Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bee School Session 8...



Hampden County Beekeepers Bee School 2014

 Thursday, April 24th

Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
118 Mount Vernon Rd.
ChicopeeMA 01013


All Bee School sessions start at 7pm

Topics:  Beeswax Products & First Aid
Graduation & Raffle 

Speakers:  TBD

All members are welcome to attend.  We will have our usual break between the first and second hour of each bee school meeting and anyone who would like to bring food/snacks to share with the group is encouraged to do so.  See you at bee school!  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Honey Bees... LIVE!!


Take an intimate look a life of a beehive. This infrared view of the inside of the hive shows the complex inner workings of the colony as they build combs, produce honey, protect the queen, and raise a new generation of workers and drones. Building their communal home inside a large hollow log, the colony is located in the town of Waal in Bavaria, Germany.

Watch them HERE

Monday, April 14, 2014

Beekeeper Wears 100 Pounds of Bees!

Don't sneeze! Beekeeper wears 100 pounds of bees!

She Ping covered with a swarm of bees in southwest China (AFP)
Whatever you do, don't sneeze.
Beekeeper She Ping of Chongqing, China, managed to stand still while 100 pounds of bees (approximately 460,000 stingers) swarmed and crawled over his body, according to local media reports cited by Reuters andAgence France-Presse.
And, yes, he did it on purpose. What can we say? The man loves bees.
The feat was accomplished with queen bees. The queens drew hundreds of thousands of worker bees toward the intrepid She. Helpers used incense and smoke to keep the bees away from the beekeeper's face until he was ready. We're willing to bet She buys his aloe by the gallon.
Assistants use burning incense and cigarettes to drive bees away from the face of She Ping. (Reuters/China Daily)
As for why She subjected himself to hundreds of thousands of swarming bees with the potential to leave marks, it was all done in the name of commerce. He told AFP that although he was "very nervous," he did it to promote his honey.
"It hurt but I didn't dare to move," She told AFP.  "The main preparation is avoiding taking a shower, especially avoiding using soap because it can excite the bees," he said.
Beekeeper She Ping (AFP)
Here he is after the 40 minute endeavor. He told AFP he was stung more than 20 times. Not fun. But 20 stings from 460,000 bees? That's not a bad ratio.
Beekeeper She Ping shows his body after it was covered in bees. (AFP)
ORIGINAL SOURCE: YAHOO NEWS

Friday, April 4, 2014

Brushy Mountain's "Back to Basics" April

Back to the Basics

You have set up your hives and installed your bees with the queen cage attached to a frame. We know that you are eager to check on them to see how they are doing but disrupting the colony will hinder them. Give them time to acclimate to the new queen and release her on their own (will typically take 5 to 7 days). Once you have given them time to release the queen on their own, you can open up your hive and see your bees hard at work!

When you first open your hive to remove the queen cage, you may notice no substantial changes. Your bees are working frantically to draw out comb, giving space for your queen to lay her eggs and room to store their nectar. There will be some foraging bees sent out to bring in nectar and pollen but the majority of the force will be building up the frames. Providing feed during this time is vital. As the bees work the frames, they will be consuming feed almost as fast as you are providing it for them. Ensure they have the feed they need!
Other things to be aware of:
  • Don’t be frightened to find that your colony seems smaller then when you installed it. This is a new colony and it will take them time before they will grow in population. The population will begin to decrease before it starts increasing because the newly laid eggs must be raised out to replace the older bees.
  • As the bees begin to work the frames, drawing out foundation, they may draw out a queen cup. There is no reason to fret. A queen cup does not mean your hive is queen-less, but is a precautionary measure your worker bees take to ensure they can raise a new queen quickly if something were to happen with the current queen. A queen cup is a single cup which is located in the middle of the frame, and will not have an or larva inside.
  • When you begin working your hive, your first instincts are to look for the queen. The queen is one of thousands of bees throughout the hive. Although she is much larger than the worker bee, she will be extremely hard if not impossible to find. An alternative is to check the frames for eggs. Eggs signify that the queen has been released and is laying. Eggs are also difficult to see (less difficult than finding the queen) but they appear as small white kernels that are similar to rice.
Installing your package is just one of the first steps into this exciting hobby. Once your queen has been released and starts laying eggs, you will begin to see a large field force in your garden, buzzing from flower to flower.
Here are some helpful hints to help you in these beginning months:
  • Even though you see that your bees are bringing in nectar and pollen, feed still needs to be provided for the colony. They are still trying to build their honey stores and if there are days when it is rainy, your bees will need that feed. However, you should remove the feeder once you add the first honey super. We want to harvest honey, not sugar water!
  • A great looking brood frame will have a central section of brood in different stages. You should find eggs, larvae and capped brood. If you find that your brood frames are spotty (small patches of brood with many empty cells around the brood patches) you could have an under-productive queen. This can happen with a newly installed package, as the queen gets settled into her new environment. If the problem persists, she may need to be replaced.
  • Once you find that your outer frames are being worked and comb is beginning to be drawn out on them, it is time to add on the next brood chamber. The rule of thumb is that if 6 to 7 of your frames are drawn out, add the next super. Adding the next story will give your queen the space she needs to lay and can alleviate congestion in the hive.
With the first steps behind you, you will begin to see the true joy of beekeeping. Keep feeding your bees and let them build up in population.  

