Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Colony LossSurvey 2014-2015

Results for this and previous year's surveys can be found at this link: http://beeinformed.org/results-categories/winter-loss/

Colony Loss 2014-2015: Preliminary Results

May 13th, 2015
Nathalie Steinhauer1, Karen Rennich1, Kathleen Lee2, Jeffery Pettis3, David R. Tarpy4, Juliana Rangel5, Dewey Caron6, Ramesh Sagili6, John A. Skinner7, Michael E. Wilson7, James T. Wilkes8, Keith S. Delaplane9, Robyn Rose10, Dennis vanEngelsdorp1
1 Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
2 Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108
3 United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, MD
4 Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC 27695
5 Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843
6 Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331
7 Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996
8 Department of Computer Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608
9 Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
10 United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Riverdale, MD
Corresponding Author: dvane@umd.edu
Note: This is a preliminary analysis. Sample sizes and estimates are likely to change. A more detailed final report is being prepared for publication in a peer-reviewed journal at a later date.
The Bee Informed Partnership (http://beeinformed.org), in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is releasing preliminary results for the ninth annual national survey of honey bee colony losses. For the 2014/2015 winter season, a preliminary 6,128 beekeepers in the United States provided valid responses. Collectively, these beekeepers managed 398,247 colonies in October 2014, representing about 14.5% of the country’s estimated 2.74 million managed honey bee colonies1.
About two-thirds of the respondents (67.2%) experienced winter colony loss rates greater than the average self-reported acceptable winter mortality rate of 18.7%. Preliminary results estimate that a total of 23.1% of the colonies managed in the Unites States were lost over the 2014/2015 winter. This would represent a decrease in losses of 0.6% compared to the previous 2013/2014 winter, which had reported a total loss estimated at 23.7%. This is the second year in a row the reported colony loss rate was notably lower than the 9-year average total loss of 28.7% (see Figure 1).

Beekeepers do not only lose colonies in the winter but also throughout the summer, sometimes at significant levels. To quantify this claim of non-winter colony mortality of surveyed beekeepers, we have included summer and annual colony losses since 2010/2011. In the summer of 2014 (April – October), colony losses surpassed winter losses at 27.4% (totalsummer loss). This compares to summer losses of 19.8% in 2013. Importantly, commercial beekeepers appear to consistently lose greater numbers of colonies over the summer months than over the winter months, whereas the opposite seems true for smaller-scale beekeepers. Responding beekeepers reported losing 42.1% of the total number of colonies managed over the last year (total annual loss, between April 2014 and April 2015). This represents the second highest annual loss recorded to date.
As in previous years, colony losses were not consistent across the country, with annual losses exceeding 60% in several states, while Hawaii reported the lowest total annual colony loss of ~14% (see Figure 2).

This survey was conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership, which receives a majority of its funding from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA (award number: 2011-67007-20017).
1 Based on NASS 2015 figures
2 Previous survey results found a total colony loss in the winters of 24% in the winter of 2013/2014, 30% in 2012/2013, 22% in 2011/2012, 30% in 2010/2011, 32% in 2009/2010, 29% in 2008/2009, 36% in 2007/2008, and 32% in 2006/2007 (see reference list).

  • Lee, KV; Steinhauer, N; Rennich, K; Wilson, ME; Tarpy, DR; Caron, DM; Rose, R; Delaplane, KS; Baylis, K; Lengerich, EJ; Pettis, J; Skinner, JA; Wilkes, JT; Sagili, R; vanEngelsdorp, D; for the Bee Informed Partnership (2015) A national survey of managed honey bee 2013–2014 annual colony losses in the USA. Apidologie, 1–14. DOI:10.1007/s13592-015-0356-z
  • Steinhauer, NA; Rennich, K; Wilson, ME; Caron, DM; Lengerich, EJ; Pettis, JS; Rose, R; Skinner, JA; Tarpy, DR; Wilkes, JT; vanEngelsdorp, D (2014) A national survey of managed honey bee 2012-2013 annual colony losses in the USA: results from the Bee Informed Partnership. Journal of Apicultural Research, 53(1): 1–18. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.1.53.1.01
  • Spleen, AM; Lengerich, EJ; Rennich, K; Caron, D; Rose, R; Pettis, JS; Henson, M; Wilkes, JT; Wilson, M; Stitzinger, J; Lee, K; Andree, M; Snyder, R; vanEngelsdorp, D (2013) A national survey of managed honey bee 2011-12 winter colony losses in the United States: results from the Bee Informed Partnership. Journal of Apicultural Research, 52(2): 44–53. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.1.52.2.07
  • vanEngelsdorp, D; Caron, D; Hayes, J; Underwood, R; Henson, M; Rennich, K; Spleen, A; Andree, M; Snyder, R; Lee, K; Roccasecca, K; Wilson, M; Wilkes, J; Lengerich, E; Pettis, J (2012) A national survey of managed honey bee 2010-11 winter colony losses in  the USA: results from the Bee Informed Partnership. Journal of Apicultural Research, 51(1): 115–124. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.1.51.1.14
  • vanEngelsdorp, D; Hayes, J; Underwood, RM; Caron, D; Pettis, J (2011) A survey of managed honey bee colony losses in the USA, fall 2009 to  winter 2010. Journal of Apicultural Research, 50(1): 1–10. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.1.50.1.01
  • vanEngelsdorp, D; Hayes, J; Underwood, RM; Pettis, JS (2010) A survey of honey bee colony losses in the United States, fall 2008 to spring 2009. Journal of Apicultural Research, 49(1): 7–14. DOI:10.3896/IBRA.1.49.1.03
  • vanEngelsdorp, D; Hayes, J; Underwood, RM; Pettis, J (2008) A Survey of Honey Bee Colony Losses in the U.S., Fall 2007 to Spring 2008. PLoS ONE, 3(12). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0004071
  • vanEngelsdorp, D; Underwood, R; Caron, D; Hayes, J (2007) An estimate of managed colony losses in the winter of 2006-2007: A report commissioned by the apiary inspectors of America. American Bee Journal, 147(7): 599–603

