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Volume 157 No. 1 January 2017 ke

Contents
Email t
info@americanbeejournal.com
Web
www.americanbeejournal.com
Editor-Joe M. Graham Advertising Manager-Marta Menn
Publishing Department- Dianne Behnke & Susan Nichols

Beyond TakticBeekeeper
Funded Research 43
International Honey Market
Ron Phipps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Beyond TakticBeekeeper-funded Research
Randy Oliver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Sensory Analysis of Honey 75
The Varroa ProblemPart 4Mite-resistant BeesPipedream or Plausible?
Articles

Randy Oliver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Community Treatment Day
Michele Colopy, Wendy Mather and Peggy Garnes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Departments
Letters to the
Is It Time to Breed for Propolis? Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
A. Lee Lang . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Sensory Analysis of Honey
Newsnotes . . . . . . . . 13
Suzanne Ress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
U.S. Honey Crops
Marine Veteran Picked for Delaware Planting Hope with Honey and Markets . . . . . . . 25
Bees Project
Dewey M. Caron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Classified
Advertising . . . . . . . 105
Farm Mom of the Year Honors Beekeepers with a Skep Beehive
Corn Maze
Advertising
Cecil Hicks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Index. . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Dealing with Fair Issues
Howard Scott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95

Columns
The Classroom For the Love of Bees and Beekeeping
Jerry Hayes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Keith Delaplane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Honey Bee Biology
Beekeeping Topics - Raising a Few Queens for Your Wyatt A. Mangum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Own Use
Ray Nabors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 The Other Side of Beekeeping
George S. Ayers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

January Cover Picture The American Bee Journal ISSN 0002-7626


THE AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL (ISSN 002-7626) ing to National Archive Publishing Co., 300 N. Zeeb
Michael LaSpina, who lives in California, took is published monthly at American Bee Journal, 51 S. Road, P.O. Box 998, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106.
2nd Street, Hamilton, IL 62341. Periodicals Postage Copyright Dadant & Sons, Inc., 2017. All rights re-
this wonderful photo of a honey bee enjoying Paid at Hamilton, IL and at additional mailing offices. served, printed in USA. The Publishers cannot guar-
the Chrysanthemum bloom. He said, Mums in POSTMASTER: Send address changes to American
Bee Journal, 51 S. 2nd Street, Hamilton, IL 62341. In
antee advertisements in this magazine, but we ask that
any advertising complaints be made known to us, so we
the garden are both white and golden, as well as the United States, $28.00 a year; two years, $53.00
and three years, $75.00. Canada $45.00 a year; two
can further check the companys reliability. Opinions
expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the
maroon colors, but the bees seem to prefer the years $88.00. Foreign $52.00 a year; two years $99.00.
Subscriptions stop at expiration date printed on label.
publisher. American Bee Journal, 51 S. 2nd St., Hamil-
ton, IL 62341. (888) 922-1293. Fax (217) 847-3660.
golden shade. Available in microfilm form at moderate prices by writ-

January 2017 3
Letters to the Editor
Send your letters to the editor, Attn: Joe Graham, Dadant, 51 S. 2nd Street,
Hamilton, IL 62341, Fax: 1-217-847-3660, or email: abj@dadant.com.
Due to size and content, we may be unable to publish all information received. Thank You!

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR the house and to be inhaled by the people of that creates acoustic vibrations. Such
BEEKEEPERS staying therein. Depending on the tasks vibrations have a positive as well as soothing
set by a beekeeper for themselves, and the effect on the human body and are some kind
A very good friend is going through some possibilities, the apiary house may vary in of hearing system stimulators.
serious health problems, and cannot lift very architecture. The only aim is to improve - A bee colony creates a biofield. Scientists
much. He has been beekeeping in his back human health using all the possibilities of have repeatedly proved that living organisms
yard for many years, but has had to stop, and a bee colony. possess a biofield. Likewise, a bee colony as
misses the bees. I put together a modified Speaking about the possibilities of a bee a living organism has its own biofield which
hive, using one deep brood box, and seven, colony in terms of using it in the apiary is similar to the one of a healthy human
4-1/2 shallow supers. I had the shallow house, it should be noted that: being.
boxes squirreled away, but could not order - A bee colony creates the beehive air The foregoing particularities of a bee
the shallow frames any more. I had to cut unique for its composition. The beehive colony are used in the existing apiary houses
down some medium end bars, and assemble air is saturated with phytoncides and to ensure a therapeutic effect on the human
volatile aromatic substances of nectar, being. Therefore, the apiary house itself
the frames. I was able to assemble a fixture
bee glue, pollen, wax, Nasonov bee gland has the stimulators influencing such human
for the table saw to do this without sever-
pheromones, and royal jelly evaporations. sense organs as hearing and smell. In this
ing fingers. My wife frowns on this. I also
Accumulating food, a bee colony brings article I propose we take a broader look at
cut down plastic foundation to install in the into the beehive nectar, bee glue, and a bee colonys possibilities and begin to
frames. With these, he should be able to put pollen which contain aromatic substances apply viewing beehives which will enable us
in bees next spring. penetrating into the beehive where they to add an eyesight stimulator to the apiary
This is one of the things I have been evaporate. Thus, a bee colony becomes a house. Such a viewing beehive as shown in
passing along for some of the older or more valuable machine in aromatherapy. A the photo is installed in my apiary house. (By
slight beekeepers, using all mediums for human being cannot gather fragrances of the way, I have been engaged in beekeeping
brood and honey, which are a lot easier to more than a million flowers, while a bee since 2010).
lift. If you start with a deep, its okay, be- visits this number to produce 100 grams of My viewing beehive is a prototype of a
cause you rarely have to lift that first box, honey. log hive (wild hive) where a bee swarm is
and can still lift each frame comfortably. All - A bee colony creates acoustic vibrations. lodged. One of the beehive walls is made
of the other hive appliances still fit, and you On average, a bee colony numbers more of glass which enables the visitors not only
can extract shallow frames just as easily. I than 20,000 60,000 individuals. In order to lie down or sleep in the apiary house, but
hope that readers can use this information, to maintain the proper microclimate inside also to watch a bee colony working. The
and maybe help out someone who is hesitant the beehive, the bees ventilate it, move viewing beehive is made of wood with an
about getting into beekeeping. their pectoral muscles to generate heat, inside volume 50x35 cm; the beehive is 110
perform informing dances to communicate cm tall, the walls and bottom thereof are 4
Andy the Bee Guy a message that food has been found all cm thick. This viewing beehive enables a
andy@hemkenhoney.com

Adapted lighter weight supers ease


lifting

UKRAINIAN THERAPEUTIC
APIARy HOUSE
A NEW PERSPECTIVE
The typical structure of an apiary house
includes in its design lying benches under
which beehives with meshed little windows
are placed which allow the beehive air Outside view of therapeutic bee house. Regular hives are positioned around
unique for its composition to penetrate into the bee house.

January 2017 9
Controlling Varroa Praise for DelaPlane
Mites by Controlling artiCles
Drone Cells
I wanted to express my appreciation for
The September article on Varroa control and enjoyment of the extensive series of ar-
by Meghan Milbrath was a good overview ticles you continue to publish by Dr. Keith
of keeping Varroa in check without Delaplane titled For the Love of Bees and
using synthetic miticides. However, in Beekeeping. Each essay is thought-pro-
my opinion, she missed out on one very voking, comprehensive, with an aha mo-
important method. That is controlling the ment and a delightful balance between the
amount of drone cells on your brood combs. specific and the big picture, between long-
An excess of drone cells (5% or more) can term evolutionary origins and a closer un-
have many causes. First is the bees often derstanding of what we witness as colony
draw a patch of drone cells, as they draw a behavior. They combine the on-going theme
new foundation, then there is the results of of kinship with the increased understanding
the drone-laying queen or laying workers of a colony as a superorganism.
and damage by mice, mold, or wax moth can I have a limited scientific background yet
also ruin a good comb. Keiths writings evoke in me a level of at-
To back up my contention that 5% or more tention and reflection that are rewarded by
Inside view of therapeutic bee house. is too much, let us look at some numbers. a deeper comprehension of some signifi-
First, there are around 6,300 cells on a cant and weighty concepts. My hope is that
bee colony to develop enough strength, to standard deep Langstoth comb, 5% is 315 these articles will culminate in a book that
rebuild a sufficient number of honeycombs drone cells per comb. Second, according to will compliment those published by Jurgen
and requires no special maintenance. Since Nicholas W. Calderone, Cornell University, Tautz, E.O.Wilson and Bert Holldobler.
the beehive volume is considerable and a female varroa will average 1.3 1.4 The density of these treatises is unusual
the honeycomb building direction is preset offspring using worker brood to reproduce, in a beekeeping journal yet they effectively
so that their plane would be turned to the but will average 2.2 2.6 offspring using straddle the divide between academia and
viewing window for better bee colony drone brood. practical beekeeping. I commend your deci-
observation, a wood grate is mounted in the I am going to proceed as if the brood is sion to publish them.
middle of the beehive to avoid honeycomb raised in batches rather than day by day as
breakage. The beehive top is made of 3x4 it is in reality only for the sake of making it Jeremy Barnes
cm wood strips, which allow getting access easier to comprehend. Seven Valleys, PA.
to the bee nest when necessary, and, in Let us start with a colony of 20,000 with a
addition, the glass can be removed. The varroa infestation of 1 % which gives a total
beekeeper has the possibility to collect varroa population of 200 adult mites. With the
wild hive honey to which he can treat his Varroas natural preferences for reproducing
regular clients. When there are no visitors in drone brood, significantly more often than
in the house, I insulate the glass wall of the in worker brood and with 315 or more drone
viewing beehive and cover it with reed mace cells per comb and with a 20,000 bee colony,
mats to prevent sunlight penetration. there will be several combs of brood. There
This viewing beehive serves as a TV will be no trouble for every reproducing mite
set and allows the visitors to distract from to have a choice of drone cells.
everyday routine by switching to observation To go back to those numbers, 1.4 per
of numerous bees living their life in the nest. worker cell versus 2.6 per drone cell and a
It is also educational, because not everyone varroa population of 200: 200 x 1.4 = 280
is able to see demonstrably how a bee colony offspring versus 200 x 2.6 = 520 new mites.
is organized, how it develops and exists, and Going on to the next cycle it gets even
how its nest is arranged. Having added a worse. We have 480 (200 & 280 ) x 1.4 =670
component such as a viewing beehive to the mites from worker cells or 720 (200 &520 )
apiary house, we actually turn it into some x 2.6 =1870 from drone cells.
kind of a sensory room. A sensory room is I admit these numbers are theoretical, but
a specifically organized environment filled they illustrate the exponential growth there
with stimulators of eyesight, hearing, smell can be if there is ample drone brood for the
and touch organs. Sensory rooms have been varroa to reproduce.
successfully used by rehabilitation therapists
in human rehabilitation since the 70s of the Gil Pedersen
previous century. Hopefully, this proposal Commercial beekeeper
will find positive feedback from beekeepers Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, Canada
and apitherapists, and, after a while, we will
have practical results in the apiary houses
with the viewing beehives used.
Roman Dvykaliuk, graduate of Boyarka CorreCtion
Practical School for Beekeeping of
Boyarka College for Ecology and Natural Author Correction Notice, November Issue:
Resources Separate Unit of National Kindly note the correct spelling in the
University for Biological Resources and photo caption of the name Krispn Given of
Nature Management, Kiev, Ukraine the bee lab at Purdue.
Email: Roman.Dvykaliuk@delta-sport.
kiev.ua. M.E.A. McNeil

10 American Bee Journal


The review, published in the journal
Functional Ecology, examines existing evi-
dence on how bees use their senses, previ-
ous experience and - in the case of social
bees - feedback from the nest to decide
where to gather pollen.

News
First author Dr Elizabeth Nicholls, a for-
mer PhD student at the University of Exeter
and now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at
the University of Sussex, said: Our review

Notes
is unique in considering pollen foraging
from an individual bees perspective, ask-
ing which senses bees use to decide which
flowers are worth visiting.
This image shows researchers col-
In our review we suggest that although lecting samples on Moku Island in
bees may taste pollen during collection and Hawaii. Credit: Marine Biological As-
use this nutritional information to guide sociation.
BEES USE MULTIPLE CUES their choices, they are also likely to pay
attention to the strong odour and visual ap- Dr Declan Schroeder, Head of the Virus
IN HUNT FOR POLLEN pearance of both pollen and the flower itself. Ecology Group at the MBA explains: The
For bees that live together in colonies, true significance of this discovery lies in the
University of exeter information passed on from the other bees potential ramifications that a new biological
in the nest, either via chemical cues or even invasion could cause. Could we be seeing
Bees use a variety of senses and memory special dances, may also be important in in- history repeating itself? Similar to the Span-
of previous experiences when deciding fluencing their pollen-collecting behaviour. ish invasion of the Inca and Aztec empires
where to forage for pollen, research by the The University of Exeter is a major hub in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it
University of Exeter suggests. for bee and pollination research and is cur- was the smallpox and measles viruses that
The researchers believe pollen-collecting rently advertising several postgraduate re- inflicted the most damage on the individu-
bees do not base their foraging decisions on search projects. als of these populous nations. Here we are
taste alone, but instead make an overall seeing an invasive wasp bringing in a new
sensory assessment of their experience at virus to honey bees.
a particular flower. The likelihood is that Moku has the abil-
Bees typically do not eat pollen when HAWAIIAN STUDy HIGH- ity to spread throughout the endemic popu-
they collect it from flowers, but carry it LIGHTS A NEW THREAT lation of honey bees in Hawaii. Gideon
back to the nest via special sacs on their TO BEES WORLDWIDE Mordecai concludes that future challenges
legs or hairs on their body. will be assessing the biological relevance of
This makes it difficult to understand how earlham institUte, norwich, england these novel pathogens and the role they play
bees judge whether the pollen a flower pro- in the ecology of their hosts.
duces is nutritious enough for their young. Particularly under threat are honey bees,
Indeed, researchers have been puzzled for a which are as vital to our food systems as the
long time as to what exactly bees look for
when they collect pollen from flowers.
crops they pollinate, and which are prone NEW FINDINGS ABOUT
to a range of emergent diseases including
Co-author Dr Natalie Hempel de Ibarra, Moku and Deformed wing virus (DWV).
THE HONEy BEE
expert in insect neuroethology at Exeters The Moku virus was identified on Moku INFECTING DEFORMED
Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour, Island in Hawaii through a collaboration of WING VIRUS
said: It seems that bees dont just respond institutes with complementary expertise.
to a single nutritional compound in pollen, Purnima Pachori of the Platforms &
such as crude protein content, but to a range new findings aboUt the honey bee in-
Pipelines Group at the Earlham Institute fecting deformed wing virUs
of sensory cues in pollen and flowers. (EI) carried out the bioinformatics work of
They also form memories for locations separating out host and viral genetic ma-
and types of flowers that they have visited The honey bee Apis mellifera plays an
terial, which allowed for the analysis and important role for the pollination of fruit and
which affect their foraging decisions. identification of the novel Moku virus led
We need more research that considers vegetable plants, besides its significance for
by Gideon Mordecai (based at the time at the production of honey and wax. Losses
the behaviour and neurobiology of bees to the Marine Biological Association (MBA),
understand when and why they prefer some of entire bee colonies during winter have
Plymouth). economic and -- in particular -- ecological
plants and some pollen over others. A Its brilliant that our computational biol-
breakthrough in this area could advance our consequences as pollinators are missing in
ogy expertise at EI could contribute to the spring during blossom. Apiculture in North
efforts in both biodiversity conservation and characterization of a new virus which can
crop production. America and Europe is especially affected
be a threat to pollinator health worldwide by partly massive losses. Only during the
said Purnima. winter months of 2014/2015, up to fifty per
It was through work at the MBA that the cent of all bee colonies in some Austrian
true uniqueness of the Moku virus revealed regions collapsed.
itself. Gideon Mordecai said, The use of The main trigger of this bee mortality
next generation gene sequencing techniques does not seem to be the use of pesticides
has led to a rapid increase in virus discov- in modern agriculture. Many studies have
ery, and is a powerful tool for investigat- shown that the survival of bee colonies
ing the enormous diversity of viruses out strongly depends on the infestation with
there. Varroa mites, widespread blood-sucking
The study has highlighted the impor- parasites, and the transmission of deformed
tance of monitoring invasive species for wing virus by these mites. A research group
A honey bee foraging for pollen. Credit broad-range viruses as well as the poten- from the Institute of Virology at the Uni-
Dr. Elizabeth Nicholls tial for transmission of these pathogens. versity of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has

January 2017 13
Institute of Virology at the University of the middle of a cornfield may help minimize
Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. This could crop loss from the destructive European
explain why the virus also remains present corn borer. The milkweed plants can harbor
in the hives if it is not transmitted by the aphids (destructive sap-sucking flies) that
Varroa mite. However, no viral proteins produce a nectar food source for beneficial
were detected in muscle and blood cells. parasitic wasps Trichogramma. The wasps,
in turn, lay eggs inside the eggs of the Euro-
Various applications of the new method pean corn borer, killing the corn borer eggs
By using the molecular clone, differ- - reducing damage to the crop.
ent aspects of the viral life-cycle could be Production management rarely consid-
simulated, manipulated and studied under ers the benefits of weeds in agricultural eco-
The Varroa mite and the deformed laboratory conditions. This concerns the systems, said DiTommaso. Lets look at
wing virus are main factors responsi- transmission of the virus by the Varroa mite, the big picture. If we open our eyes - even
ble for alarming bee mortality. Credit: the course of the infection and the viral rep- if its a weed growing in the cornfield - we
Kerstin Seitz/Vetmeduni Vienna lication in different stages of development show it could be beneficial. Integrating
of honey bees. Controlled experimental weed benefits will become increasingly
developed a new laboratory system, which conditions will enable the development of important, as pest management is likely to
enabled them to make an important step for- new strategies in order to effectively reduce move from total reliance on herbicides and
ward in the investigation of the virus. By the losses of bee colonies caused by the transgenic crop traits for control, because
using a molecular clone, they have simu- virus. The described experiments involved of increasing resistance of weeds to these
lated the course of disease in a targeted way only one DWV strain, but the method can products.
under laboratory conditions. also be used for other strains. In many One additional side benefit for having a
cases, a bee is not only infected with one few milkweed plants in a field of corn is that
Artificial viral genomes of virus species. Our test system provides a it serves as a breeding place and food source
deformed wing virus tool to find out, which viruses are especially for monarch butterflies. As of late, monarch
Up to now, scientists have only used harmful and how viruses behave in multiple numbers are down, and the U.S. Fish and
samples of the deformed wing virus, which infections, explained Lamp. Thus, we can Wildlife Service is evaluating a petition to
they had taken from infected bees. How- develop targeted strategies against disease- have them protected under the Endangered
ever, mixed and multiple infections can causing viruses. Species Act.
bias the results of such tests, stated lead While some growers elect not to use en-
author Benjamin Lamp. For the new test About the deformed wing virus gineered crops, producers may see a return
system, the researchers used artificial ge- The deformed wing virus (DWV) be- to IPM methods from two decades ago, as
netic material instead of natural samples longs to the family of Iflaviridae. These resistance could easily occur when relying
of the deformed wing virus, in order to viruses are so-called RNA viruses. Their on a single tactic.
clearly correlate the course of disease to genetic material only consists of one ribo- With increasing no-till production, pro-
the virus.Initially, we amplify the genetic nucleotide strand, unlike the prevailing dou- ducers will inevitably see rebounds in
RNA material of a virus and save it as a ble-stranded DNA in mammals. In most but perennial weeds - such as milkweed, the
DNA copy in a vector, a specific transport not all cases, infections with the deformed researchers said. Thus, some growers may
vehicle for genetic material. The resulting wing virus are bound to an infestation of a be willing to tolerate a low milkweed popu-
molecular clone enables us to produce ar- hive with the Varroa mite. The virus per- lation in favor of providing livable plant
tificial viruses, which are identical and ge- sists in the hives and can even be detected if space for monarchs.
netically defined, explained Lamp. Insects there are no parasites in the hive, explained Every organism in an agricultural sys-
infected with the artificial virus showed Benjamin Lamp. tem plays multiple roles, said John Losey,
the same symptoms such as discoloration, professor of entomology. If management
dwarfism, death or the eponymous deforma- decisions are based solely on the negative
tion of the wing that also occur in natural aspects, yield and profit can be lost in the
infections. Thus, it could be unambiguously
PEST CONTROL: short term and broader problems can arise
shown that these symptoms are caused by WICKED WEEDS MAy BE in the longer term.
the deformed wing virus. AGRICULTURAL ANGELS Integration of the weed costs and advan-
tages will become important.
Deformed wing virus detected cornell University The benefits of weeds have been ne-
in gland tissue glected. Theyre often seen as undesirable,
Besides the infection with the viral RNA Farmers looking to reduce reliance on unwanted. Were now beginning to quan-
under controlled laboratory conditions, pesticides, herbicides and other pest man- tify their benefits, said Kristine M. Averill,
also an unbiased picture of the disease agement tools may want to heed the advice weed research associate.
process could be shown. The scientists of Cornell agricultural scientists: Let nature Its very important to recognize the ben-
infected not only fully developed bees be nature - to a degree. efits of all the species within the crop field
with the artificial genetic material of the Managing crop pests without fully un- - that includes both the crops and the weeds
virus, but also larvae and pupae. During derstanding the impacts of tactics - related - not to mention cover crops. Weeds can
the pupal stage, Lamp and his team ana- to resistance and nontarget plants or insects offer ecosystem services, such as soil ero-
lyzed the target tissues and the host cells - costs producers money, said Antonio sion protection and pollination services for
-- the cells the virus preferably infects. DiTommaso, professor of soil and crop the benefit of insects, Averill said. They
The scientists found viral antigens -- the science and lead author of a new study, can be part of a restorative cycle.
specific protein molecules of the deformed Integrating Insect, Resistance and Floral Joining DiTommaso, Averill and Losey
wing virus - in all body areas. However, Resource Management in Weed Control on the study were Michael Hoffmann, pro-
neural, gland and connective tissue cells Decision-Making, in the journal Weed Sci- fessor of entomology; and Jeffrey R. Fuchs-
were particularly affected. The high con- ence (October-December 2016). berg, director of intellectual property at the
centrations of viral proteins -- the antigens We are taking a renewed look at a holis- Medical Center of the Americas Foundation.
-- in the glands could also indicate an oral tic, sustainable integrated pest management
transmission of the virus from one bee to (IPM) approach, DiTommaso said.
another in the hive, explained Professor In corn production, for example, main-
Till Rmenapf, last author and head of the taining a few villainous milkweed plants in

14 American Bee Journal


BACTERIAL three bites of food they eat to the work of Anderson says that with continued re-
honey bees and other pollinators. search, new supplement formulations or
IMBALANCES CAN MEAN Other key findings include - usage practices could be created to improve
BAD NEWS FOR Bees fed fresh pollen or fresh supple- not only the health of honey bees but also
HONEy BEES ments had more beneficial gut bac- the bacteria that live within them.
teria, like Snodgrassella alvi, whose ARS is USDAs principal in-house scien-
By Jan Suszkiw presence was correlated with increased tific research agency.
USDA - ARS News Service health, and decreases in gut pathogens
Nosema and F. perrara bacteria.
A team of U.S. Department of Agricul- Five to eight types of gut bacteria were
ture (USDA) scientists and their collabora- consistently found in bee gut. LIGHT THERAPy COULD
tors have established a strong link between Dysbiosis was systemic, occurring SAVE BEES FROM
honey bee health and the effects of diet on throughout the honey bee gut. DEADLy PESTICIDES
bacteria that live in the guts of these impor-
tant insect pollinators. Treating bees with light therapy can
In a study published in the November counteract the harmful effects of neonicoti-
issue of Molecular Ecology, the team fed noid pesticides and improve survival rates
caged honey bees one of four diets: fresh of poisoned bees, finds a new UCL study
pollen, aged pollen, fresh supplements, and
aged supplements. After seven days, the University College London
team euthanized and dissected the bees and
used next-generation sequencing methods Treating bees with light therapy can
to identify the bacteria communities that counteract the harmful effects of neonicoti-
had colonized the bees digestive tract. noid pesticides and improve survival rates
The team also compared the thorax of poisoned bees, finds a new UCL study.
(flight muscle) weight and size of each Neonicotinoid pesticides are a persistent
groups hypopharyngeal glands as mea- threat to global bee populations, which play
sures of the diets effects on bee growth Scanning electron micrograph of fresh a critical role in agriculture, says Professor
and development. The glands enable nurse pollen removed from wax storage cells Glen Jeffery (UCL Institute of Ophthalmol-
bees to produce royal jelly, a substance of honey bee colonies. In choice tests, ogy), the senior author of the PLOS ONE
thats fed to developing larvae, ensuring bees strongly preferred freshly col- paper. My team is working to develop a
the hives continued survival. The flight lected pollen over aged pollen. small device that can be fitted into a com-
muscle weight represents the potential for mercial hive, which could be an economic
work after the nurse bee transitions into the solution to a problem with very widespread
role of forager. implications.
In general, bees given fresh pollen or The pesticides undermine mitochondrial
fresh supplements fared better than bees function and compromise the production of
given pollen or supplements that had first ATP, the currency for energy that drives
been aged for 21 days, reports Kirk Ander- cellular function. This results in reduced
son, senior author and a microbial ecologist mobility among bees exposed to neonicoti-
with USDAs Agricultural Research Ser- noids, leading them to die of starvation, un-
vice (ARS) in Tucson, Arizona. able to feed themselves.
Bees fed fresh diets suffered fewer The researchers used four groups of bees
deaths, made better use of energy for from commercial hives, with more than 400
growth, and had lower levels of gut patho- bees in each colony. Two groups were ex-
gens such as Nosema ceranae, according to posed to a neonicotinoid, Imidacloprid, for
Anderson and co-authors University of Ari- Scanning electron micrograph of ten days, with one group also being treated
zona graduate student Patrick Maes, ARS stored pollen grains (yellow) and fun- with light therapy over the same period - 15
lab technician Brendon Mott, and Randy gal growth (purple) resulting from air minutes of near infrared light (670nm) was
Oliver of Scientificbeekeeping.com. exposure and loss of protective effects shone into the hive twice daily.
In the study, the nutritional value of of honey and bee salivary enzymes. The mobility of the bees that were poi-
pollen lasted longer than that of supple- soned but not treated with light therapy
ments. Bees consumed significantly more dropped off rapidly, as did their ATP lev-
aged supplement than aged pollen, but this els, and their survival rate declined accord-
didnt translate into long-term benefits. For ingly. The bees that were poisoned but also
example, bees consuming aged supplement treated with light therapy had significantly
had plump nurse glands but suffered sig- better mobility and survival rates, living
nificant losses in flight muscle, suggesting just as long and functioning just as well
that nutrition diverted to feed developing as bees that had not been poisoned. One
larva came at a significant cost to the bees group was given light therapy without
own adult development. Poor develop- being poisoned, and their survival rate was
ment, in turn, can translate to early mor- even better than the control group. The re-
tality or inefficient food collection when searchers found the deep red light did not
these nurse bees transition to the role of interfere with bee behaviour as they cannot
foragers. see it.
Anderson says the effects of diet on gut Scanning electron micrograph reveal- Long-wavelength light treatments have
bacteria populations (or gut microbiome) ing pollen grains (yellow) and bacteria been shown in other studies to reduce mi-
are poorly understood but warrant study (purple) extracted from the hindgut tochondrial degeneration which results
because of the implications for honey bee of the honey bee Apis mellifera. The from aging processes. Its beneficial even
health and the insects importance as a chief presence of these symbiotic gut bac- for bees that arent affected by pesticides,
pollinator of 100-plus flowering crops. Put teria helps keep honey bee pathogens so light therapy can be an effective means
another way, consumers owe one in every in check. of preventing loss of life in case a colony

January 2017 15
becomes exposed to neonicotinoids. Its Researchers found that some popula-
win-win, Professor Jeffery says. tions of Varroa jacobsoni mites are shift-
While light therapy works best as a pre- ing from feeding and reproducing on Asian
ventative measure, the researchers found it honeybees, their preferred host, to Euro-
can also be helpful as treatment in response pean honey bees, the primary species used
to an incident of pesticide exposure, as long for crop pollination and honey production
as the treatment is started within a couple worldwide. To bee researchers, its a grimly
days of exposure. familiar story: V. destructor made the same
We found that by shining deep red light host leap at least 60 years ago, spreading
on the bee which had been affected by the rapidly to become the most important global
toxic pesticides that they could recover, as health threat to European honey bees.
it improved mitochondrial and visual func- While host-switching V. jacobsoni mites Varroa mites are considered the big-
tion, and enabled them to move around and have not been found outside of Papua New gest bee health problem worldwide.
feed again, says Dr Michael Powner (City, Guinea, Purdue researchers Gladys Andino Here, a Varroa mite has latched on to
University of London), who led the study and Greg Hunt say vigilance is needed to the upper-right side of a honey bees
while at UCL. protect European honey bees worldwide abdomen to feed. (Purdue Agricul-
Researchers at UCL Ophthalmology from further risk. ture/Tom Campbell)
have been studying near-infrared light This could represent a real threat, said
therapy because of its benefits not only Andino, a bioinformatics specialist with could lead to potential control strategies, the
for bees, but also for other animals includ- Information Technology at Purdue. If researchers said.
ing humans, particularly to counteract ef- this mite gets out of control and spreads, If we can understand the mechanism, we
fects of aging and a range of neurological we might have another situation like might be able to disrupt, block or manipu-
diseases. V. destructor. late that, Andino said. But first we have
When a nerve cell is using more energy Varroa mites are considered the biggest to understand what is happening and which
than other cells, or is challenged because of bee health problem worldwide. Here, a Var- genes are involved in allowing the mites to
a lack of energy, red light therapy can give roa mite has latched on to the upper-right shift to a new host.
it a boost by improving mitochondrial func- side of a honeybees abdomen to feed. (Pur- Andino and Hunt sequenced and assem-
tion. Essentially, it recharges the cells bat- due Agriculture/Tom Campbell) bled the first V. jacobsoni transcriptome,
teries, Professor Jeffery explains. Varroa mites are obligate parasites, a catalog of all of the proteins made by an
meaning their lifecycle is inextricably en- organism that shows which genes are ac-
twined with that of their bee hosts. The tively being expressed. They then used the
mites can do serious damage to their hosts transcriptome to compare gene expression in
ANOTHER SPECIES OF health due to their relatively large size populations of V. jacobsoni.
think of a tick as big as your fist, Hunt They found 287 differentially expressed
VARROA MITE THREATENS said. Mites latch on to bees and feed on genes between the mite populations that
EUROPEAN HONEy BEES their hemolymph, insects rough equivalent only parasitized Asian honey bees and those
to blood, leaving behind open wounds that that successfully fed and reproduced on
Courtesy of are susceptible to infection. They can also European honey bees. A change in gene ex-
transmit diseases such as deformed wing pression is often a sign that an organism is
virus and have been linked to colony col- reacting to a change in its environment in
lapse disorder. this case, a new host species.
To gain insight into the biology behind Of these 287 genes, 91 percent were up-
V. jacobsonis host switch, Andino and regulated in the host-switching mites. Many
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. A sister Hunt, professor of behavioral genetics and of these genes were related to stress re-
species of the Varroa destructor mite is de- honeybee specialist, studied the differences sponses, which makes sense, Andino said.
veloping the ability to parasitize European in gene expression between V. jacobsoni If youre feeding on a new host, youre
honey bees, threatening pollinators already mites that fed and reproduced on Asian going to be stressed. You have to adapt. The
hard pressed by pesticides, nutritional de- honey bees and those that parasitized Euro- food is different and might not be optimal
ficiencies and disease, a Purdue University pean honey bees. Knowing which host cues for development, she said. Potentially,
study says. mites respond to and the genes involved European honey bees are not fulfilling the
requirements these mites are used to getting
from Asian honeybees.
Some genes involved in reproduction
and egg production were overexpressed
while some genes linked to digestion genes
showed reduced expression, compared with
the same genes in V. jacobsoni mites that
exclusively parasitized Asian honey bees.
Andino and Hunt said the mites leap to
European honey bees likely occurred within
the last decade. Previously, V. jacobsoni
mites were occasionally found on European
honey bees but seemed unable to produce
healthy offspring, limiting their destructive
capacity.
Catching the host transition in its early
stages will allow researchers to continue to
investigate the complex genetic details be-
hind the shift and monitor infected European
honey bees, Hunt said.
Researchers Greg Hunt and Gladys Andino inspect bee colonies at Purdue Uni- This happened once with one species of
versity for signs of disease and mites. (Purdue Agriculture/Tom Campbell) mite, and it looks like its happening again.

16 American Bee Journal


Maybe if we catch this as its beginning, in turn, lay eggs inside the eggs of the Euro- tify their benefits, said Kristine M. Averill,
well be able to figure out why its happen- pean corn borer, killing the corn borer eggs weed research associate.
ing or, down the road, stop it. - reducing damage to the crop. Its very important to recognize the ben-
The paper was published in BMC Genom- Production management rarely consid- efits of all the species within the crop field
ics on Wednesday (Nov. 16) and is available ers the benefits of weeds in agricultural - that includes both the crops and the weeds
at http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016- ecosystems, said DiTommaso. Lets look - not to mention cover crops. Weeds can
3130-3. at the big picture. If we open our eyes - offer ecosystem services, such as soil ero-
Funding for the study and an ongoing even if its a weed growing in the cornfield sion protection and pollination services for
genome-sequencing project was provided - we show it could be beneficial. Integrat- the benefit of insects, Averill said. They
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Ag- ing weed benefits will become increasingly can be part of a restorative cycle.
ricultural Research Service and the USDA important, as pest management is likely to Joining DiTommaso, Averill and Losey
National Institute of Food and Agriculture. move from total reliance on herbicides and on the study were Michael Hoffmann, pro-
transgenic crop traits for control, because fessor of entomology; and Jeffrey R. Fuchs-
of increasing resistance of weeds to these berg, director of intellectual property at the
products. Medical Center of the Americas Foundation.
KRISPN GIVEN PROMOTED One additional side benefit for having a
TO APICULTURE few milkweed plants in a field of corn is that
SPECIALIST AT PURDUE it serves as a breeding place and food source
for monarch butterflies. As of late, monarch ROBERT E. PAGE JR.
Cornell University numbers are down, and the U.S. Fish and SELECTED FELLOW OF
Wildlife Service is evaluating a petition to
Farmers looking to reduce reliance on have them protected under the Endangered CALIFORNIA ACADEMy
pesticides, herbicides and other pest man- Species Act. OF SCIENCES
agement tools may want to heed the advice While some growers elect not to use en-
of Cornell agricultural scientists: Let nature gineered crops, producers may see a return by Kathy Keatley garvey
be nature - to a degree. to IPM methods from two decades ago, as Uc davis dept. of entomology
Managing crop pests without fully un- resistance could easily occur when relying and nematology
derstanding the impacts of tactics - related on a single tactic.
to resistance and nontarget plants or in- With increasing no-till production, pro- Internationally known honey bee geneti-
sects - costs producers money, said Anto- ducers will inevitably see rebounds in cist Robert E. Page Jr., emeritus professor
nio DiTommaso, professor of soil and crop perennial weeds - such as milkweed, the re- and chair of the UC Davis Department of
science and lead author of a new study, searchers said. Thus, some growers may be Entomology and Arizona State University
Integrating Insect, Resistance and Floral willing to tolerate a low milkweed popula- provost emeritus, has been selected a Fel-
Resource Management in Weed Control tion in favor of providing livable plant space low of the California Academy of Sciences
Decision-Making, in the journal Weed Sci- for monarchs. (CAS), San Francisco.
ence (October-December 2016). Every organism in an agricultural sys- He is one of 10 Fellows, and the only one
We are taking a renewed look at a holis- tem plays multiple roles, said John Losey, from UC Davis, to be inducted Tuesday,
tic, sustainable integrated pest management professor of entomology. If management Nov. 15 at the annual CAS meeting and
(IPM) approach, DiTommaso said. decisions are based solely on the negative awards dinner.
In corn production, for example, main- aspects, yield and profit can be lost in the The Fellows are a group of distinguished
taining a few villainous milkweed plants in short term and broader problems can arise scientists, nominated and appointed in rec-
the middle of a cornfield may help minimize in the longer term. ognition of their outstanding contributions
crop loss from the destructive European Integration of the weed costs and advan- to the natural sciences. They help extend the
corn borer. The milkweed plants can harbor tages will become important. Academys positive impact on research,
aphids (destructive sap-sucking flies) that The benefits of weeds have been ne- public engagement, and education, through
produce a nectar food source for beneficial glected. Theyre often seen as undesirable, individual and collaborative efforts with
parasitic wasps Trichogramma. The wasps, unwanted. Were now beginning to quan- Academy researchers and staff, a spokes-
person said.
Page was nominated by chemical ecolo-
gist and CAS Fellow Walter Leal, UC
Davis distinguished professor of molecular
and cellular biology and former professor
and chair of the UC Davis Department of
Entomology (now the Department of Ento-
mology and Nematology). James R. Carey,
UC Davis distinguished professor of ento-
mology and a CAS Fellow, seconded the
nomination.
Rob is internationally known for his ex-
pertise on social insect behavior and popu-
lation genetics, Leal said, describing him
as a highly gifted, innovative and produc-
tive researcher, administrator, collaborator,
teacher and author. Leal said there are few
who can match his scientific stature.
Page focuses his current research on
the evolution of complex, social behavior.
Using the honey bee as a model, he has
dissected bees complex foraging division
of labor at all levels of biological organiza-
Krispn Given with his 2016 instrumental Insemination class at Purdues honey tionfrom gene networks to complex social
bee laboratory. interactions, Leal noted. Throughout his