ORIGINAL SOURCE:  BRUSHY MOUNTAIN 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Brushy Mountain's Question of the Month: April...

Question of the Month

Your hives have made it through winter and are now busting at the seams with bees. Do you continue to add hive bodies and build up your hive? Can you create a split? Should you worry about swarming?

An overwintered hive will begin brood production before winter comes to an end. By the time spring gets here, they will be high in population and ready for the nectar flow. This can lead to the possibility of swarming and requires attention from the beekeeper.
You have two options to help prevent overcrowding in the hive:
  • You may continue to build up your hive by adding on the next story. This is an easy option and will build up your hive fast. If the queen is not in the bottom brood chamber, reverse the brood chambers and place honey supers above the brood chambers. Reduce the congestion by giving your bees room to move up into the hive and space for your queen to lay. You still must be cautious of swarm cells and dealing with a honey bound hive.
  • Create a split. A split in its simplest form, is the transfer of several frames with mixed brood and frames capped with honey from your mother hive into a new hive. You would replace the transferred frames with empty frames, giving your mother hive space to continue growing. Splitting a colony gives you another hive with a more bees to help pollinate your garden and harvest honey.
Creating a split seems simple, but there are different variations (below is just one example how to create a split) and challenges involved. This is however, a great and convenient way to establish a new colony in your bee yard.

When making a split, you will want to have your equipment setup and ready for the transfer of frames. It is best to grab 4 or 5 frames of mixed brood in various stages of development. This will keep the population going as new bees are hatched and as larvae continues to develop. The hive's survival will be dependent upon the newly hatched bees and developing larvae. Frames of nectar and pollen will be essential in feeding the colony until they are able to increase in population.

When transferring the frames into the split, you do not want to brush off the nurse bees. The nurse bees will be beneficial to help feed and raise out the brood. The bees that are transferred from your mother hive are orientated to the mother hive. Once they fly from the split, they will return to the mother hive. You will want to transfer a good number of nurse bees over to the split because the majority of them will return to the mother hive. This may require you to shake a few extra frames of bees into the split. The bees that hatch out will become orientated to the split colony and will replace the nurse bees that returned to the mother hive.

Right now your split is queenless. You have the option of purchasing a fertilized queen (before you create the split) and introducing her to your split colony. It will take 5 to 7 days before your colony will become acclimated to her, but once she is released, she will begin laying. If you know that you transferred over frames of brood with eggs that are less than 3 days old, your split hive will realize that it is queenless and will begin to raise out their own queen from the fertilized eggs. There are numerous risks in allowing a colony to raise out their own queen.Dangers in raising out a new queen: low drone population, rainy weather, birds, car windshields, ect. Aside from these threats, it can take 2 to 3 weeks before the queen is able to begin laying (if she is properly fertilized). 

After transferring your frames and ensuring your split is queen right, they will continue to grow. The split is a new colony and should be treated as such. Add a feeder to the split and give them time to grow before checking on them. Your mother hive will need to be monitored to ensure it does not become overcrowded. Some beekeepers can create multiple splits from one hive, depending upon the strength of that colony. 


