Thursday, October 8, 2015

Members to visit Topsfield Fair

It looks like a lot of fun for all!

Some of our members are planning a trip to Topsfield Fair in Topsfield, MA.

This upcoming weekend.

They have an entire area devoted just to honey and bee products.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Last Day of Big E 2015

It's been a fun year at the fair.

Thank you to everyone for all their hard work.

Our club is a great representative for bees and beekeeping.

Spreading the good word and enlightening so many about all good things about our dear bees.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Top Bar Hives are HOT!

It's true, Top Bar Hives have been a big topic at the Big E!

Check out Gold Star Honeybees.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ready...Set....GO to the Big E!

It is finally here!

We are getting our booths ready for the fair..there is still lots to do!

We are located in the Mass Building and the Stroh Building (farmarama)

You need to go to the Main Coliseum building to be photographed for your badge.

The fun has just begun!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Things are Buzzing for the Big E

We are busy getting things ready for the Big E!

Lots of volunteers have signed up to work our two booths and it looks like it is going to be a sparkling new year with some  fun new things added to educate and enlighten folks about our beloved bees.

I can't wait to see everyone up there!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ahh Vacation...

The Isner's have been having a great time away.

This is just a little piece of paradise.

Just lovely.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Small Hive Beetle Worms

Well I know this is not a pretty picture, but someone was asking about Worms in the Hive.

So I found a lovely picture o fSmall Hive Beetle Worms, we had one show up once a couple of years ago 

and I recall I totally freaked out!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Iowa State Fair

Mark Lantzakis is enjoying the midwestern bees!

Looks like a lot of fun to me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Better than a Sting

Tom Flebotte got some great ink!

I am not that brave for sure.

 It looks just awesome Tom!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Beeing Grateful

A huge THANK YOU for all the happy workers at last nights meeting.

We couldn't have done it without you all and in record time!

Those sweet packages of honey candy are all ready for happy folks at the Big E.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

HCBA August meeting

August 13th, Thursday at 7pm

WHIL in Chicopee, MA

This is our honey candy packaging night, so don't miss out on the fun!

We will also have the labels for those who are selling honey this year.

Many hands make light work, just like in a hive..well not hands there but you know what i mean.

Come package those delicious honey candies,enjoy some lemonade and pizza and some treats.

Oh yes, and to add to the fun we will have a hard copy for Big E shifts to add to the mix.

See you there!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

That Darn Mite!

Mark Lantzakis took this up close picture...then...found an interloper..pesty little things on such a beautiful bee.

Thanks Mark!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bees with attitude

Some reasons bees act the way bees do.

A•Bee•Cs Beginning Beekeeping BEE-ATTITUDES You’re causally strolling the back 40 when, bam! Out of nowhere a stinger pierces your right cheek. Someone’s got a bad attitude! Attitudes of honey bees vary dramatically dependent upon environmental conditions and seemingly astrological positions of the celestial bodies. In other words, no one is really certain what the colonies occupants are considering at any one specific point in time. There are general guidelines though. I suggest we all bee-aware and attempt to understand and honor the BeeAttitudes of a hive. BAD BEE-ATTITUDES 1. Bees bouncing off your veil (warning you to keep a safe distance) may be caused by: • Bumping or moving hives • Using an overabundance of smoke • Smoker fuel which is petroleum or wax based (cardboard) • Leaving colonies open too long • Inclement, cold, violent or unsettled weather • Dropping frames • Queen-less hives or those housing a failing queen • Toxic chemical applications • The aftermath of skunks severely depleting bee stocks • Diseased colonies • Too much perfume or deodorant • Human breath • Cigarette smoke: evidently hives don’t have non-smoking sections • You! When you haven’t greeted them properly—smiling while snapping a ‘selfie’ 2. Bees aggressive behavior (with major stinging) may be caused by: • Hives targeted by vehicles or pelted with foreign objects cast by bored or drunken joy-riders • Cavorting cows knocking hives over in their quest for the perfect back scratcher • Honey flow dwindling If you have a question you would like to share, email it to by Phill Remick

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Hotels are Buzzing!