January 2017 17
Academy of Sciences. His many honors occur when you carry out the correspond-
include the Alexander von Humboldt Re- ing work stages with the help of children or
search Prize, the highest honor given by the school groups. There are age recommenda-
German government to foreign scientists. In tions, as well as specific instructions regard-
2009 he was elected to Leopoldina, founded ing dangerous situations, which could arise
in 1652, for his pioneering research in be- during beekeeping with children. Tips are
havioral genetics of honey bees. provided about the hive and work materials
Other UC Davis entomologists who are considering the suitability for students and
members of CAS include integrated pest groups of children.
management specialist Frank Zalom and
native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp,
distinguished emeritus professor of ento-
mology. Catherine Tauber and her husband,
SAVING BEES AND
the late Maurice Tauber, both affiliated with OURSELVES THROUGH
the UC Davis Department of Entomology SCIENCE
and Nematology, were named honorary fel-
lows of CAS in 2009. a new way to detect
insecticides in honey
Introduction
BEEKEEPING WITH If you are reading this, you already know
CHILDREN AND bees are important to the environment. In the
U.S., alone, bees are responsible for polli-
SCHOOL GROUPS nating more than 100 different crops from
blueberries to almonds. What you may not
good practice at the apiary realize, however, is that there is a global
Robert E. Page Jr.
price tag on their fuzzy little heads. Sure,
career, he has been on the cutting edge of by Undine Westphal their honey production may keep us rub-
discoveries involving behavior, life cycle, bing our tummies like so many Winnie-the-
genetics, physiology and biochemistry, and, Respectful interaction with creatures, an Poohs, but there is so much more to the bee
as such, is a highly cited author on such insight into the complexity of the living story than honey. Scientists at the Univer-
topics as Africanized bees, genetics and world, and the idea that every individual, sity of California Berkley now estimate that
evolution of social organization, sex de- even children, can contribute to the protec- the current value of global crop production
termination and division of labor in insect tion of our precious environment without made possible by bees is a staggering $200
societies. much effort, are learning objectives which billion annually. Not only are bees vital in
A native of Bakersfield, Page received cannot be valued highly enough. If honey- maintaining our ecosystem, they also play
his doctorate in entomology from UC Davis bees did not already exist, it would certainly an essential role in the global economy.1
in 1980 and served on The Ohio State be worth creating them as a topic for inter-
University faculty before joining the UC esting learning and teaching responsibility Pesticides And Bee Colony Collapse
Davis faculty in 1989. His UC Davis career and sustainability. While that sounds impressive, all is not
spanned 15 years. He served as department The book Beekeeping with children and well in the proverbial Hundred Acre Wood.
chair from 1999 to 2004 when Arizona State school groups is a wonderful guide and Since the introduction of neonicotinoid pes-
University recruited him to found its School aide for experienced beekeepers who can ticides (acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefu-
of Life Sciences. As the founding director and want to offer children more than sim- ran, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, thiacloprid,
and dean, he established the world-class, ply letting them watch the honey extraction. and thiamethoxam) in the late 1980s, thou-
integrative School of Life Sciences and the (Prof. Dr. Jrgen Tautz, Wrzburg) sands of tons of these closely related com-
Honey Bee Research Facility. This book will act as a guide to support pounds to nicotine are applied to seeds,
Pages career advanced to vice provost you throughout the whole beekeeping year crops, plants, and even grasses every year
and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and with the use of examples. The Individual around the globe. One in particular, imi-
Sciences in 2011, and then to university pro- chapters will each cover the specifics that dacloprid, has proven to be so effective, it
vost in 2014. After a highly distinguished accounts for nearly a third of the global pes-
academic career, he became emeritus pro- ticide market.2,3 These pesticides are espe-
vost and Regents professor in June 2015 and cially effective against a wide assortment of
continues his research, teaching and public sap-feeding pests. They work by binding to
service. nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs)
A highly productive scientist, Page has in the nervous systems of bugs to induce
authored more than 230 research papers and insect paralysis, thus preserving crops and
articles. He and his major professor, father maximizing yield.
of bee genetics Harry H. Laidlaw Jr., (for However, neonicotinoid pesticides are
whom the UC Davis bee biology facility is also under increasing scrutiny as a potential
named), wrote the pioneering book, Queen contributing factor to honey bee colony col-
Rearing and Bee Breeding. In 2013 Page lapse disorder (CCD).4 A growing number
published his latest book, The Spirit of the of apiologists studying CCD, in fact, reason
Hive: the Mechanisms of Social Evolution, that bees naturally collect pollen tainted by
which explains the self-organizing regula- neonicotinoid pesticides. They bring the
tory networks of honey bees. toxin back to their respective hives and poi-
Page is a fellow of the American Asso- son their own colonies. Worker bees disap-
ciation for the Advancement of Science, the pear, leaving the queen bee, food supply,
Entomological Society of America and an and immature bees in the care of too few
elected member of the American Academy nurse bees. The result is devastating. Over
of Arts and Sciences, the German National the course of a typical winter, the U.S. En-
Academy of Sciences, and the Brazilian vironmental Protection Agency (EPA) esti-

18 American Bee Journal


mates that more than 23% of bee colonies 3
N. Simon-Delso, et. al., Systemic Insec- to expand, the number of commercial hives
are lost because of CCD.5,6 Given the scale ticides (Neonicotinoids And Fipronil): will have to more than double to 100,000
of neonicotinoid pesticides useand where Trends, Uses, Mode Of Action And Me- by 2025. ATTTA will support improved
the bulk of global honey is produced (Asia at tabolites, Environmental Science and productivity in the wild blueberry, beekeep-
46.4% and South America at 23.3%), most Pollution Research, January 2015, Vol- ing and pollination industries by helping re-
scientists agree that it is important to develop ume 22, Issue 1, pp. 534, http://link. gional beekeepers to expand their hives and
effective methods to detect just how much of springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356- increase hive density to meet the increasing
these toxins remain in the more than 200,000 014-3470-y, accessed October 25, 2016. demand for pollination in wild blueberry
tons of honey we use every year.7 4
eschke, et. al., op. cit. fields.3
5
Lee, op. cit. The governments of Canada and the Mar-
New Approach To Detection 6
EPA, Colony Collapse Disorder, Pol- itime provinces are investing $355,000 in
Scientists at PerkinElmer, a global leader linator Protection, U.S. Environmental the team through Growing Forward 2, a five-
committed to innovating for a healthier Protection Agency, Sepytember 16,2016, year, (2013-2018) policy framework for the
world, recently tested five commercially https://www.epa.gov/pollinator- countrys agricultural and agri-food sector.
available honeys (one organic and four protection/colony-collapse-disorder, It is a $3 billion-dollar investment funded by
conventional) for the presence of pesticides accessed October 31, 2016. the federal, provincial and territorial govern-
using both the PerkinElmer Altus A-30 7
Agriculture and Rural Development, ments and by the foundation for government
UPLC System (Ultra Performance Liq- Honey Market Presentation, Committee agricultural programs and services.
uid Chromatography System) together with for the Common Organization of the Agri- Industry organizations that are contribut-
a PerkinElmer AxION 2 Time-of-Flight cultural Markets, 18 June 2015, European ing another $54,000 to the two-year project
Mass Spectrometer (TOF MS). In combi- Union, http://www.ag-press.eu/sites/ are: Bleuets N.B. Blueberries; the N. S.
nation, the system provides high resolution default/files/resources/6.1._HONEY_ Wild Blueberry Producers Association; the
and sensitivity in detecting compounds. Market%20Situation%20Presentation. P.E.I. Wild Blueberry Growers Association;
In this instance, PerkinElmers UPLC/ pdf, accessed October 31, 2016. Oxford Frozen Foods4; Jasper Wyman and
TOF MS analysis detected trace amounts 8
PerkinElmer, Detection Of Nicotinic Son Canada Inc.5;and the Beekeepers Asso-
of eight different pesticide residues which Acetylcholine Receptor Competitive ciations of N.B., N. S. and P.E.I.
were added to honey samples. These in- Modulator Pesticides In Honey By ATTTA will work with the beekeeping
cluded the 7 neonicotinoids mentioned UPLC/TOF MS Analysis, Applica- and blueberry industries to review current
above, as well as sulfoxaflor at 5, 10, and 50 tion Note, PerkinElmer, 2016, https:// apicultural management practices across
parts per billion (ppb) concentration levels. www.perkinelmer.com/lab-solutions/ Canada and customize them for the more
Data files were processed using AxION Solo resources/docs/APP_012986_01_ than 38,000 commercial bee colonies and
software and analytes were identified based Detection_of_nAChR_Pesticides_in_ nearly 39,000 hectares of blueberries in At-
on mass accuracy, isotope abundance, reten- Honey.pdf, accessed October 31, 2016. lantic Canada.
tion time, and extracted ion chromatogram Apiculturists Cameron Menzies6 and
(EIC) peak intensity. Robyn McCallum7 will join an industry-led
Calibration curves were also generated committee to focus on honey bee nutrition,
from honey samples spiked at 2, 5, 10, 20, 30, NEW APICULTURE health (diseases and pests), and over-winter-
50, and 100 ppb levels. Calibration curves for TEAM TO STRENGTHEN ing based on the best practices of beekeepers.
acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thia-
cloprid, and thiamethoxam, which had r2 val-
ATLANTIC CANADAS Quotes:
ues greater than 0.99 (a statistical measure of HONEy BEE Bees play a vital role in keeping Cana-
how close the data are to the fitted regression POPULATION dian agriculture strong. The federal Govern-
line) , were applied to the three level spiked ment welcomes the opportunity to partner
samples for quantitative analysis. There re- by ABBAS EDUN with industry and share best practices for a
sults demonstrated acceptable recoveries healthy bee population to support farmers,
(94.1% to 115.6%) and imprecision (1.2 to A Crown agency owned by the province grow the industry and our overall economy.
12.3 % CV) using an acceptability criteria of of Nova Scotia (N.S.), Perennia Food and - Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Ag-
70 to 120% recovery and a CV (Coefficient Agriculture Inc. came into existence on June riculture and Agri-Food Canada.
of Variation) of less than 20%. 30, 2012. It is a merger of three provincial
Based on these results, PerkinElmer bodies: AgraPoint, the Atlantic Bioventure This level of co-operation between gov-
scientists say their research to date dem- Centre and AgriTECH Park. Perennia is a ernments and industry demonstrates what
onstrates the value of UPLC/TOF MS fully integrated agriculture, food and bio- can happen when we need to tackle a key
analysis for the detection of nAChR inhibi- resource company whose head office is in issue in our agriculture sector. A thriving
tors in honey.8 That may well prove to be Bible Hill1; it is accountable to the Minister bee population is incredibly important to en-
a significant scientific tool in the ongoing of Agriculture. sure our wild blueberries are pollinated. The
research of residual pesticides in honey and With a focus on quality and safety of food, work done by this team to share information
other foods and their impact on human and innovative research, production expertise and and research with producers is a key part of
insect health. extension services, Perennia helps N.S. farm- the ongoing health of both our apiculture
ers, fishermen, processors and food entrepre- and wild blueberry sectors.
1
Erica Lee, Bee Killers, Environment neurs to grow and sustain their businesses, - Jo Ann Fewer, C.E.O. of Perennia.
Research, UC Berkeley, December enter new markets, add value to existing
27, 2014, http://matrix.berkeley.edu/ products, and work to develop new ones.
research/bee-killers, accessed October Perennia is now home to an exceptional
29, 2016. group of specialists called the Atlantic Tech
2
Peter Jeschke, Ralf Nauen, Michael Transfer Team for Apiculture (ATTTA),
Schindler, and Alfred Elber, Overview whose intent is to strengthen the honey bee
of The Status And Global Strategy For population in the three Maritime provinces,
Neonicotinoids, Journal of Agricul- Nova Scotia (N.S.), New Brunswick (N.B.)
tural Food Chemistry, (2011) Vol. 59, and Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.).
pp. 2897-2908, http://www.moraybee Those provinces are one of the worlds
dinosaurs.co.uk/neonicotinoid/global. largest producers and exporters of wild The wild blueberry is the number-one
pdf, accessed October 25, 2016. blueberries.2 For the industry to continue fruit crop in Nova Scotia.

January 2017 19
This team at Perennia will provide lead- cons of ways to monitor, mitigate and
ership and share information that can help manage this pest.
keep our bee population healthy so that it Bee Breeding (25 spots per session)
supports the economic benefits of the agri- This is a one-day course, to be held Sun-
culture industry. day, June 11. The cost is $75. Course de-
- Keith Colwell, N.S. Agriculture scription: This course complements the
Minister. queen-rearing techniques course. Partici-
pants will learn the intricacies of honey
The strength of our honey bee popula- bee genetics along with honey bee races
tion is directly related to the strength of our and breeder lines. We will also have an
agriculture sector. When government and in-depth discussion of various breeding
industry work together, with collaboration schemes, Nio said.
between jurisdictions, the result is a stronger,
more sustainable industry for all parties. Registration is underway at http://eln-
- Rick Doucet, N.B. Minister of Agri- inobeelab.ucdavis.edu/courses.html. For
culture, Aquaculture and Fisheries. more information, contact Bernardo Nio
UC Davis will offer numerous bee- at elninobeelab@gmail.com or (530)-380-
The province of P.E.I. recognizes the keeping courses, from novice to ad- BUZZ (2899). The Facebook page is https://
important role that a healthy honey bee in- vanced, in 2017. This photo was taken www.facebook.com/elninolab.
dustry plays in wild blueberry production at a recent class in the Harry H. Laid-
and is pleased to be a partner in this regional law Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
initiative. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
- Alan McIsaac, P.E.I. Minister of Ag- WyOMING
riculture and Fisheries. 11 and the second on Saturday, March 18.
The cost is $95. The all-day course will The University of Wyoming Laramie
1
A village located across the Salmon River from include lectures and hands-on exercises. County Extension Office is hosting the
the town of Truro in Colchester County, N.S. This course is perfect for those who have Wyoming Bee College conference at Lara-
2
The current value of the blueberry industry in little or no beekeeping experience and mie County Community College, Cheyenne,
the region is about $53 million. would like to obtain more knowledge and March 18-19, 2017.
3
The average density for the pollination of such a practical skills to move on to the next step The Wyoming Bee College confer-
field in the Atlantic region is between one and
two hives per acre. By having three hives, the of owning and caring for their own honey ence is open to everyone interested in the
yield in fruit may be increased by 0.4 tonnes bee colonies, Nio said. health, welfare and conservation of pollina-
per acre which means an increase of over $40 Working Your Colonies (25 spots per tor insects. The Bee College is a two-day
million for the industry. session) four-track conference covering beginning
4
Based in N.B., and owned by John Bragg, it is Two separate short courses will be of- beekeeping 101-102, journeymen beekeep-
the worlds largest blueberry grower. fered: the first on Sunday, March 12, and ing methods, native bees and ways to help
5
This company is located in Morell, P.E.I. and the second on Sunday, March 19. The them all. We bring in longtime beekeep-
manages thousands of acres of blueberry land cost is $150. The all-day courses are for ers, researchers from USDA Bee Labs and
throughout the Maritimes. University professors for up to-date infor-
6
As part of the ATTTA team, he works with
novice beekeepers who already have a
beekeepers and lowbush blueberry growers to colony or have taken the previous course mation. Cost for the two-day three track
build the pollination capacity within the region. and want to develop their beekeeping conference is $75 and includes meals.
7
She is also a part of the ATTTA team. Her PhD skills further. Participants will learn how For more information; www.wyoming
thesis at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus to inspect their colony and how to trou- beecollege.org, www.eventbrite.com or
looks at how farming and agro-eco systems bleshoot, as well as glean information on call Catherine at 307-633-4383.
can be enhanced and improved for pollinators products of the hive. The afternoon will
and natural enemies. be spent entirely in the apiary with hands-
on activities and demonstrations.
Queen Rearing Techniques Short ARIzONA
CALIFORNIA Course (16 spots per session)
The Nio lab will be offering two separate As the Organic Beekeepers yahoo.com
DAVIS--If you want to become a bee- two-day courses: the first course on Sat- discussion group has now grown in num-
keeper or learn more about working your urday and Sunday, April 14-15, and the bers to over 6067 + members, we have now
colonies, rearing queens, managing varroa second on Saturday and Sunday, April put together our 10th annual meeting for an
mites, and breeding bees, the E.L. Nio 22-23. The cost is $375. Each course will American Beekeepers Association, for bee-
Bee Lab at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey include lectures on queen biology and keepers into clean Organic Beekeeping, to
Research Facility has announced its list of rearing, as well as extensive hands-on ex- come together to associate for clean sustain-
2017 courses, which begin March 11 and ercises. This course is designed for those able beekeeping with ZERO treatments, and
continue through June 11. who have some beekeeping experience getting off all artificial feeds, and getting off
The courses, directed by Extension api- and would like to move on to the next all artificial breeding parameters, not in tan-
culturist Elina Nio of the UC Davis Depart- step of rearing their own queens and bee dum with Nature.
ment of Entomology and Nematology and breeding. Meeting to be held in Oracle, Arizona at
taught by her and her staff, will take place Varroa Management Strategies (25 the YMCA Triangle Y Ranch Camp and
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Laidlaw facility spots per session) Retreat Center 3 - 5 March 2017. Meeting
on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. Registra- Two separate courses will be offered: the will start Friday early afternoon with signing
tion is now underway, and gift certificates first on Saturday, May 13, and the second in, with Friday Night Hellos/Dinner,...run
are also available. on Saturday, May 27. The cost is $175. all day Saturday into eve, and thru late Sun-
The schedule: Course description: Current beekeeping day afternoon, with keynote presentations,
challenges call for all beekeepers to have two general panel discussions, breakout
Planning Ahead for Your First Hives a solid understanding of varroa mite biol- sessions, hands-on workshops/showings,
(25 spots per session) ogy and management approaches. Partici- with six catered meals/refreshments during
Participants can sign up for one of two pants will dive deeper into understanding breaks. Dinner for Friday Night Hellos will
short courses: the first on Saturday, March varroa biology and discussing pros and also have speakers/movie. Vendoring wel-

20 American Bee Journal


comed with those attending (NO treatments/ Description: phasis on hive management and honey bee
artificial feeds allowed sold for bees. nor This is a daylong seminar offering 4 dif- health issues.
alcohol allowed for consumption on site,... ferent educational presentations running The Beginners Beekeeping course is in-
though mead making can be taught). concurrently in each time slot throughout tended for novice beekeepers and persons
A $225 per person meeting fee will be the day. This will provide many beginning with no prior beekeeping experience. The
required this year, which includes: accom- and advanced subjects to choose from. A class will cover all aspects of basic beekeep-
modations in Lodges (with up to 6 per room separate beginner track has been formatted ing to prepare students to start keeping bees
dorm style, each with own bath....with covering a variety of startup topics for soon in 2017.
bring-your-own sheets/bedding/blankets, to be or very new beekeepers. Tuition for the workshop is $85 per per-
w/ men separate from women);...plus six For more info and to register for this event son if registered by Jan. 22, 2017. Tuition
catered meals, access to all meetings/talks/ http://aabaseminar2017.eventbrite.com. is $95 per person for those registering on
workshops/snacks/break refreshments, and For additional information you can email or after January 23rd. Banquet registration
also a camp liability coverage (form re- Lance Wilson lance@beekeepinghelp.com. costs $30. Registration closes February 5th.
quired to be filled out) concerning private This organization is non-profit and all Lunch and refreshments are included with
property of the camp only. Overflow for ac- proceeds of this event will be used to pro- the workshop. Registration packets will in-
commodations in lodges, will be usage of mote sustainable beekeeping practices and clude course materials, an authoritative ref-
cabin units on site, with same fee. Also no provide support to our much appreciated erence book, beekeeping periodicals, and
fee for vendors other than normal lodging Texas A&M Honey Bee Lab. equipment catalogs.
costs for meeting/catered meals/camp liabil- This should be a lot of fun, everyone The Friday evening banquet features New
ity needs. For those not bringing their own please come out and see us! Orleans style food and music, a cash bar,
sheets/bedding/blankets due to plane travel/ door prizes, including nucs, queens and bee-
other, rental is available at camp office for keeping equipment, and a keynote speaker.
approx. $12 per person needing. The cost of the banquet is in addition to
For more information see: YMCA of MISSOURI the workshop. For more information, visit
Southern Arizona - Tucson, Marana, Oro www.easternmobeekeepers.com.
Valley http://www.tucsonymca.org or Three Rivers Beekeepers Association Equipment vendors include representa-
visit OrganicBeekeepers at Organic Bee- (St Peters, Missouri) is having their an- tives of Dadant & Sons, Kelley Beekeeping
keepers http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ nual new beekeepers workshop Jan. 27-28, Co., and others.
organicbeekeepers/ or contact Dee Lusby 2017. More information will be available on EMBA supports beekeepers with a broad
for information/registration at 520-398- our website: Threeriversbeekeepers.com program of cooperative procurement and
2474 late eve. For payment of registration Jerry Styczynski 314 420 0264. educational events throughout the year.
per person of $225, due in advance of at- Members may obtain complete beginners
tending with check or moneyorder, send to equipment kits, nucleus bee colonies, and
Dee Lusby, for Organic Beekeepers (writ- queens for delivery in the spring. The Club
ten in check memo section) address: HC MISSOURI also sponsors open hive instructional work-
65, Box 7450, Amado, Arizona 85645, shops and guided colony health monitoring,
with stamped self addressed envelope for Eastern Missouri Beekeepers To Host during the season, at the Clubs teaching
Organic Beekeepers meeting, for return- 10th Annual Beekeeping Workshop and apiary in Creve Coeur, Missouri.
ing receipt and more information on YMCA Banquet in St. Louis on Registration is available online at www.
to sender, plus liability/medical form to be easternmobeekeepers.com.
filled out. Note: the $225 fee is a straight February 11, 2017 More information is available by email to
fee whether sleeping/eating at camp or not, info@easternmobeekeepers.com or call-
for covering cost of lodges rented, meeting Beekeeping Education Specialists to ing 314-669-1828.
halls, vendoring/catering, hiring workers, li- Present Courses for Beginners and
ability insurance, etc during conference. For Experienced Beekeepers
general information concerning the meeting,
... contacts are Keith Malone 907-688-0588, The Eastern Missouri Beekeepers Associ- IOWA
and Karin Matchett 612-360-1925, ... plus ation (EMBA) will offer a full day of profes-
Karin Matchett will also be overseeing pay- sional beekeeping instruction for beginners The Central Iowa Beekeepers Asso-
pal signups this year. and experienced beekeepers on Saturday, ciation (CIBA) and Des Moines Backyard
Feb. 11, 2017, at Maritz in Fenton, Missouri. Beekeepers (DMBB) Club are pleased to
Registrants are encouraged to attend The announce a joint Winter Seminar presented
Fifth Annual EMBA St. Louis Beekeepers by Michael Bush, The Practical Beekeeper.
TExAS Mardi Gras Banquet the evening before the Topics will include Realistic Expectations,
workshop on Friday, February 10, at Maritz. Queen Rearing and Genetics, Spring Man-
aUstin 6th annUal beeKeeping seminar Leading beekeeping educators, and agement and Swarm Prevention, and Alter-
honey bee health specialists at the Univer- native Equipment.
Date: Jan. 21, 2017 sity of Minnesota Bee Lab, and the Honey The seminar will be held from 9:00AM
What: Austin 6th Annual Beekeeping Sem- Bee Research Center at the University of - 3:30PM on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at
inar Guelph will be among the visiting faculty the Grimes Community Complex, located
Who: Sponsored by The Austin Area Bee- leading the workshop. Instructors will in- at 410 Southeast Main Street in Grimes,
keepers Association clude Dr. Becky Masterman, Minnesota Iowa.
Where: J.J. Pickle Research Campus Bee Lab Team Leader, Jessica Helgen, Admission price includes lunch, which
10100 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78758 Minnesota Bee Lab Bee Squad Instructor, will be fully catered at noon by Hickory
Cost: $50 pre-reg. until 11/30/16. $60 nor- Paul Kelly, Guelph Honey Bee Research Park Restaurant. Admission is $15. Seat-
mal reg. Center, Research and Apiary Manager, and ing is limited, please pre-register ASAP to
Daniel Thurston, Research Technician, On- confirm your seat. Register online at: http://
Why: tario Beekeepers Association, Technology tinyurl.com/ja95l7k or mail in a paper reg-
The mission of this daylong seminar is to Transfer Program. istration, located at http://www.desmoines-
educate people of all experience levels in sus- The Experienced Beekeepers course will backyardbeekeepers.org/wp-content/
tainable bee husbandry and to provide fund- be tailored towards intermediate and expert uploads/2016/10/Winter-Beekeeping-
ing for The Texas A&M Honey Bee Lab. level beekeepers and will place special em- Seminar-registration-form3.pdf

January 2017 21
ILLINOIS and May 6, 2017. Second Step Class is Mar Beekeepers through a Master Craftsman
18, 2017. All classes run from 9am - 4pm. Beekeeper level, in an open-minded, hands-
The Lake County Beekeeping Associa- The fee of $50 covers coffee, handouts, free on learning and training beekeeping pro-
tion program committee has worked hard on sample journals & catalogues, and props ga- gram. Anyone over the age of 12 can enroll
its next seminar for members and interested lore for you to handle. Individual, hands-on and learn to become a beekeeper. It takes
gardeners bringing the latest research Mentoring is also available, $20 for 2 hours a minimum of 5 years to obtain the Master
and experience on the topic of nutrition in the apiary. To register, contact Jeanne Craftsman level. Go to Alabamamaster-
of honey bees held March 18, 2017 in Hansen at 608-244-5094 or jeannieala beekeepers.com to register and get a list of
Mettawa, IL. As a follow-on to their recent beannie@yahoo.com. http://madbees.org/ all the requirements and program schedule
successful seminar on overwintering bees cat/classifieds/ or call Gerry Whitaker program chairman
covered earlier, this next logical subject (334-494-0136) or David Kelton program
is how to care for the overwintered bees adviser (256-523-4767)
to make them healthy throughout the 2017
season and help them produce the healthiest INDIANA BEE
possible bee-crop and honey for personal or SCHOOL xV
business use. PENNSyLVANIA
Our first goal for this seminar is to in- The Beekeepers of Indiana will hold its
sure we bring in leading-edge speakers on fifteenth Bee School in Indianapolis, Indi- The Western PA Beekeeping Seminar
this topic; and our second goal is to ensure ana on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at De- will be held on February 17 & 18, 2017 at
attendee comfort to attend a one-day semi- catur Central High School, 5251 Kentucky the Doubletree by Hilton, Monroeville, PA.
nar in what could still be the winter season Avenue. 15146.
here in northern Illinois. Seats are on a first- Our guest speaker will be Susan Cobey. Dr. Roger Hoopingarner, Professor
come, first-serve basis. For details go to: Susan has taught the specialized technique Emeritus of Entomology, Michigan State
http://www.mettawabeeseminar.com. of instrumental insemination for more than University, Elizabeth (Izzy) Hill, Direc-
three decades. This is the first year that tor of the Center for Urban Bee Research
CONTENT Susan has been a guest speaker in Indiana and Mid-Atlantic Apicultural Research and
For this seminar, we have made arrange- and we are very excited to have her here. Education Consortium (MAAREC) as well
ments to bring in four nationally known ex- Spots fill quickly for this popular event. as local garden talk-show host and Post-
perts who will speak on their leading-edge Walk-in registration is not available so Gazette garden writer, Doug Oster will
research and experience on improving the please go to our website: indianabee- headline the seminar. Along with break-out
health of honeybees. We all know that our keeper.com as soon as possible to down- sessions on habitat for pollinators, bee nutri-
personal health is better when our immuni- load a registration form. tion, chemical-free disease and pest control,
ties are higher; it is no different with honey- See you at Indiana Bee School XV! a Beginning Beekeeping workshop will be
bees. The question we will be exploring in offered in tandem with the Seminar on Sat-
this day seminar: how can we ensure our urday (limit 75 participants).
bees have more nutritional food which will Seminar registration is $57; Beginning
help build their immunity to diseases while ALABAMA Beekeeping cost is $75. Registration opens
maybe even improving the nutrition and at the beginning of December, 2016 at Penn
flavor of the honey they produce: (See one The Alabama Cooperative Extension Sy- State Extension, Beaver website: http://
of the many research white papers listed on sems 2nd Annual Beekeeping Symposium extension.psu.edu/beaver or call 724-774-
the seminar website on the topic of bee nu- will be held at the Clanton Conference and 3003.
trition: http://www.mettawabeeseminar. Performing Arts Center, 1850 Lay Dam
com/research-on-topic/ Road, Clanton, AL 35045 on Feb. 4, 2017.
Featured speakers include Dr. Jamie Ellis,
LOCATION AND COMFORT Phil Craft, Keith Fielder, and Geoffrey Wil- PENNSyLVANIA
We have taken special effort to ensure at- liams. Barry Richards will be a featured
tendee comfort for this outstanding seminar. speaker live streamed from Tennessee. A The Chester County Beekeepers Asso-
We know that the chances of bad weather in separate Beginning Beekeepers Workshop ciations Annual Conference will be March
mid-March is high so we have contracted with will be available. National beekeeping ven- 11th, 2017 at the West Chester University,
the Grainger company to use their corporate dors will be present. West Chester, PA 19383. Speakers include
auditorium and facilities so once you enter Registration at the door is from 8:00-8:30 Dr. Dewey Caron, author of Honey Bee Bi-
the building, you wont have to go outside am. Pre-registration is available at: https:// ology and Beekeeping, Phil Craft, colum-
until the seminar is over. The Grainger corpo- mell-base.uce.auburn.edu/wconnect/ nist for Bee Culture Magazine, Dr. Meghan
rate facilities are first class. There will be two CourseStatus.awp?&course=C170204A Milbrath, Michigan State University Depart-
types of seating: general seating in cushioned &Publish=ANYWAY ment of Entomology, and Master Beekeeper
theater seating with a writing table or limited Lunch is provided for those who pre-reg- Landi Simone, owner and operator of Goo-
seating at a few tables up front. See the lay- ister. Deadline for pre-registration is Janu- serock Farm. Lunch will be provided. For
out here: http://www.mettawabeeseminar. ary 20, 2017. For more information contact registration and details, go to http://www.
com/seminar-seating/ Dr. Paul L. Mask at 334-844-4450. ChescoBees.org.

WISCONSIN ALABAMA WEST VIRGINIA


beeKeeping classes 2017 Alabama Master Beekeeping program 2017 honey bee expo
madison, wi (AMBP) will be having its annual certi-
fication classes and testing to become an The Mid Ohio Valley Beekeepers Asso-
You are invited to attend one of our day AMB, February 9-11-2017 at the Perform- ciation, in conjunction with the West Vir-
long Beekeeping Classes to be held at the ing Arts Center in Clanton AL. The classes ginia Extension Services, will be sponsoring
Dane Co. Extension Building, 5201 Fen Oak are geared to the educational develop- the 15th annual Honey Bee Expo. This event
Dr, Madison, WI 53718. Beginners Classes ment of beekeepers. It is to set a standard will be held Saturday, January 28, 2017 on
will repeat on Jan 21, Feb 18, Mar 11, Apr 8 of beekeeping that is useful for beginning the campus of the West Virginia University,

22 American Bee Journal


Parkersurg. This is an all-day conference CONNECTICUT
dedicated to the honey bee and the hobby
of beekeeping. BackYard Beekeepers Association
This years keynote speaker will be re-
tired Kentucky State Apiarist and Bee Cul- January 31: Paula Sharp & Ross Eatman,
ture magazines (Ask Phil) column, Phil Wild Bees Native Bees
Craft. Also scheduled to attend will be Gar-
rett Dodds from the USDA Baton Rouge Each month we have timely weekend
Research Center. hands on inspection workshops, bee school,
There will be classes for all levels of be- mentor program and more.
keeping, from beginning to advanced. Please check our web site for the dates
Cost of this event will be $20.00 if pre- and locations or more information at www.
registered by January 13th, or $25.00 at the backyardbeekeepers.com.
door. Children twelve and under - $8.00. Back Yard Beekeepers Association 2017
Vendors will be present with equipment Speaker Schedule:
(which can be pre-ordered) for your bee- February 28: Aaron Morris
keeping needs. March 28: Carl Jurica
Complete information will be posted on April 25: Frederique Keller
the MOVBA website (movba.org) as it be-
comes available.
May 23: Christina Grozinger
June 27: Dinner & Silent Auction Meeting Sanders Honey
September 26: Tom Seeley
October 31: Kirk Webster Queens
VIRGINIA
November 14: Jennifer Berry
For Sale
2017 chatham, virginia - 4th annUal
bacKyard beeKeeping conference
EAS 2017 Josh Sanders
January 27th - 28th, 2017
EAS Annual Short Course & Conference,
July 31 - August 4, 2017. Univ. of Dela-
7288 Perdie Lee Rd
ware, Clayton Conference Center, Newark, Nicholls GA 31554
Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex
19783 U.S. 29 South
DE. See website www.easternapiculture.
org for details/registration. 912-399-8480
Chatham, Virginia 24631

Featured Speaker/ Instructor Dr. Keith


Delaplane
Friday Night the 27th the event will
open at 6:00 with an exquisite catered
Angus Beef dinner followed by a program
from Dr. Delaplane.
Saturday the 27th Dr. Delaplane will
cover multiple hot beekeeping topics with
plenty of time for questions and discussion.
Breakfast and lunch will be served.
Pre-Registration is required for both days
at http://halifaxbeekeepers.org/index.
php/upcoming-events or call Jim at 434-
376-4490.

NEW yORK
HoneybeeLives Organic Beekeeping
Classes introduce students to Organic/Nat-
ural Beekeeping with a Biodynamic influ-
ence. This two-day winter weekend class
has dates available in the Hudson Valley and
Brooklyn. A philosophy of care is imparted,
as well as practical knowledge in prepara-
tion for starting hives in the spring. Learn
a gentle way to tend them while respect-
ing their instincts and understanding their
complex and beautiful lives. This class is
also helpful for current beekeepers who are
looking for a culture of nurturing to advance
their skills.
New Paltz location offered January 21 &
22, or January 28 & 29, or February 25 &
26. The Brooklyn location offered February
4 & 5 only. Please visit www.Honeybee
Lives.org for more info on class and regis-
tration, or call 845-255-6113.