ORIGINAL SOURCE:  BRUSHY MOUNTAIN

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bee School Session 7...


Hampden County Beekeepers Bee School 2014

 Thursday, April 10th

Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
118 Mount Vernon Rd.
ChicopeeMA 01013


All Bee School sessions start at 7pm

Topics: Fall & Winter Management
Extracting Honey

Speakers: Jeff Rys & Bill Romito

All members are welcome to attend.  We will have our usual break between the first and second hour of each bee school meeting and anyone who would like to bring food/snacks to share with the group is encouraged to do so.  See you at bee school!  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wintering a Beehive in New England with the Gleasons...



Thanks to club members Dan and Joseph Gleason for sharing their new over-wintering experience!

Bee School Session 6...



Hampden County Beekeepers Bee School 2014

 Thursday, March 27th

Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
118 Mount Vernon Rd.
ChicopeeMA 01013


All Bee School sessions start at 7pm

Topic: Challenges of Beekeeping 
Speaker: Ken Warchol

All members are welcome to attend.  We will have our usual break between the first and second hour of each bee school meeting and anyone who would like to bring food/snacks to share with the group is encouraged to do so.  See you at bee school!  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Brushy Mountain's Back to Basics March...

SPRING CLEANING
Hives are beginning to replenish their winter losses before spring arrives.This is the ideal time to do some spring maintenance for your hive. Temperatures fluctuate during March but we will begin experiencing warmer temperatures. Choose one of these warmer days (above 50 degrees F) and head out to your hive.

Over the course of winter, your cluster would have been migrating upward in the hive,consuming their honey stores. This can place the majority of brood nest in an upper super. Beekeepers will want to reverse the boxes so that the brood nest is on the bottom, creating the sense of more space in the hive for your queen to move up and lay into.This will lessen the possibility of swarming.
If your brood nest is mainly clustered in your bottom box, there is no need to reverse boxes.

While we are working the hive, checking the brood and honey stores, why not do some cleaning?
Here are some ideas for you:
  • With minimal brood and stored honey, this is the time to cull out some old frames and foundation. Foundation becomes dirty and will absorb chemicals and diseases.This needs to be replaced every 3 to 5 years, and this can be accomplished by replacing 1/3rd to 1/5th of your frames every year.
  • Make your hives more functional by cleaning off burr comb from frames, feeders and queen excluders.
  • Your bees will be cleaning frames, preparing for the nectar flow. Sometimes they do not remove the debris completely from the hive and its left on the bottom board. Help the bees and clean off the bottom board.
  • Every beekeeper tries to save money by using equipment, year after year, however, there does come a point when you need to replace it. When you see rot in the wood or gaps between supers, it needs to be replaced.

Varroa Mite
Spring is getting closer and your colony is beginning to grow in population. Your bees are out foraging for nectar and pollen. You are ready for the beekeeping year to begin!

Here are some other things to consider:

  • If the adult population coming out of winter is small, the brood rearing will start off slow. The small population must keep the brood warm and with empty space throughout the hive, they will have a hard time. Reduce the size of the hive until they grow in population.
  • Food Stores need to be maintained. We harp on this every year as winter comes to an end. This is vital to the production of brood and the survival of your hive.Checking the food stores is important until you find that your bees are bringing in nectar, ignoring your supplied feed. They much prefer nectar compared to sugar water or corn syrup.
  • Swarm Management. As the colony continues to grow in population your hive can become overcrowded. This can lead to swarming. Add the next super on before the bees get crowded.
ORIGINAL SOURCE:  BRUSHY MOUNTAIN

Saturday, March 8, 2014

MBA Spring Meeting...

The Massachusetts Beekeepers Association will hold its annual Spring meeting on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014. Registration opens at 8:30AM - meeting starts at 9:00AM and ends at 4:00PM. The meeting will be in the Coolidge Building, Topsfield Fairgrounds, Topsfield, MA. To register visit the www.massbee.org website.

Registration is free to MBA members, $10.00 for non-members.
Lunch is $10.00 - deadline to order Lunch is 3/15/2014.

