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Editor - Eugene

Makovec
Advertising Manager - Marta Menn
Publishing Department -
Dianne Behnke & Susan Nichols
info@americanbeejournal.com
www.americanbeejournal.com
subscriptions@americanbeejournal.com
CONTENTS
Volume 159 No. 8 August 2019
DEPARTMENTS
From the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 843 ARTICLES
Letters to the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . 845
• From the Home Office
News and Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 849 Gabe Dadant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .865

Classified Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . 947 • Pesticides in the News


Randy Oliver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .875
Advertising Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 950
• The Agronomist: British Oilseed Rape Following the EU
COLUMNS Neonic Ban
Richard Rickitt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .885
The Classroom
Jerry Hayes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 859
• Beekeeping With a Disability
Beekeeping Basics: Insurance Against William L Blomstedt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .903
Doom: The Late Summer Nuc
Tina Sebestyen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 869
• Beth’s Journey into Blindness While Tending Honey Bees
Notes from the Lab: What Will Growers Christopher J Stalder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .915
Use If Neonics are Banned?
Scott McArt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 883
• The Seasonality and Effects of Nosema
Science Insider: Leveraging Hormones to Randy Oliver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .919
Fight the Mite
Alison McAfee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 891
• Measuring Propolis Deposition: A Novel Approach
Beekeeping, Past and Present: Apiaries Doug Galloway and Dennis Clay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .931
as Part of an Ecosystem of Wildlife
Wyatt A. Mangum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 895
• Bodacious Blackberries
The Curious Beekeeper: The Valkyrie Charlotte Ekker Wiggins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .935
Long Hive
Rusty Burlew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 909
• Why We Squeeze Out Every Drop
A Close Look @ the Hive: A Bit About Howard Scott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .937
Honey: The Major Honey Plants
Peter L Borst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 923
• Fulbright Nat Geo Storyteller Award Takes WSU Bee
The American Bee Journal Researcher to Spain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .941
ISSN 0002-7626
THE AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL (ISSN 002-7626) is
published monthly at American Bee Journal, 51 S. 2nd • From the Archives: Preparation for Comb Honey
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ON THE COVER
lishing Co., 300 N. Zeeb Road, P.O. Box 998, Ann Arbor,
Michigan 48106. ©Copyright Dadant & Sons, Inc., 2019. Infra-Red Dawn: Triggered by a curious chipmunk (not seen here),
All rights reserved, printed in USA. The Publishers cannot Wyatt Mangum’s game camera captures dawn in a top bar apiary.
guarantee advertisements in this magazine, but we ask
that any advertising complaints be made known to us, so Defaulting to infrared in low-light conditions, the camera creates a
we can further check the company’s reliability. Opinions dreamlike image reminiscent of a nineteenth-century daguerreotype.
expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the pub-
lisher. American Bee Journal, 51 S. 2nd St., Hamilton, IL The original photo — starring the chipmunk — appears on page 898.
62341. (888) 922-1293. Fax (217) 847-3660.

August 2019 839


840 American Bee Journal
March 2018 841
From the Editor
Eugene Makovec
editor@americanbeejournal.com

Unwanted GUests

It was a rare cool evening in Au- a glass of wine. It was about twilight, away, and then the two of us headed
gust, so we decided to have a fire. and before we sat down I asked, “Do quickly back around front.
Behind our back deck is a depressed, you want to walk around and take a Back at the fire, we both burst out
circular area that was once home to a look at the bees?” laughing. Channeling Katy Perry,
25-foot above-ground pool. The pool One of the great things about hav- I broke into, “I kicked a skunk, and
in turn backed up to a secondary ing bees at home is strolling out on I liked it!” And then we smelled it:
deck, which sits on a berm overlook- a summer’s night when they’re all Those forms may have been indis-
ing the two acres below. back home and checking out the ac- tinct in the dark, but the mild odor
The house was a foreclosure, va- tivity: Bearding on hot nights, wash- that now wafted over the area was
cant for a year. The pool was still full boarding up the front, and fanning to unmistakable. Fortunately, both the
of water, though at least it was cov- dry nectar — there’s nothing like the berm and the prevailing breeze were
ered. I closed on the property at noon scent of curing honey wafting out the in our favor, and the now-blazing fire
and met a guy there at 3. He gave me front doors of your hives. did not hurt either. I tossed the brood
300 bucks, and I gave him the pool — But that was not the activity that frame on top for good measure, and
though I would have agreed to pay greeted us. The six beehives are right the fire doubled in intensity, sucking
him the 300 if needed. I’ve had a pool, behind the aforementioned berm, fac- the rest of the malodourous scent out
and I’ve had escargot, and I don’t ing out into the yard, and as we round- of the firepit area.
need to try either again. Anyway, I ed the corner what got our attention After a few minutes, curiosity got
had other plans for the space. was a pair of small, dark mammals. the better of me. I crept around the
Draining the thing was the easy “Skunks!” I shouted, as they emerged berm again just to see. Wow — that
part: I hooked a 3” flexible vinyl from beneath the closest hive and skunk may have been a juvenile, but
hose to the pump port and pointed scurried away down the line. it’d sure packed a powerful aroma.
it down the yard; it was a summer of With no time to think (obviously), I made a quick apology to the bees,
drought, and the unkempt hayfield and without even asking my wife then went around and tossed some
below slurped down the 12,000 gal- to hold my beer, I took a half-dozen more branches on the fire. From there
lons without a trace. Disassembling quick steps and then swung my foot on we had a pleasant evening.
the structure was a little more trouble; hard. I had a mind to boot the little I looked the next day and did not
who knew there were so many parts miscreant halfway to the road below, see signs of chewed-up bees on the
to a pool? and I still don’t know how I missed. ground. Skunks are known to scratch
Within weeks I’d put down some But about midway through my fol- at the entrance at night and chomp
rocks and built a crude firepit from low-through, it dawned on me that up the investigating bees, spitting
free Craigslist bricks. It was my first this maybe wasn’t one of my bright- them out after sucking out whatev-
masonry project — not pretty but er moves. “Honey …” came a voice er nutrition they can. At this point I
functional. from behind me as I backed slowly was more worried about the chickens
So where was I going with this? Oh than the bees, but a few days later
yeah, skunks. I went out and bought a couple of
On that August evening a couple of 8-foot strips of carpet tack, cut them
years later, I went out shortly before to size and affixed them to all the en-
dusk and gathered up some small trance boards.
kindling, an old deep frame of black The month being August, most of
brood comb (one of the reasons I still the honey crop for the year had al-
like wax), and the remnants of an ag- ready been removed, and fall gold-
gressive, early spring pruning of the enrod had not yet come into bloom.
peach trees. (They may not be good But for future reference, I should
for peaches, but the bees like the probably work up a label — who
blooms, and the branches are great on knows, there may be a highly profit-
a fire.) About the time I’d got it blaz- able niche market for skunk-infused
ing, Diane came out with a beer and honey.

August 2019 843


Send your letters to the editor,
Attn: Eugene Makovec,
Dadant, 51 S. 2nd Street,
Hamilton, IL 62341,
Fax: 1-217-847-3660,
or email: editor@americanbeejournal.com
Due to size and content, we may be unable to publish all information received.
We may also edit your letter to avoid offensive language. Thank You!

THREE-YEAR-OLD bee forage. What a DELIGHT to read kill bees testing for mites. We worked
BEEKEEPER how Randy’s crew is having FUN on survivability FIRST then honey
again working with bees that are nat- production and gentleness last. We
ural SURVIVORS. We love Randy’s even mentored one fellow in another
DEDICATION to documentation and town who is doing the same with his
monitoring! This way natural bee- BUCKFAST strain from Weaver in TX.
keepers can also learn and share this He only culls a queen now if her hive
genetics with others as we do. Our gets too “angry.” :)) WE CAN’T WAIT
17 year strain(s) include a mixture of TO READ ARTICLES FROM RANDY
Carnolians, Italian (less so) and a Rus- OLIVER!
sian strain from the NM Rojas Project
about 5 years ago. We have searched Mack and Helen Hickey,
and obtained 2 more 4-7 yr non treated Sand Springs, Oklahoma
hives which survived without chemi-
cals from other beekeepers to add to
our own gene pool. WORKS OF CREATOR
Randy is demonstrating what our lo- CONTINUE TO AMAZE
cal club told us COULDN’T BE DONE
18 years ago! (we already know AND In the June 2019 edition of the Ameri-
DID!). We sell only a couple of nucs to can Bee Journal there is an article on
new beekeepers each spring who are page 620 entitled “Israeli Scientists
interested in more natural beekeep- find a flower they say can hear ap-
ing methods and MENTOR them. proaching bees.” I found this short
Three-year-old Gary is proud of his hive! Last year, we overwintered with only news article very exciting. To think
honey frames from our than 20 hives. that when God designed the flow-
Susanne Cooper (Grandmother) Four were one brood/one super w 4-6 ers and the bees, he would include
Nashville, Tennessee honey in frames (ALL SURVIVED). this ability for a flower to hear the
We need to follow through with approach of the pollinators and then
MORE confirmation that hobbyists to “produce extra and sweeter nectar
BREEDING TREATMENT-FREE CAN and DO PROVIDE BEES THAT in response” causes me to pause and
BEES HAVE DEVELOPED NATURAL RE- say WOW. The Creator of this world
SISTANCE/HYGENIC BEHAVIOR in which we live continues to amaze
We are so grateful to see Randy Oli- AGAINST VARROA. We have also in- us as we learn more about how it
ver’s post; especially after almost ALL creased forage for our bees from Feb- has been put together. Thank you for
of our speakers at our annual Buzz in ruary to Frost (late Oct) for Oklahoma. sharing this article and for all the hard
N.E. Oklahoma have been telling us to The problem? Breeders/Research- work in putting the American Bee Jour-
develop our own local survivor bees. ers need to contact and obtain some nal together each month.
We had been taught in 2000 that we of these survivor strains from hob-
HAD to use chemicals to keep varroa by beekeepers around the country Gordon Goeking
in check. By 2002, we went cold tur- who are already proven including BeeKeeper in
key, incorporated the screened bottom Randy’s strains he found. Breeders Raleigh, North Carolina
board and IPM methods culling hives could then raise queens from MUL-
down to just 2 who met our stringent TIPLE AREAS using strains which EDITOR RESPONSE
requirements. Recently we also joined are healthier and hardier, instead of
CNGfarming/Apiary which allows artificially inseminated queens from Thanks, Gordon. I also found this
Oxalic Acid by monitoring and doing a low gene pool! Randy Oliver is ON fascinating, and it will be interesting
just what Randy suggested and has THE RIGHT TRACK! Guess what? It’s to see if other researchers are able to
done for 2 years! NOT about selling anything. Most of duplicate their findings. And I’m with
So, since 2002, we only raise our us would donate a hive to a project! you — it seems the more closely we
own queens the old fashioned way We would like to see a project compar- delve into the world around us, the
from making splits, minimal sugar ing sugar “roll” vs 24 hr mite drops more incredible it all becomes.
water feeds and instead working on (or averages/24 hrs), as we do NOT Eugene

August 2019 845


SWARM

After hearing of a bee swarm being


attacked with insecticide in our area, I
was stirred to write this poem:

In spring, a beehive may have


one too many queens.
A new queen emerges,
and the old queen takes flight,
and with her, a supporting swarm.
Alighting on a resting place
in a tight mass,
the bees wait the return of scouts,
gone off to find a new location for them.
In a few days, they will all move on.
But Joe Brown doesn’t know that.

Local swarm-removal experts


aren’t so hard to find.
With patience, proper gear
and know-how, they will guide REFLECTION
a swarm into an empty hive. Hello,
For doing this, they might not charge a cent. I recently started backyard beekeeping and enjoy photography as well.
A hive of bees is payment for their work. After sharing a photo with my state area inspector, she encouraged me to
Their names are listed on the internet. submit it to your magazine.
But Joe Brown doesn’t know that. I labeled the image “Reflection” for two reasons:
In Joe Brown’s yard, a swarm of bees 1 - Because of the obvious reflection of the bee in the water.
settles in a tree. 2- But also because I keep contemplating how significantly altered — if not
Joe sprays them with insecticide. drastically shortened — human life on this planet would be, if those little
Some die, some fly away, their magical insects were to vanish. This is why I decided to become a bee-
colony destroyed. keeper. I want to help humanity.
An empty beehive goes unused.
Some flowers aren’t pollinated. I wish for deep reflection for us all.
Pounds of honey aren’t produced. Thank you kindly,
But Joe Brown doesn’t know that.
Josée Bourget
Don’t Spray That Swarm! Fayetteville, North Carolina
I would especially like to know
whether or not a bee colony is likely
to survive and be re-established when I was an American soldier and
attacked in this way. the Italian authorities would not let
LIGURIAN BEES me ship dark Italian queens home
Hilda Landis to Tennessee from Italy. In 1922 the
Telford, Pennsylvania Greetings Mr. Campbell, U.S. forbade the import of bees due
I am just now completing your to the acarine/tracheal mite epidemic
EDITOR RESPONSE article, which I scanned but enjoyed of Europe that almost totally wiped
Hi Hilda, immensely. The romantic in me is out the English Black Bee. The Dark
When a swarm is sprayed with pretty strong and the idea of tending Italian mixed with the Old Black
insecticide the outlook is usually not such a bee as the Ligurian has captured English Bee saved some of the
good. I’ve shown up for swarm calls my mind! Thanks for introducing. genetics. This hybrid cross of dark
to find the swarm on the ground, So, from your article I take it there Ligurian Alps Italian and English
with the rest of the swarm in a heap a is, currently, no way to import? honeybees are the two foundation
few feet away. One woman said, “Oh stocks of the Buckfast Bees developed
yeah, I guess I should’ve told you, my Wayne Hunsucker by brother Adam.
husband poured gasoline on them the My motives with this article are
other day.” After learning that, there’s FROM GLENN to (1) generate a lot of interest in the
no point in me taking the survivors Hi Wayne, Dark Italian Ligurian bee and (2) then
home — not only is there a good Glad you enjoyed the article. I convince the U.S. Government to let
chance they won’t survive, but I don’t discovered I could not import the us import this wonderful bee.
want them contaminating whatever Dark Italian Ligurian Queen back in
hive I would put them in. the early 1970›s when I was a very Thanks again for your kind words.
Eugene young man. Glenn Campbell

846 American Bee Journal


BEEHIVE BELT
Last night at our place. The bears are out in force looking for something
yummy! These supers were empty but she really got into them!!!!

Amber Brunson
Earth Family Bee Farm
Fruitland, Washington

Browning Cut Stock


Boxes are Ponderosa Pine
9-5/8 Com. Boxes $10.50 / Budget Boxes $9.00
7-5/8 Com. Boxes $8.20 / Budget Boxes $7.95
6-5/8 & 5-11/16 Com. Supers $7.50 / Budget $6.85
All #1 frames $.70
1-3/4 Cleats $.22
1571 Hwy. 3 • Juliaetta, ID 83535
Phone 208.276.3494 FAX 3491

August 2019 847


grounded actions to support resilient pollinator commu-
nities. These efforts are particularly timely given concern
over the global decline in bees and other pollinators.”
The UC Davis professor is co-chair of the seventh an-
nual International Pollinator Conference (with Extension
apiclturist Elina Lastro Niño). a four-day conference focus-
ing on pollinator biology health and policy. It is set from
Wednesday, July 17 through Saturday, July 20 in the UC
Davis Conference Center. The conference, themed “Mul-
tidimensional Solutions to Current and Future Threats to
Pollinator Health,” will cover a wide range of topics in
pollinator research: from genomics to ecology and their
application to land use and management; to breeding
of managed bees; and to monitoring of global pollinator
populations.
Williams seeks and finds found common solutions for
sustaining both wild and managed bees and commu-
NEAL WILLIAMS SELECTED FELLOW OF nicates that information to the public and stakeholder
CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES groups. Said Carey: “This is a critical perspective in natu-
ral and agricultural lands, but also in urban landscapes in
Pollination ecologist northern and southern California.”
Neal Williams, professor Each year Williams speaks to multiple beekeeper,
with the UC Davis Depart- farmer and gardener groups, and provides guidance to
ment of Entomology and governing bodies, including the state legislature, and
Nematology, is a newly se- environmental groups. He and his lab are involved in a
lected Fellow of the Califor- newly initiated California Bombus assessment project
nia Academy of Sciences, a (https://calibombus.com/), which is using both museum
group of world-class scien- and citizen scientist records to understand past, current
tists known for their scien- and future distributions and habitat use by bumble bees.
tific impact or outstanding This program will host a series of workshops this spring
contributions. and summer open to practitioners and the public.
Williams was nominated Williams received his doctorate in ecology and evolu-
by Academy Fellow James tion in 1999 from the State University of New York, Stony
Neal Williams
R. Carey, distinguished Brook and served as an assistant professor in the Depart-
professor of entomology, and seconded by Academy Fel- ment of Biology at Bryn Mawr (Penn.) College from 2004
low Claire Kremen of the University of British Columbia, to 2009. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 2009, advanc-
formerly of UC Berkeley. ing to full professor in 2017. He began making his mark
In his letter of nomination, Carey wrote that Williams early in his career. In 2013, he and several UC Davis hon-
is “widely known and respected for his excellence in re- ey bee colleagues won the Team Research Award from
search, extension, outreach, teaching and leadership” and the Pacific Branch, Entomological Society of America
“is not only one of the stars of our campus, and the UC (PBESA). In 2015, the UC Davis chancellor singled him
system, but is an internationally recognized leader in pol- out as one of the 11 Chancellor’s Fellows; the five-year
lination and bee biology and strong voice in the develop- of $25,000 supported his research, teaching and public
ment of collaborative research on insect ecology. He has service activities. This year Williams received PBESA’s
organized national and international conferences, leads Plant-Insect Ecosystems Award, presented annually for
scores of working groups, and guides reviews of impacts outstanding accomplishments in the study of insect in-
of land use and other global change drivers on insects and terrelationships with plants.
the ecosystem services they provide.” Williams also holds a three-year visiting professorship
Williams is one of 13 Fellows in the Class of 2019, which to the Swedish Agricultural University in Uppsala. The
also includes UC Davis physician Emanual Maverakis of award is to lead work in sustainable agriculture, focusing
the UC Davis School of Medicine’s Department of Derma- in integrating multiple ecosystem services.
tology, nominated by Walter Leal, distinguished professor, In addition to Carey, other Fellows of the Academy from
UC Davis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematol-
The Fellows will be inducted at the organization’s annual ogy include:
meeting and gathering on Oct. 15. The academy, a scientific
and educational institution based in San Francisco’s Golden • Professor Phil Ward
Gate Park, is dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sus- • Frank Zalom, distinguished professor of entomol-
taining life on earth. The Fellows extend the academy’s im- ogy and a former vice chair of the department
pact on research, public engagement, and education. • Robert E. Page Jr., distinguished emeritus professor
Williams’ research spans the ecology and evolution of and a former chair of the department
bees and other pollinating insects and their interactions • Walter Leal, distinguished professor and a former
with flowering plants. “He has become a leading voice for chair of the department (he is now with the UC Da-
pollinator diversity and conservation in the California and vis Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology)
The West,” wrote Carey. “One focus of his work has been and
in understanding the responses of bees to different envi- • Visiting scientist Catherine Tauber, formerly of Cor-
ronmental drivers and developing practical, scientifically nell University.

August 2019 849


Former Fellows from the department included Robbin and Best Management Practices is needed to combat the
Thorp (1933-2019), distinguished emeritus professor of problem.
entomology, and visiting scientist Maurice Tauber (1931- The number one concern among beekeepers and a lead-
2014), formerly of Cornell University. ing contributor to winter colony losses is varroa mites, le-
thal parasites that can readily spread from colony to colony.
These mites have been decimating colonies for years, with
institutions like the University of Maryland actively re-
U.S. BEEKEEPERS LOST OVER 40% OF searching ways to combat them. “We are increasingly con-
COLONIES DURING THE LAST YEAR, cerned about varroa mites and the viruses they spread, says
WITH ANNUAL SURVEY SHOWING vanEngelsdorp. “Last year, many beekeepers reported poor
treatment efficacy, and limited field tests showed that prod-
WINTER LOSSES AS THE ucts that once removed 90% of mites or more are now re-
HIGHEST EVER RECORDED moving far fewer. Since these products are no longer work-
ing as well, the mite problem seems to be getting worse.”
Results point to a need foR incReased ReseaRch, “But mites are not the only problem,” continues vanEn-
extension, and Best ManageMent pRactices gelsdorp. “Land use changes have led to a lack of nutri-
tion-rich pollen sources for bees, causing poor nutrition.
by Samantha Watters Pesticide exposures, environmental factors, and beekeep-
ing practices all play some role as well.”
Beekeepers across the United States lost 40.7% of their Karen Rennich, executive director for the Bee Informed
honey bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019, accord- Partnership and senior faculty specialist at the University
ing to preliminary results of the latest annual nationwide of Maryland, elaborates on land use and environmental
survey conducted by the University of Maryland-led non- factors that may be significant, including increases in ex-
profit Bee Informed Partnership. The survey results indi- treme weather.
cate winter losses of 37.7%, which is the highest winter “The tools that used to work for beekeepers seem to be
loss reported since the survey began 13 years ago and 8.9 failing, and that may be evident in this year’s high losses.
percentage points higher than the survey average. Honey A persistent worry among beekeepers nationwide is that
bees pollinate $15 billion worth of food crops in the United there are fewer and fewer favorable places for bees to
States each year, so their health is critical to food produc- land, and that is putting increased pressure on beekeepers
tion and supply. who are already stretched to their limits to keep their bees
“These results are very concerning, as high winter losses alive,” says Rennich. “We also think that extreme weather
hit an industry already suffering from a decade of high conditions we have seen this past year demand investiga-
winter losses,” says Dennis vanEngelsdorp, associate pro- tion, such as wildfires that ravage the landscape and re-
fessor of entomology at the University of Maryland and move already limited forage, and floods that destroy crops
president for the Bee Informed Partnership. causing losses for the farmer, for the beekeeper, and for the
During the 2018 summer season, beekeepers lost 20.5% public.”
of their colonies, which is slightly above the previous According to Rennich and Williams, more research is
year’s summer loss rate of 17.1%, but about equal to the needed to understand what role climate change and vari-
average loss rate since the summer of 2011. Overall, the an- able weather patterns play in honey bee colony losses.
nual loss of 40.7% this last year represents a slight increase “Beekeepers have to be very dynamic in their response
over the annual average of 38.7%. to weather and environmental conditions,” explains Wil-
“Just looking at the overall picture and the 10-year liams. “If it is a cold, long winter, beekeepers need to be
trends, it’s disconcerting that we’re still seeing elevated very diligent and make sure they have enough food for
losses after over a decade of survey and quite intense their bees to survive. On the other hand, warm winters
work to try to understand and reduce colony loss,” adds can create favorable conditions for varroa mites, which
Geoffrey Williams, assistant professor of entomology at means beekeepers need to know how to manage them
Auburn University and co-author of the survey. “We don’t properly.”
seem to be making particularly great progress to reduce Williams and the other researchers on the survey team
overall losses.” agree that in addition to understanding the impact of
Since beekeepers began noticing dramatic losses in their weather conditions, beekeepers need to stay current on
colonies, state and federal agricultural agencies, univer- science-based Best Management Practices.
sity researchers, and the beekeeping industry have been “One of the best things that a beekeeper can do is imple-
working together to understand the cause and develop ment Best Management Practices for their region, and they
Best Management Practices to reduce losses. The annual can find those through the Bee Informed website,” empha-
colony loss survey, which has been conducted since 2006, sizes vanEngelsdorp.
has been an integral part of that effort. The survey is conducted by the Bee Informed Partner-
The survey asks commercial and backyard beekeep- ship with data collected and analyzed by the Univer-
ing operations to track the survival rates of their honey sity of Maryland and Auburn University. Survey results
bee colonies. Nearly 4,700 beekeepers managing 319,787 are available on the Bee Informed website (https://bee
colonies from all 50 states and the District of Columbia re- informed.org/), with a summary provided below.
sponded to this year’s survey, representing about 12% of
the nation’s estimated 2.69 million managed colonies. Winter Loss Estimates:
The Bee Informed Partnership team says multiple fac- 1 October 2018 – 1 April 2019: 37.7% losses
tors are likely responsible for persistently high annual 7 percentage points higher than winter 2017-2018
loss rates and this year’s jump in winter losses. They 8.9 percentage points higher than average winter loss
say a multi-pronged approach to research, Extension, (2006-2019)

850 American Bee Journal


Summer Loss Estimates:
1 April 2018 – 1 October 2018: 20.5% losses
3.4 percentage points higher than summer 2017
Equal to average summer loss since summer survey be-
gan in 2011: 20.5%

Total Annual Loss Estimates:


1 April 2018 – 1 April 2019: 40.7% losses
0.6 percentage points higher than 2017-2018
2.9 percentage points higher loss since annual survey
began in 2010-2011: 37.8%
Southeast blueberry bees are best at pollinating rabbiteye blue-
Winter Loss Comparison by Beekeeper Category: berries. Photo credit Blair Sampson, ARS
Backyard beekeepers (manage 50 or fewer colonies):
39.8% ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory in
Sideline (manage 51-500 colonies): 36.5% Poplarville, Mississippi.
Commercial (manage more than 500 colonies): 37.5% A small grower with 1-3 acres of blueberries can prob-
ably get by solely with the pollination of native bees, espe-
Media Contacts: cially if they have encouraged them with attractive habi-
Samantha Watters, College of Agriculture & Natural Re- tat. But a grower with fields of 25 acres and more should
sources, samurai7@umd.edu probably consider supplementing by bringing in honey
Kimbra Cutlip, College of Computer, Mathematical, & bee colonies, Sampson pointed out
Natural Sciences, kcutlip@umd.edu Complicating the matter is that some southeastern blue-
berry bees’ population vary greatly from year to year, de-
pending on rain and other weather conditions while other
populations were reliably present every year in the study.
BEES REQUIRED TO CREATE AN “A farmer who sees that during the first few days of
EXCELLENT BLUEBERRY CROP bloom they are not getting prolific visits from the native
bees should probably arrange to bring in some honey bee
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, June 17, 2019—Getting colonies. But even that may not guarantee ample pollina-
an excellent rabbiteye blueberry harvest requires helpful tion, because there is no way to be sure honey bees will
pollinators—particularly native southeastern blueberry stay on blueberries if there is something else in bloom that
bees—although growers can bring in managed honey bees is more attractive to them,” Sampson added. “After all,
to do the job, according to Agricultural Research Service rabbiteye blueberries are native North American bushes
(ARS) scientists. and honey bees are not natives so there was no co-evolved
This is especially true for commercial rabbiteye blueber- adaptation between these species.”
ry producers in Mississippi and Louisiana. With sufficient The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Depart-
pollinators, they have been able to increase the percentage ment of Agriculture’s chief scientific in-house research
of flowers setting fruit from 10-30 percent to 70 percent or agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural
more. A mature rabbiteye blueberry bush can produce as problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in agri-
much as 15 pounds of berries. cultural research results in $20 of economic impact.
Fully pollinated berries also are bigger and mature ear-
lier than fruit from inadequately pollinated flowers. So, SLOVENIAN HIVE GIFTED
bee-pollinated flowers produce fruit that bring a premium
in the marketplace. TO POPE FRANCIS
“We looked at multiple species of bees to see which did
the best job of pollinating rabbiteye blueberries. We tested
managed honey bees, native bumble bee species, south-
eastern blueberry bees and carpenter bees,” explained re-
search entomologist Robert Danka with the ARS Honey
Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Labora-
tory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who co-led the study.
Of these bees, only the southeastern blueberry bee and
the honey bee significantly increased fruit set, according to
Danka “And the native southeastern blueberry bee did the
best job,” he said.
But the only way for commercial growers to have
enough southeastern blueberry bees to provide a superior
level of pollination is to provide habitat on the edges of
their fields that encourages their population to grow.
“What commercial growers can do is provide wood- From left to the right: Dr. Peter Kozmus, Apimondia Acting Presi-
lands near the edges of their fields because that’s where dent; Boštjan Noč, President of Slovenian Beekeepers Associa-
southeastern blueberry bees prefer to nest. They are tion; Bogdan Benko, Ambasador of Republic of Slovenia in Italy;
ground-dwelling bees that like shade and leaf litter but Pope Francis; Matjaž Florjanc Lukan; Dr. Alenka Pivec’ Minister for
don’t like wet or soil heavy with organic material,” ex- Agriculture, Forestry and Food; Snežana Popovič; Luka Kočevar;
plained research entomologist Blair Sampson with the and Tomaž Kunstelj, Slovenian Ambasador in Vatican City

August 2019 851


The Pope renamed the honey sparkling wine holy water.
Slovenia donated a Slovenian apiary to the Holy Father
on 22th May 2019. On behalf of the Slovenian Beekeep-
ers’ Association and all the beekeepers from Slovenia and
around the world Dr Peter Kozmus, the Vice-President and
Acting President of Apimondia, and I gave the Holy Father
honey sparkling wine, a jar of Slovenian honey, a 20- bees
silver coin, a copy of No Bees, No Life book and a World
Bee Day table flag.
When presented with the gift, the Pope particularly curi-
ously asked what it was and was thrilled with the explana-
tion. He renamed the honey sparkling wine holy water.
The Pope paid close attention to the “Save the Bees” badge
on Dr Peter Kozmus’s formal dress wear. Peter was gener-
ous enough to give it to him and pin it to the Pope’s dress.
Boštjan Noč, President of Slovenian Beekeepers’
Association Left to right: Illinois Ag Director John Sullivan, Gene Killion,
Mark Killion, and Illinois Chief Apiary Inspector Brian Rennecker

er, and a number of other inspectors and board mem-


GENE KILLION AWARDED THE CARL bers of the Illinois State Beekeepers Association.
AND EUGENE KILLION TROPHY In his comments, Mr. Sullivan mentioned that his
wife has been trying to talk him into getting a hive of
The Illinois Department of Agriculture has officially bees, but that he unfortunately would need a good deal
renamed its Carl Killion Trophy as the Carl and Eugene of help getting started.
Killion Trophy, making a ceremonial presentation to “I’m still available,” Gene quipped.
Gene Killion at its Springfield headquarters on June Eugene E. Killion is a legendary beekeeper and patri-
26th. arch of American beekeeping. His father, Carl, started
The award is given each year as the Illinois State beekeeping in 1916 as a young boy when he cut down a
Fair’s “Sweepstakes” trophy, to the top Open Class ex- bee tree in Indiana, and kept what is called a log hive.
hibitor in the Bee Culture category. The platter is en- Gene had his first beehive when he was five. The family
graved: moved to Paris, Illinois in the 1920s.
Gene Killion is a World War II veteran, having served
2019 Illinois State Fair in the United States Army Air Force for 3½ years in Cal-
Carl and Eugene Killion Trophy cutta, India.
Bees and Honey Carl Killion served as the fourth Chief Apiary Inspec-
tor of Illinois. He was appointed to the position in 1938
The trophy was presented by Agriculture Director and served for 32 years. When he retired in 1970, Gene
John Sullivan in an event attended by Gene’s son Mark was offered the position, which he held for 18½ years.
Killion, Illinois Chief Apiary Inspector Brian Renneck- Gene started the Illinois Registration of Beehives Pro-
gram in 1970. The registration is mandatory and free.
Gene also wrote the honey house sanitation guidelines
for the State of Illinois Health Department in the 1970s.
The American Honey Producers and Packers copied it
for their national guidelines for honey house sanitation.
Gene was successful in getting the United States Post
Office to issue a commemorative stamp featuring the
honey bee. Carl had worked for 25 years at this en-
deavor. The postmaster notified them of approval of
the stamp two days before Carl passed away.
The honey bee stamp was issued on October 10, 1980
at the Paris, Illinois Post Office. This inspired the first
Honey Bee Fest, which has been held every year since
then in Paris.
When Gene retired from the Illinois Department of
Agriculture, he became the University of Illinois Exten-
sion Specialist in Beekeeping.
At the 2006 American Beekeeping Federation Con-
vention held in Louisville, Kentucky, Gene was the re-
cipient of the ABF President’s Award.
In 2011, the Illinois State Beekeepers Association
awarded Gene Killion its Beekeeper of the Year Award.
Carl and Gene may be best remembered for setting
a world’s record for comb honey production in 1951.
Illinois Agriculture Director John Sullivan presents the award to They averaged fourteen wood section supers per hive
Gene. over 100 hives.

852 American Bee Journal


natives to failing systems and help shape the future of
WORLDWIDE beekeeping and environmental stewardship.
This international conference features such experts as
APIMONDIA Prof. Thomas Seeley (Cornell University), Heidi Her-
rmann (Natural Beekeeping Trust), Dr. Przemysław
Nawrocki (WWF, Poland), Markus Imhoof (More Than
Honey), Albert Muller (Demeter beekeeper), and many
others. Keynote presentations, panel discussions, and
participatory breakout sessions address politically sen-
sitive issues — rewilding bees in trees, pesticide control,
ON THE ROAD TO APIMONDIA MONTRÉAL 2019! ecosystem regeneration, activism — while Speed BEE
Talks showcase several innovative projects.
Register now! Preceding the conference is a smaller, intensive, two-
day workshop on Zeidlerei, the centuries-old treebee-
To register for Apimondia Montreal 2019, simply go to
keeping tradition, largely preserved in East Europe.
http://www.apimondia2019.com/ and follow the instruc-
Under the guidance of Polish and German Zeidlers, par-
tions. The cost to attend the scientific program and Api-
ticipants will learn the craft: its history, how to carve and
Expo from 8 to 12 September 2019 is $375 CDN. We have
install log hives, both traditional and modern treeclimb-
negotiated competitive prices for accommodations near
ing techniques (weather permitting), safety precautions,
the Palais des Congrès de Montréal with 3 to 5-star ho-
tool maintenance, etc. Limited to 60 participants.
tels available. Montreal is a popular tourist city and we
The conference will be held in English and German.
anticipate several thousand delegates, so do not hesitate
to make your hotel reservations to ensure your desired
choices will be available (go to the “Accommodation” tab).
Our scientific program is fascinating with numerous
MITE-A-THON 2019
symposia, round tables and training workshops on hot
bee topics. help pRotect Bees eveRywheRe
Excellent sponsorship options and several ApiExpo
spaces / kiosks are still available; we invite all beekeeping Hello beekeepers,
stakeholders to take advantage of this unique opportunity We are the Pollinator Partnership, an organization de-
to promote your business or sell your products. Interest- voted to pollinator conservation, and we are reaching out
ed? Go to the website http://www.apimondia2019.com/ to you about a collaborative effort we are leading to help
and look under the “Sponsor” tab for more information, beekeepers and honey bees across North America - the
or write directly to Marguglio Marienza (m.marguglio@ Mite-A-Thon.
aimgroup.eu). The Mite-A-Thon is an initiative to assist beekeepers in
Follow Apimondia Montreal 2019 on our facebook page checking their bees for the parasitic mite, Varroa destruc-
https://fr-ca.facebook.com/apimondia2019/. tor (varroa), with the two primary objectives of 1) raising
awareness about honey bee colony varroa infestations in
Rod Scarlett, Steve Pernal and Pierre Giovenazzo North America through effective monitoring methods and
Apimondia Montréal 2019 executive committee 2) making management strategies available for discussion
within bee organizations utilizing Mite-A-Thon partner-
developed information and outreach materials.
LEARNING FROM THE BEES As you may know, varroa compromises a bee’s health
and can lead to many colony health issues. Having var-
BERLIN 2019 roa in the hive is a common occurrence, and knowing how
many mites are in the colony is invaluable to the beekeeper.
29 august–1 septeMBeR
For the Mite-A-Thon, beekeepers are invited to check
Kühlhaus BeRlin their hives at least once during a one week period from
LearningFromTheBeesBerlin.com September 7 to 14. Checking for the varroa mite follows
Learning from the Bees | Berlin 2019 is dedicated to one of two standard protocols found at http://www.
the bee and strives to spark cross-disciplinary dialogue pollinator.org/miteathon. Beekeepers participating in
among beekeepers, farmers, foresters, and others. Its the Mite-A-Thon check their hives and then upload the
mission is to bridge differences in ideology and practice results at www.mitecheck.com or using the MiteCheck
and come together, unified by bees, to brainstorm alter- app. All the data entries are kept anonymous, and the data
are not tied to specific beekeepers or organizations. These
data are then aggregated and will provide a snapshot of
the level of varroa mites in colonies across the continent
during this week.
Can we count on your participation in the 2019 Mite-A-
Thon? As a beekeeper, there are no costs to you, and the
ability to accurately gauge the level of mite infestation in
a hive is an important tool to master. Last year over 650
North American beekeepers participated in the Mite-A-
Thon and we would like to surpass that number this year.
You might want to ask your beekeeping organization to
make this a group activity and to support learning more
about varroa.

