeeping sites on public land, crippling the industry.

"The Coalition government recognizes the crucial role beekeeping plays in ensuring Victorian food security and agricultural production through its crop pollination services,” he said.

"This government is committed to ensuring there are enough public land beekeeping sites to support a viable and productive honeybee industry, and as part of our new policy we want beekeepers to identify new suitable sites and inform us about them.”

Walsh said the new policy would help to boost the honey bee industry by cutting red tape and administrative costs and increase security of public land access.

"Under our policy, beekeepers will be given licenses that last 10 years instead of the current three, six or 12-month terms,” he said.

They will also be eligible for a significant discount on their licence fee if they make an up-front, full-term payment instead of paying in installments.

"Beekeeping will also be given greater consideration as part of all public land planning, including regional management plans, park or forest operational plans and planned burning and other fire management operations,” Walsh said.

Many elements of the new policy, including provisions to enable beekeepers to identify and take up new bee sites, will be implemented almost immediately, while the changes to licensing arrangements will take effect following the passing of legislation.

Walsh said there are more than 3,600 bee sites across 7.6 million hectares of Victorian forests, parks and conservation reserves, but that drought, fires and floods in recent years had impacted significantly on the industry’s productivity.

"What this new policy will do is help create a more robust and productive industry with expanded access to public land, greater security and reduced administrative burden,” Walsh said.


 Getting Ready for the 2014 Annual Convention in San Antonio!

 

 

 

  


  
   Darren Cox, Randy Verhoek, Rochelle Verhoek
   at the Alamo in San Antonio, TX



The AHPA convention committee of Randy Verhoek, Darren Cox, Cassie Cox, and Rochelle Verhoek conducted a site visit to San Antonio Omni at the Collonade on August 12-13 to finalize arrangements for our 2013 annual convention, January 7-11th!

We were excited to see the beautiful facilities at the Omni Hotel and meet the staff. We toured San Antonio to find information on activities for our group, such as the famous Riverwalk, the Alamo, and Wild West shows and cookouts available.

Hotel reservations are available on our website right now for our special priced room block, make your reservations soon! Schedules of events and more information will be on our website www.AHPAnet.com as it becomes available.

 

CATCH THE BUZZ

New EPA Label Not The Saving Grace We Thought

This is long, but you should read all of it. And then be glad you are not a pollinating insect. (CATCH THE BUZZ has commented extensively on this subject, here. Stopping the Poison must begin, and this doesn’t do it.)

News From Beyond Pesticides and others. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new pesticide label for honey bee protection, announced last Thursday and published in CATCH THE BUZZ, has been widely criticized by beekeepers and environmentalists as offering inadequate protection in the face of devastating bee decline. Under the new guidelines, the labels will prohibit the use of some neonicotinoid pesticides when bees are present, and include a "bee advisory box” and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. Critics question the efficacy of the label change in curtailing a systemic pesticide that contaminates nectar and pollen, poisoning bees indisc riminately, and the enforceability of the label language, which is geared to managed not wild bees. EPA has not formally acknowledged the peer-reviewed science linking neonicotinoid pesticides to colony collapse disorder and bee decline, as is the case in the European Union’sEuropean Food Safety Authority(EFSA).

Specifically, the new label applies to pesticide products containing the neonicotinoidsimidacloprid,dinotefuran,clothianidinandthiamethoxam. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Peer-reviewed science hasrepeatedly identified these insecticides as highly toxic to honey bees and other pollinators. The neonicotinoid class of insecticides has been identified as a leading factor in bee decline.

"Multiple factors play a role in bee colony declines, including pesticides. The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and these label changes will further our efforts,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Tonight, August 20 at 9 PM Eastern, listen in to EPA’s Reuben Baris, Fate Scientist, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs’ Enviro nmental Fate and Effects Division & Dr. Tom Steeger, Senior Science Advisor, EPA Office of Pesticide Programs’ Environmental Fate and Effects Division, through the ABF CONVERSATIONS WITH A BEEKEEPER, on assessing pesticide exposure to bees. If you are an ABF member, be sure to tune in, or catch the archived program later.

