National Loss and Management Survey
It’s time again for the annual National Honey Bee Colony Loss and Management Survey. The survey, administered by Bee Informed Partnership, is in its 10th year. It has expanded from its initial Winter colony loss survey to include honey bee management information and most recently summer colony losses. Last year, for the first time, summer losses exceeded winter losses nationally. Virginia losses in 2014/15 amounted to 36.3% of the hives that went into winter. 15.0% of managed colonies in the state were lost during the summer of 2014. Through the years interesting trends have emerged from the survey results that proved helpful to beekeepers. Varroa mites continue to be a major factor in colony losses. The higher colony losses correlate strongly with untreated colonies.
The Commonwealths of Virginia and Pennsylvania have lead the nation in responding to the survey the last 4 years. The 2015-2016 Colony Loss and Management Survey ends on April 30th. Take a few minutes to fill out the survey.
Growing Degree Days
Keith Tignor’s presentation Anticipating Success: Predicting Dates for Important Hive Events from February provides some great information on temperatures and bloom dates.
Managed Pollinator Protection Plan
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has announced the meeting schedule for the Agency’s State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan. VDACS will hold seven meetings around the Commonwealth to provide stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on the development of the plan. A list of dates and locations for these meetings is contained in a letter from Commissioner Sandra Adams. VDACS invites all interested stakeholders to participate in these listening sessions and provide comments related to the Virginia State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan. Written comments may also be emailed to PollinatorProtection@vdacs.virginia.gov or mailed to VDACS at VDACS – Office of Pesticide Services, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond VA 23218. For additional information, please contact Liza Fleeson Trossbach, Program Manager, Office of Pesticide Services, at email@example.com or 804.371.6559 or contact Keith Tignor, State Apiarist, Office of Plant Industry Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 804.786.3515.
The June picnic was great fun as always. Thanks to everyone who brought food and donated to the auction. And, after seven long years, we have a new set of pictures!
Extractor Raffle Winner
Vanessa Mabin won the stainless steel four-frame tangential club extractor. Congratulations!
Our Other Pollinators
Diana Graves, beekeeper and master gardener, gave an interesting presentation on our other pollinators at the April meeting. Takeaway: plant something for pollinators.
Winter Loss and Management Survey
A note from VDACS:
The annual National Colony Loss and Management Survey is underway at BeeInformed.org continuing to April 30th. Beekeepers are encouraged to participate in this survey for tracking colony losses and management styles. The results that are received from this survey provide invaluable information on honey bee health throughout the country. To participate in the online survey go to the Bee Informed Partnership website and select the “Take the Survey Now!” box.
The survey has two parts, Colony Loss survey (takes 10 minutes) and Management survey (takes 20 minutes). When completing the colony loss survey participants are given the option to continue on to the management survey. If you complete the whole survey, you will have the opportunity to print your responses or have them sent to you by email.
Participation in this research is confidential. Participants should be 18 years or older. Providing an email address is completely voluntary. The address is removed from any survey responses and stored securely in a separate, encrypted password protected file. The dataset will also be stored and secured in an encrypted, password protected file. In any publication or presentation resulting from this research, no personally identifiable information will be disclosed.
Honey Extractor Raffle
The club recently purchased a replacement extractor. It’s a radial! The older stainless steel four-frame tangential extractor will be raffled off to a new home. Raffle tickets are $5 each and may be purchased at the monthly meetings starting in September. We will let you know when the drawing for the winner will be. Stay tuned. Wow! What a deal!
Home and Honey House Inspections and Exemptions
Vy Goddard covered a lot of material related to inspected and exempt home and honey operations at the September meeting. The presentation slides cover these topics in brief. The GMP provisions, home kitchen exemptions, Virginia food laws, and Virginia egg laws cover these areas in detail.
German Perilla of George Mason University gave a beautiful presentation on stingless bees in the Peruvian Amazon at our June meeting. He graciously provided his presentation slides, which are filled with incredible pictures.
Beekeepers for University of Delaware Field Project
Katy Ciola Evans, Dr. Deborah Delaney’s Master’s student at the University of Delaware, is conducting a citizen field project this spring/summer and looking for volunteers.
The project aims to develop and test the efficacy of a non-chemical “Integrated pest management” (IPM) program to manage Varroa destructor and associated mite-vectored viruses, and is based upon splitting colonies and how that effects varroa mite populations throughout the season and into the following year.
Katy is currently organizing a field study this summer in which beekeepers will be asked to implement the IPM program. The study will begin late May and end in October. Beekeeper recruitment and registration is being accomplished through the Bugonia webpage, where there is also a summary of the project. Participating beekeepers will also be able to track and compare their results to other results in the area.
Please visit the Bugonia webpage for more info.
Take a look at the plants-for-bees list on the resources page, from our own Ann Harman.
See past announcements on the “old news” page.