Thursday, June 9, 2016

Honeybee Pest and Pathogen Workshop
An Intermediate Beekeepers Class
with Samantha Alger and Alex Burnham, University of Vermont

June 16, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the Crispe Room at the Vermont Veterans Home  
This special workshop will require pre-registration and will cost of $6 per person (payable in cash or check). These fees will support Samantha and Alex’s research on honeybee and bumblebee health.

This program will focus on identifying honeybee pests and pathogens using microscopes.  We will be looking at samples of nosema, waxworms, small hive beetles, and foulbrood.  There will be a presentation, as well as hands-on activities looking at pest and pathogen samples.  We will also discuss and practice a technique for standardized mite counts.  If you have samples of bee diseases from your own apiary, please contact club president Jeanne Davis, so that we can plan on including them in the day’s program.  

To sign up, please contact Julie Cassiday at jcassida@williams.edu or 802/447-1194 or Jeanne Davis at jdavisbwheat@comcast.net or 802/823-7955 by June 9th.  Class size will be limited to 30.  Those with at least a few years beekeeping experience are most likely to benefit from this workshop.

Our presenters will be:
Samantha Alger (PhD candidate) is researching bee viral diseases in Vermont, the role of plants in virus transmission, and the effects of pesticides on bee health and behavior.  She leads Vermont’s involvement in the U.S. National Honey Bee Survey, gathering baseline data on diseases and pathogens, and she works closely with Vermont beekeepers, providing educational workshops on bee health and disease management practices.
Alex Burnham, a junior in the University of Vermont’s Graduate College’s Accelerated Masters program, studies bee viruses and parasites with Samantha Alger and serves as hive inspector and sample collector for the National Honey Bee Survey. 

In addition:

  • In our last newsletter, Jeanne was not recommending the Thermosolar Hive as a product to invest in; she was sharing information about a new way to look at mite management.  Please don't feel encouraged to support their fundraising.
  • Our next club meeting on Thursday, August 11th will be an outdoor picnic and tour of David Sicko's hives in Petersburg, NY.  Mark your calendars!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Two upcoming events from the Northern Berkshire Beekeepers

Over Wintering Nucs Demo 
Antoine Fahey is doing a presentation on overwintering nucs at Sheep Hill, Williamstown Rural Lands, Route 7, Williamstown, MA on June 18th.  He's going to do the demonstration in the bee yard. He'll also have queens for sale there if beekeepers want to order them. Space is limited and there is a $2.00 donation to Sheep Hill because they're unable to rent the property because of bees flying. Due to this event’s guidelines, there can’t be any walk-ins on that day.  Email emailberkshirecountybeekeepers@hotmail.com to register and to place an order for queens. 




Mite Monitoring

Chris Cripps is doing mite assessment on August 13th that will demonstrate a sugar shake in the Beeyard at Sheephill (see above for location details), which should be helpful for new beekeepers. Email emailberkshirecountybeekeepers@hotmail.com for more information.
Welcome to our busiest time of year! 
So much to do and so many decisions to make.  

I've been making splits and pulling brood frames to interrupt the brood cycles of varroa.  I know that I'm also interrupting the brood cycles of the bees and I wish it weren't so but it may inhibit swarming.  One of my hives had 8 queen cells, they're now in nuc boxes with brood, honey, pollen, nurse bees, foundation and empty frames.  I'll be keeping an eye on that colony, they may still want to swarm.

I've gone through my hives inspecting for healthy laying patterns and for the overall size and temper of each colony.  So far they look good.  The photo above is of an evening grosbeak eating drone larvae that I had first frozen... They and the chickadees are such careful eaters, the comb looks perfect when they're done.

One experiment I'm doing this spring is trying a fungi tea with 3 colonies.  Last October Cindy Conry provided some Northern Berkshire beekeepers with an extract of 3 fungi that grow on dead birch trees.  I saved mine all winter in the fridge (Bruce tasted it but the rest of us stayed away, he said it didn't have much flavor) and this spring I mixed it as 10% of a sugar/honey solution.  I'll let you know if I can figure out if those hives are doing better that the others.  The theory is that they will be healthier and more able to defend against illnesses.

My next task is to do mite count checks of all my hives.  I'll do a sugar roll test, I'm hoping to get really good at it and to get results I can rely on.  I'll then decide if I should do a spring treatment.

Speaking of mite checks... please don't forget to sign up for:
The Bennington Beekeepers Club Workshop: Honey Bee Pest and Pathogen.
Intermediate Workshop, June 16, 6:30 -  8:30PM,
VT Veterans Home,
$6 fee and no potluck supper. Presenters- Samantha Alger and Alex Burnham, UVM.