Buzz worthy: 5 top luxury hotels that have taken up beekeeping

(CNN)What do London's Buckingham Palace, New York's Whitney Museum of American Art and the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris all have in common?
They're all keepers of honeybees, part of a growing collection of bee-friendly landmarks around the world.
In recent years, global hotels have joined the urban bee-keeping trend too, bringing their own honey direct to their tables.
That's good news, considering the well documented decline in the bee population in certain geographical areas, notably North America and Europe.
A number of factors, including disease, pesticides and habitat degradation are attributed to diminishing bee numbers, and the losses are significant.
September is St. Ermin's Hotel's annual honey month, when its house-made amber nectar is celebrated through food and cocktail menus. During the same month, the hotel also hosts an urban beekeeping workshop with their expert, Camilla Goddard of Capital Bee.These sweet creatures are the globe's most prolific insect pollinators, whose combined annual economic value to agriculture worldwide is estimated at $167 billion.
Here's a look at five top luxury hotels creating a buzz in their local communities.

Waldorf Astoria New York

On a rooftop 20 stories above Park Avenue, some 360,000 bees produce more than 136 kilograms (300 pounds) of honey, harvested annually, which not only finds its way into the hotel's menus, but also into treatments at the hotel's Guerlain Spa.
"It is an important statement about our concern for the environment, it is educational for our culinary team, and it provides fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers throughout our hotel," says David Garcelon, director of culinary at Waldorf Astoria New York.
With home-harvested honey, the hotel created Waldorf Buzz beer last year in partnership with the Empire brewing Company; a yet-unnamed new brew with lemon verbena and hops from the on-site garden is slated to be launched this fall.
Twice weekly, the hotel's Historical Tour stops off at the garden to see the hives and its more than 60 types of herbs, fruit, vegetables and edible flowers.
On the menu: The "Wax Poetic" and "Leaves of Grass" cocktails at Peacock Alley lobby bar and restaurant are both made with Zubrowka bison grass vodka and house-made honey syrup.
Waldorf Astoria New York | 301 Park Avenue, New York City, NY 10022 | +1 212 355 3000

Mandarin Oriental, Paris

Paris has been a pesticide-free zone for the past 10 years, making the French capital an attractive urban environment for honey bees.
With the help of local organization Apiterra, 50,000 bees reside at the MO rooftop beehive, with last year's sweet haul totaling 25 kilograms.
Guests who can't get enough of the ooey, gooey and very sweet syrup (in the words of Winnie the Pooh) offered through the hotel's F&B menu can opt into the hotel's eco-initiatives -- such as reusing towels -- to receive a jar of honey to keep.
On the menu: The "Homemade Honey" cocktail at Bar 8 is made with Yuzu liqueur, jasmine tea with ginger, Champagne and house-made honey.
Mandarin Oriental, Paris | 251 Rue Saint-Honore, 75001 Paris France | +33 1 70 98 78 88

W Taipei

Following a good eight months of prep work, W Taipei became the first urban beekeeping establishment in Taiwan when it opened up its 32nd floor rooftop to host some 150,000 busy bees in partnership with Syin Lu Social Welfare Foundation.
After six months and two harvests from the Sweet Reward program, the bee colonies were moved to another downtown building as part of the foundation's larger urban beekeeping project.
Whatever honey the hotel chefs and mixologists don't purchase from Syin Lu, the foundation (which produced more than 800 kilograms of honey in the first half of the year from 94 hives) either sells or produces soaps with it in their factory manned by disabled workers.
On the menu: The "Detox Martini" cocktail at WOOBAR is made with green tea-infused Belvedere vodka, Grand Marnier, orange juice, yuzu juice, house-made honey and Sprite.
W Taipei | No.10 Section 5, Zhongxiao East Road, Xinyi District, Taipei 110 Taiwan | +886 2 7703 8888

Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver

From May to September, Fairmont Waterfront guests can join a daily tour of the apiary and rooftop garden with a resident bee butler.
The pioneer of in-house honeybee production and supporting global bee health is Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, whose Bee Sustainable program comprises honeybee apiaries at more than 20 properties across the world.
"By building more than a dozen luxury bee hotels from coast to coast, we are doing our part to build a more sustainable world," says Jane Mackie, Fairmont Brand vice president.
In June this year, the Fairmont Waterfront became one of the first hotels in the group to build a solitary pollinator bee hotel (aptly named Bee & Bee) designed to give busy bees a break between pollination missions.
The hotel also hosts 500,000 resident honeybees in the 195 square meter herb garden on the third floor terrace, which forage over 67 square kilometers and 60 different plants (particular favorites being the pollens from blackberry blossoms and American bamboo blossoms).
From May to September, guests can join a daily tour of the apiary and rooftop garden with a resident bee butler (and have a sneak peek at the bees from the observation hive). Guests can also request to go on a Pollinator Corridor Walk through the city with Hives for Humanity's Julia Common.
On the menu: The "Waterfront Bee's Knees" cocktail at ARC Bar is made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, lemon juice, house-made honey syrup and topped with Earl Grey tea foam.
Fairmont Waterfront | 900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3L5 Canada | +1 604 691 1991

