Month: June, 2013
Summer Meeting–Last Call
The Summer Meeting is one week from today! Thank you to all of you who have pre-registered for the event. For all of you who are still considering, now is the time to act! Please go to the CSBA Summer Meeting web page for all the details on lodging, speakers and food.
Of note on lunch: lunch is generously prepared by Paul and Nanci Limbach. All funds for lunch are applied against their expenses and, if there is any extra, the balance will be donated to Nanci’s on-premise Wildlife Center. So–the money just keeps going round and round!
The Beekeepers Ball has 4 seats remaining! See the CSBA Summer Meeting web page for the menu and sign up now. Seating is first-come, first-serve. Many have been asking what to wear, what to wear?! Some attendees do dress up but most just look a little nicer than jeans. Some are in shorts and a tee shirt. In other words, no tux or bling required! Come in whatever you are comfortable wearing. And I have heard rumors of a beehive cummerbund that I might just need to see! Just be prepared to enjoy wonderful food, beverages and company and camaraderie.
New Online Course for all levels of beekeepers
Continue learning with an online course.
The Beekeeper Education and Engagement System (BEES) is a new online resource for beekeepers at all levels. The system is entirely internet based and open to the public. The structure of the BEES network is broken into three ascending levels of difficulty (Beginner, Advanced, and Ambassador) and three general areas of content (honey bee biology, honey bee management, and the honey bee industry).
Earlier this week, there was a story on a long time New York beekeeper who was going out of business due to his horrendous bee losses year after year. There was quite a bit of discussion on the BCBA listserv about the story.
Many of you have heard me say the following: “The commercial keepers are the saving grace of the hobbyists and the hobbyists are the saving grace of the commercial keepers.” I say this because the commercial beekeepers possess the hive numbers and the generated revenues that allow anyone in the realm of politics to care at all about hobbyists. Further, the hobbyists possess the sheer numbers, as well as the time, to engage in politics to get the commercial beekeepers the help they need. The Farm Bill is a classic example of how hobbyists can help commercial beekeepers (and themselves). PLEASE, weigh in with your senators and representatives NOW on the amendments to the Farm Bill. As noted previously, the Farm Bill is SIX MORE YEARS of policy.
The Farm Bill continues to work its way through Congress. The Boxer Amendment is still an important focus for Pollinator Protection. The Boxer Amendment is now identified as Amendment Number 1027.
Senator Barbara Boxer has proposed the following amendment #1027 that would:
1. Create an interagency task force on bee health and commercial beekeeping
2. Encourage a more proactive approach to protecting pollinator health at U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency; and
3. Require feasibility studies for modernizing one current ARS honey bee research laboratory, and establishing one new ARS pollinator research laboratory.
Please be advised Senate Amendment 984 submitted by Senator Fischer is an amendment to define seed and the importation of seed:
SEC. 10013. IMPORTATION OF SEED.
Section 17(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136o(c)) is amended– (1) by striking “The Secretary” and inserting the following:“(1) In general.–The Secretary”; and (2) by adding at the end the following:“(2) Importation of seed.–For purposes of this subsection, seed, including treated seed, shall not be considered to be a pesticide or device. “(3) Applicability.–Nothing in this subsection precludes or limits the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to the importation or movement of plants, plant products, or seeds under– “(A) the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.); and “(B) the Federal Seed Act (7 U.S.C. 1551 et seq.).”.
It appears that item number 2 of the Fischer amendment codifies seed treatments as a non-application of pesticides. The Farm Bill is still moving through the Congress. If seed treatments are not regulated as a “pesticide,” what will be the recourse for bee kills such as the one recently in Minnesota. Regrettably, there have been incidences of bee kills when seed treatment dust has killed bee hives. (select this YouTube link to a bee kill www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxXXaILuK5s )
The Farm Bill reauthorization, and amendments such as the Boxer Amendment #1027, and the line concerning seed treatments will be voted upon soon. Please call or email your Senators and Representatives today, and voice your opinion concerning these important issues to beekeepers and pollinators.
