Winter honey bee info!
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NY Bee Wellness Workshops,, an educational nonprofit program to teach beekeepers honey bee disease recognition & to promote honey bee health.
USDA NIFA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program,
Grant # 2011-494400-30631
NY Bee Wellness Winter Newsletter 2015
Healthy Bees - NY Bee Wellness
On the horizon- 2 soft miticides

1) Oxalic Acid- Thanks to the Presidential Memorandum on Pollinator Health (June 2014), the EPA will fast track approval of oxalic acid for use as a miticide in beehives. The USDA will act as a registrant; Comments are now accepted in the Federal Register,!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0043-0001 , deadline: March 6; please read instructions on how to submit comments; hopefully a Section 3 will be issued which does not require state by state approval. Oxalic acid use has been approved in Canada since 2010,

2) Hop Guard II (new and more efficient delivery method); EPA has received the paperwork for approval for a Section 18 (requires State by State approval) and is processing the approval. Cornell University may write the Section 18 for NY.

Fall Survey 2014 NY Bee Wellness

Thank you to all who have completed the survey!
212 Non-migratory beekeepers reported, from 52 of 62 counties in New York State

1278- Total number of bee colonies in April 2014

2212- Total number of bee colonies in November 2014

74%- Average increase of colonies during the growing season 2014

The survey represents a sample of non-migratory beekeepers from across New York State. The results may also assist those who are conducting classes for or providing mentoring to other beekeepers.
Please send any comments,suggestions, or questions. The survey can be further refined on request.
Please watch for the NY Bee Wellness Spring Survey in 2015, and the national BeeInformed survey.
NOTE: If the data does not display properly, please view the email in your browser by clicking the link in the upper right corner of this page.

Links to the regional survey results are at the bottom of the survey link page.

In New York, this Winter is proving to be the coldest since 1983. Reports of dead-outs are common. Hopefully beekeepers have placed orders for replacement bees, and  will do splits of the survivors. To understand potential causes of colony death, see the PDF version of Potential Reasons for Honey Bee Colony Loss, by the Ontario Tech Transfer Program (Canada).
Brief notes from the meeting of the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) & the American Association of Professional Apiculturists (AAPA) Tucson AZ Jan 2015
(Abstracts from the meeting to be posted when available)
1) Joint Meeting of the 2 groups:
  • Concerns that not enough beekeepers at all levels are doing varroa mite checks
  • Presence of European Foulbrood (“snotbrood”) resistant to antibiotics
  • Nosema treatment can be worse than the disease; perhaps treatment should be linked to veterinary prescription.
2) “Effects of steel foundation wire on chemical content and hygienic removal of honey bee brood”; Kaira Wagoner, University of North Carolina; Student paper competition winner; noted removal of brood 5-7 days post capping along foundation wire; Questions: increased iron from wire, increased iron maybe reduces navigation, perhaps increased temperature fluctuation.
3) Use of the Pettis Test, which samples bees for varroa after treatment to determine chemical resistance to miticides. Kim Huntzinger, Bayer Crop Science.
4) “Effects of pollen deprivation on QMP pheromone communication and queen retention”; Mark Carroll, USDA ARS Tucson Lab; pollen deprivation, usually during extended dearth periods, such as Winter, can result in smaller queen retinues, workers are more mutinous, and attempt to replace queens more often.
5) Bid for Apimondia 2019 to be in Minnesota,; Louisa Hooven
6) “The migration of Varroa Mites among honey bee colonies and the effects on mite population growth” Hoffman Lab, USDA, ARS Tucson; the frequency of the number of incoming and outgoing foragers with Varroa on their bodies, increased in the fall. The populations of Varroa in the colony were highly correlated with the number of incoming and outgoing mites measured on foragers.
7) Deformed wing virus (DWV) is the primary viral cause of collapse in honeybees, and is also present in dragonflies.  Gladys Adino, Purdue University
8) “New to science, globally abundant, and not what we thought: Characterization of a new Trypanosomatidae parasite in Apis mellifera”; Ryan Schwarz, USDA Beltsville Lab; another uni-cellular flagellate parasite, affects yellow jackets and honeybees.
9) “Stimuli affecting the germination of Nosema spores”; Thomas Webster; Kentucky State;   a point of vulnerability during germination of the Nosema spore is when it releases its filament (polar tube), which is long enough to extend over several fields of view under a microscope.
10) Project apis M, Christi Heintz; 2017 is the 30th anniversary of the arrival of the varroa mite in the USA, let's stop its birthday party! , Eradicate varroa destructor by 2017;
11)  “Effect of ‘bee-safe’ insecticides on worker development”; Reed Johnson; University of Ohio; an insecticide may be “bee-safe”, but is it queen safe, does it harm queen development?
12)  “Nanopesticides and honey bees”; Louisa Hooven, Oregon State University; mimic pollen grains and adhere to pollen and bees by electrostatic charge; PennCap-M (an organophosphate) is 30-50 microns.
13) “Probiotic use of Acetobacteracae Alpha 2.2 (Parasaccharibacter apium) for improving honey bee colony health”; Vanessa Corby-Harris, USDA ARS Tucson; possibly increases larval survival, decreases nosema levels.

>Check for updates and subscribe to the NY Bee Wellness news feed at; recent topics: Richard Fell/Nosema, Randy Oliver podcast, UC Davis newsletter, etc.

>Be sure to check the Bee Health eXtension website, which includes the "Ask the Expert" option.

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

***If you have an article, photos, or other info to share, please send to:

* March 14, Geneva NY, Geneva Bee Conference, 30.00

* March 21, Southern Adirondack Bee Seminar, Malta NY, 30.00

  • Dr. Wyatt Mangum of Bowling Green, VA, Top Bar Hive expert
  • Dr. Meghan Milbrath of Munith, MI, studying how Nosema affects honey bee behavior and physiology
  • Allen Dick of Alberta, Canada, Apiary inspector Province of Alberta

* EAS ONTARIO CANADA! August 10-15th, start planning now, this will be the best! University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario Canada

Please contact us to have your event included.

*(visit the NY Bee Wellness table!)

We gratefully appreciate generous donations from the Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Association, and Squeak Creek Apiaries.

Please consider donating to further more educational programs and outreach. Additional fundraisers are t-shirts, hats, and books.

            - Pat Bono, Project Director, NY Bee Wellness

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