August 2019 853


We hope you will participate in the Mite-A-Thon, and ture, the benefits of using nucs will be discussed and their
would appreciate your confirmed commitment by Friday, importance emphasized.
August 9th. Simply reply to this email. We would love to The purpose of the BYBA is to provide its member-
also highlight your participation by posting your opera- ship with interesting and practical information about the
tion’s logo on the program website and other materials. “how-to’s” of beekeeping. The club also provides the gen-
If you have a logo and want it posted, send along a high- eral public with educational programs about honey bees
resolution version in your email. and the benefits of beekeeping in our communities. The
Thank you for your partnership and collaboration! If BYBA is a not for profit, 501C-3 charitable organization.
you have questions feel free to call us at 415.362.1137 or For more information check our website for the latest
visit http://www.pollinator.org/miteathon. updates www.backyardbeekeepers.com.

STATES FLORIDA
ALABAMA Join the UF/IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension
Laboratory for Bee College, a two day training event for
2019 alaBaMa BeeKeepeRs association annual Meeting beekeepers of all experience levels held in Gainesville,
septeMBeR 20 & 21 2019 Florida. Bee College participants get the opportunity to
clanton, alaBaMa learn about honey bees and beekeeping from experts from
around the world. Class topics include beginner beekeep-
Register online at Alabama Beekeepers Association: ing courses, in-hive skill practice, research updates, native
https://alabamabeekeepersassociation.formstack.com/ bees, and more. Join us for one or both sessions of Bee
forms/conference_registration_form_template_copy College on August 5th and 6th and August 8th and 9th.
Details and registration here: https://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.
www.alabamabeekeepers.com edu/honey-bee/extension/bee-college/

CALIFORNIA GEORGIA
califoRnia state BeeKeepeRs annual convention GEORGIA BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION MEETING

Save the date for the 2019 Annual CSBA Convention. Sept. 26-28
Taking place the week before Thanksgiving! Join us No- Cumming, GA
vember 19th - 22nd, 2019 at Pechanga Resort and Casino in
beautiful Temecula, California! Learn about the latest bee Our speakers include Jennifer Berry, Leo Sharashkin,
research, trade ideas with fellow beekeepers, and explore Clarence Collison, and Lewis Bartlett. Friday night is din-
innovative products at the Tradeshow. ner, drinks and a talk. Great sponsors: Rossman Apiaries,
We are excited to announce that attendees will get to Mann Lake, and Pigeon Mountain. For more info on the
hear key messages from Katie Lee and Brandon Hopkins Honey Show rules, registration and accommodations:
on their 2018 research proposals. Both proposals are a part www.gabeekeeping.com.
of the $158,399 the CSBA has funded for research.

Californiastatebeekeepers.com/events INDIANA
2019 indiana fall confeRence & woRKshop
CONNECTICUT
October 25th/26th, French Lick Springs Hotel

Keynote Speaker: Randy Oliver

French Lick Springs Hotel is a place where history is


CONTACT: Bobbie Meyzen bobbiemey@aol.com made. It will host The Beekeepers of Indiana’s Fall Confer-
WEBSITE: www.backyardbeekeepers.com ence and Workshops. Our guest speaker is Randy Oliver,
who started keeping bees as a hobbyist around 1966 and
WHO: Jamie Ellis now keeps around 1000-1500 hives with his two sons.
WHAT: “The Indispensible Nuc” On Friday evening Randy will have a one-hour talk fol-
WHERE: Norfield Church Community Room, lowed by a half-hour question and answer session. On
64 Norfield Road, Saturday morning, we start with an hour meet-and-greet
followed by several break-out sessions. We have hands-on
Weston, Connecticut
workshops on how to make packages and creamed honey
WHEN: Tuesday October 29, 2019 at 7:30pm along with Catching Swarms, Bee Anatomy and Being a
Good Beekeeping Neighbor.
Jamie Ellis: The Indispensible Nuc Walk-in registration begins at 7:30 am with the program
“Nucs” are small honey bee colonies housed in small ending around 4:30 pm. We have a Honey Show with the
hives. Consequently, their importance in beekeeping is rules and categories posted on our website, along with
often overlooked. Despite this, nucs can become an indis- how to reserve rooms, directions to the hotel and the latest
pensable tool in one’s beekeeping operation. In this lec- agenda: http://indianabeekeeper.com/

854 American Bee Journal


MISSOURI be inside if it is a rainy day. Registration required. Email:
lindenap@gmail.com or call 603-756-9056.
MissouRi state BeeKeepeRs association “Charles Andros, former NH/VT Apiary Inspector, will
2019 fall confeRence hold a beekeeping workshop from 1-4 PM on Saturday,
September 7. Topics of discussion will include treatment
October 18 - 19th of nosema and mites (including using oxalic acid), winter
preparations, winter protein and carbohydrate supple-
Moberly Area Community College, Moberly, MO ments, and making beeswax hand creams.”

The Missouri State Beekeepers Association will hold


its Fall Conference beginning Friday, October 18, at 8:45 VIRGINIA
am and continue through Saturday, October 19 on the
campus of Moberly Area Community College (MACC). viRginia state BeeKeepeRs association
Registration is open at 7:00 am on Friday in the spacious
auditorium at MACC. There is seating capacity for 400 so The Fall VSBA meeting will be Saturday Nov. 2, 2019 at
there’s plenty of room for you to enjoy this conference! the Blue Ridge Community College in Weyer’s Cave, VA
We encourage attendees to register early before the con- and feature Dr. Heather Matilla, Dr. Alison McAfee and
ference to guarantee you will get the meals offered at the Jerry Hayes. For more information see: https://www.vir-
conference. giniabeekeepers.org/.
Keynote speakers include Peter Borst and Dr. Krispn
Given. Peter was Senior Apiarist at Cornell’s Dyce Lab for
Honey Bee Studies for seven years, served as an apiary WASHINGTON
inspector for New York State, and is currently President
of the Finger Lakes Bee Club. He is a prolific author and is The Northwest District Beekeepers Association is proud
currently a regular contributor to American Beekeeping Jour- to offer western Washington beekeepers an educational
nal and Bee Culture. and fun conference on Sept. 21, 2019.
Dr. Krispn Given is Apicultural Specialist at Purdue Tickets for NWDBA members are $20.00 and nonmem-
University’s Department of Entomology in West Lafay- bers $30.00 (plus fees). We will be meeting at the Snohom-
ette, Indiana. Krispn started breeding bees over 25 years ish PUD Auditorium. There is limited seating (300 guests)
ago and gives lectures to beekeepers and researchers at na- and we expect to sell out well before the event so if you are
tional and international conferences. He was instrumental, interested please sign up early. This year we have 3 excel-
along with Dr. Greg Hunt, in developing the “mite-biter” lent speakers and some very good presentations.
bee strain in helping to control Varroa mites.
Rounding out the General Meeting speakers are Collin Andony Melathopoulos, Assistant Professor of Pollina-
Wamsley, Chief Entomologist/Program Administrator tor Health, Oregon State University:
for the State of Missouri to talk about what the Missouri Doing the Multiplication — expanding your apiary the
inspection program entails to help Missouri beekeepers; old school and “the Next Generation” way;
Casey Berthoud, Missouri’s Quail Forever and Pheasants Unsung Bee Diseases and How to Manage Them
Forever state coordinator who oversees 16 biologists and Randy Oliver, commercial beekeeper, researcher, ABJ
the Missouri for Monarchs coordinator, to talk about for- author:
age planting for beekeepers and how the organizations Reading The Combs — Understanding Bee Biology
he oversees might help; and Sheldon Brummel, Master Over the Course of a Season;
Beekeeper Project Coordinator, Department of Entomol- Oxalic Acid Tips
ogy for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE Kevin Oldenburg, President, Washington State Bee-
to talk about the newly developed Great Plains Master keepers Association:
Beekeeping Program. Missouri State Beekeepers Associa- Bees, Science and How the Media Gets it Wrong
tion is one of the partnering states in this exciting new Complete schedule and registration available at https://
program. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4248173
There will also be breakout classes each afternoon to
highlight topics of specific interest to local beekeepers and
clubs. These classes will be announced on our website,
along hotel reservation info.
WEST VIRGINIA
Details and Registration at https://mostatebeekeepers. wv BeeKeepeRs association annual fall Meeting
org. If you have any further questions you may email
brucesnavely@hotmail.com, MSBA Program Chair. August 23-24, 2019

at the Robert H. Mollahan Building of the


NEW HAMPSHIRE WV High Technology Complex in Fairmont, WV.

Beekeeping Workshops, at $35 each, children under 18 Parking garage, front door drop off and handicap acces-
free when accompanied by parent. I have 46 seasons of ex- sible. Featured speakers are Dr. James Ellis and Dwight
tensive apicultural experience which I like to pass on! All Wells. Enjoy a variety of workshops, vendors, refresh-
held at my home from 1-4 PM. Look for the “BEE” sign on ments and on site meal options. Online registration be-
the south side of Walpole Valley Road (18 MacLean Road, gins July 1.
Alstead, NH 03602:) Bring a veil, as we shall be opening
some colonies. Water and sunscreen are also a plus. We’ll Visit www.wvbeekeepers.org for more information.

August 2019 855


August 2019 857
a lot longer than we have been and
have the genetics to survive. They are
kind of like rats of the insect world.
They adapt and live basically from
pole to pole as a result of great genet-
ic variability based on survival of the
fittest and based on global location.
The things to think about are, do
you know if they were going to swarm
a first time, or were there going to be
after swarms, or were they supersed-
ing a failing queen, replacing a queen
that died, or did they already swarm
before you put on the entrance queen
excluder? Who knows?
With the swarm preventer en-
trance guard on you have trapped all
of the potential queens you saw in-
side if they emerged. The queen you
put back in the colony could have
emerged from a cell someplace and
she could have gone around and
stung through all the other un-
REMINDER from Jerry with a few empty frames. I also found emerged queen cells and killed them.
over half a dozen capped queen cells. Other cells could have had queens
Beekeepers, this is now August. I thought I could use these to start a emerged at the same time and they
Days are already getting shorter new hive. had a WWF fight to see not who
and bees are equally understanding I found a queen making noise with would be the best most amazing
this seasonal cycle, getting ready for her wings on one of the combs with queen, but who was the best fighter
winter coming really soon as we live a queen cell. She crawled on my arm and had the luckiest stinger.
by the days. Winter Bees are differ- and disappeared. I thought she flew I would remove the entrance guard
ent than Summer Bees. Winter Bees off, so I left one frame with a queen thing and take a look inside and see
have to live much longer and store cell in the original hive and put the what’s going on. The basic things,
food in their bodies as “fat” as pret- rest in the new hive. like are there eggs or larvae? Do you
ty soon in many parts of the country When I got back to the house I see a queen that is laying? Or, was a
flowering plants will disappear. found the queen on the back of my surviving queen trapped inside and
Winter bees are being produced hood under the zipper. I rushed her couldn’t get out to mate and is still
now and need to be super healthy back to the hive in my backyard in a a virgin. Are there still unopened
to make it through a long hard cold plastic container. I put her in the front queen cells which might indicate
winter. Healthy in 2019 means few entrance and put an entrance guard dead, killed virgin queens in the cells.
varroa mites and limiting the Var- with queen excluder bar spacing to You need to let the colony stabilize
roa/Virus legacy connection. Time keep the queen inside. I didn’t want from their forced confinement and
to sample for varroa, treat, and sam- to open the hive again to grab the seek normality.
ple again to be sure the treatment frame with the queen cell and stress Take a look inside and assess the
worked. Get out your “Tools for Var- the hive further. I put a brood patty situation as soon as possible. Let me
roa Management Guide” from the on top of both hives and decided to know.
Honey Bee Health Coalition. open them up in a week or so. A few

Q
days later I go to check on their activ-

Q
ity and found hundreds of bees either
SOLITARY gathered at the entrance or crawling
DRY SWARM
to the top entrance. What’s going on
CONFINEMENT and how do I address this. I apologize
in advance for any facepalms I may Last year was my first year as a bee-
Hello Jerry, have caused you to do. keeper. It was super exciting and I did
I’ve gotten myself in a bit of a mess. Really enjoy reading The Classroom all you said by following the “Tools
Let me explain. in every issue of ABJ. Thank you. for Varroa Management Guide” and
I’m a second-year beekeeper and my bees made it through winter and
I’ve been trying to learn as much as I Josh crazy spring weather successfully.
can to manage them properly, (some- There are a few other beekeepers in

A
thing I started doing a year before my subdivision. I had a swarm on
I got them). I opened up one of my my kids’ swingset. It actually was on
hives to see if the bees have built up the bottom of the swing about 2 feet
enough comb to put a honey super off the ground. I don’t know if it was
on. This was a few weeks after I ro- When you are a passionate 2-year from my colony or somebody else’s.
tated the boxes. I found they were beekeeper it can be crazy. That is be- I had read about and looked at You-
filled with nectar, pollen, and brood cause honey bees have been around Tube videos about how to collect gen-

August 2019 859


tle swarms and I was all set, ready to weather and stored food resources. grower of strawberries. The apiary is
go and pumped about collecting my If all is in line the colony grows, the in close proximity to the berries for
first swarm. I got my extra deep hive weather is nice and the individual pollinating purposes. We have been
body and bottom board and a top bees that have been recruited or playing around with hydroponics for
and took them and carefully placed made the decision to leave fill up on the last few years and decided to try
and positioned them right under the honey/nectar so that there are food hydroponic strawberries this year.
swarm, no top on. I was a little ner- resources available for the swarm It will extend the season through
vous so put my bee suit on but didn’t when they find a new cavity to live October if all works out right. The
put the attached veil on because I in and there is no food. Change this honey bee colonies are within approx-
had read and seen on YouTube that dynamic a bit and the colony grows, imately150 feet of the greenhouse and
swarms are always gentle and I want- but when they reach the swarming it is open on both ends and about 4
ed to see them better. I knelt down point there are 4 days of cold rain feet around the sides. We cannot seem
next to the hive under the swing or a sudden shut off of flower nectar to attract the bees onto the strawberry
and took a deep breath, grabbed the production and the swarm individu- plants which concerns me as straw-
swing and, looking at the swarm and als can’t fill up on food to take along. berries are pollinator dependent. Any
the open hive, gave it a good shake. The swarm still leaves as there are re- reason you can think of why they
Instead of the bees falling down into placement queen cells in the colony won’t enter the greenhouse?
the hive like on the videos they went ready to do their thing, the popula-
sideways into my face and all over tion has reached the growth tipping
me and I got more stings in 5 seconds point and this asexual reproduction
than EVER! It hurt big time. What can’t stop. The swarm leaves. The
did I do wrong? I ran into the garage bees that are supposed to be full of
and warned my kids to stay out of honey and happy aren’t. They land
the backyard. It was terrible! I don’t on your swing set and voila the bees
know what happened to the swarm that are supposed to be plump and
because I really don’t care right now. happy and full of honey are skinny,
This all happened after work and it’s they think you are a predator and at-
getting dark now and I am emailing tack and sting the snot — that is a re-
you from the safety of my kitchen. search word :) — out of you.
It happens. And it happened to
L. Snow me again after I got complacent after Just another wonder of the natural
Massachusetts decades of easy swarms, but I won’t world.
anymore. And neither should you.

A Welcome to the diversity of honey


bees. Kitchens are nice many times.
Mike Wuerrfel
Illinois

Many years ago on a planet far, far


away I had exactly the same experi-
ence with my first swarm. And it hap-
pened again about 2 weeks ago after
Q KALE and
STRAWBERRY
A The kale is simply amazing gor-
many years of the perfect YouTube Hope all is well. Just wanted to geous. Golly!! Nice job.
video of collecting gentle swarms send you an updated picture of the Strawberries are not particularly at-
that you could put your hand in the kale field in full bloom, When we get tractive to honey bees. Strawberries
swarm and happy bees would crawl a sunny day (far and few between) it know this and also can pollinate with
all over you. Brought back many is absolutely full of honey bees amidst wind or mechanical shaking. Honey
memories. Not necessarily bad ones other pollinators. Wish you could see bees are great but it looks like you
but surprised the heck out of me and it up close, amazing!! need more. Then with the non-attrac-
brought back OMGosh memories. tiveness of strawberry flowers (pol-
First, I guess as a metric having a len/nectar), and competition from
honey bee colony swarm is a valida- other things in the environment this
tion that the colony is healthy enough spring, and then getting them to go
and strong enough to want to asexu- under a low canopy is tough for sure.
ally reproduce. Plus they can do it. Below are a couple of things I found
Which all means that varroa and the that may or may not be helpful.
Varroa /Virus legacy are not domi-
nating and other diseases are not https://cals.arizona.edu/strawberry/
found at destructive levels. That’s Hydroponic_Strawberry_Inform
my rationalization at least. :) In order ation_Website/Pollination.html
for a colony to split themselves and
a significant portion leave to spread “Bees visit strawberry flowers to
their genetics around and set up a Another item that is very interest- collect pollen and or nectar. However,
new colony somewhere, they try to ing I got involved in is hydroponic they do not find them particularly at-
coordinate the growth of the colony strawberries. tractive. Between six and 15 bee visits
based on flower food resources com- One of the vegetable farms I have are reported to be needed to pollinate
ing in that allows colony growth, a small apiary on is a fairly big a strawberry fruit, fully.”

860 American Bee Journal


Q LOVE BUGS
Hi Jerry, I know you have some
Q PACKAGE BEE
PROBLEMS
or the person in a pick-up truck driv-
ing up and bringing packages.
If you had a mated queen, the
colony would have cleaned up and
Year Two started not so good. Last
Florida beekeeping experience so I year’s bees were active and moving. prepared the old comb in a few days
thought you might remember these A week later ... all dead. Hindsight: and she would have been laying by
little lovelies. Over some years of Put a feeder jar inside a hollow super. now. Check one more time and look
beekeeping, it’s been my experience All the comb was completely drained. on each frame/comb, then make your
that there’s a good palmetto bloom It was satisfactory to know that they decision.
every two to three years. This year is had lasted the winter after the initial Hang in there. Let me know.
/was very promising. With all the is- struggles.
sues of keeping my bees alive along Now the struggle is this: Got a new Casey Update:
comes a super love bug hatch! They package with a queen. They had a lot I got a new queen from New Eng-
are absolutely covering the bloom! I of clean up to do in the dead hive, land Bee. It is hard to find a supplier
have watched and seen a few honey which now looks nice. They’ve fixed this time of year.
bee and other bee visits for that mat- damaged comb areas. Sugar syrup The queen got installed Tuesday.
ter. The question is, are they taking all from the feeder is filling up some Checked today. Cage empty. Found
the nectar and/or fouling the bloom? frames. Bees are collecting a little pol- the green marked queen.
Are there any studies on insect com- len. But I have not seen any eggs, and Thanks for your support.
petition for nectar? no larvae yet. How long should it take

Q
for a queen to start laying eggs from
Pete a package in a beehive that was dam- MORE
aged and suffered from dead bees OVERWINTERING
clogging cells and some mold? Would CHALLENGES
she have initially flown away after es-
caping her cell? Did the package get I kept 10 colonies and lost 8 this
rid of her? Is she waiting for cleaner past winter. I was on top of my var-
frames to drop eggs into? When do roa, however, I failed to test after my
I go out to buy a queen so that I can last oxalic acid treatment last fall. I
start rebuilding the population? live on the Connecticut coast, zone 5b.
All colonies got bee cozies, solid
Thanks for your help, bottom boards, and Styrofoam above
inner cover.

A
Casey
Most died in spring, plenty of hon-

A
ey, all found on bottom board. What
did I do wrong?
Tested for Nosema, none present.
Love Bugs (actually a fly) do domi- Did I wrap them too tight?
nate the environment from Texas to Sorry for year 2 issues but this may
Florida at certain times of the year. continue until year 5 generally. Lots to Thank you,
Adults only live a few weeks. They learn, connect and put into practice. Tom Kalal
do look for nectar as an energy re- To cut to the chase, if the queen was East Lyme, Connecticut
source and pollen for other nutrients in her own cage with the rest of the
for reproduction. Sometimes they can package how was she released to join
dominate a bloom making it hard for
any other insect to access the “food.”
As most all insects do that forage on
flowering plants for nectar and pol-
the colony?
You said the bees were active in
collecting pollen. Honey bees only
collect lots of pollen if there are baby
A Losing 80% of colonies is not
len, they leave behind chemical odors bees to feed. Are you sure there are no
called pheromones which tell their larvae? something that you want to do con-
species that this place has already Sometimes package bee suppli- sistently. You gave me tidbits. What
been visited. They also have an en- ers are less than excellent and send were your varroa counts before treat-
zyme in them when they get hit by a queens that are virgins, i.e., unmated ments? When were treatments and
car that eats through the clear coat on queens, so they can move packages with what? Did you treat with oxalic
the car paint. That’s why in Florida out more quickly and collect money every time?
you wash your car all the time or you hoping that the virgins will be able to Everything else you did was prob-
can spray cooking oil on the front of mate when they get to the new own- ably OK, but not necessary if colonies
your car to keep them from sticking. er’s location. You got yours about 3 are healthy, i.e., Varroa/Varroa Virus
Females look for decaying organic weeks ago so that should have hap- legacy, and have plenty of food.
matter to deposit their eggs. Their pened, or she went out to mate and Let me know if you would.
larvae which hatch in the ground are had an oops moment and got eaten
very good at eating decaying organic by a bird, etc. Tom:
matter on the soil, which results in Mated queens can be damaged by Started mostly monitoring June 1.
compost. So a combination of good temperature swings as the package is Single MAQS June when one 1%, and
and bad like everything else in the subjected to weather at the producer, August when over 2%
world. the transporter like the Postal Service, NO monitoring after that. Did Apivar

August 2019 861


Sept 20-Oct 1 (however I discov- outside there is an air exchange at do all my body’s digesting. The same
ered this spring I did not remove your door. If your home was airtight, thing happens to honey bees, giving
all of them). warm, and you never left it over win- them nosema-like symptoms.
Oxalic dribble end of November. ter your walls would be covered in All that to say: Do you have AFB or
mold and fungus. Which would not EFB? Easy way to find out is the Foul-
I know now I should have moni- be healthy for you as they produced brood Diagnostic Kits (just like strip
tored after the oxalic dribble. Any- spores and toxins. Think of a honey glucose or pregnancy test in the phar-
thing else missing? I really thought I bee colony keeping the center of the macy section) in the Dadant catalog.
did a good job, but do admit no moni- cluster at around 93F for the surviv- Some Vets will accept that diagnostic
toring after Sept 1. ability of the queen. Think of them tool since most have no earthly idea
Thank you for your time. If you eating honey at 18% moisture and about AFB/EFB. They are not trained
can, please offer overwintering tips. then exhaling that moisture as they in Vet school for this animal.
breathe. Then think of their colony

Q
JERRY: being hermetically sealed with only a
I was suspect of your treatment re- 2-inch opening at the bottom. Where REHAB ON PLASTIC
gime but what you shared with me is warm, moist air going to go? It FOUNDATION
took that away. You did good. will rise, condensate at the top and
And the colonies had food (stored freeze there. And when outside tem- Thank you for your dedication, wis-
honey) in X guesstimated lbs. even peratures moderate, this frozen water dom and great column in ABJ. I turn
with the bees dead on the bottom, or melts and rains on the cluster inside to it first. For many years I’ve been
was it all gone? the hive. Put a virus load and winter using wired frames with crimped
bees dying off slightly sooner and you foundation. I’m going to try Plasticell
TOM: might not have a live hive in April. on some hives that will go over the
From my little knowledge, com- Those are my thoughts, Tom. road to some cotton in Texas.
mercial apiarists run ventilated hives. What is the best way to rehab Plas-

Q
I hear Tom Seeley talk about bees in ticell frames? What is the best way to
the Arnot Forest, living in a dry cavity re-coat a small number of Plasticell
1-gallon size. So no upper entrance,
just a lower one, and bees drank their
ANTIBIOTICS frames with beeswax?
Subject to your wisdom, I would
condensate. inspect frames for disease (AFB, etc.),
So I tried to mimic that in double Hi Jerry, scrape with hive tool or wide spatula
Langstroths, sealed tip tight all sides Is there any alternative to Terra for to get wax off. Then power wash with
expect a 2” bottom entrance. foulbrood? Now you need a Veteri- hot water/soap and dry in the sun.
Too much moisture, all had plenty narian’s signed Gov’t form to order My limited idea on beeswax
of food, checked for nosema. More it from bee supply dealers. Ran Gov’t application is a double boiler, melt
thoughts, please. form off the Web, which requires in- beeswax and apply with a clean new
credible information. Took it to local throw-away “paintbrush” a thin ve-
JERRY: Vet’s who told me by law I must be neer of beeswax to the cleaned Plasti-
You said they died in spring which one of their “patients” plus they must cell. I look forward to your thoughts.
means they almost made it. Which come out and check out my apiary. Thank you,
means that the colony was small And yes, all at my cost just to order a
when it died and couldn›t maintain a small container of prepared Terra. John Cash
survivable temperature in late winter Soper, Oklahoma

A
Connecticut. Which means that the Bob Hough
winter bees did not live as long as Pennsylvania

A
they needed to. Perhaps dying 2-3
days earlier than was optimum.
Which means that over a long winter You have nailed it. That is exactly
there weren’t enough for the home the correct process. My question to
stretch. Why they did not live as long That is the law now called the VFD, myself when I have done the same
is perhaps due to health issues such Veterinary Feed Directive. There are thing and am ready to re-coat with
as viruses that stress them over the some alternative management tech- beeswax is how much beeswax ve-
long months of winter. You can kill niques but what makes you think you neer is enough and how much is too
varroa mites but the viruses they vec- have AFB? much. Because when we talk about
tor, and those that take advantage of Prophylactic or pretreatment for bees “drawing out” foundation that
the shallow immune system of honey AFB or EFB has no effect on actual is what they actually do. If they can
bees, last for months and months. infection post treatment. Antibiotics take that foundation beeswax, and by
Kind of like you having a viral cold (anti=against, bio=life) kill, hurt or using their spatula like mouth parts
for 5-6 months. You can do it but it damage good gut bacteria and bad. A grab and pull and stretch that exist-
wears you down and might turn into big stressor of bees. ing wax out into cell walls, then that
pneumonia. Antibiotics are a great tool to keep means they don’t have to biologically
Your personal home in Connecti- us alive. I have gone to the doctor for make beeswax in their wax glands. A
cut is not airtight. Your heating sys- strep throat. Been prescribed antibiot- very energy intensive process. I think
tem brings in the fresh air. You have ics which killed strep bacteria but also the awkward and probably unattain-
healthful fresh air leaks around doors gave me diarrhea because it killed able goal for you and I using a paint-
and windows and every time you go good bacteria in my intestines that brush is applying a coating of bees-

862 American Bee Journal


wax that gives the bees plenty of raw stuff is. My guess is that if you opened Here’s a picture of the model I have
material to work with and not have to a capsule up and squirted the con- used for the past two years. (There are
make more beeswax, while not cov- tents on a top bar the bees will either many to choose from.)
ering up the hexagonal cell pattern eat it or remove it as trash or a little All one does is hook the hook on
embossed in the plastic foundation. of both. I’d say don’t worry about this the back of the hive, preferably on
This is actually one of the fun parts as a nutritional supplement for your the bottom box. I have cleats on my
of beekeeping. There is no Extension bees. It most likely won’t hurt but hives but the common hand holds on
Publication on stuff like this. mostly won’t help dramatically either. most hives would work fine. Lack-
Thank you so much for the Class- ing either, one could simply place a

Q
room compliment. Glad I am a bee- common 1-5/8” screw about half-
keeper with you. WEIGHING A way in and on the center line of the
HIVE hive to make a fine connection place.

Q A FEED The unit is turned on, attached and


GREAT IDEA! enough steady lift is applied to get a
SUPPLEMENT This offering to The Classroom may weight reading.
be so trivial and its content so well Of course, the reading is not the en-
I read the article in the ABJ about known to be deleted on first sight. tire weight of the hive as one is only
feeding bees, and it says they need However, just in case ... lifting the back. Doing the math/ge-
amino acids and will select samples As president of our local beekeep- ometry it works out to be very close
that have the ones they need. I take ers club (100+ members), I was fre- to 1/2 of the total colony weight. That
an amino acid supplement. Could quently asked How do I know how is, a reading of 30 lbs. means the hive
I break open some of the capsules much my hives weigh? Or, how do weighs pretty close to 60 lbs. One
and smear the contents on the inner must be consistent, of course, to get
cover for them to utilize? The only comparable measurements. That is,
drawback I can see is that the contents always with the top on (or off) and
are in a creamy, oily suspension, no feed buckets/internal feeders (or
and oil is not mentioned in bee food filled to the same level each time).
supplements, so I wonder if that If one is only interested in know-
makes this contraindicated. Always ing if there is enough stored honey,
read the Classroom first when I the standard “heft method” may be
receive my ABJ! fine for those with the “touch.” For
others, this method offers a reliable
Thanks, measurement.
Spirit At certain times of the year, we may

A
be interested in weight gain or loss.
This method affords the beekeeper
I know there is enough honey stored a way to accurately measure gain or
for winter? Or, how do I know if there loss over time. This may also be an
As you know amino acids are the is a nectar flow? indicator of colony health/strength
components of proteins. Different I got to thinking about ways to an- as well as an indicator of nectar flow.
proteins are composed of the main swer the question with something Bottom line ... it works, it is cheap,
10 essential acids. We all need these more helpful than “just grab the back it is accurate, it is easy and gives im-
10 essential amino acids to make the of the hive and heft it. If it is heavy portant information.
proteins our bodies, whether yours or you’re probably okay; if light your Hope that helps. Feel free to “can”
honey bees, need to carry on biologi- bees are going to die.” I thought of the this if you think it of little value. (I
cal processes that keep us alive. You very accurate (and precise) baggage guess that goes without saying.)
would have to look on the label to scales now commonly available for
see what and how many amino acids around $10-12. They are accurate to Fred Berthrong
are in your capsule and what the oily 0.1 lb. and can measure up to 110 lbs. Providence, Utah, USA

August 2019 863


864 American Bee Journal
notes From
the
home oFFice
by Gabe Dadant

Gabe, CC and CP checking out a new split, Spring 2017

A
ll winter long I waited for With the locust flow behind us So as I wait for the bees to pack
spring to come. With spring we are concentrating our efforts on more honey into the supers I think of
comes black locust honey. the main flow here in our area. The the good things that have come from
Well, not this season. The rains also Dutch clover has been blooming for this season. The first thing that comes
came and didn’t want to stop. The well over a month now, and yellow to mind are my two boys. Both boys
wind/rain combination wiped out and white sweet are starting to fill the enjoy packing and selling honey but
our locust bloom here in the west cen- roadside ditches and pastures across in years past didn’t care much for
tral part of the state, and when my son the state. Cool weather pushed this work in the bee yard. This season my
and I made the trip to McHenry Col- flow off a bit, but it is in full swing oldest son Charles has taken charge in
lege for the Illinois Summer Meeting now and one box of honey sits on all the bee yard. This shows me his matu-
we were a bit envious of the beekeep- producing colonies awaiting extrac- rity and how he is becoming a young
ers up in the northern part as the lo- tion, with hopes of more supers being man instead of the little boy I once
cust was just starting to bloom. That’s filled and a decent crop not too far off knew. His old bee suits and rubber
how it goes some seasons. You win in the near future. Silent prayers for a boots of years past have been traded
some, you lose some. dry 4 weeks. in for just a jacket and no gloves. At
13 there was no way I would have
braved the bee yard without a suit of
armor, much less take a sting to the
hand like a man would. He also at-
tended his first state show this past
weekend and I must say did one heck
of a job and showed his old man that
one day he too will be a leader, if not
in the bee business, in whatever pro-
fession he chooses. My youngest son
C.P. Dadant is now ten years old has
Gabe and Charles come a long way this season as well.
prior to ISBA He has been instrumental in our suc-
summer meeting at cess, catching swarms and increasing
McHenry College the number of hives the two boys run
together. He is witty and sharp as a
tack. He will attend his first bee con-
vention later this summer and I will
be a proud father standing in the
booth with both boys tending to cus-
tomers as I have in years past.
While at the state show at McHen-
ry College I let my son take some of
last season’s crop to sell. The boys
don’t sell much plain honey as they

August 2019 865


Sweet
Heat Honey

Natural Comb Honey in 3 lb. round

produces from Jalapenos, Habanero,


or Ghost Peppers; they infuse each
batch with precision, giving each the
right amount of sweet and heat.
try and differentiate themselves from call Sweet Heat Honey. It is a honey This season they are branching
the many customers that also try to infused with the essence of fresh, lo- out even further with our infused
sell their honey crop locally. They cally grown peppers. The varieties products and will try to win a spot
came up with a product they like to sold depend upon what the garden on many of the local grocery store
shelves. A mint honey is in the works
with thanks to Rose Leedle. While
standing around in-between breakout
sessions many stories and successes
are shared. She was kind enough to
tell us about her mint honey which
sparked even more ideas for our in-
fused products. We hope to add at
least three new types of infused honey
to our line and hope to give other bee-
keepers ideas on ways to market and
sell their crop.
As I finish this today I look outside.
The river water that was inside our
shipping department has receded.
The dried mud from the old Missis-
sippi sits in our parking lot and the
bee yard behind the plant is a muddy
mess. The little outbuilding that once
housed my father’s honey extraction
room and my equipment is also a
muddy mess in need of cleaning and
paint, which will become the boys’
next task. Cleaning that building out is
not much fun from what I recall after
a good flood. It’s been 26 years since
I cleaned that building out. I was 13
years old in 1993 when one of the last
three 100-year floods came through.
The three of us want to wish you all
the best of luck beekeeping this sum-
mer, and have hopes we all will make
a bumper crop.

