In Conjunction with the Combustible Contents within this Home Page, we are offering a FREE 6.5 oz. Jar of our Cremed HOT Garlic Honey with orders totaling over $80 of merchandise! Likely to please CHILEHEADS, as I’ve been informed that this batch ought to include a Declaration of Forewarning!
T’is December 2016 as I draft this briefing, normally a season offering a less hectic schedule for the non-migratory beekeeper. Not so this year. Oh, we are still keeping our colonies in permanent bee yards in Southeast PA, yet the workload decreased not. This bee an observation, not a complaint, for this season’s projects are rejuvenating.
Our State Winters Meeting was moved to State College, PA and the program, speakers and Buzz in the air rivaled last years meeting, resuming with offerings motivating change. The theme in 2016 was
"Audacious Ideas for the Future of Beekeeping".
Mark Winston counsels “Today’s growing environmental ethic exists because our impact on the globe is ﬁnally fouling our own nest,” Commercial Pollinating Beekeepers are the backbone of Agriculture, tirelessly accommodating the needs of crop farmers, as they rent tractor-trailer loads of bees for their monoculture crops. Go back in history as far as you care to unscroll and Beekeepers have always played a vital, revered role in the community. Winston challenges us when he argued for a new paradigm "that recognizes beekeepers as stewards of both managed and wild bees, promoters of healthy environments, managers of economically sustainable apiaries and paragons of collaboration and cooperation. It’s time for some audacious thinking about the future of beekeeping." Winston dissected all components of Apiary Management and illustrated the impact of the xplosive interest in beekeeping. Beekeeping Clubs boast of membership tallies, oft times with a roster 10 or 20 times more than a mere 20 years ago.
I propose that all keepers of bees, (Hobbyist, Commercial, Queen Rearer, Nuc Producer and participants in the Factory Farm Package Industry), analyze ALL THAT WE DO and WHY! If not satisfied with the analysis, CHANGE!
Please allow these offerings of research to broaden your database and stimulate involvement, which, incidentally, need not include messin’ with Stingin’ Insects, although, as you may know, the bees here at the Bee Farm don’t sting…much.
WAYS to HELP without the OUCH!
NUTRITION and LOCATION, which, incidentally, defers back to Nutrition, are key issues contributing to the decline of our BEELOVED HONEY BEE’S HEALTH! Take a LOOK at these BEEAUTIFUL TRANSFORMATIONS Blossoming, Adapt the theory to your ability, collaborate with others and JOIN IN
The Penn State Center for Pollinator Researchis world-renowned and hosted the Third International Conference on Pollimator Biology, Health and Policy in 2016. The following are two among many of their research projects:
LANDSCAPES FOR BEES: MANAGING BEES IN A CHANGING WORLD: This study will utilize data provided by collaborating beekeepers to evaluate how Land Use, Forage Quality and Microclimate impact Colony Health and Survival. The Conclusions of the Study will in turn inform land managers, growers and beekeepers about how to find and create optimum resources for bees. We have been in contact with Tyler Jones and are xcited about participating in this research project!
Bee Friendly PA is a new initiative from the Pennsylvania State Beekeeping Association (PSBA) that recognizes bee-friendly communities across the state: those that encourage beekeeping as well provide hospitable habitats and pollinator-friendly pest management practices.
Rachel Carson concluded Silent Spring by writing that “the control of nature is a phrase conceived in arrogance born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man.”
MULTIPLE STINGS Afflicting HONEY BEES
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 Bee Informed Partnership, after conducting their annual nationwide survey.
The Art & Adventure of Beekeeping was Oh, So Sweet beefore Mites, (BM). All guidelines were shattered upon entering this Era of After Mites, (AM) in the early 1990’s. The only consistency to beekeeping practices during this era has been change. Randy Oliver of ScientificBeekeeping.com fame details the severity of the two Symbiotic Parasites, Varroa Mites & Deformed Wing Virus, (DWV), in his article, Coevolution of the Honey Bee, Varroa Mite & Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). This article xplains the likeliness of Varroa’s permanent status within our Colonies, authenticated by Varroa's crafty propagating procedures, including the Mite’s Mutation during its short stay in the USA. Understanding that the Declaration of War to Varroa was unsuccessful, sheds Hope on finding alternative solutions, as we strive to find a balance with which our Bees can coexist with these Destructors, as did Apis Cerena in Asia!