The workshop will include a slide-show of common bee diseases and pathogens.  There will be several stations where participants will get hands-on experience looking at pathogens under microscopes.  We expect to have examples of Nosema, waxworms, small hive beetles and hopefully foulbrood.  There will be a demonstrations of how to do standardized mite load counts.

The $6 fees will be directly used to help fund Samantha and Alex's research studying pathogens in bumble bees and honey bees. Alex and Samantha are funding all of their own research on small grants. 

Call or email Jeanne (802-823-7955 or jdavisbwheat@comcast.net) or Julie ( 802-447-1194 or jcassida@williams.edu) to reserve your spot.
The Next New Thing!


Last year and the year before the news was all about the Flow Hive.  Now from Germany comes a hive that kills varroa...  the hive itself kills the mites.  It's called the Thermosolar Hive and there's a video online by Hashem Al-Ghaili at:  https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/thermosolar-hive-healthy-bees-healthy-honey--5#/  The theory is that a sustained heat in the low 104-116 degrees F for about an hour and a half will kill 95% of the mites, even in the brood and not injure the bees or brood.  Of course the product is very expensive but the idea is very interesting!

May your days be sweet!

Jeanne

Monday, April 18, 2016

Intermediate Beekeepers Class
Honeybee Pest and Pathogen Workshop
with Samantha Alger and Alex Burnham, University of Vermont

When? June 16, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Where?           Crispe Room in the Vermont Veterans Home  
Cost?   $6 (payable in cash or check)  Fees will support Samantha and Alex’s research on honeybee and bumblebee health.

This program will focus on identifying honeybee pests and pathogens using microscopes.  We will be looking at samples of nosema, wax worms, small hive beetles, and hopefully foulbrood.  There will be a presentation, as well as hands-on activities looking at pest and pathogen samples.  We will also discuss and practice a technique for standardized mite counts.  If you have samples of bee diseases from your own apiary, please contact club president Jeanne Davis, so that we can plan on including them in the day’s program.  

To sign up, please contact Julie Cassiday at jcassida@williams.edu or 802/447-1194 or Jeanne Davis at jdavisbwheat@comcast.net or 802/823-7955 by June 9th.  Class size will be limited to 30.  Those with at least a few years beekeeping experience are most likely to benefit from this workshop.

Our presenters will be:
  • Samantha Alger (PhD candidate) is researching bee viral diseases in Vermont, the role of plants in virus transmission, and the effects of pesticides on bee health and behavior.  She leads Vermont’s involvement in the U.S. National Honey Bee Survey, gathering baseline data on diseases and pathogens, and she works closely with Vermont beekeepers, providing educational workshops on bee health and disease management practices. 
  • Alex Burnham, a junior in the University of Vermont’s Graduate College’s Accelerated Masters program, studies bee viruses and parasites with Samantha Alger and serves as hive inspector and sample collector for the National Honey Bee Survey. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Bennington County Beekeepers Club
April Meeting
Thursday 4/14/2016
   We will begin with a pot-luck dinner, followed by a brief business meeting, and will end with questions and answers after Bill Mares'presentation.  You are welcome to join us for any or all parts of the meeting that interest you. 

7:00 pm              Pot-Luck Dinner:  Please bring a dish to share.

7:35 pm              Business Meeting:  The meeting agenda will include:
  • Election of club officers:  The current slate of officers is happy to continue for another year, but if you are interested in serving the club as an officer, please speak with president Jeanne Davis at the meeting. 
  •  “All Species Day” on Saturday 4/23, 1-5 pm in the Harte lot (520 Main St. Bennington):  Our club will man a table at this event, and we need members to sign up for 2-hour slots, during which they will provide information about bees and beekeeping.
  • Caps for sale:  Baseball caps with the club’s new logo, which was voted on at our last meeting, will be available for sale for $15 (cash or check payable to “Bennington County Beekeepers Club”).
8:00 pm              PresentationRoss Rounds Comb Honey-  Bill Mares, author of the book Bees Besieged:  One Beekeeper’s Bittersweet Journey to Understanding, will speak about Ross Rounds comb honey.

Location:           The Crispe Room in the Vermont Veterans Home

                           325 North Street, Bennington VT 05201

We hope to see you this Thursday!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

"Spring Management for Backyard Beekeepers" class offered free at Berkshire Botanical Gardens

Berkshire Botanical Gardens in Stockbridge, MA is offering a free workshop on "Spring Management for Backyard Beekeepers."  For more information, go to:



You may also call Elisabeth Cary at 413/298-3926, ex. 15 to register.