Michele Colopy Program Director National Pollinator Defense Fund, Inc.
P.O. Box 193 Danbury, Texas 77534 832-727-9492
Thank you for being a member. I hope to see you next Saturday.
Graduations and graduation parties have made this a day late. But–my second son Christopher has graduated successfully from high school and is now bound to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA to study fashion design. I am very proud of him.
The Summer Meeting is 2 weeks from yesterday! Are you going? You should be! Not only is there a terrific lineup of speakers but there is ample opportunity for camaraderie and beekeeper-to-beekeeper education! The CSBA Summer Meeting is Saturday, June 15th, in Silt, CO. Click here to go to the CSBA Summer Meeting web page to pre-register, look at the schedule, read the speaker biography and make your reservations for the Beekeepers Ball! Speaking of the Ball–we are 2/3 full so if you are wanting to go, you’d better reserve soon!
This week, I received a call from Senator Gail Schwartz’ office requesting an opportunity to speak at the meeting. Senator Schwartz represents the Aspen area and is responsible for both the original Cottage Industry Bill and the modifications to the training requirements that were passed this year. I am VERY EXCITED to have her at the meeting and I hope you will take the opportunity to introduce yourselves while you are there. Senator Schwartz is an ally in our mission to improve the health of the Colorado Beekeeping Industry and the honeybees themselves.
Glenwood Canyon Rafting Company also contacted me regarding setting up a rafting trip through Glenwood Canyon for anyone interested. If you are, click here. This could be a lot of fun for other family members while you are attending the meeting! Make sure to mention you are with the CSBA!
Well–what on earth is happening with swarm season? Here we sit on June 2, and I can count the number of swarm and hive removal calls that we have had in double digits. Normally, by now, we would be well into the 200 to 300 range. While I think it is a tad early to panic, I am pretty darn concerned about the situation on this side of the mountains.
Many of you have caught swarms for the past few years and had your hives swarm already this spring. It is absolutely noteworthy how many of the reported swarms came from managed hives! By catching and keeping swarms, we are, of course, selecting for swarm behavior.
Further, there is no doubt that there is a weather component to the equation. The tough April, the late freeze on May 1, and the general uncooperativeness of the month of May has done nothing to encourage swarm behavior.
But what about our wild hives? And has anyone seen a bumble bee? I have not. I am also participating in “The Bees Needs” citizen science project being conducted by the University of Colorado at Boulder and have NO bees in my bee boxes, either. This additional data is contributing to my unease.
While there is little that one can do about the weather, there is a lot that can be done about other contributors to pollinator decline…
Pollinator Week is right around the corner and the CSBA is partnering with both BCBA and NCBA to, once again, work with our sponsor BBB Seed and local nurseries and garden centers to spread the message about the importance of pollinators. This year’s message is simple: “Plant for Pollinators, Eliminate Pesticide Use”. If you would like to help with the Pollinator Week promotion, the CSBA is looking for volunteers to man educational booths at the participating nurseries and garden centers on Saturday, June 22nd from 10-2. Those who ran these booths last year really had a good time! In fact, the better time you had–the more the public was engaged! Bee hats, dances, etc are all encouraged! Please contact Beth Conrey at 970-213-3099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, we have produced a new brochure with the Mission Statement above; an annual, perennial, shrub and tree list; and steps to eliminating pesticide use in your garden. These brochures are available to CSBA members and member organizations at no charge. I will have them available at the Summer Meeting for your outreach efforts. THANKS to all who volunteer!
This month’s recipe features a product made by one of our Summer Meeting’s guest speakers, Danny Culhane of Honeyville. This is a Caramel Toffee Cheesecake. You all may remember this from our Winter Meeting Meet and Greet! It is an outstanding product and made much easier using Honeyville’s Honey Caramel sauce. Make this for people you love!
As always, if you have any questions or issues, please do not hesitate to call or email.
Thank you for being a member.