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 February 2018 Newsletter NY Bee Wellness
NY Bee Wellness - an independent grassroots educational 501c3

They've made it this far. The signs of Spring have started and many hives are brooding up. The most important thing to do now is to be sure they do not run out of food. We had a long, prolonged warm Autumn, which may have caused colonies to use up some of their Winter stores. When weather permits, open your hives:
1) "Center" the cluster- if the bees have worked themselves over to 1 side or a corner, take frames of honey from the opposite side and push the cluster frames to the middle, placing the honey frames closer.
2) Now is a good time to treat for mites, when the numbers are low
3) Add feed to the hive (link): granulated sugar, sugar patties, fondant, frames of honey from your apiary, fill empty frames with sugar, add a super with honey
4) Especially for strong hives that you want to split in the Spring, start feeding pollen patties within the next several weeks, either commercial or homemade (see above link)
Also see:
Click on photo to view larger image

Thank you to all who have completed the survey!
The survey represents a sample of 285 non-migratory beekeepers from 57 counties in New York State. The results may also assist those who are conducting classes for or providing mentoring to other beekeepers.

Highlights: Though last year’s winter (2016-2017) resulted in ~48% loss, beekeepers generally doubled their surviving colony numbers through the year, mostly by creating splits. Weather is a great determiner for colony health and honey yield, as many respondents mentioned a prolonged wet spring and a lingering warm fall, which resulted in consumption of anticipated winter stores, combined with robbing by other bees and wasps. Most beekeepers were somewhat satisfied with honey yields, despite some dry spells or droughts in some regions; drought was not as extreme as 2016. Almost half of respondents did not monitor for varroa mite, creating a knowledge void in determining the health or potential cause of death of hives.

Please send any comments, suggestions, or questions.
Please watch for the 2018 NY Bee Wellness Spring Survey.
Links to the county regional survey results are at the bottom of the survey page.


Visit the NY Bee Wellness booth at the
SABA Seminar, March 10, 2018!
Oxalic Kits, books, t-shirts for sale; see the American Foul Brood frame.
1) Beekeepers are invited to bring frames of dead brood as samples to be sent to Beltsville, bees can be submitted but must be soaked in rubbing alcohol. Frames should be wrapped in newspaper and labelled.
2) in addition, for a FRAME EXCHANGE: really bad,ugly,frames with dead brood can be exchanged for new Plasticell (Dadant)foundation frames, LIMIT 2 and donation requested.Frames should be wrapped in newspaper and labelled.
3) Bring some freshly dead/frozen bees which are needed for a national research study on American Foul Brood (AFB): put 100 bees from different hives in a baggie and bring to the meeting. The only info needed is the county/State the bees came from. The bees do NOT need to be soaked, just bees. BEES FROM ALL STATES WANTED!

Youth in Beekeeping: STUDENT SURVEY

Sena McLaughlin is a junior at Hudson Falls High School in New York, and doing this survey to find a link between Varroa mite infestation in Honey Bees and environment or beekeeping practices for a science experiment through the Science Research Program.
The survey is open to ALL beekeepers in the USA,
Annual AFB Irradiation Program in NJ March 12
Plan now to irradiate your American Foul Brood (AFB) infected or potentially infected equipment. The processing is typically scheduled for early March each year in order to have equipment ready prior to the arrival of spring packages. Please contact Mark Antunes to confirm your spot at (484) 955-0768 or by email at Click on link for details and costs to participate.

Take the online NY Bee Wellness honey bee disease quizzes: All quizzes are self grading and can be used for teaching. Quizzes written by Al Avitabile PhD.
Donate to support beekeeper education! (click here)
The latest talk on Bee-L       
  • interesting discussion (and video) on harvesting Royal Jelly commercially in China.
  • European Foulbrood
  • Mouse control.
  • Discussion on GMO
  • Treatment Free Bees
Check the archive page for informed topics in beekeeping!
BEE-L is a moderated list for the discussion of research and
information concerning the biology of bees.
This includes honey
bees and other bees (and maybe even wasps). We communicate about
sociobiology, behavior, ecology, adaptation/evolution,
genetics, taxonomy, physiology, pollination, and flower
nectar and pollen production of bees.