January 2017 23
Honey crops were not great in this area,
so beekeepers have had no trouble selling
their new crop honey at the local level, es-
pecially during the holiday season. None of
our reporters felt that their pricing had been
impacted yet by cheaper imported honey
prices, especially since consumers prefer
locally produced honey and varietals.
SOUTHEASTA combination of
dry conditions, unsettled weather, varroa
mites, viruses, and small hive beetles have
made beekeeping difficult over the last
couple of months. Not only have many
beekeepers had to feed colonies heavily,
but at times heavy varroa mite infestations
have blindsided beekeepers resulting in
many deadouts. Thousands of colonies are

A
UNITED STATES mild side, but beekeepers were bracing for overwintered in Florida and other South-
s reported by author Ron Phipps in the cold, windy conditions that come in De- eastern states and in some cases these
his excellent International Honey cember, January and February. A number colonies are in dire condition, especially
Market Update this month, If the of beekeepers fed their colonies this past for those bees that will be moved across
combination of 1) more powerful and so- fall due to poor to moderate fall flows. In country to the almond bloom in Califor-
phisticated technologies for assessing adul- addition, some beekeepers added winter nia at the end of this month. Hurricane
teration and 2) climate change and other wraps to their colonies to help overwinter- Matthew reduced the important Brazilian
environmental factors reducing both total ing. Moisture conditions have been helped Pepper flow significantly along the east-
production and productivity/hive of honey by fall rains, but some states are still on the ern Florida coast. In late November severe
manifest themselves during 2017 and 2018, dry side. Cases of colony collapse disor- storms moved through Mississippi and
it will become crystal clear that a new Point der, mite-vectored viruses and occasional Alabama causing much damage and sev-
of Inflection has indeed been reached. Dr. outbreaks of small hive beetles were all eral fatalities.
Phipps believes these factors will bring an problematical for area beekeepers hoping The wholesale market has begun to pick
upswing in the global honey market which to bring a higher percentage of colonies up some, but cheaper imported honey is
will encourage a stronger bulk honey mar- through the coming winter. still holding bulk honey prices down. Bee-
ket in the United States. This, in turn, will Although our reporters in this area have keepers have been quoted as low as 95
mean better honey prices for beekeepers heard about the weaker wholesale honey cents for new crop pepper honey to as high
across the board. Right now, local retail market, few producers have been affected as $1.75 to $2.00 for wildflower honey.
and small-lot wholesale demand and prices by it due to the excellent demand for local Retail honey sales have remained mostly
have not been impacted significantly by honey. Some grocery story prices for ge- strong, although at times generic honey
cheap imported honey. However, a con- neric honey have declined, but most local sold in grocery stores has been discounted
tinuation of the downward trend in world honey brands are still demanding and re- to move it off the shelves. Local and vari-
honey prices and honey quality caused by ceiving top dollar for their product. etal honey continue to sell very well.
cheap foreign honey would eventually im- MIDEASTVery mild, but dry SOUTHWESTThe fall season was
pact all honey sales, as well as the excellent weather continued well into the fall sea- characterized by warm, dry conditions in-
reputation of honey as a superior food. son in these area states. The good result terspersed with periods of stormy weather.
Coming off a mild fall, beekeepers was that beekeepers could continue to Colonies are in fair to good condition, but
across the nation were preparing for the feed and treat colonies longer, but the bad in a number of reports beekeepers said that
winter season and hoped their colony result was that the warmer weather kept they were feeding more than normal. Early
losses would not be large. Early reports colonies more active so that they ate more nectar sources will be maple, willow and
suggest that colonies went into winter with stores. In some extreme cases beekeepers other early bloomers. Beekeepers hope that
good bee populations, but that winter stores even reported colony starvation during the adequate rains will come to insure good
were not adequate in many cases. This has fall season. In other reports, beekeepers spring wildflower growth. Professional
brought about more feeding than normal, had heavier varroa populations and more pollinators will be moving colonies to Cali-
even in the southern states and California. incidents of parasitic mite syndrome, in fornia for almonds in January.
In addition, beekeepers in some states have addition to more small hive beetle out- Much of the new crop honey has been
reported more problems with heavy varroa breaks. Beekeepers along the North Caro- sold, but the wholesale honey market re-
mite infestations and mite-vectored viruses lina coast were also still tallying up their mains weaker than last year due to plentiful
which have reduced bee populations or colony losses from Hurricane Matthew. cheap imported honey. On the other hand,
resulted in colony collapse disorder-like Meanwhile, in late November Tennessee small-lot wholesale trading and retail sales
symptoms. Much depends on the severity beekeepers experienced severe forest fires continue to be good, especially for locally
of the winter weather in January, Febru- and then stormy weather accompanied by produced honey.
ary and March, as well as ground moisture deadly tornadoes. EAST CENTRALAs in much of
conditions this coming spring. Meanwhile, Northeast the rest of the country, the fall season was
thousands of colonies are being prepared Intermountain
West Central East Central
warmer than normal, allowing beekeepers
West
for the California almond pollination sea- to do more of their feeding and medicating
son, which will get underway in February. later than normal. However, the down side
Demand for colonies is expected to be is that bees probably ate more of their pre-
strong again this season, especially in view cious winter stores. Indeed, a number of our
of a stronger world market for almonds and reporters were worried about winter stores
improved prices. Mideast since summer and fall flows were light or
NORTHEASTReporters told us that nonexistent. Serious feeding efforts were
they were hoping for another mild winter underway in some cases in an effort to save
Southeast
to help colony overwintering. Indeed, Oc- colonies from later starvation. Bee popula-
tober and much of November were on the Southwest tions were generally good going into winter,

January 2017 25
U.S. HONEY, BEESWAX AND POLLEN PRICES FROM OUR REPORTERS
North- Mid- South- South- East West- Inter- HONEY MARKET FOR THE
east east east west Central Central Mountain West MONTH OF OCTObER 2016
Wholesale In volumes of 10,000 pounds or greater
White lb. Blk.$2.00-$3.00 $2.00-$2.90 $1.60-$2.50 $1.70-$2.50 $1.70-$2.50 $1.65-$2.30 $1.60-$2.60 $1.75-$2.50 unless otherwise stated
Amber lb. Blk $1.80-$2.50 $1.90-$2.25 $1.40-$2.25 $1.60-$2.25 $1.60-$2.35 $1.60-$2.30 $1.50-$2.50 $1.60-$2.35 (Courtesy November 2016
1 lb. CS 24 $ 60.00- $ 55.00- $ 50.00- $ 51.00- $ 53.00- $ 58.00- $ 60.00- $ 58.00- USDA National Honey Report)
$115.00 $100.00 $110.00 $120.00 $115.00 $110.00 $150.00 $115.00 Prices paid to beekeepers for extracted, un-
2 lb. CS 12 $ 59.00- $ 58.00- $ 60.00- $ 58.00- $ 59.00- $ 55.00- $ 57.00- $ 60.00- processed honey in major producing states by
$ 85.00 $ 80.00 $ 90.00 $ 77.00 $ 82.00 $ 85.00 $ 110.00 $ 84.00 packers, handlers & other large users, cents
per pound, f.o.b. or delivered nearby, contain-
5 lb. CS 6 $ 72.00- $ 59.00- $ 60.00- $ 57.00- $ 60.00- $ 60.00 $ 59.00- $ 59.00-
$105.00 $102.00 $ 98.00 $ 95.00 $104.00 $105.00 $101.00 $103.00 ers exchanged or returned, prompt delivery &
payment unless otherwise stated.
Retail
Jars 8 oz. $ 2.50- $ 2.40- $ 2.25- $ 2.20- $ 2.50- $ 2.40- $ 2.00- $ 2.25- -Report includes both new and old crop honey-
$ 4.00 $ 4.00 $ 3.95 $ 3.90 $ 4.50 $ 4.00 $ 4.00 $ 3.90 (# Some in Small Lot +Some delayed pay-
Squeeze $ 3.50- $ 3.00- $ 2.75- $ 2.80- $ 2.95- $ 3.25- $ 3.50- $ 3.25- ments or previous commitment)
Bear 12 oz.$ 4.90 $ 4.85 $ 4.85 $ 4.75 $ 4.95 $ 4.75 $ 4.85 $ 4.95
Jars 1 lb. $ 3.95- $ 3.55- $ 3.40- $ 3.50- $ 3.45- $ 3.95- $ 3.75- $ 4.00- California
$ 11.00 $ 8.25 $ 7.00 $ 8.00 $ 8.25 $ 8.25 $ 8.00 $ 9.00 Avocado Extra Light Amber $1.65
Jars 11/2lb.$ 5.50- $ 5.25- $ 5.50- $ 5.45- $ 4.25- $ 5.50- $ 4.75- $ 4.75- Cotton Extra Light Amber $1.65 - $1.80
(Pint) $ 13.00 $ 10.00 $ 9.70 $ 10.00 $ 9.50 $ 9.50 $ 10.00 $ 10.25 Cotton Light Amber $1.65 - $1.80
Jars 2 lb. $ 7.99- $ 6.95- $ 5.99- $ 6.00- $ 6.25- $ 6.95- $ 6.25- $ 6.50- Orange Extra Light Amber $2.30
$ 14.00 $ 10.50 $ 10.49 $ 11.25 $ 11.00 $ 10.50 $ 11.25 $ 11.50 Sage White $2.30
Jars 3 lb. $ 9.50- $ 8.95- $ 8.79- $ 8.25- $ 8.00- $ 8.50- $ 8.10- $ 8.00- Sage Light Amber $1.80
(Quart) $ 25.00 $ 22.00 $ 18.00 $ 21.00 $ 21.00 $ 22.00 $ 23.00 $ 25.00 Valley Extra Light Amber $1.70
Jars 4 lb. $ 10.00- $ 10.00- $ 11.00- $ 12.00- $ 10.00- $ 10.00- $ 11.00- $ 10.00- Valley Light Amber $1.65 - $1.75
$ 35.00 $ 30.00 $ 29.75 $ 29.70 $ 30.00 $ 30.50 $ 28.50 $ 32.00 Dakotas
Jars 5 lb. $ 16.99- $ 15.00- $ 15.50- $ 16.25- $ 16.00- $ 15.75- $ 16.00- $ 16.50- Alfalfa White $1.60 - $1.70
$ 40.00 $ 39.50 $ 35.50 $ 32.00 $ 31.00 $ 35.00 $ 33.25 $ 35.00 Alfalfa Extra Light Amber $1.60 - $1.70
Creamed $ 5.50- $ 5.50- $ 5.49- $ 5.25- $ 5.50- $ 5.40- $ 4.75- $ 5.25- Alfalfa Light Amber $1.60 - $1.70
12 oz. $ 7.50 $ 7.00 $ 6.95 $ 6.99 $ 6.25 $ 7.25 $ 7.00 $ 7.25 Buckwheat Extra Light Amber $1.70
Buckwheat Light Amber $1.60 - $1.70
Comb $ 6.00- $ 5.50- $ 5.25- $ 5.50- $ 5.50- $ 5.50- $ 5.50- $ 5.75- Capper Light Amber $.70
12 oz. $14.00 $13.00 $13.25 $13.50 $14.75 $14.50 $13.75 $13.50 Canola White $1.65 - $1.70
Round $ 5.00- $ 4.50- $ 4.50- $ 4.00- $ 4.25- $ 4.00- $ 4.25- $ 4.50- Canola Extra Light Amber $1.70
Plas. Comb$ 8.50 $ 8.50 $ 7.50 $ 8.25 $ 8.99 $ 7.50 $ 7.00 $ 8.50 Clover White $1.65 - $1.80
Clover Extra Light Amber $1.65
1 Gallon $ 24.00- $ 23.00- $ 24.50- $ 24.00- $ 25.00- $ 23.00- $ 24.00- $ 25.00- Sunflower White $1.65
$ 50.00 $ 46.00 $ 45.00 $ 50.00 $ 45.00 $ 45.00 $ 50.00 $ 50.00 Sunflower Extra Light Amber $1.65 - $1.70
60 lb. $185.00- $130.00- $130.00- $140.00- $130.00- $140.00- $140.00- $140.00- Wildflower Extra Light Amber $1.65 - $1.70
$225.00 $200.00 $200.00 $200.00 $225.00 $220.00 $225.00 $230.00 Florida
Beeswax Brazilian Pepper Light Amber $1.60
Orange Blossom Extra Light Amber $2.20
Light $ 3.20- $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - Palmetto Light Amber $1.60
per lb. $ 6.50 $ 5.75 $ 6.00 $ 5.50 $ 6.00 $ 5.50 $ 5.50 $ 6.00 Wildflower Light Amber $1.60
Dark $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20 - $ 3.20- Georgia
per lb. $ 6.00 $ 5.35 $ 5.25 $ 5.25 $ 6.00 $ 5.75 $ 5.50 $ 5.75 Cotton Extra Light Amber $1.60
Pollen Wildflower Light Amber $1.60
Wholesale $ 3.50- $ 3.50- $ 3.00- $ 3.00- $ 3.25- $ 3.25- $ 2.50- $ 2.50- Hawaii
per lb. $ 6.50 $ 8.00 $ 6.00 $ 5.00 $ 6.00 $ 6.00 $ 6.00 $ 5.50 Macadamia Light Amber $1.60
Retail $ 5.50- $ 7.00- $ 6.00- $ 6.00- $ 7.00- $ 7.50- $ 7.00- $ 7.00- Wildflower Light Amber $1.60
per lb. $ 15.00 $ 15.00 $ 15.00 $ 10.00 $ 15.00 $ 15.50 $ 12.00 $ 15.00 Idaho
Wildflower Light Amber $1.60 - $1.68
The above prices are not meant to provide a realistic picture of prices in all states of the Wildflower Amber $1.60 - $1.70
particular area. They are intended merely to show what a few beekeepers are receiving Louisiana
for their honey, beeswax and pollen and we realize prices may vary tremendously, even Tallow Light Amber $1.60
within individual states. The bulk prices for honey are stated per pound, delivered buy- MICHIGAN
ers warehouse, containers exchanged or furnished by buyer, unless otherwise noted. Star Thistle White $2.00
Where prices are not shown, insufficient data were available. Mississippi
Wildflower Light Amber $1.60
except in cases where beekeepers are report- colonies to southern states or California Minnesota
ing more cases of colony collapse disorder for the winter season. Other beekeep- Alfalfa White $1.70
Basswood White $1.65
or parasitic mite syndrome. Migratory bee- ers were finishing their feeding and were Canola White $1.65
keepers had already moved their colonies hoping for an early spring. Although bees Clover White $1.65
to southern or California holding yards and made fair to good honey crops in the Da- Montana
were continuing to feed colonies in prepara- kotas, honey crops in Minnesota were Alfalfa White $1.65 - $1.70
tion for almond pollination season. down significantly. Elsewhere, beekeep- Alfalfa Extra Light Amber $1.65 - $1.70
Wholesale trading reports were mixed, ers reported fair to good crops, but honey Canola White $1.70
Clover White $1.65 - $1.70
but generally beekeepers have had little production was sporadic. What hurt many Knapweed Light Amber $1.55
trouble selling their new crop honey. In beekeepers were the exceptionally poor Nebraska
some cases wholesale offering prices were late summer and fall honey flows, after Clover White $1.65
lower than last year, however. Neverthe- receiving fair to good spring flows. This Oregon
less, retail sales continue to be strong, caught a number of beekeepers off guard in Alfalfa White $1.65
Clover White $1.65
especially for locally produced or varietal the fall, especially in view of large popula- Washington
honey. On the other hand, some discount- tions of bees, but little in the way of winter Buckwheat Light Amber $2.25
ing of generic honey sold in the supermar- stores. Many beekeepers started feeding Wisconsin
kets has occurred. both syrup and sugar patties, but how suc- Basswood White $1.65
WEST CENTRALMost migratory cessful this will be depends on the winter Basswood Extra Light Amber $1.70
season. Some beekeepers told us that they Cranberry Extra Light Amber $1.65
beekeepers had moved the bulk of their

26 American Bee Journal


were bracing themselves for heavy winter been relatively unaffected by the influx of
Prices paid to Canadian beekeepers for colony losses that would have to be made cheaper imported honey.
unprocessed, bulk honey by packers and
up with packages or nucs. Other beekeep- WESTAfter a relatively mild fall,
importers in U. S. currency, f.o.b. shipping
point, containers included unless otherwise ers said that they had to contend with very rainy, cooler conditions began to predomi-
stated. Duty and crossing charges extra. high varroa mite loads this past fall, which nate over much of California, Oregon and
Cents per pound. further complicated their colony overwin- Washington. Many beekeepers had already
Canola White $1.00 - $1.03 tering success. completed their fall feeding and medicating
Mixed Flowers White $1.03 - $1.06 Bulk honey prices and demand are still and had moved colonies to winter holding
down in this area with larger beekeepers yards in preparation for the almond pollina-
Prices paid to importers for bulk honey, reporting selling their crops in the $1.70 to tion season starting in February. The rainy
duty paid, containers included, cents per $1.80 per pound range. Prices on smaller weather at lower altitudes and the snow in
pound, ex-dock or point of entry unless oth-
erwise stated.
lots are better and retail sales have remained the mountains is very welcome since dry
mostly good, although some discounting weather has been a major hindrance to
Argentina has been reported, especially in the super- honey crops for the last several years. Many
Mixed Flowers White $0.91 - $.98 markets. thousands of colonies having been coming
Mixed Flowers Extra Light $0.88 - $.98 INTERMOUNTAINWarmer fall into California over the past few months and
Mixed Flowers Light Amber $0.84 - $1.07 temperatures allowed beekeepers more time many more are expected before the almond
brazil to feed, medicate and move colonies to their pollination season starts.
Orange Blossom Extra Light $1.96 winter locations in southern states or Cali- According to Bill Morecraft of Blue
ORGANIC Extra Light $1.86 - $1.89 fornia. Lack of moisture this past season Diamond Almonds, 2016 crop pricing has
ORGANIC Light Amber $1.58 - $1.88
ORGANIC Amber $1.71 - $1.89 took its toll on honey crops in some Inter- been rising steadily as California almond
India mountain states. Although some beekeep- shipments have roared back from two years
Mixed Flowers Light Amber $0.84 - $.88 ers reported good crops, dry conditions hurt of suppressed supply that generated an ex-
Mustard Amber $1.13 honey flows over much of the area. In addi- tended period of historically high prices.
ORGANIC Light Amber $1.75 tion, some beekeepers reported significant Early 2016 crop commitments were made
Mexico colony strength problems due to queen loss at very attractive prices to buyers after a
Orange Extra Light $1.91 or parasitic mite syndrome. Some Idaho market correction on the 2015 crop. Almond
Vietnam commercial beekeepers continue to have prices since June have been in a stable but
Mixed Flowers Light Amber $0.80
good luck overwintering their colonies in gradually increasing range. The strong early
Mixed Flowers Amber $0.73 - $1.09
Ukraine potato warehouses located in the state. The demand assures that a 2.4-2.5 billion pound
Sunflower White $.88 - $.90 perennial problem of limited bee forage has supply will be readily absorbed. Prices for
Sunflower Extra Light $.88 - $.90 led some beekeepers to seek better access to delivery in this crop year should continue
Sunflower Light Amber $.88 public lands for nectar plants. firming, with the next inflection point hing-
Sunflower Amber $1.19 Large-lot wholesale honey prices being ing on winter weather, water supply, new
Uruguay offered remain in the $1.65 to $1.80 range, acreage, and the resulting prospects for the
Mixed Flowers Light Amber $.84 but smaller lots and retail honey sales have 2017 crop.

January 2017 27
by RON PHIPPS*
President, CPNA International Ltd.1
Co-Chairman,
Committee for the Promotion of Honey and Health

A Point of Inflection or turn- for beekeepers to produce honey will col- Le Figaro on Oct. 30, 2016. He was
ing point has been reached in lapse if a Point of Inflection is not reached quoted in Le Figaro: While the number
global honey prices. imminently. Later in this article you will see of hives increased in the world by 8%
The incentive to produce pure several bar graphs illustrative of the price in 2007 to 2013, the export of honey
declines over the past 2 years. We quantify in the world increased by 61%... in the
honey is being restored. the percentages of those declines. We also Oriental hemisphere from Ukraine to
More powerful and sophisti- quantify in this article the shifting quantities Taiwan the trend is even more glaring
cated scientific techniques and and values of exports of honey from major with an increase of hives of 13% and an
a more comprehensive global honey exporters to the US market. explosion of exports by 196%, according
data base to assess the adul- In our July report, Dr. Stan Daberkow, to figures from the FAO. These statistics
teration and circumvention of formerly of the U.S. Department of show a shocking anomaly which is com-
honey are being developed. Agriculture, provided USDA data regard- pletely against the global trends of lower
ing the contrast in the collapsing export productivity of hives. He also made the
The integration of the incen- prices of raw honey and comparatively following main points regarding the basis
tives to produce and consume stable retail prices for honey in the U.S. of the rapid and unsustainable collapse in
honey is approaching. Dr. Daberkows data and the reproduced international honey prices: 1) The role of
chart illustrate there is more than ample adulteration through a variety of sophis-

T
Introduction elasticity for raw honey prices to rise. ticated techniques and 2) the persistent
he need to achieve a Point of The underlying reasons for the collapse in circumvention of honey through clever
Inflection in honey prices after 2 international and domestic honey prices and shifting schemes. The data before
years of sharp declines in prices is are indicated by three variables in the scientists, government officials and inde-
universally recognized by all fair-minded graph below from our October 2016 report. pendent academic researchers illustrate
members of the industry. The incentive Professor Norberto Garcia, president of that the consumption of what is ostensibly
the International Organization of Honey pure honey far exceeds the most diligent
Exporters, was a guest speaker at the con- thorough and informed scientific estimates
1 CPNA International, Ltd. vention of the National Union of French of the production of honey.
e-mail: info@cpnaglobal.com Beekeepers, and his speech was the subject Very many countries in Europe
Report distributed November, 2016 of a report in a major French newspaper increased their exports of honey last year.
Mr. Phipps is president and founder Chart: Three Variables: Honey Exports, Bee Hives, Productivity per Hive
of CPNA International, Ltd. and is cur-
rently on the National Honey Board. He is
an importer of honey, natural foods and
tea from various international producers.
Ron is also the former personal research
assistant to the president of the American
Philosophy Association. He is a recipient of
the National Science Foundation fellowship
for philosophy of theoretical physics. His
chapter on Integral Philosophy was pub-
lished in the book Intuition in Mathematics
and Physics in 2016. Mr. Phipps is a found-
ing member of the Tea & Health Committee,
which organized three major scientific sym-
posiums on tea and health and the role of
antioxidants in the prevention of disease.
He has worked with FDA to develop a
research protocol for the global diversity of
honey. Currently, Mr. Phipps is president of
the Chamber Players International.

January 2017 29
Source: U. S. Department of Commerce, Foreign Trade Statistics

In parallel, they increased their imports at a high rate of 19,504 tons (43,000,000 The Science of Honey
from China and the statistics show us that lbs.)/year, a significant increase over the Honey is the by-product of the interac-
this honey is then re-exported and labeled period 2001-2009 (4,313 tons or 9,500,000 tions of zoological and botanical life forms.
as local product..the main victims are lbs./year). The U.S. led the demand growth Many forms of zoological pollination and
consumersit is believed that national at a rate of 12,797 tons (28,200,000 lbs.) diverse botanical sources of nectar, pollen,
authorities should intervene with proven year, and demand in Germany and Japan honeydew are involved. From that diversity
methods such as nuclear magnetic reso- was stable. We note that the current drop honey achieves its variety of flavors and
nance and sharing results of analyses at the in prices for honey cannot be attributed to colors and textures, which has charmed
global level added Prof. Garcia, as quoted a decrease in overall demand! and captivated humanity from ancient to
by Le Figaro. Chinese honey production is However, as of the end of 3rd quarter modern times.
reported to be 450,000 tons with 150,000 2016, total U.S. honey imports slowed To those bio-chemical and physical
tons exported. to 122,121 metric tons (269,227,956 interactions nothing can be added nor
lbs.), a decline of 11.5% relative to the removed, nor can those interactions artifi-
Growth in Global Honey Demand same period in 2015 (138,071 metric cially be interrupted and suspended. This
Since 2010, global honey demand grew tons/304,392,777 lbs.). latter point is relevant to the predominance
in certain producing nations of immature
honey or Shui Fu Mei or Water Honey.
Water honey can explode the quantities of
honey produced, dramatically increase
productivity and reduce costs. Such prac-
tices have dominated some countrys honey
industries for at least the past 5 decades.
The consequences of 1) using inadequate
or poor science and 2) failing to use more
sophisticated and powerful scientific tech-
niques for assessing adulteration and/or
circumvention, are judged by many observ-
ers of the industry to allow the old foxes to
achieve their goal of permanent residency
in the hen house while the hunters and the
hounds remain ignorant and unsuspecting.
A study of honey in the EU, begun in
December 2015, showed that 32% of sam-
ples from all origins were non-compliant.
When the EUs next report is released, it is
expected that the percentage of non-com-
pliant results will increase. Once Nuclear
Magnetic Resonance (NMR) analysis is
applied, an even more dramatic picture of
adulterated honey is expected.
The good news is more schemes of

30 American Bee Journal


adulteration are being exposed and more tity of 77,131,000 pounds, making Indian with high levels of productivity, to India
sophisticated scientifically accurate meth- honey imports number one in both value led to clearly aberrational conclusions. The
odologies and techniques are being both and quantity. This is a remarkable develop- calculations, which were based on that data,
developed and implemented through ment since 15 years ago India exported vir- would imply that the whole world was then,
increasing collaborative efforts of gov- tually no honey to the international honey and in subsequent years, dumping honey.
ernment, academic and private scientists market and has a population of over 1.3 As of August, 2016, Indian imports were
and laboratories. The EU Beekeepers billion people. This is especially stunning $38,000,000, down from $70,000,000 for
Association is cooperating with academic since during the antidumping investigation; the same period in 2015, and total vol-
researchers in Bayreuth, Germany, to study India was used as a surrogate country for ume declined to 40,789,000 pounds. From
honey analysis and create an economic China. However, there was no record of January to August 2016, average prices for
model of the honey market. Collaboration export from India and the data comparing Indian honey declined 37% to fall under
links with government, private laborato- China, the largest producer and exporter $1.00. Imports of White and ELA Indian
ries and independent academic researchers
are forming, which could extend to other
nations.
In the Era of Traceability and advanced
computerization a new scientific approach
to assessing purity, adulteration, contam-
ination and circumvention of honey is
being formulated. This approach furthers
the discussions I had with the FDA on the
Research Protocol and with Dr. Joseph
Bowden who worked with the USDA.
Since biblical times, people have sought to
avoid both adulteration and false witness,
or in scientific parlance both false positives
and false negatives.
In the case of our charming product
that is not so easy since there are so many
variables which influence and determine
the physical and chemical profiles of the
global honey supply. Magic markers were
sought, but they remained elusive and often
deceptive, leading to both false positives
and false negatives. Questions of botani-
cal source, regions of origin, time of pro-
duction, weather and elevation, extracting
processes, blending, extraneous mechani-
cal manipulation, beekeepers, exporters,
importers, and packers, are all involved in
the global supply of honey purchased and
sold. That level of traceability allows the
creation of a global data base of chemi-
cal and physical profiles of all honeys and
blends of honey. Modern computerization,
as occurs in particle physics, astrophysics,
genetic research, etc., allow those diverse
profiles to be easily computerized and
centralized. Against that background of
scientifically authenticated and original
samples, honeys can be analyzed for purity
and authenticity. This approach allows the
creation of the Gold Standard in analysis, a
standard which minimizes false positives,
false negatives, uncertainty, and contradic-
tory judgments.
The emergence of the rather universal
problem for the global food industry of
glyphosate underscores the need to aban-
don the Mythology of Ultra Purity and
establish, based upon good science, rea-
sonable tolerance levels. Neither bees nor
plants exist in Domains of Invulnerability
to Disease. Realistic tolerance levels must
be established based upon solid science
and real health risks taking into account
Average Daily Intake (ADI) not regula-
tions which are excessive and unrealistic.

India
In 2015, imports from India into the U.S.
reached a value of $114,000,000 and quan-

January 2017 31
honey declined in volume in 2016, and additional 15,000 metric tons were sold for honey production and organic management,
Light Amber imports grew. export in the December February period. and colony numbers have increased for the
The main Indian mustard honey crop This means that almost all of the honey of current crop. The 2016 harvest is beginning
looks to be short. That crop usually begins the 2015-2016 crop has been sold, along slowly due to recent rains, winds reaching
in December, but adverse weather has ham- with the carryover of the preceding crop. 80 miles per hour and cold, but a good har-
pered its development. In late 2016, Indian The new 2016-2017 honey crop has been vest is expected in the south.
honey exporters were reluctant to buy or significantly affected by cold temperatures The price gap between Brazils organic
sell on a forward basis any significant in the spring, and migration of colonies and specialty honey and conventional honey
quantities. to suitable regions which puts stress on from other countries is huge. That gap must
In November, 2016, the Indian economy the bees. It is estimated that the reduction narrow at some point, either from a decline
was in some turmoil because of currency of the spring crop will be about 50%. It in organic honey prices or a rise in global
uncertainties, after the recall of certain is premature to predict the summer crop prices for conventional honey. There is
rupee banknotes by the Indian government (January March), but there is consider- growing interest in organic honey produc-
to reign in corruption which was generated able caution since the poor conditions in tion in India, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina
by the black market for rupees. That black the spring diminish the vigor of the bees. and Vietnam, which will introduce new
market has contributed to a severe under- Also, La Nina has created dry conditions competition in the world for organic honey.
estimation of Indias GDP and a reduction in many areas which could lead at best The main lesson is that creative mar-
in national tax revenues. Prime Minister to a regular crop and at worst to a poor keting of special high quality honey, like
Narendra Modi fired a direct shot at Indias crop. While a decade ago, Argentina annu- the marketing of premier wines, coffees
endemic corruption with a surprise move on ally produced over 100,000 metric tons of and teas, results in more remunerative and
Tuesday to ban the countrys largest curren- honey, the conversion of pasturelands to attractive prices. Brazil is the beneficiary of
cy bills, starting [November 9]. The ban is soybean production has resulted in normal the Era of Creative Marketing.
intended both to curb the flow of counterfeit crops averaging about 60,000 metric tons
money and to take aim at terrorist organiza- along with decreased productivity per hive Vietnam
tions (Geeta Anand and Hari Kumar, which correlates to increased expenses in In 2015, Vietnam was the second larg-
The New York Times, Nov. 9, 2016). This production of honey. It is now most prob- est exporter of honey, by volume, to the
problem parallels the two-tiered currency able that the current crop will be below the US. The vast majority of the honey was
market which plagued Argentina during the new normal of 60,000 metric tons. Light Amber, Amber and Dark Amber. A
final years of the Kirchner presidency. If the Domestic prices during the 4th quarter dramatic decline in prices occurred, from
banknote recall is successful, then the rupee of 2016 increased 15%. This is creat- an average of $1.34 as of August, 2015,
should strengthen which would increase ing serious dilemmas as the international to $0.85/lb. as of August, 2016 (8 months
Indian domestic honey prices. honey market has rising prices and some customs value).
A special Indian government task force Argentine exporters and their import part- This decline reflects not only the overall
raided a honey-producing company, Apis ners have not been able to cover their posi- decline in international honey prices, but
India Ltd., in connection with alleged trade tions. A similar situation prevails in Brazil the preference in Vietnam of quantity over
tax evasion on a huge quantity of illegal relative to pending contracts for organic quality. The decline in quality is attributed
sweeteners like glucose. Raw honey is a honey. It is widely expected that the reality to changes in the main botanical sources
non-taxable item and this company is tak- of the Argentine honey market in respect to from rubber to Acacia mangium, both hon-
ing advantage of this provision stated a demand and the prices of new offers will eydew sources of honey.
senior official, as reported by the Times of have a fundamentally different tenor and While many variables affect the quality,
India (September 24, 2016). reality than that which prevailed for the including leaf size, time of production (early
past 2 years. The demand from Germany or late summer), bee feed, the main issue
Argentina and other markets for Argentine honey has with Acacia mangium is color instability.
Argentina remains a major factor in the increased as cited above. The analysis of During the first half of the year (December
international honey market, including the adulteration in honey has reached much May), Vietnam produces honey from coffee,
American honey market. Argentina has more sophisticated levels which has dimin- cashew, lychee and a few other main floral
a very mature, experienced and quality- ished the demand on Chinese honey. It has sources. During the past 5 years, the pre-
conscious beekeeping and honey-exporting also increased the scrutiny of the purity dominant botanical source of the honey pro-
industry. This is a result of several decades of various international sources of honey. duced and exported June through November
of high level scientific work in apicul- Argentina with its high quality and quality has been Acacia mangium.
ture that included the training of beekeep- control standards is a beneficiary of this sig- Vietnams main destination for honey
ers and the meticulous testing of honey. nificantly increased interest from Europe, remains the U.S. market. It is interesting
Furthermore, Argentina produces large Japan and North America. to note that in the post-Vietnam war era,
quantities of White and Extra Light Amber The Argentine honey industry is confi- Vietnam received international support to
honey whose flavor profiles both mirror and dent that the next 2 years will be dramati- develop its agricultural sector. It is a major
are compatible with the flavor profiles of cally different and better than the preceding global producer of coffee, cashew nuts and
American honey, including clover, alfalfa, 2 years. black pepper and is now the largest exporter
thistle, mesquite, citrus and sunflower. This of those three items to Europe, accord-
contrasts with white honey of other origins Brazil ing to Mr. Phil Hogan, commissioner for
that crystallizes rapidly and lacks flavor Brazil remains the central source of Agriculture and Rural Development of the
components desirable in the U.S. market. genuine certified organic honey, which is EU, who spoke in April 20, 2016, during
From January to October of 2016 predominantly light amber (about 80-85%), his visit to Ho Chi Minh City.
Argentina exported 70,000 metric tons with ELA about 10-15% and white about Geopolitical relations between the U.S.
of honey, with over 20,000 metric tons 5%, depending on weather. The crop from and Vietnam have significantly improved
imported into the U.S. The US received late 2015 to first quarter 2016 was affected during the past decade. But those relations
43.4%, Germany 23%, Japan, Spain and by El Nino and the heavy rains and floods are now also fraught with anti-dumping
France about 5% each, Belgium 4%, Italy which reduced production at a time when cases, some tangentially involving China.
3%, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland 1.7% international demand for organic foods was For example, as this report is being com-
each. There were 18 other export desti- increasing. There is not enough supply to posed, the U.S. is investigating the use
nations. Germany and Japan were pay- serve the two large markets, the US and the of Vietnam as a transshipment point for
ing significantly higher prices than other EU. Agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture Chinese steel, which is subject to high
international buyers. As of November, an held classes on queen rearing, increasing anti-dumping tariffs. U.S. firms alleged

32 American Bee Journal


the Chinese steel was modified to be cor-
rosion-resistant and then sent to the U.S. at
Vietnams U.S. tariff rate, which is lower
than for Chinathe heart of the issue is
whether the steel is modified enough to be
a new product made in Vietnam (David
Henry, New York, Reuters, Nov. 2016).
With the imminent failure of the TTP,
we anticipate new bilateral agreements
between the U.S. and Vietnam will be
negotiated.
Hopefully the Vietnamese honey indus-
try will put quality first, quantity second
and in so doing both attain a fair price
for their beekeepers and contribute to the
recovery of a more vigorous honey industry
by increasing incentives to produce honey.

China
The chart on the right illustrates the
predominant role Chinese honey played in
2015 as the largest honey supplier to the
EU, with 48.2% of the import market. This
dominant role has been jeopardized by the
EU honey study which, using traditional
analytical methodology, revealed that 32% (Source: Prof. Norberto Garcia, UNCOM Trade data)
of samples from all origins were adulter-
ated. The EU honey industry awaits pub- As Chinese honey exporters have become China will not gain market economy status
lication of a second study of commercial aware of the burgeoning demand for non- in the U.S. in December, 2016, as China
honey, which is expected to suggest even adulterated honey from Europe, a 3-tiered expected from the bilateral agreement for
more severe findings of adulteration. price structure for Chinese honey has been Chinas membership in the WTO. This
Use of the nuclear magnetic profile offered, that is, honey that can pass Chinas means the use of surrogate country analy-
(NMR) methodology, with an expanding tests, honey that can pass traditional carbon sis in the U.S. assessment of anti-dumping
global data base of samples, may reveal a isotope ratio (C13) tests and honey that can petitions brought against China will persist.
much higher amount of adulterated honey. pass the NMR test. The sales prices for With the changes in the U.S. government in
This technique is able to demonstrate not the 3 categories are dramatically different. January, 2017, trade tensions with China will
only the addition of extraneous and manip- The prices for honey that can pass NMR likely follow a complex and tortuous path.
ulated sugars, but also the use of both 1) testing are high but the quantities available Chinas direct outside investment (DOI)
resin technologies to disguise country of are low. Current prices of Chinese honey is exponentially increasing, including in the
origin, remove residues and change darker that can pass the NMR and Heat-stable honey industry. That includes investments
honey to lighter honey and 2) premature Amylase tests are significantly higher than in both major honey-consuming countries
extraction of high moisture honey whose honey from South America and about 40% and third countries linked with circumven-
high moisture levels are subsequently artifi- higher than other Chinese honey. Due to tion of honey. Chinas investments are
cially reduced by use of a vacuum chamber. these developments, Chinas honey exports driven by a slowing economy, large capital
The latter technique has been in play in to Europe declined from about 8,000 tons reserves, non-performing bank loans, and
China for at least 5 decades and accounts per month to 4,000 tons per month in the quest for external markets and foreign
for 1) the large aggregate quantities of 2016. The situation described above will sources of minerals, energy and food to
honey produced in China, 2) the extraor- likely cause Chinese authorities, who are assure food security for the large population
dinary productivity of Chinese beekeepers facing tremendous and increasing domes- in China. There are many geopolitical and
and 3) the comparatively extremely low tic demands for environmental protection, macroeconomic issues that are being placed
cost of production. Such Water Honey food safety and food security, to re-assess upon the bilateral negotiating table.
cannot be regarded as either a natural or a both 1) beekeeping practices and 2) the
pure product. This is the key point which manipulation of honey by factories. In fact Conclusion
can not be ignored or accepted by the inter- there have been 2 international honey con- Interestingly, in the U.S. Congress and
national honey industry. ferences in China the past 2 years to har- agricultural circles there is open interest
European consumers (perhaps with the monize Chinese honey-producing practices to restrict outside ownership of strategic
exception of British consumers) and pack- with 1) international demands for purity, resources. Because of the vital role of bee-
ers have become increasingly aware of quality and authenticity and 2) sophisticat- keeping in agricultural production (see the
those facts of adulteration. Of great impor- ed modern technologies to determine purity October, 2016, ABJ) beekeeping is being
tance is that major European honey retailers and origin of honey. In 2016, there were elevated to be a strategic industry. The
are demanding of European honey packers major international conferences regarding Plight of the Bees has caused some environ-
that the honey they buy pass the NMR Food Safety held in China in which food mental groups to argue that bees should be
test. The retailers fear that the use of scientists from the US and elsewhere have classified as an endangered species.
NMR analysis will reveal adulteration of participated. Climate change and geo-political transi-
honey via extraneous sweeteners, the use We anticipate that pressure will grow in tions hover over all global agricultural pro-
of resin technology, and/or the practice of China to cease exporting and using resin duction and international macroeconomics.
producing immature honey. They are very technology on honey and to terminate the The planet continues to warm, sea levels
concerned about a very proactive consumer production of water honey and to allow continue to rise. There are shifting patterns
backlash and the harm to the reputation of the complete bio-chemical interaction of of El Nino bringing excessive rainfall and
prominent retailers. This is causing a funda- bees and their botanical sources in the pro- floods and La Nina provoking droughts and
mental change in the landscape of the large duction of pure, mature and natural honey. widespread wild fires. Dramatic political
European honey industry. Due to multiple factors it is clear that changes are increasing in their intensity

January 2017 33
Chart: Global Temperature Data from NASA and NOAA
r
r thheerrNN CCaalliiffoorrN
t
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QuAlity itAliAn And
CArniolAn Queens
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and frequency in South America, Europe,


the Middle East, North America and Asia.
There are no reliable crystal balls.
What recent scientific evidence estab-
lished is that 2016 promises to be one of
the hottest (if not the hottest) years since
Pre-industrial times. Data from NASA and
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration indicate that 2016 exhibits
record Arctic sea levels. 2016 is set to be
the hottest year on record by a significant
margin, with temperatures that are 2.2 F
(1.2 C) above pre-industrial times, the
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diplomats gathered in Marrakech, Morocco,
Needs Call
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and sophisticated technologies for assess-
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total production and productivity/hive of
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34 American Bee Journal


The Classroom
by Jerry Hayes
Please send your questions to Jerry Hayes
Email: gwhayes54@yahoo.com

We have a New Presidentthat should be in-


teresting. The Flow Hive has sold a lotthat
should be interesting. Varroa is still #1 for
honey bee health impacts. Those who chose
not to treat are making Varroa Bombs to
infect all their neighbors.that is interest-
ing. Small Hive Beetle, Wax Moth, Nosema,
are still around.always interesting. And the interest in Honey Bees is
at an all-time high.which is interesting. My wish for all of us is to realize

Q
that Honey Bees need you as owner/operators. Without appropriate care, nurtur-
Caustic Acid ing and attention, like a pet or livestock, honey bees will be sick and spreading
their sickness to other honey bee colonies. This is the year for all of us to help a
Concerns new beekeeper and be a solid mentor so that they dont make all the mistakes we
all did when we were new beekeepers. Working together will help our Honey Bees
Jerry, Ive been beekeeping for about 3
be less sick, more environmentally sound and we can have more fun from our
years. I have been lucky to have help from a
relationship with an insect.which is a pretty cool opportunity.
veteran beekeeper. I had noticed a mite prob-
lem in a few of my hives so I treated with
an unnamed acid strip. I had split off a few
hives and installed new queens after treat-
ing for seven days per instructions. Checked
my hives and found all my new queens dead A hundred years ago I taught high school in plan, but decided to get some advice from a
and the older ones had stopped laying--a real Quitman, Ga. veteran before I waste bees unnecessarily.
mess going into our Georgia winter. I live in Some people have great luck with caustic
the South so maybe they can catch up. Any- acids and some don't. There are a few vari- Thanks for sharing your wisdom,
way does this product normally work this ables like heat, humidity and colony size Jeffrey Detweiler
way, and is there a better treatment without that greatly influence efficacy. Acids are es-
the side effects of this product. I also was pecially tough on brood and queens if tem-
reading The Classroom and have had good perature and humidity are too high. I would
luck controlling hive beetles with black give ApiGuard or Apivar miticides a try.
ground cover under my hives. I have noticed Glad to hear that black ground cover is
the difference in my hives--in the apiaries I helping with small hive beetles in your area.
dont use it they have more beetles. Keep it up. Hang in there.
Thanks,
Ricky

Q Overwintering
nucs
This is my second year keeping bees (first
spring this year) and because of my poor
management and a rainy spring, I have two
hives that were not able to put up enough

A
honey for winter. Each of these hives are
about 10 frames of bees each. I got this idea
of making a 4-frame nuc out of each one and
over-wintering them above a full sized col-
Which varroa treatment to use?

A
ony. I already made a special double screen/
bottom board to separate the nucs from the This will work to capture heat and keep
hive below. the upper nucs warm. You will still have to
The thinking behind this idea is that since feed consistently over winter. What is your
the bees use honey for energy to generate plan for that for the lower colony if needed
Hello Ricky, heat, a small cluster above a large cluster and the upper separate nuc above the double
I am just into Alabama for their state wouldnt use as much honey throughout screen? Feeding over winter should be as
meeting, so am not too far from you really. the winter. I was going to go ahead with my least disruptive as possible.

January 2017 37
And just as a what if, why don't you just
stack one weak colony on the other and get
that critical mass that you need to overwin-
ter. You will, of course, lose 1 colony in
to it (maybe the bees have as well?). SHBs
they do not eat wax, so they would be
exposed to pesticides in wax the same way
bees are, thus leading to similar impacts (if
A Hey Ervin. So are these sugar or pollen
theory, but might gain from combining now any).
and as spring comes. Splitting a big healthy sub patties? Why do you want to use them?
colony in spring might be better than over- Let me know. Thanks.