Dadant and Sons flooding summer 2019. The small building at right is Gabe’s honey Till next time,
house. Photo by Wade Plowman Gabe, C.C., and C.P. Dadant

866 American Bee Journal


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August 2019 867


868 American Bee Journal
Beekeeping Basics

by TINA SEBESTYEN

O
ne of the most basic parts of in your bees, and learn (not more than lose one, it gives you eggs to donate
beekeeping is figuring out once a week, or they’ll learn to hate to a colony so that they can raise their
how not to lose all your bees you). This is one of the reasons we own queen, extra bees in case a skunk
in one year. Beekeeping is hard. A have been encouraging you to learn eats a bunch of your big colony, or
couple of fun quotes from mentees to do powdered sugar rolls, and to get sheets of brood to normalize phero-
sum it up well … “I’ve figured out your courage up and split your colo- mones while waiting for a queen to
the worst thing I can put in my hives nies when they need it. Everything mate. It is pretty important. You may
… my hands”; and, “I haven’t discov- you accomplish not only helps your have more than one big colony, but
ered yet how I’m going to kill my bees bees, but it helps you learn and gain you aren’t going to want to take the
this year.” I have to disagree with the experience. queen out of one big colony to give
first guy, although I understand the This month, I am encouraging you to another, and you may not want to
sentiment. Even when I don’t know to pull a late summer nuc for yourself. steal resources from a production col-
what I’m doing to help my colonies It might sound scary, but it is fairly ony that may handicap its production.
survive, the ones I pay the most at- basic, helps you gain experience, and Convinced? Here’s what you need.
tention to are the ones least likely to most importantly, gives you what First, you need another hive body,
die. My colonies in out-yards are the is called a resource hive. A resource top, bottom, and feeder. This works
most likely to die. The best thing you hive is insurance against doom. The best if you have at least two colonies
can acquire to ensure your bees’ sur- late summer nuc, The Resource Hive, to pull from. Even colonies that start-
vival is experience. Get out there, get gives you an extra queen in case you ed out this year as packages should
have enough resources by the first of
August for this to work. You aren’t
expecting to get honey this year any-
way, trade that in for bee survival.
If your two colonies have filled two
deep hive bodies, or three medium
hive bodies, you have enough bees,
and hopefully enough honey to share
with your nuc.
The definition of “nuc” is nucleus
of bees, and that is what we are going
to create. At a minimum, a late sum-
mer nuc needs three frames of brood,
a queen, two frames of honey and
bee bread, the bees that are on these
frames, and room to work. We are go-
ing to put our new nuc into a full-size
hive body, not a five frame nuc body,
unless the nuc box can be supered.
You can pull one frame of brood from
your weaker hive, and two frames
(or bars!) from your stronger hive. If
both are strong, you can make your
nuc super strong by giving them two
frames of brood from each. Take the
This five frame nuc box is too small, the bees will quickly out-grow it and will swarm. two frames of capped brood from
Photo credit: Tina Sebestyen the stronger hive. They can afford to

August 2019 869


help with queen acceptance is to spray
all the bees as they are going into the
new box with sugar water that has
either Honey-B-Healthy or even just
good old vanilla added. (One tea-
spoon in the spray bottle works fine.)
It masks their scents just enough, and
by the time they get done licking each
other off, they’ve become friends.
I hope you have been practicing
finding the queen, it is going to come
in handy right now. I encourage you
to move one of your queens into the
nuc; not both queens, though! The
reason is that the queen will keep lay-
ing eggs, and will help the nuc build
up faster than they could if they had
to wait for a queen to develop, hard-
en, mate, and figure out how to get
one egg in each cell. You can buy a
mated queen for the nuc, but it isn’t
necessary, though you’ll want to be
sure your virgin returns from her
mating flight in the parent colony.
There are several reasons that having
a young queen in your big colony is
a good idea, and we’ll go into them
These are double nuc boxes that can be supered, so that the resource hive can grow. more fully in another article. Briefly,
Photo credit: Jim Marquis young queens raise a higher propor-
tion of winter bees, and raise more of
lose the bees that they put the time queen if they need to. Take one sheet them, so that your colony has fewer
and resources into raising. Take of mixed honey and bee bread from old mouths to feed, and more heat-
a frame with mostly open brood each parent colony to give to the nuc. ers who can feed larvae very well in
from the weaker hive. It has not cost It is all right to just put the bees spring. In the meantime, you have
them much in the way of resources. from the different colonies in the new your old queen “in the bank,” so to
Capped brood boosts the population box together. They might fight a little. speak, in case of late winter queen
very quickly, while a frame of open They’ll get right over it. One easy way loss, though the colony is less likely
brood and eggs allows them to raise a to keep fighting to a minimum and to to lose the queen if she is a young one.
While the big colony raises a new
queen, they will have a nice brood
break, which will help with mite
loads, but isn’t an excuse not to moni-
tor for them. Don’t take for granted
that the brood break will be enough.
Also, while they are raising a new
queen, their colony numbers will fall
slightly. This is actually a good thing,
it means fewer old bees who won’t
live through the winter anyway, and
less of a strain on the colony’s honey
stores. And, what are the bees going
to be doing while they aren’t feed-
ing larvae during this brood break?
They are going to be producing extra
honey.
You can fill out the hive body with
either drawn comb, if you have it, or
frames with foundation. Drawn comb
is obviously faster for the bees, but if
you don’t have any, the bees can draw
comb. Logic and bee biology tell us
that the big colony with its many
young bees can draw comb very eas-
Standard hive bodies are the easiest home for your resource hive, it is equipment you ily, though the nuc can do it, as well.
already own. Place the initial five frames in the center, with both food frames to one It is a good idea to feed sugar water
side, and room to grow to the other side. Photo credit: Tina Sebestyen to your bees while they are getting

870 American Bee Journal


back on their feet, especially if you Moving the new nuc away from the mistakes themselves. Learn from
are asking them to draw comb. Fall your bee yard for the first two weeks my mistakes, and gain experience
isn’t a time that bees normally draw after you create it makes the bees you while ensuring survival rather than
huge amounts of new comb, though moved stay with the queen. If you doom for your bees.
all that emerging brood will be just choose to place the nuc right in your
the right age to do so. How big is big apiary right from its creation, you Mattila, H., Harris, J. & Otis, G. Timing of
enough for your new colony to make should shake at least three frames of production of winter bees in honey bee
it through the winter? Beekeeping is bees from over open brood into the (Apis mellifera) colonies. Insectes soc. (2001).
48: 88. https://doi.org/10.1007/ PL00001764
very local, so it may be slightly differ- nuc. These will be nurse bees who Harris, Lloyd. (2010). The effect of requeen-
ent where you live. I live at 7,440 feet won’t abandon the queen, while the ing in late July on honey bee colony
of elevation in the forest of Colorado. foragers who may be walking around development on the Northern Great
I have successfully over-wintered on capped brood will just go home. Plains of North America. Journal of Api-
five frames of bees several times, and I tried this for the first time last cultural Research. 49. 159-169. 10.3896/
failed to over-winter nucs with fewer fall. I created three nucs with three IBRA.1.49.2.04.
frames of bees. frames of brood each, and two frames
A word on placement of your new of food. My nucs had to raise their
Tina Sebestyen
colony … anything you can do to re- own queens, because I hadn’t learned has been keeping
duce drifting from one colony to the the benefits of giving the old queen bees since 2007
next helps them survive better. If the to the nuc, and they did very well. I in top bar, Lang-
bees can easily find only their own was completely amazed at how much stroth, and more
colony, they spread fewer diseases, comb they drew, how much honey recently the long
and fewer mites. Here in Colorado they stored, and how little honey Langstroth hive.
She is founder of the Four Corners Beekeep-
we must keep our bees inside electric they used over the winter. Two of the ers Assoc, and is Vice President of the Col-
fences to keep the bears out of them. nucs came out of winter stronger and orado State Beekeepers Association. She
That means we can’t spread them faster than any of my full-sized colo- is currently working to produce the Master
apart. What we can do is face them in nies. The third one died of PMS, Para- Beekeeper Program for the state of Colo-
different directions. I love both south sitic Mite Syndrome, because I took rado. She helps with large scale queen pro-
and west for winter. Bees in these for granted that the brood break was duction for commercial operations, raises
locally adapted queens for NW New Mexico
colonies get to fly on more winter enough and didn’t monitor for mites. and SW Colorado, helps produce nucs, does
days than colonies facing east, and We gain experience from failures as structural removals of bee colonies, and
definitely more than colonies facing well as successes, and wise people writes and speaks about bees everywhere
north. If I had three in a row, I’d face learn from the mistakes of others she gets the chance. She can be reached at
one east, one south, and one west. rather than insisting on making all of bee.seeking@gmail.com

August 2019 871


872 American Bee Journal
874 American Bee Journal
PESTICIDES
IN
THE NEWS
by RANDY OLIVER
ScientificBeekeeping.com

Our beleaguered Environmental Protection Agency, tasked with protecting man and
the environment, is caught between politics and a public that is becoming more and
more concerned about the effects of pesticides and climate change.

I
plan to return to my series on pes- Environmental Health, Pesticide Ac- sides of pesticide issues. I’m more
ticides, but our extreme weather tion Network, and four commercial interested in rational discussion as to
this spring was disastrous for beekeepers, Steve Ellis, Jim Doan, how farmers can best control pests via
our bee operation, since we were un- Tom Theobald, and Bill Rhodes. The sustainable and eco-friendly meth-
able to rear queens for splitting our settlement brought headlines such as ods. For the foreseeable future, pes-
hives after almonds. As a result, we below. ticides will remain part of that equa-
were also unable to control swarm- Note how the neonics are invariably tion. The neonics live up to many of
ing. We’ve since been working over- labeled as “bee-killing pesticides” — it their promises, but as one would
time to try to recover our numbers in just sorta rolls off the tongue, doesn’t expect from any neurotoxin, must be
time to build our colonies up for next it? This “victory” actually meant that applied with caution, and the EPA
year’s almond contracts. I recently EPA would accept the voluntary re- must follow research findings that
congratulated my son Eric for now quests from Bayer, Syngenta, and Va- indicate that there may be unforseen
being able to claim the title for having lent to withdraw their registrations of adverse effects.
the honor of running the operation 12 products containing one or more Such unforeseen effects are noticed
during the worst season in memory. neonics: 5 containing thiamethoxam, only after a pesticide has been in use
That said, in recent months, a few 6 containing clothianadin, and 1 con- for some time, and there are plenty of
scientific papers and news items of taining imidacloprid. All were turf or folk out there looking for any prob-
interest have caught my attention. seed treatments, other than Bayer’s lems due to the neonics. One recent
We may look back on some of them “Flower, Rose & Shrub Care” and one paper suggests that we need to call
as watershed events that changed the foliar product. for more research on the affects of ne-
courses of our future. None of the neonicotinoid insecti- onics upon mammalian reproductive
cides were banned from use — only hormones.
Revocation of Some neonic LabeLS a few formulated products, repre-
OK, there was a lot of hoopla about senting a drop in the bucket of neo- Practical application: I’m glad to
the recent final settlement of a law- nicotinoid applications, were being see neonics removed from the home-
suit by Center for Food Safety (CFS) allowed to have their registrations owner arsenal, due to their potential
that has been ongoing for six years, expire (and stock on the shelf could for problems to pollinators visiting
representing plaintiffs CFS, Sierra continue to be sold for another year). excessively-treated plants. The law-
Club, Beyond Pesticides, Center for There are extreme views on both suit didn’t change much for agricul-
tural uses, but the public attention
helps to keep the pressure on the
Center for Food Safety wins in case to force EPA.
EPA to ban 12 neonicotinoids.
*** neonicS and mammaLian
Center for Food Safety secures legal victory for bees! RepRoduction
CFS scored another huge legal victory! As a result of our In a recent study run in South
lawsuit against EPA, 12 toxic, bee-killing “neonic” pesti- Dakota,1 the researchers divided 20
cides will soon be withdrawn from the market! captive pregnant female deer into
four groups, and fed them a range of

August 2019 875


mones involved in sexual develop-
ment, cancerous tumors, birth defects,
and other developmental disorders.

Practical application: The prob-


lem is that we may not notice subtle
The question is adverse effects until we’ve caused
whether some of harm to generations of wildlife or
our pesticides are humans. Hence, although I feel no
causing long-term need for alarmism, we do need to
reproductive harm keep a close eye on studies such as
to wildlife, and the one above.
perhaps us humans
as well.2 the phaSe out of chLoRpyRifoS
One class of chemicals that envi-
ronmental protection agencies are
united in trying to phase out are the
acetylcholinesterase inhibitors — the
organophosphates and carbamates.
These have been clearly linked to
causing problems in childhood brain
doses of imidacloprid in their drink- centrations of imidacloprid in these development (yes, my generation
ing water, up to 15 ppb, covering a organs. Finally, our study provides grew up with a lot of it). Oddly, EPA
realistic range for field exposure for support for reduced activity of adult made a special case for the registra-
the lower doses. I’ll quote their dis- and fawn white-tailed deer with rela- tion of coumaphos for beekeepers to
cussion directly: tively high concentrations of imida- use in their hives against varroa and
cloprid in spleens. Small Hive Beetle.
Our study provides the first over- Chlorpyrifos (an organophosphate,
view of effects of imidacloprid on I reviewed the study carefully, in- commonly sold as Lorsban® and
white-tailed deer. We documented cluding reading their supportive cita- Dursban®) used to be widely used
that deer in our experiment avoided tions and beyond. I have a number of for home insect control and outdoor
imidacloprid-contaminated water. questions about the study and their residential pest management, and
Moreover, we discovered that fawns analyses; the author to whom I sub- remains one of the most widely used
that died during our experiment had mitted them declined to answer. So insecticides in the world. It is often
greater concentrations of imidaclo- although I can’t yet accept their con- the most common insecticide found
prid in spleens compared to those clusions wholeheartedly, this study in bee hives (after beekeeper-applied
that survived. Fawns with relatively calls for follow-up research. miticides).3
high concentrations of imidacloprid The reason is that some of the pesti- EPA has been trying to eliminate its
in spleen and genital organs also cides used nowadays are neurotoxins use, but the Trump Administration
tended to be smaller and less healthy or may inadvertently act as endocrine has appealed. California is neverthe-
than those with relatively low con- disruptors — interfering with hor- less charging ahead with a ban. The
ag community is alarmed, since there
are a number of pests for which chlor-
pyrifos is the only effective control
product. We’ll see how this plays out.

Practical application: Once a pes-


ticide has been used for a while, it’s
not uncommon that there were un-
foreseen adverse effects to man or
the environment. Chlorpyrifos start-
ed to be used in 1965 — five years be-
fore the creation of the EPA — so it’s
not surprising that it’s got some is-
sues. Beekeepers have long dreaded
bee kills due to Lorsban, so we can
hope that growers replace it with
something less harmful to bees.
When a regulatory agency declares
that it is going to restrict any product
or practice, you can count on there
being a loud protest that says that
When I walked in to shoot this photo of hives being used to pollinate sunflowers, the change is impossible. We taxpayers
smell of pesticide on the tomatoes in the foreground was intense. Sunflower pests pay the EPA to weigh the evidence
unfortunately often get a foothold when the flowers open, thus calling for insecticide for us, although unfortunately of
applications at exactly the worst time for pollinators. late, politics has trumped science.

876 American Bee Journal


fipRoniL cumuLative effectS compelling case against the herbi- dividual’s children, grandchildren, or
Beekeepers got it wrong and right cide, which has transformed farm- great-grandchildren may be expressed.
Back in the late 1990s beekeep- ing in the U.S., allowing growers And that is exactly what Deepika
ers in France claimed that Gaucho, to reduce erosion and improve soil Kubsad, of Washington State Univer-
a seed treatment containing the sys- structure by practicing “no till.” And sity’s Michael Skinner lab, did with
temic neonicotinoid insecticide imi- when I review the prevalence of Non- glyphosate.7 Their results were stun-
dacloprid, which was being applied Hodgkin’s Lymphoma since glypho- ning. Smithsonian Magazine head-
to sunflowers, was causing massive sate came on the market, I don’t see lined its coverage with:
colony mortality. But the case against a huge spike. Those applicators that
imidacloprid was weak, since the low claim that Roundup caused their dis- Biologist Michael Skinner has en-
levels of the pesticide in nectar or pol- ease, generally also admit to not fol- raged the chemical community and
len would be rapidly metabolized in lowing label instructions to wear pro- shocked his peers with his break-
a bee’s body (~92% is gone within 48 tective clothing. It’s unfortunate that through research.
hours), and thus it appeared unlikely the debate, instead of being conduct-
that it could kill an entire colony from ed scientifically, is taking place in the The rest of the Smithsonian article
foraging on the treated crop. Never- courtroom, with attorneys and plain- is well worth reading.8 What Skin-
theless, public protests against Gau- tiffs hoping for huge judgements in ner has shown is that a number of
cho occurred, and the registration of their favor. That said, a recent study common chemicals can not only act
its use was revoked. may explode both the science and the as “endocrine disruptors,” but that
But there was another seed treat- number of lawsuits: exposed individuals can pass those
ment also being applied to sunflowers effects on to their offspring without
at the time (Regent) which contained tRanSGeneRationaL effectS any change to their DNA, but rather
a different systemic insecticide (fipro- of GLyphoSate? by epigenetic (meaning “on the out-
nil). The beginning of colony deaths A new paper in the journal Na- side of genes”) changes that may be
actually better coincided with the use ture may, if it gets traction, shift the passed on for generations. This is
of Regent on sunflowers.4 The colony entire way that the chemical com- called “transgenerational epigenetic
deaths continued. Despite the claims panies and EPA would need to as- inheritance.” Skinner’s team found
by the manufacturers that the treat- sess any chemicals for allowed use. that the great-grandchildren of the
ments were safe for bees, Regent was Currently, registrants must submit rats exposed to glyphosate exhib-
also banned.5 I searched the Web and data for short-term toxicity, and if ited disease and pathologies associ-
found that Regent insecticide appears indicated, for longer-term trials over ated with the exposure of their great-
to still be sold in the U.S., but only for perhaps an entire generation of test grandparents.
use as a furrow treatment on pota- animals. But these methods were ar- Before you jump to conclusions,
toes, and a treatment for corn seed to rived at before we understood trans- be aware that the researchers had
be exported outside of the U.S. or its generational epigenetic inheritance, “exposed” pregnant female rats to
territories. by which environmental exposure to extreme doses of glyphosate, which
A recent study by Holder6 found temperature, diet, calamity, or any was injected under their skin, rather
that the beekeepers were likely wrong other stress or strong benefit can af- than consumed. By my quick calcula-
about imidacloprid, but were right fect how the genes of the exposed in- tions, each pregnant female rat was
about a pesticide causing the deaths
of their hives. Of interest is that fipro-
nil takes a while to kill an insect that
has consumed it, thus allowing ants,
yellowjackets, and honey bees to take
it back to the nest, where it eventually
kills the entire colony — it’s actually
a preferred bait treatment for those
three insects.
Holder found that unlike imidaclo-
prid, fipronil exhibits “time-reinforced
toxicity,” meaning that its metabolites
bioaccumulate in an insect’s body tis-
sue, resulting in a lethal cumulative
dose after a few days’ feeding.

Practical application: we beekeep-


ers must demand that EPA require
long-term feeding trials as a requi-
site for pesticide registrations.

GLyphoSate in youR GRoceRieS?


I’m not about to take an opinion
on the recent concerns about glypho-
sate/Roundup® — I’ll let our regula- The use of glyphosate and Roundup Ready® crops has revolutionized agriculture.
tory agencies review the evidence. To Glyphosate has been touted as one of the safest chemicals used in agriculture; but
date, none have been able to make a could it have insidious effects?9

August 2019 877


injected with the amount of glypho- life — would need to test every new, A recent paper in Scientific Ameri-
sate equivalent to what a 140-lb preg- and previously-registered, chemical can10 helps to explain why we are
nant human being would receive if for “safety.” We can expect serious seeing such extreme weather. It ap-
injected with a full cup of the recom- pushback and delaying tactics, but pears that the warming of the poles
mended dilution of Roundup to be we may be entering a new age of affects how the jet stream moves
sprayed upon weeds — and injected chemical regulation. the highs and lows that cause what
for six days in a row (to be clear, this we call “weather” from west to east
is far more glyphosate than any hu- cLimate chanGe and the across the continents. The North Pole
man being, pregnant or otherwise, “new noRmaL” is warming more quickly than the
would ever be exposed to). Speaking of new ages, we are now lower latitudes, resulting in abnor-
Despite the high dose of glyphosate in the Anthropocene — the geological mally wide oscillations in the high-
(which did not appear to adversely age in which Homo sapiens is the ma- and low-pressure zones that used to
affect the pregnant females): “There jor cause of environmental and bio- progress across our continent. These
was no effect on litter size or sex ratio ob- logical change on our planet. zones now often stall in place, lead-
served for any generation...” One of those changes is in weather ing to prolonged periods of drought
But in subsequent generations there patterns (a.k.a. “climate”). The Earth or heavy rain.
were some differences in weights and has been coming out of its current
other abnormalities. ice age for some tens of thousands of Practical application: These ex-
Thus, my worry level about years (during which time human civi- treme weather events are likely to be
glyphosate has not appreciably in- lization developed). But that change the “New Normal”.11 They’ve made
creased until we see this experiment has accelerated in recent years, and beekeeping far more difficult for us
replicated with more field realistic many species on this planet are likely in California — our plant phenology
doses. But that doesn’t mean that the going to be unable to adjust. Depend- is all screwed up, and in recent years
study hasn’t gotten a lot of attention ing upon one’s politics, humans ap- we’ve either been parched or drown-
in principle. pear to be responsible for this rapid ing in rain. And this year, heavy
change, due to our unquenchable de- rainfall is affecting agricultural ar-
Practical application: There’s a pos- mand for the burning of fossil fuels. eas across the country. Independent
sibility that these findings may di- One effect of the resulting higher of one’s political persuasion, there is
rectly apply to honey bees, but more CO2 content of the atmosphere is a strong case to be made for invok-
importantly, the chemical industry, warming, resulting in both droughts ing the Precautionary Principle — in
chemical users in manufacturing, the (as we suffered through for sev- this case, since we know that CO2
ag industry, and the world’s regu- eral years in California), or massive traps heat in the atmosphere, per-
latory agencies are in shock. This rainfall (due to greater evaporation haps it would be wise for us to stop
study could disrupt the status quo, of water into the atmosphere) — as throwing gasoline on the fire.
and signal a new beginning for how many areas of the Midwest and East
modern human societies — which are enjoying this season. Farming in wRap up
have embraced the thousands of the U.S. and much of the world may The demands of the human popu-
chemicals that we all use in everyday never again be the same. lation of our planet, coupled with our
current chemical-heavy methods of
agricultural production and urban
life in general, along with our daily
burning of incredible quantities of
fossil fuels, are finally getting to the
point that we will no longer be able
to ignore the consequences. Luck-
ily, consumer and voter activism are
starting to ignite in response, with the
honey bee being a poster child for all
pollinators and wildlife. We beekeep-
ers can perhaps help to shift the way
we do things to a more sustainable
manner, with less harm to man and
the environment.

endnoteS
1. Berheim, EH, et al (2019) Effects of neo-
nicotinoid insecticides on physiology
and reproductive characteristics of cap-
tive female and fawn white-tailed deer.
Scientific Reports 9: 4534. Open access.
2. Mullin CA, et al (2010) High levels of
miticides and agrochemicals in North
American apiaries: Implications for
honey bee health. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9754.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0009754
I shot this photo of a field in Kansas this spring. Note the center pivot irrigation system 3. See Figure 16.3 in EEA (2013) Late Les-
at the upper left. Many acres of farmland will not be planted this season, due to exces- sons from Early Warnings: Chapter 16 -
sive moisture. Seed-dressing systemic insecticides and

878 American Bee Journal


honeybees. https://www.eea.europa. genes-180947644/ Just Google “skinner
eu/publications/late-lessons-2/late- epigenetics.”
lessons-chapters/late-lessons-ii-chap- 8. Mann, M (2019) The Weather Amplifier.
ter-16/at_download/file Scientific American, March. http://www.
4. http://www.ipsnews.net/2004/03/envi- meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/
ronment-europe-alarm-sounds-on-bee- Mann/articles/articles/MannSciAm-
killing-pesticides/ Feb19.pdf
5. Holder, P, et al (2018) Fipronil pesticide as 9. Francis, J (2019) Rough Weather Ahead.
a suspect in historical mass mortalities of Scientific American 320(6): 46-53.
honey bees. https://www.pnas.org/con- 10. Photo credit: By USFWS Mountain-Prai-
tent/pnas/early/2018/11/26/1804934115. rie. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/
full.pdf index.php?curid=47582798
6. Kubsad, D, et al (2019) Assessment of
glyphosate induced epigenetic transgen- Randy sees beekeeping
erational inheritance of pathologies and through the eyes of a bi-
sperm epimutations: Generational toxi- ologist. He’s kept bees for
cology. Scientific Reports 9: 6372. https:// over 50 years, and with
www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019- his sons runs around 1500
42860-0 hives in the California foot-
7. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/in- hills. He closely follows bee
novation/the-toxins-that-affected-your- research, engages in some
himself, and enjoys sharing
great-grandparents-could-be-in-your-
what he’s learned with others.

August 2019 879


Notes from the Lab:
The Latest Bee Science Distilled
by Scott McArt
What will growers use if neonicotinoid insecticides are banned?

L
ast year, the European Union Two years before the EU ban on The panel considered eight cat-
(EU) banned outdoor use of neonicotinoids occurred, the French egories of potential alternatives to
several neonicotinoid insecti- Agency for Food, Environmental neonicotinoids: 1) other chemical
cides due to the risk posed to wild and Occupational Health and Safety insecticides, 2) biological control
and managed bees. Several Cana- (ANSES) was commissioned by the with predators or parasitoids, 3) bio-
dian provinces have also recently French Ministry of Agriculture to as- logical control with fungi, viruses or
placed partial restrictions on neonic- sess the risks and benefits of alterna- bacteria, 4) biological control via al-
otinoids, and some U.S. states have tives (chemical and non-chemical) ternative farming practices, such as
partially restricted the use of neonic- to neonicotinoids. This resulted in a intercropping or crop rotation, 5) use
otinoids as part of their Pollinator group of independent scientific ex- of semiochemicals for activities such
Protection Plans. perts comprehensively assessing all as mating disruption or mass trap-
Because neonicotinoids are the available alternatives to neonicoti- ping, 6) physical control, such as oils,
most-used insecticides in the world, noids for pest management. For each nets or trenching, 7) genetically im-
there has been pushback from grow- neonicotinoid use, target pest and proved plants, and 8) plant defense
ers based largely on the belief that crop plant, all alternatives were iden- elicitors. Each potential alternative
neonicotinoids are an indispensable tified and ranked in terms of their ef- was then independently given a
tool. But is that the case? This is the ficacy for controlling the target pest, semi-quantitative score (1-3) for ef-
topic for our twenty-first “Notes from applicability (i.e., the alternative was ficacy, applicability, durability, and
the Lab,” where we highlight “Alter- directly usable or requiring further practicability by multiple experts
natives to neonicotinoids,” written research and development), durabil- following a systematic literature re-
by Hervé Jactel and colleagues and ity (i.e., risk of resistance to target view of the topic. If major discrepan-
published in the journal Environment pests) and practicability (i.e., ease of cies occurred between the experts, a
International [129:423-429 (2019)]. implementation by farmers). discussion took place and consensus
values were determined.
The panel considered an alterna-
Hoverfly larvae tive pest control method to be di-
can be used as rectly useable as a replacement (sub-
non-chemical stitutable) for a neonicotinoid use
neonicotinoid if its overall score for efficacy and
alternatives (i.e., applicability was ≥ 2. Similarly, the
biological control substitutability of a category of po-
with predators). tential alternatives was defined as
Hoverfly larvae the number of methods or products
are voracious with efficacy and applicability scores
natural enemies
≥ 2 divided by the number of meth-
of aphids and
the adults are
ods or products from that category.
also excellent Overall, the panel considered 152
pollinators. authorized uses of neonicotinoids
concerning 120 target crops and 279
insect pests. They evaluated 2,968

August 2019 883


What are the potential alterna- However, the truth is that chemical
tives to neonicotinoids? Seven of the pesticides are effective and easy to
eight categories of potential alterna- use (compare spraying an orchard
tives to neonicotinoids contained vi- vs. covering it with a net or adding
able substitutes. Nearly all alterna- trenches!). Furthermore, incorpora-
tive chemical insecticides (98%) were tion of non-chemical controls into
considered substitutable. The most IPM programs is chronically under-
substitutable non-chemical methods researched, underfunded and there-
were physical control (65%), such as fore underdeveloped. But Jactel and
oils, nets or trenching, followed by bi- colleagues have documented a large
ological control with fungi, viruses or number of substitutable bee-friendly
bacteria (54%), biological control via non-chemical replacements for neo-
alternative farming practices, such as nicotinoids. Furthermore, most of the
intercropping or crop rotation (27%), non-chemical methods can be used
and biological control with predators simultaneously, which generally in-
or parasitoids (26%). Highlighting creases their overall efficacy.
the need for more research on mating If we truly care about minimizing
disruption and mass trapping, semio- pesticide risk to bees, it must be ac-
chemicals were a substitutable alter- knowledged that neonicotinoids are
native only 18% of the time. Similarly, not the only problem. That said, they
genetically improved plants were a are part of the problem, and the study
substitutable alternative only 4% of by Jactel and colleagues is an impor-
the time, highlighting the need for tant contribution that outlines viable
Neonicotinoids are effective insecticides more plant breeding research and, and effective substitutes.
against most aphid pests. dare I say it, GMOs (yes, more insec- Until next time, bee well and do
ticides are oftentimes used when an- good work,
case studies using the four criteria ti-GMO sentiment causes growers to Scott McArt
(efficacy, applicability, durability, shy away from highly effective tools
and practicability). such as Bt, which is a gene insertion RefeRence:
So, what did they find? Can usage from a naturally occurring soil bacte- Jactel, H., F. Verheggen, D. Thiéry, A. J. Es-
of neonicotinoids be replaced or not? rium, Bacillus thuringiensis). cobar-Gutiérrez, E. Gachet, N. Desneux
OK, I use neonicotinoids and and the Noenicotinoids Working Group.
The short answer is yes. Only 6 of the
2019. Alternatives to neonicotinoids. Envi-
152 authorized uses of neonicotinoids you’ve piqued my interest. If I’m ronment International 129:423-429. https://
(4%) were considered non-substitut- thinking about replacing them, what doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.04.045
able. In 18% of cases, other chemical should I consider? The most com- Van Dyke, M., E. Mullen, D. Wixted and
controls were the only substitutable mon alternative to neonicotinoids, S. H. McArt. 2018. A Pesticide Decision-
alternative to neonicotinoids. How- with high efficacy and immediate ap- Making Guide to Protect Pollinators in
ever, for most neonicotinoid uses plicability and practicality, is the use Tree Fruit Orchards. Available for free down-
(78%), the authors identified viable of other chemical insecticides (89% load at: https://pollinator.cals.cornell.edu/
resources/grower-resources/
non-chemical alternatives. In other of cases). Particularly substitutable
words, a chemical insecticide could are those insecticides belonging to Scott McArt, an As-
be an effective substitute, or a non- previous generations of substances, sistant Professor of
chemical control measure could be such as pyrethroids and organophos- Pollinator Health,
used as an effective substitute. This phates. However, these insecticides helps run the Dyce
is an important finding since replace- come with their own risks to bees. For Lab for Honey Bee
Studies at Cornell
ment chemical insecticides oftentimes example, even though pyrethroids University in Ithaca,
come with their own risks to bees, are non-systemic insecticides (i.e., New York. He is par-
which may be greater or less than the they can’t be incorporated into plant ticularly interested
risk from neonicotinoids. tissues, including pollen and nectar, in scientific research
while neonicotinoids can), and are that can inform management decisions by
rapidly broken down in the environ- beekeepers, growers and the public.
ment compared to comparatively
Email: shm33@cornell.edu
persistent neonicotinoids, many py- Lab website: blogs.cornell.edu/mcartlab
rethroids are still highly toxic to bees. Pollinator Network: pollinator.cals.cornell.edu
They’re also well-known to synergize Facebook: facebook.com/dycelab
with several fungicides and become
even more toxic to bees (see Van Dyke
et al. 2018 for a systematic review of
this topic, including recommenda-
tions for growers).
Reducing chemical insecticide us-
age is the safest bet for bees. And
importantly, in 78% of cases, at least
one substitutable non-chemical alter-
Wireworms are secondary plant pests native was identified for a particu-
that are often targeted by neonicotinoids. lar target pest on a particular crop.