Unfortunately, this label change does not address the fact that neonicotinoids are systemic, meaning plants take up these pesticides and exude them in their pollen and nectar, with residues remaining in the plant for its lifetime (EVEN IF SPRAYED AFTER DARK, OR WHEN IT’S COLD), continually endangering any pollinators that forage or pollinate these contaminated plants.Additionally, the bulk of neonicotinoid uses are in fact for treated seed, which accounts for the majority of corn planted in the U.S. Contaminated dust that originates from the planting of these seeds drift off fields and have been known to kill large numbers of bees. Recently,37 million honeybees were reported deadacross a single farm in Ontario from the dust associated with planting neonicotinoid-treated corn seeds. According to New York beekeeper Jim Doan, "In New York state, for example, foliar application of neonics are used only for apples and some vegetables, and no t used for the majority of the crops out there – corn and soybeans – which are seed coatings. When I heard about the new labeling requirements, my first question was, so are we going to put these labels on the bags of corn? No.”

Neonicotinoids are primarily used as seed treatment for corn and soybeans, as well as in home and gardenproducts. These chemicals contaminate nectar and pollen, as well as soil and surface water. Foraging and navigational disruptions, immune suppression and learning/memory disorders have been documented in bees exposed to even low levels of these chemicals. An extensive ove rview of themajor studiesshowing the effects of neonicotinoids on pollinator health can be found on Beyond Pesticides’What the Science Showswebpage.

There is also concern that thenew label languageis unenforceable. EPA is aware that label directions such as these are not adhered to in the real-world. Many beekeepers can attest to this and have repeatedly communicated this to EPA enforcement and registration officials. Addressing lack of co mpliance has been an area the agency has not sufficiently addressed throughout the years. For instance, after specifying that, "the product may not be applied while bees are foraging. Do not apply this product until flowering is complete and all petals have fallen,” EPA adopts the loophole:

"If an application must be made when managed bees are at the treatment site, the beekeeper providing the pollination services must be notified no less than 48-hours prior to the time of the planned application so that the bees can be removed, covered or otherwise protected prior to spraying.”

This keeps the onus on the beekeepers to make sure their bees are safe. (LEAVING NO PROVISION TO MOVE THE INNOCENTS TO SAFETY)

On March 21, 2013, Beyond Pesticides joined beekeepers, environmental and consumer groups infiling a lawsuitin Federal District Court against EPA for its failure to protect pollinators from dangerous pesticides. The coalition is seeking suspension of the registrations of insecticides- clothianidin and thiamethoxam- which have repeatedly been identified as highly toxic to honey bees, clear causes of major bee kills and significant contributors to the devastating ongoing mortality of bees known as colony collapse disorder (CCD).The suit challenges EPA’s oversight of these bee-killing pesticides, as well as the agency’s practice of "conditional registration” and labeling deficiencies.

In the meantime, EPA has stated it would support short-term mitigation measures, such as improved seed coatings to reduce contaminated dust, and improved farming equipment, measures which do not go far enough to protect both commercial and wild bee populations. These new label changes, while an improvement from current pollinator hazard statement on pesticide labels, also do not go far enough to protect bees, especially wild bees. (EMPHASIS CTB)

"This is a step forward, certainly, but it does not address the issue that we need to address. EPA deserves a pat on the back for coming up with something, but we have a long ways to go,” said Mr. Doan. "We need to continue to put pressure on the agency and the industry and keep moving forward.”

Earlier this year, the EU announced atwo-year suspensionon these bee-killing pesticides. In early July, Beyond Pesticides urged President Obama in ajoint letterto direct EPA to follow Europe’s lead in suspending certain neonicotinoid pesticides uses and take on even more protective measures, including a minimum two-year suspension for all outdoor uses of neonicotinoid insecticides pending resolution of their hazards to bees and beneficial organisms. Highlighting the negative environmental and economic impacts of outdoor uses of the EPA-approved neonicotinoid insecticides as well as a recognition that the initial risk assessments for these chemicals fail to adequately consider key risks to bee health, the letter to President Obama notes that it, "would not be responsible to continue to allow these threatening compounds to be used so broadly.”

YOU CAN Take Action: Beyond Pesticides’ BEE Protective campaign has all the educational tools you need to stand up for pollinators. Some specific ways you can help are: Join usin asking Lowe’s and Home Depotand other leading garden centers to take action and stop the sale of neonicotinoids and plants treated with these chemicals. Tell your member of Congressto support theSave America’s Pollinators Act.

For information on what you can do to keep the momentum going, seewww.BEEprotective.org.