Randy Oliver's update (PDF file)
Mite population dynamics in the hive (Randy's graphs)
Dead Winter Hives?
  • Close up the hive to prevent robbing on warm days
  • Send a sample of any brood and bees to Beltsville Bee Lab
  • Dead bees can be checked for mites: scoop up 1/2 cup of bees (~300 bees) and do an alcohol wash
  • Toss out old frames or frames with dead brood- have a winter bonfire (check NYS DEC Rules)
  • Secure clean honey frames for use in the Spring
NYS DEC and County Soil & Water Conservation Districts offer Pollinator Friendly Plants and Seedlings for Spring

         Plantings Support Pollinators and Improve Habitats for Wildlife


Contact your local county office for Trees, Shrubs, & Plant  sales: List of County SWCD
Build a Bug Palace WEBINAR February 28
What is an Insect Hotel?
Part art, part habitat, insect (or bug) hotels are quickly catching on as an inexpensive, easy and fun way to provide food, shelter, and nesting and hibernation space to all manner of bugs: native bees, lacewings, beetles, ladybugs, etc.

1) Tips on Working Bees Randy Oliver
2) Healthy Bees, Meghan Milbrath (MSU)
3) Nosema & Varroa Mites Randy Oliver
4) The Times They are a Changin', Randy Oliver
5) Mite resistant queen stock , Meghan Milbrath (MSU)
Crop Insurance Program (ELAP)
Info from Cornell Dyson School of Applied Economics; Apiary Fact Sheet
Agent locator
Mite wash jars, oxalic, books available for purchase
Great How-to videos from the University of Guelph Honey Bee Research Centre
 to provide new and advanced beekeepers with demonstrations by our staff on a variety of topics ranging from how to open a hive to queen rearing.
*; Master Beekeeping online course

* COLOSS- International Honeybee Research Association, a good resource

* Randy Oliver's latest update to his website,, click HERE

*OSU recorded Webinars (Ohio State University)
*Be sure to check the Bee Health eXtension website, which includes the "Ask an Expert" option.

*Subscribe to Bee-L, a list serve for
Informed Discussion of Beekeeping Issues and Bee Biology

* Northeast Regional Climate Center Quarterly reports, OUTLOOKS

* Apis Information Resource News, M.  Sanford

***If you have an article, photos, or other info to share, please send to:
* University of Montana Master Beekeeping Course, online

* Northeast Pollinator Partnership- a citizen science project creating a deeper understanding of the value of wild bees

* Northeastern IPM Center link to IPM Insights: Invasive species
* Northern Bee Network - (anyone from any state can sign up and join for free!)

* Varroa resources - ,includes the Sugar ROLL technique

* Journey North!- Follow and help plot the the mapped signs of Fall!/  or The National Phenology Program

* Bee Health app- Alberta Agriculture, focuses on honey bee diseases- for SMART PHONES!

Emergency Funding for Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania

“This pest is a threat to apples, grapes, peaches, stone fruits and various tree species throughout Pennsylvania ..."


Support Beekeeper Education!
  Your support continues the work of NY Bee Wellness, a grassroots, non-membership educational non-profit dedicated to new, beginning, and small scale beekeeping. If you benefit from the info, videos, workshops, surveys, website, or know of someone who does, please DONATE !
Shopping on Amazon? Use this link and Amazon will donate to NY Bee Wellness at no cost to you!

Donations can also be sent to:
NY Bee Wellness POB 25291 Rochester NY 14625

NY Bee Wellness is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.


            - Pat Bono, Project Director, NY Bee Wellness
Copyright © 2018 NY Bee Wellness, All rights reserved.

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