The September 2014 Apis Newsletter from Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford is hot off the press and chock full of great BEE information.
To continue reading this September 2014 Newsletter go to the Archives Section at:
Best Management Practices
Becoming an Urban Beekeeper
Welcome to the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association!
"The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others." Saint John Chrysostom
Next LACBA Meeting: Monday, October 6, 2014. Open: 6:45P.M./Start: 7:00P.M. All are welcome!
NOTE: We will not have a meeting in September. We'll be volunteering in the Bee Booth at the LA County Fair. (We're located behind the Big Red Barn). Buzz by - Say Hi!
Next Beekeeping Class 101: Sunday, October 12, 2014 (Tentative date) When the date is solid we'll post it on this site. Time: 9:00am-noon. Location: Bill's Bees Bee Yard. Topic: Keeping your bees healthy. BEE SUITS REQUIRED. Come, learn responsible beekeeping for an urban environment. Everyone welcome!.
We're now on Facebook. Check our our official Los Angeles County Beekeeping Association page on Facebook and 'LIKE' us. We hope you enjoy the posts: https://www.facebook.com/losangelesbeekeeping .
THE LATEST BUZZ:
The September 2014 Apis Newsletter from Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford is hot off the press and chock full of great BEE information.
GreenBiz.com By Richard Crespin September 29, 2014
We need bees. As a beekeeper, an entomologist, a conservationist, an agribusiness scientist and a consultant, we humbly acknowledge that our jobs depend on them. As do much of your diet and our economy.
Bees are big business. The real economic value of bees comes from more than honey: it comes from pollination.
By some estimates, one-third of global food production relies on pollinators. Honey bees and other insects pollinate 80 percent of flowering plants — including almonds, apples, broccoli, strawberries and alfalfa for beef and dairy cattle.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, honey bees support $18 billion of America’s annual agriculture production. In economic terms, bees provide more value than chicken and come in below only cattle and pigs. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack got it right: “The future of America’s food supply depends on healthy honey bees.”
The news is filled with stories about declining bee health — even the potential collapse of bee populations altogether. The impact goes way beyond the beehive. Whole supply chains are at risk: big sections of the grocery store, entire menu categories at restaurants and significant numbers of consumer goods either go away or become a lot harder to produce.
For that reason, many of my peers and I have come together to form a new Honey Bee Health Coalition. Comprehensive solutions are out there, and we are dedicated to accelerating them. But we need your help.
The Beekeeper: Randy Verhoek of the American Honey Producers Association
"I can tell you that running honey bees has gotten a lot harder. I’ve worked with bees most of my life, and I’ve seen their decline firsthand. The tough part, though, is it’s not just one thing, it’s a bunch of things making bees sick. And it will take a bunch of us — beekeepers, growers, crop producers, ag companies, food companies, government agencies, conservationists, scientists, academics, and more — to make things better. To make sure that happens, as president of the American Honey Producers Association, I helped launch the HBHC in June during National Pollinator Week."
The Entomologist: Dennis van Engelsdorp of the University of Maryland
"When we first investigated reports of extreme colony losses in the winter of 2006-2007, I and other entomologists thought determining the cause would be simple: a new virus, a pesticide or some other single issue. That was naïve. Honey bees and other pollinators face complex problems. Evidence suggests that disease and parasite management, farm practices, government policies, pesticide registration and use, landscape and climate all contribute to colony losses. A multi-causal problem requires a multi-pronged solution. And that’s why I, and many others, have high hopes for the HBHC. Bringing a wide and diverse group of players to the table, the coalition has increased the odds of finding common ground to implement and achieve the multilevel changes we need to positively affect beekeepers, pollinators and society in general."
The Agribusiness Scientist: Keri Carstens of DuPont Pioneer
"At DuPont Pioneer, we recognize the importance of both pest-control options and pollinators to the agricultural industry. These are not mutually exclusive. Pollinator health is a complex and interconnected issue; we value the collaborative and holistic approach the HBHC is taking. We chose to join because we feel this group is best positioned to make an impact through its focus on all aspects of this issue. The coalition will play a vital role in helping identify the best practices that will benefit everyone."