St. Ermin's Hotel, London

St. Ermin's has been keeping bees for some four years now, first on the main rooftop and later expanding the installation to include a specially planted wildflower terrace where a new bee hotel -- the first hotel in the UK to have one -- now resides.
The hotel had their own honey analyzed, with results showing their bees gather nectar from over 50 different plants and trees within their three-mile forage radius (which includes Buckingham Palace Gardens and St. James' Park).
September is the hotel's annual honey month, when they celebrate their house-made amber nectar through all of the food and cocktail menus. During the same month, the hotel also hosts an urban beekeeping workshop with their expert beekeeper, Camilla Goddard of Capital Bee.
On the menu: The 'Bowler Hat' cocktail at Caxton Bar is made with dry vermouth, London gin, raw house-made honey and lemon juice.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lost Acres Vineyard

Some beekeepers enjoying a beautiful evening at Lost Acres Vineyard of North Granby, Ct.

Joyce and Maddie loving a little night air and fruit of the vine.

A little friend came for a visit.

Mads and Jenny toasting the night away.

Friday, July 24, 2015

First year beekeepers honey harvest.

Tom and Jane Stanziola are enjoying their first honey harvest.

Happy Happy Beekeepers

Looks good to me!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Diablo's Chicken Bourbon Bar-B-que Hot Wing Recipe

Our New Members Tom and Jane Stanziola made this delicious chicken for our picnic!

3-4 lbs chicken legs, thighs, wings
1/4 cup Good Life sweet agave Bourbon BBQ Sauce
1/4 cup Ortega Taco sauce
1/2 cup local Honey
3/4 cup Devil's Cut Bourbon whiskey
1/4 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey Liqueur
Salt/Black Pepper
1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Any clili or hot sauce to your taste......

........ok, ready?.....

....Blend all ingredients together, in a large will be filling a 1 gallon "Zip-Lock" bag, to create the marinade.....
Next, add the chicken to the marinade, n' put in your fridge for a few hrs....(You don't have to use ALL the chicken for 1 dish....This recipe tastes even better, the longer the chicken can leve the chicken in the marinade, for DAYS, if you like..........
Place some, or all the chicken in a deep baking dish.....add some of the marinade....pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, n' cook for about an hr.......basting occasionally......
When done, if you have a lot of the marinade left over, you can reduce it, n' drizzle it all over the chicken, as a now thicker gravy......
Sounds difficult?....'ll see....

Tommy n' Jane Stanziola

New Beeks!

New Club Members Amy and Katie sharing the love of bees.

The more bees the merrier!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Holy Cow Wow!

It feels as if summer has just begun and what do I see?

That's right folks, right in Manchester, CT.


 Andy and I were at one of his work sites and low and behold ...

bees busy at work.

Be prepared, for those newbees who have never had the pleasure of the distinctive aroma,
some love it, some don't mind it..others..well I bet you can guess what side of the fence I am on.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

HCBA Annual Picnic July 16th

Our Annual Picnic will be held Thursday,  July 16 

At 6pm so we can enjoy the daylight.
Rain or Shine

Andy will be the grillmaster this year.

We provide the grill, the delicious hamburgers and hotdogs and maybe even a surprise or two.

You provide your favorite picnic food to share..

We would like to have a variety of appetizers, entrees, salads and desserts.

Please let me know what you may be thinking of bringing , just send me an email that way we will know how many people will be attending.

So grab your chairs and perhaps a favorite beverage and look forward to a lot of good bee talk.

Willimanset Heights Improvement League (WHIL)
118 Mount Vernon Road
Chicopee, MA 01013

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bees on the Move

Commercial beekeepers transport the insects thousands of miles around the country every year to pollinate crops when they're in bloom.

Original Source:  National Geographic (

Also!  Some interesting reading from National Geographic.  Check out this article titled, "Quest for a Superbee" by Charles Mann.  Guaranteed to be an excellent read!  See link below:

Why is it Honey Bee and not Honeybee?