Have a look at To Treat or Not, for a Heated Debate, or if viewing one platform from the other it appears to be a dichotomy as parts of the same mission, all intending to bee in the Bees best interest.
I now refer You back to Randy Oliver, "We now stand at a point in time in which our common beekeeping practices have become a self-perpetuating hindrance to the natural course of evolution of mite-resistant bees. With the impending failure of amitraz, commercial beekeepers are going to be forced to shift to a Plan B for varroa management.
If You Xperienced a Deadout in the Fall/Early Winter whereby the Girls Simply Vanished, leaving beehind Brood to die and Honey to bee Robbed out by Unsuspecting Opportunist Robber Bees, which, incidentally, will bee returning to their Home with Dye Packed Laced Loot, I sincerely Hope that You Read Meghan Milbrath’s Death by Varroa.
Dr. Milbrath is the Coordinator of the Michigan Pollinator Initiative @ Mich. State University. She also Manages 150 – 200 Colonies at Sand Hill Apiaries for Queen Rearing and Nuc Production, and will bee a Guest Speaker @ CCBA’s Annual Seminar on March 11, 2017.
If Death By Varroa has Played Out in your Apiary, You are not alone, and following Mark Winston’s counsel, All Beekeepers Must reanalyze All That We Do, Questioning Everything, Probing for the Root of the Problem. In Addressing the Root, You will fare Better than applying a Band Aid, more Sunscreen or Another Miticide!
Mites & Viruses are not the Root of ALL Problems Plaguing our Beeloved Honey Bees, yet by Keeping the Varroa Destructor Mites in Balance, many Viruses & other Ailments will Subside. We Must continue with Breeding from our Survivor Stock and Introduce Genetic Strains with Favorable Traits, (Hygenic Beehavior, Propolis Gatherers and Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH), arming our Bees to police themselves. But First, We Must heed Randy Oliver’s Diagnosis, "Since the essence of the problem is that so long as we keep replacing our varroa/DWV-killed colonies with fresh colonies from the same susceptible stocks (isn't that someone's definition of insanity), the situation is only going to get worse as the mite and the virus continue to evolve."
I invite you to read an article gleaned from PSBA’s newsletter on Nucs v Packages by Jeremy Barnes, with the support of Karen Roccasecca, State Apiarist.
I have had the Pleasure of Tending Honey Bees for nearly twice as long as I’ve been Dealing with Mites, and would much prefer NOT to have to Treat for Mites. No Doubt, all Beekeepers would rather not bee involved with Mite Treatments, yet the General Consensus among all the Speakers at Pennsylvania’s Winter Meetings was that as we are Restructuring all that we Know & Do, Timely & Responsible Treating is still a Wise Choice, as opposed to Losing Your Bees and with them the Genetic Strains that You have been Developing!
Consider This Scenario: It’s Fall and You are monitoring your Bees prepare for Winter. Your Bees are Looking Good, Glistening...
At Swarmbustin’ Honey we treat our Overwintered Hives in the Winter, whilst they are Broodless, with a Commercial Model Oxalic Acid Vaporizer. We beelieve that this Treatment is the Most Dynamic
of all that We do to offset the Miteload, allowing us to begin The Bee Season with a neglible Mite Count. We monitor our Mite Count continuously, Shakin’ Sugar Rolls, every Visit, every Yard. When the Mite Count xceeds 2%, We Treat, beefore Symptoms Appear. This Reduces # of Treatments, therefore less resistance.
The Twofold Invasion of Varroa & Viruses is Huge, yet like Humans which can ward off Illnesses with a Strong Immune System, Honey Bees would have a defense, if only they were Healthy and supported by a Good Immune System, not compromised by Toxicity, which is rooted in Agribusiness & Apicultural Practices.
Randy Oliver delivers his Reader Friendly, yet thorough Breakdown on the Coevolution of the Honey Bee, Varroa Mite & Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), including the Varroa Mites Mutation.