Speakers Include:

Michele Colopy
Program Director for Pollinator Stewadship Council, Inc.
Pollinator Stewardship's mission is: to defend managed and native pollinators vital to a sustainable and affordable food supply from the adverse impact of pesticides.

Stephen Repasky, of Pittsburgh, PA, is an EAS Certified Master Beekeeper and currently serves as the President of Burgh Bees,  Second Vice-President of the PA State Beekeepers Association and sits on the Board of Directors for the American Beekeeping Federation.  He keeps busy with mentoring new beekeepers, teaching classes, raising local mite resistant queens, collecting swarms and extracting feral honeybee colonies from structures as well as working with local communities developing regulatory code to allow the keeping of bees in urban areas.   Stephen received a B.Sc. degree in Wildlife Management from Penn State and has recently written a book entitled “Swarm Essentials:  Ecology, Management and Sustainability”.


There is a Speaker’s dinner at Bertucci· Rte 1A Newbury St, Peabody 7PM· Friday March 21th Please emaildavid.meldrum@verizon.net if you plan to attend.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Brushy Mountain's Question of the Month March...

I treated my hive for Varroa Mites in the fall, do I need to do the same in the spring?
The Varroa Mite population directly ties to bee production. As the queen begins to lay heavily, trying to reach maximum population before the nectar flow, the Varroa mite population will also rise.
  • Female mite enters a cell of maturing bee before it is capped
  • She waits 60 hours before laying eggs (lays an additional egg every 30 hours)
  • First egg will be male and subsequent eggs will be female
  • Mites will feed on the pupating bee (this can infect bee with viruses)
  • Female mites will exit with adult bee
Every hive needs a thorough inspection to ensure that the mite population is not overwhelming, diseases are not found, and there is a strong population of bees in your colony. With continuous production of brood, the mite population will grow faster and be larger.
The Varroa Mite creates open wounds on the bee, leaving the bee more prone to infection, as well as vector (transferring) viruses, which compromise the health of the bees and the entire colony. 
There are several ways to check for mites within your colony:

Sugar Shake. Place a few table spoons of powdered sugar in a mason jar (replace the lid with #8 hardware cloth) along with roughly ½ cup of bees (around 300 bees) and gently "slosh" them around, ensuring they are fully coated. The sugar will dislodge the mites,allowing them to fall through the hardware cloth onto a clean surface. Count the mites that are dislodged from the bees; if the mite count exceeds 3, treatment is recommended.

Corex Sheet. This is a sheet which slides under a screened bottom boardSpray the corex sheet with a cooking oil so when the mites fall from the hive they stick to the sheet and can then be counted. Insert the sheet for 3 days and then remove it to count the mites. Once you have a total, divide it by 3 to get the average mite drop in a 24 hour period ; if the mite count exceeds 10, treatment is recommended.

If this is your first year in beekeeping or you just purchased a NUC or a Package, and you received your bees from a reliable source, they would have already been treated for mites prior to your pickup, but may still have mites; however, these colonies should not need treatment until late summer/early fall. 


Varroa Mite
Treatments

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods work with the behavior and biology of the target pest to aid in its control. Several methods that can control the mite population include:

  • screened bottom board which allow the mites to fall out of the hive
  • Drone trapping/Varroa trapping using a Drone frame or Drone foundation
    Remove frame after cells have been capped and freeze for 48 hours. Reinstall frames after thawing.
IPM methods often are not a sufficient form of control and more traditional methods need to be used. We, and many in the scientific community, strongly encourage the use of “soft chemicals”. These are naturally occurring products and many naturally existing in honey. The two most common are:

Api Life VAR. Api Life VAR is made with thymol, which is used in mouthwash, and other essential oils. Evaporative wafers are placed on the hive and the thymol vapor kills the varroa.
MiteAway Quick Strips. MiteAway Quick Strips use food grade formic acid, which naturally occurs in honey.
Other treatments, such as Apistan and Check Mite Plus, are on the market but resistance has been documented; therefore, further monitoring is necessary. A newer treatment, Apivar, is labeled to kill 99% of mites with a single treatment.

Monitor your mite count and if infestation is high, treat as needed. 


ORIGINAL SOURCE: BRUSHY MOUNTAIN 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Experimental Natural Beekeeping...