Q
wintering two weak nucs. If both nucs die
for some reason, then you are behind in
colony numbers for sure. Absonding bees
Last week one of my hives was heavily
PESTICIDES IN BEESWAX populated. I treated with Hopguard II be-
cause I saw mites on a bee. Today the hive
FROM JERRY: was empty. There were very few dead bees
I was speaking at a recent meeting and in the hive, about 20, and about 6 dead bees
had someone ask me a question that I truly with their heads sticking out of cells. I did
had not thought about. The question was, If see evidence of mite feces in a lot of cells.
we are all so concerned about the residues So, I obviously treated for mites too late.
of pesticides stored in the beeswax comb in My question is: Next spring can I intro-
a honey bee colony hurting the bees, then duce new bees to the hive and do I need to
why doesnt it seem to kill Wax Moth larvae clean out all the old drawn out comb first, or
or Small Hive Beetle larvae? Are we simply can I just put them in? There is honey and REPLY / ERVIN
overreacting to pesticides in beeswax comb pollen in the combs.
or is it a mistake?
They are the AP23 winter patties. I was
My answer was that the dosage in the Rick Stephens just going to put some in the hive when
comb of pesticide residues from miticides
I close them up for the winter for extra
or toxins found in the environment wasnt
insurance.
enough to kill, hurt or damage them. But

A
the more I thought about the question, the
more I liked it. I had to ask some respected
researchers.

Having plenty of insurance is good. Put


the winter patties on the top frames immedi-
ately above the cluster of bees. Have a great

A
winter.

Cleaning StainleSS equipment


Well, that is disappointing that they ab- COMMENT
sconded. High mite levels that you describe
and late treatments can cause significant I read the October ABJ and the question
Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, University of events. That is why sampling for Varroa by Ryan who was looking for a way to clean
Maryland: often can give you an idea of levels at that his metal equipment. The best thing is a heat
The levels found in wax are sub-lethal, moment in time and how the Varroa popu- gun that you can buy at any hardware store.
so they are not killing honey bee colonies lation grows and changes over time. If you It softens the wax or propolis so that it can
outright, so I would be surprised if they can see the mites or damaged bees, it is way be wiped with a cloth. I have been doing this
were killing wax moth or Small Hive Beetle too late. for many years and it does a fantastic job. I
(SHB) outright. I dont know that wax moth You can store the comb in a freezer or if clean all my stainless equipment that way.
and SHB are not being negatively affected, you live in an area with a real winter, you
but still the amount of contamination is can store them outside in the cold, but pro- Dennis Ross
below the LD 50. (Lethal Dose to kill 50 tected from mice. Replace any comb older Winnipeg Canada
%). I guess I would challenge the assump- than 3-4 years old, but other than that, put
tion that wax moth and SHB are healthy on bees in next spring and they will be fine.
the comb. Maybe they are as healthy as the But, and there is always a but, I hope this
bees are. was a learning experience for you. In order
to be successful in beekeeping in 2017 the 3
Dr. Jamie Ellis, University of Florida: keys words to remember are Varroa, Varroa,
It is possible that wax moths and SHBs and Varroa.
are impacted by residues found in wax.
Perhaps it is simply that no one is looking
for this impact. On the other hand, it is also
possible that lipophilic (i.e. wax lov-
ing) compounds love being in wax. In this
case, why would we expect the pesticides
to leave the wax and impact SHBs or wax
Q Supplemental
Food
I was wondering when you put winter
moths? Of course, wax moths eat wax, and patties in the hive, do you put them in the
have been eating wax as long as pesticides center or on top? Thanks for your input.
have been making their way into wax. Wax Using a heat gun to remove stubborn
moths might have developed some tolerance Ervin wax or propolis buildup.

38 American Bee Journal


Jerry experience with AHB is predominately in next few sentences. Do you know what
from Florida and Guyana. In Florida hav- the mite count was before treatments? They
Oh, nice Dennis. I like it!! Thank you. ing so many managed genetically European may have worked well in comparison.
colonies changed outcomes and elsewhere Let's assume, all things being equal, treat-
selection for more manageable traits is al- ments were applied according to label direc-
ways helpful. Defensive/aggressive colo- tions and they performed as advertised. So
AFRICAN HONEY nies could not be tolerated by commercial why the heck do you have these elevated
BEES (AHB) beekeepers or backyard beekeepers. It was
a huge public perception issue.
varroa levels?
I think you have what is labeled as a
COMMENT Glad you are having success and keep it "varroa bomb" or multiple varroa bombs in
up. Constant selection is a good thing. your area. A varroa bomb is a colony(ies)
On pg. 400 of ABJ (April 2016), you of honey bees that are being weakened by

Q
answered Chris K. concerning Africanized varroa parasitism that at this time of the year
honey bees and honey production differ- Varroa Bomb! have increasing numbers of varroa. It is not
unusual for colonies not having been man-
ences compared to fully European colonies.
I deal extensively with bees that have some aged to reduce varroa populations well in
amount of Africanization at any given time, Hi Jerry, I am a dedicated and loyal advance of winter to show elevated levels as
but we have been actively excluding highly reader, I am also one those people who flips the honey bee population decreases and the
defensive colonies for several years now. immediately to "The Classroom" when I re- Varroa population increases proportionately.
A paper by Dr. Ernesto Guzman doesn't ceive my edition of the ABJ. I have taken Honey bee colonies are super-efficient
specifically compare Africanized to Euro- your advice and now sample my 5 hives for opportunists. If a populous strong, healthy
pean colony honey production, but details mites using the sugar roll method of 1/2 cup colony in fall can steal unprotected vital
yields during a period of active selection for of bees. I sampled after the major nectar food resources from a weak honey bee col-
honey production among a sample of Afri- flow (I live in New Jersey), the 2nd week of onythat is what they will do. Its survival
canized hives while trying to increase safety July. I knew I would have a large count due insurance. If the weak colony that is being
and efficiency. to the population in the hive. I read Randy overrun by a strong colony is weak because
I continually see general reference con- Oliver's article in the June ABJ, "A test of of untreated varroa, those varroa are surviv-
cerning amazing swarming rates among Afri- late-summer varroa treatments." I installed a alists as well. They realize that the colony
canized colonies, but since we don't see near single MAQS in each of my hives for 7 days that is weak cannot support them and their
that frequency in our managed larger hive in the third week of July. I waited 2 weeks survival is in jeopardy.
populations, I'd venture to say that we may and put Apivar strips in each hive for the As these robber bees from a strong honey
be comparing apples to oranges when we at- recommended 6 weeks which brought me to bee colony from near or far away enter the
tribute this characteristic to all Africanized the 2nd week of October. weak colony to take over the honey re-
colonies regardless of the conditions they I just completed another round of mite sources to transport back to their colony,
are under. I know of no study (yet) that mea- sampling and I am slightly confused about the varroa mites hop on the robbers and ride
sures swarming rates of Africanized honey the results and would appreciate any advice back to the strong colony. This colony is
bees in standard equipment in a managed you can give me. The first hive I sampled most likely strong because of low numbers
apiary setting most of the studies that I has a count of 1. I was very pleased, but then of varroa because the beekeeper managed to
can recall were assessing African or African- the numbers for the next 4 hives went up. control this devastating parasite. However,
ized honey bees in natural cavities that tend Second hive 6 mites, third hive - 10, forth it has now been transformed into a perfect
to be very small. High absconding tendency hive - 11 and the last hive had 16 mites. At home for these hitchhiking varroa. So, a col-
is another characteristic that I cannot con- this point I am hesitant to use another chemi- ony with low numbers of varroa can quite
firm. Although I would agree these attributes cal treatment and would like to know how quickly become infested with high levels of
seem more likely among Africanized strains, you feel about sugar dusting once a week for varroa. My guess is you have some beekeep-
the difference in my experience is not one 6 weeks. That would put me into December ers or feral colonies within flying range that
that would "break the bank." However, I'd and there should be little to no brood. I look have accidentally or purposely facilitated
suspect that if I was negligent to the extent forward to your response. I appreciate any sick, highly varroa-infested colonies.
that I didn't manage the hives at all that I'd advice or suggestions you have. Again, thank But that doesn't help you now. If you will
see an increase in these attributes. Or maybe you for all the knowledge and experience. apply enough powdered sugar to make all
not, since that same negligence would likely bees in the colony coated until they look like
eliminate me as a beekeeper, and it would Tom Kirgan ghosts with this mechanical, edible varroa
probably result in such a temperament that New Jersey beekeeper treatment (over a screened bottom board and
I'd have to get rid of them before noticing retreated every 5 to 7 days), you can remove
any correlation. CC Miller reminisced that a very high percentage of phoretic (exposed)
he wished he would have paid more attention mites. At this late date, it probably doesn't
to temperament during the "50 year" selec- make much difference what labeled varroa
tion of his stock due to temperament issues. control product you might use, but control
is a major goal.
Best Regards, Hang in there!
Jaime de Zubeldia

Q
Southern Arizona
MITE AWAY
QUICK STRIPS
Varroa Bomb? Hello Jerry, we used Mite Away Quick

A A
Strips (MAQS) this year, a single pad be-
tween the deeps. Having several empty
buckets that were wet inside, I just pitched
them out into the yard (with the plastic
You are on the ground living this every- Thank you for the compliment. I appreci- wrappers) to air out before taking them in to
day so I appreciate your perspective. My ate it and let's see if I can be worthy of it recycle. The bees showed up and started to

January 2017 39
clean the wet puddles of formic acid! They
actually licked them clean. My question is:
Since formic is a natural chemical in the
hive, are the bees telling us that there is a
A There are two major suppliers of com-
lack of formic available in nature? And this
brings another question: Would this be re- mercial bumble bee colonies, BioBest and
lated to the improved brood pattern after the Koppert.
formic has run its course? And, would this These bumblebees are used mostly for
lack of formic acid in the hive have some- greenhouse pollination. Honey Bees be-
thing to do with the bees mite resistance? come very disoriented in greenhouses since
Hope this makes some sense. they can't adjust to the natural light source.
The honey bees will fly to glass ceilings and
Thanks, walls and beat themselves to death trying to
Dale get to the light.
Bumblebees do not have that characteris-
tic, so are used extensively in greenhouses.
They are better for tomatoes because they
"buzz pollinate". They grasp the tomato
flower and vibrate it causing the pollen to
be released. Over a million bumblebee colo-
nies are produced each year to fill this role.
Another cool pollinator!

A I have never heard of that Dale, so I


looked up the Material Safety Data Sheet
(MSDS) in a couple places to see what the
ingredients were. The MSDS sheet was easy
to find and it showed what the active ingre-
dient was that produces the formic acid, but
53.3% by weight of the rest of the formu-
lation is inert or listed as inactive ingredi-
ents and that they are trade secrets. So, we
don't know what the 53.3% is made up of
or do we.? NODs website (the seller of
MAQS) says its a polysaccharide gel
http://nodglobal.com/mite-away-quick-
strips/. Could be agar, locust bean gum,
pectin, corn starch, etc. but all will be long
chains of sugars. Could be pretty tasty to a
bee. It sure wouldnt be a caustic acid they
are lacking.

Q TOMATO
POLLINATION
Jerry, I just visited a greenhouse grow-
ing tomatoes. They use bumblebees for
pollinating their tomatoes. They use ap-
proximately 1 colony per acre. They use
bumblebees because supposedly honey
bees would reject the bitterness of the to-
mato plant? Really?

40 American Bee Journal


The miticide Taktic has been the savior of the commercial bee industry since
the early 2000s. But it may be time to move on. Ive been experimenting with a
promising potential replacement.

A
OUR SITUATION As I reported last year, I had tried a new extended-release formu-
s I recently pointed out, there are signs that mites in areas of lation of oxalic acid to overcome that problem.[1] In our initial small
the U.S. are exhibiting some degree of resistance to Taktics test, the results were so promising that I could hardly wait until this
active ingredient--amitraz. And since Taktic has been pulled summer to work with it more seriously. The results are so encourag-
from the U.S. market, some beekeepers are justifiably concerned that ing that I wrote this lengthy step-by-step, picture-rich article to fully
the EPA may stop looking the other way about them illegally using share what we learned.
the product (Canadas already hit one beekeeper with a hefty fine; no
telling when some State enforcement branch will make an example OXALIC ACID/GLYCERIN STRIPS
of a U.S. beekeeper). Oxalic acid dissolves to some extent in water, but has a notable
Im freshly returned from the California State Beekeepers Assoc. fondness for glycerin. This makes food-grade glycerin an attractive
conference, where Dr. Juliana Rangel presented the findings of carrier for oxalic acid in the hive, especially since its oily nature also
her student Liz Walsh (who previously found negative effects on confers upon it an affinity for bee (and mite) cuticle (Figs. 1 & 2).
queens from residues of miticides in the comb). Liz recently found Since my first trial of OA/gly strips last fall (using Fernando Es-
that field-realistic residues of amitraz in queen cell wax appeared tabans formula), my good friend Juanse Barros in Chile tested them
to reduce the egg laying rate of queens reared in those cells. Ive extensively, and was also impressed.
suspected something like this, since queen problems appear to have
increased since the widespread adoption of amitraz as a miticide. Practical application: by dissolving oxalic acid into glycerin,
Of further concern is that amitraz residues are increasingly being and then saturating a cardboard strip with the solution, one can
detected in U.S. honey. In any case, commercial beekeepers are (or I obtain an extended release application method for the acid into
suspect will soon be) looking for alternatives to Taktic. the hive, thus continually killing mites over more than one repro-
ductive cycle, thereby overcoming the limitation of the dribble
THE IDEAL TREATMENT or vaporization application methods.
In this same issue of ABJ, Im pushing our industry to get serious
about shifting to mite-resistant stocks so that we can give up treat- By this time, an Argentine group started selling a formulation,
ments altogether. But I know that my own operation would collapse Aluen CAP. The product was extensively tested by Matas Maggi[2],
if I were to attempt an abrupt transition, and have no doubt that most with astounding resultsexcellent mite control, no adverse effects
others would too. So although I dont use amitraz in my own opera- on the bees, and no residues in the honey (plus its considered as
tion, I have a common interest with my professional brethren to find an organic treatment). Almost too good to be true! So when it
mite treatments that are cheap, dont harm the bees, queen, or brood, came time for late summer mite control, I was ready to test it more
and dont get into the honey. extensively.
My sons and I have managed so far with Apiguard thymol gel,
MAQS formic acid strips, and oxalic acid dribble (still not yet reg- TRIAL #1
istered in California, thus unhappily making me a pesticide scoff- We set up a yard of 28 hives of moderate strength, containing 2nd-
law too). I previously reported on last summers trials, in which we yr queens, in which we had intentionally allowed mites to build to
found Apiguard to be quite effective if applied in a 1 rim. MAQS high levels (I wanted mite-stressed, old-queen hives to best detect
can also provide excellent mite reduction, although there are oc- any adverse effects from the treatments).
casionally issues with it knocking out poor or aged queens (perhaps
not a bad thing). We love oxalic acid, but neither the dribble nor Scientific note: one gets much better efficacy data if treatments
vaporization is effective if the colony contains much brood. are tested on colonies that have high mite counts at the begin-

January 2017 43
ning of the trial. However, if the trial is to run for an extended intended to be only a preliminary and exploratory quick and dirty
period, the issue arises that the untreated controls may collapse testing of various methods of application of the OA/gly formulation,
from mite overload before the trial is over. But this creates we used low numbers of hives in each group. What I was looking
another potential issue when one later applies the Henderson- for were substantial and consistent differences rather than trying to
Tilton formula to calculate treatment efficacy. This is because tease out slight statistically significant effects.
of mite drift from the high-mite test hives into the low-mite con-
trols. The movement of mites carried by drifting bees is akin to
the process of diffusioninvariably moving from hives with high
mite density to those with lower mite density. This can result in
increasing the apparent rate of mite increase in the Control hives
relative to that of the Treated hives, thereby artificially skewing
the final calculation of efficacy upward. Thus, in calculating effi-
cacy, one should be sure to limit the apparent rate of mite growth
in the Controls against the biologically-limited maximum daily
intrinsic rate of increase.[3]

We ran positive controls of Apiguard and MAQS, as well as un-


treated negative Control hives (Table 1, Figs. 3-7). Since this was

Table 1. The treatments. This was a preliminary quick and


dirty trial, so we used low ns. We used a slightly different
OA/gly ratio than did Maggi.[4]
We waited for a window of hot weather, since that is often a limit-
ing factor for us (Fig. 3).

Figure 3. The trial ran from June 28 through September 13,


with daytime temperatures often in the high 90s.
RESULTS OF THE FIRST TRIAL
As expected, the mites increased at a normal rate in the Controls,
and Apiguard reduced mite levels quickly, after which they resumed
Figure 1. These wonderful photomicrographs by German a normal climb. The oxalic strips took longer to drop the mite
beekeeper Bernhard Heuvel show the sticky tarsal pads counts, taking two months for full effect (Figs. 8 & 9).
which the mite uses to get a grip on the bee. Photos cour- I inspected the colonies regularly throughout the course of the
tesy of Bernhard Heuvel. trial. At these high temperatures, both the Apiguard and mixed es-
sential oil treatments were hard on the bees (colonies tended to move
their broodnests away from both treatments)[5], although the Api-
guard hives quickly recovered once the bees removed the last of the
gel after 20 days. The efficacy of the mixed essential oil pads was
unimpressive. It was (not unexpectedly) too hot for MAQS, even ap-
plied as single strips, which set the colonies back, although treatment
did reduce the mite level.
I was pretty stoked about the 4 OA/gly strip treatment--not only
did it control the mites (with time), but the colonies thrived during
treatment (Figs. 10 & 11).
Although our results confirmed those of Maggi, with the OA/
gly strips fully living up to expectations, this method of application
came with some major problems:

THREE PROBLEMS
Problem #1the labor involved: When I excitedly showed the
results to my son Eric, he rained on my parade with some simple
arithmetic: 4 strips per box, 8 strips per hive, 1500 hives to treat =
12,000 strips to make, insert one at a time, then pry out one at a time
Figure 2. It has yet to be confirmed, but perhaps, as it for disposal (wearing nitrile gloves at every step). This treatment
moves over a bee carrying oxalic residues on its exoskel- wasnt going to fly, not at our labor costs.
eton, the mite absorbs the acid through the thin cuticle of Problem #2disposal: Wed need to deal with 12,000 strips of
these pads. (Findings by Dr. Dennis van Engelsdorp suggest hazardous waste. The spent strips still contain enough acid that you
that acids may also affect the mites sensory papillae.) cant be casual with them--you dont want to touch them with your

44 American Bee Journal


bare hands or hive tool, nor toss them into the back of the truck, If you refer back to Fig. 9, you can see that application via blue
since theyd corrode the bed. shop towel was pretty efficacious. So I starting experimenting with
Problem #3pest resistance management: I dont want to apply various towels, fabrics, expanded packing cardboard, and other
this (or any) treatment continuously, since Id then be selecting for substrates, as well as with different concentrations of oxalic acid in
oxalic-resistant mites. I want an application method that the bees the glycerin (since one can easily make a much more concentrated
will remove by themselves after 30 days. solution than that used in Argentina)(Figs. 12 & 13).
One would think that it would be easy to simply dilute the OA/
MORE EXPERIMENTATION gly solution with water to create low-glycerin towels. Ill save you
By this time I was networking with a few other beekeepers in the troublethe addition of water causes the OA to come out of
testing the strips. Laying the strips across the top bars (similar to the solution. There is some interesting chemistry involved.[6]
facial pad application shown in Fig. 6), resulted in poor mite kill, The most promising application method was to mix a very con-
since the bees simply avoided the strips or pads. Bees apparently centrated solution of OA in glycerin, allow shop towels to soak it
dont like glycerin-saturated cellulosein another test that I ran, up, and then to press the solution out of the towels until only a frac-
they even steered clear of cotton pads soaked in plain glycerin. I tion remains (this also has the effect of dissolving much of the blue
needed to go back to the drawing board. pigment out of the towels) (Figs. 14 & 15).

THE LAST TRIALAUGUST THROUGH SEPTEMBER


As September approached, the pool of 200 untreated high-mite
hives that Id set aside for trials began to dwindle, so I brought the
remaining 40 into a single yard for a final experiment. In this quick
and dirty trial I wanted to see how well my dry (squeezed out)
shop towel formulation would work. At this point perhaps I should

Figure 6. I was curious whether the bees would tug the OA/
gly-soaked cotton fibers from facial pads and thus drag the
solution over the bodies of other bees. (Result: they didnt
touch the pads).

Figure 4. All hives were double deeps. Here were placing


two strips per box, over brood frames. For an absorbent
cardboard, I used strips cut from egg carton lids.

Figure 7. The beekeepers favorite, the blue shop towel. I


wondered whether bees would expose themselves to the
OA/gly in the process of removing the towel. (One result:
Figure 5. Here were placing 4 strips per box (8 per hive), it did not help to cut slits in the towelthat allowed the
distributed for maximum bee exposure. bees to remove it too quickly).

January 2017 45
point out the total amount of OA applied per hive by various applica-
tion methods (Tables 2 & 3).
In another trial (we ran a number of controlled trials of mite treat-
ments this summer), I applied OA dribble, using glycerin instead of
sugar as the humectant (as a number of beekeepers in Italy are cur-
rently doing). Even after three weekly dribbles, the degree of mite
reduction was unimpressive (ditto for other applications of thymol
dissolved in glycerin, on facial pads, as well as other application
methods of Apiguard).
The hung towels were a pain to applyrequiring pulling out a
frame in order to make space. But the bees did not avoid them, and
continued to rear brood beneath them (Fig. 16).

Practical application: beekeepers have been looking for an in-


expensive, fairly rapid acting, easy to apply miticide that doesnt

Figure 10. A brood frame with an OA/gly strip at right, two


weeks after insertion. The colonies consistently reared
brood right up to the strips. To my surprise, the bees and
brood appeared to thrive in the acid-rich environment for
the duration of the summer, and were some of my best
looking hives come fall.

Figure 8. The alcohol counts for the groups at each time


point. I took Day 77 counts only for the 4-strip groupnote
how the mite count had begun to climb, suggesting that
the effect of the strips starts to wear out after two months.
See the next figure for normalized results for easier com-
parison of treatment effect.
Figure 11. There was little chewing of the strips, and all
remained intact for the entire summer (still tasting of acid).
This created the problem of needing to remove the strips
one by one.

Figure 12. I tested various types of substrates, and various


Figure 9. I normalized the results (so that they all start at concentrations of oxalic acid. What soon became appar-
100%) and added standard error bars. Of the oxalic acid ent was that it was critical to arrive at a delivery method
treatments, the winner was the 4-strip group, although the in which the bees would chew and remove the substrate,
shop towels didnt do too badly. thus getting the acid solution onto their bodies.

46 American Bee Journal


Figure 13. The trick appeared to be to reduce the amount
of glycerin saturation of the strips. Here you can see that
when I reduced the amount of saturation of the towel to Figure 14. This photo, by my collaborator Aaron Bergman,
only 25%, that the bees would chew and remove it. Thats shows the drier texture of a pressed towel (compare to the
a piece of slotted, expanded Kraft paper at the top, tested towel in Fig. 7).
with the hope that the bees would crawl through the holes
and get the solution on their bodies (they didnt).

leave residues in the combs or the honey, and that doesnt slow
colony growth or harm the queen. Oxalic acid dissolved in glyc-
erin, applied on a removable substrate, appears to fit the bill.
Applied on a shop towel, it causes immediate mite kill, and then
continues to kill mites over a period of a monthspanning ap-
proximately two varroa reproductive cycles.

COnClusiOn
Im sharing the results of my preliminary experimentation so that
others can use what Ive learned, and further experiment at improv-
ing this delivery method. I expect that next season many of us will
be using oxalic acid instead of less desirable miticides.
There remains the problem, however, that this method of applica-
tion is not currently legal in the U.S. Im currently working to see
whether we can get this method added to the existing label, which
allows only for dribble, vaporization, and spraying (Fig. 24).
It is especially important to beekeepers to pay attention the last
part of the labelRESISTANCE MANAGEMENT (enlarged in the
box at the top of page 50). Beekeepers have proven to be quite adept
at breeding varroa resistant to any miticide (in the case of couma-
phos, it took us only three years). Since we really dont know the
exact mode(s) of action of oxalic acid upon varroa, theres no telling
how readily the mite will be able to evolve resistance. The scary Figure 15. In this ironically humorous photo, one of my col-
thing is that theres not much margin of safety between the dose of laborators is using a container of Taktic as a weight in order
oxalic that kills mites, and that which kills beesso if mites develop to press the OA/gly solution out of a stack of towelsper-
even marginal resistance, wed lose oxalic as a viable treatment. haps akin to forcing someone to dig their own grave?
All indications are that the OA/gly strip or towel application
method, despite containing fairly large amounts of acid, are not applying strong selective pressure for oxalic-resistant mites, thereby
harmful to the hive. Indeed, as best I can tell, the bees thrive in the screwing it up for the rest of us.
slightly acidified environment. But if beekeepers leave oxalic strips
in their hives 365 days a year, or even rely upon it as their only Practical application: OA/gly towels appear to be a dream
treatment, without rotation of other modes of action, they will be come true for beekeepers (Fig.25). Please dont screw up a good

January 2017 47
Table 2. In the dribble and sublimation applications, only a
small amount of oxalic acid is applied in a flash-type short-
term treatment. The Aluen CAP strips used by Maggi are an
extended-release treatment, apparently (based upon mite
drop) releasing OA for three weeks to a month (with some
amount of unreleased OA residue remaining in the strips).
The pressed dry shop towel, which is removed by the bees
over the course of about a month, contains less OA, and Figure 17. Bees readily chewed the dry towels, and in the
some is contained in the towel trash carried out of the hive. process apparently exposed the mites to OA. I included this
photo since beekeepers love to see pictures of dead mites.
I didnt take sticky board counts, but Maggis data indicate
that the Aluen strips cause serious mite drop for three to
four weeks.

Table 3. We tested two application methods of the dry


towelseither laid across the top bars of the lower hive
body, or hung over a central brood frame in the lower
box. I also tested simply placing thymol crystals in a 70
mm jar lid, covered by 1/8 hardware cloth, in order to
see whether simple thymol evaporation would be as effec-
tive as an Apiguard treatment. *Some of the Control and
Thymol Crystal hives died from mites; 2 of the Hung towels
dropped and were censored.
Figure 18. As I hoped, the bees removed the dry towels,
dragging pieces of them through the brood nest, which
likely helped to distribute the OA/gly solution to other
bees bodies. This photo is of a hive given a wet towel,
with slits cut into it at time of application, which resulted
in excessively quick removal.

Figure 16. Bees rearing brood beneath a hung shop


towel. This method certainly forced rubbing of the bees
against the towel, and resulted in good exposure to OA.
Unfortunately, the bees chewed the top edges of some,
causing them to drop to the hive floors, where they then Figure 19. Typical beautiful brood pattern during treatment
lay untouched. with a dry towel. Photo courtesy Aaron Bergman.

48 American Bee Journal


thing by overusing them! Rotate treatmentsusing biotechni-
cal methods, formic acid, thymol, and perhaps Apivar strips to
delay the development of oxalic-resistant mites.

THE FORMULA
It is only legal to use oxalic acid that has the EPA label on the
package, and it is a violation of Federal law to use the product in a
manner inconsistent with its labeling. I am not in any way suggesting
that beekeepers mix or apply this formulation unless it is registered
for such use in your State.
For each towel (1 towel per hive):
Wearing nitrile gloves and eye protection, measure 25 mL of
food-grade glycerin, and heat it to the temperature of hot coffee in
the microwave (easiest) or on the stove. Weigh out 25 g of oxalic

Figure 22. During hot weather (and thus high temperatures


in the rim space), the thymol crystals quickly melted, but
despite the temperature, evaporated only to minimal ex-
tent (Ive confirmed this in other tests). Bees build a prop-
olis wall around thymol vapors, but I could easily smell
thymol every time that I opened the hive cover (there was
always plenty of clear vertical space above the screen). It
appears that the efficacy of Apiguard is due to the bees
coming in physical contact with the granules as they re-
move them from the hive, rather than from vaporization
of the thymol.

Figure 20. The bees work at the dry towels at a nice rate,
thus exposing themselves to OA.

Figure 23. Results of the trial. Mite counts in the Controls


went up as expected. The OA/gly towels performed as well
as Apiguard. The thymol crystals were of little benefit. I
hesitate to offer Henderson-Tilton calculations of efficacy
(due to the small ns), but for the flat towels it was 95%.

Figure 21. As I hoped, colonies removed most of the flat-


laid towels in about a month, with some degree of propo-
lization. Ive got ideas to reduce that problem. In any case,
the objective of removal in about a month was largely
metany remaining residues could safely be scraped from
the top bars and discarded on the ground (although youd
want to rinse your hive tool afterward). Such pesticide Figure 24. Oxalic acid is not yet registered as a varroacide
waste is about as dangerous as is lemon slices, and read- in all states. If its not yet registered in your state, start
ily biodegrades. making phone calls.

January 2017 49
tells me that during damp winter conditions, the oxalic acid may
rEsIsTanCE managEmEnT: any Varroa mite popu- crystallize on the surface of strips and cause problems to the
lation has the potential to become resistant to insecticides. bees (such as wing damage). I have not yet had the chance to
Resistance development is affected by both the frequency test myself.
of application and rate/dose of application. Continued re-
liance on a single class of miticide or single miticide with TrEaTmEnTs arE only
the same mode of action will select for resistant individuals buyIng us TImE
which may dominate the mite population in subsequent gen- I must temper my enthusiasm about OA/gly by reminding you
erationsTo delay resistance: rotate the use of miticides that this is still only a stopgap flyswatter as far in the long-term
to reduce selection pressure as compared to repeatedly us- picture of varroa management. We need to start demanding of our
ing the same product, mode or action or chemical class. If queen producers that we want, and are willing to pay for, truly
multiple applications are required, use a different mode of mite-resistant stock. In my concurrent series I will lay out how
action each time before returning to a previously-used one. our industry can realistically do that. We only need guidance from
scientistswe can do the work ourselves. Stay tuned.

aCknoWlEdgEmEnTs
This research was funded by donations to ScientificBeekeeping.
com, with major funding by boston Honey Company, Inc., Hol-
liston, massachusetts. If you find such research to be of value, feel
free to donate at the website. Thank you to those of you who have
contributed, as it is very costly to perform such research, not only in
labor, but in resultant loss of those colonies that I intentionally allow
to reach high mite levels for research purposes (we blew off nearly
200 hives for research purposes this season alone). I could not man-
age all the work without the skilled assistance of my sons Eric and
Ian. Thanks to collaborating beekeepers Fernando Esteban, Juanse
Barros, Aaron Bergman, Richard Hyde, Kenny Reed, and Charles
Linder. And to organic chemists Mark Burlingame, Richard Cryberg,
and Edmond Stark.

noTEs and CITaTIons


1
Suggested to me by Fernando Esteban of Argentina.
2
maggi, m, et al (2015) A new formulation of oxalic acid for Var-
Figure 25. I strongly suspect that the trio above is going to roa destructor control applied in Apis mellifera colonies in the
become a treatment of choice for many beekeepers, both presence of brood. Apidologie 47(4): 596605.
3
recreational and commercial. Lets hope that we can get During periods in which colonies are full of brood and the bee
the method quickly approved by the EPA! population is expanding, the daily intrinsic rate of increase (with-
out drift) is limited to around 0.021 (for use in the formula Pt = P0
acid dihydrate (wood bleach), and stir it into the hot glycerin until *ert), and will be roughly reflected in alcohol wash counts. I will
it is fully dissolved (you can reheat, but dont bring it to a boil[7]). elaborate upon this in an upcoming installment.
4
This will produce enough solution to saturate 1 shop towel (multiply Maggi used strips each containing 10g of OA and 20g of glycerin.
these figures by the number of towels that you wish to prepare). Soak We used a common kitchen formulation from Argentina of a
a stack of towels in the warm solution until they are all fully satu- 6:10 ratio. Thus, Maggi applied 40g of OA per single-box hive.
rated.[8] Then place them in a tray with a catch drain, and squeeze With the 4-strip/box treatment, we applied a total of 39g of OA,
or press them until youve recovered half the solution (it will be essentially the same amount as Maggi. The 2-strip/box treatment
surprisingly blue, and can be reused). The final dry towel will hold was roughly half that dose.
5
about 25 g of solution, and weigh about 31 g. Although humans enjoy the aromas of some essential oils, we
Handle the towels with nitrile gloves (as the OA/gly solution should keep in mind that plants generally produce these oils in
sticks readily to your skin, and can easily be transferred to every- order to repel insects or other herbivores. Bees clearly do not like
thing and anything you touch!). Luckily, it washes off easily with some essential oils, and my impression was that the colonies were
warm water. I am not suggesting that you actually do this, but it is stressed by their presence.
6
easy to check for residues on your fingers by seeing if they taste like Ive researched the literature, and consulted at length with a few
lemon juice. Oxalic acid can be easily neutralized by baking soda organic chemists. The oxalic/glycerin/water/temperature/time
dissolved in water. chemistry is complex. There may be reversible esterification oc-
Note: it is possible to dissolve a greater amount of OA into the curring to some extent, and reversible solubility issues.
7
glycerin (Ill experiment next season). I suspect that this application At boiling, the water molecules unbind from the oxalic dihydrate,
method can still be improved on. and esterification and other reactions begin.
8
Two InterDesign Refrigerator and Freezer Storage Organizer
Practical caution: Ive only tested this application method on Trays for Kitchen, 12 x 2 x 14.5, work very well for soaking
colonies during the dry California summer. Fernando Esteban and drainingthey stack, and fit a shop towel nicely.

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50 American Bee Journal


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52 American Bee Journal


I imagine that some readers may be thinking, Randy lives in cannabis country with
the rest of the fruits and nuts in Californiawhats he been putting into his smoker?
And Im glad to hear that, since smart minds exhibit a healthy degree of skepticism for
any claim put forward without strong supportive evidence. Since I feel that this issue is
important to the beekeeping industry, Im happy to offer that evidence, and then let you
decide whether Im merely blowing smoke.

THE NECESSARY EVOLUTION OF amitraz may change that, since without an inexpensive, effective

F
MITE MANAGEMENT miticide at their disposal, mite control will become more difficult.
ifteen years ago, I planted nearly a hundred fruit trees and So now, after waiting eight years, I feel that the time has come to
grape vines at my place. Once they were established and fruit- present the argument that we should finally get serious about deal-
ing, to my dismay I found that in order to bring fruit to the ing with varroa. For thirty years weve been managing The Varroa
table, that (at least in my region) some of the cultivars needed time- Problem with flyswatters and Band-Aids. We could make beekeep-
consuming treatments. But others, season after season, have required ing so much easier if we, as an industry, worked together to shift the
no special care. Since my time is limited, Ive been replacing those genetics of the North American bee population toward stocks that
that required regular spraying with those that take care of them- were able to manage varroa on their own.
selves. Rather than fighting nature, its easier to simply use stock
selectively bred for disease resistance in my locale. PROOF OF CONCEPT
Farmers and ranchers worldwide have long realized that its I wouldnt expect any serious beekeeper to waste their time con-
generally easier and more profitable to grow or keep stock adapted sidering my proposal unless I could present firm evidence of plausi-
for your region. Such strains require the minimal amount of inputs bility. And as such I offer the following exhibits:
and management (which is why, for example, there are few almond
growers outside of Californias Central Valley.[1]) Worldwide, many
beekeepers realize this, and recent research has confirmed it.[2] But
since there just arent enough queens produced for sale in many
ecoregions[3], the bulk of our managed bees consists of stocks spe-
cifically tailored for high-input commercial migratory operations.
Theres nothing wrong with that, but theres no reason to expect such
stock to survive without regular treatments against varroa.
Anyway, after playing the Sisyphus role for 25 years, Im getting
sick and tired of fighting the damn mite. If I can grow trees and vines
that can deal with pests and parasites by themselves, why the heck
wouldnt I want to keep bees that can do the same?

ITS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING


This article is not coming off the top of my head--I wrote the first
draft back in 2008.[4] But at that time I felt that our industry was not
yet ready for it--some hobbyists, perhaps, but not the commercial Apis cerana is nearly identical to our bee, yet has evolu-
guys who have the greatest impact upon the managed bee breeding tionarily figured out how to keep varroa under firm con-
population. As Ive previously explained, the inevitable failure of trol. Photograph by Azman, CC BY-SA-3.0.

January 2017 53
Exhibit A: Apis cerana. This sister species to our bee is the natu- Personally, the mere thought of beekeeping without regard to varroa
ral host of varroa, and has established a stable and non-threatening brings a smile to my face.
host-parasite relationship with the mite..
Exhibit B: The Africanized bees. Although mite resistance var- TWO EXCITING NEW STUDIES
ies in this widespread population, in many areas beekeepers find And as obvious as it was that mite resistance was achievable, I
little reason to bother to apply treatments. still hesitated to write about it, because other researchers were hav-
Exhibit C: The USDA VSH and Russian stocks. These stocks ing trouble in understanding the exact mechanisms involved. Ive
are maintained without any mite treatments whatsoever, and there spent the past couple of years researching and writing my series
is hard data showing that they can perform well in commercial Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline (and am now a much
operations.[5] better beekeeper because of it). In doing so, I came to realize that if
Exhibit D: The U.S. feral populations. As Ive pointed out pre- I want to beat the mite, that I need to understand varroa at the same
viously[6], there are numerous unbroken maternal lines of feral bees deep levelto put myself into its body and experience the world
existing in the U.S. that have not been propagated by breeders. They through its senses, and to achieve the same deep understanding of
are living proof that many different bloodlines of bees living wild how some bees have evolved to coexist with this parasite. I now feel
in this country have survived through nearly three decades of varroa that Im nearing that understanding.
pressure.
Exhibit E: The pioneers. John Kefuss, Kirk Webster, and many
small-scale breeders are successfully keeping bees of selected stocks
without using any mite treatments (there are even a few almond pol-
linators in this group). It will require expanding numbers of this last
subset to convince our industry of the feasibility of using resistant
stock. A note: the vocal self-righteous attitude of some of these early
adopters doesnt help their causecommercial beekeepers copy fi-
nancial success, not rhetoric.