884 American Bee Journal


The Agronomist
British Oilseed Rape following
the EU Neonic Ban
Photo by Richard Rickitt

by Richard Rickitt,
Deputy Editor, BeeCraft

I
f you are a rural beekeeper, the they feel any fertilizers or treatments crop was pitiful. Only about one-third
work of your local agronomist are necessary. of the field was covered with plants,
could influence the health and For rural beekeepers, the work of many of them struggling to produce
productivity of your bees almost as agronomists is particularly relevant flowers. Tim told me that the plants
much as your own management ef- because it determines the planting here had been hit hard by cabbage
forts. Bee Craft spent a day with an of some significant bee forage plants, stem flea beetle. Pulling several plants
agronomist, discovering what his as well as the use of any potentially from the ground, he cut open their
work involves and discussing the harmful insecticides. Perhaps the stems to reveal brown hollows where
impact it can have on bees and the crop of greatest interest to beekeepers flea beetle larvae had eaten away the
environment, particularly in the is oilseed rape, a boon for many and flesh. The larvae themselves wriggled
light of the ban on neonicotinoid commercially essential for most bee from the wounds, two or three in each
pesticides. farmers, but considered a nuisance by plant we looked at.
The role of the modern agronomist others.
became established in the 1980s when botheRSome beetLeS
advances in agrochemicals, seed va- cRop waLkinG Cabbage stem flea beetle is the most
rieties and planting techniques had Tim Bullock is a professionally serious pest of oilseed rape. Attracted
become so sophisticated that most qualified and licensed agronomist by the smell, the tiny beetles migrate
farmers didn’t have the time or skills working in my beekeeping area of into fields of emerging seedlings.
to keep up with the demands of mod- Wiltshire in rural southwest Eng- The beetles feed on the shoots and
ern crop management. In 1985, the land. He currently oversees the plan- the first leaves, sometimes destroy-
Food and Environment Protection ning, planting and growing of ap-
Act introduced stringent rules about proximately 15,000 acres of crops on
the sale and use of agrochemicals. about 100 farms in north Wiltshire
The new rules created the need for and south Gloucestershire. Perhaps
agronomists — qualified and licensed unusual among agronomists, Tim is
professionals who are expert and up- also a keen hobby beekeeper — and
to-date in the safe and appropriate chairman of Swindon Beekeepers’ As-
use of agrochemicals. sociation. He is therefore well placed
Today, most farmers employ agron- to appreciate many of the issues sur-
omists to assess the quality of their rounding farming, agrochemicals and
land and design planting regimes that the environment from both sides of
rotate different crops and varieties on the argument.
a three- or four-year cycle to minimise I joined Tim as he walked the fields
disease, pests and weeds, and maxi- on several farms within a few miles of
mise productivity. These agronomists, my home. The first fields we visited
working as individuals, independent were planted with oilseed rape and
companies or in agrochemical-linked were easily within foraging range for
companies, ‘walk’ crops regularly, my own bees. Even to my untrained
checking growth, looking for prob- eye it was immediately obvious that Flea beetles: tiny but troublesome
lems and making recommendations if although the rape was flowering, the Photo: S Rae, CC Attribution 2.0

August 2019 885


ing the young plants altogether. In about larvae once they are inside the much more worrying. When a crop is
autumn, the beetles lay their eggs at plant since no conventional sprays are sprayed with insecticide, it can kill ev-
the base of the surviving plants and capable of penetrating the stem and erything in the field — that includes
the emerging larvae burrow into the killing the pest. beneficial insects like ladybirds, spi-
stem where they eat the flesh and se- ders, hoverflies, some of the life in
verely affect growth. Towards the end GRowinG painS the soil — and, of course, bees.’ Tim
of spring, the larvae leave the plants As a result of our visit, Tim decided says that the use of other potentially
and pupate in the soil. Adults emerge to recommend that the ailing oilseed damaging alternatives is also likely
in mid-summer and feed on foliage rape should be destroyed and the to increase — slug pellets to prevent
before seeking places to lay their own fields sown with maize. If the farmer seed-hollowing, for example.
eggs in the autumn. gets a good crop of maize, he might
The 2013 EU ban on using neonic- just about break even on that field this veSted inteReStS
otinoid pesticides (neonics) on flow- year — but any profit is unlikely. Tim I asked Tim if it was fair to think
ering crops has removed one of the doubted whether this farmer would that his opinions were influenced by
weapons to control flea beetles. Ap- grow oilseed rape again. Indeed, re- the way that he earned his living. “It’s
plied as a seed dressing, neonics are sults from a recent survey undertaken true that most farmers don’t pay me
absorbed by emerging seedlings so by the Association of Independent directly for looking after their crops,“
that the toxin is contained systemical- Crop Consultants in conjunction with he said. “They buy the fertilisers and
ly in their sap. Flea beetles attacking Farming Online show that 61% of treatments that I recommend and my
the young plants consume the poison growers in England are seriously con- payment comes from those sales. I
and die. Without neonics, many farm- sidering removing oilseed rape from can see why some people will think
ers now try to control flea beetles with their rotations this autumn. Most of agronomists might try to sell uneces-
conventional pyrethroid insecticides. the reductions will be in south-east sary products to farmers, but the mar-
This involves spraying the young and south-west England.* gins on growing crops are so tight that
plants with chemicals about once a It was clear that the ban on neonics farmers will never pay a penny more
week at the time the flea beetles are had contributed to the failure of the than they need to. My job is to find
thought to be attacking the young crop we were looking at, so I asked a way to get the maximum harvest
plants — usually in early autumn. Tim what he thinks about the neon- for the minimum input of expensive
The spray only works if it touches the ics ban as an agronomist and as a bee- fertilisers and treatments. The result
beetles, so more beetles can move into keeper. ‘I admit there are definitely is shown on the bottom line, and if
the field immediately after spraying problems with neonicotinoids,’ he farmers think I am costing them too
and continue to cause damage. This said, ‘but having objectively looked much, they will simply go elsewhere.“
treatment is likely to enable a crop very hard at the data, I am not con- Tim was also keen to point out that
of rape to get off to a reasonable start vinced that they were quite as bad he does not have ties with specific
but, because many flea beetles are as many people think. Science does agrochemical companies and is free
now resistant to conventional sprays, come into it, but a lot of it comes to recommend the products that he
some crop damage is inevitable. down to politics. My main concern is considers to be the safest and most
The field we visited had been that I don’t think the alternatives to cost-effective, from whatever source.
sprayed twice the previous autumn, neonics are any better [for bees]. The
but flea beetles had nonetheless man- ban has already led to the increased aLteRnativeS
aged to attack much of the crop. Tim use of non-selective broad-spectrum I asked Tim what farmers are likely
explained that nothing can be done insecticides. As a beekeeper, I find this to grow as an alternative to oilseed
rape. “Rape is important as a break
crop,“ he explained. “That means it
is used in a field every three to four
years as an alternative to cereals in
order to prevent the build-up of pests
and diseases. If farmers decide not to
use oilseed rape, they might use peas
or beans, which will certainly be of
some benefit to bees and beekeepers.
They might also use maize, linseed,
sugar beet or grass — none of which
is particularly beneficial to bees. It
would be nice if they could all grow
borage, but there isn’t much of a mar-
ket for it.“
Whatever alternatives farmers
grow, most will still require various
insecticide sprays. Flowering field
beans, for example, may need to be
sprayed for bruchid beetle, which lays
its eggs in the developing pod, the lar-
vae then feeding on the young beans.
This field should have been dense with flowering oilseed rape. Instead, the failing crop Using conventional insecticide
is due to be ploughed in. sprays increases risk of the large-

886 American Bee Journal


we still be selling much of our malt-
ing barley to Germany, or our field
beans to North Africa? Then there
will be whatever changes are made
to the way farmers receive payments
from the government. At the moment,
it looks likely that they will be paid
money for participation in steward-
ship schemes which reward envi-
ronmental benefits rather than food
production — so the future, for bees
at least, might be an improved one.”

aGRonomy aunt
Tim made a final request of bee-
keepers in rural areas. ‘“Talk to your
local farmers and find out who their
agronomist is. They will be happy to
talk to you and discuss their plans
and procedures. They will be glad to
find out where local bees are kept and
An oilseed rape stem sliced in half reveals the damage done by flea beetle larvae. it should be the start of a positive, mu-
tually beneficial relationship.”
scale poisoning of bees and other non- brassica attractive to flea beetles. Both
target insects. Part of Tim’s job is to the mustard and the rape would be at- RefeRence
ensure this is avoided. “Insecticides tacked by flea beetles, but by applying *Clarke, P (April 2019). Oilseed rape area to
should be applied in the early morn- a selective herbicide that kills only the shrink as growers weigh up alternatives.
Farmers Weekly online. https://tinyurl.
ing or evening when bees are not fly- mustard, the remaining rape, by the com/yy3kecvx
ing,“ he said. “It’s my job to make all law of averages, might not be so heav-
farmers that I work with very aware ily infested with flea beetle larvae. ABJ thanks Bee Craft, The Informed
of the importance of spraying at the Voice of British Beekeeping (www.
right time and in the right conditions. hiGh StakeS GambLeRS bee-craft.com) for permission to re-
To be fair, these days the vast major- Until effective solutions are found, print this article from its June 2019
ity of farmers fully understand the growing oilseed rape will remain a issue.
importance of pollinators and what risky proposition — but perhaps one
they need to do to protect them. After that some farmers are prepared to
all, it’s in their own interests because risk. “Farmers are the biggest gam-
properly pollinated crops are worth blers you will ever meet,” said Tim.
more money. Fortunately, the instanc- “Every time they plant a crop, they
es of honey bee pesticide poisoning are taking a massive gamble, and the
are vanishingly rare.“ gains or losses can be financially sig-
Tim explained that, despite the dif- nificant. My job is to minimise risks
ficulties, many farmers are reluctant and try to remove some of the uncer-
to give up growing oilseed rape be- tainty. For me, neonics were the best
cause it is one of the few crops that way to remove uncertainty — they
is potentially very profitable. Good made flea beetle damage almost in-
crops of oilseed rape are still possible significant. Without neonics we can
and, to prove the point, we visited an- find new ways to grow crops, but
other field only about a mile from the none of them are without a higher el-
first. Here the rape was clearly in good ement of risk.”
health and the fluorescent-yellow
flowers were being keenly worked by unceRtain futuReS
bees of various sorts. This crop had re- Talking of the future, I asked Tim
ceived the same insecticide treatments what he thought Brexit might mean
as the first — the only difference being for farmers. “At the moment we really
that the field had been spread with pig don’t know what the future holds —
manure shortly before planting. “Pig even in the next year or so,” he said.
manure is particularly smelly, and I “Agriculture is all about planning —
suspect that it was strong enough to sometimes three or four years ahead.
disguise the smell of the young seed- Many farmers pre-sell their crops a
lings and reduce the attraction to flea year or two before they have even
beetles,“ said Tim. “It might be that in been planted – it gives them the capi-
the future some sort of smell deterrent tal with which they are going to gam-
can be developed to protect young ble. But at the moment we don’t know
crops.“ Another idea is to sow oilseed how Brexit might affect our relation-
rape mixed with mustard — another ship with international markets. Will

August 2019 887


SCIENCE INSIDER

Leveraging Hormones
to Fight the Mite
By Alison McAfee

A pupa is more than just a food source for varroa — it supplies the mite
with vital hormones. And when the supply is cut off, the mite can no longer
reproduce.

H
ormones control everything honey bee brood can suppress mite mated her with a single drone from
from our mood to our sex reproduction, and this helps keep the a varroa-susceptible colony. Half the
drive, sleep patterns, and hun- mite population from growing out of genes of her progeny would therefore
ger. Without these chemical messen- control. Last spring, the authors pub- come from the varroa-resistant colo-
gers, our day-to-day lives would be lished a new study in Molecular Ecol- ny, and the other half from a varroa-
fundamentally altered: Think, for ex- ogy describing mutations in a third susceptible colony. Conlon and his
ample, of life after menopause, when ecdysone-linked honey bee gene colleagues then used her to re-queen
the female sex hormones (estrogen (mblk-1) that is also linked to innate a varroa-riddled hive, and waited for
and progesterone) plummet. This resistance to varroa.2 “We identified her to lay drones.
drop in just two of the approximately a different genetic basis for the same Drones are especially useful in hon-
fifty different hormones that dictate trait in two independently evolved ey bee genetics studies because they
our lives comes with weight gain, populations of varroa-resistant hon- have only one set of chromosomes
hot flashes, changes in mood, and in- ey bees,” says Conlon. And it looks and no fathers. Their genotype is
creased risk of diseases like osteopo- like these traits could share the same therefore entirely dictated by which
rosis and breast cancer. Like most ani- physiological pathway. “This shows set of chromosomes they get from the
mals, we regulate our own hormones; the power of natural selection to de- queen. So in this case, approximately
that is, our cells produce and degrade velop different solutions to the same half the drones should exhibit the
our own hormones as needed. But not problem.” resistance gene(s). In the first study,
every animal is so lucky. The researchers began their study Conlon and his colleagues painstak-
Varroa is one of the unlucky ones. by investigating the genetics of a ingly uncapped hundreds of drone
The mites need hormones too, but single colony with a specific pedi- cells, looking for those that contained
they can’t synthesize everything they gree. Starting with a queen who was a foundress mite but no offspring, de-
need. Instead, varroa is entirely de- the daughter of a naturally selected, spite having had ample time to start
pendent on honey bee pupae to sup- varroa-resistant queen from Gotland laying eggs (the ‘resistant’ drones).
ply it with one hormone, ecdysone, Island, Sweden, they instrumentally They sequenced the genomes of 40
which it needs to initiate oviposition.
Eons ago, varroa lost the ability to
make its own ecdysone — the mite’s
genome is missing some of the key
genes it would need for ecdysone
biosynthesis — despite it being essen-
tial for the mite’s own reproduction.
Without it, a foundress can still in-
vade a honey bee brood cell, but can’t
lay eggs and start a family.
Last year, Dr. Benjamin Conlon and
his colleagues at the Martin-Luther-
University, Germany, discovered that
mutations in some honey bee genes
are tightly linked to innate resistance
to varroa.1 The genes (phantom and cy-
p18a1) are involved in regulating ec-
dysone production and degradation.
The idea is that by cutting off or dis- John Kefuss, one of the study’s coauthors, working in his apiary to remove drone
rupting the supply of ecdysone, the brood frames and cage bees for the study. Photo by Benjamin Conlon.

August 2019 891


In the past decade, a lot of research
has focused on the genetic basis of
varroa-resistance behaviours, like
varroa-sensitive hygiene, hygienic
behaviour, and grooming. Compara-
tively little attention has been given
to innate, or brood-based resistance
to the mite. Perhaps this is because
it is difficult to distinguish between
a mite failing to reproduce because
of innate resistance of the brood, like
the disruption in ecdysone signal-
ling found by Conlon, and because
the workers have uncapped and re-
capped the cell (which can achieve
the same outcome). Perhaps it is be-
cause we don’t have an elite name for
it, like we do for VSH. Whatever the
reason, it means that so far we have
been looking at an incomplete picture
of mite-resistance mechanisms, and
only at the most complex ones, at that.
Unlike the innate resistance mech-
anisms identified by Conlon et al.,
Benjamin Conlon and his colleagues uncapped hundreds of drone cells to find mite- varroa-resistance behaviours are
resistant and mite-susceptible drones. Photo by John Kefuss. governed by complicated genetics
involving many different genes. And
such drones and 40 that had bus- bees still need to be able to pupate to typically, there is little consensus on
tling mite families (the ‘susceptible’ survive, and if they shut down ecdy- what genes, or what combinations of
drones) to look for the genetic basis sone production entirely, the colony genes, are the ultimate dictators. The
of suppressing mite reproduction. In would quickly perish. There is a fine more tests we do, the more it looks
their second study, they used a simi- balance between disrupting ecdy- like different genetic variations could
lar approach but using an unrelated sone pathways enough to inhibit var- be giving rise to the same resistance
varroa resistant colony (from Tou- roa reproduction, but not enough to behaviour in different populations.
louse, France) and more advanced compromise brood development or In concept, this is similar to how
genome sequencing technology. adult fitness, and we don’t yet know the varroa-resistant bees from Tou-
Both of these studies showed that exactly where that balance lies. But louse had mutations in a different
ecdysone-linked genes underlie the fact that mutations in ecdysone- ecdysone-linked gene compared to
varroa resistance. Normally, after linked genes have arisen in multiple the bees from Gotland (yet achieved
a would-be mother mite invades a naturally-selected varroa-resistant similar innate resistance) but with
brood cell, she begins to feed on the populations strongly suggests that at many more genes involved. The com-
brood, ingesting ecdysone along with least in some cases, the benefit out- plexity makes most behavioral re-
other nutrients and proteins from the weighs the consequences. According sistance traits difficult to selectively
bee. The brood is her sole source of to Conlon, honey bees with disrupt- breed for based on genetic markers.
ecdysone, and soon after feeding she ed ecdysone pathways might have And the complexity of the behavioral
starts synthesizing yolk proteins (vi- reduced body size, adult weight, or mechanism(s) also makes it virtually
tellogenin), her ovaries activate, and flying ability. “However, I would ex- impossible to ever genetically engi-
she begins laying eggs. But in these pect the fitness costs to be lower than neer a VSH or hygienic queen. But,
two colonies from genetically dis- the cost of varroa parasitism,” Con- for better or worse, the simplicity of
tinct populations, Conlon et al. found lon says. the newly-discovered mutations in
mutations in ecdysone-linked en- It is too early to tell, but it is pos- ecdysone-linked genes, and the in-
zymes. The exact mechanism hasn’t sible that the discoveries made by nate resistance they apparently con-
been confirmed, but the researchers Conlon and his colleagues could fer, makes them prime targets for ge-
suspect that the mutations disrupt eventually lead to improved methods netic engineering.
normal ecdysone signalling by either of varroa management. For example, Modern genetic engineering tech-
reducing the amount, changing the once we know more about the mecha- nology, like CRISPR — the same tech-
timing of production, or changing the nism behind how hormone synthesis nique researchers previously used to
abundance or function of other ec- and signalling is disrupted in the re- change the sex of honey bees in the
dysone-linked proteins that the mite sistant bees, we might be able to de- lab3 — could be used to give suscep-
needs to acquire. vise hormone-based varroa control tible colonies the exact same muta-
But this innate resistance likely to disrupt that signalling ourselves. tions that Conlon and his colleagues
comes with a cost. In honey bees, It is not clear yet how such a prod- discovered in the naturally-selected
ecdysone does not initiate oviposi- uct would work, as it would have to varroa-resistant colonies. Conlon has
tion; rather, it is a molting hormone somehow leave the brood unscathed, since moved to a different lab and
that is necessary for metamorphosis but it is fun to ponder (think: varroa says that’s not something that he’s
from larva to pupa. Clearly, honey birth control for bees). working on, but someone else could.

892 American Bee Journal


Genetic engineering technology is not
ready for commercial honey bee ap-
plications, but some researchers think
it will be in the coming decades. If it
is, it might be possible to produce the
same mutations that took decades to
achieve naturally. For now, it is far
more difficult to introduce genetic
changes into the honey bee germ cells
(eggs or sperm) than it is to selective-
ly breed resistance, which is already
an extremely laborious task. But it
may not always be, and at that time,
we could be given a choice between
buying queens with lab-based, innate
resistance and dosing our colonies
with miticides.
Ethics aside, I am skeptical that we
will ever need to make that choice. I
think it’s likely that we could have
colonies with engineered disease-re-
sistance in the future, but will it ever
be economical? Probably not. I doubt
that the cost of an engineered queen
will ever reach the point where it’s
financially feasible for beekeepers.
And like other genetically engineered
stock, it would take control away
from traditional queen producers and
would probably be incompatible with
maintaining locally-adapted stock.
But it is something to chew on, and
give some serious consideration be-
fore the time comes.
“Selection is a process of elimina-
tion,” John Kefuss, one of the study’s
coauthors, reminds us. “Beekeepers
should re-queen mite infested colo-
nies with virgin queens from their
own colonies that have high honey
production and low mite levels. Let
them naturally mate.”

RefeRenceS:
1. Conlon B, et al. (2018). The role of epistat-
ic interactions underpinning resistance to
parasitic Varroa mites in haploid honey
bee (Apis mellifera) drones. Journal of Evo-
lutionary Biology. 31:801-9.
2. Conlon B, et al. (2019). A gene for resis-
tance to the Varroa mite (Acari) in honey
bee (Apis mellifera) pupae. Molecular Ecol-
ogy. DOI: 10.1111/mec.15080
3. McAfee A. (2019). Sex-switching honey
bees. American Bee Journal. 159(5).

Alison McAfee has a


PhD in genome science
and technology from
the University of Brit-
ish Columbia, where
she studied mecha-
nisms of hygienic be-
haviour in honey bees.
She is now a post-doc
at North Carolina State University in David
Tarpy’s lab, and studies what keeps honey
bee sperm alive.
Email her at alison.n.mcafee@gmail.com.

August 2019 893


W
e see very little of what oc-
curs in our apiaries. Dur-
ing hive inspections, we
glimpse some of the inner workings
of the colonies. Around our hives, we
do not see much either. At night, we
witness even less.
All of my apiaries are at rural loca-
tions. Two apiaries are even by wild-
life trails, upping the critter traffic, in
addition to the variety of them. Night
brings numerous small animals to my
apiaries, scavenging for dead bees.
Or maybe they just pass through as
chance encounters. How do I know?
Game cameras.
Fig. 1 The hawk and the hives. These game-camera photographs serve as important
Although game cameras do not
examples that our managed honey bee colonies are part of a larger ecosystem of
record everything, they can photo- animals and plants, as are we.
graph wildlife coming around hives.
These motion-activated cameras take
pictures day and night, which could
be just heavy rain or the wind mov-
ing vegetation to a sprinting coyote
running through the apiary. While
game cameras are typically used to
photograph large animals like deer
and bears out in a field, I use them for
smaller critters in the apiary like pos-
sums, even mice.
With game cameras in all of my api-
aries, I had accumulated over 60,000
photographs by the time I published
my book Top-Bar Hive Beekeeping: Wis-
dom and Pleasure Combined (in 2012).
From all those thousands of photo-
graphs, hundreds were good. From
them, several were exceptional. I put
about a dozen game camera pictures Fig. 2 The fawn and the bees. Not having all of a rare subject in the scene is generally
in the book. Of course that left a slew an acceptable composition, according to my game-camera philosophy. Recently, lo-
of others, just as compelling, stored cal deer hunters have been complaining about fewer deer. While I could not offer any
away where hardly anyone could see first-hand experience, I told them something they never considered. It came from a
them. So let’s enjoy another selec- scientific research paper I ran across several years ago, describing the problems with
tion of pictures, each coming with its deer population growth. One factor reducing deer populations concerned the mother
own story. There is no telling what deer having difficulty hiding their fawns from predators because of more intensive land
we will learn along the way. I also use. So with deer or bees or numerous other animals experiencing alarming declines,
include some technical comments for what is occurring is a general wildlife problem partly due to habitat destruction.

August 2019 895


beekeepers wanting to explore game
camera use in their apiaries.
Beginning in the daytime, one of
my favorite photographs is a stern-
looking hawk before a row of top-bar
hives (see Figure 1). From the series
of photographs shot moments before
this one, apparently the hawk had just
flown down and pounced on some-
thing in the grass. While the camera
reset itself, the hawk flew off. So far
the hawk has appeared only once on
camera, although I see them patrol-
ling around my apiaries.
Another chance encounter had a
fawn appearing startled by buzzing
from my hives. Anticipating smaller
animals, low on the ground, I had
Fig. 3 A wild turkey on the move right through my apiary. This bird is extremely per- the camera aiming downward, using
ceptive and moves silently in the woods. the entrances of Hive 44 in the top of
the picture. The fawn is a little taller.
While the photograph did not include
the top of the little deer’s head, you
can tell the bees have captured the
creature’s attention (see Figure 2). I
have other deer pictures, which are
like the common pictures seen with
these cameras, but not one with a little
fawn, or rather most of one.
For the next picture, a wildlife trail
ran though this apiary and led to a
break in the wood line by the hives.
Except for the break, a thick border
of brush overgrew an old wire fence
separating an old-growth forest from
the adjacent farm field. The trail tend-
ed to funnel wildlife through the api-
ary. Occasionally wild turkeys passed
by, typically hens with their young.
Their rapid twitchy movements usu-
Fig. 4 A back-glancing beaver near my beehives. Note its broad flat tail. The beaver
was not making repeated runs dragging branches. Rather it just wandered through ally came out as blurs in the pictures,
this apiary only once. Beavers dam creeks to build their lodges, which flood the low except for this one (see Figure 3).
lands, forming ponds. Changing creek segments into ponds has a dramatic effect on At night, game cameras photograph
the local ecology. with infrared light, a light invisible
to us and to various animals (an as-
sumption). The camera converts the
infrared light into the shades of gray
seen in the pictures. Infrared light is
a better illumination compared to
a burst of white (visible) light from
a typical camera with a flash. That
would startle a nocturnal animal.
However, the camera can set off a
big burst of infrared light to illumi-
nate deer out in a field, a typical use.
With the camera in a more confined
apiary, that could be too much light,
causing overexposed photographs.
Like its visible light counterpart,
over exposure with infrared light is
a washed-out place on the picture;
too much can ruin the entire image.
Fig. 5 Rambunctious raccoons frolic under the hives. These little fur balls scamper I set back the camera from vegeta-
about, chasing each other in a confusing game of raccoon tag, pounce, and wrestle- tion, tree trunks, hives, etc. Also re-
roll all around. Like masked squirrels, they climb my hive stands with unending frenetic flective glare comes from the animals
energy. Bewildered, I wonder — are my apiaries only to provide them — playgrounds? too. For example, generally, foxes are

896 American Bee Journal


more reflective than skunks. So near
the camera, a fox (red or gray in my
area) might give too much glare, but
a black skunk would not.
(When using game cameras for
apiary surveillance concerning hive
theft, I set back the cameras farther
to see more hives, including my bee
truck to make sure a vehicle fits in the
pictures. So far as I have seen, license
plates are extremely reflective in in-
frared light. The plates reproduce as
white blanks, providing no informa-
tion. I wonder though, if the flash
were weak (from low batteries or by
covering some of the flash unit on the
Fig. 6 Possum makes a selfie. I set my cameras low to the ground to see small animals
camera), the license plate information
on their level. Although the camera is in a shelter (a one-foot long top-bar nuc box),
might show through the remaining
windy rain still manages to spatter dirt on the lens. That requires checking all the
glare off the plate.) cameras in the apiaries and carefully cleaning contaminated lenses (without scratch-
Once I saw drag marks through one ing them), more travel and tedious work. The extra special payoffs come when by
of my apiaries way out in the woods. chance two companion cameras fire simultaneously. From overlapping the aims of
The marks were multiple little paral- two or more cameras (the aims checked with lasers), light flashes from different loca-
lel grooves in the dirt, going toward tions create more depth, texture, and shadows. (With a typical single flash of a regular
the creek line in one direction. I infrared image, the lighting remains rather flat.)
tracked the marks in the other direc-
tion. They led to a mid-size tree, fall- in water kept on the bee truck. I try sum apparently attracted to a camera
en to the ground, gnawed off at the to reduce the scent from my hands, as it fired off a burst of infrared light.
stump. Nearby other tree trunks were which could attract curious animals Remarkably, the camera that took the
partly chewed. I knew the loggers at to the cameras. Since the camera po- picture (Figure 6) fired at the same
this job site –– beavers. They were sitions are low to record smaller ani- time. The other picture (like Figure
cutting off the smaller limbs from the mals, I need to be especially careful 7) comes out better when the batter-
downed trees and dragging them to about inadvertently scent marking ies are weak, limiting the flash, so the
their beaver pond up the creek. The the cameras. Figure 6 shows a pos- image is not overexposed.
beavers were using my apiary as part
of their path to the water. Getting to
know my beaver neighbors had hap-
pened before I delved into game cam-
eras. My main concern with beavers
is that they do not fell a tree on my
hives. I never realized the cameras
would record a beaver near my hives
until one wandered through another
apiary one night (see Figure 4).
On several occasions a family of rac-
coons, mother and siblings, has visited
my apiaries. Mother raccoons are seri-
ous, watchful, and cautious. The kids
are curious, carefree, and playful. With
stealth, the camera records snippets of
their family life, normally never seen
out in the dark woods late at night
(see Figure 5). Under Hive 134 and
another, its front plastered thick with
bees, three young raccoons play with-
out any concern of danger. As a blur
of fur, one young raccoon bolts off to
the left. Over to the right, a little hunt-
er has plopped down on the ground,
momentarily content with its elusive
prey. It looks like an old acorn. The Fig. 7 Possum’s first infrared selfie. The occasion was so memorable. I remember it like
middle raccoon might have chased it was yesterday. It was summer, out in the woods, and it was dark. I can tell individual
after its sibling, but it seems charmed possums by the (light/dark) pigmentation patterns near the edges of their ears. Some-
by the acorn. Mother raccoon forages times the edges of their ears have identifying notches (damage). Even though this
diligently behind her family. possum is slightly out of focus (too close to the camera’s fixed focus lens), notice the
Right before I set out the cameras, I white along the upper edge of the ear. From these identifications, I found some pos-
wash my hands, or at least rinse them sums were fairly regular apiary visitors while others were drifters, just passing though.

August 2019 897


Figure 8 shows a raccoon up close.
Fig. 8 Close enough
for a sniff. A raccoon Before my hand-washing rule I would
comes after my cam- see a picture like this one, followed by
era. It was not what a picture full of tree leaves. The cam-
I had in mind when era pointed straight up. Next came
imagining game- a uniform grainy blur, reminiscent
camera surveillance of dirt. The camera pointed straight
of my apiaries. But down. Then more tree leaves. Fol-
if you ever got one lowed by dirt! Leaves! Dirt! Leaves!
of these pictures, it The crazy raccoon had been batting
would make a surpris- my $150 camera around in the apiary.
ing addition to a bee That explained why I found the cam-
club newsletter. On era off its stand, and half way across
the other hand, having the apiary. Another time I found a
critters “handling” camera on its side, knocked off its
expensive cameras stand in a shelter (originally as in Fig-
is unnerving. ure 6). The camera lens aimed across
the apiary. The last photograph was a
big black snake crawling away.
Now let’s delve into a couple of
special effects created by nature, not
me. We know foraging is a danger-
ous occupation for bees. Game cam-
eras reveal that danger in a more in-
timate way. I had a camera aimed at
the end of a row of hives because test
shots showed vegetation movement,
suggesting animal traffic to a swamp
near the hives. That night a possum
scampered by, just within sensor
depth, triggering the camera to fire
with strange results. Blurry strands
hung down over the camera lens. A
spider had tried to begin building a
web over the camera. Apparently her
web construction did not work this
Fig. 9 Strange effects, spider web strands draping down over a game camera lens. time (see Figure 9). I have seen these
These strands appeared and then disappeared all in one night. They may have been
initial webs disappear or become
the beginnings of a new web, and the spider moved to another location. Sometimes
the spider finished her web, which remained over the lens. I have seen other lens
well-constructed trapping structures
obstructions. Once a bug stood right in front of the lens exactly when its companion over the cameras. The diffuse bright
camera took pictures of some rare animal in a bee yard. And related to that, I had one spots on the blurry strands are tiny
camera photograph some occurrence while its companion camera did not trigger at drops of dew.
all. One camera cannot reveal what was missed. For that analysis, you need more When I collect photographs for a
than one camera. Therefore be careful about stating what did not happen from game particular session, I either gather up
camera omissions. all of the cameras, or swap out about
half of the cameras, taking in the ones
needing service, and replacing them
with the other half ready for surveil-
lance work. After downloading the
photographs from numerous cameras
to the computer, another long tiring
job begins.
I sort through thousands and thou-
sands of photographs deleting scads
of the duds, which resulted from the
automated triggering. Before discard-
ing a photograph, I inspect each one
to make sure it does not contain any
subtle content that might be impor-
tant. Hours and hours of photo de-
leting drag by. When my head starts
hurting, I just need to stop for a while,
instead of trying to finish. The sur-
Fig. 10 An infrared morning in a top-bar hive apiary. This scene is how the camera took prising photographs, shared above,
the picture — no post processing to change the grey levels. I just cropped off the data definitely break up the monotonous
strip. I have similar photographs, all lit up, taken near sunset too. tedium. The last photograph, which

898 American Bee Journal


I did not anticipate at all, was a big triggered the camera? Look at the man activity too). By day or by night,
surprise! lower right corner. A little chipmunk you really do not know what is going
In dim visible light (probably at happened to hop by at the right time. on around your hives until you look.
some particular intensity), along I know chipmunks eat dead bees be- Sometimes the results are surprising,
with a critter to trigger the camera, cause I have game-camera test shots of and not necessarily bad.
magically all of the picture –– lights them stuffing dead drones into their
up! All by itself. No far away dark- mouth pouches. So I doubt the little acknowLedGmentS
ness. No murky dark corners. Look at critter was out only collecting seeds. The author thanks Suzanne Sumner
Figure 10. Maybe the chipmunk was making its for her comments on the manuscript.
Incredibly, it seems like all the light morning rounds foraging on freshly Visit TBHSbyWAM.com and Bee-
came from the infrared flash on the removed dead bees under the hives. ChildtheBook.com
camera. But no! That could not hap- Besides surveillance to record in-
pen. Some parts of the scene are too criminating evidence leading to
far away. The distant trees across the convictions for hive theft or vandal- Dr. Wyatt Mangum,
author of Top-Bar Hive
field are a quarter mile away. The sky ism, game cameras have given me a
Beekeeping: Wisdom
is lit by the dawn –– not the camera. greater appreciation of the wildlife and Pleasure Com-
In the eerie infrared stillness, what activity around my hives (and the hu- bined, is an internation-
ally known top-bar hive
beekeeper, who started
keeping bees at age 10.
He switched all his colonies to top-bar hives
back in 1986, long before it became popular.
He is also an apicultural historian, who blends
his knowledge of beekeeping history with his
study of honey bee behavior. email: wmangum
@umw.edu. www.TBHSbyWAM.com

August 2019 899


900 American Bee Journal
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902 American Bee Journal


Beekeeping with
a Disability

by WILLIAM BLOMSTEDT Jadranka Luketa-MarkoviČ and Krešomir Caba evaluating a hive

B
eekeeping can cut through a Slovene project which brings bee- orbit. On this trip he asked me to join
boundaries. Usually I write keeping to a group of people with him on a few meetings he had ar-
about this in the international physical and mental disabilities, and ranged around the general theme of
sense — from country to country and a Croatian beekeeper in a wheelchair “Beekeeping with a Disability.”
culture to culture, how honey bees who advocates for beekeeping with We convened in the parking lot of
interest and inspire people across the the elderly, physically disabled, and the town’s “Custodial Working Cen-
world. Recently I have been exposed just about everyone else. ter” (VDC) — a publicly funded orga-
to a different set of boundaries that One morning in late March, on one nization where people with certified
beekeeping can cross — social and of the first days the cherry blossoms “invalid” status spend their days in
physical ones. Someone with a dis- opened to the sun, I met Mark Simo- employment. In Slovenia, if you are
ability — physical, mental or both nitsch in Črnomelj, Slovenia. Mark is born with Down syndrome, autism,
— can still be a beekeeper. Indeed, a retired fisherman-turned-beekeeper Asperger’s, or another severe disor-
one of the most important figures in from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I met der, you are granted a small stipend
apicultural history, François Huber, Mark here a few years ago: He trav- and given access to facilities like this:
was completely blind. With the right els to Slovenia frequently to visit his Members arrive every working day
kind of support, all it takes is a keen great-grandfather’s homeland and to partake in activities like paint-
interest and openness to develop a re- spend time with his cousins. An in- ing pictures, sewing stuffed animals,
lationship with honey bees. quisitive fellow, full of plans and pas- sculpting clay, and screen-printing
This article looks at two different sionate about honey bees, he has easi- T-shirts which are either sold in their
scenarios I visited earlier this year: ly slipped into the Slovene beekeeping small shop, or ordered (in the case of
T-shirts) by local businesses. The cen-
ter has around 50 members from ages
18-70. Most live at home and bus in
every day, while around a dozen live
full-time in a nearby residency.
We were joined by Dušan
MilinkoviČ, the president of
Črnomelj’s beekeeper association,
and Matjaz Kolbezen, a local beekeep-
er and our energetic translator. Head-
ing inside the center, we met Zdenka
Vrlinič, the director, who ushered us
into a small conference room and pre-
sented us with a “pogača” — a bread
traditional to the area, the size of a
pizza, checkered like a chess board
with each square decorated with ei-
ther a piece of salty cheese or bacon.
Director Zdenka held the pogača as
we each grabbed a handful: the act of
breaking bread as a greeting.
Why were we here? Mark had once
visited the center on an apicultural
Homemade goods for sale in the lobby of the VDC tour of Slovenia: Črnomelj’s VDC was

