News from the world of beekeeping
View this email in your browser
Clubs, please forward to your members, or give them the list of items in this mailing and my email address so they can sign  up if they wish. Thanks.


These items are circulated as being of interest to beekeepers. The sender has no vested interest in them, pro or con, and does not engage in censorship of what information beekeepers should or should not have access to.

Based on the concept that it is not education unless you look at both sides of an issue, I work hard to keep a balance of opinions. Everyone will find articles here they disagree with from time to time (so do I, but it doesn't matter). Just remember they may be the ones you can learn the most from -- and then make decisions with a better base of understanding.

Inclusion of items here does not in any way imply endorsement by myself or the organizations I represent. They are included as information only, and I leave it to the reader to determine value.

Fran Bach, Western Apicultural Society Journal and Washington State Beekeepers newsletter editor

To be removed from this list, put "Unsubscribe bee list" in the Subject line and send your request to

Items of interest to beekeepers May 6 2016





The link on the past "Items.." is incorrect. Try these.

And now for the Festival itself -


This note sent by Art Dreiling, Vice President of Big Sky Beekeepers in Western Montana -


This past Thursday, Jill Valley of KPAX TV, did a great special on honey bees and the local bee club, Big Sky Beekeepers.  She expertly addressed the value of honey bees and their environmental challenges.  I thought you might find her "Special" interesting.  As she did such a super job of informing the public about the joys and benefits of beekeeping, please share this link with your colleagues, friends, and family.

You may also "thank" Ms Valley at and/or on the KPAX Facebook site.  Enjoy!


This item appeared in the May edition of WSU's "Green Times", from Sylvia Kantor -


SEATTLE – City dwellers concerned about recent declines in pollinators can contribute to bee research as citizen scientists. Elias Bloom, a Washington State University doctoral student, is seeking volunteers to collect data on wild, native bees in Seattle in order to promote pollinator health.

He will offer volunteer training starting May 7. For more information, visit

Read the entire article at


Here's a great tip for any beekeeper who tends to be a little heavy-handed, from Gilroy Beekeepers President Wayne Pitts via Dave Stocks and 'The Buzzz" -


HTS is the acronym for Hive Tool Syndrome; defined as the beekeeper inspecting the hive and causing the demise of the queen. This is not to say that the beekeeper shouldn’t inspect the hive and it will live longer.

Any opening of the hive should be accompanied by a clear objective as to why the hive is being opened. Let’s explore one objective. ‘I want/need to find the queen’. Finding a queen is very difficult if you haven’t accomplished this task previously.

You have probably heard, “You don’t know what experience is worth until you get some”. There are ways to confirm the queen is present without physically seeing her. If in the process of confirming her presence you see her, viola, you now have experience. First, is there open larva of various ages? This means the queen was there and laid eggs in the past few days, 8 or less, since the larva is capped on day 8.

How about eggs? This means she was here a day or so ago.
As you can see, it is not required that you find the queen, just evidence that she is present and doing her job.

Techniques for finding the queen.

Brute force – examine each frame until you give up in frustration and find her on the lid that you have set aside… Yes, this happens.

Divide and conquer – Have an empty box for holding examined frames available. After opening the hive, remove one of the end frames, checking carefully for the queen. Using your hive tool as a lever, insert it into the gap between 5 and 6 and move the 4 frames as a unit towards the gap created when you removed the end frame. Now you have created a gap that, in theory at least, the queen will not cross. Starting with the frame that was 5 or 6, remove it and check for a queen. Set it aside, not back in the box, and continue working one frame at a time towards the side. If you don’t find her, examine the remaining frames, starting in the center.

When you find her, be very careful when placing the frame back in the hive. Replace the other frames also very gently.

Good luck! Hopefully, you won’t become a victim of HTS.


From the Alameda County Beekeepers Nresletter -


The newest apiary inspector at the Maryland Department of Agriculture has four legs, golden fur and a powerful sniffer.

Mack, a 2-year-old yellow Lab, joined the team last fall to help his mom, chief apiary inspector Cybil Preston, inspect beehives for American foulbrood — AFB — a highly contagious bacterial disease that infects honeybee brood and, eventually, kills the colony.

"Maryland has a thriving beekeeping industry, and most of our beekeepers have thousands of hives that travel from state to state for pollination," explains Preston. "It's our job to make sure that infected hives don't cross state lines."

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has had a "bee dog" on staff since 1982 and is believed to be the only state agency in the nation using a dog to detect AFB.

In Australia, a black Labrador named Bazz has taken on the role of apiary inspector and reports to work wearing a custom bee suit to protect him from getting stung.

Alice Whitelaw, co-founder of Working Dogs for Conservation, a nonprofit organization in Montana that trains dogs to sniff out invasive species, isn't surprised that a dog is helping prevent the spread of a deadly bee disease.

Read the rest of the story at


This also from Alameda County newsletter on a UK study -


One of the chemicals widely considered as being the most toxic wasn't shown to affect bees at a level found in the countryside.

However other "neonics" were shown to cause significant harm to bumblebees.

The results of the study are published in the journal Scientific Reports.

This study examined the three types banned by the EU in 2013. It shows that different types affect the brains of bumblebees in distinct ways.

Read the rest of the story at


1. Seeing the Beauty in Pollinators -

On most days, you’ll find Kathy Keatley Garvey outside finding, photographing and documenting insects, especially pollinators. This Communications Specialist for UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology – as well as a 4-H county program – is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others.