The Sun Hive: experimental Natural Beekeeping

Sun Hive landing board

Sun Hives are a hive design coming out of Germany and now gathering interest in Britain. They’re part of the world-wide movement towards ‘apicentric’ beekeeping – beekeeping that prioritizes honeybees firstly as pollinators, with honey production being a secondary goal.
The Sun Hive is modeled in part on the traditional European skep hive, and is aimed at creating a hive that maximises colony health. The main thing I love about this hive and the enthusiasm surrounding it is not the hive itself, but the philosophy behind it, that of apicentric beekeeping.Sun Hive in the Natural Beekeeping Trust classroomSun Hive 1DSCN6423DSCN6868 - Copysun hive golden_0Revealing the Sun Hive
In brief, the Sun Hive has an upside down skep hive at its base with curving frames in the top section and no frames in the bottom section. The hive is placed well above ground level (optimal for bees – they never choose to create a hive on the ground).
Like a Warré hive, the Sun Hive allows the queen bee to roam freely through the entire hive and lay eggs where she wishes to, which in turn allows the colony to manage the location and progression of their brood nest, which is great for colony health.
The top curved frames of the Sun Hive provide the ability to (in theory) remove each frame, with the free-form comb beneath coming out as well as it is (again, in theory) attached to the frame directly above.
The Sun Hive can also have a super attached to it on a honeyflow (not sure about that, as I assume that means a queen excluder would be used to prevent brood comb being created in said super, which goes against the idea of allowing the queen to roam the hive, but anyway).
As I said, it’s not the design of this hive that particularly gets me going (though it is very beautiful), but the philosophy behind it… putting bees first before honey yields.
Also, this sort of experimenting is important. We cannot keep relying on the industrial style of beekeeping that is currently the norm. Well managed Warré Beehives are one branch of natural beekeeping, and this hive is another.
What we need, right now, is lots of apicentric beekeepers refining, experimenting and progressing resilient beekeeping techniques. Backed up by good information on bee behavior, not just whacky ideas.
Would this hive style work in Australia? I am not sure, but I suspect it might not be ideal for most parts of Australia. And that is ok. Each continent has vastly different conditions – nectarys, climate and other variations that necessitate adaptation for hive design for effective natural beekeeping.
A hive design developed on the other side of the world, no matter how groovy, is not necessarily going to result in a happy and healthy honeybee colony over this side of the world. There’s seasonal differences, the way honeyflows work is different, humidity, etc.
But Natural Beekeeping, in all its global variations, is at the heart of future honeybee health. The Sun Hive is definitely part of that matrix and is causing many in Europe to rethink hive design to ensure colony resilience.




ORIGINAL SOURCE: MILKWOOD

One Members Harvard Study Results...

The following information was provided by HCBA club member, Roxie Pin.  If you were involved in the study and would like to share your experience with Roxie and/or the group, please email us or comment below.  roxiepin@gmail.com


I am very eager to know if others from the club had participated in the study with Dr. Lu last summer.  I am alarmed about the Dinotefuran in the honey and wanted to know if anyone else received these kinds of results!?!?
I live in a very rural area, but there are homes around where people treat their lawns. It's also very likely that there are agricultural plots where people may not be practicing organic or chemical free pest control.
I am devastated.  I also am 98% sure that hive is... dead.
Did anyone talk about this study? Do you know if anyone else participated? I am going to follow up with Dr. Lu, but in the meantime, I'd love to gather more ammunition to fight for the case to eliminate this crap.
Thanks, and hope all is well with you.  I do miss the camaraderie of the meetings.
Roxie


Dear Roxanne,
We appreciate your participation in the MassBee Study since 2013 and your patience for the results to be available to you. 
Here are the pesticide concentrations in the pollen and honey samples that you sent to us. Those pesticides are neonicotinoid insecticides, which have been implicated for the cause of colony collapse disorder, or CCD.

In addition, we would like to ask you several short questions, in specific to the hive that you collected samples for us. Your answers will be a huge compliment to the overall results. You can just write the answer below each question, and then send this email back to us.