The varroa mite is tiny and blind, and experiences the


world in ways nearly incomprehensible to humans. To beat
the mite, we need to learn to understand how varroa exists
at the scale in the photo above. Photo credit ARS, public
domain.
Ive also spent several hundred hours in developing a mite popu-
lation model (which I plan to soon make publicly available). The
I visited pioneer Kirk Webster in the early years of his model confirms that mite resistance is achievable by the bees slightly
breeding program. It wasnt easy for him[7], but he now tweaking a few behaviors and chemical cues.
runs an entirely treatment-free and profitable opera- And then in the last few months, two new studies riveted my
tion, producing honey and selling nucs. Photo credit attention, finally explaining key varroa resistance mechanisms in
Mike Palmer. different types of bees.[11] Ill return to these incredibly important
papers later in this series, but to me, they confirmed that there was
Exhibit F: The Savannah and Cape bee races in South Af- more than one way for bees to skin the varroa cat.
rica. I saved the best for last. South Africa has a robust bee industry,
which was invaded by varroa in 1997. However, unlike as in Europe Practical application: These findings brought to mind the
and North America, few beekeepers chose to use varroacides. Plenty Zero, one, infinity principle. That is, in solutions to a problem,
of hives collapsed in the first few years, but both races of indig- there are either none (its unsolvable), theres only one solution,
enous honey bees (of the same species as the bee that we keep) soon or there are an arbitrary number of ways to solve the problem.
showed signs of resistance. In a few years, varroa was considered to The two studies clearly showed that there are indeed any num-
be only an incidental pest.[8] ber of ways for bees and varroa to coevolve a working relation-
ship. This fact suggests that regional breeds of mite-resistant
Practical application: At every bee conference in the U.S., var- bees, as well as commercial bloodlines, may well exhibit different
roa is a major topic. On the other hand, read the Chairmans mechanisms for resistance.
Report from the 2016 South African Bee Industry General Meet-
ingthe words varroa or mites are not even mentioned![9] OUR MAIN CHALLENGES
And in the most recent issue of the South African Bee Journal, Professional beekeepers have every right to be skeptical of being
varroa got only brief mention in a single scientific article on bee sold some sort of pipe dream, and can come up with any number
pests, saying that a new study had figured out the bees specific of reasons why they think that it will be difficult to shift to mite-
resistance mechanisms.[10] How refreshing it would be to not resistant stocks. Yeah, change generally comes with problems, but I
even have to think about varroa. dont see any that are insurmountable. Ive thought this through
the obstacles appear to me to be less of a problem than The Varroa
To be clear, I am not about to advocate going treatment free cold Problem itself.
turkeymost of us would go out of business in short order (not to The first problem is lack of demand (and thus little financial incen-
mention the collapse of the almond industry). But there is absolutely tive to produce resistant stock). Im a big believer in the power of the
nothing to keep us from making a smooth transition (I will later de- free market. It can drive major changes seemingly overnight. Whats
scribe how we can go about doing this). That is, if we have the will. held back adoption of varroa resistant bees is lack of demand. Its sort

54 American Bee Journal


of a Catch-22 situation--so long as the customers of the larger queen with, and how many queens you can involve in the program each
producers dont demand mite-resistant stock, the breeders have little season.
incentive to go in that direction. But until truly bulletproof stock is
readily available, no one will be picky enough to demand it. Practical application: the good thing is that you can start to
The second problem is that there is a general feeling that it would realize a benefit long before your stock is bulletproof. If you
be too darn hard for Joe Queenproducer to set up a rigorous breed- can reduce your need for treatments to only once a season, that
ing program, requiring a scientific background and tedious assess- alone may pay for the costs involved in the program.
ment and recordkeeping. Luckily, nothing could be further from the
truthany of the queen producers that I know could easily do it. And dont delude yourself. Youre not going to be selling mite-
resistant queens after the first couple of years. Once your stock
Practical application: any large queen producer with at least exhibits consistent resistance, youll need to maintain strong selec-
one semi-isolated mating yard can undertake a serious selective tive pressure until the involved traits are fixed in the population.
breeding program for mite resistance.[12] The more hives in- And most importantly, dont start advertising your stock as mite
volved (hundreds), the better chance at success. You dont need resistant until it truly is.
to be a scientist, nor need special equipment, nor take risk, nor
spend a lot of money. Ill detail exactly how to go about it later THE NEED FOR HARD NUMBERS
in this series. The worst thing is to advertise queens as being mite resistant
unless they truly are. And even then, even resistant colonies can
The main obstacle is not the biological ability of bee stocks to be overwhelmed by mites drifting in from poorly-managed nearby
manage mites on their own, but rather the problem with maintaining hives. This gives mite resistant a bad name.
the reproductive isolation necessary for a breeding program. Luck-
ily, this isolation can be realized by having a mating yard in an area Practical application: Over the years, Ive tested mite-re-
remote from other hives (or ferals), or by simply dominating the sistant breeder or production queens from many sources. I
drone population with ones selected stock. And this only needs to introduce them into nucs in my home yard, starting identical
occur once each spring during the mating of the selected virgins to nucs with my own stock to run side by side. A very few re-
the drones produced by selected drone mother hives. sistant queens actually lived up to that name, but the major-
ity succumbed to mites even more quickly than my own stock
(and I make zero claim for my own stock being resistant). Bee-
keepers have every reason to be skeptical of claims for mite
resistance.

Professional beekeepers have huge overhead costs, and families


of employees who depend upon them to successfully keep their
hives alive and healthy. They cannot, and will not, take the risk of
switching to mite-resistant stock until they see hard numbers that
show that such stock is actually going to do the trickfor a mite-
resistant stock to crack the market, it will need to produce strong
hives for almonds and then make honey, and not be overrun by
mites come September.

Practical application: Buyer beware! Monitor any test colo-


nies to track whether they indeed hold mites at low levels. Be
prepared to step in with a treatment if necessary. But remem-
ber, even if a stock reduces the rate of mite increase by only
10%, you could drop at least one treatment per season. This
is going to be a processdont expect completely bulletproof
mites at the outset.

DIFFICULT DOESNT MEAN IMPOSSIBLE


Ive personally kept colonies that laughed at varroa, and whose
daughters clearly inherited some degree of mite resistance. I feel
that I have no one but myself to blame for not being diligent enough
The map above shows the locations of our apiaries (red in propagating those bloodlines (I failed at managing the drone
plus signs; blues are ponds). Obviously, we can control population).
most of the drone population in our mating yards, since
our hives return from almonds chock full of dronesahead Personal side note: Ive done half-assed selection for mite
of the local hives not taken to almonds. resistance for some years (with clear benefit), but now that
Ive taken the time to understand whats involved in a realis-
Practical application: You will need to devote some yards to tic breeding program, Im stepping up my game. Things look
the breeding program. The good news is that no colonies need promising so far, and Im excited about one queen line that ex-
to die in the process, you can still use mite treatments, and run hibits a degree of heritability of resistance. Ill be reporting on
nearly all colonies for production or pollination. ReallyIm my progress.
gonna tell you how to do it.
That said, Im not about to claim that I have mite-resistant stock.
Heres the thing: there are only a relatively tiny number of colo- Every spring, after grafting from 30 promising breeders exhibiting
nies worldwide in serious breeding programs. Just a few big large very low mite levels, we maintain them without treatments until
U.S. queen producers could make much faster progress. The costs mid summer. And every year, nearly all of them then require treat-
involved are truly minimal, and the potential gain, tremendous. ment to survive.
I could get discouraged. But instead I remember a quote from
DONT EXPECT AN IMMEDIATE MIRACLE Thomas Edison:
If you start from scratch, itll take at least several years to develop Many of lifes failures are people who did not realize how close
a truly mite-resistant breed, depending upon the stock that you start they were to success when they gave up.

January 2017 55
The above is the kind of hard data that will be required to tempt professional beekeepers to try mite-resistant stock. Hori-
zontal lines above the bars mean no significant difference. Figure modified from ARS testing.[13]

Practical application: I have no illusion that things will change keeping operations. J Economic Entomology 101(3): 654 659.
overnight. What I do know is that once enough early adopters De Guzman, LI (2007) Growth of Varroa destructor (Acari: Var-
find that using mite-resistant stock makes beekeeping easier and roidae) populations in Russian honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
more profitable, that our industry will eventually reach a tip colonies. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 100(2): 187-195.
point, after which queen producers will have a hard time selling 6 http://scientificbeekeeping.com/whats-happening-to-the-
mite-susceptible stock. We will soon afterward talk about the bees-part-5-is-there-a-difference-between-domesticated-and-
days when varroa used to be a problem. feral-bees/
7 Kirk used the Bond method, which involves the loss of colonies.
GOING BEYOND FLYSWATTERS AND BANDAIDS It is entirely unnecessary to do this in order to successfully breed
Weve fought varroa with flyswatters and Band-Aids for over two for mite resistance.
decades. Its time to move to a more serious and sustainable solu- 8 Allsopp, M (2006) Analysis of Varroa destructor infestation of
tionhanding the job over to the bees themselves. There is abundant Southern African honeybee populations. M.S. Thesis, Univ. of
evidence that this long-term solution is within our grasp. We know Pretoria. http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-08082007-
our objective; the only question then is what realistic and practical 153050/unrestricted/dissertation.pdf A must read for anyone
steps we can take to achieve that goal. Over the rest of this series, I interested in breeding bees for varroa resistance.
will lay out how to do it. 9 Report of the Chairman South African Bee Industry Associa-
tion Annual General Meeting 2nd July 2016 http://www.sabio.
NEXT: SO MUCH TO COVERIM NOT YET SURE, BUT org.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Chairmans-Report-
ILL EVENTUALLY ANSWER ALL YOUR QUESTIONS. AGM-2016.pdf
There was considerable concern about the recent invasion of
AKNOWLEDGEMENTS AFB, but no mention of varroa. For more information, see:
Thanks to Pete Borst for his assistance in research, and to those Strauss, U, et al. (2015) Impact of Varroa destructor on hon-
reality-based pioneering beekeepers at work selecting for mite-re- eybee (Apis mellifera scutellata) colony development in South
sistant stocks (meaning that the bees never allow varroa to reach Africa Exp Appl Acarol 65: 89. Open access.
damaging levels). Pirk, CWW, et al (2014) A survey of managed honey bee colony
losses in the Republic of South Africa - 2009 to 2011. J Apic Res
NOTES AND CITATIONS 53:35-42. Open access.
(Most of the papers cited below are (with a bit of diligence) avail- Strauss, U, et al CWW (2013) Seasonal prevalence of pathogens
able open access on the Web). and parasites in the savannah honeybee (Apis mellifera scutel-
1 You could produce almonds anywhere, but the expenses neces- lata). J Invertebr Pathol 114:45-52. Open access.
sary would not be worth the returns. 10 http://sabio.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/SA%20
2 Bchler, R, et al (2014) The influence of genetic origin and its Bee%20Journal%20August%202016.pdf
interaction with environmental effects on the survival of Apis 11 Strauss, U, et al (2015) Resistance rather than tolerance explains
mellifera L. colonies in Europe. Journal of Apicultural Research survival of savannah honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata) to in-
53(2): 205-214. festation by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. Parasitology
3 This is a huge business opportunity. 143: 374387.
4 In hindsight, perhaps I shoulda finished researching and writing Page, P, et al (2016) Social apoptosis in honey bee superor-
it at that time-- my mind was much sharper eight years ago : ( ganisms. Nature Scientific Reports 6:27210 DOI: 10.1038/
5 Danka, RG, et al (2012) Functionality of varroa-resistant honey srep27210.
bees (Hymenoptera:Apidae) when used in migratory beekeep- 12 No liquid nitrogen testing, instrumental insemination, or record-
ing for crop pollination. Journal of Economic Entomology keeping involved.
105(2):313-321. 13 Danka, RG, et al (2015) Selection of VSH-derived Pol-line
Ward, K, et al (2008) Comparative performance of two mite-resis- honey bees and evaluation of their Varroa-resistance characteris-
tant stocks of honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Alabama bee- tics. Apidologie 47(3): 483490.

56 American Bee Journal


58 American Bee Journal
T
he convergence of populations brings of syrup, pollen substitute, almond pollen because its the treatment that appears to
with it many risks. The convergence and nectar, and come into contact with in- be easiest on their queens and developing
of athletes to the Olympics every four secticides and fungicides, despite the Al- brood. Many also wonder about treatment
years is an opportunity to share colds and mond Boards Guide for Best Management efficacy. Some beekeepers wait until after
flu. Refugee camps and disaster shelters are Practices (http://www.almonds.com/sites/ petal-fall to treat. The variances across the
breeding grounds for disease, stress, and the default/files/content/attachments/honey_ many commercial and sideline operators in
ignition of social issues. The convergence bee_best_management_practices_for_ treatment protocols, IPMs and BMPs be-
of too many animals in a small space leads ca_almonds.pdf) while working the bloom. fore, during, and after almond pollination,
to disease transmission, pandemics and create opportunities for a lot of mite mix-
other stressors that lead to a proliferation ing and viral vectoring between outfits. As
of disease and pests. The clustering of 2.5 Dr. Dennis van Engles- honey bees are social insects, those that are
million colonies of commercial crop polli-
nating honey bees in almonds each Febru-
dorp speaks of this high healthy, hungry and strong will locate the
neighboring less active colonies and take
ary is certainly a catalyst for the spread of mite count risk to healthy advantage of free forage, often bringing
pests and pathogens. If the bees encounter a back with them mites and diseases. When
pesticide exposure in addition to the stress
colonies within areas of frames of bees are stolen from one hive and
of the place, immune systems begin to fail. heavy bee congregations. deposited into other equipment, or com-
Hundreds of beekeepers with thousands bined with a weaker hive, disease and pest
of colonies congregate in Americas bread It just takes one hive with transmission is unavoidable.
basket each spring to ensure growers get high mite counts to infect When colonies go into winter with mite
a good nut set. Weather and honey bee counts higher than 1-3 per 100 bees, Dr.
health are two very important factors that surrounding hives. It just Dennis van Englesdorp claims that colony
influence the success of the largest pollina- takes one beekeeper with failure the following spring is probable.
tion event on the planet. For a great nut set During a presentation at the Bee Culture
resulting in high crop yield, weather should 200 hives spread out in workshop in Medina, Ohio October 2015,
be above 55F, mostly sunny, and not too
breezy. Honey bees must be plentiful and
an orchard to have their Dr. Dennis van Englesdorp spoke of this
high mite count risk to healthy colonies
healthy enough to fly throughout the bloom. mites unloaded into all within areas of heavy bee congregations. It
High honey bee winter losses though, can
put a damper on this pollination party.
of the surrounding hives. just takes one hive with high mite counts to
infect surrounding hives. It just takes one
On average, most beekeepers move To help prevent mite beekeeper with 200 hives spread out in an
colonies into the orchards in the middle of orchard to have their mites unloaded into all
January to be ready when the bloom pops
populations from explod- of the surrounding hives. To help prevent
between February 9 15th . If beekeepers ing, he suggests a com- mite populations from exploding, he sug-
choose not to treat for Varroa until after gests a community treatment day.
petal-fall, and theyve gone into the al- munity treatment day. Bee Informed Partnership reviewed close
monds in mid-January with mite counts to 1000 samples from hives in almonds in
higher than the recommended 1-2 mites per Most commercial beekeepers run pallet- February 2016. Most counts were near
100 bees, theres a good chance their bees ized operations so mite counts using sticky zero. Dr. van Englesdorp stated, We be-
are stressed, not only from high mite counts, boards are not convenient options. Some lieve that collapsing colonies that have high
but also from the act of pollinating almonds. treat prophylactically with Apivar or a form density of mites, spread within and between
Honey bees in almonds survive on a diet of amitraz when they arrive in the almonds operations. These mite bombs result from

January 2017 59
colonies heading into the summer with too association bee yard with the beekeepers
many mites (more than 1 mite per 100 bees then returning to their home bee yards to
= 3 mites in a typical 1/2 cup sample). If practice what they learned at the clubs yard.
treatments are missed, or there is reduced Treating their hives and then re-checking
treatment efficacy from not following the mite levels in 2 to 3 weeks could maintain
label directions, colonies could exceed safe levels to insure winter survival.
mite threshold by late summer. Weakened Honey bee husbandry considerations in
immune systems from high mite loads, large commercial operations and smaller
pesticides, and poor forage exacerbate the sideline and backyard apiaries are surpris-
situation, and the end of summer death spi- ingly similar: What is the go-to treatment
ral so many beekeepers encounter begins. to reduce mite loads, kill Varroa under the
Commercial beekeepers pollinating al- cap, and cleanse colonies of viruses, sick
monds should know their operations mite bees and queens? What treatment saves
counts going into the almonds to avoid busy beekeepers time, money and energy?
infecting another operation. As our honey How can proactively practicing a strength
bees traverse the country pollinating crops, to strength beekeeping approach at petal-
and producing honey, we have a second op- fall, prepare healthy bees for splitting and
portunity to eradicate as many Varroa as we re-queening? What treatments are best used
can when colonies converge in North Da- to clean up colonies and prevent swarming
kota for the summer. We can help reduce while preparing to split an operation? Is
the impact of mite load transfers by holding there a preferred treatment that highlights
another community day of treatment in sick, weak and dying bees and queens, so
North Dakota. Traditionally, May and Au- combining and re-queening efforts can be
gust treatments are the Best Management performed expeditiously following mite
Practice for IPM in North Dakota. Bee- treatments while making splits? Are the
keepers can treat with Formic acid while splits sold or put back into the outfit with
they take the last honey supers off, then the the assurance the bees are mite free and
bees can winter in a shed or in sunny Cali- healthy?
fornia. Community treatments if subsi- Everyone is focused on honey bee health:
dized three times a year would certainly beekeepers, researchers, environmentalists,
help the beekeeping industry. Government and policy makers. Americans want to con-
and miticide manufacturer funding could tinue to have the diversity of food beekeep-
be developed to support this endeavor. No ers and farmers work together to deliver.
matter if your hives are stationary or migra- How can we capitalize on the convergence
tory, all beekeepers must work to protect of two million plus hives first in California,
their bees, and therefore their neighbors and a few months later in North Dakota to
bees from pests and pathogens. Commer- treat for a common pest?
cial beekeeper, John Miller exclaimed, We Gordy Wardell summed up the start of the
know of community treatment initiatives pollination season well in the February 2016
in livestock. A recent example of nursing Project Apis m. newsletter, . . . we have to
homes and hospitals cooperating to reduce take our hats off to the American beekeep-
C. difficile by 36% caught my attention. ers who managed to provide colonies for the
What if a community Varroa treatment re- largest commercial pollination event in the
duced Varroa by 36% - in late August? Its world. Two million colonies in one place
time we get serious about Varroa commu- (California) at one time. Pollination is not
nity treatment. (Rochester hospitals unite something that can be outsourced; we cant
to defeat a difficult foe: C. difficile, http:// rely on other countries to do this job for us,
on.wsj.com/1OiIah8 ) our borders are closed to bees on combs. All
Stationary sideliners are able to moni- of those bees come from this great country.
tor their hives more often, and correct mite Its truly amazing when you consider the
levels before deadly results occur. Whether scope of the undertaking.
soft or hard chemicals are used, following Sacrifice, diligence, perseverance, de-
the label when applying treatments results in termination, and hard work; these are just
hives with low, but acceptable mite levels. a few of the virtues beekeepers must call
Do check your mite counts pre- and post- upon to ensure our crops are abundant, and
application to ensure the efficacy of the our food choices diverse. A subsidized or
treatment. Early detection and treatment, free community day of treatment in honor
and then routine monitoring/testing with re- of beekeepers dedication and devotion to
treating if needed keeps a sideliners hives Americas food security is the least we can
healthy. do to reciprocate.
Backyard/sideliner beekeepers could
benefit from a community treatment day as
well. With the presence of migratory bee-
keepers on the doorsteps of stationary back- High Quality Beekeeping
yard and sideliner beekeepers, the results are
an increased Varroa pressure. Many back- Equipment & Bottling
yard beekeepers have a false sense of treat- Machines at swienty.com
ment until that Varroa infestation arrives,
and they may lose their hive to an unrealized
virus load. A consistent treatment and test-
ing plan is the best course of action. A local ... for better honey
treatment day could begin at the county

60 American Bee Journal


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62 American Bee Journal


M
aking a few queens for the hobby ing larvae. This frame must have been Meanwhile, back in the queen-producing
beekeepers can be a simple affair. loaded with beeswax foundation. For rea- colony, your newly hatched larvae should
It was the original intent of this sons that will soon become obvious, plastic be neatly lined up at the bottom of the cut
column to use a method that has been in use foundation does not work. Find the para- brood comb. These larvae will be used by
since the invention of the movable frame bolic curve in that frame where eggs are the bees in the queenless colony to make
hive by Langstroth in 1850. Now there is just below newly hatching larvae. Cut the new queens. This process must be watched
another method developed that may be eas- wax comb completely through and remove closely. The bees will start those queens
ier and better. the lower portion of the comb where the within 24 hours. It only takes 16 days to
Why would a hobby beekeeper want to eggs are. Yes, we are sacrificing newly laid make a queen. The cells need to be removed
make a dozen queens? You can take a queen eggs for the good of our new queens to be. as soon as they are capped. This takes less
cell from your chosen queen-producing If you feel sorrow about sacrificing the than two weeks. The bees will make those
colony and place that queen cell into a hive eggs, you can save them. Place them into a queens over a 2 -3 day time. If one hatches,
body with a frame or two of brood and ad- brood frame with beeswax foundation. Cut she will immediately assassinate all 10 of
hering bees. That nucleus colony will grow out the wax foundation to match the size of her rivals with help from the workers.
rapidly. New queens are now $25 each and the pieces with brood eggs. Use string and When the queens are cut out, do not
up. The queens are more expensive than nails. Tap the nails into the top bar and bot- handle the queen cells. Those queens will
ever. Making a few queens is not difficult. tom bar to hold the string. Nails must be on be easily damaged. Cut about an inch di-
I am not talking about grafting, using both sides of the top and bottom bar. Zigzag ameter piece of comb out above the new
queen cell bank frames or using plastic cell the string to the nails making a fence to hold queens. Use this comb piece as a handle. It
cups. It is necessary to use queen-rearing the loose brood comb eggs into the frame. will have brood in it but this can be moved
equipment if you wish to commercially You can put this in your nucleus colony and to the nucleus colonies you make up with
produce queens for sale. However, making let the bees wax in everything and tend to your new queen cells. A queen cell with
a dozen queens for your own use can be the eggs as they hatch. two frames of capped brood from a strong
done more easily. Keep in mind that a doz-
en is about all you will get and that is hardly
enough to build a queen-rearing business.
A strong colony is needed to produce
queens. Bees have a natural tendency to
produce queens in the spring. This is best
time to stimulate queen production. That
colony which is getting strong and likely to
swarm is the best choice. To induce queen
rearing, you must first remove the queen
in the chosen strong colony. Remove her
and one frame of capped brood covered
with bees. Place this frame into a colony
for making a nucleus. If you have a second
strong colony, it is best to shake the bees off
another frame of capped brood and add this
to the nucleus colony you will make. Two
frames of brood, a queen and a frame or two
of honey will grow faster than any package
of bees in the mail. You can make up this
nucleus and expect it to make a strong col-
ony that year. It will likely produce honey
surplus in the first year, especially if fed
protein patties.
Once you remove the queen and bees, This is an old comb due for replacement that has been cut to illustrate the ap-
look for a frame with eggs and just-hatch- pearance of brood comb cut for queens.

January 2017 63
colony will grow quickly. You can also use tors. They supplement what our honey bees
your new queen cells to requeen weak colo- are doing for pollination. Wild pollinators
nies. The break in brood cycle that comes work plants that bees skip. There is much
with using queen cells lasts more than two pollination that wild pollinators cannot ac-
weeks. That break will help reduce mite in- complish. This is especially true in large
festations. When capped brood is removed agricultural production. The bottom line
from a strong colony, placing foundation is we need all the pollinators we can get.
into the middle of the brood nest to replace Wildlife food plants are most likely polli-
the frame is good. The bees perceive the in- nated by wild pollinators.
crease in space within the brood nest as a Treat your bees for mites each fall. Use
sign that swarming is not necessary. screen bottom boards. Use health-promot-
Remember to leave a couple of queen ing products for your bees. Feed sugar
cells in the colony that donated their queen and or honey in the fall in large quantities
and a frame of brood for the purpose of to build strong colonies going into winter.
queen cell construction. These queen cells It is likely your bees have Nosema. Con-
will allow that colony to requeen itself. You sider treatment for this pest as well. Trap
can take as few as three colonies and make and remove small hive beetles. Responsible
up 3 nucleus colonies resulting in an api- beekeeping means taking good care of your
ary of 6 hives instead of 3. This procedure bees. There are good physical and mechani-
will not only make more colonies but re- cal controls and natural chemicals for most
duce swarming in the colonies you have. bee problems. Use these products as indi-
It also reduces mites because brood is not cated on the labels. You can keep bees natu-
available for at least two weeks. Your new rally using good health practices.
queens will go on mating flights. It is not Ripe queen cell on comb
likely but possible that a queen can be con-
sumed by a bird on her mating flight. That single apiary is exceedingly small. The
is a risk you must take to get new queens chances of those few colonies of bees hav-
for nuclei. ing a worldwide bee-saving genetic trait
I met Mel Disselkoen and bought his is so minute as to be less likely than win-
book at our state beekeepers meeting. He ning a world-wide lottery. You have a much
has developed a method of raising queens greater chance of being struck by lightning.
similar to what I have described. Instead of Queen breeders source from hundreds and
cutting up a brood comb, he recommends even thousands of colonies. There is talk of
using a hive tool to pull down the comb the genetics in these commercial operations
below day-old larvae. The opening of that being too narrow as we speak. It has taken
brood comb below the right age larvae re- years with thousands of colonies involved
places cutting the entire comb at the bot- to develop hygienic traits in honey bees.
tom. In my opinion, this is a brilliant way This is not going to happen in your back
to reduce the work, make a few queens and yard. These hygienic traits can be purchased
make up multiple nucleus colonies from 1 from many queen breeders. Why would you
or 2 favored donor colonies. The queens want any other type of bee? Breeding from
must still be removed from these colonies local survivors is something that was re-
to stimulate queen rearing. cently recommended in this column. Local
Mel calls his method On-the-Spot Queen survivors probably have hygienic traits.
Rearing. The book title is abbreviated OTS Secondly, you are not trying to find one
Queen Rearing. I am so intrigued by his genetic trait. Hygienic behavior itself re-
method; I will try it this spring and report quires multiple traits. But why would any-
the process. If you are interested in raising one think they can develop multiple traits
a few queens in a hobby apiary, this book for numerous diseases, some bacterial, oth-
is highly recommended. The explanation in ers viral, where every disease requires its
this article is oversimplified. Take my word own set of genetic defenses. Couple this
for it, you need the book. It explains the with trying to gain genetic traits that stop
timeline, his notching method and method- mites and where are you? If our scientific
ology in great detail. Mel has raised queens community cannot come up with a simple
commercially. This book is a great refer- solution, why do you have any confidence
ence, even if you decide to use the Doolittle that your backyard apiary is going to save
method described above. the world of beekeeping?
One other thing must be said here. There Finally, it is not responsible as a bee-
was a conversation between myself and a keeper to allow your bees to harbor diseas-
fellow beekeeper recently about Organic es and mites that affect others bees. There
Beekeeping. Many hobbyist beekeepers are organic solutions to some of these prob-
want to keep bees chemical free. To them lems. Hygienic bees are one solution. For-
this means skipping treatments for mites, mic acid used in the fall is an organic solu-
Nosema, small hive beetles and all other tion. Bees, ants and wasps use formic acid
honey bee pests and diseases. They are mis- to keep their homes clean. Formic acid can
guided in assuming the bees in a small api- reduce mite populations in your bee colo-
ary will adapt and thrive once the diseases nies significantly and it is Organic. We
have been exposed to natural selection. now know that some of the diseases in hon-
There are numerous erroneous assumptions ey bees can be transferred to other social
with this idea. bees and perhaps even some solitary bees.
First, the circumscription of the geo- Spreading disease to these wild pollinators
graphic and population sample size in a is irresponsible. We need our wild pollina-

64 American Bee Journal


November 2016 65
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66 American Bee Journal


Immunity in the Superorganism the Mechanisms

T
his month marks the two-year anni- not end as long as there is a viable planet pathogens, antimicrobial peptides, and cells
versary of the start of my serial his- Earth to contain it. that promote melanization a process anal-
tory on the evolution of the honey So I am in no danger of running out of ogous to scar tissue formation in mammals
bee. It has been my wish to explore the deep material for monthly columns. that walls off invading cells.5
origins of things we regularly observe in our This month I want to turn our attention Even though honey bees boast a full rep-
colonies and to give the biological bases for to the topic of immunity in the superorgan- ertoire of these immune classes, they are
the practices beekeepers do to maximize ism. Bearing in mind that superorganisms relatively impoverished in the gene richness
bee health and honey crops. The fact that do the sorts of things that organisms do, its of those classes. Compared to two widely
24 months have passed and we arent close no surprise to learn that there are integrated studied solitary insect groups fruit flies
to the final chapter is testimony to the deeps behaviors and phenomena in the honey bee in the genus Drosophila and mosquitoes
we are plumbing. The modern honey bee colony that deter the entry and prolifera- in the genus Anopheles honey bees pos-
colony is the product of an evolutive pro- tion of pathogens and parasites in the nest. sess about one-third fewer immune genes6,
cess in which the re-shuffled genomes of There are parallels to the immune systems and the genes they retain appear to be very
each generation are pitted against a new of organismal creatures such as ourselves4, ancient. In other words, honey bees have
seasons challenges and gifts, with the win- but when the focus is on the superorganism not kept pace with solitary insects when it
ning combinations rewarded with another the term most commonly used is social im- comes to richness and diversity of immune
opportunity to reproduce. Each iteration im- munity. responses. The two best explanations for
proves the fit of the species with the habi- Before we get started, I need to point out this are that (1) bees tend to be attacked by
tat it occupies. As our bee moved from a that immunity against pathogens exists in a fairly small number of highly coevolved
solitary to increasingly social species, genes the honey bee at two levels of organization pathogens, thus narrowing the range of de-
that formerly served in solitary contexts the level of individual bee and the level of mands on immunity, or (2) the innovation of
were coopted into new social functions. As colony. Individual bees express innate im- social life and simultaneous evolution of
colony members increased in number, the munity with a variety of means shared with social immunity have down-graded selec-
opportunities grew for spontaneous emer- other insects. These include initial defenses tion pressures for individual innate immu-
gent order as each member made indepen- such as antimicrobial secretions on the in- nity.7 For the individual, it appears, social
dent decisions based on her immediate local tegument, microbe-hostile gut chemistry, life decreases costs for disease resistance.
conditions. Innate behaviors and preexist- and the physical barrier of the gut lining. For our present purposes it is social im-
ing physical constraints allied to create such If pathogens breach these outer defenses, munity we want to focus on. But it is impor-
marvels as the beeswax comb, winter ther- they next encounter cellular and humoral tant for readers to understand that individual
moregulation, symbolic dance language, (body fluid) resistances such as enzymes innate immunity is still live and well, acting
and group decision making. Self-regulating that degrade pathogens, cells that engulf as another layer of immunity in the colony.
feedback loops and stops in the bee colony I organize my following synopsis of social
mirrored similar things that were evolving immunity with the sequential lines of de-
in the cells and tissues of metazoan animals fense approach used by Cremer et al.8
like ourselves. The language of science be- Lets look first at the possible modes of
comes inadequate to capture the wondrous parasite transmission. Epidemiologists rec-
and tapestried connectivity of it all. I am ognize two: the first is parasite transmission
reminded of the faun Tumnus in C.S. Lew- that happens between parent and offspring.
iss fictional Narnia when Tumnus grasps This is called vertical transmission, and
for words to describe the new world he is in the case of honey bees it is best under-
seeing for the first time: its like an onion: stood as transmission between a parent
except that as you continue to go in and in, colony and its swarm. The second mode of
each circle is larger than the last.1 transmission happens between two mem-
In the case of the genus Apis, this great bers of the same generation. This is called
experiment has been repeating for 30-40 horizontal transmission, and in honey bees
million generations2, and in the case of one this happens when parasites are transmitted
of its youngest members, Apis mellifera, for between colonies. Of the two, horizontal
6-8 million generations.3 And the story of Figure 1. A forager bee collecting tree transmission is expected to select for more
the honey bee and her descendants will resin. virulent pathogens.9

January 2017 67
The first line of social defense is to pre- hygiene not the specific form that has be- socially encapsulate invasive small hive
vent the uptake of parasites by individual come a familiar management tool against beetles with propolis prisons in an action
nest members. As biotic threats to a nest are Varroa; that one comes later. analogous to scarring and abscess formation
by definition external to the nest, the mem- For now, were including one of the most in mammals.14
bers most prone to parasite uptake are the well-known examples of insect-applied an- In the event a parasite becomes estab-
foragers. In honey bees, one way to limit timicrobials the use of plant resins. Honey lished in the nest, then the colony attempts
parasite uptake is to narrow the range of bees collect tree resins (Fig. 1), return them a fourth line of defense limiting the para-
individuals engaged in this risky behavior, to the nest, mix them with beeswax, and sites spread between colony groups. The
and in a normal colony foraging is indeed apply them inside cells and onto nest cav- probability of a healthy colony member
restricted to the oldest, and most expend- ity walls, at which point we call the sub- becoming infected is a product of its sus-
able individuals. If an old forager becomes stance propolis (Fig. 2). The substance has ceptibility, its contact rate with an infected
infected, its short remaining lifetime limits antimicrobial properties which serve to individual, and the infectivity of that indi-
its opportunity for spreading the parasite. reduce pathogen load in the nest environ- vidual (number of infectious propagules it
A second line of defense is to prevent ment. However, it has also been recently carries). The most direct way to reduce in-
or reduce parasite intake the entry of shown that propolis reduces the expression fectious propagules is to pick them off and
parasites into the nest. At a basic level this of immune response genes in 7-day old kill them and the best example of this for
is exercised in the choice of bees to occupy bees. The significance of a reduction in im- bees is the well-known grooming behavior
cavities. Entrances to these cavities tend to mune response was due to an overall reduc- against Varroa mites. Bees expressing this
be small, ranging from 10-40 cm2 in area10, tion in bacterial loads in the experimentally heritable trait can detect and remove mites
which restricts access points for nest invad- propolis-treated colonies, but moreover, a off their own bodies or bodies of nestmates
ers and limits the surveillance demands on highly charged immune system is not only and sometimes lethally bite them15. A similar
guard bees. However, as we mentioned, indicative of a pathogen problem, but it is strategy is employed with so-called hygienic
many parasites gain entry to colonies not also exhausting on the bees to sustain the lines of bees that are capable of detecting
by direct assault but by catching a ride on a response.11 Propolis therefore turns the compromised cells of brood, opening them
forager. This is the exclusive mode of entry temperature down on a stressful situation up, and removing the infected pupa and its
for the Varroa mite which is otherwise in- first by direct antimicrobial action and associated pathogens or parasites.16
capable of independent movement between second by reducing the need for the bees to A higher-order expression of this fourth
colonies. Guard bees inspect returning for- ramp up a costly immune reaction. Colonies line of defense happens with the fact that
agers and repel those infected with patho- whose bees are in a sustained state of im- members of a colony do not randomly dis-
gens including viruses, but I am unaware of mune response produce less brood.12 tribute themselves throughout a nest, but
any evidence that guard bees restrict entry There are other behaviors in the colony instead compartmentalize themselves into
of Varroa-laden nestmates. Nevertheless, that constitute hygienic resistance to para- recognizable zones based on age and re-
the choice of nest site and guard policing site establishment in the nest. These include productive status. Young bees, the brood,
behaviors constitute an important line of the well-known undertaker bees who re- and the queen are always central in the nest
social defense. move corpses of dead nestmates from the whereas older hive bees and foragers pre-
If these first lines of defense fail, or if the nest. And venom, it turns out, has more uses dominate at the periphery. As social interac-
parasite gains a foothold through vertical than its well-known function in defense; tions are more common within, rather than
transmission, then the third line of defense there is evidence that bees apply it to their across, these compartments, this has the ef-
focuses on preventing the parasite from get- beeswax combs and onto their own integu- fect of localizing parasites and limiting their
ting established in the nest. This is where ments, apparently benefiting from venoms spread (Fig. 3). This has been called orga-
we see a battery of hygienic behaviors come antimicrobial properties.13 And lastly, there nizational immunity17, and readers of this
into play, and for a beekeeping audience I is evidence that the Cape Honey Bees of column will recognize it as an easy example
must clarify that Im talking about general southern Africa, Apis mellifera capensis, of an emergent property the kind of order
that emerges spontaneously given enabling
pre-existing conditions.
Another higher-order example of limiting
a parasites spread invokes genetic diversity,
and here we harken back to polyandry, the
subject of my installment in May 2016 the
queens habit of mating with many males
which causes her workers to be genetically
diverse. Genetic homogeneity, sameness,
would be a dangerous situation in a dense
aggregation of individuals like a social in-
sect colony. One virulent pathogen could
sweep through the nest with devastating
results. But genetic diversity not only in-
creases the likelihood that individuals will
possess innate resistance mechanisms to a
variety of pathogens, it also increases behav-
ioral repertoires that add up to social immu-
nity. A good example is hygienic behavior.
It is not just one behavior, but rather a suite
of behaviors the ability to detect abnormal
brood, the ability to uncap it, the ability to
Figure 2. Bees mix plant resins with beeswax to produce propolis. They coat remove the contents, and a low tolerance
it on the interiors of nest cavities and brood cells. Although its initial function threshold for abnormal brood that stimulates
may have been to give structural strength to combs, propolis also confers an- the possessor to engage in the process. There
timicrobial benefits to the colony and reduces energetic costs associated with are at least six genetic regions responsible
innate immune responses. This image shows the interior of a Langstroth hive in for these behaviors18, and a multiply-mated
South Africa in which the bees have severely restricted the entrance size with queen has a better chance of delivering
a sheet of propolis. all necessary genes to her colony. It is no