August 2019 903


derstanding due to exposure: Driv- tor checked everyone for allergies.
ing around Slovenia, one can see a Dušan began coming once a week for
bee-house in a field or back yard ev- an hour or so, and a normal bee year
ery few minutes. Dušan’s suggestion unfolded: In the summer they suited
also struck a chord with one of VDC’s up and opened the hives to learn
goals, which they emphasized to me practical beekeeping skills, while in
multiple times: “How do we make the winter they had lectures or did
our members feel like they are part of the typical indoor chores.
the community?” VDC searches for The results have been uniformly
activities which are connected to peo- positive. Over the seven seasons, the
ple in the region. Beekeeping seemed members have shown great interest
like a good fit. and seem very satisfied with their
My new favorite bee pillow During the first meeting, Zdenka new hobby. One member convinced
agreed with Dušan “in a very posi- a friend to join, expanding the group
the first in the country to introduce tive way.” This was in February 2012. to eight, which Dušan told us was a
a beekeeping club to its members. The following month, Dušan gave a good number: With more, it might
The endeavor started with a simple presentation on honey bees to VDC’s be too crowded. The families of these
thought from Dušan: “What else can members. At the end, Dušan made an members also are pleased that their
I do for my community?” An engi- offer — if any of them were interest- loved ones have found interest in
neer by trade, a beekeeper by heart, ed, he would start a beekeeping club. something. By now most members
he wanted to use his skills and experi- This was an important step: He did of the bee club can take a frame out
ence to give back to his home. At first, not line up all 50 people, veil them, of a hive by themselves, and during
he thought about starting a honey bee and march out to look in some hives. extraction the previous year they
education program at a drug rehab All the center’s members are adults were experienced enough that Dušan
center in an adjoining country, but and able to make their own decisions. didn’t have to help — he merely su-
then decided to look for something Dušan merely asked: Who wants to pervised. Also, Zdenka told us it
closer. Dušan approached the VDC learn more? Seven of the members was not uncommon for a few of the
and proposed the idea to Zdenka: stepped up: five men and two wom- people who lived at the center to sit
What if we teach the members of the en, only one of which had previous by the hives in their spare time and
center about bees? What if we teach experience with bees. By mid-April, watch the bees.
them about beekeeping? they got their first two hives, donated Of course, it is impossible to be
That Zdenka didn’t immediately by the Črnomelj beekeeper’s asso- a beekeeper without the occasional
show him out of the office is a testa- ciation, which they put in a field be- sting. At the start, Dušan brought the
ment to the respect Slovenes have tween the center and the residency. gentlest stock he could find and has
for the honey bee: The country has a Even for bee-friendly Slovenia, this kept a critical eye on it. Despite the
strong apicultural history and prob- was a very new idea — they had no members often not wearing gloves,
ably the highest beekeeper-per-capita guidelines or previous experience. only three stings have occurred in
ratio in the world. Zdenka was not a Dušan started slowly and with pa- the seven years. During one of the
beekeeper herself, but like most Slo- tience. He taught the club about the stinging incidents, the victim began
venes she had a decent level of un- possibility of stinging, and a doc- wailing in surprise and pain. Dušan,
worried at her distress and how it
might affect others, tried to move her
away from the hive. This turned into
an accidental hug, which caused the
woman to stop crying and calm down
— the shock alleviated by simple hu-
man touch.
Though it’s a positive story, it cer-
tainly hasn’t been easy. Working
on such a project requires “a spe-
cial energy,” and all activities move
very slowly: “There are no results at
night,” Matjaz, the translator, told
me. (“Overnight?” I asked.) The
members under thirty have a much
better learning ability and can retain
information, while those older ask
the same questions over and again,
week after week. A heroic amount of
patience is required.
After we talked ourselves dry, di-
rector Zdenka took us on a tour of the
center. We went from room to room,
meeting the members and seeing the
different activities in action: painting
The center’s small čebelnjak (bee house) with two Langstroth hives landscapes, painting bee front boards

904 American Bee Journal


(another special Slovene tradition, see
Blomstedt 20111), sewing stuffed ani-
mals, making prints, shaping clay. It
was the end of the workday, so they
were wrapping up their work and
moving toward the entryway to wait
for the bus. In the center’s foyer stood
a display with their crafts for sale,
many of which were bee-related. I
purchased an adorable bee-pillow,
which I treasure greatly and has found
a permanent home on my couch.
Though I only spent a few hours
there, I could see what Dušan meant
when he said the cooperation was
hard work, and took much more ef-
fort than he expected, but that he is
very satisfied. For the members of
the VDC, who have been dealt such
a poor hand in life, it was inspiring to
see that they had such fair and kind
treatment, and that bees have spurred
an interest and enjoyment in them. If
one of the main goals of the center is
to let these people know they are a A row of AŽ hives, the hive type popular to this region
part of the society, Dušan and Zdenka
have taken an important risk, and met and fell in love with the late Dr. “Bio-ecological inclusive first-hand
succeeded. There is a saying here: “To Zvonimir Šver — a renowned Croa- urban beekeeping training,” is a col-
be Slovenian is to be a beekeeper.” I tian professor, veterinarian and bee- lective — hive — of around 50 vol-
don’t think they could have found a keeper. He introduced Jadranka, an unteers — workers — with Jadranka
better activity. avid animal lover, to honey bees and as the heart and soul — queen. That
this changed her life. She left her job morning at “Bar Hedgehog” we were
For our next outing, I met Mark in as an editor in the publishing indus- joined by six other members of Bingo:
the parking lot of a pizzeria on the try and instead dedicated herself to Ms. Ružica Pisk, who when she was
Sava river in eastern Slovenia. It was bees, beekeeping, disability, elderli- young had honey bees, but now lived
a cool April morning, one that threat- ness and therapy: “(topics that) are in the elderly home with Jadranka;
ened showers later in the day, but un- quite strange and unpopular among Ms. Martina and Mr. Krešimir Caba, a
der speckled sunshine we drove the the wider population,” as she writes married couple who run 150 colonies
25 miles across the Croatian border, to in her biography/manual: Beekeeping and make comb honey profession-
Zagreb where we would meet Jadran- as Inclusive Therapy. ally; Mr. Mladen, who sells packages
ka Luketa-Marković. The therapy she refers to includes
We found Jadranka at “Bar Hedge- various physical apitherapies when
hog,” near the Agronomy Faculty at using propolis and venom, but also
the edge of Zagreb’s large city park. extends into the psychological realm:
Jadranka is reaching the elderly stage “I myself experienced this ‘utopia’
of life, yet still has a sly smile, vivid of the beneficial effect of lingering in
blue eye-shadow and is buzzing with the apiary, spending time with bees,
energy. She is also in a wheelchair. beekeeping as a physical activity and
“This is the first thing everyone sees,” socializing with people who share
she told us through her friend and similar interests. … Thanks to bee-
translator, Hrvoje Pavlić. “Everyone keeping, my wealth, health and quali-
looks at you like you have a prob- ty of life have immeasurably changed
lem.” Jadranka has partial paralysis for the better. I have also noticed the
of both legs, a disability both she and same positive therapeutic effects in
her brother inherited from her father. other people. …” I think anyone who
It is a progressive disease, mean- cares about bees will agree with this
ing that she could walk and run as a statement.
child, but over time her capability has Today, this collection of passions
diminished and now she is mainly manifests itself in the form of Bingo.
confined to her electric chair. Earlier in the week, when Jadranka
Jadranka has one of the strongest wrote us an invitation to meet her
cases of “bee fever” I have ever seen. “Bingo group,” I at first thought we
She “lives with honeybees 24-hours a would break out score cards, a ball
day,” Pavlić told us. Her life as a bee- cage and someone would start call-
keeper began as a love story. During ing out numbers. Alas, I was wrong. Jadranka showing us a home for solitary
a hospital stay from a fall in 1999, she Bingo, which in Croatian stands for bees

August 2019 905


problem in Zagreb. In a Kafka-esque
example, the official office to register
a disability was in a building which
had no wheelchair access. But thanks
to many years of effort, Jadranka and
her disability education/pressure
group helped draft an act which reg-
ulated dimensions for parking spac-
es, accessibility in public buildings,
oblique edges, ramp specifications,
and so forth.
Jadranka’s apiary was only 100
meters away from the bar, uphill on
A group search for
a gravel road. The Faculty of Agron-
the queen
omy, which is celebrating its 100th an-
niversary this year, had given them
this space 10 years earlier, and the
equipment was mostly from Bingo’s
pockets, other than two hives do-
nated by the Mayor of Zagreb. As we
walked toward the apiary, Jadranka
weaved in between potholes and had
to gun the electric chair to push over
the lip onto the concrete platform.
Here, surrounded by a small fence,
her apiary consisted of about a dozen
hives, storage area, picnic table and
sun umbrella.
of bees; Mr. Damir Mudifaj, a profes- tween humans and animals (bees, As you may imagine, Jadranka’s
sor at the nearby Agronomy Faculty, dog, etc), and between different sec- apiary is set up to fit her needs. Laid
and Mr. Hrvoje Pavlić, a vintner and tors — business, university, beekeep- out in an open space, it is straightfor-
small-scale beekeeper, as well as the ers, and elderly people. The group ward for her to move around. She can
only one among us who could speak currently has no outside source of reach everything from a seated posi-
both English and Croatian, and thus funding and all participants are vol- tion and has designed a few extra
suffered through a heroic amount of unteers. There are perhaps a couple tools, like a comb stand, which allow
translation during the day. Finally, of full-group meetings a year, other- her to work with ease. Also, she uses
there was Bingo, a small off-white wise Jadranka calls and organizes the the AŽ hive, which is common to this
mutt whom Jadranka rescued from appropriate members depending on region. Unlike a Langstroth which
the streets; the group’s mascot, rep- the project: leading children’s groups opens from the top, AŽ opens from
resenting the connection between hu- into the apiary, a school for paraple- the back like a cabinet, and there is
mans and animals. gic beekeepers, breeding queen bees, no need to lift honey-stuffed boxes to
Cooperation and communication giving beekeeping presentations get to the brood nest or bottom board
are the main themes of Bingo: be- around the city, apitherapy sessions, — the heaviest thing a beekeeper will
fighting for disabled rights, produc- have to hold is a single comb. For a
ing bee products. Group members longer treatment on the AŽ hive, see
chip in their time, effort, and money Blomstedt 2012.2
when they are able. There are hundreds of other details
After finishing our coffees, we which one must consider when creat-
agreed it was time to see the apiary. ing an apiary for the disabled. I won’t
Flowers were in bloom, the sun had go deeper into them here, other than
gained strength, and it was the per- to say that it requires recognizing
fect time to open a hive. Stepping off and working with your own limita-
the terrace and I turned around to see tions. Jadranka told me of how she
Jadranka driving her electric wheel- met a French beekeeper in a wheel-
chair into the restaurant. What for me chair, who insisted on working with
was a single step down, something Langstroth hives, but essentially had
I take mindlessly hundreds of times to become a body-builder to take off
during the day, turned into an im- a super. Jadranka realized that this
passable obstacle for Jadranka. There was not possible for her. Though
was no ramp when she first arrived to she can work with Langstroth hives
“Bar Hedgehog” a decade earlier, but thanks to a nifty contraption that lifts
with a bit of education the owners in- a super with a pully and a crank, she
stalled one in the back of the building. prefers the natural ease of an AŽ. If
This was one episode in a long line of you are further interested in learning
What looks like flat ground can be a trial successes. Not too long ago, handicap about Jadranka’s beekeeping experi-
for Jadranka in her electric chair. access in public buildings was a big ences in designing an apiary for the

906 American Bee Journal


love and got married. This was only a
selection of the group: add to this the
other members who had PTSD, mul-
tiple sclerosis, Down syndrome — a
society for those who have suffered
some abnormality, pain, or stigma in
their life, as well as those sympathetic
and wishing to help.
In the center of this is Jadranka. She
is the magnetic force bringing these
people together, and then bringing
the best out of them. Though she dis-
plays great strength, she told us it has
not been an easy road. She spoke of
the process one must go through to
understand their handicap, to live
with it, and to thrive. It has taken 40+
years for her to get to this point, and
the fight still goes on every day. How-
A stand to hold comb while going
ever, she is living proof of her own Bingo catching a ride under Jadranka‘s
through the hive phrase: “With good will and attitude feet
the sky is the limit!” I might also add
wheelchair, I invite you to find one of that her keen charisma (I quickly saw The last sentiment has really struck
her publications in English: her own myself getting roped into a few future me. From a soul well-watered with
book, Beekeeping As Inclusive Therapy,3 collaborations with her) and hard empathy, this question grows like a
or the large section she has written of work (her normal day is around 21 weed. Each of us finds ourselves con-
Beekeeping Manual for Disabled People,4 hours long, mostly dedicated to bees) fronted by hundreds of choices a day,
published by the Slovene Beekeeper’s also greatly help. Yet as I watched most of them taken automatically in
Association. her handle the bees in her apiary that order to feed and shelter ourselves.
The rain decided not to come that morning, I believed her simple decla- But with those needs taken care of,
morning, and the bees flew into the ration of faith: the question takes a more interesting
strong rays of the sun. Jadranka and “If I can do this, anyone can.” edge. Those that use the opportu-
Mr. Mladen opened a hive together nity to help their fellow humans are
and began the process of splitting I found the two days I spent with changing the world for the better.
it. Though Jadranka could work the these groups very inspirational, and Most people, if you asked them
hives by herself, I could tell that the I only hope I have conveyed the ex- plainly, would like to help or give
cooperation aspect of the group was periences to you. In my notebook I back. From there it is a spectrum: On
important to her. She was the queen found myself scribbling such things one side there are the saints who dedi-
of the yard: directing people around, as CARE, LOVE, DETERMINATION, cate their lives to this cause, while on
asking questions, discussing what PASSION, HUMANITY, COMMU- the other we have the new term “slack-
was going on in the hives. NITY and “WHAT ELSE COULD WE tivism,” which involves people virtue
As the morning wore on and every- DO?” signaling on Facebook through their
one’s story made it through our trans-
lator, I began to realize the underlying
theme of Bingo: Everyone had come
to it for a reason. As Jadranka told us
earlier, she does not choose the people
— the people choose her. Mr. Mladen
had previously been in the ground-
shipping industry but had to resign
due to health-related stress issues
and took up beekeeping and pack-
age production instead (which was
less stressful than running trucks, he
assured me). After seeing Jadranka
speak, he appreciated how she wasn’t
a “chemical thrower,” and asked to be
her apprentice. Mr. Krešimir is from a
beekeeping family but was born with
almost no hearing: Every time some-
one spoke to him that morning, they
looked at him and spoke slowly so he
could read their lips. As a student in
the Agronomy University, Ms. Mar-
tina volunteered with Bingo where
she met Mr. Krešimir, and they fell in Jadranka explaining her project in the apiary

August 2019 907


mouse button, but not accomplishing
much. Many people, myself included,
are somewhere in the middle: either
lazy or don’t have a good idea on how
our efforts can truly be helpful. How-
ever, when someone like Jadranka, or
Dušan, or Mark push forward with
ideas and passion on a subject, show-
ing the possibility of tangible good
that can be done with simple actions,
it is much easier for us without that
idea to grab on and follow.
Could either of these scenarios be
recreated in the USA? There are differ-
ent societal norms to deal with, as well
as a different level of understanding of
honey bees. I think, in some shape or
form, they could. It will take the right
set of circumstances, but the potential
benefits are worth the effort in trying.
Mark Simonitsch has expressed in-
terest in collaborating on such efforts
in the USA. He can be contacted at
fishweirs@capecod.net.

Thank you to Mark Simonitsch,


Jadranka Luketa-Marković and So-
ciety Bingo, Dušan Milinkovič, Stan-
islav Plut, Zdenka Vrlinič and Varst-
veno delovni center Črnomelj. For
amazing translation, thank you to
Matjaž Kolbezen, Hrvoje Pavlić and
Ljubica Brušić.

endnoteS
1 Blomstedt, William. “Outdoor Art Galler-
ies: Painted Beehive Front-boards of Slo-
venia. The American Bee Journal Vol 151 No.
12, December 2011
2 Blomstedt, William. “The AŽ Hive: A
Look at a Lost Cousin” The American Bee
Journal Vol 152 No. 1, January 2012
3 If interested in her book or further
information on building an apiary for
the disable, Jadranka can be contacted
through Facebook: https://www.facebook.
com/jadranka.luketa
4 For a copy of Beekeeping Manual for Disabled
People, contact the Slovene Beekeeping As-
sociation: http://www.czs.si/index.php

William Blomstedt is
a geographer and bee-
keeper. Raised in Massa-
chusetts, he is now married
and lives in Slovenia. He
recently published a book
which details his beekeep-
ing career and time spent
writing for the American Bee Journal: Forag-
ing Afar: Tales from a Decade of Beekeeping
around the Globe. It is out on Wicwas press.

908 American Bee Journal


W
hat should you do when tion, ventilation, winter clustering, for beekeeping, Richard was able to
something comes between pests, and even her local weather incorporate Naomi’s vision within
you and your honey bees? patterns. After that, she looked at the the practical limitations of building
Perhaps something like a walker or history of hive design, taking careful with wood. The finished product ex-
wheelchair? Well, if you are creative note of what worked and what didn’t. ceeded all expectations and many of
and innovative, you might discover Finally, she factored in her own bee- the original hives are still in use.
the perfect solution — one that works keeping experience, including the
for you and pleases your bees. special features she needed for suc- vaLhaLLa featuReS
Master beekeeper Naomi Price of cessful and enjoyable beekeeping. The first rendition of her hive de-
Prineville, Oregon did exactly that. sign — christened the Valhalla — was
Living with paraplegia, Naomi knew findinG a buiLdeR a variation on the Langstroth long
she wanted a hive that would meet Richard Nichols, a Prineville resi- hive made popular by Georges de
the needs of her bees as well as a few dent, built the prototype long hives. Layens in his book, Keeping Bees in
of her own. Simply put, she wanted A skilled woodworker with a passion Horizontal Hives. Basically, a long hive
the freedom to tend her bees without
assistance from others. “Accessibility
is all about attitude,” she said.

StaRtinG with a viSion


Armed with spunky determina-
tion, Naomi set out to make her
beekeeping dream a reality. Having
spent years performing accessibility
site surveys for various entities under
the Americans with Disabilities Act
and the Oregon Structural Specialty
Code, she was the perfect person for
the job. She understood that small
things make a big difference. “Just as
a 3/8-inch space can be empowering
to a honey bee, a 1/4-inch space can
be equally empowering to me,” she
explained.
To start, Naomi put aside the codes
and regulations and began to investi-
gate the honey bees’ housing require-
ments. She studied foraging, brood A canvas cover placed directly over the top bars keeps the bees calm during inspec-
rearing, food storage, communica- tions. In addition, the propolis layer promotes colony health.

August 2019 909


when summer temperatures rise. Be-
low the slatted rack are two side-by-
side pull-out inspection drawers that
can be used for varroa counts and de-
bris collection.
Entrance. A single bee entrance is
The entrance has in the lower right corner of the hive. It
a shed-style roof measure 3/8-inches high by 3 inches
and an adjustable long and has a sliding door to adjust
sliding door. the size of the opening or close it com-
pletely. The small size and adjustable
nature mean it can double as a mouse
guard during those times when ro-
dents are likely to enter.
The entrance has no landing board.
Naomi notes that, without a landing
is a horizontal hive that uses standard hives. But most importantly, a stan- area, honey bees experience fewer
Langstroth frames. Instead of using dard nucleus colony can be inserted run-ins with nest mates and fewer
supers that stack on top of the brood directly into a Valhalla hive — anoth- intruders. In addition, the entrance is
box, the bee colony expands horizon- er feature that was impossible with easier to defend since there is no con-
tally, much like the bees in a top-bar most top-bar systems. venient staging area for evil-doers. “I
hive. Canvas Frame Cover. A heavy can- have observed the returning foragers
But the similarity stopped there be- vas cloth placed directly on the top fly into their hive with amazing accu-
cause Naomi needed to incorporate bars keeps the bees from building racy,” she says.
special features which would allow burr comb above the frames. When Viewing Window. The hive is
for the ease of access she needed. She Naomi is working the bees, the can- equipped with a Plexiglas viewing
wanted a system that didn’t require vas can be gently folded back from window with a hinged shutter that
extra tools and equipment, and one one side or the other, keeping the rest allows a quick peek into the brood
that would be winter-ready without of the bees calm and in the dark. The chamber without opening the lid.
lifting, carting, and storing hive com- workers propolize the cloth, thereby
ponents. adding an antibacterial barrier just inSpectionS aRe eaSy
Many design considerations were above the brood nest. Inspections are far more efficient
incorporated into the prototype hives, Hive Box. Having a low profile, the when you don’t have to remove su-
including the following: long hive is stable in the face of wind pers before getting to the brood box.
Frames. The Valhalla hive uses 24 and predators such as raccoons, so it In addition, inspections in the Valhal-
deep Langstroth frames. Naomi se- doesn’t require the inconvenience of la are far less upsetting to the colony.
lected the number of frames based a tie-down. And since there are no Naomi says, “With no boxes to move,
on the nectar flow near her central supers to lift, hive inspections are a fewer bees are injured, which means
Oregon home and the colony’s winter snap. the bees are less defensive.”
clustering needs. Some of the frames Hinged Roof. The roof is hinged By folding back only part of the
provide space for honey storage that on the front side so the beekeeper can canvas cloth at a time, the bees are
would normally go in a super. easily work the bees from the back. A disturbed even less. Naomi notes that
By using Langstroth frames, Naomi side latch holds the roof open, even in by leaving the canvas in contact with
could easily exchange equipment be- moderate wind. In the open position, the frames most of the time, you can
tween her long hives and Langstroth the lid protects the brood nest from eliminate the need for a smoker — an
hives. In addition, four-sided frames both sun and wind. important consideration when your
can be rested on the ground or oth- Slatted Rack. A built-in slatted rack movements and ability to handle
er hard surface without damaging extends the entire length of the hive, multiple pieces of equipment are al-
combs, a feature missing in top-bar offering foragers a place to cluster ready constrained.
In cooler temperatures, the cloth
also keeps the colony warmer during
inspections by preventing rapid heat
loss. And in the fall, the cover keeps
robbers at bay while the lid is open.
The side-by-side pull-out boards
The built-in slatted make it easy to check for mites and
rack helps regulate other debris, and since one board is
temperature by beneath the brood and one beneath
giving the workers a the honey, you can get a clear picture
place to congregate of what is going on in different parts
in hot weather. of the hive.

the vaLhaLLa evoLveS


As word of the Valhalla spread, in-
terest soared. Many beekeepers want-
ed a Valhalla hive — not just those

910 American Bee Journal


with a disability, but folks who didn’t
want to lift heavy boxes or reach high
overhead, as well as those who envi-
sioned a better life for their bees. Be-
fore long, Richard Nichols had over
30 hives throughout central Oregon
with more orders on the way.
But life happens and Richard didn’t
want to go into production, so Naomi
and her husband, Larry, decided they
needed to find an alternative builder.
Plus, after a few years working with
the Valhalla, Naomi was ready to
tweak the design.
Ultimately they turned to Vivien
and Bruce Hight of The Right Hand
LLP in Redmond, Oregon to incor-
porate the changes and ramp up
production. Bruce, known as “The
Beekeeper’s Carpenter,” is a wood-
working craftsman and Vivien is re-
sponsible for the business end of their The varroa drawers and screens are interchangeable and easy to clean.
enterprise. When I toured their work-
shop, Bruce was experimenting with choose who would be taken aloft.” nience, beekeepers can use dry-erase
alternative roof designs and Vivien In other words, “The Valkyrie long markers to write inspection notes di-
was learning about shipping prac- hive sprung from a faithful constant rectly on the lid, which can be easily
tices, packaging, bookkeeping, web (the Valhalla) to embrace the evolving wiped clean.
management, and beekeeping. Truly, knowledge of bee biology.” So, now
they were as busy as the bees them- you know. impRoved hinGeS
selves. The current Valkyrie incorporates a The standard hinges are durable
long list of improvements and several and long-lasting steel, strong enough
next, the vaLkyRie options. to withstand wind gusts while the
Vivien named the new hive hive is open. Opening the lid on a
“Valkyrie” after figures in Norse leg- a Roof of many coLoRS Valkyrie with the current hinges
end. She explained, “In the glorious The roof was changed to a gabled requires a force of approximately
halls of Valhalla, slain Norse warriors design, providing space for insulat- twelve pounds.
were transported by the Valkyries ing materials to be placed above the
to enjoy the thrill of never-ending colony. The roof is covered in a light- inteRioR fRame ReSt
battle. While Odin ever-awaited new weight, powder-coated aluminum The inside of the gabled lid contains
arrivals, it was the Valkyries who re- sheet that is available in six standard a frame rest. For easy inspection, you
mained vigilant and watchful, pre- colors or can be special-ordered in a can pull out the first frame and place
siding over Earth’s battlefields to rainbow of other shades. For conve- it in the frame rest, then continue

First-year beekeeper Carol Reinhard pre- The heavy duty hinges make the hive easy to open. Inside the lid is a frame support
pares to install a package of bees into a that can also be used for tools. On the lower left of the hive is a covered inspection
Valkyrie long hive. window.

August 2019 911


the vaLkyRie in pRactice
Many standard beekeeping prac-
tices can be tweaked to suit the
Valkyrie hive. Naomi studied ideas
Larry and Naomi
used in Langstroths, top-bar hives,
inspect a frame. standard long hives, and even Warré
Note that the hives to see what would work with
canvas cover her own vision of beekeeping. She
shields most of has a few favorites that are worth
the colony from considering.
disruption.
inStaLLation of beeS
As I mentioned earlier, a standard
nucleus hive can be installed directly
into the Valkyrie. However, when
installing a package, Naomi recom-
mends the “walk in” installation.
your inspection by sliding each frame optionaL extRaS For a walk-in, place a ramp from
into the empty space. The frame rest Second Window. Although one the ground up to the hive entrance.
area can also be used to hold hive window is included as standard Over the ramp, drape a large sheet,
tools and the canvas inspection cloth equipment, a second window — also such that it extends to the ground
that comes with each hive. with a closable shutter — can be in- on both sides of the ramp. Attach
stalled to reveal the honey-storage the queen cage inside the hive, then
Shed Roof area. dump the bees on the sheet. The bees
A shed roof was added over the Triple-Layer Blankets. A triple-lay- will walk up the sheet into the hive.
bee entrance to keep rain from sheet- ered pad made from alpaca wool can The advantage of this method is
ing down on the bees and to provide be placed above the canvas cloth for that ill or diseased bees often walk off
them with a small amount of shade. year-round insulation and humidity to die rather than joining the march,
regulation. an “altruistic” separation that helps
hive capacity Insulated Hive Stand: The custom- keep the colony healthy. In addition,
Like the Valhalla, the Valkyrie made hive stand is designed to keep any free-roaming parasites such as
holds 24 standard Langstroth deep the top of the hive body (not includ- hive beetles are left on the sheet. A
frames, and a built-in slatted rack ing the gabled roof) 30 inches from quick dusting of powdered sugar
with improved spacing on the ends. ground level. This works well for may leave behind a few varroa mites
The varroa drawers and the two most wheelchairs and most adults. as well.
screens above them are now revers- However, the stand can be custom-
ible, so you don’t have to remember ordered four inches higher, if needed. a convenient SuGaR feedeR
which one goes where. The screens The stand includes a sheet of rigid in- Many types of internal feeder can
are kept in place with an automatic sulation that protects the colony from be used in the Valkyrie, but when
locking mechanism, and the drawers icy-cold or super-hot ground temper- winter feeding is necessary, Naomi’s
are made of white PVC. atures year round. favorite is the SockerMat. Swedish
A feeder can be placed inside the Blocker Board: A blocker board for “sugar food,” the SockerMat is
hive by removing a few of the frames, (or follower board) is a management simply a mixture of sugar and water
so Boardman-style and hive-top feed- tool that allows you to limit the size kneaded into a dough and pressed
ers are not necessary. Because internal of the brood nest until each succes- into a deep Langstroth frame.
feeders are less likely to draw robbing sive frame is full. Once the frames are The frame can be constructed with
bees and marauding wasps, fall in- full, you can move the board over and 1/8-inch hardware cloth (Naomi’s
spections are easier for both bees and add another frame, keeping the brood favorite) or with plastic foundation.
humans. nest compact. For the wire version, cut the wire so
it extends to the outside perimeter of
a standard deep frame. Next, lay the
wire on a flat surface and cut two pas-
sageways, one in the upper left and
Naomi recom- one in the upper right corners. These
mends a wool openings or “hiking trails” should be
blanket for year- cut so that once the wire is attached
round use. Top to the frame, the open space is about
insulation pro- 3/4-inch on each side. Once cut, at-
tects the colony tach the wire to the frame with staples
from temperature or thumb tacks.
extremes in both If you are using plastic foundation,
summer and do the same thing. Some plastic foun-
winter. dation comes with removable tabs
that can simply be punched out. Be
sure to reinsert the plastic so the pas-
sageways are in the upper corners.

912 American Bee Journal


Ramesh Sagili purchased a Valkyrie
for the campus apiary.
One woman’s vision of what bee-
keeping could be is enriching the lives
of bees and beekeepers in every cor-
ner of the continent. Congratulations
to Naomi and all those who helped
her think outside the Langstroth box.
Honey bees have
started building
a new comb on note
this foundation- Ordering information can be found
less frame. at www.therighthandllp.com.

Rusty Burlew has stud-


ied agriculture, honey
bees, and environmen-
tal science for over 30
years. She is a passion-
ate advocate of native
bee conservation and
founded the Native Bee
Naomi likes to place a frame of sug- Conservancy in Wash-
For the sugar mixture, you can use
ington State. https://honeybeesuite.com
regular granulated sugar, superfine ar outside the bee’s honey supply, so or email her at rusty@honeybeesuite.com.
sugar (baker’s sugar), or a combina- they eat the honey first and have sug-
tion of the two. Place the sugar in a ar as a backup. But as most beekeep-
bowl and add a small amount of wa- ers know, the bees often disregard South Florida
ter, just enough to dampen the sugar this advice and eat the sugar first. In
and make it stick together — not too any case, it’s reassuring to know they Bees-N-Honey
wet! A handful pressed into a snow- have a backup supply. 18299 Clearbrook Circle
ball should hold its shape. Boca Raton, FL 33498
In order to fill a frame, cut a thin a dReam come tRue Queens and Nucs
piece of wood to fit inside the frame. The Valkyrie long hive is currently available for sale
Place this under the wire or plastic as being used across the country from For information and pricing please
a support while you press the sugar Washington east to Montana, Minne- call, text or fax.
into the frame, using your hands or a sota, Maine, and New York. They’ve
rolling pin. Once full, allow the sugar also been shipped south to Colorado, Credit cards accepted.
to harden. The wire frame can hold Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, and Phone: (561) 715-5715
about six pounds of sugar, while the Georgia. A private school in San Fran- Fax: (561) 423-0304
plastic foundation will hold about cisco chose the Valkyrie for its rooftop
half that amount. Alternatively, you apiary, and another was shipped to
can purchase a SockerMat frame fully Michigan for handicapped veterans.
assembled. And at Oregon State University, Dr.