We are preparing to publish the data without the identify of your hive. Upon the acceptance of the manuscript for peer-review publishing, we will send you a copy for your reference. We thank you again for your enthusiastic help in this project. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any questions you may have.

HERE ARE YOUR RESULTS. 
The concentration unit is ppb (parts per billion). BLOQ stands for below the limit of quantification, or close to non-detectable.

Month
Dinotefuran
 Acetamiprid
Flonicamid
Clothianidin
Thiacloprid
Imidacloprid
Nitenpyram
Thiamethoxam
April
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ

May
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
0.1
BLOQ
BLOQ

June
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
0.6
BLOQ
BLOQ

July
0.6
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
3.9
BLOQ
BLOQ

August-pollen
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ

August-honey
14.5
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
BLOQ
0.5
BLOQ
BLOQ


Chensheng (Alex) Lu, PhD
Associate Professor of Environmental Exposure Biology
Dept. of Environmental Health
Harvard School of Public Health
Office - Landmark Center West 404G
401 Park Drive, Boston MA 02215
Lab - Bldg 1, Rm G-5, 10, & 12
665 Huntington Ave, Boston MA 02115
Tel: (617)998-8811
Fax: (617)384-8728


Dear Dr. Lu,
Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in this study.  In all honesty, I am shocked and devastated by the Dinotefuran level in my honey.  I've sold this honey to my neighbors ~ one of whom is a 45-year-old pregnant woman who is trying to do everything possible to bring health to her unborn child due in 4 weeks. This is only my second year with a harvest and because I had honey to spare, when I put it up for sale, this woman bought a lot. The other woman who I am concerned about is a cancer patient. She bought it believing in all the healthy benefits....
I don't know what this number means, but I feel like I have not only destroyed their good intentions, but made them worse. Furthermore, my family has eaten a LOT of this honey. I started raising bees for the health benefit ~ not to increase my risk factors!!
Maybe my responses to your questions will help you understand my concerns. 

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS:

1. Have your hive died in 2013/2014?
Yes, I collected all pollen and honey from just this hive and I am 98% sure it is dead.  If we ever get a warm enough day in the near future, I will confirm.  I do not chemically treat for mites. This hive also had a queen replacement.  It was originally an Italian queen and I only had a carniolian queen available.  By the end of the summer, the worker bees observed going in and out were mostly all carniolian.  Another difference between this hive and my other hive is that these bees in this hive were very reluctant to take any supplemental food in the fall. 

1a. If your hive is dead, do you see a load of dead bees at the bottom board of the hive, or your dead hive is relatively empty?
Will respond to this question later once an inspection has been made.

1b. If your hive is dead, do you know when approximately?
There was activity three weeks ago (like Feb 8-9), but it was not strong and the temperature was too cold to do a thorough inspection. The last two times I went out after that when clearing around the hives from the storms, I have not been able to hear buzzing when I knock on that hive, but the neighboring hive does respond. I'm fairly certain it is dead or close to dead and have ordered a package of bees to replace this hive.

1c. If your hive is alive, is it normal, weaker than normal, or very weak?
If it is still alive, it is VERY weak. I would have called it very weak when I went in that second weekend in February.

2. How do you describe the location of where you set up this hive, urban, sub-urban, or rural?
I live in Huntington, MA.  It is very rural, 2,500-3,000 population, mountainous with the Westfield River running by the property.  We are starting a Christmas Tree Farm on the property.

3.  Are there any agricultural field nearby your hive location (within 2-3 miles)?
There are no known big agricultural fields near me.  I do have smaller plot farmers that I know are using organic controls with pests. There are homes around me where people treat their lawns, including a guy on the hill immediately across the street who works for a lawn company catering to the suburbs. He is obsessed with his lawn and other neighbors have long been concerned about him and the chemicals that come tumbling down the hill in rain storms toward us.  It's also very likely that there are interspersed agricultural plots where people may not be practicing organic or chemical free pest control within the radius. 