The Conservationist: Christi Heintz of Project Apis m.
"As the go-to organization at the intersection of honey bees and pollinated crops, PAm works to enhance the health and vitality of honey bees while improving crop production. The HBHC will allow PAm to accomplish even more than we can accomplish alone. The HBHC can and will go above and beyond what individual members can do on their own. The HBHC gives us access to partners it would take years to cultivate without it. In just six months, our working groups have already developed initiatives, collaborations and actions that will create measurable improvements in honey-bee health."
The Collaboration Consultant: Richard J. Crespin of CollaborateUp
"The coalition’s launch culminates months of work. We all came together last year with more than 100 other people who have the most at stake in honey-bee health. We came from across the food chain, representing every step from seed to mouth. We agreed on a single, if complicated, goal: restore bee health and protect the future of honey bees and the food supply, while benefiting other native and managed pollinators. Today, the HBHC is a very big tent working across the food chain to provide a North American clearinghouse for finding and scaling existing solutions and investing in new innovations. While we were launching during Pollinator Week, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum and formed a federal task force to improve pollinator health, and we are actively engaging with these and other initiatives."
All of us
Leadership on this issue will take science-based research and innovation in four major areas: nutrition and forage, hive management, crop-pest management and cross-industry collaboration. Bees, like humans, need a robust and varied diet, so we are working to improve access to forage areas and to create new innovations in bee nutrition. The Varroa destructor mite has become one of the biggest challenges to healthy hive management to emerge in our lifetimes, and we will invest in transferring technology, educating beekeepers and new research to address this and other hive management challenges.
Feeding an ever-hungrier planet requires a variety of pest-control products and practices. While much already has been done to reduce and improve pesticide use and application, more can still be done to improve best management practices, to help ensure healthy bee and other pollinator populations. Last, we need better collaboration among all of us who have a major stake in the role of bees in production agriculture, and the HBHC will provide that structure.
The coalition is already a big tent, but we want it to grow even bigger. We will work with governments at all levels, conservation and environmental groups, and other industry players. And we want to work with you. Wherever you are in the food chain, we need your help. Please join the HBHC. Together we can make sure we promote more than hope, actually restoring the thriving population of honey bees that is so vital to a thriving food supply and a thriving agricultural economy.
Read at: GreenBiz.com
Pesticide Action Network (Panna) Septmeber 29, 2104
Even with all the clear science showing harm to bees and other pollinators, Syngenta is pushing EPA to allow even more use of one of its neonicotinoid pesticides.
This would be very bad news for bees. Join us in urging EPA to say no to Syngenta’s request! The comment period closes next Monday, October 6.
Stop this bee-toxic proposal » Even at low doses that aren’t immediately lethal, neonics wreak havoc on bees — suppressing their immune systems and disrupting their ability to navigate, forage for food and return to the hive. It’s time for EPA to step up and address this known threat, not put more of it in the field!
Syngenta wants thiamethoxam, a neonic now used primarily as a seed treatment, to be used as a “foliar spray” too. The problem is that pesticide spray has a tendency to drift from where you put it — to neighboring crops and flowering plants where bees may be foraging, or even to surface water.
And to pave the way for more spray, Syngenta is asking EPA to up the level of residue allowed — by as much as 400 times.
If EPA grants Syngenta’s request, more of this bee-toxic pesticide will be applied to common crops — corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa among them — that cover over 250 million acres of U.S. farmland. Pollinators in the Midwest will be hit the hardest.
No more neonics » Bees and other pollinators are already in serious trouble, facing widespread exposure to harmful pesticides, among other challenges. And EPA is moving much too slowly to address the neonics already in common use. Simply put, increasing quantities of bee-toxic pesticides in the fields is a very bad idea — for bees and for our food system.
Even at low doses that aren’t immediately lethal, neonics wreak havoc on bees — suppressing their immune systems and disrupting their ability to navigate, forage for food and return to the hive.
It’s time for EPA to step up and address this known threat, not put more neonics in the field!