August 2019 913


914 American Bee Journal
Beth’s Journey
into Blindness
While tending
honey Bees
by Christopher J. Stalder
chris.stalder3@gmail.com

she says looks like black ribbons. Her ing classes, and even chaired the Flor-
doctor lasered that hole and every- ida Honey Queen Program for many

B
thing has been stable with her eyes years. It is possible to do anything you
eth Fox was born with a birth ever since. As she ages her eyes are set your mind to as long as you are de-
defect that made her eyes larger getting worse, and after so much sur- termined. She hopes to inspire people
than normal and egg shaped, gery and damage her eyes won’t get with disabilities, not necessarily visu-
causing severe nearsightedness. In any better. Although Beth is totally al, but anyone who thinks they cannot
1996 when driving home from her blind in her left eye, she does have be a beekeeper because of a physical
brother’s home she thought a gnat about 50% vision in her right eye. She limitation. She wants to inspire people
flew in her left eye as she saw a black was very fortunate that the surgeon to find a good beekeeping club, and
shape. She rubbed her eye and cleaned at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute find a good and patient mentor to in-
her contact lens and her vision was in Miami was able to preserve the spire them to pursue beekeeping.
still blurred. The next day she went amount of vision she has in her right Both of her eye doctors warned her
to the hospital and learned she had a eye. Seeing inside a beehive is a chal- about getting stem cell treatments, as
spontaneous detached retina and got lenge for her, but not impossible. they have worked well on corneas,
it repaired. Her left eye had addition- Beth is an experienced beekeeper but not for retinas. One eye doctor
al spontaneous detachments of her and knows what she is looking for, told her a patient received stem cells
retina four more times about a month and utilizes her senses of smell, touch for detached retinas in China and she
apart and then she lost her vision in and hearing to assist her. She can re-
that eye. She can only see shadows in move a frame from a hive and tell
black and white now in that eye. by the weight if it is full of honey or
Two years later the same thing hap- not. She recognizes the color of brood
pened in her right eye. After the de- comb versus honey, but this would
tachment in her left eye she was told not be possible for a person that is to-
that there was a ten percent chance of tally blind. She can’t see the eggs the
this happening in her right eye. Since queen lays, and has difficulty finding
her surgeries on her eyes, her eyes are the queen in each hive, but she can
now about half the size they were, so see the brood and determine if the
now they are about normal sized. The pattern is from a healthy queen or if
operations removed her lenses and she is not well or fertile and needs to
vitreous humor. Two days after her be replaced.
surgery on her right eye the stitches Beth says beekeeping will be a chal-
popped and all the saline solution lenge for the visually disabled who
that replaced the vitreous humor may be new to this wonderful hobby,
drained out and her eye collapsed but if you are experienced with bee-
like a deflated balloon. Her doctor keeping while going blind, as she has
super-glued her eye and patched it experienced, you can continue bee-
with a piece of donated cornea from a keeping with minor modifications.
cadaver and lasered the detachment. She believes someone with a visual
Her eyeball filled up naturally with impairment can still be an effective Here Beth transfers standard Langstroth
saline which replaced the vitreous hu- beekeeper as long as they have a good deep frames into her new Horizontal
mor and lens. Now she has no lenses mentor, and help from someone on Hive. She later transferred these bees to
in either eye. occasions as needed. Even with her the foundationless frames that came with
A few months later she got a macu- declining vision, Beth has mentored the Horizontal Hive.
lar hole and bled inside her eye which numerous people and given beekeep- Photo by Sesheta Benu Mwanza

August 2019 915


went completely blind as a result of Beth is eliminating her Langstoth Beth has learned that you don’t
the procedure. hive boxes which stack one upon an- have to see to be a beekeeper. For
As Beth’s blindness has been gradu- other, in favor of Horizontal Hives. those who are totally blind they will
al, she has been able to compensate for The Horizontal Hives contain one lay- need assistance to learn beekeeping.
the visual cues that she has lost. Few er of frames in a large box that is more By listening to her bees and smell-
other beekeepers stop and observe the manageable as she won’t need to lift ing them she has learned that she can
way the honey bee hive smells and boxes and can check all the frames help manage her bees and harvest
listen to the bees the way Beth does. from under the cover. their delicious honey! Beth is hop-
Through quiet observation she lets Becoming visually impaired after ing to find a handicapped accessible
the bees tell her what she should do enjoying the sense of sight is the thing location to set up Horizontal Hives
next to help manage the hive. If Beth people are most afraid of, because be- and give handicapped individuals
smells the alarm pheromone of her ing visually impaired keeps you from the opportunity to learn about bee-
honey bees it smells like bananas and enjoying so many things that you keeping. Beekeeping is like garden-
she knows to leave the hive alone for have taken for granted. Current tech- ing on steroids, as tending to honey
a couple of days. The plants that are nology is so advanced that being visu- bees helps tend to so many flowering
the bees’ forage aren’t visible to Beth, ally impaired need not be as frighten- trees, annual plants, perennial plants
but in February and March she smells ing as it was just a couple of decades and vegetables! And the beekeeper
the Citrus blooming in neighbors’ ago. Beth can’t drive, but can request gets the satisfaction of helping nur-
backyards from a distance and knows an Uber or Lyft driver on her smart ture not only their honey bees, but the
that her bees are making honey. phone. She can’t go grocery shopping surrounding environment!
When Beth lived in Sweetwater but can order groceries on another In spite of Beth’s visual disability
Oaks in Longwood, Florida, she had computer/smart phone application she runs a small business called bee
great sources of nutrition for her bees called Shipt. She has a Google Home sting Properties, LLC. She owns rental
including Carolina Willow, Red Ma- Assistant that turns her lights and cof- properties in Winter Park and man-
ple, Sabal Palmetto, Saw Palmetto and fee pot off and on and reads her the ages them by herself. She has a great
Golden Rain Trees that were up and news every morning. She can’t read network of people, including plumb-
down the banks of the Wekiva River. books anymore, but gets free books ers, electricians, roofers, etc., that help
In the river wetlands was a variety of on tape. She hired a company that her repair any damage and maintain
flowering plants including Water Lil- cleans her home twice a month. And the properties. She also has an Airbnb
ies & the beautiful purple blossoms of she relies on family and friends for apartment in her house that she lists
Pickerelweed which her bees loved. many things. and rents out through the Airbnb
Now Beth lives in Winter Park When Beth became visually im- platform. Most of the time she does
and her bees are enjoying dooryard paired it was hard to ask for help, the cleaning herself as well including
fruit trees including Citrus, Avocado, but now she has adjusted and finds changing the linens and all the prepa-
Mango, Banana, wildflowers and lots that she can still be independent and rations for her future tenants.
of other flowering plants and trees self-sufficient with help from others. Beth is not only looking for a suit-
grown for their natural beauty. Her When she received mobility training able site to offer her Beekeeping for
home is close to Winter Park’s Cen- on how to use her white cane she no- the Visually Impaired, but also for
tral Park which hosts lots of beauti- ticed that it was a magical tool! She sponsors to help fund the programs.
ful flowering annuals and trees and a refers to it as her magic wand because She may be contacted for speaking en-
Rose garden. when she walks downtown on Park gagements as well. Her email address:
Avenue in Winter Park people move bfox4560@gmail.com
out of her way long before she ap-
proaches. On a couple of occasions
strangers have approached her and Chris is an Environmen-
offered their assistance. She wouldn’t tal Scientist who works
get such good treatment without her as a consultant for a civil
white cane. engineering firm where
Mobility training from the Light- he surveys Florida lands
house for the Blind in Orlando has for federally and state
listed species, and helps
taught her not to be embarrassed by delineate and monitor
her disability. For many years she wetlands. He holds a degree in Agriculture
would hide how badly impaired she (Agronomy major), and is a certified Mas-
was. She would pretend her impair- ter Level Beekeeper from the University of
ment wasn’t as bad as it was. The staff Florida. He has been helping the Florida
and volunteers at the Lighthouse told State Beekeepers Association as the Execu-
tive Secretary and Newsletter Editor since
her to own her disability and not be 2015 (floridabeekeepers.com), and teaches
ashamed or embarrassed. Impair- classes on Gardening for Honey Bee Nutri-
ments do not define who we are. This tion, Backyard Beekeeping for Beginners,
is what happened to you but this is Treatment Free Beekeeping, Honey Tasting,
not who you are! Don’t let people in- among other subjects at beautiful Leu Gar-
fluence how you feel about yourself. dens in Orlando, FL (leugardens.org). In his
free time he enjoys gardening, tending his
Beth Fox lifts a foundationless frame out No one can tell you what’s inside you backyard honey bees, swimming, playing
of the single-level horizontal hive spe- and no one can predict your future classic and popular piano solos, and playing
cially built for her. except You! A good lesson for us all contract and duplicate bridge card games
Photo by Sesheta Benu Mwanza to learn. with family and friends.

916 American Bee Journal


August 2019 917
918 American Bee Journal
The Seasonality
and Effects
of Nosema
Part 3 of a series
by RANDY OLIVER
ScientificBeekeeping.com

Nosema apis had long been considered to be of concern only in the spring and fall;
but once N. ceranae showed up, there are reports of it appearing even in summer. An
understanding of the reasons for the seasonality of nosema may help us to better un-
derstand the parasite as a whole.

N
osema apis was not named un- N. ceranae lacked the seasonality of N. the tropical Apis cerana, it’s not sur-
til 1909, and was not on U.S. apis. This was actually not the case at prising that ceranae is somewhat bet-
beekeepers’ radar until it was all, as shown by the same researchers ter adapted to warmer temperatures,
well described by G.F. White in his in a subsequent paper.6 and may occasionally flare up during
seminal publication in 1919.1 Ingemar Since then, other researchers (in- summer.8
Fries reviewed what we knew about cluding myself7) have documented
N. apis in 1993,2 and described the that the epidemiology of N. ceranae Practical application: During the
typical seasonality of nosemosis (dis- rather closely follows that of N. apis, invasive wave of N. ceranae, it was
ease that may be the result of serious but since ceranae’s original host was easy for me to find infected colonies
infection by nosema):

The level of infection found in a


colony is highly variable. The sea-
sonal trend of typical infections
exhibits low levels during the sum-
mer, a small peak in the autumn and
a slow rise of infection during the
winter. In the spring, the level of
infection increases rapidly as brood
rearing starts and while flight pos-
sibilities are limited still. The pattern
is similar in both the northern and
the southern hemisphere.

But in the early 2000s, in both North


America and Europe, bee disease labs
recorded a new trend — nosema preva-
lence in samples sent to diagnostic labs
suddenly started to climb, and might
be found at any time of the year.3,4
By 2005, nosema was being detected
even in summer — retrospectively in-
dicating that there had been an inva-
sion by N. ceranae. Unfortunately, the
graph of prevalence in samples from Fig. 1 One way in which beekeepers can contribute to nosema spore transmission
Spain was widely misinterpreted as within the hive is by the inadvertent crushing of bees. The workers in the photo above
indicating intensity,5 suggesting that are lapping up the body fluids of a bee crushed moments ago.

August 2019 919


at any time of the year in my apiar- crushing bees in hives during winter ing adequate bee-to-bee transmission
ies. But by 2012 it was difficult for manipulations.9] (Fig. 1) of spores within the hive. And then the
me to find an infected hive in sum- overall effect of nosema upon colony
mer. I suspect that a new host-para- Practical application: Don’t con- performance is largely about the per-
site relationship had developed over tribute to nosema spore transmis- centage of the colony’s bees that are
that period of time. sion. Avoid crushing bees within the infected (“prevalence”), the impact
hive, especially during winter.10 The of that upon both broodrearing, and
RequiSiteS foR noSema to Gain stress and confinement involved in the shift in the survivorship of those
a foothoLd the trucking of colonies — again, es- infected workers. To summarize in
The question of interest is why pecially during winter — may also advance, we need to look at:
nosema has a seasonal pattern. As contribute to defecation within the
elaborated by White, nosema trans- hive.11 Pollen
mits from one bee to another by the 1. The involvement of pollen with
transfer of infective spores via the But the observations by White that nosema reproduction in the bee
fecal-oral route. Some observations of most caught my eye were: midgut, and
interest by White relate to the fact that 2. The seasonal availability of pollen.
simply exposing a colony to spores The fact that a colony may contain
does not necessarily result in an epi- a small percentage of Nosema-in- Transmission in the Hive
zootic of nosema within the hive: fected bees throughout the year and 1. The transmission of nosema spores
Although wintering bees on soiled not become heavily infected at any via consumption of pollen,
comb greatly increases the risk of detect- time furnishes further evidence that 2. The causes of dysentery, and
able nosema disease the following spring, Nosema infection does not always 3. The hours per day suitable for def-
a detectable disease level does not always spread with rapidity within the hive. ecation flights.
result. Thus, spore availability is not [As does his finding that a colony
sufficient to create an epizootic dis- experimentally infected during Effect upon Colony Performance
ease in the honey bee colony. summer will typically clear itself 1. The percentage of bees infected,
of infection within six weeks.] 2. The effects of infection upon the
He also noted that other beekeeper nurse bees, and
practices may contribute to the trans- Since merely exposing a colony to 3. The effect of nosema-induced ac-
mission of spores: nosema spores does not necessarily celeration of worker transition to
result in the parasite going epizootic foraging.
Other factors that contribute to the in the hive, to explain the seasonality
spread of N. apis spores within the honey of nosemosis, we need to look a little I will be covering some of the above
bee colony include all management where deeper. At this writing, it appears to in subsequent articles, but first let’s
bees are crushed. The liquid remains of me that the seasonal pattern of nose- focus upon pollen.
crushed bees are readily ingested by other mosis is largely about two things: (1)
bees. [Australian beekeepers have the parasite’s success at reproduction the impoRtance of poLLen to noSema
long been cautioned to avoid the in individual bees, and then (2) achiev- tRanSmiSSion and RepRoduction
The seasonal peaks of nosema in
spring and fall certainly suggest an
association with what are commonly
heavy pollen flows at those times of
the season. It appears that there are at
least three reasons for this:

1. Within-colony transfer of no-


sema spores via the pollen loads
brought back by the foragers.
2. Between-colony transfer of spores
at the flowers.
3. The greater amount of nosema in-
fectivity and reproduction in the
gut when pollen is present.

So let’s take a look at the above


one at a time. When a bee defecates
in flight, any post-defecation hygiene
consists of it grooming itself with its
hind legs — the same legs used to
pack pollen into its corbicula. Higes12
found infective nosema spores in the
pollen loads brought back to the hive
— the very pollen that the nurse bees
Fig. 2 This freshly-returned forager may be bringing back a load of nutritious pollen, would soon consume. Such transmis-
but that pollen could possibly be contaminated with nosema spores from its own gut, sion of spores could allow a single in-
or picked up from a flower. fected forager to spread the infection

920 American Bee Journal


to the next generation of young bees
in the same hive.
Graystock13 showed that nosema
could be surprisingly effectively trans-
ferred via the spores left on flowers
by visiting foragers, and that bumble-
bees could vector honey bee parasites
without getting infected themselves.
The implication is that parasite spores
can be readily transmitted from colony
to colony via flower visitation (Fig. 2).

Practical application: Nosema


transmission appears to easily take
place via floral visits, and the transfer
of spores via incoming pollen loads.

The importance of pollen doesn’t


end there. Reproduction of both no-
sema species appears to be largely
dependent upon pollen being pres-
ent in the bee midgut14,15,16,17,18 — the
more pollen in the diet, the greater
the number of spores produced. Fig. 3 The occasional defecation “accident” in the hive may be enough to ensure low-
In northerly climes, strong pollen level transmission from the older workers to younger ones. The droplets on the top
flows typically occur in spring and bars above have obviously not yet been ingested by the janitors, but it’s safe to assume
fall, with perhaps some midsummer that any accidents on the faces of the combs would have been “cleaned up” immedi-
spikes. In Mediterranean climes, no- ately by ingestion.
sema tends to disappear during the
late-summer pollen dearth. In tropi- Workers typically become infected ing summer — especially during
cal Mexico, N. ceranae levels corre- as nurse bees, likely due to their rav- confinement due to rain, or if hives
late with the rainy season from April enous consumption of pollen. The get trucked.
through December.19 parasite then rapidly reproduces
A couple of very nice studies20,21 within their midgut epithelial cells puttinG it aLL toGetheR
have shown a strong correlation be- during times of heavy pollen con- As best that I can tell, the reason
tween pollen or pollen sub in the diet, sumption (via “vegetative spores”), that nosema peaks in fall, may slowly
and the number of nosema spores and then later produces the “environ- climb during winter, and then spike
produced. Of interest is that at least mental spores” found in the hindgut again in spring, is that reproduc-
in cage trials, it appears that although and feces. It is thus the mid-age bees, tion and transmission of the parasite
the consumption of pollen increases and especially the foragers, that ex- strongly correlate with two factors:
nosema reproduction in a bee, that hibit the highest spore counts.22 flight hours and pollen availability.
pollen in the diet largely offsets the And this then brings us back to dys-
reduction in bee longevity (provided Practical application: Although entery and in-hive defecation.
that those bees don’t engage in preco- I’ve found no supportive evidence The fewer warm days in which
cious foraging) due to being parasit- that nosema causes dysentery in nosema-infected bees can freely fly
ized by nosema. bees, that discharged fecal matter for cleansing flights, the greater the
can clearly act as a transmitting vehi- chance that some of them are going to
Practical application: The repro- cle (fomite) of nosema spores within slip up and defecate within the hive.
duction and transmission of nosema the hive. And that doesn’t mean that Such in-hive defecation is a highly ef-
in a colony appears to be largely you need to see signs of dysentery fective basis for the fecal-oral route
dependent upon the bees foraging all over the face of your hive. We of transmission, and may largely ex-
upon, and consuming, pollen. Ex- like to think that bees never poop in plain why nosemosis is more likely
pect nosema spore counts to go up if the hive, but if you’ve spent much to occur when cool weather prevents
there’s a pollen flow on, or if you’re time watching an observation hive, bees from freely flying outside the
feeding pollen sub. you’ve likely noticed that occasion- hive to defecate, and why infection
ally a bee does (Fig. 3) — and that tends to disappear during the sum-
the connection between noSema and other workers then immediately mer months.
dySenteRy “clean it up” with their tongues. During winter, nosema can persist
It would make complete sense to in the long-lived winter bees, but
expect that nosema would cause diar- Practical application: The occa- doesn’t appear to correlate with win-
rhea (dysentery) in infected bees; but sional “accident” within the hive ter colony mortality.23 It is only when
I’ve yet to see any evidence in sup- may be enough to ensure the con- the colony begins to rear brood again
port of that premise. But that doesn’t tinued transmission of nosema from (often in mid-winter) that nosema
mean that dysentery is not a critical one generation of bees to the next. again begins to increase — likely due
component for understanding the This could explain how a low-level to the combination of the consump-
seasonality of nosema. prevalence could continue even dur- tion of nosema-contaminated stored

August 2019 921


beebread, or of honey or honeydew Environmental Microbiology http:// development in Apis mellifera: influence
stores that cause dysentery, or in- aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/ of diet and infective inoculum. J Apicult
AEM.00270-07v1 Res 50: 35–41.
creased in-hive defecation due to wa-
4. http://scientificbeekeeping.com/sick- 16. Stevanovic J, et al (2013): Characteristics
ter balance issues coupled with lack bees-17a-nosema-the-smoldering- of Nosema ceranae infection in Serbian
of opportunity for defecation flights epizootic/ honey bee colonies. Apidologie 44: 522-536.
(I’ll cover the causes of dysentery in a 5. The study documented only whether nosema 17. Mendoza, Y, et al (2012) Incidence of No-
following article). was present in a sample, not the intensity of sema ceranae during winter in honey bees
Once springtime comes, then no- the infection. N. apis tends to completely colonies removed from Eucaliptus gran-
sema is most effectively transmitted disappear during the summer, whereas N. dis plantations. Veterinaria (Montevideo)
and infective due to the colony active- ceranae may often be found at a very low 48(188): 13-19. In Spanish.
level during the warm months. 18. Fleming JC, et al (2015) Characterizing
ly gathering pollen and rearing brood.24 9. Hornitzky, M (2005) Nosema disease: the impact of commercial pollen substi-
All colonies likely get exposed to Literature review and survey of bee- tute diets on the level of Nosema spp. in
nosema spores via colony-to-colony keepers. RIRDC Publication No 05/055 honey bees (Apis mellifera L.). PLoS ONE
transmission of spores when the for- Hornitzky, M (2008) Nosema Disease: 10(7):e0132014.
agers of different hives visit the same Literature review and three year survey 19. Guerrero-Molina (2016) op. cit.
flowers. And then the nurse bees of beekeepers, Part 2. RIRDC Publication 20. Porrini, MP, et al (2011) Nosema ceranae
would tend to get infected from the No 08/006. development in Apis mellifera: influence
The two above reviews are worth reading; of diet and infective inoculum. Journal of
consumption of nosema spores inad- both are free downloads. Apicultural Research 50(1): 35-41.
vertently added to pollen loads by in- 10. http://scientificbeekeeping.com/does- 21. Jack C, et al (2016) Effects of pollen di-
fected foragers. The nurses’ hindguts, the-crushing-of-bees-affect-colony- lution on infection of Nosema ceranae in
which are often packed full of the health/ honey bees. J Ins Physiol. 87:12–19.
remains of digested pollen, may con- 11. Bailey, L (1955) The epidemiology and 22. Jack, C, ibid.
tain very large numbers of infective control of nosema disease of the honey- 23. Even in Manitoba, Canada; Les Eccles,
spores — young workers defecate bee. Annals of Applied Biology 43(3): 379- pers comm.
389. 24. Dr. Shimanuki, in his coverage of nose-
during their first orientation flights, 12 Higes, M, et al (2008) Detection of in- ma in the 1992 edition of The Hive and the
before they begin foraging, and they fective Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia) Honey Bee, notes that European research-
then “wipe themselves” with their spores in corbicular pollen of forager ers had pointed out the connection be-
hind legs before they come back to honeybees. Journal of Invertebrate Pathol- tween active broodrearing and nosema.
the hive. And when the weather does ogy 97: 76–78.
not allow those bees to take cleans- 13. Graystock, P, et al (2015) Parasites in Randy sees beekeeping
ing flights, there is even more chance bloom: flowers aid dispersal and trans- through the eyes of a biol-
mission of pollinator parasites within ogist. He’s kept bees for
for in-hive transmission of spores via and between bee species. Proc. R. Soc. B over 50 years, and with
accidental defecation. I’ve seen little 282: 20151371. his sons runs around 1500
research on whether highly-infected 14. Rinderer TE, Dell Elliott K (1977) Work- hives in the California foot-
forager bees defecate within the hive, er honey bee response to infection with hills. He closely follows bee
but even if they defecate on the wing, Nosema apis: influence of diet. J Econ En- research, engages in some
they would still be expected to inad- tomol 70: 431–433. himself, and enjoys sharing
vertently transfer at least some spores 15. Porrini, MP, et al. (2011) Nosema ceranae what he’s learned with others.
to their pollen loads.
Once the weather warms, in-hive
defecation rarely occurs, and the
colony can then again break the infec-
tion cycle and largely purge itself of
the parasite — which in the case of N.
apis, largely disappears other than for
dormant spores hidden in the combs,
and in the case of the more heat-toler-
ant N. ceranae, smolders along in only
a few bees in the hive.

cominG
The effects of nosema infection upon
the colony, the causes of dysentery,
sampling for nosema, how concerned
you should actually be about this par-
asite, and what you can do about it.

endnoteS
1. White, GF (1919) Nosema disease. U.S.
Dept Agric Bulletin 780, 59 pp. Available
in Google Books.
2. Fries, I (1993) Nosema apis—A parasite
in the honey bee colony. Bee World, 74(1):
5-19.
3. Martín-Hernández, R, et al (2007) The
outcome of the colonization of Apis mel-
lifera by Nosema ceranae. Applied and

922 American Bee Journal


A CLOSE LOOK @ THE HIVE

A Bit About Honey


The Major Honey Plants
by PETER L BORST

M
ost beekeepers know a bit honey is obtained; and where this MAJOR U.S. HONEYS, 1962
about honey, but their knowl- tree abounds, in connection with Aster (Aster spp)
edge is often restricted to the a profusion of white clover, there
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)
nectar plants of their own locale. Hav- is the apiarian’s true El Dorado.
Basswood (Tilia americana)
ing lived in many places, I enjoyed As a fall source of honey, nothing
a variety of honeys and learned the can equal buckwheat. Blackberry (Rubus spp)
names of many bee plants. Just what Buckwheat, cultivated
are the major nectar producing plants This picture was accurate for about (Fagopyrum esculentum)
of the U.S. and Canada, and also ma- one hundred years. In the beginning Buckwheat, wild (Eriogonum fasciculatum)
jor bee plants of other continents? of the 20th century, farming began Clover (Trifolium spp)
Thomas Miner was one of Amer- to wane in the region. Less and less Clover, sweet (Melilotus spp)
ica’s first honey bee experts. He is buckwheat was planted and the acres Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)
a lesser known contemporary of of clover were replaced by corn or al- Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Langstroth, and his book came out lowed to go back to woods. This is Gallberry (Ilex glabra)
at the same time as the latter’s. He a key point to be made: Landscapes Goldenrod (Solidago spp)
lived in Long Island City, New York change over time. Some regions are Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
but moved upstate when he became no longer productive and others Heartsease (Polygonum spp)
aware of the great bee pastures to be have different honey sources than
Honeydew (unspecified)
found along the Mohawk River, up- they once had. In the area around
stream from Albany. He wrote: Ithaca, where huge crops of clover Locust, black (Robinia pseudoacacia)
and buckwheat were harvested, Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Of all the resources of bees, these honeys are seldom obtained. Orange (Citrus sinensis)
nothing can equal the white, or Instead we get a mix of wild flow- Privet (Ligustrum spp)
Dutch clover, that abounds to a ers, and some years the legendary Raspberry {Rubus occidentalis)
greater or less extent, throughout basswood produces a bumper crop, Sage (Salvia spp)
the whole country; I may almost as these trees abound in areas where Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
say, that without the existence of the forests returned. Spanish needle (Bidens spp)
this flower, it would be useless In the United States and else- Sumac (Rhus spp)
to attempt to establish an api- where, the best honey regions are Thistle, blue (Echium vulgare)
ary; yet there is no section of the areas where major honey plants ex-
Thistle, star (Centaurea solstitialis)
country where it does not exist; ist, either as natural resources or
consequently, there is nothing to as agricultural crops. A quick look Trefoil, birdsfoot (Lotus corniculatus)
fear on that point (Miner 1850). at the National Honey Report for Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
April, 2019, gives us a picture of the Tupelo (Nyssa ogeche)
The country to which he refers is primary U.S. honey sources. Clover Vetch (Vicia spp)
mostly New England, west to Ohio still seems to be the principal source,
and south to Virginia. Outside of this although this can include a variety types listed are basswood from Wis-
region, these statements might not of plant species, including Trifolium consin, soybean from Arkansas, and
hold true. He continues: (white clover), Melilotus (sweet clo- Brazilian pepper from Florida. What
ver) and even Medicago sativa (alfal- we don’t see are orange blossom,
Among the forest resources of fa) — and a whole lot of other closely sage, or mesquite — which used to
the bee in this country, the most related plants. Canada and the Dako- be produced in large quantity. Of
conspicuous are the basswood tas produce huge quantities of honey course, these may still be harvested
and maple. From the basswood from Canola (Brassica napus) which but blended with other sources and
in particular, a great supply of is cultivated for the oil. A few other sold as “mixed flowers.”

August 2019 923


Going back to 1991, Cornell’s Prof. recognize many honeys by the flavor from looking at pollen grains under a
Roger Morse outlined the major and color; (2) we can be certain of microscope, to using DNA “barcod-
sources of honey in the United States. some sources when they are the only ing” for identifying species in honey.
He placed white clover at the top, fol- plants in bloom that bees are on, often As he says, this is not an exact science,
lowed by sweet clover and alsike. He for many weeks; (3) by knowing the since often many kinds of pollen are
then listed the oil seed plants: canola, potential sources, we can rule out the found in a given honey sample. But
safflower, soybean, sunflower, etc. many things it can’t be. This, because authentic varietal honey is usually
His miscellaneous category, like most those plants are not present in the lo- characterized by the dominance of
lists of nectar plants, runs on and on. cale, or are not currently in bloom, or one type of pollen. As Dr. Vaughan
It includes aster, basswood, golden- there aren’t enough of them to attract Bryant succinctly put it:
rod, mesquite, orange, sage, sour- honey bees.
wood, tupelo, and yellow star thistle, But under many circumstances, Unifloral honeys in Europe, 2004
just to name a few. Most such lists in- these methods are not much help. For Brassica napus L .
clude 3 or 4 hundred species. example, if a buyer is presented with a CH, NL, East, Eu, D, B, DK, Fenno-Scand,
lot of honey that is being represented L, BI, F
how can you teLL? as “acacia” (Robinia pseudoacia), how Calluna vulgaris (L.)
A lot of people ask, how do you can they be sure that’s what it is? This E, NL, D, DK, Fenno-Scand, BI, PL
know what kind of honey it is? The honey in particular does not have a Castanea sativa
obvious answers would be: (1) we can distinctive flavor, like orange blossom AL, I, E, CH, F, East Eu
or other citrus honeys, and it’s nearly Citrus spp.
U.S. Nectar Plants, 1991 – I, E
Dr. Roger Morse colorless. To deal with this question,
the field of melissopalynology arose. Erica spp
Clovers and alfalfa E, F
Enoch Zander broke ground in this
White clover field in the 1930s. Most of his work Eucalyptus spp.
White sweet clover I, E, P
was published in German, but he did
Alsike clover contribute occasionally to the maga- Fagopyrum esculentum
Yellow sweet clover Eu, PL
zine Bee World, such as this entry:
Alfalfa Helianthus annuus
I, E, F, East and South-East Eu
The oil seed plants The pollen which bees, in col-
Lavandula spp
Rape and Canola lecting the nectar, unavoidably E
Safflower put into honey is of inestimable Phacelia tanacetifolia
Soybean value as a means of determining East Eu
Sunflower indisputably the origin of honeys Robinia pseudacacia L.
from plants and countries, for the East, South-East Eu, I, D, A
Other seed oil plants
supervision of the honey market. Rosmarinus officinalis
Miscellaneous
In all these investigations one E
Asters only uses the very varied exter- Rubus spp.
Basswood nal structure of the pollen grains Fenno-Scand
Brazilian pepper (Zander 1938). Thymus capitatus (L.)
Buckwheat, wild western GR
Catclaw acacia This topic was recently covered by Thymus vulgaris
Cotton Scott McArt (ABJ, September 2018). E
Fireweed He tells how palynology has moved Tilia spp.
Gallberry D, NL, PL, East, South-East
Goldenrod Principal Honey Flows in England, 1993 Honeydew from Abies
Oilseed rape (Brassica) CH, D, A, DK
Black locust
Lime (Tilia) Honeydew from Abies cephalonica
Mangrove GR
Mesquite Tree fruit (apple, pear, plum, cherry)
Honeydew from Picea abies
Milkweed Blackberry (Rubus) A, D
Orange blossom Heather (Calluna) Honeydew from Pinus spp
Palmetto Clover (Triflolium) GR
Purple loosestrife Field bean (Vicia) Honeydew from Quercus spp
Sycamore (Platanus) B, D, E, NL
Raspberry and blackberry
Chestnut (Castanea) Honeydew from Metcalfa pruinosa
Sages I
Salt cedar Hawthorn (Crataegus)
Rose bay (Rhododendron) Legend: A = Austria; AL = Albania; B = Bel-
Sourwood gium; BG = Bulgaria; BI = British Islands;
Spanish needle Willowherb (Lythrum) CH = Switzerland; D = Germany; DK = Den-
Sumac Ivy (Hedera) mark; E = Spain; East-Eu = Includes: Czech
Balsam (Impatiens) Rep, Slovak Rep, Hungary, part of Ro-
Tallow tree mania, part of ex Yugoslavia; F = France;
Titi Dandelion (Taraxacum) GR = Greece; HR = Croatia; I = Italy; L =
Tupelo Williams, I. H., Carreck, N., & Little, D. J. Luxembourg; NL = Netherlands; P = Portu-
Tulip tree (1993). Nectar sources for honey bees and gal; PL = Poland; Fenno-Scand = Includes:
the movement of honey bee colonies for Finland, Norway and Sweden; SLO = Slo-
Vetch crop pollination and honey production in venia; South-East Eu = Includes: Bulgaria,
Yellow star thistle England. Bee World, 74(4), 160-175. Romania, etc.

924 American Bee Journal


When using pollen counts to
determine the nectar sources of a
honey sample, we recognize that
the types and percentages of re-
covered pollen do not provide a
one-to-one correlation with the
true nectar sources in the honey.
Nevertheless, it is still the fastest,
least expensive and most com-
mon method of determining the
origin of nectar contents in honey
(Jones 2014).

The question of honey identity has


been given a great deal more atten-
tion in Europe than elsewhere. The
European Union has enacted legisla-
tion regarding honey. Andreas Thra-
syvoulou (Lab. of Apiculture, Thessa-
loniki, Greece) writes:
Black Button Sage
Monofloral honeys. Article 2,
point 2b: The floral or plant ori- tified and defined: Robinia pseudoaca- son Canyon, which lies east of the city
gin is designated to the honey, cia; Calluna; Erica; Trifolium, Melilotus; of El Cajon. During the years he kept
if the product comes wholly or Citrus sinensis; Brassica napus; Helian- bees, the county was blanketed by
mainly from the indicated source thus annuus; Eucalyptus spp; Castanea legendary honey plants, and honey
and possesses the organoleptic, sativa; Tilia spp.; Picea spp.; Pinus spp.; was produced in recording breaking
physicochemical and microscop- Abies alba. The last three are not blos- amounts.
ic characteristics of the source. som honeys but are so-called “forest Chief among these were black but-
This very important article re- honey” — which I plan to cover in a ton sage (Salvia mellifera) and white
garding the trade of monofloral subsequent article. sage (Salvia apiana). These are true
honeys can not be applied since the sages, closely related to the Euro-
mentioned characteristics are not nothinG iS conStant but chanGe pean species, but for hundreds of
defined and are not given. Codex As I mentioned, sources of honey thousands of years they had never
Alimentarius (2001) also does in a given locale change over time. been visited by honey bees. (There is
not contain provisions regarding I grew up in San Diego County and fossil evidence for a honey bee, Apis
the characteristics of monofloral kept bees there during the 1970s and nearctica, in North America but its
honeys (Thrasyvoulou). 1980s. Over the decades I became fa- range is unknown, and they became
miliar with the native and cultivated extinct eons ago.) Black button sage
Many countries have instituted plants, as well as the characteristics is incredibly clear, some would say
provisions of their own, such as the of many types of honey. John Harbi- colorless, when pure. There is no dis-
“guidelines” promoted in Germany. son was one of the first beekeepers tinctive taste, even though the leaves
According to Thrasyvoulou, the fol- to practice large scale beekeeping in of the sage plants are extremely pun-
lowing honey sources have been iden- California; he lent his name to Harbi- gent. There are many varieties of sage
growing throughout California and
they undoubtedly contribute to the
total crop. Another legendary honey
plant is the wild buckwheat. For years
I thought it was simply called that by
the settlers for lack of a better name,
because to me it looks nothing like
the cultivated buckwheat, nor is the
honey similar. Cultivated buckwheat
honey is very dark and pungent. In
fact, many people can’t stand it, but
the wild buckwheat honey from the
west is mild and enjoyable.
It turns out that that western peren-
nial shrub (Erigonum spp, especially
E. fasciculatum) is a member in good
standing of the Buckwheat family
(Polygonaceae) and if you look closely
at the flowers, you can see the simi-
larity. The buckwheat family is huge
and contains many nectar producing
California Wild Buckwheat plants, including heartsease (Polygo-

August 2019 925


bees are frantically gathering wa-
ter from any available source.