68 American Bee Journal


bees Apis mellifera. Insect Molecular Bi-
ology 15: 645-656 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-
2583.2006.00682.x
8 Cremer, S. et al. 2007. Social immu-
nity. Current Biology 17: R693-R702
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2007.06.008
9 Bull, J.J., et al. 1991. Selection of be-
nevolence in a host-parasite system.
Evolution 45: 875-882
10 Seeley, T.D. and R.A. Morse. 1976.
The nest of the honey bee (Apis mellifera
L.). Insectes Sociaux 23: 495-512
11 Simone-Finstrom, M. and M. Spivak.
2010. Propolis and bee health: the natu-
ral history and significance of resin use
by honey bees. Apidologie 41: 295-311
12 Evans J.D. and J.S. Pettis. 2005. Col-
ony-level impacts of immune respon-
siveness in honey bees, Apis mellifera.
Evolution 59: 2270-2274
13 Baracchi, D. and S. Turillazzi. 2010.
Differences in venom and cuticular pep-
tides in individuals of Apis mellifera
(Hymenoptera: Apidae) determined by
Figure 3. Bees in a colony compartmentalize themselves into zones based on MALDI-TOF MS. Journal of Insect
age and reproductive status. Young bees, the brood, and the queen (with gold Physiology 56: 366-375
halo) are centered in the nest (light zone) whereas older maintenance workers 14 Neumann, P. et al. 2001. Social encap-
and foragers predominate at the periphery (red zone). Social interactions sulation of beetle parasites by Cape hon-
(shown by connecting lines) are more common within, rather than across, these eybee colonies (Apis mellifera capensis
compartments; this has the effect of localizing parasites and limiting their Esch.). Naturwissenschaften 88: 214-216
spread, an outcome called organizational immunity. The zones are not equal 15 Guzman-Novoa, E. et al. 2012. Ge-
in value. The brood, queen, and young bees are more important than the older notypic variability and relationships
between mite infestation levels, mite
bees on the edge. It is from the older edge cohorts that foragers are drawn that damage, grooming intensity, and re-
leave the colony (lower left), and as the most expendable cohort in the colony, moval of Varroa destructor mites in se-
it is foragers that are most likely to experience parasite uptake. By extension, lected strains of worker honey bees (Apis
foragers tendency to linger in the periphery tends to restrict infected individu- mellifera L.). Journal of Invertebrate Pa-
als ( ) to the periphery. Image re-drawn from Cremer et al.8 thology 110: 314-320
16 Spivak, M. and M. Gilliam. 1998. Hy-
surprise that high rates of queen polyandry construction, mating behavior, group deci- gienic behaviour of honey bees and its
have been associated with lower disease in- sion-making, and so many others, the social application for control of brood diseases
cidence in colonies.19 immunity pod is an outcome of interacting and Varroa. Part II. Studies on hygienic
As a fifth and final line of defense we behaviors, pre-existing conditions, and emer- behaviour since the Rothenbuhler era.
can hypothesize on colony strategies that gent properties. This month we covered some Bee World 79: 169-186 DOI:10.1080/0
limit vertical transmission of parasites to of its mechanisms, but we havent yet talked 005772X.1998.11099408
a colonys swarm offspring. One line of about how it is regulated or how it evolved. 17 Naug, D. and B. Smith. 2007. Experi-
evidence for this is the fact that Nosema- mentally induced change in infectious
infected workers remove themselves from References period affects transmission dynamics in
tending the queen20; as it is the old queen 1 Lewis, C.S. and P. Baynes. 1956. The a social group. Proceedings of the Royal
that moves with a swarm, this can be inter- Last Battle. Chronicles of Narnia, 7. Society of London B 274: 61-65
preted as a strategy for reducing Nosema New York: Macmillan 18 Oxley, P.R. et al. 2010. Six quantita-
risk to the swarm offspring. The existence of 2 Engel. M.S. 1998. Fossil honey bees and tive trait loci influence task thresholds
natural selection against horizontal transmis- evolution in the genus Apis (Hymenop- for hygienic behaviour in honeybees
sion seems less likely, at least from the point tera: Apidae) Apidologie 29: 265281 (Apis mellifera). Molecular Ecology
of view of an infected colony. There is no 3 Garnery, L. et al. 1991. Phylogenetic 19: 14521461. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-
obvious evolutionary advantage to protect- relationships in the genus Apis inferred 294X.2010.04569.x
ing a neighboring colony from your infec- from mitochondrial DNA sequence data. 19 Tarpy, D.R. and T.D. Seeley. 2006.
tion unless that colony is closely related or Apidologie 22: 8792 Lower disease infections in honey bee
its proximity increases the chance for your 4 Cremer, S. and M. Sixt. 2009. Analo- (Apis mellifera) colonies headed by
re-infection. If natural selection responds to gies in the evolution of individual and polyandrous vs monandrous queens.
horizontal transmission at all, it is probably social immunity. Philosophical Transac- Naturwissenschaften 93: 195-199
active as a defensive measure in step one tions of the Royal Society B 364: 129- 20 Wang, D.I. and F.E. Moeller. 1970.
above reducing uptake of parasites. This 142 DOI:10.1098/rstb.2008.0166 The division of labor and queen atten-
may be one explanation why colonies in na- 5 Hoffmann, J.A. 2003. The immune re- dance behavior of Nosema-infected
ture separate themselves from one another sponse of Drosophila. Nature 426: 33-38 worker honey bees. Journal of Economic
at rather large distances, ranging from 304 6 The Honeybee Genome Sequencing Entomology 63: 1539-1541
- 4848 meters.21 Consortium. 2006. Insights into social 21 from data cited in: Nolan, M.P. and
By now it is apparent that social immu- insects from the genome of the honeybee K.S. Delaplane. 2016. Distance between
nity is yet another one of those complex and Apis mellifera. Nature 443(7114): 931- honey bee Apis mellifera colonies regu-
interacting pods of biologic phenomena that 949 DOI: 10.1038/nature05260 lates populations of Varroa destructor
collectively make up the honey bee super- 7 Evans, J.D. et al. 2006. Immune path- at a landscape scale. Apidologie DOI:
organism. Like caste differentiation, comb ways and defence mechanisms in honey 10.1007/s13592-016-0443-9

January 2017 69
P
ropolis is commonly considered by a benefit in survival. In 2010 a comprehen- 10% essential oils, 5% pollen, and 5% other
beekeepers the bane of their exis- sive review of propolis and honey bee health organic compounds and displays common
tence. It gums up the hive making it was published. This review was a mere biological activities.2 Those activities, rela-
difficult to perform even the most simple tease, providing researchers many more tive to honey bees, are; antibacterial, anti-
tasks. As a result, beekeepers have selected questions for future research.1 Since this oxidant, antiparasitic, antifungal, antiviral,
against this trait and today few commercial review was published, researchers world- anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory.
queen breeders purposefully produce queens wide have started to explore propolis and its In temperate climates in the United States
whose progeny are propolizers. When I action within the hive. And the research is the primary source for the plant resins col-
capture swarms from areas where bees beginning to suggest that it may not be co- lected by honey bees are poplar, birch, horse
are actively managed, the lack of propolis incidence that honey bee health has declined chestnut, alder, beech, and some conifers. A
production is a common trait. In contrast as we humans have selected against propolis Typical propolis sample from temperate re-
swarms that I capture from areas with little production. gions contains over 300 unique compounds.
active beekeeping activity, and I presume to The primary compound types in this propo-
be for the most part feral, typically gum up WHAT IS PROPOLIS lis are; phenolic acids and esters, flavonoids,
my equipment within weeks. As a molecu- Propolis is a complex mixture of com- terpenes, lignans, aromatic aldehydes and
lar biologist, this suggested to me that there pounds produced by honey bees and certain alcohols, fatty acids, stilbenes, and steroids.
remains a fairly strong natural selection pro- other insects, the exact mixture varies from Propolis from other climates or regions con-
cess for propolis production and that human country to country, region to region, and is tain a totally different mix of compounds;
selective forces interferes with the natural dependent on the local fauna. The general yet, demonstrate similar biological activity.
selection process. My research experience mixture, however, remains fairly consis- Interestingly, just as with nectar, honey
told me that organisms rarely endeavor in tent. Honey bee propolis generally consists bees appear to be just as selective in col-
costly energetic behavior unless it provides of 50% botanical compounds, 30% waxes, lecting plant resins for use in propolis. A

(l) Propolis deposited by bees on the top of new frames of a hive that has been selected for propolis production. (r) Propo-
lis deposited on the top of new frames as well as being deposited to seal the seams between frames and the hive body.

January 2017 71
(l) Two workers bees depositing propolis between the hive body and a freshly placed top feeder. (r) Propolis deposited
on a bottom board from a hive selected for propolis production.
recent study examined propolis for unique Propolis production represents one de- Paenibacillus larvae (responsible for Amer-
markers that identified the plant resin fense behavior that appears to protect the ican foulbrood, AFB) and Ascosphaera
source.3 This research indicates that honey colony and downward modulate individual apis (responsible for chalkbrood).4 Propolis
bees appear to ignore some tree species honey bee immune systems.5 During the extracts have been found to have miticide
that produce abundant quantities of plant summer and autumn, honey bee colonies properties against Varroa mite in vitro.8 A
resin. This selection appears to be highly maintained in a propolis envelope found in- recent in vivo experiment that utilized an
specific with honey bees differentiating be- dividual honey bees had decreased and more Egyptian propolis ethanolic extract in 50%
tween even closely related species, in this uniform baseline expression of immune sugar water demonstrated a 100% reduction
study selectively collecting resin from one genes. The activation of immune systems in AFB clinical symptoms in AFB-infected
white birch species while ignoring another in any organism is energetically costly and colonies.9
white birch species. This research and other typically tied to negative long-term biologi- For the most part, the miticide properties
research suggests that selection of plant cal consequences (stress, decreased lifespan, of propolis have not yet been borne out in
resins for propolis production is not based etc). The researchers hypothesized that prop- in vivo studies. However, biology is rarely
solely on the plant resins antimicrobial olis may function to reduce individual honey as simple as scientists would like it to be. A
attributes. As an interesting side note for bee immune system expression. Of interest study that examined propolis chemical com-
urban beekeepers, recent research identi- the researchers found no significant differ- position in Varroa mite resistant and suscep-
fied petroleum derivatives from asphalt in ences between bacterial or pathogen levels tible bees in Avignon, France demonstrated
propolis suggesting that the honey bees between colonies maintained in a propolis just how complex the question may be.10 The
may collect resins from unexpected sources enveloped colony as compared to control researchers found that Varroa mite resistant
when the environment limits availability of colonies. However, the research offers some colonies had lower amounts of 70% ethanol
ideal compounds.4 tantalizing data that suggests that colonies soluble content in their propolis. However,
maintained in propolis envelopes demon- the composition of the propolis from Var-
PROPOLIS AND BIOLOGY strate increased strength after overwintering. roa mite resistant colonies had higher con-
Honey bees are social insects; this so- Research has started to explore the ex- centrations of specific chemical components
cial trait has important implications on the pressed traits of bees that produce large as compared to susceptible colonies. The
biology and selection processes that act on quantities of propolis (HP) versus bees that researchers go on to hypothesize that the
honey bees. In the typical biological sense, produce low amounts of propolis (LP).6,7 Varroa mite resistant colonies in Avignon,
natural selection works on the reproduc- The researchers crossed HP and LP queens France may allocate less resources in total
tively active individual, in other words only and drones. It was found that HP x HP colo- to gathering plant resins, lending to the idea
those individuals capable of producing off- nies displayed significantly higher brood that propolis producing colonies may be
spring. In the case of honey bees that would viability, significantly increased worker life more productive.
be the drones and the queen. However, the spans, enhanced hygenic behavior, higher As has been previously mentioned, the
social aspect of honey bees, much like hu- honey production, and collected more pol- composition of propolis is highly altered by
mans, adds a complexity to this simple natu- len. However, it should be noted this work regional differences in plant fauna. And as
ral selection model. One can consider the was performed in Africanized honey bees we have observed from the previous stud-
honey bee colony as a super organism that (AHB). The researchers examined for Var- ies described above altered propolis com-
is reproductive and hence an additional level roa destructor resistance and no differences position alters the biological activity of the
where natural selection acts. were identified. The researchers postulate propolis. A recent study examined regional
In a healthy honey bee colony the collec- that AHB have previously been identified as differences in propolis composition and an-
tive of individual honey bee defense behav- being tolerant to Varroa mite and therefore timicrobial activity for AFB and chalkbrood
iors produces a colony immune response, the this study may not appropriately address the in the United States.11 The study examined
consequence of which results in a downward Varroa mite vs. propolis question. 12 climatically diverse regions finding
modulation of each honey bees immune re- Researchers have also explored the bio- honey bees in each region produce a chemi-
sponse. In other words, the sum of the whole activity of propolis on various honey bee cally unique propolis. Of greater interest was
(the colony immune response) is greater than pathogens. This work has mostly been in the finding that propolis from the various
its individual parts (individual honey bee vitro (in the laboratory) but some in vivo (in regions commonly displayed different anti-
immune response). Because each honey bee the organism/colony) experiments are begin- microbial and antifungal properties. Propolis
shares in her sisters immune response she ning to appear in the literature. Numerous from Nevada, Texas, California, Colorado,
expends less energy in maintaining her own in vitro experiments have demonstrated the and North Dakota displayed inhibitory prop-
immune response. inhibitory activity of propolis extracts on erties against both AFB and chalkbrood;

72 American Bee Journal


whereas, propolis from Georgia, New York, 8
Mezgabu, Ebisa, et al, Occurrence and
Louisiana, and Minnesota displayed limited Distribution of Varroa Mite and Anti-
inhibition of AFB and relatively good inhi- varroa Effect of Propolis in Walmara
bition of chalkbrood. District of Oromia Special Zone Around
Finfine, Ethiopia, J Vet Science & Tech-
CONCLUSION nology 7(5), 1-6, 2016.
9
When one considers that there are at Kamel, A., et al, Propolis as a natural
least 31 diverse organisms or viruses that antibiotic to control American foulbrood
parasitize honey bees, it becomes clear that disease in honey bee colonies, African
researchers have a long way to go in under- Journal of Agricultural Research 8(23),
standing the complex relationship that exists 3047-3062, 2013.
10
between propolis and the honey bee colony. Popova, M., et al, Propolis chemical
In the last decade, several hundred papers composition and honeybee resistance
have been published looking at various as- against Varroa destructor, Natural Prod-
pects of propolis. Many of these papers are uct Research, 1-7, 2014.
11
focused in parts of the world where beekeep- Wilson, M., et al, Regional variation in
ers have limited access to costly chemical composition and antimicrobial activity
treatments. Yet, through these papers one of US propolis against Paenibacillus lar-
gets the feeling that natural selection led to vae and Ascosphaera apis, J Invertebrate
propolis and it was not merely to be the bane Pathology 124, 44-50, 2015.
of the beekeepers existence.
I have started to select for propolis produc-
tion in my queen breeding program. Similar
to the research by Nicodemo et al5,6, I have
observed that some traits seem to be read-
ily passed with (genetically linked) propo-
lis production. My propolis hives typically
demonstrate enhanced vitality and strength.
Their brood chambers appear to be larger and
foraging from those hives begins earlier and
ends later in the day. I have also experienced
fewer issues with swarming from my prop-
olis-rich hives. Albeit, my observations are
strictly qualitative, but my experience sug-
gests to me that my propolis-rich hives make
it easier for me to be a successful beekeeper
in spite of the gummed up equipment.

Footnotes
1
Simone-Finstrom, Michael and Spi-
vak, Marla, Propolis and bee health:
the natural history and significance of
resin use by honey bees, Apidologie 41,
295311, 2010.
2
Alday, Efrain, et al, Chapter 5: Ad-
vances in Pharmacological Activities
and Chemical Composition of Propolis
Produced in Americas, Beekeeping and
Bee Conservation - Advances in Re-
search, Dechechi Chambo, Emerson,
InTech, Rijeka, Croatia, 99-151, 2016.
3
Isidorov, Valery, et al, Selective Behav-
iour of Honeybees in Acquiring Euro-
pean Propolis Plant Precursors, J Chem
Ecol 42,475485, 2016.
4
Alqarni, Abdulaziz, et al, Organic Trac-
ers from Asphalt in Propolis Produced
by Urban Honey Bees, Apis mellifera
Linn., PLoS ONE 10(6), 2015.
5
Borba, Renata, et al, Seasonal benefits
of a natural propolis envelope to honey
bee immunity and colony health, J Exp
Biology 218, 3689-3699, 2015.
6
Nicodemo, D, et al, Honey bee lines se-
lected for high propolis production also
have superior hygienic behavior and in-
creased honey and pollen stores. Genet.
Mol. Res. 12, 6931-6938, 2013.
7
Nicodemo, D, et al, Increased brood vi-
ability and longer lifespan of honeybees
selected for propolis production. Apidol-
ogie 45, 269-275, 2014.

January 2017 73
74 American Bee Journal
W
hen I was in my twenties I had second language to Italians part time while wild mushrooms, fresh and dried fish, to
the unexpected fortune of falling writing and raising our two daughters. One antiques, jewelry, household linens, gadgets,
in love with an Italian man, and of the things I found to like in Italy was the toys, houseplants, clothing, and more.
so, inevitably, have had to spend most of my frequency and variety of outdoor markets. It was at one such outdoor market, held in
married adult life in Italy. At these, any and nearly all manner of things the courtyard of a fifth century monastery,
Having earned degrees in American were for sale, from vegetables and fruit, where I first came across the honey man.
Literature and Writing, I taught English as a bread, cheese, salami, olives and oil, grappa, He was an older gentleman from the Turin
area, but I have lost track of his name. At his
booth were displayed over twenty different
unifloral honeys. Surrounding his table was
a large crowd of potential buyers, and as I
inched my way to the front, I saw he was
offering taste samples of each honey.
Growing up in Ohio and New Jersey, I
was fond of the cut comb honey my mother
used to buy at the supermarket, and as a
teenager learning to bake, I experimented
widely with using honey as a substitute for
sugar in cake and quick bread recipes. But
it had never fully dawned on me that the
aroma and taste of honey would vary wildly
according to which flowers the bees visited
for nectar and pollen.
The old gentleman inquired about
what sort of honey I would like to try
something delicate? Something strong?
A dark liquid honey? A crystallized citrus
honey? Or something bitter?
Not quite believing that honey could taste
bitter, I chose the last, and he offered me a
tiny tasting spoonful of corbezzolo honey.
Corbezzolo, which is Arbutus unedo, or
strawberry tree, grows all over the Italian
island of Sardinia, and, less prolifically in
Calabria, Sicily, and southern Tuscany. It is
related to the U.S. west coast madrona tree.
The tiny taste of arbutus honey filled my
mouth with a burst of fresh green bitter ivy,
aromatic and medicinal as Listerine gold,
and I loved it. I tried several more of the
mans honeys, then purchased a two pound
jar of arbutus, and one pound jars of heather
The Crea-Api research laboratory located in Bologna, Italy. and eucalyptus honeys.

January 2017 75
I finished that first jar of arbutus honey
in a couple of months, and next time there
was an outdoor market in the monastery
courtyard, I was there bright and early for
another big jar of this Sardinian honey I
could find in no local shop. (Locally, black
locust and chestnut honeys are ubiquitous).
The honey man gave me his business
card, and after that, whenever I ran out, I
telephoned him in Turin, and he mailed
me a nicely boxed jar of honey, c.o.d. The
honey man was not a producer himself, just
a honey connoisseur who purchased high-
quality unifloral honeys from producers
throughout Italy, and bottled them under his
own label.
Years passed, our daughters grew up, and
we moved to a house surrounded by fruit
orchards, pastures, and woods. Passionate
about aromatic herbs, I planted an extensive
and unusual flowering herb garden, and
noticed that some distant neighbors kept
bees. That winter, looking through a
pamphlet of adult education courses, I
was drawn to the course on apiculture
(beekeeping), and signed up to start in
January of 2007.
It was held at the local beekeepers
association headquarters, taught by the
officers and veterinarian of the association,
and lasted ten weeksone two-hour
evening course per week.
There were about 20 of us in the course.
Some of my fellow students were already
Evaluating honey samples in the class. Standing are Gian Luigi Marcazzan and beekeepers, but had learned their skills from
Dario Pozzolo. a family member or mentor and wanted to
improve their knowledge and technique. But
most of us were new to beekeeping.
By early spring I had acquired all the
necessary basic equipment second hand and
had it gamma rayed at a nearby factory. A
neighbor and fellow beekeeper sold me two
colonies.
With each passing year my apiary grew,
and, unless the weather was exceptionally
uncooperative, I produced more honey.
The bee veterinarian from the association
became a friend and occasional visitor, and
on one of his visits I proudly showed him
a jar of my newly harvested black locust
honey.
He said, It looks very nice, except for
those black specks!
What black specks? I said.
If you entered this honey in a
competition, points would be taken off for
that.
After he had left I used a magnifying glass
and did indeed see a couple of miniscule
black specks in my honey.
It was only the following year that I
figured out that the black specks were tiny
fragments of burnt honey coming off my
electric uncapping knife. I scrubbed it to its
original splendor with steel wool.
I also discovered later that my friend the
bee vet was on the National Registry of
Honey Tasting Experts, a pre requisite for
Italian honey competition judges.
The following year, having taken care
of the black speck problem, and carefully
Unifloral honey samples ready for taste testing. separating my first harvest honey before

76 American Bee Journal


uncapping, sometimes even frame by
frame, for light colored black locust honey,
I believed my product was ready for a
competition.
I entered the first edition of the Golden
Bee Great Honeys of Lombardy in the fall
of 2013. After some weeks had passed, I
received a phone call from the president of
the Association of Lombardy Beekeepers
congratulating me on my honey that
had placed ninth with a score of 88.33
(considered very good), and inviting me
to attend the awards ceremony in Brescia.
When I received my quality certificate, I
noted that, under observations was written,
Taste/smellpresence of crucifer. In fact,
my husband had planted broccoli rabe next
to my hives that year.
The next year, I asked him to plant the
broccoli rabe somewhere else, and, in the
fall of 2014 I again entered my black locust
unifloral honey in the second edition of
the same contest. There were many more
entries that year, so my honey placed lower,
even with its higher score or 91.25 (still in
the very good category), and the visual
observation, slight presence of foam.
In 2015 I double strained all my honey
using a regular strainer over an organza
bag, and took a risk by entering three
different honeysblack locust, wildflower,
and chestnutin the third edition of the
contest.
My black locust came in 14th, with an
almost excellent score of 94.67, my Instructors Dario Pozzolo (left), and Sergio Massi introduce the class to the gen-
wildflower honey surprised me by placing eral principles of sensory analysis.
6th (thanks in part to my flowering herb
gardens), with a score of 94.33, while my periodically, at various places throughout analysis (how the sample compares
chestnut honey, unsurprisingly to me, really Italy. sensorially to the established standard for
bombed, coming in 19th, with a score of In addition, the Crea-Api research that honey), and of course, sensory analysis,
60.50 (sufficient). This was because the laboratory, located in the institute building, is on honey samples brought or sent in.
many chestnut and linden trees where I fully accredited to perform physiochemical I wondered how the standard for a
live are simultaneously in bloom, and it is analysis (refraction, crystallization, density, unifloral honey was decided. The standard
impossible to separate the two honeys when hydroscopicity, electric conduction, for a black locust honey, for example, allows
uncapping. The observation was, Not viscosity, specific rotation, color, plus extreme variability in quantity of black
conforming well to the category. presence of sugars, water, ph, minerals, locust pollen, although, in general, it should
Having received expert judgment on my amino acids, HMF), palynologic analysis contain not less than 15% of this plants
products made me curious as to how people (types and quantity of pollen), biometric pollen. On the other hand, chestnut honeys
become honey tasters, and, with a web
search I found Crea-Api.
Crea-Api is the Italian institute for
research in beekeeping and sericulture
(silkworm rearing). It is part of the Council
for Agricultural Research, and has been in
operation, in Bologna, but under different
names, for nearly a hundred years.
This is the only institute in the world that
offers a three-part course (followed over a
period of at least fourteen months) in the
sensory analysis of honey. The third and final
part of the course, second level expertise,
ends with an exam that, if passed, qualifies
one to be on the national registry of expert
honey tasters. It is a required qualification
for Italian honey judges and honey tasting
instructors. Each part of the course lasts for
an intense 3-4 days, then a period of at least
5-9 months must elapse before moving on to
the next level. During those months students
are expected to study and practice regularly
on their own. The courses are offered at A view of the basic chemical lab at the Crea-Api Center in Bologna. Other labs
the institute headquarters in Bologna, and, at the center include the Analytical Lab, Microscopy Lab and Sensory Lab.

January 2017 77
a small plastic spoon and inhale ever more
profoundly, and begin to take mental and
written notes of perceived aromas.
Yes, it smelled good, and it smelled like
honey, but what other aromas could you pick
up? If the honey were sunflower, maybe
it smelled a little like cooked carrot, or
cardboard. If it were citrus honey, it smelled
flowery, perhaps fruity, too, like fruit gele
slices, and a tiny bit metallic.
The further we went with this exercise the
more apparent it became that each unifloral
honey had a distinctive, definable aroma
unlike any of the others.
By the second day we were allowed to
taste the honey samplesafter identifying
each aroma, a tiny bit of honey on a plastic
spoon, let it spread all over the tongue and
inhale a little air over the tongue to open up
Laboratory analysis at Crea Api. the flavor.
Sure, it tasted sweet, but on further
thought, it was so much more than just
standard for chestnut pollen is 90% or more. Sensory Evaluation of Food (by Amerine, sweet.
Apparently, more than fifteen years ago, M.A., Prangborn, M.R.; Roessler. E.B., The sunflower honey that smelled of
when the standards were being developed, Academic Press, New York, Food Science cardboard and carrot blossomed on the
many samples of each unifloral honey were and Technology). These principles included tongue to a wonderful flavor of dried
gathered from all over Italy, and, initially a laboratory physiochemical analysis, a tomato, raisins, and pollen. And the citrus
relying only on sensory analysis, composite sensory panel analysis, and statistical means. honeys flavor, very like its aroma, reminded
profiles were created according to what The first course in sensory analysis of me of springtime in Naples when the orange
tasted consistent and right. honey was held in France in 1978, by Michel flowers are in bloom.
I decided to register for the introductory Gonnet and Gabriel Vache, These two then The first couple times we smelled and
honey sensory analysis course held in collaborated on the book, Le Gout du Miel: tasted the samples we were told of what
January 2016, in Bologna. lAnalyse Sensorielle et les Applications botanical origin each was, but thereafter we
It was a four-day course, so I booked a dune Mthode dEvaluation de le Qualit were expected to recognize the unmarked
hotel room and took the high-speed train des Miels (Ed. U.N.A.F., Paris, 1985). honeys by using our senses and our notes.
from Milan, arriving in central Bologna in In 1979 Gonnet was invited to hold the The seventeen unifloral Italian honeys
one hour, just in time to catch the 27b bus first introductory course in Italy. studied were: black locust, citrus,
from the train station to the research center, In 1984, advanced courses were paradise tree, thistle, chestnut, canola,
and start class at 9 a.m. Monday. introduced in Italy, open to those who had arbutus, heather, eucalyptus, sunflower,
There were about 20 of us, many already attended the introductory course. fir tree honeydew, metcalf honeydew,
beekeepers, but some were not. There were In 1988 the National Registry of Experts rhododendron, sulla, dandelion, linden, and
professional tasters, olive oil producers, in Sensory Analysis of Honey was born, but thyme, plus coriander and ivy.
biologists, cosmetics manufacturers, and not until 1999 was the Registry officially At the end of the four days I had a
someone interested in opening a unifloral recognized with a ministerial decree. folder full of sensory notes to recognize
honey shop. There are about 260 people in the each honey, and was awarded a finishers
The first morning, the instructors, Registry, most of them Italians, but, as of diploma. This meant that, the following
researcher Raffaele DallOlio and technician 2015, there is one American, C. Marina October, I could go on to the first level
Roberto Colombo, introduced us to the Marchese, who Ill bring up again later. advanced course, a three-day course held at
general principles of sensory analysis, In the afternoon of the first day we got the Bologna center.
which is a series of techniques using the down to business. Samples of unifloral Fortunately I managed to find a genuine
sensory organs that enables you to reliably honey in unlabelled small rounded wine jar of each type of honey either in a nearby
measure your perceptions. glasses were wheeled in on a metal cart. supermarket or organic foods shop, or
The history of the sensory analysis Every group of three or four people were through a mail order honey connoisseur in
of honey began by following the basic given one sample at a time to inhale, warm Trento.
tenets of the traditional expert methods up the wine bowl with the palm of the hand At first I practiced regularly, but as spring
described in the 1965 book, Principles of and inhale deeply again, stir the honey with came I got too busy with other things and

(l) 2015 Biomel Organic Honey Competition Judges (r) Antonio sniffing

78 American Bee Journal


tapered off, so that by fall my sensory North American uniflorals, for which, as
analysis abilities had become somewhat yet, no standard profiles exist. This makes
rusty. Never mind, I dug out my notes, sensory analysis more difficult. AHTS
booked a room, and jumped on the high- recently started a program called Project:
speed train back to Bologna in October, Flavor and Floral Mapping. Most recently,
2016. samples of American citrus honeys were
I had thought the advanced course would called for from producers. In order to begin
have fewer pupils, but again it was a full to set up a standard profile for a unifloral
house of about 20. Many of these were the honey many samples of (raw) honey are
same people from the introductory course, needed.
but several were new, having taking the Marchese also collaborated with Kim
introductory course at a different time or Flottum on the 2013 introductory honey
location. Among the new people were tasting book, The Honey Connossieur
a professional taster, a chef, and a food (Black Dog & Leventhal Pubs., New York),
journalist. an excellent starting place.
The instructors were beekeeper Dario On the west coast, the Honey and
Pozzolo, technician Sergio Massi, and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi
researcher Gian Luigi Marcazzan. We Institute, which created a handy and
started right in with a review of the aromas inexpensive Honey Flavor and Aroma
and flavors of all 17 honeys. The rhythm of Wheel, in 2014, offers honey tasting
sensorial analysis picked up pace, it seemed courses. The Center has plans to analyze
we always held a goblet of honey to our 5 American unifloral honeysFlorida
noses. tupelo, Midwestern sweet clover, California
Besides identifying the unlabelled orange blossom, California star thistle,
uniflorals, we had several tests of and Hawaiian lehua, in order to begin
recognizing a small amount of unifloral establishing profiles. The problem is that
honey mixed into a mild base honey such all of the necessary preliminary sensory
as sulla (French honeysuckle), several analyses, and the following laboratory work,
triangular tests, where two unmarked require honey tasting experts, palyntologists,
samples are the same (but perhaps one is researchers and technicians in an equipped
crystallized and one liquid), and one is laboratory, and money.
very slightly different. These could be the These two programs are still in their early
same unifloral honeys from two different stages, and, hopefully, within a number
producers, for example, or two very slightly of years, the sensory analysis of unifloral
different blends of 2 or 3 honeys. honeys in North America will be greatly
Another test was to rank five unmarked appreciated by American honey producers
samples according to what percentage for the prestige and customer appreciation it
of it was monofloral (in a mild base). For will ultimately bring to the product.
example, the high might be 80% citrus
honey with 20% sulla, ranging down to 10%
citrus in 90% sulla, and we were to arrange
them from low to high.
By the end of the first day, my sensorial
analysis abilities had returned in full force.
On the afternoon of the third day we
formed four panels of five people, and
judged samples of the same unifloral honey
from five different producers. Judging was
based on appearance, aroma, consistency,
taste type correctness, with points taken
off for any defects such as black specks,
presence of wax, etc. Each group then
tallied and averaged each samples score
and ranked them from best to worst.
At the end of the course we were awarded
finishers diplomas and advised to continue
our study and practice until March, 2017,
when the second level expert course and
exam will be held.
So far (until March, anyway) only one
American has completed all three courses,
passed the exam, and been awarded a place
on the Registry. C. Marina Marchese, of Suzanne Ress
Weston, Connecticut, completed her course
work in March of 2015, and currently Suzanne Ress resides in the Province
offers, through the American Honey Tasting of Varese, Italy, and on Cape Cod. She
Society, introductory courses in honey can be reached at:
tasting. She is usually assisted by Raffaele
DallOlio. suzanne-elizabeth@libero.it
Some of the honeys analyzed in
Marcheses courses are the standard Italian
ones, for which profiles exist, and others are

January 2017 79
80 American Bee Journal
Beekeepers and beekeeping organizations are continually seeking to attract and edu-
cate new individuals to beekeeping. Several beekeeping associations have developed
outreach projects to youth and young adults. One group Delaware beekeepers are seek-
ing to attract are military service veterans.

T
he next EAS conference, July 31-Aug and hive tools by Mann Lake. Maxant In- Kuehn first started injecting a bit of nature
4, 2017 at University of Delaware dustries, who take great pride in helping in the heart of the Holloway complex,
will feature a presentation on the veterans, was a significant benefactor in which houses the Delaware Psychiatric
Delaware Beekeeping project reserved for enabling the program to purchase honey Center and DHSS administrative offices,
service veterans entitled Planting Hope with processing items (uncapping tank, bottling with establishment of a 3,000-square-
Honey Bees. The Planting Hope project is tank, extractor, clarifier, wax melter) in the foot Planting Hope Urban Farm. Now the
a joint effort venture between the Dela- second season. planting includes production, sensory and
ware Beekeepers Association, University Faith Kuehn, the environmental community garden areas. She envisioned
of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the program administrator with the Delaware that the bees would be a natural to the
Delaware Departments of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture (which includes Garden. Gardening and beekeeping have
Health and Social Services. the apiary inspection program), conceived a very practical aspect, but the actual work
Marine Corps veteran Ronnie J. Hazlett II of the Delaware program, after attending a itself can be very healing for people going
(SHOWN IN PHOTO) of Wilmington was conference by the nonprofit Farmer-Veteran through some tough times she says.
the initial individual selected for the Dela- Coalition. Although of different designs, the Hazlett, a native of Lincoln County, Ken-
ware beekeeping project developed to train Delaware and another in West Virginia both tucky, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1998
beekeeping skills to returning veterans, with veteran programs seek to enable veterans following high school graduation. After
the expectation they will pay forward and to develop valuable, practical beekeeping honorable discharge, he enrolled at the Uni-
pass beekeeping interest and nuc colonies skills as they return from military service. versity of Kentucky in 2003. He moved to
along to fellow veterans. As the first recipi- Prior to establishment of the apiary, Faith the Wilmington area in 2010.
ent, Ronnie got assistance from mentor Ray
Walker of Walker Apiaries in Northern
Delaware.
With this designation, Ronnie initially es-
tablished 1 hive and 3 nucs at the Delaware
Urban Farm near New Castle. The farm is
on the grounds of the Delaware Department
of Health and Social Services Herman Hol-
loway, Sr. Campus, south of Wilmington.
One nuc colony for the project was sup-
plied by the Delaware Beekeepers Associa-
tion, an anonymous Delaware Beekeeper
contributed the full-sized colony and Two
Drones Apiary of Lincoln Co, KY (Rons
homeland) provided funding for two addi- From left, Delaware State Apiarist Robert Mitchell; Marine veteran Ronnie Ha-
tional nucleus colonies. zlett; Planting Hope Project Manager Faith Kuehn; and University of Delaware
Beekeeping equipment was supplied by assistant professor of apiculture Debbie Delaney, in the Department of Ento-
Brushy Mountain Bee Supply and smoker mology & Wildlife Ecology.

January 2017 81
Farmer to Chef event in Wilmington, DE

Marine veteran Ronnie Hazlett at the Planting Hope Apiary, New Castle, DE

Ronnies interest in bees started as a substantially. Hazlett expanded the four Philadeplhia Honey fest display by
youngster. He recalls several of the old original colonies into 8 full colonies and Planting Hope project.
Kentucky famers having beehives out be- 5 additional nucleus colonies the first
hind their barn. One early memory was a season. The apiary was also able to produce campus market, where vegetables from the
fishing outing with his dad when the prop- approximately 35 pounds of honey in its garden are also offered, as well as at Bright
erty owner was out checking his hives near first season. Spot Urban Farm, at local farmers markets,
their fishing spot. When he closed up the Now, as the second full season is and through the Facebook Page https://
hives, the beekeeper gave them a chunk of wrapping up, Planting Hopes 2016 numbers www.facebook.com/PHWHB/. Proceeds
comb filled with honey. are amazing compared to the previous from the sales go back into the Planting
Im excited about this opportunity to year. Going into winter after the second Hope projects.
learn about beekeeping and eventually season, the apiary now hosts 20 hives. In To further promote the apiary, Hazlett
pass the knowledge on to fellow veterans, 2016, nine colonies were used for honey participated in several local events. He
Hazlett said in a statement released by the production, bringing in just shy of 1000 lbs was present at Bartrams Garden for
Delaware Department of Agriculture. Ive of wildflower honey. The remaining hives the Philadelphia Honey Fest, attended a
been interested in having my own hives ever were used to produce nucleus colonies; Farmer and the Chef event in Wilmington,
since I was a kid. Ronnie hopes one day to twenty nucleus colonies were sold to new Delaware to help support the March of
hand my child or grandchild a piece of hon- and established beekeepers in the Delaware Dimes, and gave a presentation at the New
eycomb and give them that same memory. Valley region. Castle County Detention Center for youth
The original investment has grown The honey was sold at the Urban Farms housed and going to school there.
In addition to Honey, Ronnie and his
fiance Amanda have began producing an
expansive line of 100% Beeswax candles.
Amanda is terrified by any kind of bee,
Hazlett exclaimed, but, this has been a
great way for her to get involved without
having to worry about getting stung!
Amandas Candles line includes almost 100
different designs, all of which are offered at
farmers markets and on the Facebook page.
For the upcoming season, new veteran
volunteers are being sought to help grow
the program. A second apiary is planned
at Victory Village at Boxwood Manor in
Port Penn, a new 24-bed housing facility for
veterans.
At the summer EAS at the University of
Delaware, Marine veteran Hazlett, Faith
Kuehn of DOA and veterans project mentor
Ray Walker of Walker Apiaries in Northern
DE will give a keynote address on their proj-
ect and the new seasons progress. That pre-
sentation is Friday August 4 at University of
Delaware Clayton Hall Campus. See www.
easternapiculutre.org website for details
about EAS and the week-long Short Course
Above: Selection of candles available from Amandas Candles photo courtesy and conference. Registration will be through
of Amanda Charbonier the same web site.

82 American Bee Journal


Veterans Sought for Beekeeping Opportunity
DOVER, Deleaware -- Delaware veter- detailing their interest in beekeeping and
ans interested in beekeeping can apply to their thoughts about developing a pollina-
be part of the Planting Hope Apiary proj- tion and bee products business, as well as
ect, the Delaware Department of Agricul- three references and contact information.
ture announced in November. The material should be submitted to Faith
One veteran will be selected to receive Kueuhn at the Delaware Department of
training and mentoring, beehive materials, Agriculture, 2320 South DuPont Highway,
protective gear, and bees to help establish Dover, DE 19901, or by email at faith.
the hives. Extraction and honey bottling kuehn@state.de.us.
equipment will be arranged, with the vet- On veterans day 2016, a press release
eran to be responsible for other materials was issued seeking application from vet-
and supplies. The two hives will be located erans to participate in the continuing
at Blackbird State Forest near Townsend. program. A new 2-colony apiary will be
This project is a unique way to thank located in a 2nd Planting Hope apiary in
our veterans for their service and sacrifice, Blackbird State Forest. Yet a future apiary
said Faith Kuehn, DDAs Plant Industries is evisioned for Victory Village at Box-
administrator and Planting Hope project wood Manor in Port Penn, a new 24-bed
manager. Bees have countless benefits and housing facility for veterans.
hold a lot of fascination for many of us, and The site at Blackbird State Forest will
we want to help lower the barrier to getting be the second for the Planting Hope Api-
people involved. ary project. The first site is located at the
Applications from veterans of all Planting Hope Urban Farm at the Herman
branches of the armed forces, including Holloway Campus near New Castle. U.S.
Guard and Reserves veterans, will be ac- Marine Corps veteran Ronnie Hazlett II
cepted through December 23. Interested was selected last year as the first veteran
veterans can submit a one-page summary partner.