Sources:EPA Press Release,http://www.beyondpesticides.org

But Wait, There’s More…..

This is a copy of THE letter EPA sent the companies that produce the chemicals mentioned in the release (comments in parentheses are SOLEY those of CATCH THE BUZZ)

PROTECTION OF POLLINATORS

APPLICATION RESTRICTIONS EXIST FOR THIS PRODUCT BECAUSE OF RISK TO BEES AND OTHER INSECT POLLINATORS. FOLLOW APPLICATION RESTRICTIONS FOUND IN THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE TO PROTECT POLLINATORS.

Look for the bee hazard icon in the Directions for Use for each application site for specific use restrictions and instructions to protect bees and other insect pollinators.

This product can kill bees and other insect pollinators.

Bees and other insect pollinators will forage on plants when they flower, shed pollen, or

produce nectar. Bees and other insect pollinators can be exposed to this pesticide from:

o Direct contact during foliar applications, or contact with residues on plant surfaces after

foliar applications

o Ingestion of residues in nectar and pollen when the pesticide is applied as a seed treatment,

soil, tree injection, as well as foliar applications. (DOES EXPOSURE MEAN DEATH? THIS ISN’T CLEAR, AND IT CERTAINLY DOESN’T SAY DON’T DO THIS)

When Using This Product Take Steps To:

o Minimize exposure of this product to bees and other insect pollinators when they are

foraging on pollinator attractive plants around the application site. (ISN’T SPRAYING BLOOMING PLANTS, WHETHER IN THE FIELD OR ON THE EDGES A VIOLATION OF THE LABEL?)

o Minimize drift of this product on to beehives or to off-site pollinator attractive habitat. Drift of this product onto beehives or off-site to pollinator attractive habitat can result in bee kills. (MINIMIZE DRIFT? ISN’T DRIFT A VIOLATION OF THE LABEL?)

Information on protecting bees and other insect pollinators may be found at the Pesticide

Environmental Stewardship website at:

http://pesticidestewardship.org/PollinatorProtection/Pages/default.aspx.

(WEB PAGE SPONSORED BY…THE COMPANIES THAT PRODUCE THE CHEMICALS)

Pesticide incidents (for example, bee kills) should immediately be reported to the state/tribal lead agency. For contact information for your state, go to: www.aapco.org/officials.html. Pesticide incidents should also be reported to the National Pesticide Information Center at: www.npic.orst.edu or directly to EPA at: beekill@epa.gov (YES, YES, YES!)

DIRECTIONS FOR USE (PAY ATTENTION NOW….)

1. FOR CROPS UNDER CONTRACTED POLLINATION SERVICES

Do not apply this product while bees are foraging. (THIS MAKES SENSE, RIGHT?) Do not apply this product until flowering is complete and all petals have fallen unless < /b>(UNLESS?) the following condition has been met. If an application must be made when managed bees are at the treatment site, the beekeeper providing the pollination services must be notified no less than 48-hours prior to the time of the planned application so that the bees can be removed, covered or otherwise protected prior to spraying. (WHAT HA PPENS TO THE POLLINATORS THE BEEKEEPER DOESN’T MOVE? TRULY, THE SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS. AND WHAT HAPPENS IF THE BEES AREN’T REMOVED, COVERED OT PROTECTED? TOO BAD…)

2. FOR FOOD CROPS AND COMMERCIALLY GROWN ORNAMENTALS NOT

UNDER CONTRACT FOR POLLINATION SERVICES BUT ARE ATTRACTIVE TO

POLLINATORS

Do not apply this product while bees are foraging. Do not apply this product until flowering is complete and all petals have fallen unless (UNLESS?) one of the following conditions is met:

The application is made to the target site after sunset (BUT YOU SAID Ingestion of residues in nectar and pollen when the pe sticide is applied as a seed treatment,

soil, tree injection, as well as foliar applications CAN KILL BEES. WON’T BEES BE KILLED THE NEXT DAY WHEN THEY ARE FORAGING? IS IT OK TO KILL BEES IF THE PESTICIDE WAS APPLIED LAST NIGHT?)

The application is made to the target site when temperatures are

below 55˚F

(BUT THE STATEMENT ABOVE SAYS THAT Ingestion of residues in nectar and pollen when the pesticide is applied as a seed treatment, soil, tree injection, as well as foliar applications CAN RESULT IN BEES AND OTHER POLLINATORS BEING KILLED. SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT WARMS UP TOMORROW?)