Before the comment period closes on October 6, you can help by urging EPA to say no to Syngenta’s request! http://www.panna.org/issues/related-actions/bees-syngenta-epa
BBC Radio 4 Produced by Sarah Langan September 29, 2014
As bee populations fall, Sheila Dillon asks if some salvation may be found in the mean streets of our cities. With a report from New York where bee keeping was actually illegal for a long time but where the honey festival now thrives. In London a young brewer tells us how she combined her love of brewing and beekeeping to produce an award winning honey ale. In Copenhagen we hear from a project with hives across the city - each producing its own distinctive taste and flavour, determined by the source of the nectar. Even the offices are alive with the hum of bees as Dan Saladino hears how the venture enlists the help of homeless people and asylum seekers, giving them confidence and and training in all aspects of beekeeping, honey production and sales. Meanwhile in Bristol are trying to find out if urban habitats really can provide a stable environment for our bees to flourish - can our overlooked scruffy verges and car parks contribute to the solution to one of our biggest ecological threats?
Listen and read at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04jhmhh
Center for Food Safety
Many of the foods we need for healthy diets require bees for pollination, including many of our favorite fruits, vegetables and nuts. We have honey bees to thank for one out of every three bites of food we eat! But over the past decade we have witnessed alarming declines of honey bees. In fact, the number of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. has dropped from over 5 million in 1940 to less than 2.5 million today. And while the honey bee is the primary pollinating species our food crops depend upon, native species of other bees and insects are also essential - without these species 70% of plants would be unable to reproduce or provide food. Unfortunately, these native pollinators are also in trouble. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now lists nearly 40 pollinator species as threatened or endangered, and several more are currently being considered.It goes without saying that healthy bee populations are directly linked to our food security. But we don't just need bees for food. Bees are also an indicator species - meaning their presence, absence, and well-being is indicative of the health of our environment as a whole. So the plight of the bees is our plight as well.
There are a number of different stressors facing pollinators, including habitat loss, parasites and diseases. But over the last several years, scientists have increasingly attributed pollinator declines to the indiscriminate use of systemic pesticides, most notably a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids.Neonicotinoids are up to 10,000 times more toxic to bees than other insecticides, and their use can have both immediate and long-term effects. This is because unlike traditional pesticides that are typically applied to the surface of plants, neonicotinoids are systemic – meaning they are absorbed and distributed throughout the entire plant system, including pollen and nectar (a big problem for bees). Viruses and pests have always been an issue for bees, but for decades beekeepers had been able to keep bee colony losses to 10-15%. In the early to mid-2000s – around the same time neonicotinoids gained a large share of the insecticide market and their use skyrocketed – this all changed. So while these bee-toxic pesticides are not the only cause of declining bee populations, they are a primary contributing factor and certainly one we must do something about—and fast.
To protect pollinators, we need to shift away from the pesticide-intensive industrial agriculture system we currently rely on in the U.S. and move towards organic and other forms of sustainable ecological farming that are protective of wildlife, people, and the environment. We must also take swift action to protect bees from the most lethal bee-killing pesticides. In April 2013, the European Union declared a two-year ban on certain neonicotinoids across the continent on crops that are attractive to bees – as well as banning the sale of products containing these pesticides. If Europe can do it, so can the United States, and we must all put pressure on the U.S. government to follow Europe's lead in protecting pollinators. We can also take action in our own backyards – literally. From our backyards and gardens to schools, public parks and farms – all of these areas play a crucial role in ensuring healthy and vibrant pollinator populations. We must work together to eliminate bee-killing pesticides and seed coatings on the farm and at home, and create pollinator-friendly habitats to help reverse their plight.
"If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos”
- Edward O. Wilson
JOIN MOBY IN SAVING THE BEES
Plant bee-friendly plants in your yard or garden
It’s easy to have a bee-friendly yard or garden. Bees love just about all flowering plants, but there are a few that are particularly beneficial for bees that grow well across the U.S.:
Avoid bee-toxic pesticides at home
Go organic to be bee-friendly
Related Hunting Post Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-reitman/djmusicanactivist-moby-ho_b_5890212.html?utm_hp_ref=impact&ir=Impact