510 Patterson Road Baxley, GA 31513 Ph: (912) 367-9352 Fax: (912) 367-7047

Over 100 Years of Experience


All Bees Are State Inspected
Get Your Numbers and Order Early. We Are Filling Up Fast!

May God Bless your endeavors This year


January 2017 83
84 American Bee Journal
This is an aerial view of the seven acre skep beehive corn maze located on the Weathers Family Farms in eastern Colorado.

In 2016 Nikki Weathers of Yuma, Colorado, was selected the Southwest Regional
Winner in Monsantos annual Farm Mom of the Year Contest. This event honors farm
women who are strong advocates of agriculture and live a farming lifestyle. From
hundreds of highly qualified nominated candidates five regional winners from across
the United States were picked.

N
ikki explained, I was very excited Nathans parents. Additionally, they, along college savings account. Besides the corn
to learn I was named a regional with Nikkis brother, Danny, also farm and cattle operations, they grow alfalfa,
winner and surprised to find out 1,500 acres of a combination of field corn grass and oat hay. They sell their locally
that a great friend of mine along with and popcorn. Their land is located about six raised beef as well as fertilizers through a
my brother-in-law had both turned in miles from the town of Yuma (pop. 3,524) company called Conklin.
nomination letters about me. in eastern Colorado. As a regional winner Nikki received a
She and her husband Nathan are fourth Nikki explained, We are also raising check for $5,000 in July and traveled to
generation farmers on the familys Weathers 250 head of commercial Angus cows, plus Monsantos world headquarters in St. Louis,
Farms where they help farm about 2,500 we grow some sweet corn that our kids Missouri, where she spent a day touring
acres of irrigated corn and popcorn with pick and sell in town to put funds in their their research facilities and then another

January 2017 85
State University in Fort Collins where they and silage and also popcorn. That year they
met. Nikki graduated with a Bachelors let school students pick their own ear of
Degree in Ag Business and Animal Science popcorn to take home.
and Nathan earned his degree in Ag Nikki said that last year (2016) with
Business and Soil & Crop Science. their corn maze they did a special tribute
Following college, Nathan returned to to beekeepers by picturing a traditional
the farm to work with his dad, while Nikki skep beehive so they could teach about the
took a job at the local co-op. She started importance of pollinators to the agriculture
working at the grain elevator and then industry and how they use bees on their
moved to the energy accounting department farm.
where she filed excise fuel taxes and kept Although they dont actually keep bees
track of all customer contracts. on their farm, Nikki explained, We have
Today, while keeping the books and a neighbor a few miles away who grows
records for the Weathers Farms operations about 300 acres of pumpkins commercially.
she also keeps books for a few additional He grows them in irrigated circles and
farmers in the area. contracts with chain stores like Wal-Mart
For the past four years theyve grown and and Home Depot. When commercial
operated an enterprising seven acre corn beekeepers place bee yards on this farm,
maze and a small you pick it pumpkin the bees will also travel to our farm and
patch on their farm. Nikki said, We open pollinate our acre pumpkin patch as well
the maze up on weekends in October to the as our 55 acre alfalfa hay field. With ten
public. Because we live in a rural area and different varieties of pumpkins in their
being six miles from the town of Yuma, we patch theyll get several different color and
dont have a large population draw, but we shape combinations from cross pollination
Nikki Weathers is the Southwest Re- do have a few hundred visitors. They charge from the bees.
gional winner of Monsantos Farm $6 for adults and $4 for kids under 12. Nikki added that there arent many
Mom of the Year Contest for 2016. During the week and by appointment large-scale beekeepers in their region who
they open the maze up to field trips from shes aware of, but there are a few smaller
day of media training. Since then she has four different school districts (mainly ones. Farm crops vary in their area and also
had a number of opportunities to relate her pre-k to 5th grade). When families and include fields of sunflowers, potatoes and
farming story with radio, newspaper and school children visit, Nikki looks at it as canola.
TV reporter interviews. a hands-on education opportunity to pass A lot of people are surprised when
Married for nine years the Weathers on information about farming. This year they learn that the entire seven acre corn
live on their family farm with their two school-aged students were instructed on field is planted all at the same time. Nikki
children, Ty 6 and Tenley 4. Both children the role that bees play in pollinating our explained that the electric drives on the
help with chores around the farm. Nikki food products and it includes the process of corn planter are connected with the high-
said Ty loves to help with the cattle from honey making. tech GPS system on the tractor. Thus by
gathering, sorting to vaccinating. He also Nikki said they believe it is important programming the skep beehive design
has a heifer of his own that he has to feed that visitors gain the experience of seeing into the computer, it controls when to shut
and take care of. Tenley, on the other hand, what a real life farm is like and they do not down, or turn back on the planting.
is the farmer who loves to dig in the dirt set up any carnival activities. There are in fact places on the skep
in the garden and pumpkin patch. She also Each year they select a different hive maze that only required a couple seeds
loves to ride in the tractor with an adult any promotional agriculture theme for their in order to make the proper design. By
time it is moving. corn maze. One year they had the maze planting the maze right in with our regular
Both Nikki and Nathan have been in a design of a large pumpkin. They then field corn, we do not waste any seeds.
involved with Agriculture nearly their provided tours of their pumpkin patch and We also dont have to go back and mow
entire lives. She was raised on a cattle ranch had information available to hand out and through the stalks once it all comes up. We
in southwestern Colorado, and Nathan gave talks to visitors about farming and the feel it saves a significant amount of time
grew up on a grain farm in the northeastern life cycle of pumpkins. and resources.
region of the state. They both attended Another year they had a picture of a Nikki said, hoping to further educate the
Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, combine picking corn and they taught general public, who may not know a lot
Colorado, and then transferred to Colorado visitors about how they raise corn for feed about farms or bees, a variety of farming

(l) Four farm family generations of Weathers pose for a picture. (L-R) Nathan (with his future farming son Ty), great
grandpa Tom and grandpa Byron. (r) Nikki and Nathan Weathers along with their children, Ty 6 and Tenley 4, gather in a
field with part of their 250 head cow herd.

86 American Bee Journal


and beekeeping resource information is
made available before people head into
the corn maze. Most of the beekeeping
teaching materials she gathered came from
the American Farm Bureau, plus Monsanto
provided farming materials to pass out.
When they opened the skep beehive corn
maze this fall, Nikki said their four year old
daughter Tenley, tagged along and listened
to her when she talked about farming and
the pollination role bees play when she
meets and greets school children on their
field trips. According to Nikki, before long
Tenley had taken it upon herself to help her
Mom out by telling everyone that bees are
safe and that you dont want to kill them.
She added, they may not be as big and fun
to play with as a dog, but you can keep
them in the back yard.
Both Nikki and Nathan are very involved
in the Farm Bureau organization. Nikki
currently sits on the state board of directors
as the Womens Leadership Chair. They
were also members for several years of the Nikki Weathers and her kids check out the pumpkins growing in a patch located
American Farm Bureau Young Farmer and next to their farms seven acre corn maze that is planted in the design of a skep
Rancher committee. beehive.
Nikki says she is involved with Common
Ground, an association which provides a kept busy with their farming responsibilities, learned about bees once she was named the
way for women who grow food to interact they still find time to participate in their Southwest Regional Winner of Monsantos
with women who purchase food and may local church and they love to be involved annual Farm Mom of the Year Contest for
have questions about the process. with their kids school activities. 2016 and selected a skep beehive for the
They have also been members of the Nikki said in the next few years, Wed design in their corn field maze she stated,
National Corn Growers Association for love to expand and grow our cow herd I have been lucky enough to visit the
about 15 years. by adding some registered Hereford and Monsanto world headquarters twice in
With their growing cattle herd they Angus to what we already have. Our the last year. The amazing research they
are members of the following beef goal would be to share and sell safe and are doing on honey bees is astounding.
organizations: the National Cattlemens affordable beef. They are also in the Knowing bees are important to our future,
Beef Association, the American Angus process of growing the amount of ground I gained specific facts and knowledge about
Association and the American Hereford they farm. In this day and age it is very why they are so important. Hive health has
Association. difficult for young farmers to get started in a been a great concern and researchers are
According to Nikki, although they are very expensive occupation. We have some working to ensure ways to get rid of varroa
great neighbors and family who have really mites and find natural resources to feed bees
helped us expand the amount of acres we safely. If we dont have bees in the future,
can affordably farm. there are many foods we will not have the
In summing up what Nikki Weathers pleasure of eating.

Nikki strolls through the skep beehive


corn maze with her children Ty and
Tenley. The maze is open to the pub-
lic on weekends during the month of
October. During the week it is open
to groups and school class field trips
by appointment Aerial view of the skep corn maze after the corn has dried and turned brown.

January 2017 87
SAVE ExPENSE HARDEMAN APIARIES 2017
PICK-UP WITH 906 South Railroad Ext.
A FRIEND!!!! P.O. Box 214
Mt. Vernon, GA 30445
SPRING
Phone (912) 583-2710
Fax (912) 583-4920
PRICES
ITALIAN QUEENS AND PACKAGES
QUEENS PKGS. 1-9 10-24 25-99 100-UP
1-9 $20.50 #3 $81.00 $79.00 $77.00 $75.00
10-24 $19.00 #4 $96.50 $94.50 $92.50 $90.50
25-UP $18.75 NO NUCS THIS SEASON

QUEENS RUSSIAN HYBRID QUEENS & PACKAGES


1-9 $23.00 PKGS. 1-9 10-24 25-99 100-UP Marking
10-24 $21.25 #3 $84.00 $82.00 $80.00 $78.00 $2.25
25-UP $21.00 #4 $99.50 $97.50 $95.50 $93.50 Clipping
NO NUCS THIS SEASON $2.25
WE WILL START TAKING ORDERS IN DECEMBER
PICK-UPS ARE WELCOME. YEARLY INSPECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. PACK-
AGE AND QUEEN PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE POSTAGE. ALL SHIPMENTS MUST BE PAID IN FULL BE-
FORE WE SHIP. NO PAYMENT MAY CAUSE DELAYS IN YOUR SHIPPING.
ALL POSTAL CLAIMS ARE TO BE MADE BY CUSTOMER. HARDEMAN APIARIES
ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE. WE ACCEPT ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS.
WE WILL NOT SHIP PACKAGES TO ZONE 5 AND UP, NO ExCEPTIONS. POSTAL SERVICE WILL NOT
INSURE PACKAGES PAST ZONE 4. ZONE 5 AND UP PACKAGE CUSTOMERS SHOULD TRY YOUR
LOCAL BEE CLUBS TO SEE IF THEY MAY BE PICKING UP PACKAGES. QUEENS CAN BE SHIPPED
AND ARE INSURED TO MOST UNITED STATES CUSTOMERS.

88 American Bee Journal


by Dr. Wyatt a. ManguM
university of Mary Washington
Fredericksburg, Virginia
e-mail: wmangum@umw.edu
tBHSbyWaM.com

A. E. Manum: a Famous Vermont Beekeeper

A
lthough his name has drifted his catalogs, although very rare, provided a frames was an inner wall. From his catalog,
into obscurity, in the first half of wealth of obscure details. Figure 5 shows the Manum hive had a three-inch spacing
the 1880s, A. E. Manum was his 1881 catalog. The hive on the cover is between the outer case and the interior
nationally known (see Figure 1). Manum the outer case, which appears as a city of wall around brood frames. Manum filled
was a beekeeper selling honey by the ton hives ascending the hill in Figure 4. this space around the brood frames with
and manufacturing beekeeping supplies Figure 6 shows a miniature version of insulating chaff for the winter, which could
on a large scale in Vermont. His origins, Manums outer case with its distinctive have been sawdust, cut straw, or shavings
however, were humble, and he did not come gable roof. This little hive was a salesman from a wood plane. I know about similar
from a beekeeping family. sample hive, a small portable model used hive designs from the early 1880s in the
Augustine E. Manum was born in to promote and sell the hive. Originally, the northeast, which helps to fill in some gaps
Waitsfield, Vermont in 1839.1 In the late rest of the scaled-down hive, brood frames, on how Manum may have used his hive
1840s, his father apparently passed away. etc. would have probably been inside the (details missing in the catalog). A chaff
The 1850 census showed Manum residing outer case, just like in the full-size hive. tray most likely went above the frames
with the Joselyn family, still living in Figure 7 of the 1881 catalog shows the for top insulation during the winter and to
Waitsfield, but parted from his mother and inner hive, where the bees would reside. absorb moisture from the bees. Notice in
sisters. After being an apprentice in the Above the extra steep alighting board this arrangement, the bees would winter
harness trade, Manum moved to Bristol, were the brood frames. Around the brood only on one set of brood frames, as a single
Vermont around 1857. There he began his story hive in modern slang. Manums brood
harness business at 18 years old. Manum frames were only 9 inches deep.
would eventually give it up when his bee For honey production, Manums hive
business became prosperous.2 originally was meant for producing section
In 1870, Manum read Quinbys Mysteries comb honey (extracted honey came later).
of Bee-keeping Explained, by Moses Comb honey section boxes received detailed
Quinby, inventor of the bee smoker. The description in Manums supply catalogs.
book sparked his interest in bees. Manum Section boxes were labor intensive for
began beekeeping with four purchased beekeepers to assemble, much more than
hives, and he increased his hive numbers the modern one-piece design, where the
and honey production. In 1885, he produced beekeeper folded three corners and pressed
44,000 pounds of section comb honey, together the finger joints (small dovetails)
averaging 93.25 pounds per colony. That of the fourth corner. Manum made a four-
honey production occurred over a 12-day piece section box where all four sides had
basswood nectar flow. Eventually Manum finger joints. Thus, all four corners had to be
would surpass 700 hives in eight apiaries1 assembled (glued and pressed). This section
(see Figures 2 and 3). box was thought stronger than a four-piece
Manum manufactured bee equipment section just nailed together or one-piece
with his distinctive designs. Historical items section folded together (in the modern way).
related to Manum are exceedingly difficult Manum sold the very popular one-pound
to find. However, I have been lucky a few section box, 4 square (still used today),
times. To see the original hives, Figure 4 and other sizes, for example a larger section
shows Manums hives with their numerous box that held two pounds of honey.
peaked roofs on a hillside.1 I also wanted The section boxes were held tightly in
to know how Manum used his hive. Since a row, called a clamp. The hive in Figure
Manum manufactured and sold his hives, Figure 1. A. E. Manum.1 7 has three clamps on it. The number of

January 2017 89
(l) Figure 2. In Manums commercial operation, he would hire a beekeeper to manage each of his large apiaries (around
100 hives each). Shown here are some of his employees. Manum is second from the left and his son Fred is at the far
left. Manums distinctive smoker hangs from the hive. The hive is closed, perhaps to show his smoker along with the
beekeepers.3 (r) Figure 3. Horse protection while pulling loads of honey from Manum apiaries. Once well away from
the apiary, the driver could remove the cotton coverings. The wagon carried 169 clamps of honey, or 2560 one-pound
sectionsover a ton of honey.4 Back then beekeepers spoke of clamps of honey analogous to us saying supers of
honey. Bees could easily frighten horses, calling for special attention, especially when hauling hives.
section boxes in a clamp seemed to vary which could always fit in his hive. That is this clamp was essentially a modern super,
with its design and size of the section box. In why all the hives in Figure 4 are the same just for comb honey sections. In the 1885
addition, some kind of separator (partition) height. circular, the Twin clamp description came
was typically between the section boxes, In old beekeeping literature, a clamp last, beginning ironically at the bottom of
usually a thin piece of wood. The Crane could mean what we would call a super of the page, under its more famous clamp
clamp had tin separators between the section comb honey sections, instead of just one or cousins. Yet this Twin clamp design
boxes in one row. In addition, the Crane two rows of section boxes. Interestingly, the prevailed. And now what would most any
clamp seemed best for the large two-pound 1885 price circular has a kind of evolution practical beekeeper do? Remove the comb
sections shown in Figure 7. According to to a super. First was the Crane clamp as honey section boxes, make some minor
a price circular in 1885, Manums Bristol one row of sections. Next was the Bristol modifications on the shell (the body), install
clamp was recommended for smaller one- clamp as two rows of sections. Then came shallow framesand you have a modern
pound sections. That clamp had two rows of another clamp, called a Twin clamp, which
eight sections for a total of 16. Two clamps covered all the brood frames. From the
covered the brood frames of Manums description (no picture given), the Twin
Bristol hive and three tiers (layers), clamp sounded like a comb honey super.
analogous to supers, were possible, for a The claim that the Twin clamp worked on a
total of 96 sections, the maximum capacity, single wall hive (no outer case) suggested

Figure 5. Manums Fourth-Annual


Circular and Price List of Bee-keeper
Supplies for 1881. In addition to selling
honey and beekeeping equipment,
Figure 4. Manums hillside apiary.1 From what I have read, here and there, Manum sold and shipped bees and
Manum preferred his hives on a hill. He thought the airflow was better, and the queens. He even shipped queen cells
honey was easier to carry out of the apiary. in warm weather.

90 American Bee Journal


Figure 8. A Manum bee smoker. It
was offered for sale in both catalogs,
for 1881 and 1885, suggesting it had
somewhat of a production life.
Figure 6. A salesman sample outer case Figure 7. The interior of the Bristol
for Manums Bristol hive. Miniature hive. wares, at least by the following year.
hives are very rare. Note the standard Figure 11 shows the Circular and Price list
hive tool (for scale) beside the hive. Manum smoker. The little back projecting for 1885. One reason for the sale was the
nozzle had been knocked off, the delicate destruction of basswood trees, the prime
super for extracted honey. The evolution soldering attaching it not surviving some 135 nectar source for the comb honey. Basswood
from clamp to super is complete. years, but it had been there. The hole at the is an exceptional wood for making the comb
Besides designing his own hive, Manum end of the funnel was not centered there as honey section boxes with its fine tight grain
designed his own bee smoker, shown in one might expect. Rather, it was cut slightly and pristine white color. Even after Manum
Figure 8. From long days working in the off center where the little tube nozzle would (and others) switched to white poplar for
apiary, Manum knew the design features to enter from the side (see Figure 9). making section boxes, essentially millions
make smoking the bees more efficient. His At one point, A. I. Root of Medina, Ohio of them, the destruction of basswood trees
smoker hooked on the edge of the hive, near visited Manum in Vermont. (I am not sure of continued because the wood had other
the beekeepers hands as seen in Figure 2. I the date.) Manum impressed Root, and Root uses (furniture for example). Indeed from
had the picture of Figure 8 in my head for especially liked Manums swarm catcher. the Northeast to further West, the demise
over a couple of decades before I found a We saw that device in the previous column of basswood forests made large quantities
article. I used it to catch the summer swarm comb honey from basswood fundamentally
from the roof of my bee house. Root must unsustainable.
have secured the rights from Manum to Manum branched out from beekeeping,
mass-produce his swarm catcher. The swarm and pursued other agricultural interests:
catcher appeared in the bee supply catalogs of raising swine, chickens, potatoes, and
the A. I. Root Company for several years and
also the ABC of Bee Culture1 (see Figure 10).
In 1884, Manum sold his bee supply
business to the Drake and Smith Company2,
who seemed to keep much of his original

Figure 9. Two rare Manum smokers,


the left one is older. It has an external
bellows spring, but with only two coils
of the wire to keep the bellows open.
The hook is present, as depicted in
the catalog, for hanging the smoker
on the hive. The offset hole was
meant to accept the tube nozzle. The
smoker on the right lacks the hook on
the bellows, and it has a typical hole
at the tip of its funnel. Its bellows
are larger with additional coils in the
spring, providing more strength and Figure 11. Changing of the guard.
durability. Although the smoker style Figure 10. The Manum swarm catcher. Manum sold his bee supply company
remained steadfastly Manum, the The tripod held up the screen basket in 1884. As best as I can tell, here is
simplifications made it more similar on a pole while the swarm clustered the first catalog from the new owners,
to the modern smoker. around it. the Drake and Smith Company.

January 2017 91
Figure 12. An
envelope from
Manums business,
postmarked in
1892, Bristol,
Vermont, and sent
general delivery, a
common practice
at the time.

producing jams and jellies in glass tumblers. References


1
Manum even made fertilizers. In the winter Root, A. I. (1891). ABC of Bee Culture.
of 1904, Manum sold his farm in Bristol and A. I. Root Company. Medina, Ohio.
2
moved to California with his second wife, Dearborn, R. (2016). Historical Spaces:
Hattie. (His first wife, Rozella, had passed Tales of the Bristol Beekeeper.
away in 1891. In 1865, his two daughters by http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/
Rozella had died from dysentery when they story/news/local/2016/09/23/tales-
were only five and two years old. His son, bristol-beekeeper/90916160/. Accessed
Fred, from Manums first marriage, by the October, 2016.
3
time of his California exodus, was grown Manum, A. E. (1898). Horses in night-
and stayed in Bristol.) On the West coast, caps and night-gowns. Bee Culture.
Manum continued with his other agricultural 26(24): 807-809.
4
interests, including growing gladiolus Anonymous (1898). Supplement: Picture
flowers.2 Gallery of the Gleanings in Bee Culture.
Augustine E. Manum passed away on Bee Culture. 26(20).
June 25, 1915 in Pasadena, California. He
was buried in the Rosedale Cemetery in Los
Angeles. (Hattie passed on February 21,
1921, and she was also buried in the Rosedale
cemetery.2) Well into the first decade of the
1900s, the standardization of beekeeping
equipment had begun in earnest. The single-
wall Simplicity hive, as they called it back
then, to us the modern hive, was being mass-
produced by virtually all bee suppliers. Even
Manum had it in his 1881 catalog, and Drake P.O. BOx 512
& Smith kept it as of 1885. I am not sure how MOreauville, la 71355
long Drake & Smith produced Manums
hive and his smoker. In similar situations
(318) 359-4615 Or (318) 305-4245
after a few years or so, the regional hive loreymayeaux@yahoo.com for orders
or smoker designs were dropped as the bee Owner JereMy BOrdelOn
supply companies transitioned completely to 2017 Queen Prices MinnesOta Hygienic italian
standard equipment. (I am still looking for a
Manum hive and any style of clamps.)
1-9 10-24 25-99 100 Up
Nevertheless, A. E. Manum flourished.
Queens $22.00 $21.00 $20.00 $19.00
He started as a beginning beekeeper with 25% deposit reQUired to book all orders.
one bee book and four hives. He expanded we ship Usps, which is insUred. Ups that is not insUred.
his operation to producing honey by the all orders over 100 QUeens gets free shipping.
ton with hundreds of hives. Manum was we accept all major credit cards.
creative and innovative. He applied his
talents to designing his own hive and
smoker. Manums swarm-catcher idea lives
on, helping beekeepers retrieve valuable
swarms from trees. With his own beekeeping
equipment, Manum built a successful bee
Browning Cut Stock
supply company. In all, A. E. Manum was Boxes are Ponderosa Pine
a talented Vermont beekeeper to admire and 9-5/8 Com. Boxes $10.50 / Budget Boxes $9.00
remember. 7-5/8 Com. Boxes $8.20 / Budget Boxes $7.95
Perhaps the return address on Manums
stationery says it best (as shown in Figure 6-5/8 & 5-11/16 Com. Supers $7.50 / Budget $6.85
12). All #1 frames $.70
1-3/4 Cleats $.22
Acknowledgments
The author thanks Suzanne Sumner for 1571 Hwy. 3 Juliaetta, ID 83535
her comments on the manuscript. Phone 208.276.3494 FAX 3491
Visit TBHSbyWAM.com.

92 American Bee Journal


January 2017 93
94 American Bee Journal
Most of us have been involved with fairs. Either weve manned our own booths or
helped out with the clubs county fairs. Dealing with people is mostly fun and grati-
fying, but, every so often, there are interactions that are not perfect. In fact, theyre
down-right frustrating. In this article, we will offer advice as well as roll-play sugges-
tions for how to handle these different situations.

H
ere, then, are the situations, and Cant you understand that? If he continues bet you wouldnt like it a bit, buddy boy.
our suggestions as to how to deal butting in, tell him that you will call secu- And Im sure your mother agrees. Rising,
with them: rity to have him removed. look up at mother and say, Last year, a
Another approach is to take a break, child hit the glass so violently that it broke.
The hanger-on. Some people like to while your replacement takes over. The Needless to say, the bees escaped and all
stick around your booth and talk. And talk. replacement might say: I dont know any- hell broke loose. Please mother, see that
And talk. The person (guy #1) appears thing about bees and that precludes con- your child doesnt set the alarm off.
eager and interested, so you engage with tinual conversation. Take as long a break If a few children are fingering products,
him. When someone else comes along with as you need, until the annoying individual again get down to their level, and say some-
questions, Guy #1 offers his opinion. But departs. With this approach, hell leave thing like this: Hey kids, think of these
when you realize that guy #1 is not going without being offended. jars as little people. They wouldnt like to
away, you wonder how to get rid of him. be man-handled, so please dont touch the
After all, it isnt fair to the other people The misbehaving child (children). merchandise. Or try this: Your finger-
who want to spend a few minutes at your The mother seems unfocused while her prints are all over my jars. Fingerprints are
booth, if nothing more than to view the kids are tapping the glass of the observa- evidence. You wouldnt like to go to jail,
observation hive, without being lectured to tion hive, picking up jars of honey, running would you? This last statement doesnt
by a non-beekeeper who knows everything their fingers along wax ornaments, and make that much sense, except it deals with
about bees. generally being less than well-behaved, crime, something the kids see on TV every
One way to handle the situation is to adorable children. day. Most likely, the youngsters wont
confront the person gently. Say, Look, As a starter, point to a sign which says exactly believe you, but theyll be so put
I know you are curious about beekeep- Do not touch. Suggest to the mother that off that theyll stop.
ing and I appreciate it. But a lot of other she should see that her children obey the With all these mock-humorous respons-
people are equally interested. And I need rules. es, you achieve the results you want with-
to be able to devote my full concentration If that doesnt work, became more force- out losing your head and without looking
to them. So how about if you take off for ful. Say: Hey, Mother, your kids are not like an angry person.
a while and look at the other exhibits. If treating my equipment with respect. Please
you think of some other questions, you can take them away right now. Unfortunately, The price chiseler. A customer looks
come back at the end of the day. Is that this leaves a bad taste in everyones mouth, over your products, and says, I dont
fair? Hopefully, hell be agreeable and especially the other customers standing believe that you get $14.00 for this jar of
move along. around your booth who might be consider- honey. Thats highway robbery. Dont
Another approach is to be more aggres- ing making a purchase. follow one rude comment with another.
sive in your rebuff. When he interrupts So try humor. Get down to the kids eye Stay calm, especially if people are around.
another person at the booth, look at him level, and say, How would like your house In fact, if there are other people there, you
and say, Look, I want to run this myself. knocked at so violently that it shakes. I can win an audience. The steps are: smile,

January 2017 95
agree, and explain. It might go something You might try spraying the area above
like this, Well, yes, $14 is a lot of money. your stand with air freshener. This might
But this isnt store-bought honey. This keep the bees from smelling honey and
is local honey. All the healthy ingredi- wax. Also wipe any slightly sticky jars with
ents are kept inside this bottle, because wet wipes. Such housekeeping might just
its not batched, heated, pasteurized, and keep the bees away.
otherwise tampered with, as store-bought Finally, if you offer samples, you will
honey is. When youre eating a teaspoon have to cover your jars after each sampling.
of my honey, its not only fresh and tasty.
Its good for you. You see, bees bringing The rain problem. When it rains, 1230 - 40th St. NW
the nectar back to the hive, add healthful fair sales suffer. Even worse, it dampens
enzymes to the liquid. These enzymes fight spirits. When it rains hard, there is noth- Fargo, ND 58102
infection, both in and on the body. Heating ing that you can do except to get out of 1-800-246-1749
and batching kills the enzymes. Only local the rain. If it rains sporadically and not too 701-373-0603 Fax
honey is health-giving. Thats why you are hard, an umbrella could save the day. Hold www.TRSIndustries.com
willing to pay extra for my honey. In fact, an umbrella up over the customer as he Custom Bee Nets For Any Size Truck
I have several customers who buy a dozen browses your product offerings. Keeping Or Semi-Trailer
jars to insure that they obtain enough. him/her dry just might make the person Lumber Tarps, Top Tarps, Steel
Such an argument puts the ball in the cus- inclined to buy something. I always use a Tarps & Roll Tarps
tomers hands. He must respond to you. large umbrella festooned with a honey bee Call today for a quote.
If he says, Im still not willing to pay so design. Large caricatures of smiling honey Will ship anywhere in U.S. or Canada
much, add Thats right, you dont have bees in black and yellow lighten the mood.
to buy my honey. But you might think of I also offer a 20% rainy day special. I ALL ORDERS
treating yourself to something special, and might state that, because of the rain, we are SHIPPED ASAP
just see if you dont feel better, feel more offering a large discount, because we dont
alive, feel reinvigorated a few months want to carry everything home. Some cus-
down the line. Many of my regular custom- tomers will take you up on your offer. Even
ers tell me they really feel better. Maybe in inclement weather, price savings have a
you will too. way to loosening the purse strings.
Plant the seed. Perhaps down the road he
might buy local honey at your stand or at The bee vomit antagonist. Sometimes,
someone elses. a wise guy approaches your booth, with the
remark, I dont like honey because its bee
The active child. A child in front of vomit, and he laughs as if its a big joke.
you jumps up and down, shouting I was Heres where you can trump him with your
stung by a bee at the beach. I was stung superior knowledge. No, sir. Thats not
and it hurt. Use this as an educational true at all. You see, honey bees have two
opportunity. Ask about the reaction and stomachs, a honey stomach and a digestive
after effects of the sting to determine if it stomach, and each works independently.
was a honey bee. Explain that there are 300 So vomit goes through the digestive stom-
flying, stinging insects, and a honey bee is ach while pure, natural honey comes out
just one variety. Point out that honey bees of the honey stomach. In addition, the
only sting when they feel that they are in enzymes that bees put into honey makes GOT WAX? GET PAID!
danger. Suggest that it might have been a everything germ-free. Did you know that
wasp or hornet that stung. That will quiet honey laid on a wound fights infections? Its that simple!
the child, so that he wont keep jumping up With this, you have mollified his fears, or Light and dark.
and down in front of your stand. Plus the ruined his joke, depending on where he was
comment might reduce the fear of bees, or coming from. Rendering services available.
at least alert the public that not all flying, Anyway, now you can go into your
stinging insects are honey bees. closer line: If you were serious about that BEE EXCELLENT
fear, you should try some of this honey.
The outsider bees who buzz the After a few tastes, you will know the purity Phone (218) 776-3593
stand. Often, some random bees will find of my product. Fax (218) 776-3502
their way to your stand. They might arrive Use these strategies at your upcoming
an hour after opening up. These bees are fairs, and youll be prepared to handle
E-mail bexcel@gvtel.com
from nearby hives and the scent has caught whatever comes along. Global inquiries welcome.
their attention. Dont worry. Unless you
have on open bottle, there wont be a stam-
pede. These bees will look around, and THE WILBANKS APIARIES, INC.
after a while, not finding anything, leave.
A few other bees might arrive, but you only P.O. BOX 12 CLAXTON, GA 30417
have to deal with a few bees at a time.
912-739-4820 FAX 912-739-4821
Dont try to swat them away. Dont kill
them with a flyswatter. Dont spray them Italian Package Bees and Queens
with poison. Again use humor to dissipate
fear. Say. Dont worry, folks. These are NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS!
just my friendly bees seeing whats going 1) Spend more time with family & friends. 3) Get out of debt.
on. If you dont annoy them, they will not
bother you. And go on with your business
2) Exercise more. 4) Get organized.
of educating and selling bee products. Such 5) Book package bees and queens with Wilbanks Apiaries!
a fear release will go a long way in reduc-
ing concern. We can help with at least one of your resolutions! Happy New Year!

96 American Bee Journal


January 2017 97
98 American Bee Journal
flower for about two weeks. In Louisiana the species blooms
Chinese tallow tree, in April and May with floral displays 4 to 5 inches long.[8]
Occasionally in Louisiana it may bloom a second time with smaller
Florida aspen, chicken floral displays[8]. Skinner and Mahler[2] seem to indicate that it
blooms August to November in North Central Texas. Compared
to other blooming dates in the literature however, this seems late
tree, gray popcorn tree to this author. Perhaps it represents a second blooming period as
occurs in Louisiana.
(Euphorbiaceae) Importance as a honey plant: Ayers and Harman[1] from their
questionnaires found the species to be of some importance in Texas.
Scientific name: Triadica sebifera Where the plant is plentiful, it can be quite a good honey plant (see
honey potential below).
Synonyms: Sapium sebiferum
Honey potential: Pellett[7] reports honey yields of 60 to 100
Origin: China, Japan [5 &13]. pounds from the Houston, Texas area. Pollet[8], writing about
Louisiana honey plants, states that it is the number one source of
Plant Description: The ultimate height of the tree is
generally 30 to 40 ft and occasionally 60 ft. Dirr[3] states
that the national champion is/was 76 ft in height and
was located in Polk County, TX. The leaves are about
3.5 to 7 cm (~1.4 to 2.8 in ) long and about as broad.
They are abruptly acuminate1, broadly cuneate. The
slender petioles are 2 to 5 cm (~ 0.8 to 2 in) long. The leaf
looks much like a poplar leaf. The yellow-greenish floral
displays are slender and generally 5 to 10 cm (~2 to 4 in)
long. The male florets are located at the apex of the display
while generally 1 to 5 female florets are located at the base of the
inflorescence. The fruits are three segmented brownish capsules
1 to 1.5 cm (~0.4 to 0.6 in) across. The capsules open to expose
the white waxy seeds which gives the species one of its common
names, the popcorn tree. The leaves turn reddish to red in the
fall.[3 & 9] The species is native to China and
Japan [13].

Distribution: See map.[11]

Blooming period: Pellett[7] reports in the


Houston, Texas area there is continual bloom
for about six weeks beginning in early May.
There individual trees are reported to Distribution of
Triadica sebifera
1
Acuminate: gradually tapering to a sharp point with concave sides Photo of Triadica sebifera in flower. Dwain Goforth. Be
along the tip. Cuneate: wedge shaped and tapering to a point. sure to notice the spectacular floral displays.

January 2017 99
in their landscapes. There is, however, a much darker portrayal
of this species. The following text is found in the 1999 Shinners
and Mahlers Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas: The
species was introduced into the U.S. in South Carolina in the late
1770s and is now widespread; it displaces native vegetation and is
considered one of the most serious invasive exotics in the U.S[2]
It is also claimed that the species releases compounds that modify
soil chemistry that affects the establishment of native species and
the sap is said to be poisonous.[2] Not surprisingly, it seems not
to be mentioned in Watkins and Sheehans Florida Landscape
Plants.[12]

References
1. Ayers, G. S. and J. R. Harman. 1992. Bee Forage of North
America and the Potential for Planting for Bees. In: The Hive
and the Honey Bee. Dadant and Sons. Hamilton, IL
2. Diggs, G.M., Lipscomb, B.L., OKennon, B., Mahler, W. F.,
& Shinners, L.H. (1999). Shinners & Mahlers Illustrated Flo-
Herbarium specimen of Triadica sebifera showing the ra of North Central Texas. Fort Worth, Tex, Botanical Research
seed capsules and whitish seeds that give the species Institute of Texas. Fort Worth, Texas.
one of its common names, The popcorn tree. The white 3. Dirr, M. A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Stipes
waxy coat is extracted by the Chinese for use in soaps and Publishing L. L. C. Champaign, Illinois.
candles.[3] Photo taken in the Michigan State University 4. Goltz, L. R. 1977. Honey Plants. A revised edition of the Orig-
nal Honey Plants Manual of Harvey B. Lovell. 1977. A. I. Root
Herbarium. Co. Medina, OH.
5. Hortus Third A Concise Dictionary of Plants Cultivated in
a majority of the honey crop each year. Harvey Lovell[6] cites L. the United States and Canada 1976. Macmillan Publishing
A. M. Barnett, apparently from Eastern Texas, as indicating the Co. Inc. New York.
average surplus is 75 to 100 lbs per colony, but in 1948 he produced 6. Lovell H, 1966. Honey Plants Manual. A Practical Field Hand-
228 lbs per colony. The Lawrence Goltz[4] version of the Harvey book for Identifying Honey FloraA. I. Root Company. Medina,
Lovell manual[4] indicates that the average yields are 35 to 50 lbs OH.
per colony in Texas. 7. Pellett, F. 1976. American Honey Plants. Dadant and Sons.
Hamilton, Illinois.
Honey: Pellett[7] reports the honey to be amber in color with a mild 8. Pollet, D. 2011. Louisiana Honey Plants. Louisiana State Uni-
though excellent flavor. In Louisiana the honey is considered table versity Agricultural Center. Baton Rouge, LA.
grade and is light to medium amber, has a mild flavor, and is used to 9. Rehder, A. 1990. Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs Hardy
blend with other honeys.[8] Harvey Lovell[6] indicates that the honey in North America. Dioscorides Press. Portland, OR.
is light amber with a good flavor and body. 10. Sanford, M. T. 1988. Florida Bee Botany. Florida Cooperative
Extension Service. University of Florida. Gainesville, FL.
Pollen: The pollen is yellow and abundant. 11. USDA, NRCS. 2016. The Plants Database. (http://plants.usda.
gov, 31 August 2016). National Plant Team, Greensboro, NC
Additional information: The species is said to have a reddish- 27401-4901 USA.
purple fall color, making the species useful in landscapes[3]. While 12. Watkins, J. V. and T. J. Sheehan.1975. Florida Landscape
Sanford[10] doesnt seem to mention the species in his treatment Plants. Native and Exotic. University Pressses of Florida.
of Florida honey plants, he does list it in his ornamental plants Gainsville, FL.
list for homeowners, the implication being that it is a good plant 13. Wunderlin, R. P. 1998. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida.
for homeowners who want to provide nectar and pollen for bees University Press of Florida. Gainsville, FL.