So, while rape often flowers


now before the bees have built up,
it also seems to produce far less
nectar. Nobody seems to know
whether it is new varieties that
produce less nectar, or whether
it is just the fact that it flowers
so much earlier that the crop has
been reduced so much. But all
this may not be relevant for the
future. I was discussing rape with
num persicara) and Japanese knot- move another yard of bees because of a farmer yesterday and he told me
weed (Reynoutria japonica). Many of some problem “with the neighbors.” that there is now such a problem
these are annuals, like the cultivated But after I left there in 1990, it just got with flea beetle that it is likely that
buckwheat, but many are persistent worse. The African bee became estab- this will be the last year that it is
perennials like California wild buck- lished throughout southern Califor- grown on any scale now that neo-
wheat and knotweed. nia and then years of severe drought nicotinoids have been banned [in
I moved to San Diego in 1960 and forced beekeepers to move to irrigat- the EU]. From our point of view
the interstate highways had not yet ed desert crop land, or ship their bees that may not be a bad thing as
been built. When I-5 went in, it was to the upper Midwest in summer to farmers will probably grow more
two lanes going north and two going make a honey crop. Pollination be- field beans [Vicia faba] – excellent
south. Now, there are five lanes go- came a much more important source honey! (Stratford 2019)
ing each way and it’s usually bumper of income to commercial beekeepers
to bumper. This explosion of growth as honey production failed. the beSt of the beSt
changed California forever. Most My tale of change is but one of My favorite honey is yellow box
of the best natural bee pasturage in many. Beekeepers are often at the eucalyptus. I first tasted it in a small
southern California is gone. Howev- forefront of environmental and agri- batch of honey extracted in San Di-
er, it has been largely replaced by ex- cultural change. Here is another story, ego, where there are many varieties
tremely productive bee plants. Doz- from England: of eucalyptus. I never had it again un-
ens of varieties of eucalyptus have til recently, when someone gave me
been planted throughout the state. When we started beekeeping a little jar from Australia. To me, it is
During the 1980s, I produced tons of 38 years ago, rape [Brassica na- buttery, rich and mysterious.
honey from eucalyptus. Sadly, the rich pus] was a major crop. It started My friend Alan Mikolich told me
flavor and aroma was not universally to flower in the first week of May of an agave that grows out in the des-
appreciated. One time I took a truck and gave huge crops with the ert east of San Diego. When it came
load to a honey packer in Colton. The main flow at the end of May or into bloom, the beekeepers emptied
buyer said he was doing me a huge even early June. Now it flowers their tanks to get ready for it. All of
favor by buying the honey, at 35 cents much earlier — often at the end of the honey was packed and sold as
a pound. He said they already had as March, although this year it has a lot, bakery grade they called it. He
much eucalyptus as they wanted. been held back by the weather said when it was being extracted the
Beekeeping in southern Califor- and has only come into full flow- whole place smelled like rotten fish.
nia, of course, has changed, too. The er in the last few days. This year More recently Alan told me the hon-
massive population boom made it we have rape growing on a grand or of the worst honey he got is now a
increasingly difficult to find and keep scale — every apiary surrounded crop of honey from fields of onions.
good apiary sites. When I had bees by it — but at the moment we OK, I don’t really have one favor-
there, every time the phone rang I have a serious drought and ev- ite. At home, I have a wooden wine
was expecting that I would have to erything is as dry as dust and the crate filled with honeys from all over
the world. Many are associated with
particular experiences. I remember
the first time I had basswood honey;
I was 24 and a greenhorn. I never for-
got the tingly minty flavor.
I had buckwheat when I was a kid
and we would visit Wixson’s honey
stand on Seneca Lake. For me it has
a good taste. Others think it’s rank. I
guess it’s like Marmite, if you didn’t
learn to like it early on, you probably
won’t. They had a glass hive, too.
Kids love that stuff.
Orange blossom honey fires up
memories of growing up in San Di-
ego, surrounded by the groves. Eu-

926 American Bee Journal


calyptus honey doesn’t really link up but some prefer very mild honeys for with a hint of cinnamon. It tasted
with the trees in my mind, perhaps sweetening their beverages. like a fireball hard candy. I recall
because the honey doesn’t have the I remember going down to the reading somewhere that holly
characteristic pungency of the leaves. desert in Eastern San Diego with a trees can produce honey like this.
The foliage of the legendary black beekeeper to check some hives by a The trainee said there are a lot of
button sage fairly reeks; yet the hon- grapefruit grove. His bees had those holly trees in the area (Ilex spp).
ey is the mildest I have ever had. I like plastic feeder frames in every hive. Next to tulip poplar, this fireball
honeys that have a distinctive taste, The bees ran out of room and built honey is the best I ever tasted.
comb down into the feeders. I will
Definitions of Honey Classes for never forget tasting grapefruit hon- Any discussion of honey is liable to
U.S. Price Support Purposes eycomb, right in the grove. either be brief and cursory, or an ex-
Table honey Later, when my own kids were tensive and exhausting book length
young, we would have waffles on treatise. If you are interested in the
Alfalfa
Sunday mornings. I would warm up latter, I highly recommend any of the
Bird's-foot trefoil
some eucalyptus honey in a pan, and works on the subject by Dr. Eva Crane,
Blackberry we sloshed it on the waffles like syr- who dedicated her life to documenting
Brazil brush up. Here in New York state, a lot of the activities and honey production of
Catsclaw folks seem to prefer maple syrup over beekeepers throughout the world.
Clover honey. No accounting for taste!
Cotton Here are some notes from the field: RefeRenceS
Fireweed Crane, E. (1980). A book of honey. Oxford Uni-
It has been said that it is impos- versity Press.
Gallberry
sible to overstock a good gallber- Crane, E. (1983). Surveying the world’s honey
Huajillo plants. Central Association of Bee-Keepers.
Lima bean ry location (Ilex glabra). We do not Crane, E., Walker, P., & Day, R. (1984). Direc-
know that this statement is true, tory of important world honey sources. Inter-
Mesquite
but we have never heard of one national Bee Research Association.
Orange
being overstocked. We have had Jones, G. D., & Bryant, V. M. (2014). Pollen
Raspberry bees in a location where there studies of East Texas honey. Palynology,
Sage were 362 colonies, with the same 38(2).
Saw palmetto result as with 100 colonies. Good McArt, S. (2018). Notes from the Lab. Ameri-
Sourwood can Bee Journal. 158(9).
gallberry locations are nearly Miner, T. B. (1850). The American Bee Keeper’s
Star thistle numberless and large quanti- Manual. New York: C. M. Saxton.
Sweet clover ties of this fine honey are wasted Morse, R. A. (1991). Major U.S. Honey
Tupelo every year in localities where Plants. Bee Culture. (Jun 1991).
Vetch there is not a bee to gather it. The Stratford-upon-Avon Bees and Honey.
gallberry should be included in (2019). Personal communication.
Western wild buckwheat Thrasyvoulou, Andreas. “Suggestion for
Wild alfalfa
the list of the best honey plants
Improvements of European Legislation
(Wilder 1907).
Similar mild flavored honeys Governing Bee Products.”
Wilder, J. J. (1907). Writing in: Gleanings in
I asked around to get some more Bee Culture. (Sep 1907).
Non-table honey stories about honey experiences. Zander, E. (1938). Pollen Form and Chromo-
Aster Mike from Lower Alabama wrote: some Number. Bee World. (Nov 1938).
Avocado
Buckwheat (except “wild buckwheat”) The major honey plant I pursue Peter L Borst has
in my area is the black gum, other- worked in the bee-
Cabbage palmetto keeping industry since
Dandelion wise known as tupelo. However, his first job working as
Eucalyptus my location is along the Alabama beekeeper’s helper in
Goldenrod River in Alabama just below Wolcott NY, in 1974.
where US-84 crosses the river. In the late 1970s he
Heartsease (smartweed) helped run a beekeep-
I’ve finally gotten the bloom co-
Horsemint ing supply store in the
ordinated with that of the privet
Mangrove San Diego area, where he served beekeepers
hedge in the area. When the priv- of all levels of expertise.
Manzanita et is about to bloom is the time I
Mint need to move my hives in to the Peter managed 500 colonies of his own in
Partridge pea river bottom land area. the 1980s. From 1999 to 2006, he was Senior
Rattan vine Apiarist at Cornell's Dyce Lab for Honey Bee
Another correspondent, Chris, Studies. and worked as an apiary inspector
Safflower for New York State from 2006 to 2008. He is
Salt cedar (Tamarix gallica) wrote from Virginia: retired from Cornell University, and is a past
Spanish needle President of the Finger Lakes Bee Club.
Spikeweed Most unusual honey I ever
tasted was just 10 days ago. I was Peter has published over 40 articles on top-
Titi ics as diverse as beekeeping technique, the
helping a trainee with a prolific
Toyon (christmas berry) composition and value of pollen for bees, and
hive. The first frame we grabbed
Tulip poplar the history of bee breeding. He has done pre-
was packed with uncapped hon- sentations on these topics for venues rang-
Wild cherry ey, so we had ourselves a sample. ing from local elementary schools to bee-
Similarly flavored honeys The honey was spicy and sweet keeping organizations in many states.

August 2019 927


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928 American Bee Journal


August 2019 929
930 American Bee Journal
Measuring Propolis Deposition:
A Novel Approach
by Doug galloway anD Dennis Clay

T
he idiom, “There’s more than manufactured the components, an ect, accepted my proposal and took
one way to skin a cat,” came assembly jig and instructions, and the time to provide counsel through-
to mind while discussing my shipped them to Dr. Seeley. After out the 18-month duration of the proj-
North Carolina State Beekeepers As- that things moved quickly. Dr. See- ect. Dr. Tarpy gave additional form to
sociation (NCSBA), Master Beekeeper ley was emailed to see if he intended the original proposal and during the
Program (MBP) Master Craftsman to use the boxes for a research proj- project he contributed record keep-
Research project with friends and ac- ect involving propolis deposition in ing formats, process ideas and per-
quaintances one evening. The origin rough surfaced vs smooth surfaced spective as it evolved, and at the end
of the phrase apparently comes from boxes. He replied that he had many contributed statistical analysis of data
the many ways to skin a catfish. Most obligations and would not have the recorded.
will agree that as an idiom, it refers time, but would be happy to review a Thanks to Freddy Proni, EAS Mas-
to the concept that there is more than research proposal if the idea became ter beekeeper and second vice presi-
one way to accomplish even the most my choice for a Master Craftsman dent of the NCSBA, I was invited to
challenging task. It is also accurate to project. join an evening’s gathering of bee-
say that “there is more than one way One of the many things learned keepers and speakers at the March
to hive a swarm of bees,” but that isn’t from this experience, and the list is 2018, NCSBA Spring Conference in
as familiar to most. rather long, is that our beekeeping New Bern. Along with Freddy Proni
At the Eastern Apicultural Society community has so many dedicated were Dr. Tarpy, a couple of his post-
(EAS) 2017 meeting in Delaware, Dr. professionals willing to share their doctoral students, Dr. Marla Spivak,
Tom Seeley presented his “Darwin- thoughts, knowledge and experience the Chairman of the NCSBA MBP
ian Beekeeping” program. His pre- with those of us having no formal cre- Paul Newbold and his wife Cheryl,
sentation identified the difference dentials, just a passion for the honey amongst others. During the evening’s
between managed colonies living in bee and beekeeping. In North Caro- discussion, Dr. Tarpy brought up my
our man-made habitat vs feral colo- lina, Dr. David Tarpy at NCSU serves research project. Though the conver-
nies living in natural environments as an advisor to the NCSBA and the sation was encouraging, the prospect
such as the hollows of a tree. At one MBP. He agreed to be my advisor for of finding a way to quantitatively de-
point in his presentation, Dr. Seeley this Master Craftsman research proj- termine propolis deposition on wood
expressed concern that he was not seemed bleak. The project may have
able find a manufacturer who could been abandoned were it not for that
provide him a Langstroth brood box nagging phrase, “There’s (got to be)
with a rough interior surface. After more than one way to skin a cat.” As it
returning to North Carolina, a discus- turned out, another idiom presented
sion with a wood worker/beekeeper itself: “Necessity is the mother of in-
provided some optimism that a rough vention.” Research follows the same
interior surface box could be built. A track that every hard-earned solution
week later, H.S. Greene, owner and to life’s challenges takes. First is the
operator of Hidden Happiness Bee problem. Next is contemplation, ex-
Farm, called and said he had his first ploration, review, discussion, persis-
prototype rough interior surface box tence, review, discussion, tenacity, re-
ready for inspection. The materials view, discussion, stubborn fortitude,
used were resawn/band-sawn east- and then some small breakthrough
ern white pine. occurs. This process may need to be
At H.S. Greene’s shop, some pic- repeated multiple times to get to your
tures were taken and sent off to Dr. goal. Along the way, small revelations
Seeley to see what he thought. His are the rewards that keep the search
reply was, “Make me five.” H.S. Research Apiary and the research going forward.

August 2019 931


considered attempting to remove
the propolis and then measuring or
weighing it, but he discarded that
idea as wood is porous and it would
be impossible to effectively collect all
the propolis deposited. During that
March 2018 evening’s open discussion
with Dr. Tarpy, Dr. Spivak and others,
the consensus was that the mechani-
Hive stands for research apiary cal removal of deposited propolis to
weigh it or determine its volume, was Rough veneer installed in rough box
Listening to the dialogue that eve- not realistic. Research has been done
ning, an acquaintance and former to explore the benefits of propolis de-
neighbor who had worked for years position and increased propolis depo-
in the furniture business came to sition by attaching of propolis traps to
mind. Part of his responsibility was the interior of brood boxes. Another
managing moisture in wood being research project examined three ways
used in the industry. As the furniture to increase propolis deposition in the
business moved overseas, he began brood box. None could be found that
consulting to different companies ad- had offered a process to quantify the Comparison of rough vs smooth veneer
vising how to deal with the challenges amount of propolis deposited. The
of building wood furniture overseas, concept that we arrived at was rather be certain all the moisture had been
loading it in containers for shipping simple, like most things, but it took removed. The Oven Dried Weight
to the states and then preparing it for Dennis’ background to visualize it. (ODW) was then recorded for use in
delivery to U.S. customers. That was Wood, being porous, absorbs mois- the final calculations to determine
an “aha” moment for me, and without ture in the air which is reflected by the propolis deposition.
knowing if he held the solution to my relative humidity. As the humidity
problem, it seemed Dennis was the fluctuates, the moisture in the wood the pRoject:
perfect person to provide the answer, changes in response. This variable wa- An apiary was established includ-
if there was one, and there was. ter content in the wood eliminates any ing bear fencing, as we have plenty
Dennis Clay, NCSU graduate with chance of taking a wooden brood box, of healthy, hungry black bears in the
a degree in Mechanical/Aerospace weighing it before installing a colony mountains of NC. Ten hive stands
Engineering, living in Lenoir, NC, of bees, allowing the bees to do their were constructed that would each
was my best bet to work out a solu- job, removing the bees and reweigh- hold two hives, one each of the smooth
tion to the problem of measuring ing to see what the propolis deposi- interior brood body and rough interi-
propolis deposition on wood. Dennis tion is. There is no way to control the or brood body. All new wooden ware
has no experience in beekeeping, but humidity and thus the percent water was constructed and the hives were
has a keen understanding of wood. carried in the porous wood. Further, placed at the ends of each 8-foot hive
During our conversation, Dennis the amount of propolis applied to the stand, with the stands placed approxi-
asked insightful questions, and as interior surface of the wooden ware mately 15 feet apart. Twenty nucleus
our dialogue continued over the next as a protective coating is relatively colonies of Italian mutt bees were
couple of months, we arrived at the small so the measurement technique purchased from a NC vendor and in-
process that allowed this research to requires some precision. stalled on April 21, 2018. During in-
proceed. The method provides sus- That is when Dennis asked, “Could stallation, it was observed that most
tainable and credible values for the we use veneers?” Dennis explained of the colonies had no open brood,
measurement of propolis deposition that we could cut thin veneers of indicating the lack of laying queens.
on a wood surface. the same wood that the boxes were The vendor acknowledged that many
built from and attach the veneers to of the queens installed were virgins.
the pRoceSS: the interior of the rough and smooth Over the next couple of weeks, 10
When first discussing the idea of boxes prior to installing the nucleus queens were replaced by the vendor,
this research, Dr. Seeley said he had colonies. Veneer dimensions were again with virgin queens. During the
2 inches by 2.5 inches by 1/8 inch rest of the project, 10 mated queens
and were prepared by Hidden Hap- were purchased from a reliable queen
piness Bee Farm. Before the veneers breeder and installed as needed.
were installed, each was numbered During much of the project, due to
and processed. The process included the nucleus populations and health,
weighing the veneers after they had colonies were fed 1:1 sugar syrup and
achieved an Equilibrium Moisture essential oils. Varroa counts and no-
Content (EMC), then baking them sema levels were evaluated regularly.
in a convection oven at a relatively Varroa counts remained low during
low temperature for a couple hours most of the season with a moderate
to remove any capillary moisture. increase toward season end, when
After two hours, the veneers were re- colonies were treated when lev-
moved, weighed and placed back into els exceeded 1 varroa per 100 bees.
Research hives with bear fence in back- the convection oven for an additional Samples of honey bee foragers were
ground 30 minutes, then weighed again to removed for the determination of no-

932 American Bee Journal


sema levels and delivered to the NC finaL caLcuLationS:
State Department of Agriculture and A jeweler’s scale was used for all
Consumer Services Beneficial Bee Lab weight measurements, and the scale
where they were evaluated by Glenn was re-calibrated prior to each use.
Hackney. The June samples reflected The sacrificial veneers’ weights were
a moderate level of nosema while the compared to their Oven Dried Weights
October samples showed a high level. (ODW). The difference was the Equi-
By the end of the season, all colo- librium Moisture Content (EMC) that
nies had survived and preparations the sacrificial veneers acquired while
were made to evaluate propolis de- in the hives. This EMC was compared
position. Four sacrificial veneers were to the ODW of the sacrificial veneers
prepared in the same manner as the to arrive at a Percentage Equilibrium
colony veneers and installed in four Moisture Content (PEMC) relative to Smooth, rough, sacrificial veneers and
random colonies. Two veneers had oven dried veneer weight. The aver- veneer cage. The amount of propolis was
smooth surfaces while two had rough age PEMC was applied to the ODW of effectively equal on rough and smooth
surfaces. The veneers were placed the propolized colony veneers to de- veneers.
into cages made of #8 hardware cloth termine the moisture weight in those
to prevent the bees from depositing veneers. The ODW and EMC were cally significant relative to the rough
any propolis on them. They were then then subtracted from the total weight or smooth boxes, per Dr. Tarpy’s Sta-
placed inside the colonies between of the propolized veneers, leaving the tistical Analysis System (SAS) evalu-
the brood box and medium super for weight of propolis. ation of the data recorded during the
two days so they could reach an equi- project.
librium moisture content equivalent the ReSuLtS:
to the wooden ware in the colony. Though the rough veneers visu- concLuSionS:
On October 31, 2018, all veneers, ally appeared to have more propo- This is an effective process for mea-
both sacrificial and those the bees lis deposited on them, the weight of suring the quantity of propolis depos-
propolized, were removed from the propolis indicated that the amount ited by a colony of honey bees. This
colonies, promptly taken to the honey of propolis was effectively equal on technique can be applied to explore
house and weighed. The impact of at- both rough and smooth veneers, with propolis deposition in different loca-
mospheric humidity on the veneer’s a slightly higher amount of deposi- tions within the brood box, propolis
moisture content was minimized tion on the smooth veneers. Colony deposited or removed over a variety
by this strategy. The colony veneers strength was monitored through- of time frames, and propolis deposi-
which were installed in the brood out this project and was compared tion on a variety of wood surface tex-
boxes prior to nucleus colony instal- to propolis deposition (graph 1). It tures. Variations in length of time for
lation, had been exposed to propolis seems reasonable that propolis de- deposition, honey bee sub-species,
deposition for 193 days, a little over 6 position and colony strength should resin source and wood texture each
months. There was no source analysis correlate, and this graph favors that might have an effect on the results in
of the resins used in the propolis de- conclusion and further supports the future research.
posited. The project apiary is located effectiveness of this measurement
in the NC mountains, adjoining the method. acknowLedGementS:
Pisgah National Forest, with no sig- Although some ancillary observa- Thank you to the NCSBA MBP for
nificant tillable agriculture for a radius tions were made regarding colony providing the incentive to explore
of at least five miles. It is reasonable to health, varroa and nosema levels, apiculture research, and to Cynthia
conclude that the resin sources were population growth and queen perfor- Speed and Freddy Proni for their con-
mostly evergreen and deciduous trees. mance, none of these proved statisti- tent edit and review of this article.

Doug Galloway is an NCSBA MBP Master


Craftsman Beekeeper, an EAS Master Bee-
keeper, President of the Caldwell County
North Carolina Beekeepers Association and
now serves as Chairman of the NCSBA Mas-
ter Beekeeper Program. Currently the North-
ern Mountain Region Director for the NCSBA,
Doug keeps 25 colonies, enjoys spending
time with beekeepers and looking after his
farm in Caldwell County NC. Doug can be
contacted at dmg623@hotmail.com.

Dennis Clay is a 1969 graduate of N.C. State


University with a B.S. in Mechanical/Aero-
space Engineering, and successfully com-
pleted his Engineers in Training and Profes-
sional Engineering License. During his 28
years with Broyhill Furniture Industries, Den-
nis spent 20 years as Manager of the Lumber
Operations. He continues to consult to the
Graph 1. Bar graph is colony strength measured by frames of bees. Line graph is Woodworking Industry and can be contacted
colony veneer propolis deposition. at dennisclay98@gmail.com.

August 2019 933


934 American Bee Journal
Bodacious Blackberries
By Charlotte Ekker Wiggins

I
f you are new to beekeeping you Missouri’s 1839 honey wars? (See “A there is a simple way to distinguish
may be surprised at how much Honey of a War,” June 2018 ABJ.) We blackberries from other berries.
some beekeepers are obsessed have a long tradition of taking a stand When you pull on blackberries, they
with blackberries. The onset of black- over what is important, such as bee hold on to their stems while berries
berries means two things: trees. And blackberries. such as black raspberries pull cleanly
First, it can mean the last of the Although I prefer them fresh and off the plant stem leaving a hollow
spring cold spells, or “blackberry warm right off the brambles, there center.
winter,” when temperatures dip be- are a number of other ways to enjoy This cobbler recipe is relatively easy
low freezing for one last time before blackberries, starting with my second to make. It’s my family’s favorite and
warmer weather sets in. summer favorite way, in a cobbler. is excellent if you want to freeze some
To beekeepers, blooming black- By the way, if you run into bram- for later enjoyment such as a cold,
berries means the beginning of “the bles and you want to identify them, snowy mid-winter day.
flow,” when temperatures between
75-85F trigger plants to produce nec-
tar. Nectar production entices pollina-
tors to indulge their sweet mandibles
while leaving flowers with a precious
pollen cargo, ensuring that plants re-
produce.
Blackberries have a long history of
being hybridized, enough that today
we don’t have the original blackberries
first found in North America in the late
1700s. And although we may be plant-
ing the same varieties in different loca-
tions, climate and soil may impact how
well the plants produce. Local univer-
sity extension offices and fruit experi-
ment stations will have lists of the best
varieties to grow in your area.
Where I live in mid-Missouri, the lo-
cals have favorite blackberry patches,
exact locations passed down through
generations to favored, and select,
family members. Don’t ask where
the locations are, that may have been
the trigger to a number of still ongo-
ing and seemingly unexplainable in- This tiny green berry is between getting beekeepers on the run and turning black to
terfamily skirmishes. Ever heard of become a treat on your dinner table. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

August 2019 935


BETTY CROCKER COOKBOOK BLACKBERRY COBBLER Charlotte Ekker Wig-
gins is an advanced
master gardener and
¾ cup sugar 1 cup flour Missouri beekeeper.
1 TBSP cornstarch 1 TBSP sugar She shares her gar-
dening adventures at
3 cups blackberries with any juice 1 ½ tsp baking powder gardeningcharlotte.
½ tsp butter ½ tsp salt com and beekeeping
½ tsp cinnamon 3 TBSP shortening stories at homesweetbees.com. Contact
1 cup boiling water ½ cup milk Charlotte at chargardens@gmail.com.

Mix together in saucepan sugar and cornstarch. Stir in gradually boiling


water. Bring to boil. Boil one minute, stirring constantly. Add fruit. Pour into
10x6x2” baking dish. Dot with butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Cut in the shortening. Stir in
milk to make soft dough. Drop dough spoonfuls onto fruit mixture. Don’t worry
if they don’t touch; the dough expands during baking.
Bake 400F for 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings. Serve warm with whipped
cream or better yet, homemade ice cream with a drizzle of honey.

No time to bake? Then it’s time for Finally, here is a perfect recipe for that quick blackberry dessert that tastes
this recipe from Christopher Lloyd’s like you spent hours making it:
“Gardener Cook” book to preserve the
taste of summer blackberries for fall:

NO SUGAR APPLE
BLACKBERRY JAM

From “The Healthy Cook”

3 McIntosh or Golden Delicious


apples (1¼ pounds) peeled,
cored and chopped
1 can (12 ounces) unsweetened
apple juice concentrate
1 pound fresh blackberries

Combine apples and apple


juice concentrate in stainless steel
saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer,
cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Add blackberries. Return the
mixture to a gentle simmer; cover
and cook 5 minutes.
Uncover the pan and increase
the heat to medium high. Cook, I save Blackberry Fool syrup to dribble over the desert before serving.
(Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)
stirring frequently, for 15 minutes
or until all liquid has almost all
evaporated . BLACKBERRY FOOL
Pour the jam into hot, scalded
preserving jars, leaving 18” 2 ½ cups fresh (or frozen) blackberries
headspace. Wipe rims clean, attach ½ cup sugar
lids and tightly screw on caps. Juice from half a lemon
Invert jars for 10 seconds. Cool on 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
wire rack. Store in refrigerator.
Put the blackberries in a saucepan with sugar and lemon juice, then
Makes 3 cups; 23 calories per tsp. heat slowly on low. After simmering for 10 minutes, push the pan contents
through a large mesh strainer. Leave to cool. Whip up heavy whipping cream
until fairly thick, then gently fold in the pulp; add fruit juice to your consis-
tency preference.
Pour into bowl and chill.
I have been known to save leftover blackberry syrup to pour over ice cream

936 American Bee Journal


Why We Squeeze
Out Every Drop
by Howard Scott

W
e beekeepers are strange (I for instance, sometimes wonder gross generalization, beekeepers are
dudes. It seems we are ob- about my obsessiveness), and pro- not frivolous. They see the world in
sessed with honey. Witness vide a rationale for our own egos. black and white. Their motto might
me during the last honey extraction. On the surface, we’re beekeepers be: If you spend a dollar, you want
I pour all the honey out of the extrac- and honey is our game. Sure we're to get your money’s worth, and that
tor through the port. Then I tip up the in it for curiosity and understand- means harvesting all the honey you
machine, rest it on a sawhorse, and ing of insect societies, but unless we can.
let more flow out overnight. Then I leave everything to the bees, honey Furthermore, beekeepers realize
stand it upright, and with a long-han- is the product of our efforts. Some the effort and cooperation that went
dle rubber scraper, try to pry out any of us make sideline incomes out of into creating every teaspoon of honey.
remaining residue. Finally, I reach honey sales. Some of us try to break The beekeeper pictures all that goes
in through the port with a spoon to even with our hobby. Some of us like into creating this special substance.
gather any sticking bits around the to give as much honey away as gifts. He sees the foragers flying three
opening. So it’s what we do. Getting as much miles away, immersing themselves
At that point, and only at that point, honey as we can provides pleasure as in every flower they find, sucking
am I ready to place the extractor near well as affirmation of our efforts. the nectar from pistils, and return-
my beehives and let them suck out To put it another way, the abso- ing to the hive entrance. He catches
the remainder. In fact, with any bee lutely worst possible situation is the transporters meeting gatherers at the
activity — leaving the supers atop the following: entrance and transferring nectar. He
hive until the last possible minute, “I would like to purchase some of envisions the transporters disgorg-
pouring bottles at exactly the right your honey.” ing the liquid into vats. He pictures
height, feeding honey that fell to the “I’m afraid I’m out of stock.” processors fanning the honey until
ground to the bees — I am similarly As you say this, your face turns the liquid content is 17%. Finally, he
driven to obtain every drop. red, and your fingers start to tingle imagines builders capping the honey
The question is, what is the big and your heart palpitates, as you for future use. It is said that, to cre-
deal if I obtain 206 or 204 pounds at failed a customer who depended on ate a one-pound jar, bees make 40,000
harvest time? Why not make it easy you to keep a supply on hand. For trips, fly 50,000 miles, and visit 2 mil-
on myself and just take what pours you committed the one cardinal rule lion flowers.
through the spigot? Why do I need to of beekeeping: Always have a supply Your average individual just sees a
get every drop that’s humanly pos- on hand. jar of honey as a product not unlike
sible? Then, it seems to me that beekeep- a jar of peanut butter. And so he is
I know I am not alone. Fellow bee- ers have a particularly keen aver- amazed when he sees the beekeep-
keepers have spoken about attempts sion to wasting. Others have said it er bending over into the extractor
to get 100% of available honey. One less gently, “Beekeepers are a cheap wrenching his arm back and forth,
practitioner told me: “I don’t know lot.” Being a tightwad makes sense. grunting with every stroke, trying
about you, but I treat my honey like The activity is something that can be to reclaim every bit of honey. But
gold. I want to get every morsel I’m done for a small amount of money. It the beekeeper just takes the required
entitled to.” So why are we so com- doesn’t take a lot of training to learn. effort in stride. He knows that such
pulsive, or as some might say, un- It’s not particularly glamorous. In insect involvement merits care. Get
healthily, absurdly fixated? This ar- fact, it is downright grungy at times, every drop you can, the practitioner
ticle will present some arguments like when we have to melt down old says, they put out amazing effort for
to soothe some questioning natures comb in a solar melter. To make a you.

August 2019 937


There is another reason for us apia- the favor next year with more abun- Unlike other forms of agriculture, like
rists to be rapacious and that is the dance. apple trees, where 20% of the produce
current state of affairs. Beekeepers But that abundance has slimmed. I falls to the ground and quickly rots,
know that honey production is less am more careful. I take extra steps not beekeeping is a no-waste system. By
plentiful now than it was 25 years to spill my liquid gold. I take more being eager beavers, we are part of
ago. Today’s practitioner faces many efforts to clean out the extractor. Af- that perfect circle.
new obstacles. Between varroa mites, ter I empty a tub, I let it sit overnight, So beekeepers, don’t feel guilty
CCD, hive beetles, pesticides contain- and reclaim the pooled remainder the next time you go to absurd measures
ing neonicotinoids, our bee popula- next day. I need it all, because I don’t to retrieve every drop of honey you
tion is suffering. Illness and disease know what next year will bring. can. It’s simply part of the culture.
is endemic in colonies. Hives are not Then there’s the exercise factor.
overwintering. Honey production is Most of us are desk people or button Scott, a 35-year-beekeeper from Pembroke,
down. So we are most appreciative pushers on a machine. We don’t move MA, has published 190 articles in ABJ. He is
the author of the best-selling Bee Lessons.
of whatever bounty there is, and we around that much. Beekeeping pro- See www.beelessons.com.
make extra effort to get every drop vides opportunity to stretch our bod-
we can. ies, flex unused muscles, punch up
In the good old days, I harvested our strength, squeeze in tight places,
500 to 600 pounds of honey from my and strain under pressure. Heck, per-
three or four hives, and it seemed like haps we’ll return to the slim bodies of
bountiful harvests would go on for- our youth.
ever. I suppose I took it for granted. Finally, the beekeeping cycle is a
Since honey just poured forth every no-waste circle. Bees create honey. We
July and September, I didn’t have to extract excess honey, leaving them
be miserly. I was more generous with just enough to survive the winter.
gifts. I sold my honey for a lot less But even after extracting, we return
than I do now — I believe my price the remaining honey to the bees. Did
was $5 a one pound jar a decade ago. you ever leave a strainer with nylon
I gave a lot back to the bees. After all, sheath gunked with honey outside
we had a sharing partnership. They overnight on a plate? The next day,
could go to the bottoms of the extrac- the nylon feels downy dry. Not even
tor and tubs a lot easier than I could. the smell of honey remains. It’s so dry
I did this because they would return you could wipe it across your skin.

