Apis Newsletter from Malcolm T. Sanford: January 2014

Thank you to Malcolm T. Sanford for his permission to include information from the Apis Newsletter.

This month Dr. Sanford shares with us some of the information he gleaned from the recent American Beekeeping Federation convention in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home of the Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Laboratory of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service (ARS). He and about 50 members of the convention toured the facility where Dr. John Harbo was among the team of discoverers of what is being called Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH).  The laboratory is also known for its pioneering work in importing Varroa-mite-resistant honey bees into the U.S.  The most important population of these bees occurs in eastern Russia (Primorski region).

Joe Traynor has shared his newsletter with pithy observations for the 2014 pollination season, including  the honey bee research situation in California.

People seem fascinated with zombies, so it's no surprise that honey bees presumably affected by these creatures have been making the blogs on the Internet.  It seems that on the west coast a phorid “zombie” fly Apocephalus borealis is beeing detected with increasing frequency.  Phoridae is a family of flies with a large repertoire of behaviors, mostly as parasites.  Now citizen scientist beekeepers can be on the alert for A. borealis via a web site.  Where this might lead is completely unknown at the moment, but worth keeping one's eyes open.  The saga of the small hive beetle is but one example of unintended, unknown consequences due to a heretofore improbable existence/introduction of an insect species.
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Keeping Honeybee by Malcolm T. Sanford and Richard E. Bonney               http://apisenterprises.com/storey/