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Club Member Install

Michael Matuszczak installs his first bees.

 Looking good Mike.

 Great to see a new hive in the works.

Bee Friendly Land Plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration hopes to save the bees by feeding them better.
A new federal plan aims to reverse America's declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides.
While putting different type of landscapes along highways, federal housing projects and elsewhere may not sound like much in terms of action, several bee scientists told The Associated Press that this a huge move. They say it may help pollinators that are starving because so much of the American landscape has been converted to lawns and corn that don't provide foraging areas for bees.
"This is the first time I've seen addressed the issue that there's nothing for pollinators to eat," said University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum, who buttonholed President Barack Obama about bees when she received her National Medal of Science award last November. "I think it's brilliant."
Environmental activists who wanted a ban on a much-criticized class of pesticide said the Obama administration's bee strategy falls way short of what's needed to save the hives.
Scientists say bees — crucial to pollinate many crops — have been hurt by a combination of declining nutrition, mites, disease, and pesticides. The federal plan is an "all hands on deck" strategy that calls on everyone from federal bureaucrats to citizens to do what they can to save bees, which provide more than $15 billion in value to the U.S. economy, according to White House science adviser John Holdren.
"Pollinators are struggling," Holdren said in a blog post, citing a new federal survey that found beekeepers lost more than 40 percent of their colonies last year, although they later recovered by dividing surviving hives. He also said the number of monarch butterflies that spend the winter in Mexico's forests is down by 90 percent or more over the past two decades, so the U.S. government is working with Mexico to expand monarch habitat in the southern part of that country.
The plan calls for restoring 7 million acres of bee habitat in the next five years. Numerous federal agencies will have to find ways to grow plants on federal lands that are more varied and better for bees to eat because scientists have worried that large land tracts that grow only one crop have hurt bee nutrition.
The plan is not just for the Department of Interior, which has vast areas of land under its control. Agencies that wouldn't normally be thought of, such as Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation, will have to include bee-friendly landscaping on their properties and in grant-making.
That part of the bee plan got praise from scientists who study bees.
"Here, we can do a lot for bees, and other pollinators," University of Maryland entomology professor Dennis van Englesdorp, who led the federal bee study that found last year's large loss. "This I think is something to get excited and hopeful about. There is really only one hope for bees and it's to make sure they spend a good part of the year in safe healthy environments. The apparent scarcity of these areas is what's worrying. This could change that."
University of Montana bee expert Jerry Bromenshenk said the effort shows the federal government finally recognizes that land use is key with bees.
"From my perspective, it's a wake-up call," Bromenshenk wrote in an email. "Pollinators need safe havens, with adequate quantities of high-quality resources for food and habitat, relatively free from toxic chemicals, and that includes pollutants as well as pesticides and other agricultural chemicals."
Berenbaum said what's impressive is that the plan doesn't lay the problem or the solution just on agriculture or the federal government: "We all got into this mess and we're going to have to work together to get out of it," he said.
The administration proposes spending $82.5 million on honeybee research in the upcoming budget year, up $34 million from now.
The Environmental Protection Agency will step up studies into the safety of widely used neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been temporarily banned in Europe. It will not approve new types of uses of the pesticides until more study is done, if then, the report said.
"They are not taking bold enough action; there's a recognition that there is a crisis," said Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director for the advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity. She said the bees cannot wait, comparing more studies on neonicotinoids to going to a second and third mechanic when you've been told the brakes are shot.
"Four million Americans have called on the Obama administration to listen to the clear science demanding that immediate action be taken to suspend systemic bee-killing pesticides, including seed treatments," Friends of the Earth food program director Lisa Archer said in statement. "Failure to address this growing crisis with a unified and meaningful federal plan will put these essential pollinators and our food supply in jeopardy."
But CropLife America, which represents the makers of pesticides, praised the report for its "multi-pronged coordinated approach."
The report talks of a fine line between the need for pesticides to help agriculture and the harm they can do to bees and other pollinators.
Lessening "the effects of pesticides on bees is a priority for the federal government, as both bee pollination and insect control are essential to the success of agriculture," the report said.
___
The White House bee strategy: http://1.usa.gov/1Ad2DUE
___