Mark Antunes, beekeeper and auctioneer extraordinaire gave a talk on "WHAT YOU DO'T KNOW ABOUT YOUR PACKAGE MITE KILL THEM" He shared with us that he had his Beeginning Beekeepers that he was mentoring last Spring, treat their newly installed Packages with an Oxalic Acid Dribble. The Treatment was applied 7 days after the Queen was released, corresponding with an absence of Capped Brood. The Mite Count for 10 Days ranged from 4 to 174. Maryann Frazier, of PSU Fame, needed Clean Bees to use in one of their Studies, and so, as a precaution, they gave to the packages an Oxalic Wash. One Day Mite Kill Counts were in the mid 70’s to 80’s.
Randy Oliver, Commercial Beekeeper, Pollinator of Almonds, and Webmaster of ScientificBeekeeping.com fame is constantly giving up Fresh Findings accompanied with cross-references from World Renown Researchers. Oliver refers to Ingemar Fries and Scott Camazine as the Brightest Minds in Bee Research. Fries and Camazine beelieve that “in the case of Varroa, Apicultural Practices are Responsible for Maintaining Virulent Forms of the Parasite.
Nutrition is Vital for the survival of all species.
"You are what You Eat"
I’ve adopted and have illustrated with the following:
"You are Responsible for how You Feel"
Reflect on Your vitality,
and apply when,
Your diet has drifted from your Norm,
Sleep Patterns have been altered,
your Stress Levels have Spiked, or Reduced
Honey Bees are no different, although, I feel that as Beekeepers,
We are Responsible for How they Feel.
Look back on Mark Winston’s new paradigm, (highlighted on first page).
Rusty Burlew, monitor for The Honey Bee Suite, has a nice blog on Nutrition.
The USDA recently released findings supporting the need to improve the Nutritional Deficiency Plaguing our Honey Bees. The USDA’s awareness is Good, yet, in my opinion, their proposed Remedies are alluding to New & Improved Supplemental Formulations.
Have a Look at the last paragraph in the publication on Honey Bee Nutrition prepared by Deb Delaney and MAAREC, the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium.
Honey bees are vulnerable to many of the insecticides used to control damaging pest species by fruit, vegetable, nut, and seed growers. Growers dependent on honey bees for the pollination of
their crops. Protecting Honey Bees from Chemical Pesticides.
Have You any idea as to Why Beekeepers are Suing the EPA? Check out the Pollinator Stewardship Council’s analysis of the “new label.”
Promoting major changes to Agriculture and Beekeeping, Mark Winston has observed during his Educational Tours, that there is now recognition "that beekeepers’ interests and those of agriculture as it is practiced today are not necessarily compatible". Finding alliances with other organizations with allied values could create a considerably more effective coalition lobbying to shift agriculture in a direction healthier for bees.”
Having Vented in this section, the last section will bee Inspiring Hope, when You learn of all of the Collaborating already in motion…
BUT FIRST, Jeremy Barnes has composed a MUST READ, Rousing Analogy involving rodents and soldiers with PTSD that relate to the big (VERY big) picture.
STING RELIEF for HONEY BEES & BEEKEEPERS
If you found the last section depressing, you should, at least until you beecome proactive. The Fall of 2015 ignited a sense of Depression, a word I knew not the meaning of prior. Our State Meeting in 2015, radiating with Hope, provided Inspiration to Resuscitate me. With a sincere Passion for Honey Bees, I beelieve that I now know why Bees first entered, and in due time, took over my life. Accepting the challenge presented in Mark Winston’s Paradigm is Huge, yet Buffered by available resources. Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association, (PSBA), is one of the oldest beekeeping associations in the nation. The collaboration
beetween PSBA, PA Dept. of Agriculture and Penn State University, (PSU) is recognized and respected nationwide. This Trilogy offers many opportunities for you to assist with regenerating Healthy Environments. Nutritional Deficiencies are a symptom, inflicted by lack of Forage and Agribusiness.
Marla Spivak, Breeder of “Minnesota Hygenic” Queens, xemplar of University of Minnesota, (UMN), is making Huge progress in providing foraging areas for Bees to Detox. Instead of good, clean bee food we have acres of lawns and monocultures (bee deserts) which are treated with a variety of chemicals. Honey bees, wild bees and other pollinators are reduced to feeding on scraps.