100 American Bee Journal


Western Tansy mustard, Tansymustard (Brassicaceae)

Scientific name: Descurainia pinnata Distribution: The species is widely spread over
North America. See map.
Synonyms: Descurainia brachycarpa, Descurainia incise,
Descurainia halictorum, Descurainia intermedia, Descurainia Blooming period: In the Central and
menziesii, and Descurainia brachycarpa.[7] Northeastern U.S., depending on location,
it blooms March to May.[5]. In California
Origin: North America depending on the variety it blooms February to
July.[1] In Oregon and the Pacific Northwestern
Plant description: The original questionnaire that is U.S. it blooms April to July.[4] In the Great Plains Distribution of
recorded in the Ayers and Harman publication[2] and it blooms March to August.[3] Descurainia
upon which this series of monthly articles since June pinnata
of 2004 has been based, listed only the genus name Importance as a honey plant: The original questionnaire that
Descurainia and the common name tansymustard. implicated the species as a honey/pollen plant came from the
It came from an area that represented southern New portion of New Mexico that Ayers and Harman[2] referred to as the
Mexico and was supplied by an individual who seemed very Southwest Desert. Despite having gone through my standard set
interested in and quite knowledgeable about the plants her bees of references for the U.S. and Canada, I found nothing about this
were working. The USDA Plants Website[7] lists five species of plant concerning honey or pollen potential. A quick search of the
Descurainia that grow in southern New Mexico. For the purpose web also didnt find anything. I did find, however, that other bees
of this article, I added the species epithet pinnata primarily because are sometimes found working the species.
it is so very widely spread (See map). Admittedly, the respondent
who filled out the questionnaire may not have actually been
reporting on Descurainia pinnata, or may not have known on
which of the five species she was reporting or may have intended
to report on more than one.
The following description of Descurainia pinnata is adapted
from a plant manual that covers the area of North America in which
this author lives (Michigan).[6] Because of the great variation within
the species it is not clear how appropriate the above description is
for other parts of North America. The author received six different
Descurainia pinnata seed accessions, from The Western Regional
Plant Introduction Station located in Pullman, Washington. From
these he succeeded in growing multiple specimens of five of the six
accessions. In height they all grew to less than 10 inches. The floral
and leaf photographs provided here are from those plants. Given the
list of synonyms listed above, Descurainia pinnata is apparently
quite a variable species and it is possible that there may be little
resemblance of plants that I grew to the Descurainia pinnata that
grows in southern New Mexico.
The USDA Plants Website[7] indicates that Descurainia pinnata
can act as an annual, biennial or perennial plant and that it is native
to North America. It is generally more or less erect and 20 to 70
cm (~7.9 to 28 in) tall. The leaves vary from generally oblong to
oblanceolate and become smaller higher in the plant. They can be
either pinnate or bipinnate with deeply pinnatifid segments, the
upper ones becoming progressively reduced and less dissected.
The flowers are bright yellow, 2 to 4 mm (~0.08 to 0.16 in)
wide, and are placed around the central stem of a raceme that is up
to 12 inches long. The individual floral stems (pedicels) are 5 to 20
mm (~ 0.20 to 0.79 in) long.
The fruits are elongate narrow pods that become thicker toward
the unattached end (clavate) and are 5 to 13 mm (~0.2 to 0.59 in)
long and 1 to 2 mm (~0.04 to 0.08 in) thick.[6]

1
Oblong: Shaped more or less like a geometrical rectangle other than
a square. Oblanceolate: Lance shaped (Pointed) much longer than
wide with the stem attached to the narrower end.
2
Pinnate: in a compound leaf where the leaflets are arranged along Descurainia pinnata flowers. The display appears to be ei-
leafstem like the sides of a feather. Bipinnate: Doubly pinnate
where each leaf is itself pinnate. Pinnatifid: Pinnately cleft or lobed ther the top of a longer floral display or more probably is
at least half the distance to the midrib but not reaching the midrib. quite a short display. See other photo provided showing a
3
Pinnatifid: pinnately cleft forming pinnate lobes where the clefts half spent longer display. Seeds for for both photos were kindly
the distance or more to the midrib, but do not reach the midrib. provided by the Western Regional Plant Introduction Sta-
4
Raceme: An elongated unbranched inflorescence where the individ-
ual flowers are on their own floral stems and the inflorence blooms tion located in Pullman, WA. The species is thought to pos-
from the bottom upward. sibly be involved in the poisoning of grazing cattle.

January 2017 101


If one of the ABJ readers can add some clarity to the above,
please send it to Joe Graham at the American Bee Journal (51 South
2nd Street, Hamilton Il. 62341).

References
1. Al-Shehbaz, Ihsan A. 2012. Brasicaceae (Cruciferae) Mustard
Family. The Jepson Manual Vascular Plants of California. (2nd
edition). Pp 540-542.
2. Ayers, G. S. and J. R. Harman. 1992. Bee Forage of North
America and the Potential for Planting for Bees. In: The Hive and
the Honey Bee. Dadant and Sons. Hamilton, IL
3. Barker, W. T. 1986. Brassicaceae Burgett. The Mustard Family.
In: Flora of the Great Plains. Ronald L. McGregor Coordinator.
University Press of Kansas.
4. Burgett, S. M. , B. A. Stringer, and L. D. Johnston. 1989. Nec-
tar and Pollen Plants of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Hon-
An old spent raceme (indicated with the white pointer). It eystone Press. Blodgett, Oregon.
is located a little to the left of the group of flowers shown 5. Fernald L. F. 1970. Grays Manual of Botany. (Eighth Edition).
in the other photo provided here. All the flowers have D. Van Nostrand Company. New York.
bloomed and nearly withered away. Normally if the flow- 6. Gleason, H. H. and A. Cronquist. 2006. Manual of Vascular
ers of the raceme had been pollinated there would also Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. New
be some fruits developing along the central stem, but in York Botanical Garden Press. Bronx, New York.
this case the plants were grown in a screen cage to keep 7. USDA, NRCS. 2016. The Plants Database. (http://plants.usda.
them from being eaten by large herbivores. The cage also gov, 31 August 2016). National Plant Team, Greensboro, NC
apparently kept out potential pollinators. 27401-4901 USA.

oney
Need h ers?
contai
n
www.dadant.com
1-888-922-1293

102 American Bee Journal


January 2017 103
Borntrager Bee Farm
4036 Gaitan Lane
Beeville, TX 78102
361-362-1408 (Let ring during business hours)
Italian & Carniolan Queens 2017 Prices
1-24 25-99 100+
$22.00 $21.00 $20.00
Virgins $10.00
Ask for cells and nucs
Queens shipped Priority or Express Mail - Insured
or UPS overnight Uninsured
All postal claims are to be made by customer

LOHMAN APIARIES
since 1946
Quality Queens and Packages
Old World Carniolan
for Over-wintering and Honey Production
Dennis Lohman Apiaries
6437 Wagner Road
ARBUCKLE, CALIFORNIA 95912
530-476-2322
Member of California Bee Breeders Association

104 American Bee Journal


American Bee Journal
MarketPlace PARSONS GOLD SOLUTION - The For Sale: 200 5-frame nucs and 400 single hives
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We have purchased Tom Industries. North Dakota. 290 Ross Round supers, rings,
We have hand crank and motor- foundation, excellent $10K takes all.
FOR SALE ized embossed rollers. 5.1, 4.9 drone
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1000 hives 10-frame two-story on 4-way pallets, 180# per hour. Call (620) 365-5956 or
new outfit & queens, excellent condition, available beekeeping.com
email: madelinecooper@sbcglobal.net 1000 Hives (double deep) 10-frame on 4-way
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beekeeper forklifts with more performance en-
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hancements. Used beekeeper forklifts. Our full
time knowledgeable staff offers more to you in FIVE FRAME NUCS AND TEN pallets in CA after Almonds. Sold in lots of 100
parts, service, and advice. View our website:www. FRAME HIVES FOR SALE. CALL or semi-loads. Ray (229) 921-8776. Email: ray@
hummerbeeforklift.com or call A & O Forklift at JEROME @ (352) 406-4938 OR EMAIL: weekshoneyfarm.com
800-943-8677 (remember we are eastern time zone) TRAILHEADRANCH@GMAIL.COM NUCS FOR SALE(Limited Supply): 5-frame
or leave a message. NUCS @$130.00 (minimum order = 50). Avail-
HONEY PRICE UPDATES. Call Honey Hot able in GA/MI. April August. 50% deposit when
Heavy Duty Clear View Masts for Bobcats Line. (763) 658-4193. ordering . Balance due 2 weeks prior to pickup.
12 lift - double action cylinders - 42 forks (48 Ray (229) 921-8776. Email: ray@weekshoney
optional) - all roller bearings/no sliders - fits Bob- 2000 10-frame hives, new queens, on 4-way pal- farm.com
cat 743 - 763 & S130 - S150. Call A & 0 Forklift, lets, very good equipment in FL. Now or after al- 1972 Bobcat with diesel Kabota engine, hydro-
Inc. (800) 943-8677. monds in CA. Limited numbers of 4 and 5-frame stat, 12 ft Edwards mast, like new tires, excellent
Top Bar Hive handmade, plans, info, pictures, deep nucs. Also available in FL starting in March. condition. Upgrading. $7,500 on first come basis.
video, community: www.NetShed.com Call NOW!! (262) 689-1000. Available after October 1. Located in Michigan.
FOR SALE: Singles and 1 1/2 story hives for sale. 140,000 pounds sugar and syrup in like new 55 Photos per request. Cell/text 231-408-7485.
1000 available. Call for Pricing, Jon@(208) 412- gallon drums $150 each or $140 ea. for 10 or Email: edeisele@gmail.com
1092 or Golden @ (208) 250-8420. www.golden more. 200 like new barrels - $10 each. Honey 2013 Hummerbee Turbo, fully loaded: 2 speed,
beeinc.com 5 gallon buckets, new and used bee equipment. loaded balloon tires, HD 126 mast with side
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Open head steel 55-gallon drums, like new and merbee trailer available for $5,000. Available
Pluta Milledgeville Georgia (478) 452-2337 new condition. Central Florida. $16.00 Each.
www.georgiabees.blogspot.com after November 1st on first come basis. Located
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Five frame NUCS for sale mid-April through Fall. Make your own Honey Sticks. Complete sys- 231-408-7485, or edeisele@gmail.com
Price dependent on season and quantity of order. tem to start putting your honey in your own 2500 8-FRAME EXTRACTING FULL DEPTH
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BROKER OF BEES AND BEE EQUIPMENT: available. Call Joseph at (561) 715-5715 to place tom board. Near Sacramento, CA. Call Kim (925)
Find out what is for sale or request a listing agree- your order. 913-0531.
ment at www.morrisweaver.com Morris Weaver For Sale: 8-frame doubles and 10-frame 1 story
Enterprises, 11625 Princess Margaret Ct., PACKAGED BEES AND 5-FRAME NUCS. hives before or after almonds. Call Mark McCoy
Montgomery, TX 77361-3616. Phone (936) 448- TAKING ORDERS NOW FOR 2016 & 2017. (561) 723-2921.
8061, Mobile (936) 825-4738. rmorrisweaver@ CALL (231) 735-1203. Semi-load of 1 1/2 story hives for sale before or
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Cowen Heated top and bottom bar cleaner with ment. Contact Joey McCoy 561-723-3170.
extra SS tub and hot water supply unit purchased For Sale 3000 10-frame singles. 2015 200 strong 5-frame nucs for sale. Full of bees and
in 2009 less than 40 hours, asking $6000.00. Item queens, new equipment. Also, 5-frame brood 16 qeens. 50% deposit when ordered, 50%
available for pickup in Lewistown, PA or Dade nucs available. Call Chris (941) 720- 2 weeks before p/up, no frame exchange - $120.00
City, Florida. For more information call 800-736- 6025. each. Available after April 25th. (661) 586-3285
6205. near Bakersfield, CA.

CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING-Net price $1.00 per word per insertion. Initials, letters as in street address, counted as individual words. No advertisement accepted for less than 10
words. Payable cash in advance. Blind Classified 10% additional. (A blind ad is one in which responses are addressed to the ABJ and then forwarded to the advertiser.) Extreme care
always is exercised in establishing the reliability of all advertisers, but the publishers do not guarantee advertisements. Orders close the 20th of the second month preceding cover
date. Send typed copy to : Advertising Dept., American Bee Journal, 51 S. 2nd St., Hamilton, IL 62341 or FAX to 217-847-3660 or e-mail to: abjads@dadant.com.

January 2017 105


Hive bodies and supers cut from Minnesota pine. For Sale: Swinger 110 Diesel Power Forklift call Tupelo Honey for Sale. This honey is certified.
Custom built and assembled to your specs. Deliv- Dave 760-310-0005. $7.50/lb. (231) 383-0800.
ery available for truckload lots. 45 years experi- Ten frame singles for sale end of April. $115.00 Honey for sale, in barrels, delivery possible. Ron
ence. Bjorndahl Apiaries, Box 194, Goodridge, each, call Paul Godlin (559) 804-8678. (296) 313-5698.
MN, 56725. Phone (218) 378-4188. 6,000 beehives for sale after almonds. 10 frame North Dakota Clover Alfalfa Honey for sale in
QUEENS available April thru September. 5-frame double deeps and 1.5 story on 4 way clip pallets. Semi load lots. Call 701-650-0200 or 701-984-
nucs also available. Credit cards accepted. Rabbit Semi loads only. Call Karen@949-533-3841. 2696.
Creek Bee Company Franklin, NC. (828) 634- For Sale: 1000 hives; 10-frame doubles or singles
1233.
200 Double Deep 8 frame hives, in CA or NE
on 4-way clipped pallets available after Almond
Pollination 2017, very good condition. 5-frame
HONEY AND
after almonds $165. 2500 8 frame shells on nucs available May 13th. Call (559) 974-4042 BEESWAX WANTED
pallets in NE. 308-529-2690. Madera, CA.
For Sale:75-8 frame telescoping painted plywood HONEY WANTEDExtracted or comb.
Dadant 84 frame extractor used one season ex-
covers. 75-8 frame bottom boards painted, all like LEIGHTONS HONEY, INC., 1203 Commerce
cellent condition $6000 - metal bound excluders
new. Dadant bee blower. NW Illinois 815-541- Ave. Haines City, Florida 33844. (863) 422-1773.
5310. $2 - 550 gal black plastic h2o/syrup tank $300
- Dadant fructose pump base and motor $300 FAX (863) 421-2299
5 frame nucs in South Miss. Available starting in HONEY WANTED all grades. Also, honey
April. Delivery Possible, Call for pricing. Buddy Southern Arizona 520-240-3135.
barrels for sale. Contact Pure Sweet Honey Farm
Graham 601-433-8466. Inc., 514 Commerce Parkway, Verona, WI. (608)
For Sale: 6500 colony migratory bee business. Southern California Outfit - 300 845-9601.
Registered summer locations in best honey colonies, Cowen 120, House, ware-
producing area of ND, winter locations in TX. house on 5 acres. 951-694-5319. Round comb, Fresh, good tasting
Almond pollination contracts in CA. Turnkey
Pollen, Varietal Honeys. 800-678-1226.
operation with 36 years in same locations. Bees, For Sale: 500 hives, 10-frame, two-story, 1 1/2
supers, trucks, loaders, warehouses, extracting tasty@zspecialtyfood.com
story, and/or singles on 4-way pallets available
equip. More info @ www.apiaryforsale.com after almond pollination in CA. Very good condi-
200 hives, enough deeps to make 250 more, 750+ tion. Contact 510-731-7801. HONEy PRICE UPDATES. Call Honey
honey supers, most boxes 3 years or less, 28- For sale Cook and Beals 128 Frame Extractor Hot Line. (763) 658-4193.
frame Cowen with 600 lb. tank, dodge up, swinger
which includes uncapper, deboxer and feed Con-
forklift and trailer, bottling machine, hive jig, 500
veyor with bottom bar cleaner. Excellent Condi-
gal. syrup tank w/pump, and much more smalls.
tion. (815) 954-4277. ROYAL JELLY
Located in S. Tx, with shop available for lease.
Sold altogether. Wes (830) 570-9223. Nucs for sale, NE Texas and central MN. In BEST 100% PURE FRESH ROYAL JELLY.
5 Frame nucs in NorthEast Oklahoma. Taking early May. 150$ ea. Northern Italian queen $65.00 per kilo plus shipping. HIGHEST PO-
orders now for Spring 2017. www.RoarkAcres. stock/VSH. Full amount down for purchase. TENCY. LOWEST PRICES guaranteed on
com Michael Roark (918)578-9201 nucs@ Call John @ 763-498-4964. larger orders. CERTIFIED TOP QUALITY.
roarkacres.com Dakota Gunness Uncapper with 8 foot SS Stakich, Inc. (248) 642-7023 ext. 301
For Sale: 8-frame doubles, heavy, 2016 queens on extension. Motorized medicine mixer. 1500 6
4-way pallets. Newer equipment. $305.00 before 5/8 treated empty boxes $5/Box. 600 shallow POLLEN
almonds, $165.00 after. $140.00 second week of supers $7/Box 100 deep supers $15/box all ten
May. Cottonwood, CA. Sam & Joyce Van Vleet, frame equipment. 400 migratory lids $2/lid QUALITY, CLEAN, LOW MOISTURE POL-
Home (530) 347-1987, Cell (530) 768-3620. Any questions please call TODD at 701-590- LEN $5.40/lb. Min. 10 lbs. + shipping. LOW-
PLACE YOUR ORDER NOW!!! 2600 double 2305 located in western ND. EST PRICES guaranteed for large orders.
deep hives for sale immediately after almonds in For Sale: 5-frame nucs and package bees. STAKICH, INC. Phone (248) 642-7023 ext. 301
mid-March. Fall 2016 queens. Boxes and frames SPRING VALLEY HONEY FARMS, Perry
in excellent condition. 3000 singles for sale before Iowa. From late April thru June. Nucs - Pollen supplement and pollen substi-
or after almonds. Chris Oslobanu (941) 720-6025 $135.00, 100+ - $110. Possible delivery on tute patties made to your specifica-
or beerom@verizon.net large lots. Contact: Curt Bronnenberg (515) tions and delivered anywhere. Fast
800 double deeps, heavy and strong. S. Florida on 480-6075, Connie Bronnenberg (515) 480-6076. service. Visit www.globalpatties.com
4-way good equipment. $290.00. Tom (239) 565- or call. Toll free (866) 948-6084.
4420 or tomsbeehivesinc@hotmail.com
For Sale: 1 1/2 story hives for sale after almond HONEY FOR SALE Fresh 2016 Northern California raw bulk pollen
on 4 way pallets. New queens and equipment 1 Excellent clover honey in drums and light beeswax available. Available raw uncleaned and semi-dried
to 2 years old, treated in hot wax. Call Joseph at available. Mark Gilberts Apiaries, (608) 482-1988. and cleaned. Call for pricing at (916) 224-2211.
561-715-5715. U.S. sweet clover, alfalfa, thistle mix, (9 drums of
5 frames Nucs for spring 2017 with new queen/ black locust-limited supply), white honey, melter POLLINATION
brood is from her/ medicated call for pric- honey, filtered, new drums, excellent honey - Bees wanted for the Almonds. Art Harris, 6301
ing/ shipping available. TY 601-788-7717 or f.o.b. several loads available. Produced by Bald- Victor St. #63, Bakersfield, CA 93308 (661) 444-
ty.freeman68@yahoo.com win Apiaries, Darlington, WI (608) 776-3700. 1470.
FOR SALE: SINGLES ON 4-WAY PAL-
LETS, BULK BEES, BROOD, SOUTHEAST Very nice looking & good tasting Nebraska Bees Wanted for 2017 Almond Pollination Season.
TEXAS. 507-273-4359. bottling honey. (402) 319-5125. We will need over 3,500 additional hives this sea-
North Dakota operation for sale. Property has CLOVER Buckwheat, Orange, Tupelo, and son. We have crew and forklifts to place hives in
5 bedroom house, large warehouse/shop/ex- Wildflower pails or drums. PURE SWEET Orchard. You are paid 50% on February 20th and
tracting plant/honey tank/large barn for stor- HONEY FARM, 514 Commerce Parkway, 50% April 20th. Excellent references. For more in-
ing supers, boxes and equipment. There are Verona, Wisconsin 53593. (608) 845-9601. formation visit www.almondbeepollination.com
4 newer mobile homes for workers quarters Clover, Basswood, Wildflower honey available in or call California Almond Pollination Service, Inc.
with separate laundry facilities. Includes 180 drums in WI. Great tasting! Light beeswax avail- at (209)-202-8915, E-Mail shousebee@gmail.com
registered locations. Property has 240 acres able. Call (262) 689-1000. Strong hives needed for 2017 almond season. Bees
of farmland, can be used for stockpile yard. Honey and beeswax for sale. Clover, Orange placed on our contracts in central California. We
asking $1.7M. See website for pictures and de- Blossom, Wildflower. Many varietals available. can winter your hives for you. Call: Brian John-
scription at http://Laotzu.tk/bees. Call or text Smitty Bee Honey (712) 748-4292. ston (719) 201-5199 or Larry Johnston (719)
Linda Palmer (909) 226-7438. PREMIUM HONEYS Summer: Michigan
469-4580.
Profitable honey packing, pollen processing Blueberry, Thistle (Knapweed) excellent for
creamed honeys, plus FL premium fall pepper WANTED: Bees to lease on share for honey pro-
business. Western Colorado. Equipment suit-
able for packing 50 to 300 drums. Long estab- and FL spring orange blossom honeys. Call Ed duction, from after almonds until June 10th. Call
lished customer base. Perfect family operation. (231) 408-7485. Email: edeisele@gmail.com (760) 793-1245.
bc@rof.net QUALITY HONEY, barrels, your buckets. Bee Solutions LLC has approximately 15,000
For Sale: 816 double deep 10 frame hives after al- Hollenbeck, Kirksville, Missouri. (660) 665-2542 acres for the Chinese Tallow flow in Jefferson and
monds. Deep 10 frame brood boxes with 9 frames. evenings. Orange Counties. At this time, we have about 25
Deep 10 frame supers with 8 frames; frames are Raw honey and wax (melted) extracted 7/16. sites that can be easily accessed by 18-wheelers.
recent, paint is good. (208)431-0630 or (208)431- $2.10 per lb. In drum with exchange, $2.45 per lb Start taking reservations January 15. Call (409)
4468. In bucket. Call or text 601-788-7717. 504-7073. Ask for Brett.

106 American Bee Journal


BEES AND QUEENS 8 and 4 framers for sale, available for
pick up in Texas and Minnesota at the
FEED
JERRY FOSTER QUEENS quality Carniolan and end of April. Call for pricing 507-327-
hybrid Italian queens at competitive prices. Nucs 5388. Recent study finds that supplementa-
and packages also. Jerry Foster Apiaries, 937 9th tion of HB diet with lactic acid bacte-
St., Colusa, CA 95932. Phone (530) 458-4234. Located in Northeast Georgia Italian Bees. ria reduced Nosema and increases HB
5-frame nucs and 3 lb. packages for Spring 2017. lifespan. SDFM-HB contains billions of
Pacific Northwest mated queens. Orders of 50 or PICKUP ONLY! Order at www.jarrettbees.com
more. Treasure Valley Idaho. Call for Pricing, Jon active, safe microorganisms capable
For Sale: 5 Frame nucs in East Texas, New queen, of displacing and inhibiting honeybee
@ (208) 412-1092. www.goldenbeeinc.com
4 frames of bees and brood, available May 5, pathogens and boosting honeybee im-
Package bees in Ohio. Taking orders now for 2017. $ 135.00 402-305-0268.
spring 2016. Waldo Ohio Apiaries, George Tay- mune response. Field trials show SDFM-
Sanders Honey: Queens for sale. Josh Sanders, HB increase colony survival ! http://
lor, P.O. Box 122, Kilbourne, OH 43032. (740) 7288 Perdie Lee Rd, Nicholls Ga 31554. 912-
524-6241. Email: WALDOBEE@MSN.com www.strongmicrobials.com/#/products/
399-8480. honeybee - 248 385 3248
Website: www.waldobees.com
California Queens for Sale: Well mated Italian
queens available April. KingBee Apiarys (760) WANTED
417-1810. Honey and Beeswax wanted. All colors and va-
LABELS
QUALITY QUEENS from HAWAII, available rietals. Send samples or call Smitty Bee Honey Custom Labels. FREE BROCHURE.
year round. Call KARRUS QUEENS (808) (319) 759-0161 leave message or
(712) 748-4292.
854-5308. amysbeelabels@hotmail.com
Buying old combs. $.05 to $.15 per frame. (206)
Queen Haven Apiaries is taking orders for Ital-
ian VSH and Carniolian VSH queens for the 2017 947-4483. Glenoma, WA. (206) 947-4483.
season. Please call Ray and Klarene Olivarez at MISCELLANEOUS
(530) 526-7034. HELP WANTED The AMERICAN BEEKEEPING FEDERA-
3 lb Packages Bees for sale, for pick up in TION has many benefits to offer its members.
Wisconsin. Contact: Mark Gilberts Apiaries 608- Full time position available in Oregon. Bee-
keeping experience and CDL required. Contact Send for a membership packet of information
482-1988. today! We also offer a free Beginning Beekeeping
Let us put bees into your equipment with enough Ryan@sweetbeehoneyco.com PO Box 558,
Milton Freewater, OR 97862 (360)907-0842. Packet. Contact the AMERICAN BEEKEEPING
time to feed them up for the almonds. May be
FEDERATION, 3525 Piedmont Rd. NE, Bld. 5.
willing to do the feeding. Also, willing to fill your Seasonal and full-time help needed at our mi-
equipment in the spring. Call Rick Riggs (661) Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30305-1509, Phone (404)
gratory bee operation. We are located in FL and
204-2631. 760-2875, Fax 404-240-0998, or email info@
WI. We do pollination, queen rearing and honey
abfnet.org.
Doubles, singles, brood for sale production. Some experience preferred, team en-
vironment, wages dependent on experience, good HONEY BEE INSEMINATION SERVICE
year round. FOB Jan-April, Oak- (HBIS) Susan Cobey Specializing: Equip-
dale, CA. April-Dec., Milton Freewa- opportunity or advancement. Prior work history
and references required. Contact Gary at (262) ment; Training; Consulting; Custom II; Speak-
ter, OR. Queens less than 6 months, ing. Message: (530) 554-2527 Facebook.com/
great equipment. Ryan@sweetbee 689-1000.
Olivarez Honey Bees/Big Island Queens is seek- HBIService, honeybeeinsemination.com
honeyco.com (360) 907-0842. $5k min. For Sale: Cook & Beals Spin Float, complete
purchase. ing motivated beekeepers to join our Hawaii
team! Experience preferred. Self-motivator and rebuild in 2015, used one season since rebuild,
ability to work in a team environment a plus. Po- digital speed control. Very good condition.
Olympic Wilderness Apiary Pa-
sitions are full time, salary based on experience. $5500.00. Cook & Beals heat exchanger. Re-
cific NW WILD SURVIVOR BREEDER
built 2013. Heat tank with circulating pump and
QUEENS Disease and Mite Resistant Great Benefits Package. Prior work history and
digital display readout panel. $1000.00. Cook &
Isolated yards Available July Sept references required. Advancement opportunities
Beals King melter. New seals on auger and all
(360) 928-3125. www.wildernessbees. available. Submit resume to info@ohbees.com
new screens. $2500.00. Dakota Gunness uncap-
com or Olivarez Honey Bees Inc/Big Island Queens,
per. Last used 2015. $500.00. Cowen 5 cappings
P O Box 847 Orland Ca 95963, Fax: 530-865- auger. Stainless steel. Attached to the Gunness
Top Bar Queens & Bees: Taking orders now for
5570, Phone 530-865-0298 uncapper. 5 years old. Auger alone. Very good
spring 2017 with deposit, state health inspected
Growing migratory operation seeking experienced condition. $2000.00 Lattner 15HP horizontal
& state certified breeders. Italian, Cordavin, &
Poline stocks. (813) 690-9808. beekeepers and unit managers. Based in Florida, tube. 1972 mfg. Last used in 2012. Excellent
we travel to Georgia, Michigan and other northern condition. Water return system with electronic
QUEENS available April thru September. states during production season. Extended travel controls. Propane fired. $4500.00. Call: Brent
5-frame nucs also available. Credit cards and overtime required. Wages/salary dependent Woodworth 701-938-4647 or 701-290-0175 7 to
on experience. Benefits include health insur- 7 Mountain time.
accepted. Rabbit Creek Bee Company
ance, dental, paid time off, and 401K. Contact
Franklin, NC. (828) 634-1233. migratorybeekeeping@gmail.com or (850)253-
PACIFIC QUEENS Hybrid Italian Queens 7824 for more information. WAX RENDERING
from CHILE. Hygienic behavior and pollen WANTED: Full time experienced commercial Wax cappings, slumgum and frames rendered.
production. Available JANUARY MAY. beekeeper. Bilingual Spanish/English, USA citi- If youre not getting medium color and price
apiculturarey@gmail.com Contact Francisco zen or legal resident, physically fit, have CDL (or on your slumgum wax, you should be using our
and Alejandra Rey. able to upgrade), willing to migrate TX ND with service! Shipping assistance on large lots. (863)
RUFERS DEEP EAST TEXAS QUEENS, bees. Salary based on experience and qualifica- 559-0074.
LLC now booking for the 2017 season for tions. References required. Foreign workers need Old frames rendered and returned clean. Beeswax
MN Hygienic Queens, Brood, or fill equipment not apply. Email resume and salary expectations extraction from 5 gallon buckets of cappings/
out of our Deep Texas location. For pricing and to: beeimporters@gmail.com scrapings/slum$5 per bucket. Barrels
scheduling, contact: Darrel at (612) 325-1203. Looking for hard-working, motivated beekeepers please inquire. Glenoma, WA (206) 947-4483.
Fill up your DOTS and rent your bees for the to join our team in Florida. We do queen rear-
right price! 5-frame nucs available in Modesto, ing, pollination and honey production. The ap-
CA on January 15, 2017. Deposit required. Chris plicants must have a social security and a clean BEE BOOKS
Oslobanu (941) 720-6025 or beerom@verizon.
valid driver license. Reference required. Contact Huge collection of antique bee books & maga-
net
BEES & QUEENS: Italian package bees, 3# Chris Oslobanu at (941) 720-6025 or send resume zines dating from 1800s. Including vol. 1 issue
$77.00 plus cage. Pick up only. 50 minimum. to beerom@verizon.net 1 of the ABJ - 1861 mint condition. Over 900
Cottonwood, CA. Sam & Joyce Van Vleet. Home Need help loading or unloading semi loads of books and mags. Will sell as one lot only. Also
(530) 347-1987, Cell (530) 768-3620. bees in California? Need help placing or remov- have antique beekeeping equipment, smokers,
PACKAGE BEES (Queenless only) February ing bees from Orchards? We have trucks forklifts lots of antique wood items. Excel spreadsheet
June. Pick up only Metter, Georgia. Patrick and equipment. Our crew leaders have five plus available to be emailed. Hard copy can be
Wilbanks (912) 286-7789 or pwilbanks@ years of experience. Contact Ben at 435-272-7239 mailed. bill45newmexico@gmailcom (575)653-
hotmail.com or ben@honeycreek.biz 4670. Serious inquires please.

January 2017 107


THE SCOTTISH BEEKEEPERMonthly Maga-
PERIODICALS zine of the Scottish Beekeepers Association. Inter-
national in appeal, Scottish in character. View back
LABEILLE DE FRANCEThe most important numbers and Subscription rates at: http://scottish
of the monthly publications in France - for all beekeepers.org.uk
beekeepers, from the amateurs to the professional. SOUTH AFRICAN BEE JOURNALThe offi-
Each month: an article for beginners, reports from cial organ of the S.A. Federation of Bee Farmers
specialists, a review of the latest information all Associations. Published Bimonthly in English and
over the world. Ask for a sample Annual subscrip- Afrikaans, primarily devoted to the African and
tion: 40$ US. ABEILLE DE FRANCE- 5, rue du Cape Bee races. Subscriptions incl. postage (six
Copenhague-F 75008 PARIS.
copies). All subscribers outside of South Africa
THE AUSTRALASIAN BEEKEEPER R100-00 surface mail, payment to be made in S.A.
Senior Beekeeping Journal of the Southern Rands. NB. Sample copies only available on re-
Hemisphere. Complete coverage of all bee- ceipt of a donation. P.O. Box 41 Modder-fontein,
keeping topics in one of the worlds largest 1645, South Africa.
beekeeping countries. Published by Pender
ULADAG BEE JOURNAL - Publication of
Beekeeping Supplies Pty. Ltd., Bilga 79 Nay-
Uludag Beekeeping Association, published quar-
lor Road, Urila, N.S.W. 2620, Australia. Annual
terly in Turkish (with English titles and sum-
subscription paid in advance $160 AUD.
maries of all articles) and English in all aspects
THE AUSTRALIAN BEE JOURNAL of beekeeping; beekeeping news, practical bee-
Caters to both amateur and commercial keeping, and research articles, and considered a
apiarists. Subscription $120.00 Australian link between Turkish beekeeping and the world.
currently for all overseas subscribers per annum. Gazcilar Cad. No. 9/2 16220 Bursa-TURKEY
Published monthly. Victorian Apiarists Asso- Fax:+90 224 224 3964 http://www.uluda
ciation, Inc., P.O. Box 40, California Gully,Vic. garicilik.org.tr
Australia 3556 Ph: 03 5446 1543, Email: vaa@vic
beekeepers.com.au.
BEECRAFT The UKs leading monthly beekeep-
ing magazine. View a digital copy and subscribe on
line at www.bee-craft.com.
DIE BIENE ALLGEMEINE DEUTSCHE IM-
KERZEITUNG (ADIZ) IMKERFREUND The
Bee magazines with special publications in bee
science and management for the hobbyist as well
as for the sideliner and professional beekeeper.
Three regional titles but same content today for
Germany except partly Imkerfreund for Bavaria.
Monthly publications with 64 pages. Subscription
Euro 44.50 per year Deutscher Landwirtschafts-
verlag GmbH, Postfach 870324, 13162 Berlin, Tel.
+49(0)30/293974-87, Fax +49(0) 30/293974-59,
www.diebiene.de
HIVELIGHTS, National magazine of the Cana-
dian Honey Council. Published quarterly. Free
sample on request, write to Canadian Honey
Council, Suite 236, 234-5149 Country Hills
Blvd. NW, Calgary AB T3A 5K8, CANADA.
Subscription information available at www.
honeycouncil.ca.
HONEYBEE NEWS, The Journal of the New
South Wales Apiarists Association, Inc., Inter-
national Subscription AUS$50.00 (Airmail) Bank
Draft, Visa or MasterCard payable to NSW AA.
Published bi-monthlyFor more information
contact: The Editor, PO Box 352, Leichhardt
NSW 2040 Australia. E-mail: honeybee@
accsoft.com.au
IBRA is the information service for beekeepers, ex-
tension workers and scientists. Our members sup-
port this service and enjoy the benefits of belonging
to IBRA, which includes Bee World. We need your
involvement - join IBRA - support this important
information network and extend your beekeeping
horizons. For more information contact: IBRA,
18 North Road, Cardiff CF1 3DY, UK. Telephone
(+44) 1222 372409. Fax (+44) 1222 665522.
IRISH BEEKEEPINGRead An Beachaire (The
Irish Beekeeper). Published monthly. Subscription
$50.00 per annum post free. Dermot OFlaherty,
Journal Manager, Rosbeg, Westport, Co. Mayo,
Ireland
ATTENTION LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS
Ranch Magazine is your monthly information
guide for Angora, Cashmere and meat goats, as
well as sheep and cattle. Comprehensive Breeder
Directory. 1-Yr $27, 2-Yrs $54. Foreign &
Canada add $36 per yr. postage. Subscribe today!
Box 2678-ABJ, San Angelo, Tx 76902. Call for
free sample.

108 American Bee Journal


WINTERSUN
1250 E Belmont St., Ontario, CA 91761 USA
Tel: 1-800-930-1688 Fax: 909-947-1788
Email: Sales@wintersunchem.com

v Acetic Acid v Methyl Salicylate


v Benzaldehyde v Thymol
v Formic Acid v Oxalic Acid
v Menthol Crystal v Sulfuric Acid

See more available items on our website


Website: http://www.wintersunchemical.com

E. Suhre Bees
Package Bees available April and May

Queens available April through October

For information, pricing or ordering

call Eric (530) 228-3197

January 2017 109


Advertising Index
A.N. Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Gardners Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83 Queen Right Colonies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
A & O Forklift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Globalpatties.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 QSI Honey and Food Lab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
Acorn Beekeeping Equip. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 GloryBee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Almondbeepollination.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Gold Star Honeybees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 R.M. Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60
American Bee Journal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66, 108 Roberts Bee Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97
American Beekeeping Federation . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98 Hardeman Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88 Ross Rounds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97
American Honey Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Hawaiian Queen Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Rossman Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Avoyelles Honey Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Heilyser Technology Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Heitkams Honey Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103 Sandors Honey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Barkman Honey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79 Sasses Apiary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66
BeeCulture.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70 Hilberts Honey Bees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Hogg Halfcomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 Selby Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
Bee Excellent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96 Shastina Millwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Beekeepingins.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 Honey B Healthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Honey Land Farms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Sherriff, B.J. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
BeeInformed.org . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 Simpsons Bee Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92
Beeline Apiaries & Woodenware . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94 Horace Bell Honey. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
H2 Visa Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98 South Georgia Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66
Beelite Wax Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108 Spell Bee Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83
Bee Smart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Stayers Quality Queens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61
BeeVital.us. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88 Jester Bee Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62
JJs Honey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Strachan Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
Betterbee, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 Strong Microbials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .94
Bigdipperwaxworks.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 Suhre, Adam Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62
Big Island Hawaii Queen Rearing . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Koehnen, C.F. & Sons, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74
Kona Queen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96 Suhre, E. Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
BlissHoney.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 Sunshine Honey Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108
Blue Ridge Honey Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 Superior Bee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83
Blue Sky Bee Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Lohman Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Swienty Beekeeping Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60
Bordelon Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102
Bordelons Honey Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 Mann Lake Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28, 51
Tabers Honey Bee Genetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Borntrager Bee Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Maxant Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
Texas Insurance & Financial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
Brand New Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 McKenna Boiler Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
TimelessMicroscope.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Brown Honey Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109 Medivet Pharmaceuticals Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74
TreatVarroa.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Browning Cut Stock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 Merrimack Valley Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
T.R.S. Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96
Brumley Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Meyers, A.H. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100
Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110 Miksa Honey Farms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 UMT.EDU/BEE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62
Bucko Gloves, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Miller Bee Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58
Mother Lode Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 Vermont Flexi Pumps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
Buzzs Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 Vidalia Apicultural Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96
CC Pollen Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Nod Apiary Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Vpqueenbees.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Chinabeeworld.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Weaver, R. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
Complete Bee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 Old Sol Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Western Bee Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Contract Pros Mfg.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98 Olivarez Honey Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80 Wicwas Press . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83
Cook & Beals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 OxaVap.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Wilbanks Apiaries Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96
Cowen Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 Wilbanks, Patrick. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Dadant and Sons, Inc.5, 34, 36, 50, 52, 65, 102, 109 & Park-Burris Queens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84 Will County Beekeeping Workshops. . . . . . . . . . .104
Back Cover PierceBeekeeping.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 Wintersun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Dakota Gunness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Pierco.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 WoodcampFarm.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
Drebbieville Hives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 Plastic Packaging Concept. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79 Wootens Golden Queens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
Powell Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Ernst Seeds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Propolis-etc.ca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Z Specialty Food, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66

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