 I honestly thought that my rural living should have come up with much clearer results. I am sick about these results and the chemical impact on us.  Should I throw out any remaining honey? I need to understand these numbers.
Thank you,
Roxie



Dear Roxie,
I can understand your remorse after seeing the results. I don't think you are responsible for this. Neither do your bees. We have analyzed organic honey samples in a separate study, and found high levels of neonicotinoids too. Only one honey sample has no neonicotinoids. Yes, only one!!!  Since neonicotinoids are so ubiquitous and systemic in plants, they are everywhere once applied. And they will be persistent in the environment too.  I conduct this study aiming to raise the awareness of the danger of neonicotinoids. Our government needs to answer this question of "why your bees could take home with so much of imidacloprid and dinotefuran? In your case, not only those pesticides are harming your bees, but also you and whoever consume your honey.  

I do not know what those numbers mean either. But those are very bad pesticides (neurotoxins).   I don't know how you should inform your friends who bought your honey for the purpose of being organic consumers either. It is a shame to throw the honey away, but knowing that your honey contains two neonicotinoids, I would not continue to eat those.

However, I do hope that you could find out where dinotefuran comes from. The landscaping neighbor on the hill might be a good starting point. As you probably know that bees only forage 2-3 miles from their hives so it has to be a specific use of dinotefuran around your hives. Do you know where your bees go out to get nectar (what plants, trees, or flowers)?

I apologize for making you very uncomfortable about the results. I hope to make the best use of those results so we make some changes. 

Best wishes.

Chensheng (Alex) Lu, PhD
Associate Professor of Environmental Exposure Biology
Dept. of Environmental Health
Harvard School of Public Health
Office - Landmark Center West 404G
401 Park Drive, Boston MA 02215
Lab - Bldg 1, Rm G-5, 10, & 12
665 Huntington Ave, Boston MA 02115
Tel: (617)998-8811
Fax: (617)384-8728


Monday, March 3, 2014

Urban Beehive...




PHILIPS URBAN BEEHIVE

Philips Urban Beehive
Most of the time you think of beekeepers as living out on large farms, tending to their hives with crazy hazmat-style suits on. With the Philips Urban Beehive, you can become your own beekeeper — with the bees living inside your own house. This stylish concept consists of two parts: an entry passage and flower pot that sits outdoors, and a glass shell inside. The tinted glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength the bees use for sight, and holds an array of honeycomb frames inside. When it's time to harvest some honey, just pull on the smoke actuator chain and grab some out while the bees are happily sedated.



The urban beehive is a concept for keeping bees at home. The beehive is designed to allow us a glimpse into the fascinating world of these industrious creatures and to harvest the honey that they produce.
                                      Urban beehive
The design of the beehive is unconventional, appealing, and respects the natural behavior of the bees. It consists of two parts: entry passage and flower pot outside, and glass vessel containing an array of honeycomb frames, inside. The glass shell filters light to let through the orange wavelength which bees use for sight. The frames are provided with a honeycomb texture for bees to build their wax cells on. Smoke can be released into the hive to calm the bees before it is opened, in keeping with established practice.

This is a sustainable, environmentally friendly product concept that has direct educational effects. The city benefits from the pollination, and humans benefit from the honey and the therapeutic value of observing these fascinating creatures in action. As global bee colonies are in decline, this design contributes to the preservation of the species and encourages the return of the urban bee.

To make their hives, bees produce wax and propolis, a resinous mixture that varies with the bees’ environment and diet. Propolis has a structural function but is also believed to inhibit harmful pathogens in the hive and is sold as an alternative medicine. Once the health benefits of honey and propolis are better understood, the urban beehive could also have a role in the home apothecary.

                                                           

Far-future design conceptsThe urban beehive is part of the Microbial Home Probe, a far-future design concept. It is not intended as a production prototype nor will it be sold as a Philips product. Like past Probe Design Concepts that have stimulated discussion around a range of issues, this concept is testing a possible future – not prescribing one.

19 October 2011

ORIGINAL SOURCE: UNCRATE

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Bee School Session 5...


Hampden County Beekeepers Bee School 2014

 Thursday, March 13th

Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
118 Mount Vernon Rd.
ChicopeeMA 01013


All Bee School sessions start at 7pm

Topics: Spring & Summer Management
Bears & Other Invaders
Speaker: Jeff Rys

All members are welcome to attend.  We will have our usual break between the first and second hour of each bee school meeting and anyone who would like to bring food/snacks to share with the group is encouraged to do so.  See you at bee school!