The application is made in accordance with a government-initiated

public health response

The application is made in accordance with an active state administered apiary registry program where beekeepers are notified no less than 48-hours prior to the time of the planned application so that the bees can be removed, covered or otherwise protected prior

to spraying (WHO PROTECTS THE OTHER POLLINATORS?)

The application is made due to an imminent threat of significant crop loss, and a documented determination consistent with an IPM plan or predetermined economic threshold is met. Every effort should be made to notify beekeepers no less than 48-hours prior to the time of the planned application so that the bees can be removed, covered or otherwise protected prior to spraying. (DOES IMMINENT HONEY CROP LOSS COUNT HERE?)

3. Non-Agricultural Products:

Do not apply [insert name of product] while bees are foraging. Do not apply [insert name of product] to plants that are flowering. Only apply after all flower petals have fallen off. (SO MUCH FOR THE ORNAMENTALS SOLD AT YOUR LOCAL HARDWARE STORE THAT WERE TREATED TO PROTECT THEM BEFORE THEY WERE SOLD. IS THAT A LABEL VIOLATION NOW?)

 

 

The Plight of the Honeybee

Mass deaths in bee colonies may mean disaster for farmers--and your favorite foods

By Bryan Walsh Monday, Aug. 19, 2013

You can thank the Apis mellifera, better known as the Western honeybee, for 1 in every 3 mouthfuls you'll eat today. Honeybees — which pollinate crops like apples, blueberries and cucumbers — are the "glue that holds our agricultural system together," as the journalist Hannah Nordhaus put it in her 2011 book The Beekeeper's Lament. But that glue is failing. Bee hives are dying off or disappearing thanks to a still-unsolved malady called colony collapse disorder (CCD), so much so that commercial beekeepers are being pushed out of the business.

So what's killing the honeybees? Pesticides — including a new class called neonicotinoids — seem to be harming bees even at what should be safe levels. Biological threats like the Varroa mite are killing off colonies directly and spreading deadly diseases. As our farms become monocultures of commodity crops like wheat and corn — plants that provide little pollen for foraging bees — honeybees are literally starving to death. If we don't do something, there may not be enough honeybees to meet the pollination demands for valuable crops. But more than that, in a world where up to 100,000 species go extinct each year, the vanishing honeybee could be the herald of a permanently diminished planet.

Read more 

 

 

 

Depner Farm's-Michigan's only hand-carved corn maze created by a farmer with a garden hoe and too much time on his hands.

This year Depner Farm's is bringing awareness of bees with their "Bee-Happy" corn maze on a 9 acre corn field.

They open on Labor Day Weekend, and remain open weekends until Oct. 27th.

More information is available on their website at http://www.depnerfarms.com

 

CATCH THE BUZZ

Bayer Introduces Imidacloprid Alternative

Bayer CropScience introduces a new class of Chemistry as an alternative to Imidacloprid. The new active ingredient is a systemic from the butenolide chemical class and is active on sucking insect pests. The AI is flupyradifurone. It will be marketed under the trade name Sivanto. It is marketed as a "bee friendly” product with no bloom (application) restrictions. It will be registered in 2015.

A host of annual and perennial crops have been tested for aphids, leafhoppers, psyllids, scales, thrips and whiteflies. It causes a rapid feeding cessation effect from both soil and foliar applications. It is active via ingestion and contact. It is an adult knockdown product that controls nymph and egg stages.

It is systemic for root uptake and translaminer from foliar applications. It has, says Bayer, minimal impact on beneficials. The label includes a 4 hour reentry interval.

 

 


 

 

 

BeeAction campaign

New Report: Gardeners Beware: Bee-Toxic Pesticides Found in "Bee-Friendly" Plants Sold at Garden Centers Nationwide

A new, first-of-its-kind pilot study by Friends of the Earth-US and Pesticide Research Institute has found 54 percent of common garden plants purchased at top retailers including Lowes and Home Depot contained neonicotinoid pesticides, which studies show can harm or kill bees and other pollinators, with no warning to consumers.

Bees and other pollinators, essential for the two-thirds of the food crops humans eat everyday, are in great peril, and populations are dwindling worldwide.