2. Bees Diversify Diet to Take the Sting Out of Nutritional Deficiencies -

While pesticides and pathogens pose clear threats to honey bee health, the need of bee colonies for balanced nutrition is gaining increasing appreciation. As colonies are kept in agricultural areas for crop pollination, they may encounter nutritional deficits when foraging predominantly on one pollen source. In California almond orchards for instance, 1.6 million colonies are kept every year, despite the risk of low floral diversity, which can reduce the life expectancy of bees.

3. Pesticide Drift Publication Now Available from Purdue Extension -

A new Purdue Extension publication examines the causes and effects of pesticide drift, including information on how to recognize and report a drift incident.

The publication can be downloaded as a free PDF from Purdue’s The Education Store at You need to put PPP-110 in the search box on the top right to have it come up so it can be downloaded. Single printed copies are also available at no charge.

4. Beyond Milkweed: Monarchs Face Habitat, Nectar Threats -

 In the face of scientific dogma that faults the population decline of monarch butterflies on a lack of milkweed, herbicides and genetically modified crops, a new Cornell University study casts wider blame: sparse autumnal nectar sources, weather and habitat fragmentation.

5. California Land Values Tied to Almond Prices, Just Like Pollination Prices -

Recent declines in nut prices, notably for almonds and walnuts, have made the jobs of California’s rural appraisers a lot more challenging. The lowered prices for those commodities compounds decision making around at least nine sectors of the state’s agriculture, causing a variety of ripple effects in land planted to other commodities.

6. Nutrition Company Nu-Health Products Fraudulent Royal Jelly -

The owners of a Los Angeles nutritional supplement company were sentenced to home detention and probation for illegally importing honey bee royal jelly from China under deceptive labels and other offenses.

Their companies were given major fines.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says the couple pleaded guilty to a wide variety of criminal activity, including falsely classifying goods to avoid import duties, and importing mislabeled food into the United States from China.

7.  USDA Announces $22 Million Available for Research to Combat Citrus Greening -

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of $22 million in grants to help citrus producers fight Huanglongbing (HLB), commonly known as citrus greening disease. This funding is available through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) Citrus Disease Research and Extension Program (CDRE), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

Events & Links (• New)

May 7: 2nd Annual Bee Symposium, U.C. Davis Honey & Pollination Center. Info 530-754-9301 or or

May 7 - 8: Mt. Baker Beekeepers Association (MBBA) will be hosting a 2 day weekend workshop in Bellingham, WA with Dr. Dewey Caron, author of "Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping". Details can be found on our web site at: (below the April monthly meeting announcement).

• May 19 - 21: Young Harris College, University of Georgia 2016 Beekeeping Institute 25th Anniversary. Guest speakers include: Bob Binnie, Dr. Dewey Caron, Kim Flottum, Dr. Jeff Harris, Dr. Jeff Pettis, Dr. John Skinner, Dr. Jim Tew, Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda and 15 more institute instructors. Info and registration at

June 11: Colorado State Beekeepers Association Summer Bee College, Silt/Rifle. Info

July 14 - 16: Heartland Apicultural Society Annual Meeting, Bowling Green, Kentucky. Info

July 17 - 20: 3rd International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy, Penn State Center for Pollinator Research, Penn State Campus, University Park, PA. For more information about the conference, please visit or contact the conference organizers, Christina Grozinger (Penn State), Shelby Fleischer (Penn State), Neal Williams (UC Davis) and Rufus Isaacs (Michigan State University).  For conference logistic and registration questions, contact Kim Swistock (

July 23: NM Beekeepers Association Varroa Mite Monitoring Workshop with Megan Mahoney, Bee Informed Partnership Tech-Transfer Team, South Broadway Cultural Center, Albuquerque NM. Info

July 25 - 9: Eastern Apicultural Society 2016, Richard Stockton University, Galloway NJ. Short Course July 25 - 27; Conference July 27 - 29. Info

Aug 20 - 21: Oregon Honey Festival, Ashland, OR. Registration at:http:// The website is: Also on Facebook!

Sept 6 - 10:  World Conference on Organic Beekeeping, Argentina. Info

Oct 12 - 15:  Western Apicultural Society Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii. Info

Nov 5: Colorado State Beekeepers Association Winter Bee Meeting, Douglas County Fairgrounds. More info soon at

Nov 15 - 17: California State Beekeepers Association Annual Convention, Kona Kai Resort & Spa, San Diego. Info

Jan 10  - 14, 2017: Joint Convention of the American Beekeeping Federation and American Honey Producers Association, Galveston, Texas.



These links will take you to important websites. Reprinting the items gets too voluminous, so I encourage you to visit the originals for some good reading any time.

Bee Diverse - about bees and pollination, particularly mason bees - how to mange them using homes and mason bee tools

Winnie the Pooh Guide to helping British bees: E2463_BeeBooklet_Web.pdf

From Julie, an after-school child care worker: Looking for a good information site to teach children and beginning beekeepers? Try

UC-Davis on-line Newsletter:

Apis Information Resource News - PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE from Apis Newsletter by Dr. Malcolm Sanford. The newsletter is still found at
It can also be accessed through

California State Department of Food and Agriculture blog -

Genetic literacy -

Randy Oliver website -

Honey Bee Health Coalition -

Pollinator Stewardship Council -, with the most recent one posting at the top of the page

Project Apis m. -

Washington State University on bee health -

WSU 'Green Times' newsletter -

Colorado State University Pollinator Protection office -

Infographics on beekeeping stats, facts, management and honey labels -
Copyright © 2016 Items for beekeepers, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp