Busy Week–Lots of New News
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.