Pests, diseases, loss of forage and habitat and changing climate have all been identified as possible contributing factors to global bee losses. However, a growing body of science has implicated the world’s most widely-used pesticides, neonicotinoids (neonics) made by giant chemical companies Bayer and Syngenta, as a key factor in recent global bee die-offs.

But neonics aren't just used in agriculture -- as our new pilot study shows, unbeknownst to consumers, many "bee friendly” garden plants sold at home garden centers have been pre-treated with these bee killing pesticides which can contaminate their gardens and keep harming bees and other pollinators for months to years. Read More

 

 American Bee Journal

Scientists Study Bee Venom Component to Find New Treatments for Disease

Study of melittin-based pore formation also applies to anticancer drugs

HOUSTON -- (Aug. 14, 2013) -- A new study by Rice University biophysicists offers the most comprehensive picture yet of the molecular-level action of melittin, the principal toxin in bee venom. The research could aid in the development of new drugs that use a similar mechanism as melittin's to attack cancer and bacteria.

The study appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Melittin does its damage by penetrating the outer walls of cells and opening pores that allow the contents of the cell to escape. At low concentrations, melittin forms transient pores. At higher concentrations, the pores become stable and remain open, and at still higher doses, the cell membrane dissolves altogether.

"This strategy of opening holes in the cell membrane is employed by a great number of host-defense antimicrobial peptides, many of which have been discovered over the past 30 years," said Rice's Huey Huang, the lead investigator of the study. "People are interested in using these peptides to fight cancer and other diseases, in part because organisms cannot change the makeup of their membrane, so it would be very difficult for them to develop resistance to such drugs."

But the clinical use of the compounds is complicated by the lack of consensus about how the peptides work. For example, scientists have struggled to explain how different concentrations of melittin could yield such dramatically different effects, said Huang, Rice's Sam and Helen Worden Professor of Physics and Astronomy.

In the new study, Huang and Rice graduate student Tzu-Lin Sun partnered with colleagues Ming-Tao Lee at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center (NSRRC) in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and with Wei-Chin Hung at the Republic of China Military Academy in Fengshan, Taiwan. The team used a combination of experiments to zero in on the molecular activity of melittin at the "minimal inhibitory concentration" (MIC), the lowest concentration that's been shown to slow the growth of target cell populations. The MIC for melittin is a dose that results in stable pore formation, rather than complete dissolution of the membrane.

"We want to understand how pore formation works at this critical concentration, including both at the molecular scale -- what are the shapes of the pores themselves -- and the cellular scale -- how are the pores arranged and distributed over the surface of the membrane," Huang said.

To find the answer, the team correlated the results of two different types of experiments. In the first type, which was conducted at Rice, the team used confocal microscopy to film "giant unilamellar vesicles" (GUVs), synthetic membrane-enclosed structures that are about the same size as a living cell. The outer surface of the GUV became green when bound to melittin that was labeled with a fluorescent dye. The GUV was filled with a solution that contained a red fluorescent dye.

In the experiments, Sun used a needle-like glass pipette to partially aspirate and grab dye-filled GUVs, which were then placed into a melittin-infused solution beneath the microscope. Time-lapse videos of the experiments show that dye-labeled melittin begins sticking to the surface of the GUV within seconds. Within about two minutes, so much melittin binds to the outside of the GUV that the outer surface area increases by up to 4.5 percent. At a critical threshold, the expanding surface changes configuration to accommodate the increased load of melittin. At this point, pores form across the entire surface of the GUV. On the video, the bright red dye within the GUV rapidly leaks out at this critical pore-forming stage.

"The experiment shows how the MIC brings about a new physical state that results in cell death," Huang said. "By correlating these findings with other data about the molecular characteristics of the pores themselves, we get the first complete picture of the process of stable, melittin-induced pore formation."

The molecular level data came from a series of X-ray diffraction experiments performed by Lee at NSRRC. In those experiments, samples of multilayered membranes were bombarded with X-rays. Each layer contained an ordered arrangement of pores, and the stacked layers contained a 3-D lattice of regularly arranged pores. By examining how X-rays scattered away from the sample, Lee and Hung were able to determine the precise contours of the melittin-induced pores.

 

National Honey Bee Day

August 17, 2013

 

The goal of the National Honey Bee Day program, is to magnify the many smaller programs across the country into a larger marketed program, benefiting from the voice and participating of many. Regardless of your efforts, small or large, get involved!

