Preliminary results indicate further help necessary for colony survival
The ninth annual survey of honeybee colony losses have been preliminary published by the Bee Informed Partnership, Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). While figures may change due to sample sizes and further analysis, these base data indicate that honey bee winter losses totaled 23.1% 2014/2015 (down 0.6% from 2013/2014). This is the second straight year that the reported losses were below the 9 year annual average. However, beekeepers indicated that the average acceptable winter loss is 18.7%, so losses are still above acceptable levels. Furthermore, total annual losses (summer and winter) are up from last year at 42.1% (up from just under 35% last year). This year's survey recorded data from 6,128 US beekeepers (who manage 398,247 colonies in the country, or roughly 14.5% of the estimated total managed colonies in the nation).
New Hampshire beekeepers noted the second lowest annual losses in the Northeast (39.4%; Vermont noted the lowest at 33.9%). Those completing the survey in Massachusetts noticed a 46.4% annual loss, while Maine accumulated the most losses with over 60%. Early indications also seem to show that commercial beekeepers lose more hives in the summer months than the winter, with the inverse being true of small-scale and hobbyist beekeepers.
Steinhauer, N. et al (2015). Colony loss 2014-2015: Preliminary results. Bee Informed Partnership, Retrieved from http://beeinformed.org/results/colony-loss-2014-2015-preliminary-results/
Finally we have some decent weather and the flowers are in bloom! I hope that all are enjoying this beautiful Spring and keeping up with your Bee Chores. The honeybees are very active bringing in the pollen and nectar, so do check your hives for crowding and swarm cells. If this is your first year, and you are trying to draw out that comb on the frames, make sure that you continue to feed your bees 1:1 sugar syrup so that the bees create the wax, and also stimulate the queen to lay brood. You would only stop feeding once you are confident the brood boxes have fully drawn comb.
Many thanks to our resident experts, Alden, Allen, and Dick, who willing took part in an open question and answer period at the past bee meeting in May. We are very fortunate to have the depth of experience within our group, and I hope that each of you are taking the opportunity to talk and ask questions. Our desire at MVBA is to be a resource to fellow beekeepers, helping them become more successful each year. Please come to the meeting and ask your questions!
This coming Saturday we will have Katherine Lane of Heifer International present to us the great efforts ongoing for helping peoples in the Third World. Heifer International has a program that places bee hives and equipment with local farmers and helps the become productive beekeepers. Katherine will speak at 7:30PM this coming Saturday.
At the bee meeting on June 6th we will also discuss plans for the Summer Picnic on July 18th at April Peavey's home, expected hive openings, and great eats! April will give a talk on Top Bar hives and we will have an opportunity to share in a hive opening or two.We will need volunteers to help set up the meal, grill masters, and coordinate the food stuffs. If you have a desire to help out in this, please speak up at the meeting.
Please also consider attending the New Hampshire Summer Program at Musterfield Farm on June 27th. Check out the www.NHBeekeepers.org for further information.
Keep an eye on your hives, and that smoker lit.
See you June 6th at the bee meeting.
From the Hive to the Hog
From Southern Living
2 (2- to 2 1/2-lb.) slabs St. Louis-style pork ribs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Asian chili-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Rinse slabs, and pat dry. Remove thin membrane from back of slabs by slicing into it and pulling it off. (This will make the ribs more tender.) Sprinkle salt and pepper over slabs; wrap each slab tightly in aluminum foil. Place slabs on a jelly-roll pan, and bake 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until tender and meat pulls away from bone.
2. Bring honey and next 6 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Remove slabs from oven. Increase oven temperature to broil on high. Carefully remove slabs from foil; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush each slab with 3 Tbsp. honey mixture.
4. Broil 5 to 7 minutes or until browned and sticky. Brush with remaining honey mixture.
Nosema's spread widens
Researchers find that the infectious parasite can affect larval bees
In a recently published report in the journal, Plos One, researchers have identified and concuded that Nosema ceranae can infect honeybees as larvae. The vast majority of apiologists had believed that the pathogen only infects adult bees. However, researchers at universities in California and Thailand working collectively identified N. ceranae in the midgut of pre-pupal bees.
In the study, bees were fed brood food (bee bread) and one of these feedings was inoculated with various concentrations of N. ceranae and then left to pupate in vitro (to prevent removal by hygienic bees). Bees were then examined; low and behold, 41% of the bees fed with the infected food showed the parasite developing strongly in the midgut.
more information about the study and its results can be found at the journal's webpage.
References: Eiri DM, Suwannapong G, Endler M, Nieh JC (2015) Nosema ceranae Can Infect Honey Bee Larvae and Reduces Subsequent Adult Longevity. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0126330. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126330
Don't forget! The annual summer meeting of the NH Beekeepers Association will take place again at Musterfield Farm in North Sutton, NH. From 9a-3p on Saturday, June 27, join beekeepers from across the state as we hear and learn from Zac Lamas of Sun Hill Farm about splitting hives and creating nucs. There will also be the always popular smoker contest (see if your smoker will last the longest!).
Lunch and beverages will be supplied by NHBA. There is no cost for the event, but you must be a current NHBA member to attend. Please bring a veil, chair, and side dish/salad/dessert to share.
On Wednesday, June 17, join the University of New Hampshire at the Woodman Horticultural Research Farm in Durham for Pollinator Appreciation Day. An open house will take place from 1-3p where attendees (no registration required) will learn more about bee diversity and sustainability, bee gardens, wildflower meadows for pollinators, and protecting pollinators from pesticides. After the open house, researchers at Woodman will be discussing their ongoing research until 5:30. The day concludes with a twilight meeting for farmers and landscapers (5:30-7:30).
Thanks to Tom Mikulis, MVBA members can now have any apparel they want to be embroidered with the official MVBA logo! You can either buy clothing through the local company, Embroid-Me of Bedford, or can bring your own stuff in.