It has been an interesting couple of weeks since my last newsletter. Alas, we have on record, the first confirmed report of Africanized bees having successfully overwintered in Montrose. The hype within the listservs is indicative of what is going to happen in the media. I am not too knocked out by this news but am processing it and trying to determine if CSBA needs to craft a response. I have also contacted the beekeeper who reported the problem and he is going to speak to us at the Summer Bee College. A revised agenda has been posted.
In the interim, if you suspect you have Africanized bees, you may click here to be redirected to the website where you can download a sample testing form and send CSU a check for $25 along with your samples and your completed form. The form may also be found here.
We are having a busy swarm season in the metro area thus far. Swarm season appears to be on schedule outside of urban areas and a bit ahead in town. As beekeepers, we bear the responsibility for most of these urban swarms. That being said, I would like to remind our urban beekeeping members that hives should be inspected weekly and swarm mitigation methods should be employed! While all of us who LOVE swarm catching are ecstatic, our urban neighbors are much less so.
I have heard rumors that some people are advising callers to “just let swarms move on”. This is IRRESPONSIBLE in an urban environment. Bees that “move on” may well “move in”. It is simply not fair to ask your neighbors to bear the expense of removing your swarm from their porch support.
Please, please, please–practice responsible urban beekeeping.
And a hearty THANKS to all of our swarm catchers and hive removers. We have been busy, busy, busy and we’ve a long way to go.
If your schedule is modified with graduation and vacation this weekend, please take a minute to let your poor, tired dispatcher know. Thank you for your efforts.
2014 Summer Bee College/Queen Distribution
Pre-registrations are rolling in for the CSBA Summer Bee College. It will be held on Saturday, June 14th from 9-5 at Paul Limbach’s beautiful property in Silt. Dr. Jim Tew, who has been keeping bees for longer than most of us have been alive, is our featured speaker. He will be joined by a whole slew of other interesting folk. We will have a barbecue, hands-on sessions, and a pollinator garden tour, too! All information can be found here. The pre-registration discount will end on June 7 so get your reservations done NOW while your’e thinking about it.
The Colorado Queen Honey Bee Testing Project will be distributing the first round of queens at the CSBA Summer Bee College! I have a great many people calling me for queens and here is an opportunity to get a virgin queen AND help a good cause by providing your valuable feedback. Here is a link to the sign-up page on the website. Queens are going fast so get involved!
Speaking of Queens…
Susannah Austin, the American Honey Queen, will be joining us for the CSBA Summer Bee College. She will be arriving on Tuesday, June 10th and is available for meetings with associations and groups of all kinds for education and outreach. OK — So you don’t have a clue as to what the honey queen does? Click here. Susannah is a wonderful asset to our outreach efforts and I would really like her to be well utilized while she is here. Do you have an event where you could use her expertise? Do you have a market while she is in town? Please contact me and let’s get her on your schedule!
Did I say Queens? I meant more queens…
Queens are in great demand this time of year and if I get one call a day on sourcing them, I get 5. So–here are some sources. Please call them before you call me!
Boulder: Tim Brod Highland Bees http://www.highlandbees.com 303-514-9257
Denver: Greg Rye Dakota Bees http://www.dakotabees.com 720-621-7305
Fort Collins: Kris Holthaus Red Dog Expressions http://reddogexpressions.wordpress.com 970-224-5810
Pollinator Week is June 15 to June 22. As usual, we have partnered with our friends at BBB Seed and have set up booths at many of the nurseries in Larimer and Boulder counties. Saturday, June 21, we are in need of beekeepers to staff these booths from 10-2. If you are willing to help, please contact me or the volunteer coordinator for your club. Thank you.
In a world where, increasingly, our food is genetically modified and the products we use contain harmful chemicals, people who care about entirely natural products need to band together. I’m sure you are aware of Burt’s Bees (given your close relationship with bees!), the line of cosmetic products made only from natural ingredients like beeswax. And that’s why we want to let you know about the upcoming screening of a documentary film called Burt’s Buzz, directed by Jody Shapiro, that follows the life of Burt Shavitz, co-founder of Burt’s Bees, which opens on June 6th, and plays for a week through June 12th, at the Denver Film Society at the Sie FilmCenter.
It was largely due to the iconic image of Burt (that still graces their products) that Burt’s Bees established itself as a leader in the field of cosmetics yet, despite his celebrity status, the reclusive Shavitz remains committed to living off the land and keeping true to his humble beginnings. By learning about the fascinating story of Burt’s life, Burt’s Buzz can open people’s minds to the importance of using natural products, living sustainably and the potential for people to create home-grown businesses from their own personal life experiences and local surroundings. Burt’s Buzz offers a unique opportunity for these diverse communities to meet, learn more about each other and develop relationships that may end up creating new opportunities in the areas they both care about.
Here is a link to watch the film’s trailer: BURT’S BUZZ TRAILER
Are you a gardener? Be a scientist! Participate in the Sunflower Community Project.
Africanized Bees found in Colorado-BUMMER!!!!
New York Times–The Toxic Brew in our Yards–very timely
Thank you for being a member.
Moms deserve our love and appreciation every day of the year, but this Mother’s Day, join people across the country as we show our moms, Mother Nature and the bees some love.
Mother’s Day accounts for 25 percent of U.S. annual flower sales. That’s a whole lot of flowers that could potentially be produced using harmful pesticides, including neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — a key contributor to bee declines around the globe.
For Mother’s Day, please send a message to Lowe’s that they need to show bees some love and stop selling bee-killing pesticides. It’s simple and easy!
Spring is springing and swarm season has begun. Swarm season appears to be “on pattern” and I would expect the season to go into full swing by the week of the 13th. For those of you who are on swarm catching lists, good luck and bee ready! All of the information on the CSBA Summer Bee College, including the agenda, speaker information, pre-registration form and maps can be found on the CSBA Summer Bee College 2014 page. Beekeepers Ball information to follow.
80,000 colonies killed or damaged during almond pollination. The ramifications are deep and wide. If this isn’t a call to action I don’t know what is. // As we enter into the growing season, I remind you that the PSC offers a bee kill reporting service that you should utilize if you incur bee damage. Reporting is free and confidential. // Recently, I have heard an ad on multiple radio stations for “Spectracide”. An MSDS and a Product Label can be found here. Kills 260 insects listed on contact! Bees, too…