Saturday, May 16, 2015

HCBA Election Update

On May 14th, 2015, the following members were elected as 2016 HCBA officers:

          Tom Flebotte (President)
          Andrew Preissner (Vice President)
          Cheryl Robare (Treasurer)
          Joyce Munson (Secretary)
          Trustees:
                    Jeff Rys
                    Lee Duquette
                    Jim Stefanik
                    Larry Borysyk
                    Ron Willoughby



All were voted in by quorum.  Thank you for those you attending the election, and a special thank you to Jeff for all of his hard work and dedication as our out-going President.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Bees are Coming! The Bees are Coming!

 Tom is down in Georgia picking up the lovely ladies.  

 Putting the syrup cans for traveling food.

Closing up the package.

Wonderful queens.

 Loading the trailor for the trip north bound.

 That's a whole lot of bees.

Wagons HO! They are on their way to us.

Bee Loss Survey Results



Survey: More than 40 percent of bee hives died in past year


Associated Press
1388536300

.
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than two out of five American honeybee colonies died in the past year, and surprisingly the worst die-off was in the summer, according to a federal survey.
Since April 2014, beekeepers lost 42.1 percent of their colonies, the second highest loss rate in nine years, according to an annual survey conducted by a bee partnership that includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"What we're seeing with this bee problem is just a loud signal that there's some bad things happening with our agro-ecosystems," said study co-author Keith Delaplane at the University of Georgia. "We just happen to notice it with the honeybee because they are so easy to count."
But it's not quite as dire as it sounds. That's because after a colony dies, beekeepers then split their surviving colonies, start new ones, and the numbers go back up again, said Delaplane and study co-author Dennis vanEngelsdorp of the University of Maryland.
What shocked the entomologists is that is the first time they've noticed bees dying more in the summer than the winter, said vanEngelsdorp said. The survey found beekeepers lost 27.4 percent of their colonies this summer. That's up from 19.8 percent the previous summer.
Seeing massive colony losses in summer is like seeing "a higher rate of flu deaths in the summer than winter," vanEngelsdorp said. "You just don't expect colonies to die at this rate in the summer."
Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin all saw more than 60 percent of their hives die since April 2014, according to the survey.
"Most of the major commercial beekeepers get a dark panicked look in their eyes when they discuss these losses and what it means to their businesses," said Pennsylvania State University entomology professor Diana Cox-Foster. She wasn't part of the study, but praised it.
Delaplane and vanEngelsdorp said a combination of mites, poor nutrition and pesticides are to blame for the bee deaths. USDA bee scientist Jeff Pettis said last summer's large die-off included unusual queen loss and seemed worse in colonies that moved more.
Dick Rogers, chief beekeeper for pesticide-maker Bayer, said the loss figure is "not unusual at all" and said the survey shows an end result of more colonies now than before: 2.74 million hives in 2015, up from 2.64 million in 2014.
That doesn't mean bee health is improving or stable, vanEngelsdorp said. After they lose colonies, beekeepers are splitting their surviving hives to recover their losses, pushing the bees to their limits, Delaplane said.


View Comments (2061)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Come Vote..Bee Counted!

May 14th meeting, 7-9pm  at Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL) 118 Mount Vernon Road.Chicopee, MA, 01013


Please be prompt as we start at 7 sharp.  If you would like to bring a goodie to share please feel free!


This meeting is primarily to vote and elect our new officers and trustees, so come on beekeeps let’s all show up and make it a full house. There as always will be good bee talk.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Hampden County Beekeeper's 2015 Graduating Bee School Class

Congratulations, graduates!

 

Here are some other photos from the bee school graduation and raffle!!  Enjoy!





Tom teaching everyone how to make beeswax hand cream.



Special thanks to Cheryl for organizing this year's bee school!





Jim offering his warm congratulations.






Some of this year's lucky raffle winners...








Dundee winery sees massive bee die-off - KPTV - FOX 12

Dundee winery sees massive bee die-off - KPTV - FOX 12

Monday, April 20, 2015

Frank Ziencina and his daughters creations

Candle creations from our member Frank
And yes....the Jack Daniels was enjoyed!

Drohen family makes Candy Boards

Nice to see Candy Boards in the works








 They look great and sure tasty for the bees.

Member Paul Foster sent his pics!

Love all the New Pics!
Fun to see a Top Bar Hive...and what a cute bee on it!

The Pollock Family Installs their bees

These just in from member William Pollock and family!



Love all the bright colors and Love the Bees!







Thats a LOT of bees! 




Super job on your new hives!