E. Suhre Bees LOHMAN APIARIES


since 1946
Quality Queens and Packages
Package Bees available April and May Old World Carniolan
for Over-wintering and Honey Production
Queens available April through October Dennis Lohman Apiaries
6437 Wagner Road
For information, pricing or ordering ARBUCKLE, CALIFORNIA 95912
530-476-2322
call Eric (530) 228-3197
Member of California Bee Breeders Association

938 American Bee Journal


March 2018 939
940 American Bee Journal
Fulbright-Nat Geo
Storyteller Award
Takes WSU Bee
Researcher to Spain

PULLMAN, Wash.—Though career blow-up and I knew I needed to be up fixed to bees’ hairy backs to measure
coaches encourage job applicants to to date on scientific research and envi- mating flights of queens and drones.
say “yes” with a can-do attitude, an- ronmental practices.” She knew about Kirby will take hundreds of RFID
swering “no” to a Peace Corps ques- progressive research in a WSU honey readers to Spain, which will allow her
tion 22 years ago set Washington State bee lab, and in 2017, she was accepted to gather information for numerous
University student Melanie Margarita to the land-grant research university comparisons.
Kirby on a career and academic path to pursue a master’s degree in ento- Additional related activities are
like no other. It’s one that will take mology. She wanted to be more of an planned for her Fulbright-Nat Geo.
her to Spain this fall for a nine-month authority on queen breeding and bee “I speak fluent Spanish thanks to my
Fulbright-National Geographic Story- germplasm conservation, and to help heritage, so I’ll interview regional
telling Fellowship — WSU’s first. other beekeepers and agriculture, in beekeepers about traditions and folk-
“In 1997, the Peace Corps question- general. lore associated with honey and bee
naire asked if I would mind working “Now, having received the Ful- products, and about challenges they
with stinging insects,” the 45-year- bright-Nat Geo, I feel that all my face, like global climate change. I will
old mother of two recalled, “and by blood, sweat, and tears have been val- give queen breeding presentations
saying ‘no, I wouldn’t mind,’ my life idated.” How she got to where she’s and workshops with my Coordina-
changed forever. I was introduced to going is a story worth telling. dores Organisados de Agricultura y
beekeeping as a volunteer in Para- Ganaderia program hosts.”
guay, and that led to my own small matinG, cLimate, and pictoGRaphS She will also research historical
farm back in New Mexico, raising “Receiving the award is both ex- archives and cultural expositions re-
honey bees and breeding queens. citing and surreal,” she said. “It’s vealing the relationship between ce-
“That was right around the time of amazing to think I’ll be able to take ramic and clay arts and apiculture.
the ‘colony collapse disorder’ media technology from WSU to Spain to use Clay has been used to house hives,
to compare the mating habits of our preserve seeds, store food, and build
non-native, hybridized honey bees in homes, and “the intersection of this
the U.S. to endemic ones that live on medium with practical and artistic
the Iberian Peninsula.” manifestations is fascinating to me.”
Kirby conducts research in the WSU She explained that beekeeping,
Apis Molecular Systematics Labo- from honey hunting to agroecol-
ratory, directed by Steve Sheppard. ogy and industrial agriculture, has
With diagnostic and research labs manifested in almost every culture
plus a 21-year-old queen breeding and country. She will visit the oldest
program, the lab team works to cre- known cave painting of a honey gath-
ate sustainable solutions to problems erer on the wall of Cuevas de la Araña
facing honey bees. Kirby’s Fulbright (Cave of the Spider) near Valencia.
project name is not surprising: “Bees “To think of what inspired that art-
as Seeds: How Endemic Strains of ist eight thousand years ago to share
Honey Bees Can Support Sustainable this practice and capture history dem-
Apiculture.” It aligns with her mas- onstrates how revered honey was,
ter’s thesis research. and continues to be. It’s incredible.”
She’s worked with two teams of en-
gineering undergraduates to develop one of five diGitaL StoRyteLLeRS
Radio-Frequency Identification De- Also amazing is the fact that Kirby
Melanie Kirby vices (RFIDs). The teensy chips are af- is one of just five scholars nationwide

August 2019 941


to receive the 2019-20 Fulbright-Nat and multidisciplinary approaches.” Corps crash training in tropical api-
Geo Storytelling fellowship out of She details the time she placed mating culture sparked an idea. She visited
more than 200 semi-finalist appli- nucleus hives with her select queens, regional beekeepers to learn about
cants. Since the prestigious, nation- encouraging them to mate with hardy their businesses, and rode five hours
ally competitive fellowship was first drones from canyon wall pockets at by bus to capital city Asuncion to use
awarded in 2014-15, there have been the Benedictine Monastery of Christ cyber-café computers to do research.
only about 30 recipients out of near- in the Desert, some 13 wilderness At last, and as forewarned, “sting-
ly 2,000 applicants. Awardees have miles by dirt road after 50 miles of ing insects” became part of her world.
special opportunities to share stories highway north of Santa Fe. By day, Kirby and village “campe-
on National Geographic world-wide “Storytelling is natural for me. I de- sina” women used machetes to hack
platforms using a variety of digital scend from many cultures that share their way into dense forests, and ham-
storytelling tools, including blogs, oral storytelling traditions,” said mers and saws to build simple hives.
text, photography, video, audio/pod- Kirby. Her maternal grandfather was By night, wearing nets over their hats
casts, and public speaking. of Tiwa Pueblo Native American/ and dishwashing gloves as protec-
While Kirby is having adventures, Mexican Indigenous heritage and her tion, they filled the air with smoke
April Seehafer, director of the WSU grandmother was a member of Mes- from smoldering bits in tin cans to
Distinguished Scholarships Program, calaro Apache Native American tribe. calm the bees so they could gingerly
said she is most looking forward to Her father was from St. Vincent Island capture wild swarms from coco trees.
continuing to read about and listen to in the Caribbean. Kirby was raised in Shortly, the villagers had new sources
what the Fulbrighter is up to in Spain. Las Cruces, New Mexico, not far from of income: honey made by the bees,
Having helped prepare for the appli- the Texas border. plus other products from the insects
cation and interview, Seehafer knows She and her sister, Kelly, were and their hives.
that Kirby is already an experienced raised by their mother, Rosemary Gar- Two years passed quickly. She had
storyteller, something that impressed cia Estrada Kirby. They take part each planned to DJ in San Francisco elec-
Nat Geo interviewers in March in year in tribal festivities as members of tronica clubs when her Peace Corps
Washington, D.C. the Tortugas Pueblo. Kirby includes service ended. Instead, she worked
Kirby writes for and edits an online her daughter, Isis Spitzig, 10, and son, at a friend’s gardenia farm in Hawaii
newsletter for Kelley Beekeeping, a Esai-Mateo Spitzig, 7, who are both and then commercial beekeeping com-
95-year-old Kentucky supply compa- students at Franklin Elementary in panies in Hawaii, Michigan, and Flor-
ny, and writes blog posts for Mother Pullman. They will join her for her ida to learn more about the biological
Earth News and her own business, Zia time in Spain. processes of the insects. Soon enough,
Queenbees. It specializes in pollina- One of Kirby’s most interesting sto- she raised her own in New Mexico.
tion and breeding products, and “ex- ries details how she was first stung by “It’s really evolved into more than a
quisite hive products.” the beekeeping bug. business or even a scholarly vocation
In person, Kirby mesmerizes listen- to me,” she said.
ers with tales of how queens vibrate paRaGuayan poLLinatoR paRadiSe
a mating call in “bee Morse Code,” “I’d just graduated with an ad- an enduRinG act of SeRvice
how honey bees evolved about 100 vanced liberal arts bachelor’s degree “Bees are considered a keystone spe-
million years ago, and how endemic from St. John’s College in Santa Fe cies of livestock, being keys to the food
honey bees are found today in Africa, and volunteered for the Peace Corps, chain. By working with bees, I sort of
Europe, and Asia but are slowly dis- like my mother before me. My affin- see myself as doing service to human-
appearing. ity for Rocky Mountain landscapes kind. Becoming a caretaker of the fu-
Her eyes sparkle as she recounts made me hope I’d be assigned to live ture, of place and purpose,” said Kirby.
her adventures as a “nectar nomad in mountains. So anything beyond “Thanks to WSU, and the Fulbright-
and dedicated promoter of consil- that, such as working with stinging Nat Geo fellowship, I believe I can
ience, or the unification of knowledge insects, was fine with me.” Her wish make a difference.”
came true.
She moved to a remote Guarani For more information, contact
village in the Cerros de Ybytyruzu April Seehafer, Director, WSU Dis-
(Wind from the Hills), Paraguay, in tinguished Scholarships Program, at
mid-South America. In tiny Calle Mil seehafer@wsu.edu.
(population 400, “and 350 of them
were children”), Kirby inherited pet
dog Joi Joi and a wood-slat shack
from previous corps-persons. She
slept under mosquito netting, dug her
own latrine, and kept two wary eyes
out for coral snakes, spiders, geckos,
long-haired caterpillars, alligators, ar-
madillos, and howler monkeys.
Kirby cultivated the villagers’ trust
by drinking yerba mate tea with them,
day in and day out. They were eager,
they said, to create income streams to
pay for elementary school, shoes, and
supplies for their children. Her Peace

942 American Bee Journal


From the
Archives
Preparation for Comb Honey Production
by Carl E. Killion
American Bee Journal, February 1955

In the News & Events section of this issue, we tell the story of the Carl and Gene Killion
Trophy, created in honor of a father-and-son duo famous for comb honey production in
Illinois. In that spirit, we share here a 64-year-old article by Carl Killion detailing some
of the secrets of their success.

T
o produce a crop of any agricul- to ensure more brood rearing space made ready to be placed on the hives
tural product requires planning and food for winter, also food for the following day.
and preparation far in advance spring brood rearing. Several of our We are using more package bees in
of the harvest, and the production colonies are used each year just for the production of comb honey and
of a crop of section comb honey is storing honey and pollen in full depth each year like the idea a little bet-
no exception to this rule. We some- hive bodies which may be used in the ter. The packages are not supposed
times wonder just when the prepara- fall on hives which were selected for to swarm the first year of installa-
tion for the 1955 crop began. It could comb honey production. tion, but sometimes they do. Years
have been in mid-June, 1954, when Colonies that appear too light are ago, when we produced a little liq-
we carefully selected breeding stock given sugar sirup to bring them up uid honey, we could turn our backs
and began rearing queens to head our to the necessary amount of food. For upon packages as far as swarming
honey-producing colonies for 1955. winter protection during the last six was concerned. We find that our
All our comb honey is produced on years we have been merely wrapping overwintered colonies swarm at the
single hive bodies. Soon after the last our hives, using the Bemis Bag Wrap- start of the flow, while the packages
comb honey supers are removed from per. This is easy to put on in the fall start later on, toward the middle of
the colonies, we are eager to give the and take off in the spring and we have the flow. The same swarm control
colonies their second brood chamber been well pleased with the results. methods are used with the packages
We have considerable table and as with the overwintered colonies. In
bench work to do each winter. We the book, “Honey in the Comb,” are
enjoy this work as we are indoors several pages devoted to swarm con-
and feel sorry for those who must trol and requeening.
work outdoors, especially in one of I would like to mention the method
our “old-fashioned” Illinois winters. we use in getting both our package
Part of our winter work is scraping bees and our overwintered colonies
propolis from all separators and su- ready for the expected honeyflow.
pers. If new sections come in contact We will start with our overwintered
with ridges and bumps of propolis colonies. The earliest that we remove
on the separators, the wood stains, the winter wrapping is about the first
and, of course, the parts of the su- week in April, but sometimes not un-
pers will not handle quite so easily. til the middle of April. The first in-
Each winter we try to have all sec- spection is naturally for any dead col-
tions folded, the foundation fastened onies, amount of food, disease, and
in them and then painted with paraf- queenlessness. All dead colonies and
fin so as to be ready before the sea- the very weak ones are immediately
son starts. The past season we did loaded on the truck and brought to
not get all the supers ready in time the shop, the weak ones being gassed
for the flow and many times we were before loading. These bodies of combs
obliged to work until near midnight are used later for package bees.
in order that the supers could be The colonies which need feed are
Carl E. Killion

August 2019 943


next morning. The hives are screened
on top and entrances left open. The
trucks are carefully checked so that
no stops are necessary while the bees
are enroute to their destination.
In most cases we have some foun-
dation and the rest drawn combs in
The result of the hive bodies to receive the pack-
good breeding age bees. During the past few years
stock. we have been increasing the num-
ber of colonies each year and are al-
ways short when it comes to drawn
brood comb. Some of the combs we
use contain honey. A division board
feeder holding about 5 pounds of
sugar sirup is placed in each body
to receive a package. We also give
our packages a pollen cake immedi-
marked and given sugar sirup and a this cutting down procedure. The ately. Here in east central Illinois for
pollen cake if necessary. We do not queens or cells given to the stacks of several years we have received our
feed pollen supplement as early as increase were grafted before our hon- packages on May 1st, this last season
recommended by some, preferring eyflow to colonies being fed, so as to on April 21st. We now like the lat-
to feed it about the second and third encourage as good cell building as ter date as the bees can store some
week in April. We try to keep all colo- possible. pollen from dandelion. Gene and I
nies in the best condition for brood Six years ago, at my son Gene’s sug- both feel that the pollen cakes given
rearing by feeding and reversing the gestion, we collected several ounces the packages at the time they are
two brood chambers, as queens like of royal jelly and placed it in a locker placed in the hives may reduce the
to work in the upper hive body. This along with our frozen berries and supersedure of queens. We have had
reversing puts more empty cells in food. The following year the royal a very small amount of supersedure
the upper body and keeps the queen jelly was brought out and used in the in all our package bees and this pol-
occupied with egg laying. A third grafting of our early queens. The re- len cake feeding may account for the
hive body is sometimes necessary for sults were so good that Gene bas fol- small percentage. In using package
the expansion of the colony. The bees lowed this practice ever since. He has bees for comb honey, one must know
are kept in the two or three hive bod- kept a record of acceptance of cells in what kind of bees he is getting as
ies until the honeyflow actually starts, cell-building colonies. We find that some bees do not do the job of comb
when the colony is reduced (cutting we could store approximately two building and finishing properly.
down, we call it) to a single hive body pounds of royal jelly each season if Our overwintered colonies have
with the queen and most of the bees. there were an increase in the demand given us more sections per colony
The extra bodies of brood are used for it. Each year we have saved from than our package bees have, but the
for increase, making a stack of about 6 to 10 ounces of this (new wonder packages give us less work. We ex-
four or five bodies and two days later drug) jelly and stored it in our food pect to continue having our own
giving them a young queen or a ripe locker. It keeps perfectly. colonies produce the bulk of our crop
queen cell. Our bees are wintered in sheltered and buy only enough package bees to
It is well to mention here that all areas near here and after the cutting make up any winter loss and to pro-
our requeening is done during the down to the single hive body they are vide for any possible increase that we
honeyflow or about two weeks after hauled to the summer locations the may want.

(L) Here a comb honey super is converted into a shallow frame super for producing chunk honey. (R) The super may be used for
a shallow-frame honey. A closed-end frame is ideal for shipping.

944 American Bee Journal


August 2019 945
South Georgia Apiaries Sanders Honey GOT WAX? GET PAID!
It’s that simple!
Quality Italian Queens Queens Light and dark.
Queen cells For Sale Rendering services available.
for pick-up only at: BEE EXCELLENT
300 Wisteria Ln. Josh Sanders Phone (218) 776-3593
Baxley, GA 31513 7288 Perdie Lee Rd Fax (218) 776-3502
Tel (912) 366-9022 Nicholls GA 31554 E-mail bexcel@gvtel.com
Fax (912) 367-0012
912-399-8480 Global inquiries welcome.

946 American Bee Journal


American Bee Journal
MarketPlace
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plus $8.00 S/H. Checks, Money Orders, changer. 2 – 80-frame extractors, 1- uncapper
Credit Cards. Parsons’ Gold Apiaries, – extended tank. 1 Myno pump. 2 – stainless
c/o Robert B. Parsons, 2092 Twp. Rd., steel tanks and stands – 12 drums each. Call:
195, Forest, OH 45843. (308) 470-0177.
Turnkey Small Farm, profitable Gift Shop
For Sale – 3000 10-frame singles. 2015 and home on Approximately 6 acres on State
queens, new equipment. Also, 5-frame highway in Southern Oregon. Great visibility.
FOR SALE nucs available. Call Chris (941) 720- Wonderful opportunity for Beekeeper, busi-
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Bobcat, Hummerbee and Superbee Trailers cus- candles, beekeeping supplies, produce and
1000 hives 10-frame two-story on 4-way pallets,
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nate floors and drywall finish, 10′ x 8′ walk-in
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cooler. Furniture and fixtures included. Beau-
Singles and Doubles in 8 frame equip. 50 hive separately. Used Bobcat’s bought, sold and trade- tiful Pollinator Garden. 3 greenhouses. Or-
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ing Jon (208)412-1092 or Sheila (208)863-0855 smoker boxes, all built by a beekeeper FOR bee- operation. Organic methods employed since
www.tvbees.com keepers. www.tropictrailer.com - Eli Mendes 1998. Barn, small shop, older house for storage.
Five frame NUCS for sale mid-April through Fall. 239-340-0484, eli@tropictrailer.com Residence: newer 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, in-floor
Price dependent on season and quantity of order. 5 frame Nucs, 10 frame single hives on four-way heating. excellent view of private pond and Mt
Minimum order of 24 NUCS. No frame trade, pallets, doubles, and story and a half hives, avail- McLoughlin. 16′ x 32 above ground pool with
only return of our boxes. Call early to secure your able year round in large and small quantities. Lo- small deck. Asking $929,000. Mike, (541) 840-
order. FOB Lewistown PA or Dade City, FL. cated in the Florida Panhandle. Call for pricing, 5955.
Please call W. Fisher Bee Farm for more infor- Ryan Faircloth 850-510-4627. Partial ND honey company for sale. Contact:
mation. 1-800-736-6205. Ask for Aaron. FOR SALE: Deep extracting supers, 9-frames per BumblebeePalace76@outlook.com
Cowen Heated top and bottom bar cleaner with super. (308) 470-0177. For Sale: 165 5/8 supers with drawn comb, in
extra SS tub and hot water supply unit purchased 5 Frame nucs in NorthEast Oklahoma. Available good condition. Also a Mann Lake steam genera-
in 2009 less than 40 hours, asking $6000.00. Late April through Fall. No minimums. Taking tor, like new! (701) 391-4703. Elgin, ND.
Item available for pickup in Lewistown, PA or orders now for Spring 2019. www.RoarkAcres. Cowen uncapper with custom tank, new knives,
Dade City, Florida. For more information call
com Michael Roark (918)578-9201 nucs@ hot water tank, and deboxer. $4500 OBO. Also
800-736-6205.
roarkacres.com Cowen 4” honey auger with hopper. $1000 OBO.
Singles for sale, delivery possible on orders over New Beekeepers Forklift Trailers: 8000 lb. torflex Missouri. Rick. 816-651-1057.
200. For pricing and availability call: 800-736-6205. axle, 17.5/16 ply tires, electric brakes, tilt bed, ex- 2000 medium depth supers, 1000 feeders with
2000 10-frame hives, new queens, on 4-way pal- panded metal treads. $6,500.00 For photos E-mail: wooden tops, 1000 cedar lids. 909-286-8288.
lets, very good equipment in FL. Now or after al- gcamfab@yahoo.com 269-685-1000 (cell/text). Bees wax for sale in bulk. Please email us for
monds in CA. Limited numbers of 4 and 5-frame Top quality cut comb honey. Comb in the jar, price at cmwaibel@gmail.com
deep nucs. Also available in FL starting in March. and extracted star thistle, basswood, Florida or- 50 STRONG HIVES FOR SALE! AVAILABLE
Call NOW!! (262) 689-1000.
ange and melaleuca free pepper honey. 10 frame NOW, GOOD PRICE, located in south Califor-
Make your own Honey Sticks. Complete sys-
tem to start putting your honey in your own singles and 5 frame nuc’s available for almonds. nia. Call or text Tony (760)703-0527 or E-mail:
sticks for pennies per stick. Keep the profits Call Larry at 231-735-1203 or email debbie@ Esco_queen20@yahoo.com
for yourself. www.honeystickmachine.com hilbertshoney.com 300 Winter cartons. Corrugated black plastic,
Strong, healthy 5 frame Nucs (deep or medium) New 700 --6 5/8 supers w/foundation, painted, oversized for insulation. Will fit over 2 standard
available in South Florida starting in April of ready for bees. $30 each. (360) 263-2425. hives sitting side by side. Will last for many years.
2018. Limited quantities of mated queens are also West central North Dakota beekeeping opera- Located in Huron SD. 605-354-1664.
available. Call Joseph at (561) 715-5715 to place tion. Currently running 4000 plus story and FOR SALE: 200 bee covers, 250 queen exclud-
your order. a half colonies. All 6 5/8” honey supers. 9000 ers, 400 C.C. Pollen traps, 300 honey room swivel
HONEY PRICE UPDATES. Call Honey Hot square foot warehouse with employee living carts, Cook and Beal automatic uncapper, 300
quarters. Cowen 120 system, Cook and Beals feeders, 200- 9 5/8 box’s with comb. (605) 695-
Line. (763) 658-4193.
spin float and heat exchanger. 120 plus regis- 8251.
PACKAGED BEES AND 5-FRAME NUCS. tered North Dakota locations and California 900 – 2 LB. package bee cages – 135 – 5 5/8”
TAKING ORDERS NOW FOR 2018. CALL almond contracts. Complete turn key opera- supers. (218) 242-2747.
(231) 735-1203. tion with trucks, trailers, bobcats or partial
sale. All past production records available.
For Sale: 200 5-frame nucs and 400 single hives Contact phones: 701-938-4647 or 701-290-
in Florida. (772) 633-1134. 0175. Email contact: bon@ndsupernet.com

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.

August 2019 947


VARROA MITE THERMAL TREATMENT NUCS & QUEENS – shipping available.
kills phoretic mites AND those capped with the ROYAL JELLY NorthFloridaBees@mail.com (850) 661-
brood, with 106F air and NO chemicals. The BEST 100% PURE FRESH ROYAL JELLY.
$65.00 per kilo + shipping. HIGHEST PO- 8077
Victor is a telescoping top with heater, thermo-
stat and fans to circulate the warm air through out TENCY. LOWEST PRICES guaranteed on large A & W Enterprises, Northern California Queen’s.
the brood super. The bees can tolerate the heat, orders. TOP QUALITY. Stakich, Inc. 248-642- Now taking orders for Queens, competitive pric-
but the mites die in a three hour treatment. The 7023 X 301 ing, Mated Italians and Carniolan Queens. Order
Victor is powered by your deep cycle 12v bat- 100 Queens or more and get special pricing. All
tery so it can go anywhere, and be moved from POLLEN orders shipped next day UPS, pick-ups are wel-
hive to hive. The Victor is $195 plus shipping, QUALITY, CLEAN, LOW MOISTURE POL- come. Call for pricing - Dave @208-861-8303 All
and uses just $.08 of electricity per treatment. LEN $5.90/lb. Min. 10 lbs. + shipping. LOW- orders email to BeesAWenterprise@gmail.com
WWW.GREENBEEHIVES.COM EST PRICES guaranteed for large orders. for confirmation.
The IPK SMALL HIVE BEETLE TRAP is a Stakich, Inc. Phone 248-642-7023 X 301 Northern California Queens – Good Quality
bottom board with a special #6 screen that lets the Irradiated fresh pollen guaranteed from Cali- Bred Italians. Call Jake: (530) 517-0359.
beetles fall through into a built-in tray of cooking fornia. We have irradiated fresh bee pollen for
oil under the hive, but not the bees. Regular #8 sale. For inquiries or to place an order, please WANTED
screen bottoms do not have large enough openings email us at: backroadbeekeeping@gmail.com, Honey and Beeswax wanted. All colors and
for SHB. Works in just a few days, not weeks. or call 916-716-0302. You can also visit us at varietals. Send samples or call Smitty Bee Honey
WWW.GREENBEEHIVES.COM. our website at backroadbeekeeping.com (712) 748-4292.
Fresh California pollen. Spring blend of wild- Beekeeper w/bees needed for 2019 North
HONEY FOR SALE flowers. Selling in bulk and shipping available Dakota Honey Season. Serious inquiries only.
to 50 states. Cleaned, dried and frozen or raw. Contact: BumblebeePalace76@outlook.com
Excellent clover honey in drums and light beeswax
Call for pricing (916) 956-8869. (701) 928-1420
available. Mark Gilberts Apiaries, (608) 482-1988.
U.S. sweet clover, alfalfa, thistle mix, (9 drums of PROBIOTICS HELP WANTED
black locust-limited supply), white honey, melter
honey, filtered, new drums, excellent honey- f.o.b. ApiBiotics - Probiotics for Bees with Prebiot- Full time position available in Oregon. Bee-
several loads available. Produced by Baldwin ics -Promotes healthy immune system -Increase keeping experience and CDL required. Contact
Apiaries, Darlington, WI (608) 776-3700. beneficial bacteria in bees -Strengthens intestinal Ryan@sweetbeehoneyco.com PO Box 558,
microflora Aztalia Apiary, W5884 Church Road, Milton Freewater, OR 97862 (360)907-0842.
Very nice looking & good tasting Nebraska Johnson Creek, WI. 53038-9736 (920) 204-3102
bottling honey. (402) 319-5125. Seasonal and full-time help needed at our migratory
info@aztalia.com bee operation. We are located in FL and WI. We
CLOVER – Buckwheat, Orange, Tupelo, and do pollination, queen rearing and honey production.
Wildflower – pails or drums. PURE SWEET POLLINATION Some experience preferred, team environment,
HONEY FARM, 514 Commerce Parkway, Bees wanted for the Almonds. Art Harris, 6301 wages dependent on experience, good opportunity
Verona, Wisconsin 53593. (608) 845-9601. Victor St. #63, Bakersfield, CA 93308 (661) 444- or advancement. Prior work history and references
Clover, Basswood, Wildflower honey available in 1470. required. Contact Gary at (262) 689-1000.
pails and drums in WI. Great tasting! Light bees- Almond Pollination 2020. Wintering yards with Olivarez Honey Bees/Big Island Queens is seek-
wax available. Call (262) 689-1000. full service maintenance, feeding and medication. ing motivated beekeepers to join our Hawaii
Honey and beeswax for sale. Clover, Orange Self-service bee yards available. We have trucks, team! Experience preferred. Self-motivator and
Blossom, Wildflower. Many varietals available. forklifts and crew to place hives in orchard. You ability to work in a team environment a plus. Po-
Smitty Bee Honey (712) 748-4292. are paid 50% on February 25th and 50% April sitions are full time, salary based on experience.
QUALITY HONEY, barrels, your buckets. 20th. Visit: www.almondbeepollination.com Great Benefits Package. Prior work history and
Hollenbeck, Kirksville, Missouri. (660) 665-2542 for more details. California Almond Pollina- references required. Advancement opportunities
evenings. tion Service, Inc. (209) 202-8915 E Mail: available. Submit resume to info@ohbees.com
Premium Florida honeys for all your pack- steve@almondbee.buzz or Olivarez Honey Bees Inc/Big Island Queens,
ing needs: gallberry, mangrove, pepper, P O Box 847 Orland Ca 95963, Fax: 530-865-
orange blossom, call Ed 231-408-7485 or Steve BEES AND QUEENS 5570, Phone 530-865-0298
239-896-0777, email: edeisele@gmail.com or Full time and seasonal positions available in Or-
seisele007@gmail.com. JERRY FOSTER QUEENS quality Carniolan and
hybrid Italian queens at competitive prices. Nucs egon. Beekeeping experience preferred. Contact:
Premium Oregon meadowfoam, blackberry, prescotthoneyfarms@live.com (541)977-8848.
clover, alfalfa honey in drums. Prescott Honey and packages also. Jerry Foster Apiaries, 937 9th
St., Colusa, CA 95932. Phone (530) 458-4234. EXPERT QUEEN RAISER/BREEDER
Farms. 541-977-8848. NEEDED! SHORT TERM/LONG TERM
Pure Hawaiian Wild Flower Honey from Ha- Pacific Northwest mated queens. Orders of 50
or more only. Availability May through July. OPTIONS. Flowing Gold Apiaries -
makua Apiaries on the Big Island of Hawaii. Jeff: 916-586-0880.
Call for pricing Jon (208)412-1092 or Sheila
Minimum order is twelve 60# buckets. Addi-
(208)863-0855 www.tvbees.com
tional Information at Hamakuabees.com or
808-982-7649.
QUALITY QUEENS from HAWAII, available BOOKS
year round. Call KARRUS QUEENS (808)
17 Drums of 2019 Premium Orange Honey. F.O.B 854-5308. Anthony Udchitz. A Synopsis of the
Felda, FL 33930. Sold on first come basis, sam- 3 lb Packages Bees for sale, for pick up in Pathology of the European Honey Bee (Apis
ples mailed at your request. Call or text 231-408- Wisconsin. Contact: Mark Gilberts Apiaries 608-
7485 or email: edeisele@gmail.com. mellifera L.) in Canada and the United States of
482-1988. America ISBN: 9780463757185. Available from
55 Gallon Drums & Bulk Honey For Sale - NY/
PA Light Summer Honey & Fall Honey - FL Doubles, singles, brood for sale www.Smashwords.com U.S.D.$34.99.
Orange Blossom & Saw Palmetto. Call The Bee- year round. FOB Jan-April, Oak-
keeper’s Daughter Plains, PA 386-383-4051 or dale, CA. April-Dec., Milton Freewa- MISCELLANEOUS
email bkdhoney@gmail.com ter, OR. Queens less than 6 months, The AMERICAN BEEKEEPING FEDERA-
great equipment. Ryan@sweetbee TION has many benefits to offer its mem-
HONEY AND honeyco.com (360) 907-0842. $5k min. bers. Send for a membership packet of
purchase. information today! We also offer a free Beginning
BEESWAX WANTED Beekeeping Packet. Contact the AMERICAN
2019 Early-bird pricing–School House Bees.
HONEY WANTED—Extracted or comb. Italian & Russian-hybrid pkg bees & queens: BEEKEEPING FEDERATION, 3525 Piedmont
LEIGHTON’S HONEY, INC., 1203 Commerce P/U–KY ship-midwest. 5-Frame Nucs, Single & Rd. NE, Bld. 5. Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30305-
Ave. Haines City, Florida 33844. (863) 422-1773. Double Hives P/U–KY. Pails of Spille’s honey all 1509, Phone (404) 760-2875, Fax 404-240-0998, or
year. www.schoolhousebees.com (859) 356-1350. email info@abfnet.org.
FAX (863) 421-2299
HONEY WANTED– all grades. Also, honey barrels WILD SURVIVOR BREEDER QUEENS PERIODICALS
for sale. Contact Pure Sweet Honey Farm Inc., 514 NW Feral Stock - Hardy - Hygienic
Commerce Parkway, Verona, WI. (608) 845-9601. Mite Tolerant - Disease Resistant. L’ABEILLE DE FRANCE—The most impor-
tant of the monthly publications in France - for all
– OLYMPIC WILDERNESS APIARY beekeepers, from the amateurs to the professional.
HONEY PRICE UPDATES. Call Honey Isolated Yards – (360) 928-3125. www.
Hot Line. (763) 658-4193. Each month: an article for beginners, reports from
wildernessbees.com specialists, a review of the latest information all

948 American Bee Journal


over the world. Ask for a sample Annual subscrip- SOUTH AFRICAN BEE JOURNAL – The
tion: 40$ US. ABEILLE DE FRANCE- 5, rue du official magazine of the South African Bee
Copenhague-F 75008 PARIS. Industry Organization (SABIO). Published
THE AUSTRALASIAN BEEKEEPER— quarterly in English, with Afrikaans articles, on
Senior Beekeeping Journal of the South- the South African Honeybee sub-species of Cape
ern Hemisphere. Complete coverage of all Bees and African bees. For enquiries send to
beekeeping topics in one of the world’s largest info@sabio.org.za or refer www.sabio.org.za
beekeeping countries. Published by Pender ULADAG BEE JOURNAL - Publication of
Beekeeping Supplies Pty. Ltd., “Bilga” 79 Uludag Beekeeping Association, published
Naylor Road, Urila, N.S.W. 2620, Australia. quarterly in Turkish (with English titles
Annual subscription paid in advance $160 AUD. and summaries of all articles) and Eng-
THE AUSTRALIAN BEE JOURNAL— lish in all aspects of beekeeping; beekeep-
Caters to both amateur and commercial ing news, practical beekeeping, and research
apiarists. Subscription $120.00 Australian articles, and considered a link between Turkish
currently for all overseas subscribers per annum. beekeeping and the world. Gazcilar Cad. No. 9/2
Published monthly. Victorian Apiarists’ 16220 Bursa-TURKEY Fax:+90 224 224 3964
Association, Inc., P.O. Box 40, California Gully,Vic. http://www.uludagaricilik.org.tr
Australia 3556 Ph: 03 5446 1543, Email:
vaa@vicbeekeepers.com.au.
BEECRAFT The UK’s leading monthly beekeep-
ing magazine. View a digital copy and subscribe on
line at www.bee-craft.com.
DIE BIENE – ALLGEMEINE DEUTSCHE
IMKERZEITUNG (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 Canadian 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-monthly—For more information
contact: The Editor, PO Box 352, Leichhardt
NSW 2040 Australia. E-mail: honeybee@
accsoft.com.au
IBRA (the International Bee Research
Association) is a unique organization established
in 1949 for the advancement of bee science and
beekeeping. It publishes two magazines: JAR – the
Journal of Apiculture Research, for scientists, and
BW - Bee World, for beekeepers who want broaden
their horizons by learning about other beekeeping
traditions, other bees, other ideas. Members chose
which magazine(s) to include in their membership.
IBRA is a vital bridge between the local (hive)
and global concerns. IBRA is registered under UK
charity law (Office: 91 Brinsea Road, Congresbury,
Bristol, BS49 5JJ, UK) www.ibrabee.org.uk
IRISH BEEKEEPING—Read An Beachaire
(The Irish Beekeeper). Published monthly. Sub-
scription $50.00 per annum post free. Dermot
O’Flaherty, 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. (325) 655-4434
THE SCOTTISH BEEKEEPER—Monthly Maga-
zine of the Scottish Beekeeper’s Association. Inter-
national in appeal, Scottish in character. View back
numbers and Subscription rates at: http://scottish
beekeepers.org.uk

August 2019 949


Advertising Index
A.N. Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 946 Globalpatties.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 864 R.M. Farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 879
A & G Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 887 Glorybee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 899 Resilience Apiary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 946
A & O Forklift . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 840 Groteguth Queens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 929 Roberts Bee Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 882
Acorn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 880 Hardeman Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 928 Rockbridgetrees.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 949
American Bee Journal . . . . . . . . . . . . 902, 950 Hawaiian Queen Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 938 Ross Rounds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 900
American Honey Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . 940 Heilyser Technology Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 902 Rossman Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 918
Andy Miksa Honey Farm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 938 Heine, Lee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 945 Sanders Honey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 946
Ashbots.com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 934 Heitkams Honey Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 934 Selby Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 867
Balbach - Bees for Sale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 949 Hilbert’s Honey Bees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 879 Shastina Millwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 889
Bastin Honey Bee Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 913 Hogg Halfcomb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 887 Sherriff, B.J. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 945
BeeCulture.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 874 Honey B Healthy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 871 Simpson’s Bee Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 945
Bee Excellent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 946 Horace Bell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 863, 940 Smith Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 922
BeeInformed.org . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 946 JJ’s Honey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 945 Southeast Bee Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 939
Beekeepingins.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 951 South Florida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 913
Kelley Beekeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 873
Beeline Apiaries & Woodenware . . . . . . . 868 Koehnen, C.F. & Sons, Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . 900 South Georgia Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 946
Beelite Wax Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 847 Kona Queen Hawaii. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 888 Spell Bee Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901
Bee Smart Designs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 934 Stan’s Pure Honey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 857
Beetlejail.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 934 Lamb’s Honey Farm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 930 Strachan Apiaries Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 930
Betterbee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 881 Lassen Queen Bee Company, The . . . . . . . 871 Stong Microbials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 945
BL Plastic Containers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 946 Lohman Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 938 Suhre, Adam Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 929
Blue Ridge Honey Company . . . . . . . . . . . 945 LorAnn Oils & Flavors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 945 Suhre, E. Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 938
Blue Sky Bee Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 856 M & N Apiary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 884 Sunshine Honey Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901
Bordelon Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 893 Mann Lake Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 842, 894 Superior Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 847
Brand New Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . 879 Maxant Industries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 902 Swienty Beekeeping Equipment . . . . . . . . 863
Brown Honey Co. Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 945 Meyers, A.H. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 918
Browning Cut Stock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 847 Miller Bee Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 868 Taber’s Honey Bee Genetics . . . . . . . . . . . 867
Tauzer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 946
Brumley Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 871 Misco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 857 Texas Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 871
Buzz’s Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 917 Mother Lode Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 914 TheBApp.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 872
CC Pollen Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 940 Nod Apiary Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 858 T.R.S. Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 908
California State Beekeepers Assoc. . . . . . . 908 Nolt’s Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 908
Carbolineum Wood Preserving Co. . . . . . . 945 UMT.edu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 950
Old Sol Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 938
Complete Bee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 857 Olivarez Honey Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 899 Veto Pharma. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 848, 890
Contract Pros Mfg.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901 OxaVap.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 940 Vidalia Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 930
Cook & Beals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 913 Park-Burris Queens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 867 VP Queen Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 942
Cowen Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 929
Pendell’s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 893 Weaver, R. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 847
Dadant & Sons, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 841, 902, Pierce Beekeeping Equipment . . . . . . . . . . 857 Western Bee Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 838
& Back Cover Pierco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 844 Wicwas Press . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 917
Dakota Gunness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 879 Plastic Packaging Concept. . . . . . . . . . . . . 946 Wilbanks Apiaries, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 914
Ernst Seeds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 930 Powell Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 867 Wintersun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 902
Gardner’s Apiaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901 Queen Right Colonies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 893 Wooten’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 928
Georgia Beekeeper’s Association . . . . . . . 847 QSI Honey and Food Lab . . . . . . . . . . . . . 901 Z’s Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 949

950 American Bee Journal


March 2018 951
952 American Bee Journal