Why Honey Bee is Two Words

Regardless of dictionaries, we have in entomology a rule for insect common names that can be followed. It says: If the insect is what the name implies, write the two words separately; otherwise run them together. Thus we have such names as house fly, blow fly, and robber fly contrasted with dragonfly, caddicefly, and butterfly, because the latter are not flies, just as an aphislion is not a lion and a silverfish is not a fish. The honey bee is an insect and is preeminently a bee; “honeybee” is equivalent to “Johnsmith.”--FromAnatomy of the Honey Bee by Robert E. Snodgrass

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

non-native European Honey Bee-State Insect

State Insects

The non-native European Honey Bee is the state insect of:
New Jersey
North Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia
Not one native bee is a state insect. The closest relative of a North American native bee to make the list is the Tarantula Hawk Wasp, the state insect of New Mexico.

Lorenzo Langstroth

The man behind the scene.

And a handsome guy to boot.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Big E Meeting June 18th

June 18th Big E Meeting

This meeting is mandatory if you are planning on selling ANY of your products at the fair.

Please plan on attending as we have many things to discuss 

We are also looking for club members to volunteer for morning and evening shifts in both the Mass Building and Stroh Building (Farmarama)

7pm at WHIL, Chicopee, MA

Our 2nd Annual Honey Recipe Contest

Congratulations to our winners!


Candied Bacon - Lee Duquette
Asian Slaw - Lee Duquette
Couscous Salad - - Lee Duquette


Apple Honey Glazed Ham - -Jill and Frank Ziencina
Honey Baked Beans - - Cheryl Robare
Dirty Burgers - Joyce Munson


Baklava - Tom Flebotte
Honey Pots - Maddie Munson
Spent Grain Bars - Jill Bigos

What a great time we all had, enjoying the honey feast and talking bee talk.

Looking forward to next year's event being even bigger.
A special thank you to Mohawk Trading Company for their generous raffle donation.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

2015 Mass Field Day

All are welcome to this Bee filled event!

FIELD DAY SCHEDULE June 20th, 2015
UMass Agronomy Farm, River Rd. South Deerfield, MA. 01373
Follow the yellow “BEE” signs
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
8:30 – 9:30 AM Registration – please sign in at the Registration table and to pick up lunch tickets. See Chris Wayne – FCBA President.
Pre-order BBQ Lunch at – send to Chris Wayne / FCBA President. Pickup your ticket at registration.
Coffee & Pastries will be on sale at 8:30 AM – Provided by Elmers Store, Ashfield, MA.
This is a free event, open to all beekeepers and the public. It is sponsored by the Massachusetts Beekeepers Association, The University of Massachusetts and hosted by members of the Franklin County Bee Association. Expenses are covered by selling raffle tickets and merchandise. Please support this annual event by purchasing a raffle ticket and buying a T-shirt.
Special Thanks to Elmer’s Store, the M&M Farm Stand, and Pasiecnik’s Farm Stand for providing morning coffee, BBQ lunch, and ice cream.
Thank you to the vendors for supporting our MBA Field Day event and meetings. Save by buying equipment at Field Day.
Please wear protective clothing when participating in live bee demonstrations.
This schedule may change as We add speakers and topics.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 11th Meeting---Get your honey out!

Bring your favorite item you make with HONEY!

Please bring enough for sampling and copies of the recipe to share

Three categories: appetizer, entree and dessert.

Each category will have a winner and a sweet prize.

Also, we are asking if you have any bee related items to donate we will have a mini auction.

And as always good bee talk will be had, we want to hear about your new installs, swarm tales and all that good stuff!

7-9pm WHIL Chicopee. Mass.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Covered in Bees!

Bee keeper buzzes past world record with heaviest weight of bees on a human body

Posted: May 27, 2015 9:59 AM EST Updated: May 27, 2015 9:59 AM EST

(CBS photo)
(CBS photo)
TAI'AN CITY, SHANDONG, CHINA (CBS) - A beekeeper in China has broken the world record for carrying the heaviest weight of bees on a human body.
Gao Bingguo, from Tai'an City in Shandong province, covered himself in more than one million bees, weighing 240 pounds.
In the early hours of Monday morning, beekeepers began to coat Bingguo's body in honey to attract the first layers of queen bees, which were then followed by worker bees.
As the bees covered Bingguo's body, only his mouth and nose were left untouched so he could breathe.
Gao, 55, has been a beekeeper for more than thirty years.
After the bees were removed, Gao was helped into a hot bath, as a cure against the pain of bee stings.
A small ceremony was held later on with officials from the London-based "Carrying the Flag" World Records organization, who gave Gao a diploma.
© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Colony LossSurvey 2014-2015

Results for this and previous year's surveys can be found at this link:

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:
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 (, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

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)
                    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