The National Honey Bee Day program started with a simple concept. Bring together beekeepers, bee associations, as well as other interested groups to connect with the communities to advance beekeeping. By working together and harnessing the efforts that so many already accomplish, and using a united effort one day a year, the rewards and message is magnified many times over. We encourage bee associations, individuals, and other groups to get involved. The program is free and open to all. Read More

 

 Boise, ID - City of Bees for a Day

Boise, Idaho, "City of the Bees" for a day Mayoral Proclamation

For National Honey Bee Day, the Treasure Valley Beekeeper's Club is sponsoring the film "More Than Honey' here at the local theater (The Flicks http://www.theflicksboise.com/events/may2013/more-honey). To cap this event off, John Miller, a commercial beekeeper featured in the film, has graciously agreed to stop over in Boise on his way between his beeyards in North Dakota and California and offer his comments on bees, the film and the world. That's going to be huge for our Club. (full details @ www.idabees.org).

To add icing to the cake, today Mayor Bieter ("Bee-ter" how fitting!) issued an official Mayoral Proclamation changing the City's motto for the day. For August 17, when John's in town, we'll be the "City of Bees."

Steve Sweet
Treasure Valley Beekeepers
Boise, ID

 

 

Honey Harvest at the Waldorf Astoria’s Beehives

 

by Josh Dzieza

Three years after New York legalized beekeeping, hives are everywhere, including on the roof of New York’s iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel, where Josh Dzieza helped out with the honey harvest.

It has just begun to rain on a gray Thursday morning when I step out onto the 20th-floor terrace of New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, where a half-dozen people are eyeing a row of six squat beehives lining the northern balcony. Patrick Cote, the young bleach-blond nephew of Andrew Cote and a fifth-generation beekeeper, is walking between the raised-bed gardens, puffing smoke out of a tin-can-and-bellows censerlike contraption. Andrew explains that the smoke blocks the pheromones that the bees will use to raise the alarm that we’re breaking into their hives and stealing their honey.

David Garcelon, culinary director at the hotel, is up here, too, clad in his white chef’s coat, overseeing the first honey harvest of the year. He came to the Waldorf two years ago from a hotel in Toronto, where he ran a similar rooftop garden and apiary. New York had just legalized beekeeping, and hives were popping up around the city—on the roof of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Resources Defense Council, and in backyards around Brooklyn. Garcelon contacted Andrew, who wrote the best-practices guide to New York beekeeping and founded the New York City Beekeepers Association, and the two of them set to work building hives on the roof of the iconic hotel.

At 20 stories, it was the tallest project Andrew had worked on, and he worried initially that high winds at such a height might be a problem. But he says the Waldorf’s project worked out better than many of his other hives in the city. Andrew is in his early 40s, tan, with short-cropped gray hair. He’s here with his nephew and his dad, Norm, a former firefighter whose hobby, in his words, "got out of control.” Andrew started beekeeping when he was 10 years old, and now tends about 50 hives in the city, on rooftops, community gardens, and balconies in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, selling the honey at farmers markets in the area. As New York’s native bee expert, he also gets called in to wrangle roaming swarms—it’s easy, he says: just capture the queen and the rest will follow—and to help places like the Waldorf get their apiaries started. Read More

 

 

Other Pesticides Found to Affect Bee Health

By Michele Colopy

"Crop pollination exposes honey bees to pesticides which alters their susceptibility to the gut pathogen Nosema ceranae,” released in PLOS ONE this week is what beekeepers have suspected. The researchers found high fungicide loads in pollen along with thirty-five different pesticides. The six researchers involved in this study are diverse, from the USDA and universities across the U.S., providing valuable information to the discussion on pesticides, fungicides, and bee health. Their research showed an "increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load.” This research further examines the real-world experiences of managed honey bees, and the effects of pesticide mixtures on bee health.

The researchers worked with beekeepers who were providing crop pollination services in California, Pennsylvania, Maine, New Jersey, and Delaware. Pollen was collected from hives pollinating seven major crops: pumpkin, watermelon, cucumber, cranberry (early and late season) blueberry, and almonds. The pollen was analyzed to determine field- relevant pesticide exposure, and how the pesticides affected bees’ susceptibility to Nosema ceranae. Pollen samples contained an average of nine different pesticides, with a high of twenty-one pesticides.