Click Here, only if you have ample time to peruse UMN’s Web site, and learn about the Bee Squad, Pheasants Forever and Flowering Lawns.
Feeding honey bees a natural diet of pollen makes them significantly more resistant to pesticides than feeding them an artificial diet.
“Populations of many bee species are in decline across the world, and poor nutrition is thought to be a major factor causing these declines,” says Christina Grozinger, director of the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State. “Our studies can help identify plant species and stocks that provide high-quality nutrition for bumble bees and potentially other bee gardens and planting strips.”
If we give the bees what they need, as in nourishment from clean forage, abundant not so long ago, they can heal themselves. Ric Orlando, proprietor of potentially my favorite restaurant in the world, New World Cooking, says it all in his book, We Want Clean Food.
|We want Clean Food.
No more Patties & Cakes
Meals on Wheels
We Wanna Bee
Free Rangin' Bees,
Foraging in a Detox Zone
Healing as Our Immune System Strengthens.
Research from North Carolina State University shows that honey bees “self-medicate” when their colony is infected with a harmful fungus, bringing in increased amounts of antifungal plant resins to ward off the pathogen.
Distributing Hope was the force beehind our entry into producing and selling Nucs. Despite the resemblance of this ramble to an advertisement, the Goal of this update was to Broadcast Seeds through Education. Our Mission is to Produce and Distribute into our region Nucs, Hardy, with Genetics worthy of Splitting. Some folks that beegan with, even more that restarted with, our Nucs are now Self Sustaining, increasing without Purchasing Bees each year. And now, back to the Goals of this Update:
Collaboration – The Buzzword in the Bee Industry
To bee Stewarts of both managed and wild bees,
Promoters of Healthy Environments – WOW! NOTE, Will require Networking & a Hot Minute to accomplish,
Which Surprises me not as the Sustainability of Mother Earth
has been declining since the Industrial Revolution...
Wendell Berry argued during the 41st Annual Jefferson Lecture that "Ecological health, in a land dying of abuse, is not worth ‘something’; it is worth everything."
Eastern Apicultural Society, (EAS), Highlights Scott Famous, Vincent Aloyo and Meghan Milbrath for their Queen Rearing.
Chester County Beekeepers Association’s, (CCBA), members are collaborating with their Queen Rearing, insuring that the Drone Congregation Areas are saturated from peripheral Drone Hives, which, require constant replenishing.
Meghan Milbrath harnessed the need for Local Bees and Kickstarted Funding to start Clinics to teach Beekeepers How to Split their hive into a Nuc.
Mike Palmer Illustrates A Better Way than Buying Bees
Erin Forbes-MacGregor, Master Beekeeper, Mainiac and of ‘Denial is not a Management Strategy’ fame, teaches about the benefits of Artificial Swarming, Breaking the Brood Cycle
I maintain that, at our location, rather handy to the Mason Dixon Line, seldom will we lose Bees to the Cold of Winter. A Dead Out is usually a symptom of a Ventilation/Condensation Issue, Starvation or an insufficient Population. In assisting Colonies to prepare for Winter, they will need adequate Food Stores, Free Flowing Ventilation and a Strong Population of Young Bees. The Fresh Wintering Bees will bee more competent in Nurturing the Brood in the Nursery once the Queen resumes laying eggs, and the Older Bees, well, will not live till Spring. Most Beekeepers have Stimulating Techniques to encourage, when necessary, late season Brood Rearing.
I’m following and planning on getting involved with Mehmet Ali Doke, a Grad Student at PSU. His Research is centered on using Forager Pheromones to Stimulate the Rearing of Winter Bees.
|Thank You for Reading,
And Dose Yourself
With Fresh Bee Pollen
Daily at Least,
For Good Health
Go to your fields and gardens
And you shall learn it is the pleasure of the bee
To gather honey of the flower.
But it is the pleasure of the flower
To yield its honey to the bee.
For to the bee a flower is the fountain of life.
And to the flower, a bee is a messenger of love.”
Kahil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923.
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