The June 21, 2017 issue of the Apis Information Resource News is now available. It contains information on pollinator week, possible Cuba trip, preliminary losses reported by the Bee Informed Partnership, a pollen identification atlas and information on a new book available: Beekeeping Without Borders among other topics:
It’s pollinator week and there’s a lot going on. The Pollinator Partnership is taking the lead in many areas. You can contact you governor, watch a movie, sponsor a film, buy a t-shirt, schedule an event, present materials at schools, look at past year’s events associated with pollinator week, and myriad other activities. The topic is heating up and it’s not just about beekeepers anymore. The word is getting out that pollination is important.
Associated with this effort is The Honeybee Health Coalition’s effort to bring their vision for collaboration and cross pollination to Capitol Hill this week in a letter to policymakers lobbying for the 2018 Farm Bill. The letter highlights the critical role the Farm Bill can plan in helping to “ensure that U.S. agricultural policy supports honey bees — and to ensure that honey bees can continue to support U.S. agriculture.” including:…..
….Jeremy Burbidge, who owns Northern Bee Books, has a long history of producing beekeeping information, including his signal magazine, The Beekeepers Quarterly, now available on line. Published
since 1984, edited by John Phipps, it has developed into a 60-page full color magazine:
“The BKQ has a strong team of correspondents from many parts of the world who report regularly on beekeeping topics of local and global importance. Whilst its contents are directed mainly to beekeeping, the magazine also looks at the wider issues which have an impact on the craft especially as regards the environment, farming, conservation and global warming. Our contributors have specialised knowledge on particular aspects of beekeeping, drawn largely from their own experiences, and include both amateur and commercial beekeepers, scientists, and representatives of organisations that have an interest in beekeeping as a craft or industry. The editor is always pleased to receive contributions for possible inclusion in the magazine and to hear from beekeepers in areas of the world where we have no regular correspondents. The magazine gives plenty of space for lengthy articles, complete with photographs, which allows our designer to produce an attractive layout that is pleasing for both contributors and subscribers.”
…..Another trip to Cuba for those interested in the island’s beekeeping is being launched by Benita Lubic of Transeair Travel. Scheduled for November 11 – 19, billed as an introduction to the Cuban bee industry, it features visits to apiaries and the ministry of agriculture. The hot subject is organic honey and what that portends for the island.
…..The 2016-17 preliminary honey bee colony loss estimates have been published by the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) for the eleventh year in a row. One summary says, “Honey bee colony loss slows, but they’re still dying.” Emphasizing that these statistics are preliminary, the following has been released:
…“High quality research takes time to plan and execute, and it can be quickly outpaced by the development of new chemistries, delivery methods and applicator preferences such as mixing compounds. That is why it is important for our industry to keep pace with the latest research, including supporting studies that form the basis of the current understanding of risk to bees. We know that honey bees can forage up to several miles from their hives, often pollinating a variety of important crops, many of which might be treated with pesticides at various times. On these foraging trips, pollinators may be exposed to pesticides. But what are the risks?
…“There are many options to quantify and mitigate exposure risks, but until recently, mandatory risk assessments did not include chronic larval studies. Larval toxicology is critically important in determining chronic and sub lethal effects to honey bees from compounds that may not affect adult bees the same way. In recent years, beekeepers concerned about increased hive losses have been working with the EPA and Registrant Companies to develop better methods of assessing pesticide risks.
….“Accordingly, Project Apis m. supports additional and continued research to determine what pesticide exposure levels could result in effects, and whether those effects match symptoms seen under field conditions. Following this approach, we have had great successes determining practices to minimize the potential harm to bees, including recent work by Dr. Reed Johnson, who has explored the role of specific tank mixes used in almonds which were harming bees- particularly honey bee larvae. (Very good web presentation here) This discovery was promptly used by the Almond Board of California to refine management recommendations to protect bees. This is an example of how responsive applied research can make a difference for all stakeholders.” The full newsletter is found here.
….Due to a staffing crisis at the Beltsville Bee Lab, its usual pest disease diagnostic service is no longer available. However, the Bee Informed Partnership will take up the slack on a temporary basis, limited to brood samples, which will continue to be free of charge. Contacting the BIP to ensure that samples are sent in an appropriate manner via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the lab directly at 301.405.3799 is recommended.
….My discussion last month on pollen analysis got a response from Jeanne Hansen, who sent information about an on line resource available that will assist those interested in the topic. A spreadsheet has been developed containing 450 individual microscope photos of pollen.
….Having recently journeyed to Nicaragua as part of the Nicaragua Bee Project, I have become more and more interested in how beekeeping development projects are designed and carried out. Perhaps the best analysis I have seen is found in a recent report out of Africa: Final Report – Lessons from the field: building from field experience to improve support for beekeeping in Kenya and Uganda. A number of case studies are described for several kinds of operations (Langstroth, Kenya Top Bar). They reveal how varied these experiences are across Africa, but could also be applied to many of the situations found in Latin America and elsewhere in the developing world.
….The discussion of honey quality and labeling found in last month’s issue of this newsletter continues with a new wrinkle this month. A unique program from Airborne Honey of New Zealand now offers honey users the ability to trace product all the way back to the hive of origin. Each bottle contains a unique batch number, and simply entering it into a web site or scanning the label with a phone provides the geographical information of origin. This “trace me” technique could catch on and become a “game changer” in honey marketing.
See the full post here.