Pollen collected was not always from the crop the bees were to pollinate, yet all of the pollen contained pesticides. Even honey bees able to find wild flowers or weeds bordering agriculture, found pesticides in those plants as well. "The maximum pesticide concentration in any single pollen sample exceeded the median lethal dose (LD50, the dose required to kill half a population within 24 or 48 h) for esfenvalerate and phosmet.” The research found the presence of two specific fungicides in pollen—chlorothalonil and pyraclostrobin were significantly correlated with a higher rate of Nosema infection among bees fed that pollen.

Read More


August 1, 2013

Smitty Bee Makes Protecting the Environment a Priority

Defiance, Iowa - Smitty Bee, a leading honey packer and producer, takes their commitment to the environment just as seriously as they take their commitment to high quality honey. The operation makes the environment a consideration during every step of their honey production process, from energy consumption to its distribution chain to recycling used materials, all in an effort to protect the honeybees and ecosystems critical to its business. Smitty Bee is currently taking additional steps to be environmentally conscious during the construction of their new facility, which is being built with reduced energy consumption in mind.

The new 25,000 square foot addition to the operation features heated floors for the entire building, energy-efficient light fixtures, redesigned batch tanks, high efficiency ceiling fans, and a two-inch thick cooler panel for energy efficiency within the location’s climate control system. The company also recently installed a hot water boiler system 20 times the size of its predecessor that uses half the energy. Future building improvement plans include a new roof for the existing building designed to reduce heating and cooling usage by 20%.

Smitty Bee currently processes over 16,000 barrels of honey each year, all of which are shipped in iron drums. The drums and other scrap materials such as cardboard are compacted or compressed to conserve shipping space and recycled locally.

The company is also mindful of the environment when orders are shipped. To achieve a reduction in negative environmental impacts and costs simultaneously, Smitty Bee General Manager Tony Schmitz combines orders to build customer distribution channels wherever possible.

"Taking care of the environment is just the right thing to do,” says Schmitz. "There are no industry standards for environmental impacts, but Smitty Bee Honey and all of our employees take pride in holding ourselves to a higher standard in everything we do.”

Contact: Tony Schmitz 888.469.4669 tony@smittybeehoney.com

About Smitty Bee:

Under its fourth generation of family ownership, Smitty Bee is a honey packer and producer known for consistently providing a wide variety of high-quality honey products to both industrial and retail customers. With a rapidly expanding operation located in Defiance, Iowa, Smitty Bee continues to focus on the small-town values, work ethic and customer commitment that have helped build the business from the beginning.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE  

25 July 2013

 

Increasing antibiotic resistance drives expansion of Tetracyclines testing

Growing concern amongst regulatory bodies about human resistance to common antibiotics is driving expansion for veterinary residue testing. Amongst its findings the recent joint European Food Safety Authority / European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control Report on antimicrobial resistance data among zoonotic and indicator bacteria in 2011 indicated high resistance to Tetracycline’s in Salmonella isolates from humans.

In the wake of the report Randox Food Diagnostics will launch a generic Tetracyclines ELISA screening kit at the end of July to complement their established multiplex arrays, based on innovative Biochip Array Technology.

Tetracyclines are used globally to reduce bacterial infections across all food producing animals, but the firm will be releasing the ELISA firstly onto the honey market, with validations for Meat, Seafood and Dairy products to follow closely.

Within Apiculture, Tetracyclines are used in major markets such as China, India & Mexico so initial demand is expected to come from these key regions.

Randox Food Diagnostics Business Manager Aaron Tohill said, "Trends show over the last few years, that regulators have been increasingly concerned about developing human antibiotic resistance via the food chain. For example in 2010 the US FDA advised producers that antibiotics should be used solely for disease control, phasing out growth promotion. Following that, in 2011 the EU embarked on a major data study, and now with those findings published it is clear that industry can expect further action.

"Although Biochip Array Technology is trusted as a leading screening test for Tetracyclines within the honey sector, we are aware that this market, as well as others demands a lower volume solution. Reacting to that dynamic this new Immunoassay-based kit provides a cost-effective screening solution for a wide variety of laboratories and we are pleased to add it to our growing array of products.”

For more info visit www.randoxfooddiagnostics.com

 


 

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Cassie Cox
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